Flying reindeer sighted in Iowa…..stayed tuned…
Yes, I have deer recipes….but who has time to cook on Christmas Eve?
See you later XoX K
Yep, that’s what I want, just as soon as I finish inventing it.
I started craving it yesterday, which wasn’t a particularly crunchy sort of day – a little gritty, perhaps, but no crunch. The other elements started creeping in, one by one.
It was an open a box, take everything out and deal with it sort of day, the days one has LOTS of after moving. The ‘And just which past life of mine is this thing a remnant of?‘ sort of day. AND a total ‘Christmas is happening this week?’ denial day sort of day.
It was also the day to Rescue the Aloe Vera.
You might remember the Aloe Vera as a carrier of toads into the ancestral abode….or maybe that was a Facebook moment…In TRUE Lucy and Ethel fashion, I can’t get whatever stupid thing will let me insert and then write some more, so it will come at the end, and therefore be in the NightCap position, not the ReCap place.
Anyhow, in some circles this plant is already famous. And before, before, before the plant was semi-famous, one of my Pilgrim wasbands, John Forti, gave me (and several dozen others) aloe vera divisions from his epically happy aloe vera, that did do so well for me that several years later I gave aloe vera to any and all takers that I had divided up from my divisions….and after years (close to 2 decades) of cats who loved to knock plants over and tussle them out of their pots to play with their roots….I still had a very healthy, though beaten back, plant. I had meant to re-pot it last Fall, but it was too heavy to carry down the stairs….so it was a definite for this Spring.
But I hadn’t gotten someone bigger/stronger/younger then I (that would be my son) to carry it out for me ….before the fire.
So the plant, with some ado, was moved to the ancestral home and placed on the deck and was happy. So happy that it’s root-bound self started to burst out of the planter – sideways – so it was plunked into plastic waste paper bin, as a temporary measure to keep root and plant in the same zip code temporarily…. O tempora! O mores!
The container was one of convenience, and not a judgement about the plant .
That was in May. This is now December. Can you feel the guilt?
Back to Saturday….
First I had to find the boxes that had the pots in them; and the boxes with the saucers and the boxes with the potting soil. Then I had to wash the pots, because the ones that were the right size OF COURSE where the ones that I had put away with out washing.Wash them or toss them out, don’t save the washing up for later I tell me self and never seem to learn.
As I examined the poor, sad plant I realized I didn’t know where my garden tools were….so I improvised, thank you ceramic knife and stainless cooking spoon. Did I mention the reason I re-pot outdoors is because there are some things I have never learned to do neatly? In the end, I put a double layer of newpapers down on the bathroom floor and had to.
Three new pots of aloe vera.
And then the clean-up of the re-potting.
Somewhere in all the washing up, I started thinking about egg nog.
Like how almost NO ONE published a homemade egg nog recipe in the holiday magazines. Not that I would. More then once. Maybe twice. And then there’s that whole raw egg thing. That’s why no one makes it at home. Maybe.
But I had already purchased some, the egg nog of my youth:
And just how did egg nog become part of a Christmas tradition, when traditionally this is the time of year when hens lay least? There is also an entire Nog family out there that has no egg…
Since I had the egg nog (not the no-egg nog) in the house already….could EggNog French toast be far behind?
And Crunchy French Toast, I have learned from Water St Cafe, home of some pretty fine French Toast, both crunchy and stuffed. The secret to their crunchy is …..
I have some corn chex, left from another project…..hmmmmm/
Water St Cafe also has a French Toast that is both Crunchy and Stuffed…..with blueberry cream cheese.
This morning the Boston Globe Magazine – baked French Toast…
Now about the Texas Toast…
I got an early Xmas present of Smoke & Pickles
Anyhow – Edward Lee mentions Texas Toast with several different dishes.Texas Toast is just sliced double thick bread.
Double thick bread slices in an egg nog (maybe a little rum) definitely a little nutmeg, and some sort of bacon/cranberry sauce stuffing….maple syrup is just too much sweet with egg nog, baked and not fried. I’ll let you know what I decide and how it turns out.
Last night, brought the potted plants in from the deck so they wouldn’t turn into plantcicles. This morning there was a little blob or blot in the floor – whatever could it be???????Not dust, but a little frog. Not the little frog in the picture, Mamma and me were tooooooooo busy scooping up said frog in a dustpan and gently holding him down with the broom bristles and going to the back door and unlocking the locks and setting the dustpan down and lifting the broom and finding NO FROG…..back inside, scooping Mr. Frogget once more and FINALLY getting him out the door. Because everyone should have an adrenaline filled Lucy and Ethel moment between coffee and breakfast.
October 19th, 2015
Plymouth Rock chicken
Cornish Game hen
and total aside – Victor Borge was an early promoter of the little bird.
Rock Cornish Game Hens with Wild Rice Stuffing
4 Rock Cornish game hens
6 Tablespoons butter – divided
½ C finely chopped onion
3 Tablespoons finely chopped celery (keep in mind the size of the birds….teeny bitty bits!)
1 ½ Cups cooked wild rice
1/3 Cup toasted chopped pecans
2 Tablespoons finely chopped dried cranberries
4 dried apricots, once again, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
Thaw the birds if their frozen. Rinse and pat dry with a paper towel inside and out. Lightly season insides with salt and pepper.
Toast the pecans in a hot frying pan; they only take a minute, not more than two. When they smell good, they’re done! Be careful not to scorch them. This step isn’t critical, but it really adds a depth of flavor, so well worth the extra few minutes and the dirty pan.
I use a little food processor to chop everything, first the celery, and the onion, then the fruits and nuts – just takes a pulse or two. All of this is going inside the little birds, so keep proportions in mind.
Preheat the oven 400° F.
Sauté onion and celery in2 Tablespoons butter until fragrant and translucent. Mix the onions, celery, wild rice, pecans and fruits together.
Stuff the mixture into the birds – about ½ Cup stuffing per bird. Because these birds are so small they don’t need to be tied, sewn ar laced closed. Put them in a baking dish breast side up.
Mix the remaining 4 Tablespoons butter with balsamic vinegar. Put on top of the birds – this is their baste and their sauce.
Cook about 80 minutes or until internal temp is 170°.
After you take them from the oven, let them rest under loosely tented foil 10 minutes and serve.
My then 15 year old son had had this for Thanksgiving with his aunt and requested it for Christmas. Actually, he said it would be good anytime! Auntie downloaded some recipes from Food Network website, and this was, more or less, among them.
Rock Cornish Hens are a cross between a Cornish Game Hen and a Plymouth Rock chicken, very modern and very American. Who knew?
Christmas is when you need the familiar, the comfortable and the delicious.
But not just ANY rolls, no, these are special rolls.
From an old family recipe – from my son’s other side, in memory of Grandma B. Her family had put together a cookbook, so we had actual recipes to work with.
Everyone loved Grandma’s Cinnamon Rolls, so they are a sweet remembrance of her.
All ingredients from white yeast bread
Follow all instructions for “White Yeast Bread” through the first paragraph.
Cut dough into 2 portions. Roll one into a rectangle and cut in half lengthwise. Combine sugar and cinnamon until it’s the color of cinnamon toast. Melt butter and add sugar mixture, keeping sugar wet but not too runny, Spread over dough not solid but not too sparsely. Cut into 1 inch strips. Roll and lay on the side in a greased pan. Be sure to leave pans that leave no extra space. Cover the ½ of the dough and repeat, until all dough is gone. Allow to rise, covered, for one hour. Bake at 400° for approximately 30 minutes. Cover with foil if browning too fast. Top with butter after removing from oven.
White Yeast Bread
1 pkg. yeast – I buy yeast in bulk – by the jar or by the pound and store it in the freezer. I use a yeast measure spoon
¼ c. water
2 c. scalded milk (whole milk)
2 T. sugar
2 tsp. salt
1 T. shortening (we used butter)
6 c. flour (King Arthur Flour white)
Soften yeast in warm water (110°). Combine hot milk, sugar, salt and shortening. Cool to lukewarm. Stir in 2 cups flour; beat well. Add yeast; mix. ( add the rest of the flour) Shape into a ball; place in a greased bowl and turn over, cover; let rise about 1 ½ hours. Punch down. Let rise another 45 minutes.
Cut dough into 2 portions. Shape each into a ball and let rise for 10 minutes. Shape into loaves and put into greased loaf pans. Allow to rise 1 hour. Bake at 400° for approximately 35 minutes. Cover with foil if browning too fast. Top with butter after removing from oven. Makes 2 loaves.
Am Moak, p. 29. family cookbook
More notes from 2014 – what we did (more or less)
23 Dec 2014
1 pm begin – 5:15 is wrap – he took home one large and 2 small trays as well as 2 loaves white bread; I have the 2 large and 1 small tray to take to Pembroke.
Heat 4 C milk
12 C flour
2 packet yeast (the magic yeast spoon) w/ ½ C water
4 T sugar
4 t salt
Mix together. Knead until smooth. Let raise 2 hrs
2 ½ sticks butter, melted
for a double
We did this twice; the second time, with the wicked cheap $1.29 a 2 ½ oz bottle of cinnamon was better – either we’ve grown accustomed to cassia or it just works better with fat and alcohol.
There was a little left over for my own Xmas morning buns.
Notes on the paper pans – they caught fire – but just a little. Everyone was very calm and just put the little fire out. I’m currently in the market for nonstick 9x13s that have covers. Problem solved.
A Hymn on the Nativity of My Savior
I sing the birth was born tonight,
The Author both of life and light;
The angels so did sound it,
And like the ravished shepherds said,
Who saw the light, and were afraid,
Yet searched, and true they found it.
The Son of God, the eternal King,
That did us all salvation bring,
And freed the soul from danger;
He whom the whole world could not take,
The Word, which heaven and earth did make,
Was now laid in a manger.
The Father’s wisdom willed it so,
The Son’s obedience knew no “No,”
Both wills were in one stature;
And as that wisdom had decreed,
The Word was now made Flesh indeed,
And took on Him our nature.
What comfort by Him do we win?
Who made Himself the Prince of sin,
To make us heirs of glory?
To see this Babe, all innocence,
A Martyr born in our defense,
Can man forget this story?
Ben Jonson (1572-1637)
like when it’s near , say, a holiday that has a major food component, time seems scarce…..only because it’s being filled up with the Everyday as well as the Holiday….and you suddenly realize that although the food for a certain day that is not today is planned, shopped and prepped, today, TODAY is a meal short.
You will add guilt and indigestion to an already full week.
INSTEAD do a really jiffy quick trip to the store to pick up a few pantry staples. Staples that can also be on hand for the later then last minute eats to take or serve, will also serve you. Soon.
Nachos Now with Beans
8 ounces tortilla chips (you could make your own, which are zippy fast and really good, but this is not the time for that. Somebody’s hungry!)
1 pound shredded cheddar cheese (4 cups) (The bag sort is fine here because of everything else going on)
2 large jalapeño chiles (3/4 ounce each), sliced thin (about 1/4 cup) (or a can of chopped green chiles, with jarred jalapeño slices on the side)
Refried beans, a can
2 scallions, sliced thin
1/2 cup sour cream (4 ounces) and/or an avocado or packaged guacamole
Jar of Paul Newman Salsa ( my favorites are Pineapple and Tequila Lime)
1 lime cut into 6 wedges
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 400 °.
- Grate or shred the cheese if you bought a block and not a bag.
- Slice the jalapeno chiles and the scallions separately – tiny pieces!
- Spread half of chips in even layer in 13- by 9-inch baking dish
- Sprinkle evenly with 2 cups cheese and half of jalapeno slices.
- Drop about 6 oz of the re fried beans by spoonful across the cheesy landscape.
- Repeat with remaining chips, cheese, beans and jalapenos.
- Bake until cheese is melted, 7 to 10 minutes.
- Remove nachos from oven, cool 2 minutes, and then sprinkle with scallions.
- Along edge of nachos, drop scoops of sour cream, avocado, guacamole and salsa.
- Cut the lime into wedges.
- Serve immediately, passing lime wedges separately to squeeze on top.
- I have been know to make this in my little Pyrex baker for one…it breaks down. The trick is to not eat the chips alone. I look for unsalted chips or low salt. There’s plenty of taste in the cheese and the salsa and the jalapenos….
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated July 2002
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