Category Archives: Eating

PSSS

birthday-pilgrim-style

Sooooo…

I didn’t exactly spend my birthday all Pilgrim style.

Not a single spoon…..and I’m OK with that. Instead there was

Pretty Spinach Salad with Salmon

The distaff cohort of the family – meaning Sis, Mom and Me – went to Isaac’s on the waterfront  – because, seriously, when you live on the coast you should eat with a view when you can .

issacs

It was actually the day after my birthday – my UnBirthday, and I was fine with that, too. There are so many more UnBirthdays in a year to celebrate…..

We began with individual preambles about what we were choosing and why, and then commented on all the choices and the specials, and asked questions about the choices to Sue, our heroic waitress, and the commented all over again when the food came and then gave commentary as we were eating….typical Italian meal.

This makes food sound like sport, but really, it was  great, good fun. Sue  was a delight and seemed to be having almost as much fun as we were.

There something about a leisurely meal  out in the middle of the day, that wafts of having not a care in the world….and we had an ocean view to boot. No troubles.

On Tuesdays many places in Plymouth are closed, especially in February, the official ‘it’s probably gonna snow so let’s just stay in’ month.

We did not take a single photo of the food. Which is a pity because it sure was purdy, and the light was great and the view fantastic.

My salad was….

HUGE

and a study in green and pink, a lovely bowl of spinach tossed with a light dressing, teeny-tiny nubbins of bacon and cheese and olive oil and  lemon juice….and on top of this pastoral springtime loveliness was a beautiful, hot, cooked to perfection salmon fillet.

salmon-meledezStill Life with Salmon, Lemon and Three Vessels Meléndez, Luis Egidio Copyright ©Museo Nacional del Prado

 

Imagine this fillet cooked to perfection.and piping hot on top of a bowl of green, green, greens. Such a large piece of salmon I thought I’d save half, but ate maybe ¾ –  still enough left to be worth saving and made another (less piggy) meal.

spinach

And talk

And talk

And laugh and laugh…..and then coffee.

Sue not only was able to figure what we wanted, what we wanted  saved, and saved it, but had overheard enough of our chatter – OK, not that difficult – to figure there was a birthday girl and brought a birthday surprise.

Ice cream with whipped cream and chocolate sauce and a candle.

single-birthday-candle-clip-art-i19

Sue also started sing the Happy Birthday song, loudly and with spirit.Mom and Sis chimed in, in parts no less.

Having been raised with these people, I merely smiled, and nodded, and gave my Queen of England wave to the the rest of the lunch crowd. patiently waiting to eat whipped cream with chocolate sauce.

I do love the un-birthday!

 

 

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Filed under Birthday, Eating, Lunch

Shrimp Girl

I’ve been so busy eating and cooking and eating and eating…..I haven’t been writing about it. Much of my cooking has been taking what was left and making into something new, something fresh, something different…..

Like leftover shrimp from Christmas Day….

shrimp-ring

There was some of THIS left….stay late at the party, score the leftovers!

As much as I love just picking and dunking shrimp to cocktail sauce…..and then thinking

“Is it TRUE that shrimp cocktail came about because of Prohibition?”

Or was that FRUIT cocktail????

I wanted a hot meal, but since the shrimp was already cooked, it just needed to be a re-heat element.

.

eatfeed

Eat Feed Autumn Winter – Anne Bramley

Anne Bramley also does the podcast EATFEED – I’m interviewed in the  PIE episode.

But I had pulled this book off the shelf, and sure as shooting – shrimp!

Citrus in Season

Chapter 18

Chili Lime Shrimp with Rice

Coconut Black Beans

pp. 148-151.

Since this was a light supper, I made a few revisions:

Chili Lime Rice with Shrimp (and coconut)

I made some rice, adding the zest of the lime and some hot pepper. When the rice was done I added the naked shrimp, chopped, and bit of coconut and served it in a rice bowl with a squeeze of the the now naked lime – note to self – next time squeeze citrus first and then zest.

rice-bowl

These are the rice bowls currently for sale at Williams-Sonoma. I bought a set of 12 for less , much less then a set of four now goers for, back in the olden days of the Carter Administration. I still have two.  Nine moves and three decades.

Anne also quotes Harry Nilsson… you know

which make me think of

william_hogarth_002

The Shrimp Girl is a painting by the English artist William Hogarth. It was painted around 1740–45, and is held by the National Gallery, London.

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Filed under Christmas, Eating, Pie, Supper

Soup kitchen

detail from Johann Georg Sturm’s 1796 Deutschlands Flora in Abbildungen

Soooooo….

When you realize that you have six pounds of parsnips, and the odd roast turkey carcass and the freezer needs defrosting (because the freezer is old enough to be NOT frost-free) and the weather is also not frost-free….time to make some soup.

You work in a kitchen, sometimes you make soup.

Soup Kitchen.

I’ve had some great soup gurus – early on Anna Thomas…

anna-thomas-2016

Anna Thomas

love-soup

I started with the soup basics in Vegetarian Epicure…This is only soups.

There are also the ethnic soups that are shades of my childhood, what we ate and what we talked about…

soups-of-italy

I’ve mentioned this before..still a page turner

Barbara Kafka has a soup book called, “Soup : A Way of Life”.

soup-babara-kafta

Not to be confused with

kafkas-soup

But I digress….

 

But most of the time I make soup by assembling the likely ingredients – in some cases the Most Likely ingredients – and then think about how they go together, and what needs to be added to make them one soup and not a bunch of leftovers.The soupness helps to bring things together, but the right accent can make things great.

There’s also the internet …..

Most of the parsnip soup recipes called for milk or cream, and there are allergy issues with dairy AND it would mean a trip to the store….and  wants to go to the store for ONE THING? And who comes back from the store with one thing?????.

But the internet had quite a few vegan veggie soups, many of which included cashews, which bring up nut issues   ….but also, I had NO cashews and then I would have to go to the store for one thing….back to that.

Then there were a raft  of soup recipes where the roots were roasted and pureed.

Roasting, easy-peasy.

Pureeing….there’s no blender in the kitchen, but boiling the roasted roots in broth makes mashing a really possibility.

Parsnips are peeled and cut. The better part of a head of garlic, peeled. All the veggies tossed with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Put in a hot oven til fork tender, 350° oven about an hour, fork very tender.

Cool and save.

Soup Day morning, add 5 quarts broth made from the turkey carcass and a big sprig of rosemary. Bring to a boil.

Simmer for an hour, mash the parsnips to thicken it up. Taste and adjust seasonings.  Bring to a bowl.

Makes 15 servings.

parsnips-1

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Filed under Eating, Influencers, Soup, winter

Wallyburgers

charcoal-grill-648 

It started, as myths often do, in the dim, misty long ago times. Summer was ending, the days still hot but the nights were cooling, and school was beckoning. There was a fire, a charcoal grill fire. This was long after we had invented BBQ Cheetos, and we stood around the fire and talked of how good, how very good, how very much better than ordinary were burgers and dogs on a charcoal grill, and how we would miss that goodness through the winter, and why couldn’t there be charcoal grilling all year round, why must fire end with summer??????

Why couldn’t we make a place where we could have a charcoal fire all year long, where the burgers and dogs always taste like fire and we would call that place:

WALLYBURGER

And it was good.

And the story did not leave us with summer, but grew and changed and morphed over time.

When the youngest brother was still very young, we began to see him as the emblem of the Wallyburger,

the Wallyburger chef.

The story grew strong.

He would wear all white, like a superhero. A white cap and a white apron; white T shirt and white carpenter pants…..and as the story grew, the apron grew greasy. What was once shiny white became a little…less so.

Like Mel on Alice. Only more so.

vic-tayback

A little more grease, a little more scruff…

And Wallyburger Chef would have a 3 day growth of beard, even though he was really 3 years old, and the whole hipster scruffy face thing was decades in the future.

And

He would have a cigarette hanging out one side of his mouth, with a long ash that was just about to fall……

But because the burgers and dogs were

SOOOOOO GOOOOOOD

The people would come  anyway, and pay any price. That good.

 

6aff1ba1be155d267253a93e326fc79a

Time marching on

and years later, in front of the TV in the Ancestral Home, Dad gave the command.

 Invade.

That’s what Dad said as he was watched Phantom Gourmet.

phantom gourmet log

“The Walls should invade Wahlburgers

A little back story seems in order……

Dad – raised in Dorchester.

lower_mills_ma

The Neponset River as it runs through Lower Mills – this is where Nana is from

Wahlbergs – from Dorchester.

539w

Mark Wahlberg in Dorchester with reporter Lara Logan

Dad was a cop.

Donnie Wahlberg plays a cop in Blue Bloods

bluebloodswahlberg

Will Estes and Donnie Wahlberg in Blue Bloods

 

And so the plans for invasion began….the problem was that as Wahlburgers was being built ( we couldn’t invade until they were actually there) the various reports had the location sometimes in Hingham – the actual location – and sometimes in Boston, easier to get to, but out of town speak for a place in Massachusetts that isn’t Cape Cod or the Berkshires…..

hinghamburger

But Dad got sick right around the time that Wahlburgers opened in 2011, so he never got there.

This Spring, my Number One Son and his girlfriend and I all went to Hingham.

wahlb-ex

Jake knew the way because in a past job, he delivered the buns.Because Dorchester is all about the connections, even in generations removed.

wahlburgers-menu

The menu

I got the Thanksgiving Burger – natch.

 

wahlburgers20mar16

For desert I got the Apple Empanada. We forgot to take picture until dessert time.Too busy eating.

menu_corporate-3

SOOOO 

it wasn’t quite an invasion.

It was a good meal with a leisurely drive to and fro.

And we discussed if Dad would have gotten an O.F.D. (Originally From Dorchester)  or a Triple Decker…(more properly called a ‘Tree Decka’ from what I remember in Dorchester-ese). And since my son didn’t know the

Wallyburger

story….well. I guess that’s what this is for. Our family. Our story. Their burgers.

While the family is gathered round to remember and connect (and eat – eating is wonderful for the memory!)  we will not doubt be remembering  the Wallyburger chef. And Dad. XoX

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Filed under Autumn, Bread, Eating, Thanksgiving, TV shows

What the Fluff?

It’s almost September, time for

Labor Day Cookouts

Back to School

and

FLUFF FESTIVAL

Fluff Festival  CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

The Fluff festival is held in Somerville, MA,  birthplace of Marshmallow Fluff

(and ME!)

This year the Festival is Saturday, September 24th , rain date the 25th.

And because it’s hip to be Square in Somerville, you’ll find the Fest at Union Square.

Go to the link, there are directions.

There is also a cooking contest.

Sweet!

Cooking Contest Registration

Does Marshmallow Fluff inspire you to create culinary works of art? Have you ever used Fluff as a secret ingredient? Is there a fabulous recipe featuring Fluff that’s been passed down in your family for generations? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, we hope you’ll join this year’s What the Fluff? Cooking Contest!

Click here to register for the 2016 Cooking Contest! This year all participants are asked to pre-register for the Cooking Contest; no new entries will be accepted on the day of the festival. Entries will be accepted through September 19.

Award Categories

  • Best Youth Entry
  • Best Traditional Recipe
  • Most Creative Recipe
  • Grand Prize: Best Overall
grilled-fluffernutter-sandwich-720x480aimee seavey2016

Grilled Fluffernutter Sandwich Aimee Seavey – it’s a link if you need help with this

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Filed under Autumn, Bread, Eating, Lunch, New England

two blue

 

 

 

I love blue berries. Usually I just eat them. Occasionally I actually leave enough or buy enough more that I make something. Blueberry pancakes. Blueberry Betty and Buckle (not to be confused with Betty Buckley..

betty-buckley-footer-watermark

Betty Buckley in Cats

Blueberry Cobbler. Blueberry Pie. Blueberry corn muffins. Blueberry tea-cake ….or was that a pound cake? Lemon pound cake with blueberries???? And Jordan Marsh Blueberry muffins….coming down the escalator, with box tied up with blue twine, hoping to NOT eat them all on the bus, so there would be more then crumbs in the box by the time we got home.

 

muffin-closeup-jpg

A Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffin….a fresh one from the original recipe from someone who used to work there AND it was on the news, so it must be true

I want to search for the recipe, but I’m not baking in this heat. Turn  the oven on? It already feels like the oven is on.

Wasn’t there a blueberry sauce for ice cream????

Blini with blueberry sauce…blueberries cook up just fine.

I’m resisting some serious cookbook/paper file searching, because in THIS heat, salad is the most cooking I’m doing with the berries.

And there aren’t enough left for a pie, so I’ll just have to eat them, and then I’ll go to the Plymouth Farmer’s Market and buy more.

Genius moment. Blue cheese dressing on a salad …..with blueberries on top.

Two Blues!

 

Now about this salad…I actually saw someone at work do it. He had the greens, and blue cheese dressing and then he dumped blueberries on top….

total lunch envy moment.

And evidently cases of SCURVY are up….so I should really eat MORE fruit. 1 cup of blues has 14.4 mg of vitamin C. An orange has about enough for a whole day of C (a woman needs 75 mg – an orange has 70).

Anyhow, I don’t have scurvy, not even close.I just want more blueberries !

SOOOOOO

I tossed some blue cheese, some blueberries and some smoked almonds on my greens…

Gorgonzola_1 300px

Gorgonzola -the blue I happen to have on hand

…the squishyness of the berries made the nuts seem even bigger and harder then they are. It was like there were bones in my salad. Next time: chop the nuts.

But smoked or spiced nuts are the way to go, to balance the richness of the blue cheese and the sweetness of the blue berries.

A little bacon would not be amiss. Fresh croutons could make the whole thing a meal.

Two blues with bacon and bread – salad of the week at ChezMoi.

 

oaksandbluberry 1905

Oaks and Blueberry Bushes – Georges Lacombe – 1905 -Indianapolis Museum of Art

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Eating, Lunch, Summer

Cherries, Take Two

Take some cherry tomatoes

Tomates_cerises_Luc_Viatour(1)

Add some fresh mozzarella  –ciliegini – little cherry size

mozzerella, fresh

 

With basil and  a little olive oil …a lovely summer salad. Serve with Scali bread to mop up the juices..

scali bread

If you can’t find Scali bread, here’s a link on how to make some : http://blog.kingarthurflour.com/2008/03/26/for-the-love-of-scali-bread/

The next night…

Take what’s left of the tomato and cheese, which has been marinating in balsamic vinegar all night…..drool….And add to hot pasta

Practically instant, low cook supper.

 

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Filed under Bread, Eating, Recipe, Summer, Supper

No Cook Cooking.

The no cook season has begun.

But there is no no eat season, only no eat hours here and there…..

It’s the heat I can’t stand, not the food

FNM070116_Rigatoni-with-No-Cook-Tomato-Sauce-recipe_s4x3.jpg.rend.sni12col.landscape

Food Network Magazine. Right now.

Rigatoni with No-Cook Tomato Sauce

Rigatoni.  Tomatoes. Basil. Olive oil. Garlic.

If you need more instruction, follow the link. I’m off to get tomatoes and basil….

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/rigatoni-with-no-cook-tomato-sauce.html

FNM070116_Cover_s4x3.jpg.rend.sni18col.landscape

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Filed under Eating, Summer, Supper

National Apple Pie Day

was May 13th.

How did I miss this????

Who makes apple pie in MAY??????

There’s rhubarb and blueberries and strawberries…..but apples…

Not still and not yet.

Now, if were

National Mock Apple Pie Day

I could get behind that. A little pastry practice for all the lovely real fruits that are just ahead.

ritz cracker

Ritz Cracker did not invent the mock apple pie….but it certainly popularized it.

When there are no apples people still wanted apple pie. Dried apples were the thing that used to extend the season. After the fresh apples, the dried apple. After the dried apple, the crackers….and then Spring and Summer fruits until the new apples.

Here’s an earlier then Ritz version:

applepiepart1applepie part2

A CALIFORNIA PIONEER APPLEPIE-1852
Mrs. B. C. Whiting.

Break four soda crackers into an earthen bowl. Pour
over them a pint of cold water, made very tart with citric
acid. When soft, but not mashed, removed the soda crackers
to your pie plate, with the under crust already on; then sift
over two tablespoons of light brown sugar, and a little all-

spice and cinnamon to flavor. (The brown sugar and spice
give the requisite color), after which put on a prettily per-
forated top crust, and bake in a very quick oven a few
moments.
The deception was most complete and readily accepted.
Apples at this early date were a dollar a pound, and we
young people all craved a piece of mother’s applepie to
appease our homesick feelings.

applepiesource

Los Angeles, C. Simpson Methodist Episcopal Church (Ladies Social Circle).1894.How We Cook in Los Angeles. A practical cook-book containing six hundred or more recipes….including a French, German and Spanish department with menus, suggestions for artistic table decorations, and souvenirs.pp.240-1.

 

 

Here’s what used to be on the back of the Ritz box:

mockapplepieritz

I have made this pie. More than once. The first time I made it, there was a certain amount of disbelief. So, I made it a second time (in the same 24 hours) –  with witnesses.

Which also happened the second time I made it…..and I have made it since then, too. Because sometimes crackers are better then apples.

.It’s still a little hard to believe how much like apple pie it tastes. And looks. And smells.

Is it the cinnamon?

Or is it just how bland so many of our apples have gotten that they taste like crackers?

Part of the ruse is science.

pie-science2

Newsweek has an article on the appleless apple pie.

Part is that your eyes and nose believe, and then convince your brain.

mock_apple_pie_Savour2008

from Saveour, Feb 2008

And it’s really, really good – if  ironic  – with cheddar cheese

apple pie w cheddar

This is pretty orange cheddar….but for cheese and cracker pie …

Just like Real Apple Pie.

 

 

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Filed under Eating, Pantry, Perception ways, Pie, Spring, The 1980's

Piece of Pie

Pizza Pie, that is.

Is there a point where pizza and pie are redundant?

Maybe the point would be at the point of the wedge…..

pizza slice

Piece of pizza – New York style slices

But then there is Pie Pie….

Pumpkin_Pie

Pumpkin Pie

SOOOOOOO,

When you have cooked squash/pumpkin and pizza dough both in your freezer at the same time and it’s also time to think of what’s for supper…….Time for Pumpkin Pizza Pie

Two Great Tastes that Taste Great Together!

 

PUMPKIN PIZZA PIE

2 rounds of pizza dough, rolled out to 10″

1/2  pound cooked squash

1 can Ro-Tell – drain it and drink the juice or save it for soup…

rotel

They were on sale last week – I was thinking of adding them into chili or soup

olive oil

grated  mozzarella or cheddar

grated Romano or Parmesan

  1. Put some oil in a pan. Add the drained Rotel, the squash and a clove or 2 (or 4) of garlic. Any finely diced veg or 2 would do well here now – pepper, onion, celery even a carrot. I had a roasted beet I didn’t think of til it was out of the oven…what a color THAT would have been!

  2. Cook to color, soften. Mash it down,nothing too big, too hard, too lumpy.

  3. Let the mixture cool a bit.

  4. Turn up the oven to 450-500°. Let it be hot.

  5. If you have a lump of cheese, shred it now. Shredded cheese was also on sale, and a name brand, not the store brand stuff. I bought it in spite of the chatter lately about wood pulp et al.in assorted cheese product. This one had potato starch, visible, all over the place potato starch, and plenty of it.  Next time I shred my own.  

  6. Sprinkle some grated Romano or Parmesan in a little circle in the middle. This is a trick I learned from Ian C. at a wood-fired oven workshop years ago.  It makes your first bite extra savory.This doesn’t work on pizzas that aren’t circles to be cut in wedges, although a little extra flavorful cheese underneath almost always works.  

  7. Divide the vegetable sauce between the 2 pizzas and spread across the dough.

  8. Sprinkle any fresh seasoning herbs may want now : fresh basil or fresh thyme. Sage, in very small amounts works with the squash. I had some fresh rosemary, and it only took a couple of pinches, minced fine.

  9. Top  with the shredded cheese. The cheese should not out weigh the rest of the topping….

  10. Put in a hot oven for 10 minutes and then check. It should be golden brown on top and bottom. If not, put it back in for a couple of more minutes – your oven will not be the same as mine! My oven took about 6 minutes more. If I wanted well-done pizza (don’t laugh, I know people who like things COOKED) keep  in in even a few minutes more. Don’t keep it in so long the Fire Department comes over to see what’s in the oven.

  11. Take out of the oven, cool for a minute or two (It helps the cheese set and keeps you from burning yourself). Cut in slices and serve. I froze my leftovers for another day (which was more then one other day, the last one of which was today).

  12. Glorious colors, tomato and pumpkin, two New World vine fruits together!

 

 

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Filed under Eating, Italian, Pantry, Pizza, Recipe, squash