Tag Archives: rice

Happy Birthday, Pappa!

June 18th was Father’s Day in 1933.

It was also the day my father was born, which made a certain amount of sense when I was little  –  why wouldn’t fathers be born on Father’s Day?  (My mother was christened that same day in Italy, which is the start of the connections between the two of them…..)

And he  LOVED Chinese food.

chinese-take-outLike blue eyes and curly hair (what was left of it) this was such a fundamental part of who he was and what he did,  that I never asked, nor do I remember anyone else ever once asking,

“Chinese food? What is about Chinese food, Bill? Why Chinese food? How does an Irish boy learn about Chinese food”

Good questions…wish I’d thought of them sooner. Not only was  Chinese food the treat of treats, it brought him into the kitchen after he retired.

He had a wok.

Serious Wok action. This was the attitude, if not the reality.

Serious Wok action. This was the attitude, if not the reality of the ancestral home cooktop.

For a very long time, perhaps as far back as the ’70’s, a paperback copy of  “The Pleasures of Chinese Cooking” by Madame Grace Zia Chu has been kicking around .Chinese Cooking larger

Several recipes have markers….but the basic of the basics is Fried Rice.


2 Tablespoon soy sauce

½ teaspoon sugar

2 eggs

4 tablespoons peanut or corn oil, divided

¼ cup scallions cut into ¼ inch pieces

4 cups cold boiled rice

½ cup diced cooked ham

  1. Mix the soy sauce with the sugar. Set aside.
  2. Beat the eggs and scramble them slightly in 1 Tablespoon of the oil. Set aside.
  3. In a heavy frying pan or a wok heat 3 tablespoons of oil over high heat.
  4. Add scallions and stir a few times
  5. Add rice and stir quickly so that rice won’t stick to the pan and will be well coated with the oil
  6. Add the soy sauce/sugar mix, stir well.
  7. Add the ham and the slightly scrambled egg, mixing and breaking the eggs into little pieces in the rice.
  8. Serve hot.

NOTES: The rice needs to be THOROUGHLY cold or all you’ll get is a sticky mess. Madame Chu’s note and my experience. Brown rice may be used for a more hippie version, just be sure that the rice is cooked thoroughly.

Cooked chicken or beef may be substituted for the ham.

The original recipe does not call for a wok, but I think they’re a little more common now, so if you got one, go ahead and use it.

The original calls for ¼ teaspoon MSG, which I stopped using years, make that decades, ago. If that departure from the recipe makes it Irish/Chinese fusion, so be it. Call the Food Police. Guilty as charged.

Serves 4.

Grace Zia Chu. The Pleasures of Chinese Cooking. Pocket Books, March 1969. p.51.



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Filed under Birthday, Books, Irish, Perception ways, The 1970's


Rare Iron Pie Crimper/jag with Whale-Tail Handle and 1794 Large Cent Wheel, American, first half 19th century, with notched border and distinctive semi-circular tail reminiscent of a whale’s tail, the wheel composed of an altered American 1794 large cent with depiction of Lady Liberty. Typical wear. L 5 1/2″.


Maker unknown, Double Eagle scrimshaw pie jag(detail), mid-19th century, carved, incised ivory colored with red wax, brass and silver, H. 7 in., W. 4 in, D. 1 1/2 in. Gift of George G. Frelinghuysen. Shelburne Museum. Image by David Bohl.

Sometimes  I choose what to write. Sometimes it chooses me.I’ve had lots of pie events lately, so pie has been on my brain. Pie, pie accessories, pie recipes….I was going to write about pie jags….or cookies….or some combination thereof….


Wilton has a pie crust rim mold, is cutting and pasting is out of your league


pie jags lead to just plain jag….

A dish of rice and beans.

I didn’t  know about jag until I moved to Plymouth, where it is so common to be customary on any sort of potluck table. Sometimes with beans, sometimes with pease, sometimes with linguica or other tube meat  – always hits the spot.



Paula Peters wrote about it years ago in the Cape Cod Times Finding the Recipe for jag and more recently Paula Marcoux wrote about Jagacida for edible South Shore and South Coast Magazine. And here’s a wordpress blogger who writes of three generations of jag

I have rice, and an onion, and beans instead of pease…..and a pot to cook it in and some smoked paprika. Time to put on the rice and beans.



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Collard Greens

Kale, Kale, Kale

Kale Pesto.

Kale Chips.

Guac-KALE-mole (and no outcry in the New York Times? Puh-leeze!)

Kale this and Kale that yadda yadda do da.


You’d think it was the only leafy green in the world.

I’m not a kale hater, but it’s NOT the only green in the Garden.

Last week, my head was turned by….

Collard Greens.


Back in the day, the English called these pretty babies Coleworts. ‘Collards’ is a dialectal variation of the word, the variation that stuck.

Great, big, beautiful, cut that very morning collards. A foot long in leaf and nearly as wide.


Hello, beautiful.

Collards are the the Jan Brady of the Greens World.


“Marcia Marcia Marcia” – just like collards say “Kale Kale Kale”

They do not make the back cover of Cook’s Illustrated. Their Spokes-model is Huck Finn. They are not artisanal. No one seems to be making Guac-Collard-mole, thank you, thank you very much.

Any how,

at the Plymouth Farmer’s Market  I saw a bunch of collards greens, among many bunches of collards

……my eye was caught.

My thoughts were spinning .

Like “Where the heck is my Victory Garden Cookbook? Collards and Rice would be very nice.”

Collards and Rice, easy-peasy to make. Collards, rice and chicken broth.

AND I had just made broth by tossing a rotisserie chicken carcass into the slow cooker with assorted bits and bobs of veggies too few or too far gone to otherwise be on the table, which then got to give up their goodness before they gave up the ghost.

Collards and Rice is really simple. Heat broth, add rice, add chopped collards and cook until done.

But I also don’t have my own pots and pans and bowls right now, so I need some measurements and proportions to work with. A little Google time online, and sure enough, someone else had adapted this same recipe, so this is my adaptation of another adaptation:(Collards and Rice: A Magical Combination  November 8, 2010 by http://www.sunsetparkcsa.org/?p=94)

Collards and Rice
Adapted from The Victory Garden Cookbook

Serves 6-8

4 cups chicken broth  (you can use water, or only part broth or add a piece of bacon or 2 or add a little butter)
2 cups long-grained white rice
6 cups loosely packed cups cleaned and chiffonade  raw collard leaves – cut out the ribs roll and slice. If the leaves are really big, randomly hack away. they shrink in the cooking. I put the cut bits in a big bowl and measured them out by the handfuls…6ish handfuls = 6 cups in my world today.


Freshly ground pepper

Boil broth; add rice. Bring back to a boil. Stir and add the collards, handful by handful, stirring constantly. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook until the rice is done, approximately 20 minutes.


Rooster Sauce

Season to taste. (this is where the pepper comes in. Or Tabasco or other hot pepper sauce .I’m loving Rooster sauce right now)

I love this book - Marian Morash is wonderful!

I love this book – Marian Morash is wonderful!


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Filed under Influencers, Recipe, Summer