28 June 2011

Food 6/12/11 -7/2/11

Shockingly, I've been a delinquent blogger. 

But last night, the women and friends of our church got together to talk about feeding our families, and one of the tools of accountability we mentioned was actually writing down your menu. (Obviously).

And, so I remembered that I actually do have a spot to write down my menu. 

Right here.

So, going back in time a bit - 
Food from June 12th-June 18th:

17 June 2011

And Now She Is Seven


Dearest darling Daughter: 

Seven years ago today, you were born.  
Your labor and delivery were, in a word, horrific.  

As were the first six weeks of your life.  I have a vivid memory of our sweet friends Marianna and Mary Ellen driving us around for hours in the dark, hoping you would sleep, and yet, just more screaming. 

But we made it through.  I gave you a bottle, and you looked up and said, "Finally."  Well, at least you said it with your eyes and the six hours and forty three minutes that you slept.

At Seven Weeks - Happy Baby
And since then, you have brought immense joy.

10 June 2011

will these hands ne'er be clean?

I just pitted a ton of cherries.

I love to do that.
It's soothing, cathartic, juicy.

I always forget to put on gloves before I do it.

I'm supposed to remember, because, cherry juice stains, especially one's cuticles.

But, I think I unconsciously purposely forget.

Why?  Because cherry juice looks a lot like blood.
And Macbeth is my favorite work by Shakespeare.

So, I get to stand at my kitchen sink, scrubbing my cuticles and saying "Out, damned spot!" over and over again.

I recommend, if anyone is needing a literary moment, to read Act V, Scene 1 of Macbeth.  And so, I reproduce it here for you.

09 June 2011

Food on the Ocean

We just got back from a fabulous week away from real life with my dad and my stepmother, Carrie. And a few interlopers.

It was awesome.

It was not real life.

Real life began this week.
I prefer the beach.

Well, I probably wouldn't after a while. But for now...

When a family goes on vacation, apparently, they still need to eat.  There are a couple of options about food. You can eat out, you can cook a bunch of food and freeze and take, or you can cook while down there.

We don't particularly like to eat out, in general. That needs clarification. I love, love to eat out. But, for me to enjoy, my requirements are as follows:

  • The joint almost always be locally owned and operated. Chains just don't produce a good product, by and large.  There are always exceptions, but.... 
  • The food must be as good or better than food I can cook. 
  • And there shall be no discipline needed during the meal.
  • Or the joint be Krystal or Taco Bell or Cheap (Tex) Mexican.

The first qualification and second qualifications sound quite snobby, but when you like to cook, it's very painful to pay for food that costs more and tastes worse than what you can do at home.  And by 'very painful' i mean 'mildly annoying'.  Regardless, the fourth qualification should alleviate snobby accusations.

All that to say, eating out at the beach isn't really on my to do list.  It results in mediocre, over priced meals interrupted by "sit down, Eason."  "use your fork, Collins" "sit down, Eason""Ada - remember how we talked about facing the knife inward?" "sit down, Collins." "Paul - can you help clean up the water spill?" "sit down, Eason."  "Ada - No, I don't know the exact difference in size between large and jumbo shrimp"  "sit down, Collins."
And so on and so forth.  None of it is bad.  I do it most nights at the supper table.  Which is fine.  And good.  And part of an important proccess.

But it's not something I'd like to pay to experience.

I could cook and freeze.  But I don't like pulling meals out of the freezer.  I have a few things that work really well like this, but only a few.  And I cannot do a week of casseroles.

So, we cook down there.  Which I enjoy, and have learned to bring my knives and a couple of pans.  Note to self - next year, bring a cutting board and some kitchen towels.

So, what did we eat?

Saturday Night 5/28:  Spicy Spinach Lasagna
Sunday Night 5/29:  Went to see Paul Thorne sing.  He's awesome.  And Funny. And great dancing music. We ate a smorgasbord of left overs and vendor distributed hot dogs. 
Monday Night 5/30: Redfish Annalowrey 
Tuesday Night 5/31:  Carrie created some awesome roasted garlic french alfredo
Wednesday Night 6/1:  Chicken Romano 
Thursday Night 6/2:  Elite Style Cheese and Onion Enchiladas
Friday Night 6/3: Carrie made shrimp scampi, but I missed out.  I'm sure it was divine!

It was all good, and the only day I felt like I spent a lot of time in the kitchen was on Monday.  But it was Carrie's birthday dinner.  So it was worth it!

I measured out my spices and grouped all of my ingredients together before I left for the trip.

It's the way to go!  Prepare well before you go and then cook down there!

We had a great week.

02 June 2011

"never trust the sort of cooking...."

I am enjoying a low key vacation with my family this week. My daddy is a generous man and rented a little house on the Alabama gulf coast for himself, his bride and their kids.

I've spent time in the waves, time in the pool, time in the sand and time in the kitchen.

But, shockingly, that hasn't taken up all my hours. The rest of the time, I've been reading.

I brought Crime and Punishment to read, and have read some of it, but regardless of the gaping education hole that not having read the greatest Russian novel apparently leaves, it is not the most uplifting beach read.
Strike one.
I also went to the library and checked out some Agatha Christie stuff, only to find out that the novel collection I picked up are her six romance novels, rather than six of her 84 amazingly British murder mysteries.
Strike two.

But don't fret. I also picked up Forever Summer by Nigella Lawson, who gives Dame Christie a run for her money as my favorite British author. And my stepmother brought an Ina Garten cookbook. So, I know you're shocked, but I've been reading about food.

And have dishes to try to carry us through labor day.
But Nigella doesn't write recipes. She writes prefectly crafted essays that happen to be about food.

In one such essay, she echoed the sentiments of Robert Capon in his collection of essays on domestic life, Bed and Board. Capon opines about our relationship to Things. When we love a thing in itself, that is proper, Godly materialism, but when we love a thing for what it can do for us - convey social status, etc., that is far from good. Mistress Lawson is writing about Cheesecake Ice Cream.

She says, "I don't claim [cheesecake icecream] as an original idea...but striving for originality is frankly a grievous culinary crime. Never trust the sort of cooking that draws attention to the cook rather than to the food."

That's the lesson I've gleaned this week of reading and writing about food. It's also the reason all recipes should be shared. It isn't about what glory the food [or clothes, or work, or friendships, or anything] can bring to us; its about the glory that we, by way of the perfect dessert, can bring to God and His Creation.

I am so looking forward to being back in my own kitchen to hopefully draw attention to some yummy summer food.