Friday, January 11, 2019

Friday Food: A Tale of Two Kitchens

A. left on Sunday for a week in New York. The MiL sent me an e-mail on Wednesday in which she listed everything she had cooked for him so far. So I can tell you what he ate as well as what we ate. Because I am nothing if not thorough (read: totally insane) when it comes to chronicling the food intake of the entire family.


Short version: Beef soup, bread and butter, leftover meat loaf and rice

Long version: This soup I made for Cubby, because he doesn't like the fact that I always make vegetable soups with mushrooms and zucchini in them. He still eats the soup, he just pulls out the mushrooms and zucchini and piles them on his napkin. This is annoying, but I make vegetable soup for me for the most part, so I still add those vegetables.

This soup, I made for him. So besides the beef--the last of the leftover roast beef--I only added celery, carrots, potatoes, and green peas. He ate two helpings and didn't pick anything out. Yay.


Short version: Pasta with meat sauce, garlic bread, roasted mushrooms/bell peppers/onion, frozen green beans

Long version: We went to church in the afternoon this day, so we didn't get home until about 4:45 p.m.

It would have been earlier, except the children LOVE to run laps around this church and have to be forcibly dragged into the car to go home. Fun.

I made the meat sauce and roasted the vegetables earlier in the day, as well as shaped the loaf of dough for the garlic bread. Right before we left, I boiled water in my enameled cast iron pot and then turned it off.

So when we got home, the water was still pretty hot and came to the boil in the same amount of time it took to pre-heat the oven for the bread. The pasta cooked while the bread baked. I re-heated the sauce and vegetables, microwaved the green beans, and we were eating by 5:30 p.m. Yay me.


Short version: Pulled pork sandwiches, Grandma Brown's baked beans, green salad, Rafael's calabaza

Long version: I didn't really plan on having two New York State products with our dinner--Dinosaur BBQ Sauce and the baked beans--on the same night that A. left for a week in New York, but that's what happened. It seemed appropriate.

The boys decided they'd like to keep to our Advent rule of only having a homemade dessert on Sundays, but they lost the privilege of dessert because of bad behavior earlier in the day.

A stellar beginning to our week without Daddy.

However, just as we were finishing dinner, Rafael came by with some pieces of one of his calabazas that he had cooked. He cooks the pieces with butter and brown sugar, so the boys immediately dug into that, and I guess that was their dessert.

I haven't yet cooked the calabaza Rafael gave us in the fall, so I was interested to try it. The texture is actually somewhat similar to spaghetti squash--a bit stringy, rather than smooth like a butternut. It tasted pretty good, although what doesn't when it's covered in butter and brown sugar?

He told me that he smashes it on the ground to break it open, then hacks it into pieces with a hatchet, which sounds remarkably similar to the treatment for opening the dreaded Hubbard squash. So I think I won't be cooking ours until A. can apply his brute strength to the task of cutting it up for me.


Short version: Leftover pasta and meat sauce, sauteed mushrooms/collards/tomato, frozen green beans

Long version: Nope

What A. ate: Braised pork cheeks with mushrooms, mashed potatoes, squash, baked apples, and almond-flour chocolate cookies. Jealous.


Short version: Oven Cornell chicken, baked potatoes, steamed carrots, chocolate chip cookies

Long version: I keep thinking maybe I can find a way to make Cornell chicken good in the oven. I cannot. I'm gonna go ahead and definitively state that Cornell chicken absolutely must be made on a grill to taste right. Otherwise, it's just too wet. Yuck.

Jack doesn't like baked potatoes. How is this possible? I do not know.

I made cookies spur of the moment in the afternoon because Poppy wouldn't sleep and Jack was ping ponging off the walls and . . . well, and I like cookies.

So do these two goobers.

I only made a half recipe, though, because, well, I REALLY like cookies. No sense in tempting myself with four dozen cookies on hand. Because I will eat them. Oh yes, I will. Two dozen is much more reasonable, right? Right.

What A. ate: Ham, leftover mashed potatoes, salad with ranch dressing.


Short version: Leftover pulled pork sandwiches and baked beans, coleslaw

Long version: Cubby and Charlie had their second 4-H meeting right after school. With A. being gone, that meant that all of us had a 4-H meeting. I had a suspicion that I would not be up for much food prep when I rolled in at 5:30 p.m. with all four children. That's why I made the coleslaw in the morning, staged the meat in the pot to re-heat on the stove when I got home, and sliced bread before I left.

My suspicion was correct. Good thing all I had to do was put the pot of pork on the stove and heat the beans in the microwave.

What A. ate: Creamy salt cod on baked potatoes.


Short version: Breakfast sausage links, rice, leftover coleslaw

Long version: You know those small links of breakfast sausage that are like twice the price of loose breakfast sausage? Yeah, my sons LOVE those. And I never buy them. Because they are twice the price of loose sausage, and also, kind of gross. But last time I was at the tiny grocery store, I picked up a couple of packages specifically for a quick and popular dinner while A. was gone.

This was the day. It was quick, and it was popular, even though 3/4 of the children were coughing and running at the nose. Figures they'd all get sick while A. is gone.

I don't know what A. ate. I didn't get a report for this meal from New York. I apologize for the incompleteness of this record, though I think we can all agree that the MiL probably made something way better than breakfast sausage and rice.

Okay, your turn! What'd you eat this week?


mil said...

OK-- on Thursday A. ate leftover braised pork cheeks on rice, squash (though I think he might not have eaten that), homemade applesauce sweetened with honey and cinnamon (several bowls). Over the week, he ate lots of the almond chocolate cookies and chinked in with tortillas, cheese, and salsa. Perhaps I should add that Wednesday night's salad included the final tomato from the garden. It was a little pale and not terribly sweet, but it was a home-grown tomato in January, which is worthy of note.

Anonymous said...

Saturday - baked chicken thighs, corn, sautéed cabbage & onions
Sunday - meatloaf, carrots, potatoes, garlic bread
Monday - twice baked potatoes (with bacon & cheese & other items added), cauliflower, broccoli, carrot mix
Tuesday - salsa chicken over rice, sautéed spinach, mushrooms, onions, garlic, toast
Wednesday - Lasagna, brussel sprouts, garlic bread
Thursday - out to eat with friends
Friday - homemade chicken noodle soup

Kay said...

I don't remember all the days but let's see what I can remember. (PS Envious of MIL's home-grown tomato in January! And the Almond Chocolate Cookies.)

Saturday: No idea.

Sunday: We went out for Brunch. Supper was whatever each could find. I don't remember what we ate.

Monday: Chef Salads. Greens, turkey, hard-cooked eggs, various other vegetables & crackers.

Tuesday: Cheeseburgers, pork & beans (for Farmer), salad for me.

Wednesday: Local Mexican Restaurant. Farmer had 4 "all you can eat" tacos and I had shrimp quesadillas

Thursday: Breakfast for Supper: Farmer had Pancakes & Bacon. I had a Spinach, Red Pepper, Bacon & Cheese Omelet.

Friday: Farmer had a Cheeseburger, Oven Fries & Oven Onion Rings and Graham Crackers for dessert. I had a huge chopped salad with mixed greens, carrots, grape tomatoes, baby cucumbers, fresh mozzarella, fancy olives and a hard roll. (Grocery day means fancy foods for me.)

It's suppose to snow tonight & tomorrow. Looking forward to making some sheetpan meals for the upcoming week and a roast in the oven to help keep the house warm.

mil said...

I think that if one marinated the chicken in the Cornell sauce for 4-8 hours and then broiled the chicken without adding any more sauce one might conceivably get the flavor and the crispness. The broiling would have to be slow--several inches from the heat. Or just wait for summer and the grill. But I do know that the cooking HAS to be slow. Just wait until you grill it over mesquite! It will be sublime.