Saturday, July 30, 2016

FARMERS EGGS



Ah, yes – eggs! One of my favorite foods. I could do without meat, but I could never do without eggs. I’ve had a Farmers’ Eggs recipe in my repertoire for eons, but only a few years ago did I write it down as a recipe for two. I was in a strange phase back then, and I wrote the recipe in all caps. It’s one of those recipes that stick in your head because you know you can always ‘wing it’ with the add-in ingredients.

And speaking of fresh eggs, I would never make this recipe with fresh eggs, ones laid that morning, if I did have them. Their taste is subtly different and delicious, and shouldn’t be combined with other thing in one mouthful. I’ve had fresh eggs only rarely in my life, and I do savor them.


J LJ - FARMER'S EGGS FOR TWO (OR MORE)   

   
1 SMALL LEFTOVER COOKED POTATO, CUBED
2 SLICES BACON OR ½ CUP CHOPPED HAM
½ CUP CHOPPED ONION OR SLICED SCALLION

1-2 TBLSP OLIVE OIL OR BUTTER TO SAUTE THE ONION OR POTATOES
4 EGGS
¼ CUP MILK, CREAM, SOUR CREAM, WHAT HAVE YOU?
2 OZ. GRATED SWISS OR CHEDDAR
                                                                                             
OPTIONAL - PARSLEY OR A 2 OZ. JAR OF CHOPPED PIMENTOS FOR COLOR  

METHOD:
BROWN THE POTATOES IN THE OIL, SET THEM ASIDE.
IF USING BACON, CHOP IT UP FIRST, THEN SAUTE IT WITH THE ONION.  IF YOU ARE USING HAM, FIRST BROWN UP THE ONIONS IN OLIVE OIL, THEN ADD THE HAM.  OBVIOUSLY, YOU DON’T NEED TO BROWN THE SCALLIONS IF THAT’S WHAT YOU ARE USING.
GRATE THE CHEESE.  BEAT THE EGGS AND MILK. 
AFTER BROWNING THE POTATOES AND COOKING THE BACON, HAM, &/OR ONION, ASSEMBLE THEM.  ADD OPTIONAL PARSLEY OR PIMENTO.
IN A PAN THAT WILL BE LARGE ENOUGH TO HOLD ALL OF THE INGREDIENTS, BEGIN TO COOK AND SCRAMBLE THE EGGS ON A LOW TO MEDIUM HEAT.  WHEN THE EGGS ARE ALMOST SET, WITH STILL SOME ‘WET’ YET TO BE COOKED, ADD THE POTATO MIXTURE, STIR THAT IN, AND THEN ADD THE CHEESE LAST.  STIR AND CONTINUE TO COOK UNTIL THE EGGS ARE DONE.
SERVE IT UP.  MAYBE SPRINKLE SOME FRESH BREAD CRUMBS ON TOP.


          SERVES AS MANY AS YOU WANT J JUST DO MULTIPLES











Friday, July 22, 2016

TWO EASY RECIPES FOR TWO SENIORS

These two easy recipes were to be the Sidebar to my article on Cooking for Two Seniors.  I've had good reviews from both recipes.




BREAKFAST BATTER

This recipe is good for both waffles and pancakes, and takes little time to whip up.  Of course, it serves 2.  Here goes:

Preheat your waffle iron or griddle, and meanwhile, in a 2-cup Pyrex measuring cup or similar thing, add and whisk together well:
½ cup milk
1 egg
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
Pinch of salt

After mixing that, put in on top of it:
½ cup flour, then on top of that
1 tsp. baking powder –

With your fork or whisk, sort of swirl the baking powder into the top of the flour to mix them a bit, then mix it all into the liquid until it is fairly lump free.  Voila: your batter is ready. Just enough for two seniors. 




SAUCE FOR MEAT OR POULTRY

This sauce, and its many variations, is excellent for any type of meat, including steak, roasts, chops, ham, turkey, chicken, etc., especially where there are no drippings to form the base of a gravy, or where you want an elegant, tangy sauce. The basic recipe is for two servings – multiply as needed.

On low heat in a small saucepan, melt and blend
       2 Tbsp. butter
       2 Tbsp. seedless raspberry jam*

Add  2 Tbsp. red wine*
       1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard*
       2 Tbsp. dried cherries or cranberries*

Cook until the fruit are plumped a bit. Set it aside and reheat it just before serving. If necessary, thin it with a bit more wine.


*This is the fun part. You can use any favorite jam, jelly, or marmalade; white or red wine, perhaps orange juice, perhaps a little bourbon; coarse or fine mustard (but never yellow mustard); dried cherries, cranberries, raisins, snipped dried apricots – what have you! Think reds for red meats, whites for white meat. Mix and match. Experiment with the flavors and colors you think will go together.  









Friday, July 15, 2016

COOKING FOR TWO SENIORS



Here's a piece I submitted to the community magazine. I've written on this subject before in this blog, but for the magazine I had to make it more general and leave out what "I" do.

Ingredients for two


Except for state occasions, get-togethers, and holidays, most of us here in Sun City Carolina Lakes are now cooking for two, some even for one. As seniors, we’re usually eating less at each meal, and sometimes we even just “graze” on what’s handy. Whereas, for example, we would once eat a whole chicken breast each, we’re now filleting it into two, even three portions, leaving one for a snack. Where we once had the whole “heart attack on a plate,” the full Sunday breakfast of eggs, bacon, home fries, toast, butter, jam, and all the fixings, we now are satisfied with perhaps just two strips of bacon, eggs, and an English muffin.

done


There are many cookbooks and websites with recipes for two, but they are meant for much younger, larger appetites. Paring down those recipes, or any good recipe, is a matter of using your cooking skills and your imagination. 
If you find yourselves eating out regularly because you’re stumped for what to have, it’s time to save money in more ways than one. Few things are good left over, and you don’t want to have mystery meals siting fermenting and forgotten in the back of your refrigerator. If you’re stumped for ideas, make up a suggested dish menu for each day of the week, perhaps Monday, pork chops or chicken; Tuesday, pasta, pizza or something else Italian; Wednesday, beef; Thursday, soup; Friday, seafood; and so on. This menu idea works well for breakfast too.

Unless it’s spaghetti sauce, soups, or stews, or baked goods that you can freeze, try not to cook for any more than two. Take advantage of sales and individually portion, bag, and freeze things like chicken breasts, pork chops, bacon, sausages, and other single serving meats. Buy bagged, not boxed, frozen shrimp, vegetables, and fruits, where you can seal the bag for the next time. Buy prepared specialty items, like those from Trader Joe’s, that serve just two.

This will be...

Develop your own list of things to keep on hand in the freezer, in the refrigerator, and in the pantry. Get a plastic bin for each freezer shelf to keep track of meats, baked goods, veggies, soups, and such. To get the best of what you freeze, be sure to package each type of item properly. Get inventive and challenge yourself to come up with a great meal with what you have in stock. Try to rethink your old favorites that now serve too many. Be creative in thinking of what you can substitute with what you have on hand for what a recipe might call for.


...Deep Dish Pizza...

Don’t open a can or jar of anything you won’t use in for one meal. Don’t buy large containers of broth or bouillon, use Knorr or Maggi bouillon tablets. Where a big batch recipe calls for a can of condensed soup, like cream of chicken, you can substitute a small batch of b├ęchamel sauce, flavored with bouillon. Try the variety of Progresso soups – canned for two – and add a teaspoon, or more to taste, of balsamic or apple cider vinegar, or sherry to keep from having to add salt. Adding your own toppings, tangy things like shredded cheese, chopped fresh tomato, or a dollop of sour cream or yoghurt, can make any soup more interesting. Some crackers, a salad perhaps, and you’re set.

...for two

Think ahead just a bit. If you’re cooking bacon, do up a few extra slices to crumble on your soup. If you’re making soft-boiled eggs for breakfast, put a few extra in the pot to hard boil for lunches and snacks.

When you hit on a great recipe for two, write it down. Challenge yourself to be creative, save money, and satisfy your senior appetite.



Friday, July 8, 2016

PROCRASTINATION





"The secret of getting ahead is getting started."
Mark Twain

I've had that quote saved for several months on a .doc in my "Blogs in Progress" file. I just never got started doing anything with it. I keep several “In Progress” files for my writing, and I usually get to each one, or Delete it, sooner or later. I thought I was prepared for today – I thought I had a blog ready to go. 

Problem is I’d already posted that one, one the community magazine didn’t use. I thought I had a nice list of blogs ready to go – wrong! Problem is I’ve put off getting started on organizing my postings and finishing the ones “In Progress.”  So today, dear readers, you get ramblings. Today I pulled Mr. Twain from the files.

On my desk, on a scrap piece of paper, I also keep a list of things to do. Right now I’ve got “iron, wash bathroom mirrors [I need to get the ladder for this - they are the big wall-to-wall ones that go to the ceiling], sew jacket, move buttons for FJ, recover lap desk, order pix, update scrap books.” That last item has been on the list for almost a year.

Now I’ve also got a mental list of the few things to do these next few days. We’ve got a special person coming to visit. That ironing to be done is still sitting on her bed, but she won't care about the top of the mirror. I’ve got to make some salad dressing for the spinach I’m going to get. I’ve got to collect the things I have on another list of stuff I want to hand over to her. I've got to...

Maybe on Sunday.





Friday, July 1, 2016

A POEM FOR JULY FIRST -- SOME KEEP THE SABBATH




SOME KEEP THE SABBATH GOING TO CHURCH  

                                    By Emily Dickinson


Some keep the Sabbath going to Church --
I keep it, staying at Home --
With a Bobolink for a Chorister --
And an Orchard, for a Dome --

Some keep the Sabbath in Surplice --
I just wear my Wings --
And instead of tolling the Bell, for Church,
Our little Sexton -- sings.

God preaches, a noted Clergyman --
And the sermon is never long,
So instead of getting to Heaven, at least --
I'm going, all along.




My thoughts exactly. One of the members of a ski club I once belonged to was quite a drinker and user of mind-altering substances – but heaven forbid she missed Mass on Sunday. She dressed me down quite nastily one Sunday, and I just let her go on and on telling me what a sinner I was. At a later date we were both at the top of a ski lift in Vermont on a brilliantly cold, crisp, sunny day. As we looked out over the snowy scenery, I remarked to her “Caroline, this is my God, my church.” She just gave me a questioning, superior, and disdainful look and then skied on down. 

The beauty of small minds is that they are consistent. I did expect just such a reaction from her, so I smiled. Yep!