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Apr 26, 2013

A SHORT WINDING ROAD TO DINNER



Many times I plan dinner ahead of time. I know what we will have and all the ingredients are available. 
Yesterday I wanted to make pork tenderloins but forgot to take them out of the freezer. No problem. I called home from work and asked my son to take them out. 
When I came home he was gone but he had taken out the....CHICKEN THIGHS...  I laughed about it and changed my dinner plan to plan B to use these. 
I cut open the vacuum sealed thighs and the smell hit me. They were skunky. This is the second time this has happened with chicken thighs from Costco. I will no longer buy them. Blech. 
Plan C was now in effect. I asked my BB guy to grab some hot Italian sausages out of the freezer and oh by the way can you also grab the pork tenderloins for tomorrow (today). 
Now I knew why we ended up with the chicken and not the pork. There are no tenderloins in the freezer.
I browned up the sausage while a pot of water boiled for some pasta. Into the pan went an onion, sliced carrots and then at the very end some asparagus. 
Drizzled some olive oil over the cooked pasta and sprinkled with some parmesan cheese and some fresh basil. 
This is how to cook. It is not all about plans, recipes, long lists of ingredients and hours of your time. It is about fresh foods paired with staples and served up with love.
Now I need to go check the freezer because I am positive there are pork tenderloins in there.    
     

Apr 16, 2013

BAD TIMES - GOOD ADVICE

There are no words to convey how awful the act of setting off bombs on innocent people is. 
Many of you with children may be struggling with how to address this since the news is everywhere. 
The mother of the beloved Fred Rogers from Mr. Roger's Neighborhood had given him great advice that I would like to share with you. 



Apr 11, 2013

IT'S ALL GOOD CHALLENGE

I have noticed a trend. I hear it in person, I see it on blogs and I see it especially on social media.
It is the negative posting and the negative attitudes that are spilling out everywhere.
 Everyone has a bad day now and then and venting about it is a good thing but I am reading more and more daily …. for lack of a better word…. whining from people.
It has become a constant in their lives. Every time you talk to them it is all drama and all negative. Every time they post something it is negative. There is rarely a good thing, a funny thing or a kind thing. 
Don't get me wrong. I do see many who strive to be positive, upbeat and encouraging on a daily basis. I love their posts. They make me smile and make me feel good. 
So here is my challenge. Go and write something upbeat and happy on your blog, your Facebook, your Twitter and any other media accounts you have. Take this badge and share it.


FamilyTreesMayContainNuts

COPY THIS CODE TO TAKE IT WITH YOU FOR YOUR BLOG.

Invite your friends to write something happy too. You can link back here if you would like to share your post.

Apr 8, 2013

A STORY OF MY MOM

My pea soup post yesterday reminded me of this story from my youth. I still love pea soup. Click here for that post.
_____________________________________


This is a story about my mom. Although parts of this story may seem sad it is actually isn't. I learned a lot from my mom. She died when I was 25, before my kids were born. She had always had a pretty rough life and seemed beaten down a good portion of the time. We will go back to the year 1969, Christmas time. I was 13.


One of my sisters and my brother chipped in their money to send my mom and me from British Columbia back to Ontario to visit our eldest sister who lived there with her husband and kids. They didn't have enough money for a plane so we were traveling by train. They also didn't have enough money for a berth so we were going to sleep in our seats. For 3 nights. 
The food at the diner counter was pretty rough looking. The only thing they had that seemed decent was some pea soup. Breakfast, pea soup. Lunch, pea soup. Dinner, pea soup. My mother finally had enough of this but had such a tight budget I didn't know what she could do. 
She brought me through the train cars, past the luncheon counter further and further until we got to the dining car. Train travel back in those days, when you had the money was very elegant. The tables were set in a fashion that would give Bill or Susan a run for their money on Tablescape Thursday for sure. 
She hustled me over to one of the beautifully set tables. The table was set with icy cold water filled crystal glasses, crystal dishes filled with olives and celery and other tidbits to nibble on. White linen napkins starched into perfect folds.  A silver basket lined with a white napkin held some yeasty warm breads and the butter pats were close by molded into shells on their silver plates.


"Quickly" she said. "have some bread and butter" She tore some bread and managed to get the crumbs on the tablecloth. On purpose. 
"Have some olives and celery" she said while drinking from the crystal glass. 
Slowly down the aisle way came the conductor. He was chatting with the patrons. I ate some olives. Closer he comes, I drink some water. Finally he reaches our table. He asks my mother to see her ticket expecting (or not) to see a first class ticket which would entitle us to be in the elegant dining car. 
She hands him our tickets and he says, of course, that we are not supposed to be in the dining car.
 

Really? she asks. Oh my I didn't realize that. The conductor eyes the table in front of us. They would have to completely redo the table if we left. He decided that we could stay and we ordered our dinner. I think the only thing I recognized on the menu was a steak so that is what I had. I don't remember what my mother had but she enjoyed every bite of it.


Well this story almost has a happy ending. Remember this was the first solid food I had eaten in a couple of days. The train was shaking back and forth. I could feel it slowly coming back up and I excused myself quickly from the table. I raced out of the dining car and into the first bathroom I could find. I threw up my entire dinner as the train jolted me from side to side. It was a colossal mess and I took off back to our car as fast as I could. I was so embarrassed. 
The next morning I went to get some pea soup from the luncheonette and they were all out.

(I have also posted this on my other site:Stories of My Ancestors)


Apr 7, 2013

PEA SOUP - LOVE IT OR HATE IT

Pea soup is one of those things that people either seem to love or hate. Me? I love it. Whenever I cook a ham my taste buds start to do the happy dance because they know that the next step is Pea Soup. I am the only one in the house that likes it. More for me

PEA SOUP 
Ham bone
2 cups dried green peas, washed
1 large onion
2 diced carrots
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme 
lots of black pepper

  1. Wash and drain the green peas making sure to pick out any little pebbles that may be in there. I have never found one but "they" say there could be some.
  2. Saute onions and carrots in a bit of olive oil until slightly softened in a large pot
  3. Place ham bone, peas, bay leaf, thyme and pepper in the pot and cover with water
  4. Cover and bring to a simmer. Cook for 1 to 2 hours. 
  5. Remove ham bone, any large pieces of meat and any fat. 
  6. Discard bone and fat and add the meat pieces back into the pot.   
  7. Add salt if needed but it probably won't due to the salt in the ham. 
  8. If you put this in the fridge for another day it will get really thick but should loosen up again when heated. If not thin enough for your liking then add a little water to it and heat through.           

THE SECRET IS OUT APPARENTLY

So me and my big mouth....told everyone how to make my special sleeping potion and now my market doesn't have any fresh mint. Thanks guys
Anyway now that it is too late you can see what creates the magic sleep here.  
How about you? Have you mentioned something great on your blog and than not been able to get it yourself. Sold out? Become way too popular and you can't get a reservation? Too busy to be fun anymore?  

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