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Nov 26, 2013

CHRISTMAS AT ROCKAWAY REST HOME

This is the most visited post on my blog ever. Not a week goes by without several people landing here from a Google search. I thought it was time to bring it out again.

'Twas the night before Christmas at Rock-Away Rest,
and all of us seniors were looking our best.
Our glasses, how sparkly, our wrinkles, how merry;
Our punchbowl held prune juice plus three drops of sherry.

A bedsock was taped to each walker, in hope
That Santa would bring us soft candy and soap.
We surely were lucky to be there with friends,
Secure in this residence and in our Depends.

Our grandkids had sent us some Christmasy crafts,
Like angels in snowsuits and penguins on rafts.
The dental assistant had borrowed our teeth,
And from them she'd crafted a holiday wreath.

The bed pans, so shiny, all stood in a row,
Reflecting our candle's magnificent glow.
Our supper so festive -- the joy wouldn't stop --
Was creamy warm oatmeal with sprinkles on top.

Our salad was Jell-O, so jiggly and great,

Then puree of fruitcake was spooned on each plate.
The social director then had us play games,
Like "Where Are You Living?" and "What Are Your Names?"

Old Grandfather Looper was feeling his oats,
Proclaiming that reindeer were nothing but goats.
Our resident wand'rer was tied to her chair,
In hopes that at bedtime she still would be there.

Security lights on the new fallen snow
Made outdoors seem noon to the old folks below.
Then out on the porch there arose quite a clatter
(But we are so deaf that it just didn't matter).

A strange little fellow flew in through the door,
Then tripped on the sill and fell flat on the floor.
'Twas just our director, all togged out in red.
He jiggled and chuckled and patted each head.

We knew from the way that he strutted and jived
Our social- security checks had arrived.
We sang -- how we sang -- in our monotone croak,
Till the clock tinkled out its soft eight-p.m. stroke.

And soon we were snuggling deep in our beds.
While nurses distributed nocturnal meds.
And so ends our Christmas at Rock-Away Rest.
'fore long you'll be with us, We wish you the best!

I tried to find someone to credit for this fun poem and cartoon. If it is yours I am happy to credit you or remove it if you wish.

Nov 24, 2013

JAZMIN’S EMPANADAS

 

My friend Jazmin posted photos of these on Facebook and I knew I had to have the recipe. They made my mouth water.599665_10151866669909620_2041780396_nJazmin says there are many variations from different areas but hers are Chilean because she is from Chile. As with most recipes I post, this is a method and not an exact science. The measures are "to taste" and with experience you will know what you and your family will prefer. This is the mark of a good cook. 564552_10151866677554620_347200239_n

Jazmin's Empanadas
FILLING:

  • 1 kg. (2.2 lbs.) of ground veal (you can use beef of course) or a mix of beef,veal, pork
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 3 large garlic cloves,grated

Spices are approximately1 teaspoon each of the following to taste:

  • Cumim
  • Pepper
  • Salt
  • Paprika
  • Oregano

The predominant flavour that should come through is the cumin.1474591_10151866673799620_280504597_n

  • 4 eggs, hard boiled
  • 1 can of pitted, black olives
  • 1/2 cup raisins (this is very traditional but if you can't fathom eating raisins with the meat.. Just skip them...but you should try first)
     
    EMPANADA DOUGH:
  • Approximately 6 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • Approximately 3 cups warm liquid (1 cup warm milk – 2 cups warm water

Mix all together in a bowl then turn onto a floured counter and knead until elastic. Make little round balls about the size of a golf ball and roll these out with a rolling pin until nice and round.988364_10151866672094620_510376494_n Fill with meat, add an olive, a piece of sliced egg and a couple of raisins. Dip your finger in some warm water and run it around the rim of the dough. Fold over and press to seal and crimp the edges or use a gadget like in the photo. 946975_10151866671434620_827144406_nFry until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Traditionally they are eaten with a little sprinkle of sugar. 1450144_10151866670639620_2044499253_nJazmin says “Must be followed by a glass of Chilean red wine of course. Salud” I like the way you think Jazmin!2639030594_e0bb54c86e_oPhoto free use flickr.com/photos/chrisjohnbeckett

Nov 18, 2013

Tomato Sauce Base

IMG_0092A couple months ago I canned tomato sauce using the large box of tomatoes my BB Guy came home with. This was not the plan as we wanted beefsteak tomatoes for fresh eating but he couldn’t find them at the farm stands he was went past. (we will pretend here that he tried multiple stands but we all know that isn’t likely)

IMG_0083-001When he couldn’t find any he bought regular field tomatoes. We could never eat that many regular tomatoes before they went bad so my next option was to can them. Not the best choice for sauce though as they are very watery. Roma would have been best for making sauce but I would have to go with what I had.

My son’s friend Leah (remember her from the wedding invitations we made…click here to see those) wanted to learn how to can food so she picked up a box of Roma tomatoes and some jars too and we spent many hours working on this. The prep work takes a long time. Since half the tomatoes were field tomatoes we sliced them all and squeezed out the seeds and juice. I know it sounds wasteful but it is just too watery. IMG_0084-001We diced up celery, carrots and onions and started to sweat them off in a couple large pans. Next we added the tomatoes and a lot of garlic, oregano, basil, pepper, parsley and some pepper flakes. IMG_0085You will simmer this for a couple hours, uncovered to reduce the watery liquid as much as possible. This is a good time to have lunch with your friend and share some bubbly Prosecco.IMG_0088-001 Now here is why I call this a base sauce. I don’t add any salt or sugar or any thickeners. This will not taste like your jarred or canned store bought sauce which are usually just full of salt and sugar. It is just a tomato/vegetable sauce that you can add to your other recipes. For instance I just added some to my pot of chili and it took it over the top for flavor, texture and nutrition. You could even add it to your store bought spaghetti sauce to make it healthier, fresher and tastier. Sniff your screen to take in some of that aroma….you didn’t really do it did you?IMG_0090-001Ladle into sterilized canning jars and process according to instructions from the jar company. Admire on your counter along with the corn salsa and peach pies that you made too. IMG_0094-001

 

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