Love and food

I know I have not written in a while.  The reason is that my oldest daughter just left for a year in Taiwan and it is not easy for this full-time mom to adjust to my babies leaving the nest for so long.

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I knew for a long time that she’d travel the world and I’m SUPER proud of her.  It’s exciting to see the child you raised, the one who turned her nose up at any food other than chicken nuggets, the one who swore she’d bring her sister with her to cook for her, begin to develop amazing skills and a very “adventurous palate”, as a dear friend once said.   She’s already been sending pictures of the fun new things she’s tried, such as bitter melon!  So I am looking forward to all the things she’ll experience and the woman she’ll become, but it’s still hard.

So now, my next step is saying goodbye to my youngest, a delightful and fun young man who starts college in only a few days.  Happily for me, he will only be about an hour and a half away.  He is my last to leave home.  My middle daughter pretty much lives in her college town for most of the year and it is also, fortunately, close enough for home visits, when they need a bit of pampering or, as this weekend, when mom needs a bit of comforting.

The good news is that I took a dream job working as Sur la Table and I start in a few weeks.  Is there any better place for a person who loves to cook than Sur la Table?  I’m sure I’ll be posting about my adventures there shortly.

Thank you for being patient and sticking by me.  I’m sure to adjust and get back to cooking very soon!

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Cooking like a First Lady, circa 1965?

This is one of my vintage cookbooks and I recently thought I’d look a few things up.

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It’s from 1965 and the first thing I wanted to see is what the President’s wife contributed to the book.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was a recipe for one of my favorite things to eat, Popovers!  Now I don’t know why, but hardly anyone ever makes them anymore.  If you’ve ever read Little Women, you’d know that the girls take their precious breakfast popovers to the poor family and Amy is upset by the loss!  Also, when I was a youngster, my father used to take us to a lovely restaurant, called The Proud Popover.da4d031395c932ff4cdebe4c2d5e3ae6

This restaurant was a colonial in theme, with big pewter mugs and plates and gigantic popovers.  I was addicted to those things.  I’d drench them in butter and honey.  Wonderful.    Our family wanted to make them at home, but as my mother had passed away, and we kids were not the best cooks yet, my dad found a mix that he’d buy and they were as close as possible to heaven for a couple of 70’s era kids.

Well, now I make these from scratch, because really, what could be easier and Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson’s recipe is practically the same as anyone you might find online.  (I don’t like that tradition of the ladies going by their husband’s names as if her only identity is through the husband, but that’s for another blogger to write about.).

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I don’t use melted shortening, however, I use canola oil , but everything else is the same!  Also, she tells us you can use a regular muffin tin, but to get that true popover height, you need a good iron popover pan.  I found mine at…you guessed it!  Resale!

You have to eat them right out of the oven.  The crispy outside and the almost empty middles, make a perfect vehicle for adding veggies or casseroles if desired, but I prefer them as I did when a child, with butter and honey.  Here.  Have one.

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Let me feed you.

 

 

Not ashamed to be old-fashioned

This post is a bit about your humble writer.  Since I’m trying to have this blog sound like we’re just two people chatting over the fence, you should get to know me a bit better!  I’m an old-fashioned gal.  I like to bake from scratch,  listen to old-time radio, (my favorite is Jack Benny!), I always have an open door, hot food and a sympathetic ear for anyone who needs a friend.  I’ll admit, when younger, I always admired the Mother of the Bride’s dress rather than the actual bride and now that my girls are entering a marriageable age, I pin matronly, yet glittering dresses that I will lovingly shop for someday!  In general, I think I was born an old woman!

I’ve never been afraid to get older.  Of course, no one likes the aches and pains that come with age, but somehow, I just always connect better to older ideas.  Maybe because I was raised by my auntie after my mother died, maybe because I was never a pretty young woman, but for whatever reason, in my head, I always see myself as the mothers from the old movies, like Andy Hardy and Public Enemy. 

I do wear an apron in my kitchen, vintage ones I pick up when I can find them.  I am a bit plump.  However, I have hair the color of ripe plums and I swear like a sailor, so I guess there, the resemblance stops!

Today, it is a cloudy, humid day.  Blueberries were 1 dollar a pint so I picked some up for a nice, comforting cobbler.   With the Those Were The Days show playing on the radio, I’m perfectly at ease.

I hope you will come over.  The coffee pot is always on and the timer just went off, so the cobbler is hot.

Let me feed you.

 

Don’t say you can’t cook

I have always liked to cook.  However, that does not mean I don’t have SO many failures under my belt.  (Ask my kids about the cream puffs).  I hear from some friends who see my posts and say “Oh, I wish I could cook.”  I tell them, “But you CAN!”.  It seems to me that sometimes a person will see a recipe online and regardless of experience, will try some of the most difficult things and then when they don’t get the results they expected, they just give up and say they can’t cook.

I’m about to tell you that you can.

It’s not the difficulty of cooking that makes you quit, it’s the lack of experience and we ALL have to start somewhere.  I’m just your ordinary housewife.  There are a lot of blogs run by professional chefs or dieticians, and I LOVE those, but sometimes you want to hear straight talk by someone cooking for a family, who does not have professional equipment or a large food budget.   Gordon Ramsey would holler at me on a nightly basis, sometimes, he might end up surprised, but in actuality, it’s only my hubby and kids I need to please!   An all-time family pleaser is always some kind of pasta.  As I said previously, my pasta machine was found at resale and would you believe it, but that I was shopping at the local Italian market and they had a gnocchi attachment for half price!

So dinner tonight was Homemade Gnocchi in a Fresh Tomato Marinara.

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I am not including the recipes here because you can find them anywhere online or in a cookbook, but let me just say that even if you don’t think you can cook, you can impress your whole family by making your tomato sauce from the superabundant and inexpensive tomatoes in your grocery or your garden!   It does not take a long time or tons of experience and it’s SO CHEAP!  Just think how proud you’ll be to be able to say to your family.

Let me feed you.