Posts filed under ‘Eating’

What’s For Supper ?


Ours is a fast food restaurant or microwave diet. So gardening, canning and preserving food may seem out of step and anything but fun.

For generations, gardening and canning have filled those vacant, school-free hours between June and September with a fruitful activity that can still keep a food cellar — and a family pocketbook — full.

Still, canning requires some effort. Anybody who has done gardening and canning knows it’s not much fun. While family members love the fruits of their labor, they’re not prone to help much.

My mother has been making her own ketchup, jams, jellies, tomato sauce and salsa for years. She keeps busy through the summer, and the work doesn’t end until she is done with apples in the fall.

As I was taking the package of frozen peaches out of the freezer today, I began to think of how we put them up when I was a young girl. We began by watching the trees, and as soon as most of the peaches had turned a beautiful pink, we knew they were almost ready.

We put them in mason jars. I knew that when those jars came out of the basement, I would automatically wash them. Mother would work all day preparing the peaches for canning. While we kids popped peaches into our mouth as we worked.

Now as I sit at the kitchen table eating peach cobbler that was made from store bought frozen peaches, I think of the fun I had while working with my mother. Yeah right….. If God had wanted every woman to cook he would have never invented Del Monte.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 24, 2019 at 2:27 pm 3 comments

Worst Meal Ever !

If you’re like me, you have trouble some days getting into the spirit of the conversation. Try spicing up the talk around the office.
At the office today, the topic around the water cooler was: What was the worst meal you have ever eaten?
Without hesitation Susan was the first to chime in. “I’ve had pickled squid” and it tasted just like it sounds.” Dianna admitted to eating alligator and it was not good. Frog legs and she would pass on them again. Duckling and it was horrible. But she loved the escargot.
Ronnie admitted eating groundhog, snapping turtle, quail, goose, opossum, and raccoon. He also said he tried these foods back in his drinking days. He wasn’t sure he would try them sober. Terry admitted eating the rattle snake at Rustler’s Roste in Arizona and he had the t-shirt to prove it..but he wouldn’t eat it again.
“Once, at a Chinese wedding,” Lisa hesitated..…perhaps trying to choose her words carefully. “I tried shark fin soup..it was slimy. Fried duck skin…just the skin, no meat…oh and octopus… that were still moving. When we left the wedding reception we stopped at McDonalds.”
Jim’s answer was simple. “I had a meatloaf made from Special K cereal and it was gross. Pam admitted she has eaten: rabbit, venison, bear, squirrel, frog legs, ostrich and turtle. “But the strangest thing was the sweetbreads which were the pancreas and glands of a calf. All that served in a puffed pastry shell. And it did not taste like chicken.”
The panic look on Betty took us by surprise, “I’ve had nutria meat and I would not recommend it”. To be honest I had to google it after she walked away. Really Betty..…you ate a giant swamp rat?
Yet to the question, “What was the worst meal…. Larry was quick to answer. “Each meal I ever ate at my mother-in-law’s house.”
Now that’s an all together different subject for tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 29, 2019 at 12:52 pm Leave a comment

Happy Saint Patrick Day!


 

Happy Saint Patrick Day! One day in the year that a great deal of people can celebrate their Irish Heritage. You will see shamrocks and people wearing the traditional green at more than one party. What makes the typical American turn Irish for one day?
Celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day could be an excuse for a day to celebrate after the winter blahs. It could be the corned beef and cabbage. Maybe just maybe it’s the green beer.
With warmer days not too far away, we will be able to plant the garden. Maybe Mother Nature knows best. Yes, there are signs of tulips popping out in the front yard. Hello Spring !
The road maintenance crews are busy, working on the streets before it’s too late for your automobile. County roads are lined with hubcaps lost by passing motorists while ruts in the road wreak havoc with car suspension. I can’t say for certain how deep the chuckholes are but I have heard that if you look in one of the massive chuckholes on the way to Linton you can see the top of a Jeep Cherokee that has been reported missing.
You have to feel sorry for folks who go to Florida at this time of year. No comparison could be drawn to any climate on earth that compares to Indiana’s first blush of spring. A few days from now those daffodils that defy any remaining cold weather will jump up out of your long silent lawn.
Yes, the promise of spring in Indiana has no equal anywhere.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 9, 2019 at 2:00 pm 3 comments

The fishing was good; it was the catching that was bad


More than one person braves Indiana elements to go ice fishing
I have one question: “Why go fishing in sub-zero weather and how do you know that the ice won’t break?” Okay, that’s two questions.
My brother-in-law went ice fishing and wanted my husband to tag along. In some years, conditions allow for only one week of ice fishing in central Indiana.
My husband opted not to go ice fishing. Although he agrees there is no better food than fresh bluegill, he decides against ice fishing. Some people shudder at the thought of wind chill.
On this Friday afternoon, the brother-in-law would be standing on the edge of a small pond nestled in the rolling hills about seven miles out of Linton. There was only a faltering whimper of wind. The sun was dingy in the dreary sky. The noise of the city was far away.
The rumor in town was that there was some real good fishing and obviously it was true. In just over an hour he would catch nearly a dozen bluegills. His German Shepherd scrambled from hole to hole, keeping his eye on what was coming out.
The nice thing about ice fishing is that it doesn’t take expensive equipment. Just a little five dollar ice fishing rod and some thin fishing line. Some fishermen, who are more elaborate, bring portable huts equipped with heaters onto the ice.
My brother-in-law says that sometimes you can’t help but get excited about what you’re doing. You see geese flying over, or see a deer out looking for food. It can be snowing, sleeting, the wind blowing and it doesn’t bother you at all. Gee, this from a couch potato.
His wife states that ice fishing cures his cabin fever.
In this tiny corner of central Indiana, cabin fever is on the decline. The sale of tartar sauce is rising.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 31, 2019 at 8:29 pm 1 comment

Soup’s On !

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My friend Larry was to be released from the hospital today. What better way to say “I care” than to take over a kettle of vegetable soup. My mother is staying with me a few days and the issue sparked a heated debate. Not that she thought it was a bad idea — it was my cooking of the vegetable soup. How could I possibly make vegetable soup without a head of cabbage?

Who is to say there is only one way to fix vegetable soup? I make an easy hamburger vegetable soup. When I opened a box of frozen peas my mother simply left the room.

My grandmother used to put (beef) neck bones in a kettle, boil, and let them simmer. Then she would skim the residue from the top. Major Yuck! Today we can just buy a can of beef consommé (stock).

I found out that my neighbor uses Tofu in her vegetable soup. Naturally it was a recipe she jotted down from The Food Television Channel. My friend Myrna swears by her microwave vegetable soup recipe. Vegetable soup in only twenty minutes for those who can’t wait.

I asked around the office and found more than one person willing to share their favorite vegetable soup recipe with me. It is interesting to note that no two recipes were alike.

The majority of recipes did call for the standard; carrots, lima beans, potato, tomato, green beans, corn, celery, onion, peas and yes a head of cabbage. A few recipes were unique adding rice, okra, red peppers, avocado and mushrooms, even a rutabaga.

Why was I worried about not adding the head of cabbage when no two of these recipes even called for the same meat. I could have put in lamb, sausage, ham, chicken, beef or no meat at all. Tom’s rendition of the time-honored hearty vegetable soup calls for one pound of frozen or fresh skinless cod fillets.

My co-worker Stella makes an herbal vegetable soup that you refrigerate and served chilled. The recipe calls for cucumbers, radishes, zucchini, and yogurt. Across the room from her, Betty gave me her recipe that has been in her family for years. It is served with dumplings.

Also in  the office is  Candy, who gave me  her  recipe  for vegetable soup that originally, come from Finland  and  it calls for spinach.  Charlotte  gave me  a vegetable  soup  recipe of her   great  aunt  from  Italy.  It was  a  pasta  vegetable soup.

What about this head of cabbage in the vegetable soup? Larry came home from the hospital and later that day I took over a crock of vegetable soup. It was a labor of love – but no cabbage.

 

 

 

 

January 17, 2017 at 9:42 am 1 comment

The Dog and Suds Drive-In

 

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Today we live with fast food and drive-thru windows.

I recently took my nephew Doug, to a restaurant located not far from the Fort Wayne exit. The Dog and Suds Drive-In serves traditional all American food, such as hamburger, french fries, tenderloins, shakes, etc.

Our food was delivered by our car hop, Judy, who mentioned that the restaurant typically sells three perhaps four tons of hamburgers in one year alone. The Suds customers can guzzle as much as 1,700 gallons of root beer per year, all served in a frosty mug.

Once again, places you can go offering icy mugs of root beer, double-decker hamburgers and coleslaw served in clear plastic cups delivered to your car. The Dog and Suds eatery makes everyone over the age of 30 feel 16 again.

The neon bedecked sign advertising the drive-in has presided over cities for more than a decade. Within driving distance we have a new yet old restaurant whose owners spend long hours in the day slaving over the grills in 90 degree heat. The menu boasts more selections than many other drive-thru establishments.

The only difference I could see from years past is customers do not signal their need for service by turning on their headlights. Also the car hops do not wear roller skates, but after an evening of running trays to dozens of cars, I bet they wish they had.

In summer, vintage cars and four wheel drive trucks will line up beside motorcycles, sports cars, and vans. Each vehicle has patrons with a craving for food brought on a door hanging tray.

My only problem was when the car hop told my nephew, “Here is your mug,” he took it literally. “Sorry. . get that glass mug out of your backpack.   You cannot take it home.”

 

 

 

 

October 17, 2016 at 4:24 pm Leave a comment

Return of the Snowbirds

 

imagesMy Aunt Sharon and Uncle Steven should return to Greenwood soon.  They are the family snowbirds. Just like our feathered friends, with the first signs of spring, they return.

“Snowbirds,” just like many actual birds, leave Indiana for the winter, but come back home in the spring.

Aunt Sharon and Uncle Steven have spent the winter in Lake Havasu, Arizona.  They have made friends in Arizona yet they always return to Indiana in the spring.

My husband never fails to mention them when he is out shoveling snow or scraping the ice on the car windows.  Uncle Steven also manages to call late night when it is bitter cold here – just to mention that he has his windows open and is enjoying the evening air.

Some people call them lucky.  These individuals who can migrate away from the cold.  They never have to put their summer clothes away, or purchase a new winter coat.  They never have to worry about which boots to wear just to go to the mailbox.  They spend the winter working on their tan.

By spending the winters in the warmer climate, snowbirds don’t have to deal with icy roads, shoveling their walks, falling on the ice and all of the other winter hazards.

They have a good reason for coming back – it’s home!  If they had to call any one place in the world home, Indiana would be it.  They have their home here and their family.

The neighbors and family watch the house for them.  Snowbirds aren’t just sunny day friends.  They do miss Indiana, but not quite enough to brave the cold and snow.

Basically,  they  escape from  the  hard cold  during the winter  and  it is beautiful  in Arizona.

Within a few weeks you can see the snowbirds flying (or driving) back to Indiana.  You can be sure winter is out of view.  Gone but not forgotten.

 

 

 

 

 

March 3, 2016 at 3:26 pm Leave a comment

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