Posts filed under ‘Food’

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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March 29, 2019 at 12:52 pm Leave a 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

Welcome To The Cookout !

                                                           A_Woman_Barbecuing    

Hamburgers  and  hot dogs on the grill are as American as  fireworks  on the Fourth of July.  Nonetheless .  . . . no two  families  cook  outdoors alike.                                          

Outdoor entertaining can be fun and time consuming. At our house the topic of conversation was should you put aluminum foil on the grill or not.

Why do men enjoy slaving over a hot barbecue?  Because they’re cooking caveman style – throw meat on a fire.  It’s their domain, that’s why.  My family is no exception.  The men cook out while the women scurry to get the rest of the meal.  Any minute the cook will announce that the food is ready.

I was raised on grilled food.  A burned, crusty taste is what I remember.  When my father cooked, he’d grill a hamburger so that it was burned on one side and almost raw on the other.  My sisters and I would tell him that it was both too burned and too raw, but he refused to cook any other way.  Eventually we got to like it.

My neighbor puts non-stick spraying oil on the grates.  I wonder why, when you see him prying to get the hamburgers off.  When he fixed cooked cabbage on the outdoor grill, his back yard had a smell for a week.

My cousin grills corn on the cob, alongside the main dish.  Without a doubt, the corn is done before the meat, but he never listens.  We eat crisp, charred corn on the cob every time.   

A friend of ours had a bad experience with turning and basting a lamb on the grill once.  He now refuses to cook anything but hamburgers and hot dogs.

My uncle always cooks in an area super organized.  The spices, tongs, fork, wire brush, kitchen towel, spatula, even a cutting board all in place.  Everything in its place to grill out. 

At my friend Larry‘s house, he grills with no meat.  No meat?  Yes, his wife fixes a totally vegetarian kabob.  The skewers are filled with green, red or yellow bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, carrots, onions, potatoes, pears, pineapples, even apricots.  He’s tried about every vegetable on the grill other than avocados.  Let’s face it, avocados are one of those acquired taste.

Yet; my father never did learn the knack of using the rotisserie; the chicken would still be pink on one side.  Just like his hamburgers.

So,  foil on the grill or not?   My brother-in-law said it  best.   “I’m the guy cooking, so we use aluminum foil.”

My nephew interrupted, “You’re not stacking the charcoal like Dad does.”  A new controversy – yet an old conversation.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 8, 2014 at 4:32 pm Leave a comment

Grandma’s Chili is the best !

At the dinner table my nephew said it, “I like Grandma’s chili a lot better than moms’” His honesty opened up Pandora’s Box – Whose chili is best?

Chili is something we tend to make only in winter.  It is a cross between soup and stew, only the hot spices bring out its true value.  It has zero degree of difficulty to make, and if you make a big enough pot of chili it might even taste better the next day.

My sister wouldn’t think of making chili without putting spaghetti in it.  Why do people put pasta in their chili?  My aunt loves macaroni in her chili. Doesn’t this make it more like a chili-con-carne?

My sister-in-law puts diced bacon, nutmeg and two bottles of beer (or ale) in her chili.  Now that would make my brother want two bowls.

At our house we put red  kidney beans in our chili, yet my neighbor would never  put beans in. My husband  likes three  bean chili  made with whole green chilies.chilies. I’ve also  tasted it  made  with  great chili  peppers. I’ve also dined  on white  bean  chili.

My sister is watching for low fat meals so she makes a chunky chicken chili. I’ve also had her chili when she made it with venison or pork.  She has even made chili with ostrich meat. 

My mother-in-law never eats chili if it has meat in it.  No meat?  Yes, my friend Myrna fixes a totally vegetarian chili that does taste good.  The flavor is robust and the jalapenos have been smoked.  Yes vegetarian chili can still make your eyes water. 

I add chopped tomatoes  in my chili, while my mother uses whole tomatoes and my sister uses only tomato sauce.  You can add Worcestershire  sauce, oregano, brown sugar, onion, garlic, cornmeal, even carrots.   I have heard of one woman  putting in a square of unsweetened  chocolate.  Go figure.  Every house has a different recipe for chili.

In the winter months, everyone is wild about chili.  It is a collection of fiery treats cooked up anyway you like it.  Yes and why do they call it chili, if we want it as hot and spicy as we can make it? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 12, 2014 at 12:21 pm 1 comment

There’s something about White Castle !

                                                       

 My cousin Doug, who now resides in Arizona, stopped by  last week.   We enjoyed his visit, but late on Saturday night he  mentioned that he  wanted to try some gut busters.

It  took the  hubby a moment or two to think  what he meant.    But no matter what we might  call them, we all know  why we call them what we do.     White  Castle  hamburgers  have been an  American  staple  since the  first one was served in 1921.

I don’t think Cousin Doug has ever been for a visit and not run out for at least a six pack.  The most he ever ate, that I know of, in one night was ten.  Family legend has it that when my Uncle Ron came to town he could eat 32 white castles and drink a case of beer watching a basketball game.  I do not know if that is true or not.

These small, soggy, little hamburgers really have an acquired taste.  Extra pickle, extra onion along with a slice of cheese is optional.  So why then, did we go out and bring home a sack or two late on a Saturday night?

They have to be the most addictive of all fast food.  Perhaps it has something to do with the five holes cut into each one.  My Uncle Ron would always say “Gonna get me a job at White Castle because somebody has to drill those little holes.”

This week we told Doug that if he wanted to have the greasy little hamburgers in Arizona, he could buy them frozen at a local supermarket.  He said he tried a box of frozen ones once, but could not enjoy the unique legendary taste of White Castles in Arizona.

White Castle hamburgers are grilled over a bed of onions, which produces a sandwich that is moist and excellent.  Perhaps the only thing that has changed about White Castles over the years is the cost.  Doug can remember when each hamburger cost only twenty five cents.  Yes, he is a tad older than me!

Before he left, I had a chance to ask him.  “Tell me, what you will want next time you drive through Greenwood?” 

“I’ll probably have to pick up another sack full of White Castles.” 

His answer explains why White Castles will always be an American favorite.

 

 

April 1, 2014 at 9:52 am 1 comment

Morels Everywhere !

Morel%20Mushroom

‘Tis the season that native Hoosiers go mushroom hunting. 

I have been waiting on the morel mushrooms to come up.  I did see two or three black morels as the hubby and I took a stroll so I knew it wouldn’t be long before the gray and yellow ones popped up.

Why is it that some people know exactly where to look for mushrooms?  As a rule, people do not give out the locations as to where the best “find” of mushrooms are, but I’ve heard of more than one person headed east out of Greenwood and returned with mushrooms for their evening meal.

One problem is, one can never be sure where to look.  Mushrooms pop up when ever and where ever they see fit.  The same site that produces hundreds of morels one year might yield nothing the next.  So, the hunt continues.  It is fun just to go out and look for them.  They are only there for a very limited season.  If you could do it any day, all year-long, it wouldn’t be as fun.

My sister stopped by yesterday.  She had found enough mushrooms to fill a tote bag.  We agree, she finds them and I will clean and fry them up.  Finding mushrooms for my sister comes easy.  She once said that it was clear to her that since mushroom season lasts only a few short weeks that the Good Lord intended people to spend twice as much time hunting mushrooms as they do mowing the lawn.

I once tried to go mushroom hunting with her.   Although we were walking the same land, she found seventeen to my three.  Some people simply have a knack for finding mushrooms. Others stay at home and eat them.  A fried mushroom is an acquired taste.  You either like them or you don’t.

The mushrooms should last one or two more weeks, depending on the weather.  If you see my sister with a collapsed bag in hand perhaps you could talk her out of a few.  She always finds plenty. 

April 30, 2013 at 9:46 pm Leave a comment


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