Tag Archives: food

We’ll Be Having S’mores!

We’ll Be Having S’mores!

He’ll rid the cupboards of food he abhors
and refurbish them with the makings for s’mores:
marshmallows, Hershey bars and then for backers,
he’ll purchase a surplus of packs of graham crackers.

A triple pleasure, this snack is the star
of any snack found in packet or jar.
Let the unimaginative shop in stores
for pre-made snacks. He’ll be serving us s’mores!

Prompt words today are triple, unimaginative, marshmallow, refurbish, star, surplus. Photos  by  Autumn  Mott  and  Jessica Rusce on Unsplash.

 

A Packapoo Thanksgiving

 

A *Packapoo Thanksgiving

A steward of the somber in other respects, when it came to Thanksgiving, she had more colorful and grandiose dreams. Cranberries, succulent turkey stuffed with cornbread and sage dressing, another baked and crustily-topped casserole of the same stuffing pulled from a hot oven along with butter-pooled mashed potatoes, giblet gravy, sweet potatoes and green bean casserole wherein mere green beans were adorned and mixed with cream of mushroom soup, water chestnuts and crispy fried onion rings were what her palate expected and her heart hoped for.

But this year, for the first time in memory, she herself was not in control of the menu. In spite of her arguments that she actually loved all the fuss and bother of making the Thanksgiving meal, her husband had insisted that they go to his friend’s house where his new bride would prepare the meal, and knowing the young, fit yoga instructor his friend had married, she knew she had drawn a packapoo ticket on this one. What were the chances that out of the five or six items the menu would be likely to offer, that even one of her own choices would be revealed?

She had visions of a tofu turkey, watercress salad, grapefruit wedges and perhaps the wild excitement of pita bread and tahini. Fresh fruit for the dessert was a probability, sulfite-free wine the only nearly titillating item on the menu, a poor substitute for a pre-meal dry martini with double olives.

She screwed on her earring backs, adjusted the curl of hair behind one ear, slipped into the posture-destructive heels that she knew the bride would have to bite her cheek to refrain from commenting on. Then, as she heard her husband start up the car in the driveway and toot the horn, she moved to the fridge for a peek at the two pies nestled on the second shelf: one pumpkin, one pecan.  She opened the freezer door and saw the half gallon of Kirkland vanilla ice cream, then slammed both doors shut.  Her reward would come later that night, when they got home. There were simply some traditions no one should have to give up on!!!!

*Note: A Packapoo ticket is  a mess, something in a state of chaos or things randomly thrown together.  Sources may be a pakapoo ticket which could be bought and that contained rows of characters from the Thousand Character Classic, an ancient poem in which no two words were repeated or the Chinese Pakapoo game where betters choose 10 numbers. If they existed on a random drawn list of 100, they won money according to how many were correct.

Prompt words for today are packapoo ticket, somber, steward, argument, banquet. The photos of the turkey and two pies were downloaded from Unsplash. All other photos are mine. 

Family Meals

These were the only photos of family meals that I could find. I think we were always too busy eating to take photos! Click on photos to enlarge and read captions.

For Cave Wall’s Throwback Thursday, here are some more nosy questions about family meal rituals. I couldn’t pass up this one. This was my favorite Throwback Thursday ever. Such fun answering these questions.

Let’s start at the top of the day, breakfast! Did your family have a sit down breakfast or were you more grab and go? What beverages were served at breakfast? What was your favorite (and/or least favorite) breakfast meal? Our most frequent hot breakfast was corn meal muffins with butter and light Karo corn syrup or honey from the beehives on my dad’s land. Sometimes we had bacon to go with them and we always had orange juice.  We had one of those old black castiron round waffle makers that had a star shape in the middle. It was used on top of one of the burners of the stove and you had to move it really fast back and forth to keep the waffle from burning. It took some time to make waffles for a family of five, though, so waffles were usually reserved for supper. My favorite meal. We sometimes had dollar-sized buttermilk pancakes with syrup or honey or scrambled eggs and bacon and toast for breakfast as well..or, it’s all coming back to me …Cream of Wheat or Coco Wheats!!! We never had oatmeal but always had boxes of dried cereal in the cupboard as well. Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes and Bran Flakes. I don’t remember eating them that often, but probably my dad did as he got up hours before we did to go out to the ranch so rarely had breakfast with us except on Sundays. He also loved to crumble the leftover corn meal muffins from our breakfast into a tall glass of milk and eat them with a spoon.

Did you snack before the mid-day meal? No because we were in school for most of the year and in the summer we were usually outside playing. Snacking was reserved for night time.

Lunch for most children was eaten at school with the exception of weekends, holidays, or summer vacation. At school, did you buy your lunch from the cafeteria, or did you pack lunch? In high school, were you allowed to leave school grounds during the lunch period? Everyone except farm kids whose parents had to drive them in to school in the morning went home for lunch. We lived directly across the street from the grade school and one block from the high school (two blocks when we built our new house) so walking home for lunch was no problem. Farm kids brought their own lunch. There was no school lunch program.

For times when you had lunch at home, was it sandwiches, leftovers, or a newly prepared meal? Lunch was called dinner in our little town and it was the main meal of the day since most of our dads were ranchers. It consisted of salad, vegetable, potatoes, meat and dessert.

The evening meal is usually the most formal meal in many homes. Did your family sit down together and enjoy the evening meal or were you more of a TV dinner in front of the TV family? We all sat down together for the noon meal and sometimes did at night, but we usually had leftovers or sandwiches–once we got TV, often in front of the TV.

How did your weekend meals differ from your weekdays? They didn’t. My dad worked so hard in the fields and on the ranch every day that he needed a big meal at noon. Sundays varied a bit as he usually didn’t have to go out to the ranch. We usually had chicken on Sunday. A big treat as beef was our daily fare. We never had fish.

Who did most of the cooking in your household? Did that person also do the meal planning and grocery shopping? Were you taught to cook or were you shoo’d out of the kitchen? My mother did all of the cooking and meal planning. My dad kept beef on the table as he was a cattle rancher and we had a huge freezer in the basement that was completely filled every time they butchered a cow. I loved to cook with my mother and knew how to make everything she made. When I got older, my friend Rita and I would bake cakes and cook–especially fried potatoes!!!! I did help my mother in the kitchen a lot.

Did you have dessert served at your meals? If so, what types? We had dessert every meal except for breakfast. My mother made the best cherry pie I’ve ever had out of the cherries from the 9 or so cherry trees we had in our backyard. Summers, my sister Patti and I were in charge of pitting the cherries and my mom filled what space was left in our huge freezer in the basement with cherry pies, so we had them until they ran out. She also made apple crisp and the best chocolate sheet cakes with boiled fudge frosting  glaze that I’ve ever had. That frosting soaked into the cake, making it so moist, then formed a thin dark chocolate glaze on top. They were made from a Duncan Hines cake mix but were incredible!! She also made pineapple cookies that she frosted while hot so the frosting formed a glaze and ran down the sides. When she hadn’t baked, we had ice cream or ice cream cake rolls from the grocery store. Or Jelly rolls.

Who cleaned up after meals? Was it a shared responsibility between men/women, girls/boys or was it delegated based on gender? My mom would rest up after the noon meal with a book or take a little nap with our dog Scamp beside her on the couch and then come in and do the dishes later on after we all went back to school, but when I was 11, I started clearing the table and said, “Come on Mom, let’s do the dishes now so you don’t have to do them later.”  After that , that was the tradition. My mother mentioned this years later long after I’d forgotten it. At night and for family dinners, we girls always did the cleaning up and dishes. One time I railed at my dad saying, “Dad, I have never seen you once wash a dish. I bet you don’t even know how, do you? He calmly put down his newspaper, got up out of his chair, walked into the kitchen, took a fork out of the sink, wiped it off with the sponge, rinsed it off, dried it and put in in the drawer. Then went back to his easy chair and resumed his perusal of the paper.

How about late night snacks? Okay or discouraged? Okay. We were always free to eat anything we wanted from the fridge or kitchen cupboards. A favorite was popcorn cooked in an old black metal square popcorn popper with a long neck with a wooden handle. We’d put in vegetable oil and popcorn and run it back and forth over the burner of the stove until it stopped popping. Then, into a big bowl and melted butter was poured over it, it was salted and dug into. Another late night snack was the ever-present vanilla or butter brickle or chocolate ice cream or orange sherbet. And.. with the entire cow and stacks of frozen cherry pies in the freezer in the basement, there was bound to be an entire big carton of ice cream sandwiches that my dad bought at the locker.

Were dining manners stressed in your household? No elbows on the table, no hats at the table, no belching, please, thank you, and may I be excused? The only rigid rule a meals was no singing at the table!!! It was my dad’s rule and I don’t know why. We were not forced to clean our plates and I only remember my mother once telling us we had to finish our vegetables. We ended up throwing them between the solid bench my sister and I sat on and the kitchen wall. For some reason my mother chose that day to move the bench out and clean behind it.  We had run up to a friend’s house after lunch and my mother called up and told us to come home. Actually, though, we didn’t get in trouble. She thought it was funny and never made us clean our plates again. She did later tell us that she couldn’t figure out why she kept finding dried vegetables on the wall or floor behind our bench, so come to think of it that must not have been our first time pulling that trick.

Did you have occasions where you had large family gatherings for meals? What occasions? Thanksgiving, Easter, Christmas. My Aunt Stella, Uncle Ed, Grandma Jane, my two sisters and me, my mom and dad and Aunt Stella’s kids when they were still home, then my Cousin Jim, his wife Sharon and their three kids.  Dad and Stella and Grandma would speak Dutch. I had a huge crush on my cousin Jim who was 12 or more years older than me and so I hung on his every word. When it came time for dessert, there would usually be at least three kinds: my Aunt Stella’s incredible lemon meringue pie, my mom’s pumpkin pie and either apple or cherry pie. When my Grandma was asked what kind she wanted, she’d always say, “A little of each” and so she, of course, always had the most pie of all.

Did you say grace or have a blessing before meals? Always, “We thank you Lord for this food that we are about to eat, and bless it to its intended use.”  And at family dinners, my Uncle Ed would always gasp, “Ahhhhhh-men!” at the end. When I was a little girl, my parents finally figured out that I was saying “We thank you Lord for this food that we are about to eat and bless it in potatoes and juice!”

Now for the fun part. What dishes are you glad disappeared over the years? What dishes have you carried forward into your own home? I do not miss salmon patties or oyster stew (which only my dad ate, from a can, while the rest of us had canned chili.). We didn’t eat it out of cans, understand. We actually took it out of the cans, cooked it and ate it in bowl. One of our staples was ham and cabbage with boiled potatoes. I made it just last week and it was tasteless. I’m still adding ingredients trying to instill it with the flavor of my mother’s.  I also use her recipe for meatloaf and she made the best steamed steak with onions and potatoes which neither my sister have been able to duplicate.

BONUS: Care to share any favorite family recipes? I wish I had the recipe for my mother’s ice cream custard. It was really flan cooked in a big rectangular cake pan with miniature marshmallows baked over the top but it was sooooo good. It was served cold with vanilla ice cream but we’d also have a dish served hot out of the oven and the ice cream would melt over it. It was so good. Sometimes with raisins, but we girls liked it better without. Maybe my sister Patti will read this and put the recipe in comments?  Hint, hint.

Sea Shanty

Sea Shanty

We dined upon quahaug clams, oysters and shrimp,
but the sauce tasted funny, the lettuce was limp,
and an onerous numbness in our lips and our legs
immediately suggested we’d been served the dregs
of a past morning’s catch, so we rued our selection
and sought out a mole to back up our detection
of who had slipped up and served us bad shellfish.
What entrepreneur was so greedy and selfish

that he’d risk our lives simply for filthy lucre?
We appealed to the waiters to provide some succor
and spurred on by our pleas and sizable tips,
they gave us proof that our angry sore lips
were the product of clams a few days past their prime,
so we sued that rude restauranteur for his crime.

He was found guilty and is now in the cooler
where if he’d been smarter and a little less crueler,
our clams would have been in the days before serving.
And we all agree no convict’s more deserving 
of a stay in the hoosegow, and because of our plight,
when we’re in a mood to go out for a bite,
we skip all the seafood joints, pass them right by
and go out for a burger or a nice meat pie.

 

prompt words are slip, selection, mole, dregs, quahaug, immediately and onerous. Image by Louis Hansel on Unsplash.

Food, Beautiful Food

Just a few shots of food I couldn’t resist taking photos of in the past week.

Click photos to enlarge.

Bake-Off


Bake-Off

“Spot on!” she said and doffed her hat and focused on her goal.
The loss of her attention was sure to take its toll
at this phase of her endeavor, so, intent upon her role,
she broke another egg into the center of the bowl
where the flour and the sugar had formed a sort of hole,
whipped it until frothy and then began to roll
wet and dry together to form a small atoll,
then folded it all over to form a solid whole.
She took so naturally to baking that the process soothed her soul,
and the brilliance of her artistry, the whole world did extoll.
If her genius were a recipe, yeast would have been its soul.

 

Prompt words today are loss, spot, naturally, phase and focus.

Casa Florencia Chopped Salad

So many friends have asked me for this recipe and I always just give them a list of ingredients because unless I’m following someone else’s recipe, I never measure. Today, however, I decided to try to come up with a complete recipe, so here goes. You need to click on each photo to read its part of the recipe. You may want to vary the amounts on the dressing, according to your taste. This sounds like a strange combination of ingredients but trust me, it is delicious. Let me know how you like it! I like to crush up saltine crackers on the top, but you may be too refined to do so.. Do this on individual servings, not the salad itself as they will get mushy if any salad is left over. Bon appetite!

Lack of Willpower During the Coronavirus Sequestering: My First Two Excuses.

Lack of Willpower During the Coronavirus Sequestering:
My First Two Excuses

I’ ve run out of storage for all the provender
I bought in advance, thinking chances were slender
that in a month there’d be staples enough.
I thought that the going was going to get tough.

So with my freezer full and no cupboard space free,
the only place left to store food in is me.
I forage on fudge and I’m gorging on chips—
storing them here on my waist and my hips.

Please come to my rescue. I’m tortured by guilt.
Last year at this time I was pleasantly built,
but this forced isolation obliterates “no”
as an answer to chocolate and cookie dough.

You may be amused by my failure at coping,
but I am not drinking and I am not doping.
It isn’t my fault. I’m a victim of fate.
It’s my body that’s yearning to assimilate

cookies and candies and pastas and pies.
It’s my body’s fault that I’ve grown a size.
With no one to stop me, I’ve just given in.
I guess you’d describe me as formerly thin!

Words for the day are rescue, torture, obliterate, assimilate and amused.

Memory Games

Memory Games

Woke up very early today—around six—and decided to stay up since yesterday Jesus had said they’d come earlier next time to beat the midday sun and also because the rainy season is coming on fast this year and they need to finish painting the murals around the outside of my studio within the week. I thought I’d get my blog written, the animals fed and maybe make them a special breakfast instead of the usual cookies or cake or chocolates that I serve with their morning coffee. (I make Jesus and Eduardo, not the animals, morning coffee with sweet treats. Ha! Thanks to Dolly and Irene for setting me straight on my faux pas.) So, all my tasks finished, I brewed a pot of coffee and started preparations for molletes–one way to use all those beans I cooked earlier this week that seem not to be vanishing at a rapid-enough rate in spite of the fact I’ve had them for every meal since. So, I located the beans in the fridge, sliced a bolillo (small fresh bread loaf) buttered one side of each of the pieces of bread and lay half of the pieces butter-side down on the grill, then layered manchego cheese, beans and manchego cheese before topping them each off with another slice of bolillo, butter side up. When they got here, I would grill both sides for an extra little treat. Half molette, half grilled cheese sandwich, it would be an Americanized version of a Mexican favorite.

Putting the grill on the unlit stovetop, I covered the molletes with a cloth, took my meds, instructed Echo to set my timer for a half hour when I would take the rest of my meds and went to check on my blog. Hmm. 9:15. It seemed as though if they were coming early, they should have been here by now, as their usual time of arrival was 10. It was then that I thought to look not only at the time but the day of the week. Sunday!!!

A full pot of brewed coffee and a grill full of potential molletes–and I a person who had done a smoothie for breakfast for over 30 years and who had to give up coffee 24 years ago! I guess there is always a valid excuse for breaking routine, so in an hour, after I’ve waited to take my second round of meds and waited the prescribed half hour, I will be dining on molletes and real coffee. I’ll have my smoothie for dinner and drink extra water to ward off the bad leg and arm cramps I get when I drink caffeine. The world will not end if I break a few of my own rules.

Click on photos to enlarge and read captions.