Showing posts with label food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label food. Show all posts

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Senior Citizenery—Here We Are!


The Husband and I went to our first true senior citizen thing this morning—an event specifically catered to old folks. It was a senior citizen brunch hosted by our local hospital's volunteer group.  We wouldn't have known about it, nor gone, if it weren't for our friends, the Mister & Missus H, for which, I believe, this was also their first exclusive senior citizen event.

For two bucks (you heard right), we got coffee, orange juice and whatever we wanted at the buffet table, which included scrambled eggs, sausage, hash browns, French toast, steamed veggies, chicken and artichoke in gravy (think biscuit and white gravy without the biscuit), cottage cheese, peaches, and Mandarin oranges. We ahhhh'd when the gals running the show announced that the hospital had also sent over an extra treat of coffee cake for us. 


Two bucks a person! Probably the last time we could buy a hearty breakfast for that amount was in the 1970s. These days, it's about $15 per person. I don't mind so much when the food is delicious, it's something I don't want to cook, and the portions match the cost. (I've no problem asking for a doggy bag.) Lately, though, I've been disappointed. 

The senior citizen brunch is the first and second Saturday of the month. On the first Saturday, we were told, they put out birthday cake to celebrate everyone who has a birthday that month. Oh boy! We're already thinking about going there for cake next month when the Husband turns another year into senior citizenery.

I like what the Husband said: We're embracing our old age.  hahahahahaha


By the way, the photos are of some of the Mama's pink roses. Happy Mother's Day to you all!

Today I'm linking up with Pink Saturday, hosted by Beverly at How Sweet the Sound. To visit other participants, click here. Thank you, Beverly!


Saturday, February 17, 2018

Roast Beef Sandwich for Breakfast


I've heard the Husband say at least twice how much he enjoyed his roast beef sandwich for breakfast this morning.

I generally figure every morning that I'll be having a peanut butter sandwich for breakfast. Easy-peasy, you know. Some mornings I surprise the Husband and me by making a hot breakfast. I hadn't planned on it today but I started flipping through a cookbook  because I decided to weed out the cookbook collection. After all how many cookbooks do I need when I'm not one to follow a recipe the way it's written?

I didn't know I had a Costco cookbook (I wonder if I got it for free). It has lots of cool photos illustrating short and delicious-sounding recipes from big-time chefs such as Mary Esposito and Jamie Oliver. I found a recipe towards the end of the cookbook that inspired today's breakfast. Coincidentally, the Husband walked into the kitchen as the oven light bulb lit over my head.

The poor Husband. I often, if not nearly almost, don't consider that the Husband is still waking up when I ask him hard questions, like this morning:  "Doesn't horseradish mayonnaise sound good? Would you like a roast beef sandwich with horseradish mayonnaise for breakfast?"

"Roast beef sandwich for breakfast," he repeated. He's thinking it's not a breakfast food. He'd like the sandwich. He knows he would. 

"We have horseradish mayonnaise?" he asked. I tell you, I literally saw a question mark over his head.

"No, but I can easily make it. We have horseradish and we have mayonnaise. What do you think? A roast beef sandwich for breakfast. I can add an avocado to it."

"Mmm. We have roast beef?"

"It's in the freezer."

"Meat takes a long time." He kind of looked disappointed.

"It's cooked already. I saw the container of roast beef in the freezer the other day. A few pieces left. I pop them into the toaster oven to defrost. What do you say?"

"Sure, I'll have a roast beef sandwich for breakfast."

The result was a roast beef-farmer's cheese sandwich on sliced sourdough bread, on which I spread a horseradish, avocado, and minced red onion mayonnaise mixture. Next time I'll skip the mayonnaise. I also added an overflowing handful of baby lettuces for good measure. Yummmm.

I ask you: When was the last time you had a roast beef sandwich for breakfast?


Monday, February 5, 2018

A Kitchen Game: Leftovers


How many dishes can you make out of leftovers? Not separate dishes. More like turning leftovers into something left over for more leftovers.

It was either Monday or Tuesday last week that I made pork ribs by first simmering them with fresh garlic and Cajun spices, then broiling them in a toaster oven. For the BBQ sauce, I mixed leftover homemade pizza sauce, made a few days earlier, with horseradish. Sounds horrible, but it tasted mighty good, so the Husband said.

Even though it was a small slab of ribs, we had leftovers. Not enough for two people though. A couple days later, I added the meat to a concoction of garbanzo beans, peas, linguisa, and leftover sauteed onions and mushrooms. I also threw in a couple of frozen tomatoes. That delectable dish was served with Jasmine rice.

There were leftovers.

On Saturday, we happened to be standing in front of a Mexican restaurant. Its doors were wide open so we could enjoy yummy smells. Although mouthwatering, we weren't hungry enough to eat. When we did our food shopping, we bought chips, locally made salsa, and cheddar cheese for nachos. My version involved layering the chips, the leftover pork and garbanzo mixture, some salsa, and shredded cheese. The nachos went well with an oat-based beer.

Leftovers? Yup, about a portion's worth.

I stuck the nachos in the fridge, but being that it's two days later, the leftovers will go into the trash can instead of our tummies.  After all, we have leftovers from yesterday's dinner.




Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Suman


Suman is my all-time favorite Filipino dessert that the Mama made during the Christmas season when I was a kid. It is a decadent sweet rice concoction made from sticky rice (aka glutinous rice and sweet rice), brown sugar, and coconut milk.

The delightfulness about suman is the memory of it being made, usually on a cold, rainy day. I'm anywhere from age four to seven. The Daddy cracks open two or three coconuts, pouring the juice into a waiting glass. I have yet to taste coconut water as good as what I drank way back when.

The Daddy scrapes the coconut meat from the shell carefully and precisely on a a flat, round serrated scraper that he attached to a thick chunk of wood that he straddled. "I want to do it," I say every so often, as I watch the coconut transform into tiny slips of whiteness as it falls from the scraper into a large white metal basin with red trim. Eventually the parents let me sit on the homemade coconut scraper and try for a short bit. It is not easy, and frustrating, as I scrape chunks rather than delicateness from the coconut.

The Mama takes the full basin of grated coconut and somehow turns it into coconut milk with a lot of water and repeated hand wringing of the grated coconut. Then the Mama puts a big pot of sticky rice to cook on the stove. Does it have coconut milk in it? I can't recall. I leave the kitchen after I sample the coconut milk, which is not as tasty as the coconut water. The next thing I know, the Mama sets pans of baked suman on the table.  The smell is heavenly. Mmmmmmm.

In my early 30s, I decided one Christmas to make suman for the first time. From memory. My suman was tooth-meltingly sweet but hard as brick, especially when it cooled. That was the last time I made suman.

Two weeks ago I came a across a bin of organic glutinous rice which triggered a desire for the Mama's suman so I purchased enough to cook in a small rice cooker. Instead of making the dessert from what I think the Mama did, I searched for an Ilocano recipe on Google.

Ha! suman does not have loads of butter in it, which was what made my heavy-as-a-brick concoction. Butter is used, but only for greasing the baking pans. Also, you make a sauce out of coconut milk and brown sugar, stir half of the sauce into the rice, then pour the rest over the sweet rice once it's in the baking pan.

My suman didn't taste as sweet or as awesome as the Mama's, but I am pleased with the result. I modified the recipe using far less brown sugar and adding about half-a-cup of Kahlua to the canned coconut milk.  I didn't use all of the sauce. If I remember today, I'll put the remainder in the freezer, just like what the Mama did with her leftover grated coconut and didn't ever use again.



Friday, December 22, 2017

Chicken Bittermelon Soup!


Hurrah! I finally had chicken bittermelon soup yesterday. Slurp, slurp. Mmmmmm.

The day before we stopped at a Filipino market in Watsonville and almost immediately saying hello to me was a display of bittermelon (parria to me) and bittermelon leaves. I've been craving bittermelon for the last several months. Unless I grow it, we have to travel far and almost wide to purchase the vegetable.

The Daddy and the Mama grew bittermelon in their vegetable garden every summer. When I was a kid the Mama made chicken bittermelon soup at least once a week. Slurp, slurp. It wasn't until the Mama was 90 or so that I finally paid attention to how she made it.

Wash and drain the chicken in the cooking pot, then steam the chicken (no additional water yet) with ginger and garlic (how much is your choice). At that magical moment (just before the chicken skin burns in the pot) pour water to cover the chicken and then-some. Put the lid on the pot and step away from the stove. Let the concoction simmer until you think you smell chicken in the air. Now is the time to add the chopped bittermelon if you have it. Let the soup simmer for about five minutes, then add the bittermelon leaves. Cook until the leaves are tender, perhaps another five minutes. 

The Husband doesn't like bittermelon. Much too bitter for him. More for me, I say.



Thursday, December 7, 2017

Lunchtime


Chirp. Chirp. Chirp.

Crackle. Chirp. Chirp.

Little brownish birds with yellow beaks landed on the persimmon tree branches above me.

Hop, hop, hop. Chirp. Chirp.

"Is it time for lunch?" I stepped away from the ladder. "Okay. I'll do something else until you're done."

Right after the birds had their fill, the Husband came outside and he kindly picked a basket of persimmons for me.

A wonderful day.



Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Love, Persimmons


"'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free. . ."
~ Joseph Brackett




Monday, November 27, 2017

Spaghetti Pizza


Ever had spaghetti pizza?

The other day I used leftover spaghetti, made with a friend's awesome marinara sauce, as the "sauce" for a pizza. The spaghetti had zucchini, red pepper, yellow onion,  two huge handfuls of spring salad mix, and brie. On top of the spaghetti went layers of red onion, pepperoni, green olives, pimento, and farmer cheese.

The marinara sauce was homemade by friend Gloria who grinds her own mixture of dried herbs and spices. The sauce had a light and mellow taste. Subtle and sophisticated. Wowza wow wow!

Gloria gave us two tubs of her sauce, one for the freezer.  There are so many possibilities for the second tub. I could use it as a base for a cioppino or make a pasta dish with Italian sausage, for example. Both the Husband and I agree that we could even slurp up the sauce straight as soup. Yummmmm.

Thank you, Gloria!



Thursday, November 9, 2017

A Lesson from the Persimmon Tree


Hundreds of persimmon buds, then hundreds of persimmon babies fell this year that I didn't think we would have much of a crop.

I was wrong.

The persimmon tree has taught me that we never know what will be.



Friday, October 27, 2017

Sizzle, Sizzle. Sizzle.


Yesterday I fried chicken for the Husband's and my main meal, which some may consider a very late lunch or a rather early dinner. I've been wanting to taste fried chicken for the last several days.

Fried chicken is one of my comfort foods. Nibble, nibble.

The best fried chicken I've ever eaten was cooked by the Daddy, perfectly crisp on the outside and moist inside. It has been over 35 years since I ate the Daddy's fried chicken.

Recently I decided it's not worth buying already-made fried chicken from any of the options in our town. It's too disappointing. Too greasy. Too dry. Too salty. And so forth and so on.

So, this Missus Lady (as Molly the Cat calls me) cut chicken thighs into bite-size chunks; shook them in a bag of flour, paprika, turmeric, mustard power, garlic powder, black powder, and salt; and fried them in olive oil. Sizzle, sizzle. 

The result was quite tasty. Nibble, nibble.

The best part about eating fried chicken yesterday was remembering how I liked to watch the Daddy make fried chicken. Sizzle, sizzle.


Starting today, I'm posting daily for the next 365 days. I'm hoping to re-discover my voice. La, la, la, la. 



Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Surprise! It's an Olive!


Whoooooo-hoooo!

Our olive tree has its first olive.

It's a cute little olive.

Our olive tree is two years old, which we bought at our local olive festival in its six-inch pot of glory. It's about two feet tall today. One day it'll go into the ground. My, oh, my, think of all the olives that it may produce.

What shall we name our first lovely olive? How about Daisy?




Saturday, July 1, 2017

Taking a Break for Writing


Note: I wrote this post yesterday from the iPad, then sent it to my computer by email. Perhaps one day I'll learn to cope and paste on iPad. Anyway, by evening, I was too pooped to get on the computer and publish this post. In the end, does it really matter if I had? :-)

I'm taking a short writer's break from being a domestic goddess. Brief no doubt because I have been thinking about writing that first sentence for the last 10 minutes. Every so often that sentence repeated itself in my brain when I wasn't distracted by The Solid Gold Oldies music station on TV playing in the background and by the ambitious things I want to complete before dinner begging for mental attention.

Sigh.

I forgot. What was the intent of this post?

Probably to brag about the things I have finally got to and then some. Should that be one word: then some, thensome?

To my great surprise the Blenheim apricot tree gifted us—and the birdies—with many branches full of fruit. We can't eat the apricots faster than they ripen on the tree. For every apricot we pick, one smashes on the ground. Not a bad ratio, considering we thought the tree wasn't interested in producing anymore.

This afternoon I finally turned off the computer and took care of the apricots. I froze a bunch of fruit, baked an apricot pie, made apricot pouches with the leftover filling and pie crust, and created a spicy sesame apricot salsa. Olé!

Cleanup took longer. That's what I'm resting from, which is about to be over.

Next on my agenda is to pare lemon rind and soak them in vodka for my first ever attempt at making limoncello. I've been wanting to try that for the past 13 years. 

Until later.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Our Own Mustard "Field"


Wild mustard greens is one of my favorite foods. I like to sauté the greens in garlic and soy sauce. Add a bit of bacon grease, if I feel like being fancy. Yummm.

When I was a kid, it was common for the Daddy to pull our car beside an orchard or field full of wild mustard. The parents got out to collect bunches of greens, while I wandered about, gazing and doing who knows what.

These days I wouldn't gather any wild mustard unless I knew the property owner and was assured that the property is certified organic.

Last year, the Husband and I decided to grow our own mustard "field", not only for food but also to help put nutrients back into the soil. We purchased a pound of mustard seeds online, but sowed about a third of the bag. Toss is more precise. In December, I tossed the seeds willy-nilly into the backyard.

Today it's a mini jungle of green and yellow back there. Some of the mustard plants are nearly five feet tall. I read that these plants can grow between six and 20 feet. Do you think?

With all the mustard plants, we've only eaten greens three times. Domesticated mustard greens are not as flavorable as the wild stuff. But, who knows maybe next year's crop will be closer in taste.

I'm linking up with Our World Tuesday. Click here to join in and/or to read other participants from around the world. Thank you, Our World team.


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Letter A


So, what did you think about when you read the letter A?

The Scarlet Letter?  Alvin from the Chipmunks? "A-a-a-a-a" as in the Fonzie's?

Nope. You get no analyzing from me about your answer.

Mine, you ask?

Avocados. That's because an avocado fell from our tree during the amazing storm this past weekend. Most of the fruit are at the top, which surprised me. I didn't think we'd have much of a crop because of the big one last year.  But nearly every time I looked at the avocado tree, and it was infrequent, I found another hidden among the leaves. Trés cool.

I read that avocados start ripening once they're picked and that the best place to store avocados is on their tree. In two or three days, the avocado may be ready to eat. Maybe four days. If so, our feasting on avocados begin.

Once all the avocados are harvested, we'll lop off the top branches. The Mama taught me to prune high in the tree so that the fruits would grow low on the tree. We shall see.


Wait, wait. Don't go yet. I also want to tell you that the letter A is also for ABC Wednesday, the fun weekly meme I've been doing for two or three years. Today ABCW begins it's 20th round. Yaaaay! Sadly, it also starts the final round for Roger and other ABCW administrative team members. Thank you very much for your dedication and good cheer!

If you'd like to join in or check out the other participants, please click here.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Cheers to a New Calendar Year!


"What got into you?" asked the Husband, looking across the table as I cracked walnuts.

"The bananas got browner just like you said would happen," I answered. We bought the bunch of organic bananas yesterday afternoon. I only wanted three bananas, but when I saw that the bananas were a bunch for a dollar, I couldn't bring myself to buy three bananas when I could purchase eight for the same price. Would you?

I don't remember if I fully answered the Husband's question. I recall that he went back to checking out Facebook so I must've said that I want the walnuts for making banana bread. Now I think I'll bake scones. Easier. Then I'll freeze the rest of the bananas. I found out I don't even need to peel, slice, or stick them in freezer bags. And when I want to use one or two for baking or smoothies, I simply microwave the bananas for a minute or two. Voila!

It's been a good new year so far. I've been very productive, too. Along with cracked walnuts, I've made a pot of New Years' beans and rice, wrote a couple of short pieces (I'm including this post), brought some books downstairs,  and envisioned a bit more about how the living room shall look. The Husband and I went down to the storage lockers and brought back a few boxes and things and looked in the attic to see what the Mama hid there. 

I know. What's gotten into me? The possibilities of the new year I suppose. Let's see what happens tomorrow.

May you all have peace, joy, and wonder in 2017!


To start the new year, I'm linking up with All Seasons, a joyful meme hosted by Jesh. Click here to check out the meme. Maybe you'd like to join in as well.



Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Harvest Time — Not So Easy Work


Harvesting crops is hard back-breaking work. Every time I pass by a field of workers, I'm very grateful to them. How can anyone not want to give them a living wage?

It wasn't until 1978 that farmworkers on large farms were finally included under the Fair Labor Standards Act, which required their employers to pay them minimum wage. Still, in some states today, farmers can choose to give their workers a piece-rate wage rather than a minimum hourly rate. It's not a high piece rate either.  For instance, if a worker receives 50 cents for every bucket of tomatoes she picks, she would need to pick about 2.5 tons of tomatoes to earn an equivalent minimum hourly wage for a 10-hour day. I think all states ought to mandate hourly wages for farmworkers.

I've got a Mama story for you. She always laughed when she told me about her first year working in the fields of America. It was either the first or second year that she was living here, so that was 1950 or 1951. She decided to pick tomatoes to help bring in money for the family. She was paid something like 25 cents a box. When she picked a bucket of tomatoes, she carried it to the end of the row and put it in the box.

"That was so hard,' the Mama said. "I didn't know what I was doing. It took hours to fill a box."

By the time she had two boxes, the farmer had come around. "He was a nice man," the Mama said. "He felt sorry for me. He started picking tomatoes and putting them in my boxes."

He was the same man that later taught the Mama how to drive an old Model T. But, that's another story.


I'm hooking up with Jeanette's Seasons, a weekly meme that closes tomorrow. Click here to check out her blog and other Seasons' participants.

Tomorrow is now today. That means it's time for ABC Wednesday, which is a meme in which I like to participate. It's the letter N this week. I figure with a little addition to this post's title and the fact that the Mama's boss was a nice guy, this post fills the bill. Click here to check out other ABCW participants.



Saturday, August 27, 2016

Friday's Hunt v.2.9

The cues for Friday's Hunt this week are: 1. Starts with I   2. Week's favorite   3. Pink

So, here's my week's favorite picture: The pink-faced Husband quickly inserting himself into the photo I was taking of the apples and lemons that I harvested from our trees.  I love that silly guy.


Friday's Hunt is a weekly meme hosted by Teresa at Eden Hills. To check out the other participants, please click here.


Monday, August 15, 2016

Baaaaaaaa


Good ricotta?

I think it is made from sheep, because that's the artisanal stuff we bought at the independent, natural goodness supermarket in Santa Cruz last week.

I forget that cow's milk isn't the only source for cheese until I eat cheese that's made from other animals. Maybe if I'd been more careful, I could've found the good ricotta made from cow.

For breakfast I ate a peanut butter-ricotta-honey sandwich. As I chewed, I thought of sheep, their wool, their face, and their hooves. I recalled the Warner Brothers cartoon in which the wolf wore sheep's clothing to get closer to the sheep. The sheepdog always beat the wolf at his game. Of course. The funniest part about the cartoon was the end when both the sheepdog and wolf clocked out of their work shift and said, "See you tomorrow."

Molly the Cat came mewing to see what I had for breakfast. She likes cheese, too. I gave her a pinch of the ricotta from my sandwich.  Sniff, sniff. She walked away.

Not too soon after Molly left, I picked the cheese out of my sandwich. There's only so much sheep whey my taste buds and stomach can handle.

Don't even get me talking about lamb. Shudder.

P.S. That's an old photo of Missy Molly by Golly. I like to think that's what she thought of the ricotta this morning.



Friday, July 15, 2016

Friday's Hunt v2.3


I love it when I can share a photo that captures all three items in Friday's Hunt, hosted by Teresa of Eden Hills. This week the items are 1) starts with C, 2) week's favorite, and 3) unique perspective.

The best part about this photo is that it came together all of a sudden this morning when I decided to de-pit a bunch of tart cherries with my nifty cherry de-pitter tool. No doubt there is a proper name for the tool, but I don't feel like doing a Google search for it.

I don't know what I'll do with the de-pitted cherries. Any suggestions?


To participate in the photo hunt and/or to see other participants' finds, please click here.


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Mama's Apples


Two of Mama's apple trees are producing quite a lot of fruit this year, unlike the past two or three years. Some of you already know about the story of her apple trees. So, please bear with me as I say again that the Mama's apple trees started from seeds of apples that the Mama ate about 28 years ago.

The Mama was told:

"They'll never grow into trees."

 "They'll never bear fruit."

 "You won't be around long enough for the trees to grow and bear fruit."

Ha. Ha. And, Ha!

The Mama tasted many years worth of apples from her trees.


Today begins a new round of the alphabet at ABC Wednesday, a delightful weekly meme started by Mrs. Denise Nesbitt and continuing under the administration of Roger Green and his ABCW team.  Click here to join in or to check out what bloggers are writing about the letter A.