December 7, 2013
As much as Thanksgiving dinner is about tradition, for whatever reason, Christmas dinner doesn’t have to be. I have, by turns, done a Christmas brunch, Christmas hors d’ouevres, and even Christmas lasagna.
This year, since I’ll have the whole fam here (10 of us, 7 adults, three little people), I’m planning to mix something old and something new.
November 11, 2013
As I will, for the first time in, well, a long time, have two of my children, one grandchild and a future son-in-law, along with whatever other strays show up, at my table on Thanksgiving, I guess it behooves me to begin to do a little thinking about Turkey Day prep and plans.
Since there are a fair number, I suspect I’m well-advised to go the whole turkey route. Big pan of dressing, natch. Ditto sweet potatoes. Cranberry salad, and Miss Mary Lloyd’s rolls; those both go without saying. Mashed potatoes and mac and cheese to satisfy the carb lovers in the crowd. Corn pudding, the kids’ newest BFF in the food world. Little point in doing any green things, as no one wants to eat them. Maybe I’ll put little shot glasses with Flintstones vitamins at each place, or something.
Fortunately, working from home gives me optimal flexibility to do prep work in advance, and the extra fridge is just a lovely thing. No worries about ptomaine from the turkey thawing on the counter (not that I ever sweated that a great deal anyway).
I’d like to do something new this year, but I don’t know what. And I have to decide on dessert. There will be at least two lemon ice box pies, because there would be wholesale revolt if there were not. There will likely be a pumpkin pie of some description. Maybe a pecan pie? Been so long since I’ve made a pecan pie I’m not sure I recall how. I’d love to make a coconut cake, but I think I’m still the only one who eats them.
I love Thanksgiving. It’s my favorite holiday. I’ll be exhausted and my house will be a wreck when everyone’s gone, but it’ll be worth it.
And I’m thankful for that.
I’m also thankful for you ‘n y’mama ‘n ‘em, who have been with me over the years since I started this sucker almost five years ago. I would have never thought I’d stick with it, nor that it would encourage me to learn so much.
So. Any suggestions for the great big family Thanksgiving feast? If so, send ‘em on!
May 16, 2013
You may have perhaps noticed a dearth of posts of late. I’ve been in a blue funk all week, in large part due to a tragedy suffered by a dear friend, who lost her 20-month-old granddaughter in a house fire on Saturday. After a funeral yesterday, there’s a sad road trip today to Central Pennsylvania to lay the little angel to rest in the family plot where her ancestors can watch over her.
Which put me in mind of my own upcoming road trip to visit the family church, and the graves of my parents, this weekend. It’s Memorial Day.
Not Memorial Day the holiday created to honor the war dead across the centuries; Memorial Day to honor the ancestors who built the church in which I grew up, which is always the third Sunday in May, which was noteworthy when I was a kid because there was no Sunday School so I got to sleep late, and there was Dinner on the Ground.
(N.B. I’ve never been sure if it’s “dinner on the ground,” or “dinner on the grounds,” as in, the property. If anyone knows, please enlighten me.)
May 3, 2013
The summer season at the Farmers’ Market begins tomorrow at 7 a.m. At which time it is forecast to be 39 degrees. And that ain’t Celsius.
Screwiest weather I believe I’ve ever seen in a spring. Last year this time it was 90-plus. And of course, it brings all the idjits out of the woodwork pooh-poohing global warming. (Folks, for your Science Friday assignment, learn the difference between Weather, which is what it’s doing today/this week/this month/this year, and Climate, which is the long-term trend that has the polar ice caps melting at an alarming rate.)
March 30, 2013
Participated in a lovely dinner party last night (no pix, but there was much food, drink, laughing, talking and general good-times-had-by-all).
When I had posted recently about my carbonnades a la flamande, two of my local friends picked up on the post and expressed near-lustful thoughts about the same. From that grew a plan; I would repeat that dish, convey it to one friend’s house, she would make sides, others would bring adult beverages, and we would be off to the races.
May 5, 2012
The first Saturday in May is highly important for two reasons. One, it’s the Kentucky Derby, which I shall plan to come back from taking Child C shopping in Little Rock and enjoy. Two, it’s the first weekend of the spring/summer Farmers’ Market.
I celebrated with a proscuitto, feta and artichoke heart tamale, which can only be had at the market, and it was GOOD, I tell you. I love me some Gusto’s Gourmet Tamales. Picked up fried pies and an everything yeast roll for NS. And scored fresh broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and yellow squash. And strawberries. And a gift for a dear friend who is graduating from seminary next week (no, it is NOT edible).
January 8, 2012
Jeez. What is this just-having-Saturday-and-Sunday-off business? You’d think we were getting back to a regular work week, or something. It just ain’t natural.
Yesterday seemed to be taken up with all sorts of busywork — farmers’ market, grocery shopping, laundry, etc — up to and including sitting on my happy arse for two hours, shut out of my kitchen, because the plumbers were installing my new dishwasher. The old one had breathed its shuddering last on New Year’s Day, and this house ain’t gonna be without a dishwasher, no sirree.
So I have a new, quiet dishwasher that scours dishes marvelously clean, and I am a happy camper. But it did cut into my cooking time yesterday.
October 30, 2011
It has been an absolutely gorgeous fall day here in and about Hot Springs, and I celebrated it early by getting out to take early morning pix. The fall colors have really come on since last weekend, and I think will peak about the middle or end of this week, if we don’t get a hard rain.
So I hit the road about 7 a.m. to take pictures — had a minor meltdown because the Corps of Engineers has closed the road to the top of Blakeley Mountain Dam, one of the prettiest places in Arkansas, because of the 9/11 terrorist threat (Seriously? Uhhhhh…check the calendar. Come and gone, folks. Open the damn road!), but I made up for it by doing some exploring, as in “H’mm. Wonder where this road goes?”
And I wound up at Kroger three and a half hours later, grocery shopping, and forgot for the third week in a row to get kosher salt. Go figure. Well, I have regular iodized salt, and sea salt, so we shall not go unsalted here at Chez Brockwell. And I came home and I baked a frozen-and-forgotten-about pan of cheese and sausage bread that I’d laid out to thaw before heading out on my photo expedition, and baked it while I put groceries away and started a batch of butternut squash rye bread, for which I’d made the sponge last night. Had that with onion jam for a delightful brunch.
Stopped off at Burl’s Country Smokehouse out on Highway 270 about 8:30 a.m. because I was commencing to get hungry. I got a Diet Coke and some peanut brittle and a couple of beef sticks. Breakfast of champions. The beef sticks are pretty peppery and really, really smoky. I ate half of one (they’re pretty big beef sticks), and think I’ll save the rest for cutting up and putting in some pasta e lenticche soup later this week. Also picked up some pastrami and some smoked Swiss, mostly because I’ve never had smoked Swiss before, and I figure I’ll see how that tastes one day this week for lunch. Like maybe tomorrow.
Filed in Cooking, menu planning
Tags: gnocchi in butternut squash soup; Burl's Country Smokehouse; eye of round roast; scenery, photography
September 12, 2011
You couldn’t tell it from the temps today — the mercury was back up in the mid-90s, after a week of almost fall-like weather — but fall must be in the air, because I was eating chili and grilled cheese.
This would be because that was what I cooked yesterday, when I was in nesting mode. Along with FINALLY unpacking suitcases from my last two trips. It wasn’t that I cooked so much, but I at least got a lot of stuff done here, and the hillside neighbors and I were cooperating on a cookout, and I did baked beans and fresh corn.
Oh, and huevos rancheros for breakfast. It had been a while.
March 9, 2011
And no, I haven’t posted. It’s been a frantic week, plus trying to get over a week out of the office. Tomorrow, there are indications I may get to slow down. Slowing down may equate to a half-day off.
I have not cooked since I’ve been home. I did at least make it to the grocery tonight, which indicates I may cook this week. Picked up some chuck steak, which makes me think vaca frita may be on the menu later this week. Picked up a corned beef brisket, which I am going to attempt to boil and see if it works out better than my own attempt at corning beef last summer. It’ll certainly be simpler. And I’ve had a taste for corned beef hash, with a nice over easy egg on top.