Wherein your intermittent blogger blogs, intermittently

November 2, 2013

OK. I’m going to quit apologizing. We’re just going to have to get used to the fact this is going to become a now-and-again kind of blog, now that my life bounces between road trips and bouts of grandmothering and cooking has, somehow, gotten pushed to the side.

Or, a blog is a sometime thing, with apologies to George Gershwin.

Freezer. And beef. Lots o'beef.

Freezer. And beef. Lots o’beef.

This week has been a sometime, although there’s been nothing you haven’t seen before.  But I have at least been in the kitchen a bit, and other food-related things have been occurring. Like the purchase of a freezer, above, which is now filled with a quarter of a cow. He was a nice-sized one, too; filled up my little seven-cubic-foot freezer nicely, with a bit of room left over for the quarter-pig I intend to procure in a couple of weeks, and the periodic chickens I pick up as I’m back and forth on work trips.

I have confited three pounds of garlic cloves (one of the things for which I love Sam’s Wholesale Club), which are presently residing in my fridge. In my crock-pot and being quite fragrant at the moment are several pounds of onions, which will be caramelized by tomorrow morning and can make their way into French onion soup, carbonnades a la flamande, or other good things. Also sort-of-in-process in the kitchen are five pounds of peeled, cored and sliced pears, which are macerating in sugar prior to being cooked up into preserves and canned this evening or tomorrow. I’ve made homemade tomato soup, and taco soup (at the request of Child A), and homemade pimiento cheese. As I have told you about all these but taco soup, I’ll detail that one.

Taco soup is one of those can’t mess it up, no-brainer soups that my children loved as youngsters and, truth be told, I still love today. It involves opening cans and dumping them into a large pot, and adding prepared seasonings, thusly:

  • 1 can chili hot beans
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can whole kernel corn
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes and green chiles
  • About 1 1/2 cups tomato juice
  • 1 envelope taco seasoning mix
  • 1 envelope Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix
  • 1 pound ground beef, browned

That’s it. Dump it all together — well, I do rinse the black beans first, because I just don’t like the yucky sauce that comes on black beans — bring it to a boil, cut it back to a simmer, and let it cook somewhere between 30 minutes and three hours (it’s very forgiving). I like to serve it with Fritos corn chips, grated cheese, and maybe a dollop of sour cream. It’s a soup that’ll stick with you and warm your soul when it’s unpleasantly chilly outside, which it is not yet, here, but we are definitely approaching fall, yes, we are.

And that has me thinking butternut squash. H’mm. May go on the list for grocery run later today.

Really good corn pudding. Really bad cell phone photo, as I could find neither of my cameras at that moment.

Really good corn pudding. Really bad cell phone photo, as I could find neither of my cameras at that moment.

Oh. Another thing of the open-and-dump variety that I made recently that was a whole lot better than it seems like it ought to be was corn pudding. That, too calls for prepared mixes, though you could do it on you own if you were of a notion (I was not).

  • 1 can cream-style corn
  • 1 can whole-kernel corn
  • 1 package Jiffy sweetened cornbread mix
  • 8 oz. sour cream
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 2 eggs

Yeah. Can you tell this is not a low-calorie, low-cholesterol dish?

Drain the whole kernel corn and mix everything together. Turn it out into a greased 9 x 9 baking dish and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes, until golden. You can add cheese and smoked paprika if that floats your boat, though I’d go with the no-sugar cornbread mix on that one. This is a standard on the holiday table but it’s easy enough to make any time.

In any event, that’s what’s going on in the Keyboard kitchen this weekend. You ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em stop by and I’ll feed you….something.


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