Um…..Happy New Year?

January 14, 2015

(Easing open the door, throwing my hat in….)

Hey, y’all! How’s y’mama ‘n ’em?

It’s me, your (very) occasional blogger, back to welcome 2015 and hopefully get on some kind of schedule that will involve, well, cooking and writing and taking a few pictures every now and again.

I’ve cooked. It hasn’t been anything noteworthy, at least that I haven’t related to you before. I’ve taken photographs, but they’ve mostly been of Lucy and the grandchildren. And I’ve written, but it assuredly has not been about food. Grant applications and RFPs and proposals and strategic plans and such. Nothing fun.

Anyway. It’s 2015, and I’m cooking again. This week, in fact, I have cooked two things I have not cooked before — pho and shrimp creole, which is awaiting the rice getting done as I type. So maybe that’s a sign. I had pho for lunch; for my first attempt, it wasn’t bad. My recipe was, roughly, the one here. It was middlin’ decent; too much star anise, but I’m not a huge star anise fan. I’ll cut that back next time. I was also lazy, and just went with the shredded beef in the broth, didn’t add the sliced sirloin to poach in the hot broth. I put broth in the freezer, and I’ll add that step, along with some bean sprouts, next time.

Pretty pho-king good.

Pretty pho-king good.

It was good. I’ll tweak it and do it again.

Elsewhere in the wide world. Hallowthankskahmas was quite excellent, thank you very much. I didn’t do anything out of the ordinary for Thanksgiving — turkey, dressing, cranberry salad, sides, rolls. If anything, I went a little lighter than usual, trying to keep from having half the world left over and eating turkey until I’m sick of it. Christmas was a bit different. It was Christmas night, everyone had been Christmasing for two days. So I decided we’d do a cocktail buffet.

Meatballs. Pigs in blankets. Veggies. Fruit. Chicken skewers. Little potato slices, creme fraiche and caviar. I forget what all else. It was good, if not inspired, kids were happy, it was easy.

There have been no real exceptional dinners out, although I was pleased to find a local restaurant has decent snow crab legs at a respectable price (I think it was $24, but I was on someone else’s nickel, so I didn’t pay a lot of mind). Jonesboro, where I’ve now lived long enough to find my way around and take shortcuts, is not overrun with excellent restaurants. Lots of pretty good restaurants, not to mention a representative of every chain known to modern man. I have become a fan of a little meat-and-three place where I can get a veggie plate and drink a glass of water, swear to God, for under five bucks. How long’s it been since you had a five-dollar lunch that there was enough of it you left stuff on the plate?

Their cornbread’s dry, though.

Anyway. Easing back into the world of writing, here. I’ll be back, with things like Cubanos, shrimp Creole, homemade bread, and sandwiches back on the backside of nowhere. I won’t promise to be as prolific a blogger as perhaps I’ve been in the past, but I hope I’ll at least provide you with entertainment on a semi-predictable basis.

You ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em (do you know how difficult it is to type your signature phrase when your grandchild has pried the “m” key off your laptop and you stuck it back but it doesn’t work right? It sucks…) pass along any good recipes you run across, OK?



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