Road food, and a quick kitchen day

July 31, 2017

Muffins and biscuits. More muffins in the oven at that point.

With apologies to Jane and Michael Stern, of “Road Food” fame, and damn, do I miss hearing them every Saturday morning on WKNO in Memphis now that I’m an Arkansas public radio listener, and hey, KUAR/KASU peeps, can y’all do something about putting Splendid Table on the air here so a sista can hear it?

I am headed out on a road trip tomorrow, going to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, AR, where I used to live, and spending a few days in that part of the world with a girlfriend and her niece and adopted niece. (I understand all about those “adopted” kinfolk, having several.) I need a break, albeit I have had a fair amount of road time lately, but this comes at a good time, as I have hit a semi-slack period at work, though it promises to pick up by the latter part of August.

So, of course, I had to contemplate (as we will be staying in a house my friend found via Air BnB) culinary arrangements. Two middle-aged broads (ok, ok, LATE middle age, work with me, here!), two teens. We are going to, at least, want to eat breakfast at “home.” Well, OK. Sausage and biscuits, and muffins, right? Right. Thus, today’s adventures in road food have included bran muffins, strawberry muffins, and a bagful of frozen biscuits that will be sandwiched with sausage patties whenever I get around to frying up the sausage.

Can I just tell you the thing I learned today? If you are going to cook frozen biscuits from the grocery, on a cookie sheet, and the bag tells you the cookie sheet and/or pan should be “ungreased”….? Don’t believe that crap. The bag lies. Those sumbitches will stick like fifteen kinds of hell. Grease the cookie sheet, or put them on parchment paper. You heard it here first.

Strawberry muffins were interesting. I had picked up dehydrated strawberries because I found them on the clearance rack at the grocery for some miniscule amount. Thought they might be good in the Peabody vanilla muffin recipe. Opened the bag and found they were WHOLE berries that had been dehydrated. H’mm.

Dumped them in the FoPro. Whizzed it a couple of times. That was on its way to making strawberry powder, and I still had big chunks of strawberry. I picked out the big chunks, put them in a zip-lock bag, and pounded them a time or three with my kitchen mallet. Worked. Had to sample one muffin; they’re not bad. Not awesomely wonderful and earthshattering, but above decent. Not far enough above that I’d be likely to pay full price for ’em.

In any event, we will later tonight fry up a pound of sausage, make sausage and biscuits, and bag up the muffins, along with some sugar for friend Kate’s coffee (and if those teens, if they even DRINK coffee, want sugar in it) as she is out and doesn’t want to go back to the grocery, and whatever else I think about that’s worth taking.

On another topic — just got back from a totally different road trip, one to Nashville to hear a friend play and sing, to see the grandbabies (who were missing Camp KayKay, I think!) and to stop by home for an overnight. From whence I came back with a big honkin’ stock pot (always a Good Thing), and a pressure canner. Now, I can can anything I want to, acidic, sugared, or elsewise. I had just ordered one from Amazon when my stepmother told me she had that one and I was welcome to it, so I promptly cancelled the one I’d paid $70-ish bucks for.  And this one has family history to it, yet. Looking forward to breaking it in.

I also brought home my “other mama’s) recipe for fried peach pies. That woman, who, bless her heart, is 91, used to make the best damn fried pies on the planet. I now have the recipe for same; the pie crust has buttermilk in it. Will be trying my hand at these. Now I have to find dried peaches.

I’ve located tomatoes (since my much-hoped-for garden has pretty much crapped out, but for the alien-cucumbers-on-steroids and damn, but I had a bumper crop of cubanelle sweet peppers today!) for $10 a half-bushel box for canners, so that will be on the agenda next week when I get back from road tripping. Plus I’ve found closer-to-home figs. And need to pick up more purple hulled peas before long and get those in the freezer.

I’m about to go on a mission looking for some Kentucky Wonder pole beans (had the seed, never got them planted). If you ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em see any, let me know.

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