Pear preserves. Breakfast love.

It’s mid-October, though the temperature until today had hovered in the 90s, and is supposed to get back there Saturday, dammit.

Fall is late. Which probably means it’ll snow nine feet this winter.

Which is OK, because living adjacent to an assisted living facility means (a) I rarely lose power, and (b) if and when I do, I’m on a priority circuit to get it restored, and (b) I’ve got a gracious plenty of stuff canned and in the freezer. Hell, I even buy toilet paper and laundry detergent and shampoo at Sams, and order coffee six pounds at a time, so long as I’m not far past a shopping trip, we ain’t gonna run out of groceries and necessities here at Chez Brockwell, no, we ain’t.

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Freezing fruit

July 5, 2017

Fruit, freezer bound. Except the cherries. They’re back in the fridge.

I got busy and blew through some of the raft of fruit I had in the kitchen, today.

As a result, I have peaches and mango puree in the freezer, as well as some roasted tomato-garlic sauce. (Tomatoes are a fruit, y’know.) And sometime in the next two or three days, whenever I can get BACK in the kitchen, we will have frozen watermelon puree, because I have this big honkin’ watermelon that’s been lying in my kitchen floor for a week and a half, and it needs to move.

I also had a somewhat inventive dinner, which actually involved sorta-kinda following a recipe, and which was pretty marvelous, and made Child A a homemade Egg McMuffin, which she allowed was pretty good, but I didn’t need to butter the English muffin next time.

Well, all righty, then.

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Blue Q chicken, soaking in its sauce.

I love me some blueberries. I love me some chicken. I never thought about putting them together. At least, not until I purchased Deep Run Roots, the cookbook from Vivian Howard, chef at Chef and the Farmer and star of “A Chef’s Life” on Food TV.

I pause for an unsolicited endorsement. If you have a cookbook-loving cell in your body, buy this book. Not only is it filled with really cool recipes, the recipes are not those which require a pantry-full of exotic ingredients or a spice cabinet with stuff you can’t pronounce and y’mama ‘n ’em never heard of. She relies on a lot of salt, pepper and fresh herbs you can grow in your flower bed. Her recipes let the ingredients, time-honored ingredients any Southern cook knows, like pecans, tomatoes, sweet corn, greens (well, I won’t testify for the greens recipes, as I detest cooked greens in any shape, form or fashion) and grits, and uses them in different settings and combinations to create great new dishes.

Besides which, sista can WRITE. I took the cookbook to bed with me and read it cover to cover in three nights.

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My Mama’s recipe box

November 3, 2016

A box full of memories -- and love.

A box full of memories — and love.

I’ve been traveling through time this morning.

A few weeks ago, an old family friend asked if I had my Mama’s recipe for candied sweet potatoes. I told her I would bet it was in Mama’s recipe box, which I had…somewhere.

Except I couldn’t find it.

I thought it was residing in my cookbook bookcases somewhere, but I went through those and couldn’t locate it. I looked around in the kitchen, didn’t see it there. But a week or so ago, I came back from being out of town and Child A had it sitting prominently atop the bar. She’d been cleaning, and she found it wedged behind some other books.

So today, as my plans had been curtailed by babysitting duties for an ailing AGC2 (stomach bug, and fortunately, it appears to have been only a light case), I decided to go through it.

It was like being a kid in Benton County, Tennessee again.

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Trying a cobbler with a biscuit crust.

Trying a cobbler with a biscuit crust.

I have been released from some of my restrictions that had hampered my cooking activities. None of us here in the Mid-South, however, have been released from the sufferin’ heat that has clamped down on us like it’s making up for giving us an easy time last year.

In other words, Whooo, Lawdy, it’s HOT, folks!

Hot enough I don’t want to turn the stove on, much, although I am celebrating my semi-release from captivity with a blackberry cobbler that’s in the oven as we speak. Type. Whatever.

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Burger, sans bun, with holiday trimmings.

Burger, sans bun, with holiday trimmings.

Because sometimes, you just want burgers.

We did our family Memorial Day cookout on Saturday, to free up the kids for other plans today and tomorrow. I asked what they wanted, and SIL2 said,”Burgers.”

OK. Burgers it is. But since it’s a holiday, we’ve got to get a little fancier than that. We have to at least have trimmings. So we also had potato salad, jail slaw, baked beans and deviled eggs. Because I had a surfeit of eggs and felt like it.

I can, if I do say so myself, cook a fine burger. This was not one of my better efforts. I thought it was a little on the dry side. Probably should have added a little fat to it; my pasture-raised ground beef is pretty lean. But I sure wasn’t going to throw it out.

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Y’all who have followed this blog for any length of time know that cooking is just something I love. I don’t want to pursue it as a career, but I do love cooking for others in different settings — my house, their house, you name it.

Today, the volunteer team I head and I cooked for about 40 hungry folks at Two Saints Kitchen, the joint ministry operated by my church, St. Paul United Methodist, and St. Mark’s Episcopal in the St. Mark’s fellowship hall. Long story short, we provide a free meal every Saturday at noon for anyone who shows up. And I just have to tell you what happened.

The default meal for Two Saints is spaghetti in meat sauce, with corn and green beans and French bread. It’s cheap. You can feed a lot of folks for relatively little money. But I suspect these folks, many of whom are weekly regulars, get tired of spaghetti every Saturday, so my team generally tries to do something different. Today, we were serving white bean and sausage soup.

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