April 16, 2017
Another wonderful Easter in the books, or almost so, as it’s nearly sundown.
We’ve gorged ourselves on a traditional Easter repast of ham, mac and cheese (because I have carb-loading children, and they require mac and cheese), corn casserole, asparagus, green peas, deviled eggs, rolls, lemon icebox pie, and strawberries.
We’ve hunted eggs at church, with the cutest kids on the face of the planet, led, of course, by my very own, because, well, he’s about the cutest kid on the planet, except for my other two grandkids, with whom he’s tied. Sorry. I calls ’em like I sees ’em. YMMV.
I mean, seriously. Are there any cuter kids? I submit there are not.
May 1, 2014
Not certain I’m back on a regular basis, but I’ve actually cooked some here recently, and the itch to record it is growing. Plus, there have been some noteworthy things on the food front. Plus, it’s finally, maybe, sorta-kinda getting to be spring (albeit I had the heat on last night, which may be the first time in recorded history my heat has been on in May, but when it’s 64 degrees in my house before I go to bed, I’m not playing with that stuff.
Plus, I’ve MISSED y’all. (Please feel free to chime in with how much you’ve missed me. Affirmation is a Good Thing.)
So. Assorted cookery, observations, and other stuff.
It was Easter about a week and a half or so ago. We did not do egg hunts, and I did not do Easter baskets, but I did have the sharpest-dressed man (with thanks to ZZ Topp, because THIS girl’s sure crazy about her grandbaby) at church on Sunday morning.
And I cooked Easter dinner.
Nothing very out-of-the-ordinary for Easter dinner, except I took a notion and wrapped the asparagus in proscuitto and roasted it, which was quite excellent. I also bought two pounds of it for four of us adults for Easter dinner, and one of us doesn’t like asparagus. I may have perhaps overshot the mark on that. But it warmed up well.
Actually, Child C prepped the asparags, after I showed her how to snap the stalks and then wrap each spear. This would be Child C, who Does Not Cook. Much. I was kinda proud.
Along with the asparagus, we had Petit Jean Farms’ smoked ham. Good ham. All things considered, I couldn’t say I could make much difference in it and regular PJ ham. I have a fair quantity of it in the freezer, so you’ll see that some this summer. It was fully cooked, but I went ahead and put a mustard and brown sugar glaze on it and put it in the oven long enough to heat through. Sides were corn pudding and mac and cheese and deviled eggs — pretty plain vanilla ones, with mayo and mustard and pickle relish and paprika.
April 2, 2013
This was Easter dinner: Ham, potato salad, asparagus, pineapple, deviled eggs.
But it wasn’t just your ordinary Easter dinner. Oh, no, I was not going to do something as routine as THAT.
So I glazed the ham with char siu sauce and grilled it. I sprinkled the fresh pineapple slices with curry powder and grilled them (I was rummaging for my Jamacian jerk seasoning, ran across the curry powder first, decided that would do nicely). And I tossed the asparagus spears with olive oil, lemon juice, and lemon zest, grilled them as well, then dusted them with freshly grated Parmigiano.
The potato salad was normal, which is to say, outstanding. The eggs I deviled with some of the leftover dressing from the potato salad. Bad choice. Won’t do that again.
April 7, 2010
It’s been a somewhat frantic week, to which I alluded a while back. Plus, I’ve still got that screwy d/l thing going on with the pics; sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn’t.
Anyway, I finally managed to get Easter photos downloaded. Traditional Easter dinner — ham, potato salad, deviled eggs, roasted asparagus. With homemade Hollandaise, now that I’ve learned how to make it.
February 17, 2009
Didn’t cook anything last night. Got away from the office at 5:45, could choose between a manicure/pedicure or going home and cooking. I REALLY needed the manicure/pedicure. So I got that, went home and nuked tortilla soup out of the freezer (single-serve plastic thingies are a wonderful thing) and made cheese toast. It sufficed.
Won’t be cooking anything for the next few nights, either, because I have icky banquet food in my future tonight and Thursday night (preceded, at least, by good liquor), and a steak from the World Championship Steak-Cooking team tomorrow night at a political event. I am not certain how you can cook steak for 200 and do a decent job at it, but allegedly they do. We shall see.
However, I am redeeming things as best I can with the quintessential Redneck Lunch — white beans, ham and cornbread.
I grew up on this. My kids grew up on this. My kids will still eat copious quantities of it, when none of their friends are watching. It takes advance planning, because it’s an overnighter to cook. It’s best if you have a hambone in the freezer (with whatever meat is left over after you sliced off most of the ham that was sliceable). You can also do it with diced-up cured ham steaks from the grocery, or hamhocks, if you patronize a grocery that carries such things. In a pinch, you can do it with chopped up bacon. If I don’t have a hambone in the freezer (this time, I did), I try to keep one of those one-pound grocery store el cheapo canned hams on hand; about half of one of those, diced up, will work. Deli ham will NOT work. Don’t waste your time. A slow cooker is helpful, but you can cook them on top of the stove in your big stock pot.
White Beans & Ham
- 1 pound navy or white beans (plain ol’ white beans are larger, and I prefer them)
- 1 hambone, or 3-4 hamhocks, or about one cup diced cured/smoked ham, or about four strips of thick bacon, chopped, raw
- Salt to taste
Rinse beans and put in a large bowl of cold water on the countertop to soak all day or overnight. If using a hambone or hamhocks, put in a pot of water and boil until meat comes away from the bone, or all day or all night on low in the crockpot. Remove meat, separate from bones, pick out fat, and return meat to pot, dicing any large chunks. Drain and rinse beans, and add them to the meat and stock. Add water so liquid is about 3 inches above beans, if needed. Cook all day or all night on low in crock pot, or until beans are tender on top of stove (maybe an hour and a half). If using diced ham or bacon, add it and beans to pot at the same time, and use 2 cups chicken stock and enough water to make the needed liquid. Taste after about an hour or so, and add salt as needed. (Note: If you cook the beans a shorter time at a higher temp, they will get mushy and the stock will become thick and almost creamy; some people prefer them that way. If you cook them longer at a slower temperature the beans will stay relatively whole, and the stock will remain thinner. Your choice. ) Serve in a soup bowl over crumbled cornbread.
Speaking of cornbread, I didn’t make any, so I got some at the supermarket, which has a lunch counter. I forgot they make sweet cornbread, which, although I don’t prefer it, is OK on the side, but not worth a damn to put beans over. Because then you have kinda sweet beans, and that sucks. Shoulda made my own, which you do thusly:
- One cup cornmeal (NOT cornmeal mix)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 tbsp bacon grease (or oil, if you must; bacon grease is better, and this IS a redneck lunch)
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup milk
Beat eggs, add bacon grease and 1/4 cup milk. Add cornmeal and stir. You want it about the consistency of a thick cake batter; add more milk to get there if you need to. Bake in greased muffin tins or in an 8-inch skillet in a 475-degree oven for about 20-30 minutes, until brown on top and a knife or toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Or you can drop it by spoonfuls into a hot, greased skillet or griddle and fry it — that would be “hoecakes,” in the West Tennessee hill country vernacular.
This makes a crumbly cornbread, good for beans or soup or such. If you want one that holds together a bit better, as in for cutting open and buttering, or for eating sorghum molasses, add about a half-cup of all-purpose flour and a half-teaspoon of baking powder and enough more milk to get to the right consistency.
Good stuff. I have just eaten a bowl at my desk while I wrote this. I’m refreshed and renewed for the afternoon. Tell y’mama ‘n ’em to come on down and have some white beans.