Home Cooking, Comfort Food

There are certain things that I really miss from home, so when I found a nice bunch of green tomatoes well you know I just had to turn them into fried green tomatoes.  This isn’t a common thing, not where I live and definitely not something Beloved grew up with.  He won’t even touch them because they are unrepentant tomatoes battered in heavenly cornmeal and fried nice and crisp.  But to me, a few of those and I’m sitting on a porch back home.  Put that with some nicely barbecued meat and some cold iced tea and we are all set, only don’t forget the peach cobbler!

Beloved loves peach cobbler and has happily admitted to an iced tea lemonade addiction not to mention raspberry lemonade addictions as well.  He will pass on the sweet corn casseroles, biscuits and fried chicken.  And yet the man will happily consume chicken fried steak.  (He’s a bit of a work in progress but aren’t we all.)

So I fried some tomatoes, well correction Beloved had to help because lupus is lending a helping hand, the kind that makes my hands not work as well as they should.  He then crisped some bacon, made a spicy mayo and toasted buns for fried green tomato po’boys.  Or in his case bacon on a toasted bun with cheese, lettuce and regular mayo.

We settled on sweet, juicy watermelon for a snack later on.  I’m feeling a little less away from home right now and it should last for a bit.  This means tomorrow’s meals will be from different places to create a new adventure.  And judging from the way Beloved has looked at me, not to mention the visible red cheeks, Beloved will be doing all the cooking.  But it’s okay lupus will not prevent me from watching him cook and it was worth it for a taste that brought me back home for a little bit

Feet Ahead On The Assembly Line Of Meals

A full day of listening to Etta James while creating and experimenting in the kitchen resulted in aching feet and legs.  Aching from standing too long on the hard kitchen floor while ingredients were prepared for multiple meals, cooking devices sorted out and food mixed together.

I tend to underestimate how long it takes me to do the preparation as well as how long I will be standing while cutting and chopping, stirring and folding.  And each time I get it into my head that assembly line cooking will work for a week’s worth of lunches for work is a good idea, I forget how long it takes.  That’s why I always add the week’s evening meal preparation work to the lunch meals.  Why not indeed.

The end result is aching feet and legs, drained energy and a vow to never do this again.  Until the next week or so when clearly I’m buoyed by energy which helps me forget why this isn’t a good idea.  So out comes the ideas, books and paper to write out my list.

Energized by coffee, I hop in the vehicle, head off to the store where I buy what’s on my list, recklessly eyeball produce that I’ve never tried before.  This is followed by a short debate of which one ends up in my cart, and once that has taken place I head to the checkout.

Once home with my purchases I commence sorting and setting out everything for assembly line cooking.  Oreo is sorted and completed based on ease and like, followed by cooking and cooling and then packaging.  While cooking is taking place dishes need doing and evening meal preparation just be completed with everything labeled so that after a day at work it’s easy as pie to pull together and enjoy.

The price to pay for all this is a small amount if aches and pains, but trust me it’s worth it.  Especially when lupus flares start up again.  Because in some cases I can just pull stuff out of he freezer and defrost or just have to cook the already prepared ingredients.   Now if only my feet agreed it!

Able To Hug From The Inside, It’s Chicken Noodle Soup…The Unsung Hero

Chicken noodles soup, according to some, is healing.  When you are sick it soothes and nourishes you.  When you feel out of sorts, it comforts you.  Sometimes it’s all you can mange to eat.  If your blessed with friends and family who can cook and you are ill, you may get a lovely bowl or two made just for you.

Every person and every culture has its own variant of chicken noodle soup.  Or at least chicken soup or noodle soup.  And all are healing and comforting.  Scientists have begun to do a great deal of research into the why of the healing powers of chicken noodle soup. The women who have been making their versions of chicken noodle soup for years and years I not need science to prove what they already know…when you feel under the weather chicken noodle soup helps.

Chicken noodle soup, according to a lifelong friend of mine, is a hug that happens from the inside.  The soup wraps you up in a loving embrace that comes down from all the generations and slight alterations of the family recipe.  She as s bit agast to here that a mutual friend had only ever had store-bought chicken noodle soup from a can.

Of course she couldn’t let this be.  She immediately made a huge batch of chicken noodle soup to remedy the situation.  As she put it, no one should go through life without knowing the loving embrace of homemade chicken noodle soup.

And ad someone who has been on the receiving end of her homemade chicken noodle soup more times than I’d care to admit, I just agree that to miss out n something so wonderful would be a huge shame.  And I’m not just saying that because I too received a huge vat of chicken noodle soup.

My friend insisted gat the soup could help my lupus or at least help me feel better with this lupus flare.  And to be honest, having no energy to cook for myself more often than not results in me not eating.  Which doesn’t help with a lupus flare.

So in my estimation, chicken noodle soup and those marvellous people who make it and share it all deserve capes.  Superhero capes!

Comparing Wheels To Meals, or Disaster In Assembly

Beloved decided today was th day to do “assembly line” cooking.  I guess he flat it would be a way to get ahead of meals for this week.  Not that I would know as I’m not home, I’m at the hospital.

He told me about his fun when he came up to see me today.  You see the puppy felt a huge need to help him cook.  By tripping him up when he walked.  And jumping up as high as she can to see what he is doing.  Perhaps even to help herself to some of the food, if he wasn’t looking.  Except she can’t get high enough to reach the counter just yet.  I’m sure with practice she will.

Beloved said he set up various stations in the kitchen for his assembly line and all was going well to begin with.  Because the puppy was sleeping.  And then someone phoned, which woke the puppy up.  And so after the phone call the puppy needed outside and needed play time.  Followed by helping in the kitchen.  Until someone came to the door, but alas they had the wrong address.  Apparently every time he got in the rhythm of getting stuff pulled together he was interrupted.

He said going forward he may not bother with assembly line cooking because it takes too long.  Or rather it takes too long with the interruptions.  And he hasn’t figured out how to deal with the interruptions because it would be his luck that when he ignores the phone he will miss an important call.  And if you don’t take the dog out it only leads to huge messes in the house.

As he put it, Ford never had these issues.  But then Ford was making cars.  Dogs weren’t an issue, nor were phone calls or visitors.  It was work and things were designed for efficiencies around building a car.  Beloved was trying to pull together a few meals, more elaborate than simple.  He was doing so in the family home, with a puppy.  I’m not sure his comparison works, still like managed to get the wheels on so to speak with meals cooked and ready for later on.

Toasty

I’m all about learning new things, although I don’t always get it right.  In the spirit of new learnings, I decided to try my hand at smoke signals.  With some minor modifications of course.  Because the weather was a bit dirty, I decided the best place for my first practice would be in the house.  The kitchen made sense.

Of course I wasn’t about to build a massive fire in the kitchen, just something small that would help me fire out the smoke signals.  Say the size of a slice of bread, that would be easy to handle.

Okay so I didn’t really set out to try my hand at smoke signals is morning.  I had gone into the kitchen with the intent of making toast.  In the toaster.  Nothing abnormal there.  Except the toaster had other ideas.  Toasting was not on its agenda today.  Burning, however was a highlight for it.  So when I out down the bread and pressed the lever to start the toast, it decided to burn instead.

At first it was a few thin wispy trails, not enough to send out a message with and frankly barely worth the notice.  And then it started to billow out the window in a more steady and visible fashion.  What to do?

Attempt smoke signals of course.  Grab a towel, cloth or get old school and use your hand.  The idea is to interrupt the smoke stream.  Of course once the blacked remains of my bread popped up, I used tongs to wave the embers in the air.  According to Beloved my smoke signals spelled out nothing.

I’m sure he will show me the correct way when he pulls out the grill next time! 😉

Frankenstein and Oatmeal? Why My Kitchen Is A Laboratory

My house is awash in oatmeal.  A variety of oatmeal, from steel-cut oats to quick cooking little oat crumbs.  If a leak were to spring in my house, I’m sure the oatmeal would absorb all the water and therefore remove any potential for water damage.  Of course we couldn’t eat the oatmeal after that, but that’s okay, it would have saved the house!

Typically I use the oatmeal as cooked cereal or in muffins and bread.  I also use it in cookies and desserts, but it never occurred to me to use it in savoury dishes, which is rather odd when you think about it.

Why not use oatmeal as a pilaf or stuffing?  Crisp oatmeal coating on fish?  Why not it may be most tasty.  I can wrap my head around these.  But oatmeal stir fry or oatmeal risotto?  For some reason these seem to not compute in my brain.  Not even in the slightest.  But I have all this oatmeal and there is only so many bowls of it, or muffins I can actually eat.  Let’s face it, I’m getting tired of the oatmeal routine that we have going on here in this house.

So oatmeal stir was tried, much to the horror of Beloved.  Next to the sacred potato, oatmeal should never be tampered with.  You can imagine the wail of anguish let loose from his lips when I brought forth my new creation.  Actually when you stop and think about it, it is a bit like Frankenstein.  The oatmeal replaces the rice and adds a different flavor to things.  The sauce also changes because the way the oatmeal reacts with it.

I won’t say that I will be recreating my version of Frankenstein any time soon, but now and then it’s nice to play around in the laboratory and see what you come up with!

Rebelling Against Rebellion or Lupus Acting Up

Today has been a day of rebellion.  Full out, rebellion.  Rebellion gong one hundred miles an hour with its hair on fire.  Yep that kind of rebellion.

It started with my body rebelling against the call to rise and shine.  Shining, it turns out, was not in the cards today.  Rising was asking more than enough according to my body.

Not to be outdone, the four-footed ones decided to stage their own rebellion against getting out of their warm, comfortable beds.  The truth is I didn’t wake them up, nor did I ask them to leave their beds.  I suspect it was hungry tummies that caused the four-footed ones to get up and make their way to the kitchen.

Ah yes the kitchen The scene of many a rebellion from my cooking to dropping dishes to smashed coffee pots.  Today my fingers rebelled from the job of gripping dishes.  And the truth is the dishes, in their own right, staged a rebellion that ended with them falling to their demise on the cold kitchen floor.

Yes friends it was a day where lupus encouraged rebellions of all sorts!  With the worst of it coming in the form of trapped words and ideas.

Normally the words, and ideas, flow freely and in an organic fashion without a struggle.  Today however my mind rebelled at sharing words, ideas and thoughts.  My mind greedily held the words and ideas hostage, not wanting to offer up even the littlest of hint of what was trapped.

And so friends, I too rebelled today.  I rebelled against lupus wanting to have a lazy day. I rebelled against my rebelling fingers, hair and other body parts.  Most of all I rebelled against lupus taking away my routine.