Month: January 2013

Peanut Butter Cookies

In a perfect world, we’d all be able to eat any type of food out there – enjoy it for what it is, and suffer no consequences. But this ain’t that kind of story. You know, it’s really a marvel that I can even function in the food world given the laundry list of problems that plague our family. My dad was allergic to mushrooms, avocados,  pitted fruit, tree nuts, peanuts… and well, corn just made him a crazy man… Really, one mis-step in a corn based product, and he symptomed as though he had early onset Alzheimer’s. You think gluten free is difficult? Try removing every trace of corn out of your diet. Jane has no tolerance for alcohol,  is freakishly lactose intolerant and she is allergic to chocolate… as in anaphylaxis… the “call 911.. and you better hurry kind.” And the one thing that would stem a normal reaction – those little epi- pens loaded with epidrine? Yeah.. they just run her faster down that light at the end of the tunnel. But, Jane craves chocolate.. …

Aversion Therapy and Lentil Pot Pie

Prior to this past week, I would have told you I hated lentils. Since we were supposed to have the storm of the season here with freezing rain, sleet and a nice layer of snow to top it off – I thought it was best to hoof it to the market and stock up on some staples. The last time I didn’t heed warnings, I was stuck in the house with a 1/2 eaten rotisserie chicken, a can of biscuits and an egg… for a week. So I grabbed the required 2.7 gallons of milk, 6 loaves of white bread and enough peanut butter to choke a horse. Just as I was about to queue into the “Bertha, we haven’t shopped in 3 months “ line, when I thought a nice pot of white bean stew would bolster us against the pending arctic weather nicely, and headed back to wedge a package of beans in next to the slightly squitched bread. There wasn’t any. There weren’t any kidney beans, limas, or black-eyed peas either. However, the nearly bare shelves had an …

One from column “A” – Pork Fried Rice

Given that it’s essentially:  rice – some variety of diced meatage – vegetables (usually carrots and peas) and some sort of seasoning, you really wouldn’t think there would be that much differentiation between recipes and production…. stir-fry it all together and you get fried rice…. right? The possibilities for construction are endless, and if you happen to find that magical step-to process, you’d be rewarded with starchy, salty, meaty nirvana. Why then is fried rice the culinary crap shoot at Chinese restaurants? Tasteless and oily, gummy and salty, dry and..well… just d r y. But understanding what the majority of fried rice is – a way to utilize leftovers in a restaurant environment – then you can see why there really is very little thought put into something that is basically a throwaway dish. However, in order to be good (and I mean really good) fried rice,  it has to be made fresh, with quality ingredients, and not left to steam away to oblivion in some holding table waiting for that specific “quality” diner that prefers fried over …

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Bread… and the resulting pudding.

If I close my eyes and avoid every mirror – I’m 35, Svelte, and athletic. I’d embrace every new food trend and be an ambassador for healthy eating. I’d be a bastion of good will and charity … and I’d like whole wheat bread. …none of those things are particularly true. I’m no spring chicken, and haven’t been an an inordinate amount of time… I’m 50 – plus (ish). And while I’m quite possibly in the best physical shape of my life, I wouldn’t win any contests. There aren’t any awards given out for middle aged men that don’t pass out when they stand. Then there’s that whole “eat things that aren’t really food ” stance. I can’t be bothered on how good they are for you, Chia seeds belong on a terra cotta head (so you can grow funny hair)… not in baked goods. I don’t want things that aren’t caviar chemically altered to make them look like caviar. Sauces should be sauces and not loosely aerated froth, I want my leafy greens sauteed in butter not …

Don’t make me smack you with this salad bowl…

I also like a great Caesar salad with anchovies, although I don’t know why some places say ‘with anchovies.’ If you’re making a proper Caesar salad, it’s going to have anchovies. – Paula Poundstone Like everyone from time to time… I guess, I seem to forget the little things in life… Where I left my car keys My ATM pin number Did I take my vitamins this morning? The name of the guy… that did that thing… Do I have a cat? Why do I have 12 cans of chickpeas? And, although I’ve made it countless times for more people than I care to count – the recipe for Caesar Dressing. Granted, it’s not a big thing. Unless you really want that dressing for your freshly steamed broccoli, and in that case… Paul Newman’s bottled Caesar stuff (watery Italian dressing with cheese in it) just isn’t even going to come close to doing it. But it irked me. I knew it had anchovies in it…I remembered smashing them around in the big wooden bowl. But then.. nothing. …

Keeping Tradition – The Turtle Creek Method

When my parents were still building the cabin at the rear of the property where Turtle Creek now resides, it was time divided between two lives. The house in Marietta – where jobs and obligations lived. And the cabin  in Dahlonega – where their new life as retirees would one day begin. They would pack up the vehicles on Fridays and make the long back roads trip to spend every free moment of the weekend hanging drywall, painting and installing the finishing elements of their house in the hills. New Year’s week 1989, my dad had taken the week off in order to do as much as possible at the cabin to get it livable, and decided to spend the week here… “roughing it” and working. And while they had remembered the champagne for the big countdown, it seems they had forgotten to pack…buy… make anything else for the celebration… and all there was in the assorted ice chests and pantry was a lone package of Fig Newtons. They toasted the New Year with pink champagne and …