Sharing My World 72

IMG_3079

Always read the tag.

Share Your World – July 17, 2017

What is your favorite cheese?

Melted! Pretty much anything is edible if you put enough melted cheese on top of it.  Not a fan of the excessively strong or stinky stuff, or low-fat.  Low-fat cheese totally misses the point of cheese.  At the beginning of the summer I bought a big block of marble cheese because it’s pretty versatile, even though when I need it shredded I have to do it myself.  Sigh.  Yes i am one of those people who buys cheese already shredded whenever I am gripped by the fear of shredding my knuckles on the cheese grater. I’ve never actually done this, but I’m sure it’s just a matter of time.  I love feta cheese on pizza and in salads.  And real parmesan over the stuff in a cardboard can.

Are you left or right-handed?

Mostly right, but maybe borderline ambidextrous.  I can switch between right and left eye dominance although I’m not sure how much conscious control I have over that.  When I tried trap shooting I either hit almost every target in a set or completely missed every last one of them, much to W’s consternation. He gave up coaching me.  I can write backwards from right to left with my left hand.  The only thing I can think of that this is useful for is composing cryptic messages you can easily read by holding them up to a mirror.  So not exactly a marketable skill.  For lots of things if my right hand gets tired I just switch to my left.  But using knives and scissors and eating utensils (and shot guns pointed who the hell knows where) are strictly right-handed activities.

Do you prefer exercising your mind or your body? How frequently do you do either?

I would like to believe I do both every day but the truth is I rarely push myself to do either one.  I feel great after a long walk.  I feel equally great after getting decent scores on tests that measure knowledge or intelligence.  If my results are crap I assume the test must be crap.  Because, come on.  The questions are dumb if even Google can’t help me.  If a day passes in which I haven’t exercised anything much past my ability to breathe the air, I don’t feel bad about it.

Complete this sentence: Hot days are …

…..exhausting.  Good for napping.  Better than freezing cold ones.

Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

After our little hot spell the weather turned cold and wet and windy and blah.  Supposed to warm up again this week though.  Our air quality has tanked because of the wildfires in neighbouring B.C.  I cannot imagine what it’s like for them there.

W was going to come home for a bit next week but since he would have had to turn around and head back right away to be with his dad at a medical appointment he is thinking it’s just not worth the long drive.  We’re planning a road trip to Ontario in September, speaking of long drives.  I vacillate between anticipation and dread.  Haha.  No it will be fun.  Well, you know, as much fun as two old people cooped up in a car for hours at a time can muster.

Hope you’re having a great week!  No day dreaming while using the cheese grater!  Unless you want to try out other handedness for awhile

share-your-world2

 

Last Supper Last Night

imageDo you know how many vegetables you can hide in lasagna?  Many, many…is the correct answer.  I used to make things like this all the time so that my kids wouldn’t die from malnutrition and so that I didn’t have to listen to their long litany of lists of vegetables they didn’t like.  Turnips, for instance.  My mother in law once cooked us a liver and onion and turnip meal which my daughter described as a child’s nightmare supper.  I thought it was delicious.  My kids did not inherit my taste buds.  They had to develop them, with a little help from their devious mother.  Now of course there is no need to disguise these gorgeous vegetables but I continue to do it anyway just because I can.

Come to think of it, this also works well for spouses who still think the only vegetables worth preparing are canned kernel corn and mashed potatoes.   Yes, I married one of those.  Now he eats a much wider variety than he knows or even suspects.  Spaghetti sauce and chile and cream soups are other clever places to load up with vegetables.

But yesterday it was a New Years Eve lasagna surprise that satisfied my creative vegetable hiding urges.  There’s white onion and garlic cloves in the chopper, with yellow, red, and green peppers, celery, zucchini and bok choi waiting their turn.  Sometimes I add a carrot or a parsnip.  Really, just about anything goes.

image
Because this is what it looks like simmering away in browned lean ground beef and a jar of chunky vegetable tomato sauce.  I call this death by vegetables.  I don’t really, but this picture makes it look like it a big pot of God only knows what.  At this stage I added some vegetable and roasted red pepper seasoning and salt and pepper.

Okay!  I use the oven ready noodles that don’t have to be boiled.  I can’t find them in gluten-free but I figure all that other good stuff cancels out their badness.  I am very skilled at rationalization when it suits me.  One layer of the lasagna is beaten eggs mixed with cottage (or ricotta) cheese and lots of chopped spinach.  I buy big bags of fresh spinach and freeze them.  The frozen spinach is easy to crush and crumble so it takes up less space and works great in smoothies.  Or in any kind of hidden vegetable concoction.

I think the layers went something like this.  Sauce, noodles, cottage cheese mixture, noodles, sauce, Parmesan cheese, noodles, sauce, two full bags of grated Italian mix cheese (mostly mozzarella). This of course makes a pan so close to over flowing that you have to rummage around for a big cookie sheet to place it on when you bake it (covered with foil at 350 for about an hour) because otherwise it will bubble over and then you’ll have to clean your oven, and nobody wants that.

I have a recipe for lasagna that substitutes steamed cabbage leaves for the noodles.  Doesn’t that sound amazing?  One gigantic unrolled cabbage roll!  But that’s a bit too much of an experiment if you’re having company, even for me.  I’ll save it for W, even though I know already he’ll be less than impressed.  Unless I throw in a can of corn.

I used the broiler to brown the cheese.  There’s nothing like hot bubbly browned cheese to camouflage whatever disaster lurks beneath.

image
Of course I didn’t take a picture of the uncut perfection and of course mine was the only slice that fell to pieces on the plate.  The salad came from a bag and included cranberries and pumpkin seeds and some other strange but delicious green things.

There was enough left over for our daughter to take home (and possibly feed her dog for a week).  But it was pretty good, so the dog might be out of luck.

It was a good last supper for the last day of last year.  Today I’m going to use my homemade chicken stock and make my first vegetable soup of 2015.  It may or may not contain turnips.  No one but me will ever know.

Quiche or Something Like It

Some days you just have to write about Quiche, especially on those days when you threw some together and it turned out on the plus side of edible.

I cooked some bacon until it was dark and crisp. Did I mention in any of my Greece-capades that there was not one breakfast in any of the places we stayed where the bacon was cooked any more than about half way? To me it looked as if they’d warmed it up until the fat melted and then thrown it in a heat tray in a limp and grease sodden mess. Yuck.

Anyway, I cooked the hell out of some bacon, cooled it on a paper towel and crumbled it up in anticipation of adding it to an omelette. And then suddenly an omelette sounded boring. So I chopped up some red onion, red pepper and green pepper, and sautéed it with a zip lock bag full of frozen spinach which usually ends up in my daily smoothie. Smoothies can get boring too.

Next I beat the hell out of six eggs. I don’t love cooking unless I’m cooking the hell out of things. I also find recipes and the way they’re written boring most of the time, unless they say weird and wonderful things like
– prepare the pan (apparently some pans don’t deal well with surprises)
– sit in the fridge for 30 minutes (this only works if you have a super sized fridge and you’re under 4 feet tall)
– season to taste (no really, you need to be more specific here for us taste impaired cooks and actually mention some spices and seasonings by name)

Anyway, buttered pie plate, beaten eggs, sautéed mixture, sprinkled with the crumbled bacon and shredded cheese (I’m sure it doesn’t matter what kind – pick something you like) into the oven at 350 for 30 minutes. Yes, I was pretty much making this up as I went along and hoping for the best. It’s not that I don’t like a Quiche with a pastry crust but those things aren’t good for you and way too much like work.

Voila!

Voila!

Extreme quiche close up.

Extreme quiche close up.

Notice that you are not seeing any of the complicated process leading to this result.  That’s because I don’t like to tempt fate by recording the steps which may lead to colossal failure.  Even with something as relatively simple as crustless Quiche.

I wonder if my cooking skills (or lack of confidence in them) can be blamed on my mother.  We blame our mothers for just about everything, so why not.  She was an excellent cook who could whip up an incredible table full of delicious food for a crowd with very little help.   It would take her longer to tell you how to do something than to just do it herself.  She was forever apologizing for the dishes she made not being better, although we couldn’t imagine how that would be possible.  She never measured anything exactly, using her measuring cups and spoons as guidelines only.  That’s why I don’t have many of her recipes.  The best ones  changed with the ingredients on hand and were never written down.  Leaving her daughters (well this one who never listened anyway) to wing it on their own.

This was really good hot out of the oven with some salsa on the side.  I’m hoping it will be really good cold too, because I may have gone a bit overboard with half a dozen eggs for one person.  Mom also always cooked with leftovers in mind.  Maybe I’m more like her than I know.

Forever Food

One meal only for the rest of my life? The same meal over and over forever and ever? Does this mean I would never have to eat cucumbers EVER AGAIN? ALL RIGHT!

I think I could live with my version of a Cobb Salad for many moons. iceberg lettuce, romaine, watercress, spinach, arugula, buttercrunch; spread on a gigantic dinner plate. Chopped hard-cooked eggs, crumbled bacon, shredded cheese, diced carrots, chopped celery, slices of chicken or turkey breast, tomatoes, mushrooms, red onions, green onions, peppers, broccoli and cauliflower, creamy ranch dressing on the side. A slice of garlic cheese toast. Ice water. Black Coffee. Yogurt with nuts and berries for dessert.

Sounds disgustingly healthy. I could live for a long time.

I would really miss a grilled steak every once in a while though, with a baked potato slathered in butter and sour cream. Throw those in there somewhere too, please. No one wants to live forever.

Powered by Plinky