Monday, January 17, 2005

not a whole lot; food memories

not a whole lot of cooking the last week or so. Just too busy with work. More reheating leftovers.
In other food news< i've recently started to really enjoy eating oatmeal at breakfast & lunch. Gives me energy & tastes good. When I was very young up until I was in my early teens, when my mom would make breakfast, many times she'd cook oatmeal and milk together with Cream of Wheat, pour it all in blender, blend till smooth, then serve with a dollop of butter, about a tablespoon or so of honey, sprinkled with cinnamon.

One of my earliest recollections of comfort food.

What else do I remember of my mom's cooking & comfort food? Some of my favorites off the top of my head:

Kashi (she called it "kasha") with bacon & sauteed onion
Fejoida (made in a crock pot with tomatoes)
Shepherd's pie (mashed potatoe crust with ground beef & onions, topped w/ cheddar cheese)
Flank steak, marinated in vinegar & garlic, broiled, served with mashed potatoes
Clam Chowder (Campbells from a can, but with bread, it's good, who cares?)

The older she got, the less interested she became in cooking for us. Although now, when I come over to visit, she makes some great salads, sweet & savory, some with mandarin oranges & avocado, some with tomato & cucumber, all very tasty.

One thing my mom seems pretty good at is taking care of herself physically. She eats well, exercises plenty and regularly, and is in great shape for her age. Her cholesterol is low & she has plenty of energy.

Speaking of clam chowder, I remember going to "Meager Meals" every Wednesday at our church/parochial school during Lent. It was like a parishoner potluck, everyone would bring a soup & some bread, and that was dinner. Light but tasty.

When my brother & I were very little, we used to go to Grandma's every Friday after school, & she would cook for us. We'd play outside, then Grandma would have for each of us a small T-bone steak, green red-leaf lettuce salad with sour cream & dill dressing, and thin-cut potatoes fried kinda crispy in oil. Wow, just brings back memories.

In any case, I need to eat healthier. I find myself drinking too much soda & eating too much junk food (chips, etc) that I never used to eat when I was younger. Also my much more sedentary lifestyle & slower metabolism & thus I have somewhat high cholesterol.

Getting back to my young days, one last food thought for the night. Around 1982 or 1983 I travelled with my family (parents & brother) to Chicago to a folk dance festival. I remember that I couldn't really remember the cities so much, but I remember for many years I could remember in detail each restaurant I ate at. I remember the "Bumbleberry Inn" in Utah, as well as a Holiday Inn (perhaps?) in Gillette (Iowa? dunno) that had a swimming pool inside, and big frogs or toads roaming around outside on the grass in the damp warm night air. I remember vomiting on my brother in the back of my folks' brick red 1981 Oldsmobile Cutlass diesel station wagon, after driving windy roads in Utah/Bryce Canyon, sitting in the back of the station wagon & having just eaten a blueberry yogurt Nature Valley granola bar. To this day I can't stand yogurt granola bars. Oh well. Good night!

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

chilin' part 2

made chili again last night, a few tweaks and I think it's the best one so far:

1. Add 1 extra tablespoon garlic powder
2. Mince 1 entire head of garlic and add after ground beef has browned.
3. Saute onions first, remove, cook ground beef until brown, and drain off fat.
4. Add 1-28 ounce (big) can whole tomatoes (or you could use 2-14oz cans)
5. Add 6 oz tomato paste (1/2 of a big 12oz can).

Very nice, even chili flavor with just enough spice.