Category Archives: Food

Grass Grass Everywhere

Guinevere is enjoying her walk every morning.  We range through Tangletown, along the Minnehaha Creek Parkway, up and down the streets near our house.  Now that we’ve had some rain and warm weather, we have walking by LOTS of greenery.  Hostas, wild grape vine, irises, ferns, trillium, lilies, peonies, even creeping charley.  But what does Guinevere like?  Tall grass.  Not short grass, not even a long lawn, but tall grass that occasionally shows up in an untended garden, or in a spot that no one seems to be claiming (like the corner of an alleyway).  Whenever we come across tall grass, she always wants to take a chomp.  And she never mistakes any of the other abundant greenery for her favorite snack.  How does she do this?  Is it just the visual cue or does tall grass smell differently?  I can’t figure it out.

What item on a buffet can’t YOU resist?

Garlic Bonanza

Well, if there is no job to go to, no socializing to get on with, weather too cold for comfortable gardening, what’s left?  Reading and cooking.  Cooking it is!

My next-door neighbor, Rita, texted me last week to know if I needed any garlic.  When I said I could always find a use for garlic, she said that was a good thing.  She’d ordered garlic as part of her online grocery shopping and instead of one head of garlic, she got one POUND of garlic.  I was thinking she would bring me one head, but she brought me THREE!  Here’s the first thing I did:

Garlic & Cheese Roll Up Bread

1 container/portion of pre-made pizza dough
6 big cloves of garlic
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 slices provolone cheese (or any cheese you have on hand)
2 Tbsp grated parmesan (optional)

  • Chop or mince the garlic
  • Sauté in butter and olive oil until golden brown
  • Roll out the pizza dough – I rolled mine to about 12” x 8”
  • Brush the garlic/butter/oil all over the dough
  • Layout the cheese on top of the garlic
  • Sprinkle with parmesan

Roll up! (I made little slits in mine and rubbed a bit of olive oil on it)

  • Bake in 400 F degree oven for about 20 minutes (watch the bottom so it doesn’t burn).

Enjoy!  (But take the photo before you and YA eat most of it!!!)

What would YOU do with extra garlic (or what is your favorite garlic dish?

If It’s Tuesday….

I had to remind myself repeatedly yesterday that it was Tuesday.

  • Slept in – a Saturday/Sunday thing.
  • Took a nice walk with Guinevere – a Saturday/Sunday thing.
  • Leisurely breakfast on the sofa while watching Martha Stewart – a never happens thing.
  • Mid-morning trip to Bachman’s – definitely a Saturday/Sunday thing
  • Two hours of gardening with YA – yep, Saturday/Sunday
  • Grilled a late lunch with YA (Tofurky brats and corn) – wanna guess?
  • Had a fire in the fire pit… with s’mores – need I say more?

I realize it’s only the first week of my furlough, but I’m wondering how long every day will seem like a weekend day?  And when will I get used to it?

Do you have specific days for specific tasks?

By the Dozen

YA and I both like eggs, although it still takes us a couple of weeks to go through a dozen (unless I’m baking).  After Easter we had a LOT of eggs – all the hardboiled eggs that I felt the need to dye and then bonus eggs from Farmer Ben.  In discussing this bounty, YA said “why don’t you make that frittata”.  I’ve made a veggie frittata a couple of times recently for book club, but didn’t realize she was paying attention.  I wanted to make a richer variety, so dug out a recipe I found in a magazine last year and “fixed it up” a little.  So here is my version of a Potato Cheese Frittata:

4-5 potatoes (I used Yukons)
1 large onion
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp butter
12 Farmer Ben eggs
1 cup whipping cream
12 oz manchego cheese
(unless you’re really cheap like I am and can’t bring yourself to                spend $16  on a wedge of cheese… then you can use half                            manchego and half cheddar that you already have in the fridge)
1 jar of roasted red peppers (I used a 15 oz jar) – or you could roast            the peppers yourself if desired
Salt & pepper to taste

  1. Peel and thinly slice the potatoes then boil for 3-4 minutes until soft.
  2. Thinly slice onions and sauté in oil and butter until brown. Use an oven-capable pan (I used my cast-iron skillet)
  3. Add potatoes to onions and sauté another 2-3 minutes
  4. Whisk together eggs, half the cheese, cream, peppers, salt and pepper
  5. Slowly pour egg mixture into the potatoes and stir as the eggs begin to scramble
  6. Stop to swear like a sailor and run your thumb under cold water when you touch the burner. This step is optional.
  7. Bake 15-20 minutes in 350° F oven until not jiggly.
  8. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese and broil for 2-3 minutes until bubbly and golden.
  9. Cool a bit before you eat unless you want to burn your tongue (not saying why I thought I should mention this!)
  10. Explain to your kid why the dish is so yellow because she’s never had farm fresh eggs in her life.

What’s your go-to recipe for a plentitude of eggs?

Brave Volunteers

I was happy and proud to read the other day that Minnesota has the second highest rate of volunteerism in the country, bested only by Utah.

North Dakota ranks 15th.  Husband decided that he has sufficient free time to volunteer at our local food pantry, and his first shift is next Thursday.  He will stock shelves. Our church donates the produce from our garden to the food pantry.  Suzy Kapelovitz, a nice Norwegian girl from Reeder, (a really small town in southwest ND), who married this Jewish guy who ran some sort of business in our town in ND, and who has spent her life here helping others, is the head of the food pantry.  She is in her 70’s. She confirmed his shift.  He is to stock shelves. I foresee volunteerism in our future,

Why do you think Minnesota has so many volunteers? What have you volunteered for?

Our New Pastime

I read an article the other day in which the CEO of King Arthur Flour said that baking has become the “new baseball” in this country.  Yeast sales are up 300% across the country compared to a year ago, and King Arthur has engaged an extra mill to assist in meeting the demand for its flour. There is enough flour to go around. The problem is that most of it is in 50 lb bags not suited to the average home baker. They are scrambling to get it into 5 lb bags and out to consumers.  People are baking out of panic, boredom, and as a way to obtain some comfort right now. I think there has been an increase in the purchase of vegetable seeds and plants for the same reason. I hope that people continue to bake and garden after this is all over.  I think we could use more national pastimes.

What would you like to see as “the new baseball”?  What are you doing for comfort these days? 

 

The Milk Man

I signed up for home dairy delivery (a milk man) when YA was two.  As a single parent, “running up to the store” isn’t as simple as it sounds, and it felt like we were always running out of Yo-J or milk or eggs.  When a neighbor mentioned that she used to have a milk man, my ears perked up.  I contacted Kemps Home Delivery and two days later, I got a call from Mike.  He started deliveries the next week and he is still bringing us dairy and other assorted food items every week.

There are about 50 milk men in the Twin Cities area and Mike has been in business for more than 40 years.  He loads up his truck every morning at the Kemp’s warehouse and then hits the road.  I leave my order form (and payment for the week before) on the front door.  He gets those items I from his truck, puts them in my fridge, gives the dogs and cats a treat and leaves a blank order form with the amount of the order for me to pay next week.

Mike’s wife, Suzie, does the office and phone management and both of them are as nice as can be.  They have grown kids and two grandkids, who feature in the yearly holiday newsletter.  Every Thanksgiving, they help manage and run a project called The Thanksgiving Free Store.  It’s just what it sounds like, food and other necessities provided for those in need, absolutely free.  They spend the year raising money and getting donations, things like socks, backpacks, warm clothing, coats and food, lots of food.  I’ve been supporting this effort for quite a few years now.

Mike is pleasant and personable.  If I’m home on a Friday when he delivers, it’s always nice to have some conversation with him.  I’m one of his last deliveries of the week, so he is never rushed when he’s at my place.  When we first started deliveries, he used to leave my items in a cooler on the front steps, but after a couple of months, I gave him a key (he has a HUGE keychain).  I figured if we got robbed with no clear break-in, the cops would look to anybody who had keys first; I doubt Mike would want to put his only business at risk for anything I had laying around!

For the last couple of months, I’ve been worried about Mike.  The Kemp’s warehouse announced (without much warning) that they would only be open four days a week because there were only a couple of milk men delivering on Fridays.  We got our delivery changed to Tuesdays (not a big deal) but I started to think that maybe the milk man business was dying out.  Although Mike is close to retirement age, it would be better for him to retire when it’s good for him rather than for his business to shrink away.

Well, I don’t have to worry any more.  As someone who delivers food to your house, guess whose business has grown dramatically in the last three weeks?  In fact, the demand has grown so much that Kemps is thinking about re-opening the warehouse on Fridays.  And since Mike works alone, social distancing isn’t a problem; Suzy asked folks to re-instate the cooler system a couple of weeks ago, so Mike doesn’t even have to come in the house right now.  As soon as he drives off (Guinevere always lets us know when Mike is here) we go out and get our items out of the cooler.  The only ones really suffering are the animals, who don’t get their weekly treat from Mike!

Are you having anything new delivered to your place these days?