You know, this isn’t the way I always imagined an ocean voyage. Here’s what we had this week:
Grilled ham and provolone in pita pockets; spicy fries; raw broccoli
I do love grilled pita pockets. I grilled them in butter. They are so cozy and filling.
Steak, salad, strawberry rhubarb pie with whipped cream
Irene’s First Holy Communion and Mother’s Day! We’ve had so many parties lately, we decided Sunday would be just us chickens. Irene had a very good morning.
We planned to spend the day gardening, but it was, SIGH SIGH SIGH, windy and raining and snowing. So we made some pie together
This is Irene’s Happy Pie face. The kid just loves pie. She gave everyone mini pies from Walmart for Christmas. I think it was her early exposure to Amelia Bedelia. She just loves pie! And so do I.
I made the lattice one. I wove it for a while, then got bored and just started slapping bits of dough on. Irene’s crust was made of hearts and ducks, much like her soul.
We used this recipe from the 1896 Fannie Farmer cookbook. It was new to me, and really did taste old fashioned, especially the crust, which had a pleasantly sharp, salty flavor. The crust turned out pretty light and flaky. It was a little hard to work with, but it added more to the overall taste of the dish than the typical bland crust. I did use the neat trick of freezing the butter and then grating it with a cheese grater, so it’s very easy to incorporate it into the flour without overhandling it.
Damien made everyone steaks. I like mine so rare, you can have a conversation with it while you eat.
Raise your hand if this picture makes you feel uncomfortable! Too bad! It was my mother’s day! And the steak was delicious. (And I had a lovely, lovely day, all day, thank you. Many wonderful gifts and thoughtful attentions.)
Pork ramen, coconut rice, peas
Delicious, but more of a hassle than expected, probably because I had to make so much of it. (It was simplified somewhat with the beloved Instant Pot, because I could cook the meat and vegetables, deglaze, and finish the broth all in one pot. Sometimes having even one fewer pot to wash is a big freaking deal.) I found a complicated recipe and simplified it, thus:
Sear some pork ribs in olive oil until browned on all sides. Take pork out, slice very thin, set aside. Add a coarsely chopped onion, about eight cloves of minced garlic, and a few scoops of ginger paste. Saute to brown. Add a cup of chicken broth to deglaze. Add seven more cups of broth, plus 8-10 oz. sliced mushrooms, and return pork to pot. Slow cook for several hours.
Just before dinner, have a kid cook a giant bunch of ramen noodles and some soft boiled eggs.
To serve, put ramen in individual bowls, ladle pork and broth over that, add a few halves of eggs, and throw something green on top. We happened to have some zombie scallions.
It was tasty and satisfying, and the pork was very tender after cooking all day. I adore thin slices of pork in soup.
For the coconut rice, I use this Instant Pot recipe from This Old Gal, who loves unnecessary complications. I have had about enough of This Old Gal. I did have coconut milk and coconut cream, but not toasted coconut or coconut sugar. I am skeptical there is actually something called coconut sugar.
The rice was pleasant, but not amazing. Who has a recipe that makes lovely, sticky coconut rice like in a Thai restaurant? Wanty.
Chicken burgers, chips
I have no memory of Tuesday.
Chicken blueberry salad
Salad meals are my favorite. This recipe comes from The Blueberry Council, which, surely:
I wish I had chopped up the greens smaller, to integrate them more with the other ingredients, rather than making a bed for them to lie on, but the combination of flavors and textures was excellent.
So: mixed greens, broiled chicken, blueberries, blue cheese, red onions, and toasted nuts (we had walnuts and almonds. There must have been a nut sale at some point. Again, I highly recommend taking the extra few minutes to toast the nuts); and a sweetish dressing made of olive oil, wine vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper.
I served everything in separate bowls. To my delight, most of the kids chose to include blue cheese and onions in theirs. When I was that age, the harshly challenging flavor of something exotic, like yellow mustard, would have sent me into howling despair, but my kids are so much more adventurous. I never insist they eat anything, but I do keep serving things that I think are yummy, and I offer it to everyone every time. And here they are eating onions and blue cheese! I did a thing!
Not my finest hour. My plan was very basic: tortilla chips, ground meat and pre-made taco spice, jarred cheese substance, and salsa on the side.
I had to run out unexpectedly, so I directed the meat cooking and draining via cell phone, which turned out to be only slightly less nerve-wracking for both parties than when a passenger has to step up and land a damaged airplane with the help of a pilot on the ground.
Then I dashed home and dashingly forgot that the label said not to heat the cheese in the jar. Why? Because, we discovered, it balloons up like a ghastly yellow nightmare, then collapses into a rubbery hunk. Excuse me, rubbery hunk olé.
Then I set the chips on fire.
If you’re wondering why I never clean my oven: I do. I just immediately follow the cleaning with another spill. Then I set some chips on fire.
Penne with jarred sauce
Assuming I can figure out how to open a jar.
It occurs to me that a few of my readers may not be familiar with the phrase “and two hard boiled eggs.” Let’s fix that right now: