This is our second week of school and I decided that was enough excitement and/or agony, and I didn’t need to try any new or tricky recipes. Here is what we had:
Burgers, I think? I don’t seem to have photographic or written evidence.
Ham, peas, mashed potatoes; stone fruit cobbler
Corrie’s platonic ideal of dinner.
I made twelve pounds of mashed potatoes, and it was too much mashed potatoes! Didn’t know there was such a thing.
The ham was pre-cooked, which is great, but do you know what’s even better? Slice it up when it’s cold, then put it in a dish with some water or Coke, cover with tinfoil, and then heat it up when it’s dinner time. So much faster than heating and then slicing.
We had tons of peaches, plums, and nectarines that were getting a little gooshy, so I got it into my head to make a cobbler.
I can’t find the recipe for the life of me. I’ll keep looking if people want it, though! As you can see, I diverged from it pretty severely anyway.
The recipe called for corn starch for cooking the fruit before putting the cobbler topping on. Isn’t it lovely? The fruity jewels of late summer.
I knew we had corn starch, but I couldn’t find it. So I crankily swooped over to the convenience store and bought a small canister for $423.99, and then promptly lost that, too. I had already put water, brown sugar, and butter in the pan, so I added a can of sweetened condensed milk, on the theory that I would like the fruit to be more . . . condensed. I don’t know. I just didn’t want to go back to the store.
I simmered it for a while until the fruit was soft, and the sauce/syrup/whatever got kind of clotty, but not too clotty.
Then I drained most of the liquid off and put it in the pan, and covered it with the cobbler batter. The top turned out lovely, with a good crisp, slighty crumby crust and a tender, cakey inside. Not especially cobbled, but it tasted nice.
The fruit inside tasted fine. You could discern that faint vanilla custard taste from the condensed milk, but it wasn’t too sweet. It didn’t exactly hold together, but nothing I make holds together. It wasn’t soupy, anyway. And I didn’t have to go back to the store!
Would have been nice with some vanilla ice cream or unsweetened whipped cream. But I sure wasn’t going to the store to get some.
Hot dogs of a limited number of nations, onion rings
We haven’t had Hot Dogs of Many Nations for a while. Hot Dogs of Many Nations is when we set out a dizzying array of toppings, so people can have a Chicago dog. or a buffalo dog, or a chili dog, or a dog of any nation!!!!
This was a pretty lackluster display. It was about as international as when the Girl Scouts have a cultural fair but nobody’s keeping track of who’s dibsing which country, so Kayla and Kylie and Cayley and Kaeleigh all just end up doing Canada.
I had one of those nice natural casing hot dogs with chili, cheddar cheese, and scallions. It was okay. And we had onion rings.
Chicken burgers and chips; pizza for election reporters
Damien sometimes makes some extra cash gathering election results for various news outlets, which means he has to drive around like a crazy person going from school gym to community church to other school gym, trying to persuade Pierre, the town manager who is up too late, that this is all public record and he can SO take a picture of it. Anyway he had one town too many, so I covered one. There certainly was a lot of sitting around. People think democracy looks like either marching with torches and shooting, or else dancing to Bruce Springsteen with balloons falling out of the ceiling; but actually it looks like sitting around.
Anyway the kids made supper and Damien and I got home late and got Domino’s. Democracy also looks like Domino’s.
Spaghetti and meatballs
Nothing to report. Ground beef was $1.99 a pound, so that was fairly exciting.
My basic meatball recipe is here.Jump to Recipe
I added diced onions and crushed garlic and a lot more oregano than I usually add, and they came out perfectly fine, like they always do.
Turkey bacon wraps, raw veg with hummus
An unexpectedly popular meal. I got some sliced buffalo turkey and Swiss cheese, and Damien fried up a few pounds of bacon. We had spinach and sun dried tomato wraps and an assortment of sauces and toppings. I had mine with chicken, bacon, spinach, salami, and spicy sweet mustard, and it was pretty swell.
Look, here’s another picture.
I love wraps. We also had sweet pepper and snap peas with hummus.
Mac and cheese
As I was making the cheese sauce, I remembered a twinge of guilt I had felt the other day when a teacher remarked to another mom what healthy snacks she always packed. My own child, while clearly very healthy and robust in general, toddles off to school with a lunch box full of pre-packaged Sparkleberry Melon Tango Yogurt Tubes, X-Treme Salt Kracker Snackers, and to drink, a foil pouch of Purple Madness Corn Syrup Punch Sploosher. And an apple. So I tweeted out:
It got some pretty good response, and I smiled to myself as I stirred the cheese sauce. “I am helping,” I thought. “I am making the world better.”
Then I thought, “Hey, what is that?” For there was a dark patch in my cheese sauce. I poked around with the wooden spoon and then fished out not one, but two entire pieces of American cheese, still in their wrappers.
I am helping. I am making the world better. Sometimes democracy looks like American cheese?
Even after this, someone asked for my mac and cheese recipe! I’ll go ahead and write it out here, even though it’s very vague and never turns out the same way twice. The only thing special about it is you put in tons of pepper and hot sauce. This doesn’t make the cheese sauce spicy, but it gives it some depth of flavor, and makes the whole thing more interesting. I also top the casserole with shamefully buttery panko bread crumbs.
Oh! I also have a video of Corrie explaining how to make garlic toast. It’s adorable (she watches a lot of food videos, and she has the patter down), but way too long, and I’m too dumb to figure out how to edit it. I’ll keep trying, though.
Baked macaroni and cheese
This is a vague recipe. You can change the proportions of the ingredients to make it thicker or thinner, more or less cheesy. I don't care!
Meatballs for a crowd
Make about 100 golf ball-sized meatballs.
- 5 lbs ground meat (I like to use mostly beef with some ground chicken or turkey or pork)
- 6 eggs, beaten
- 2 cups panko bread crumbs
- 8 oz grated parmesan cheese (about 2 cups)
- salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, basil, etc.
Preheat oven to 400.
Mix all ingredients together with your hands until it's fully blended.
Form meatballs and put them in a single layer on a pan with drainage. Cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes or more until they're cooked all the way through.
Add meatballs to sauce and keep warm until you're ready to serve.