Sunday, November 21, 2010

Another Busy Sunday...

Let's start with last night's dinner. I had a bag of pasta sauce in the freezer so decided on spaghetti. Also, had some leftover Ciabatta bread. We had dinner at Friend-Nancy's house last week. She and Girlfriend-Sous-Chef-Teila made stuffed chicken breast, salad and bread that had spinach and cheese on it. It was really good, so I decided that's what I wanted to do with my leftover Ciabatta.

I sauteed some spinach and tomatoes with some garlic, onion powder (I was out of onions/garlic) and salt-n-pepper. I cut the bread in half and put the spinach mixture on both sides. Put a foil tent over it and heated it. Once heated, I put grated mozzarella cheese on top and into the broiler went. NOM!

Had some of that bread leftover so we had it for breakfast with one of Friend-Scot's fresh eggs. Even more NOM! One of life's little luxuries is a freshly laid egg from a very happy chicken.

I got up at 7:00am this morning to get to the grocery store. Wanted to beat the Thanksgiving crowds. I make my Mom's stuffing recipe every year and that calls for unseasoned bread cubes. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find unseasoned bread cubes? It gets harder every year! It's clear that some folks like an "instant" Thanksgiving! I'm afraid this year, I have to make my own bread cubes!

I'm sure some of you know the story about my Mom's stuffing recipe, but some don't and I love a good story...

My Mom was a pretty good cook and she had this stuffing recipe that makes my mouth water every time I think about it. I like it even better than Kraft-Macaroni-and-Cheese-Family-Style-Deluxe! You all know how much I like my mac-n-cheese; so much so that I can only have it on my birthday.

Okay, so my Mom never really wrote down recipes and it was rare we were allowed in the kitchen when she was cooking. One of the times we were allowed in the kitchen was to test the stuffing. So NOM!!!

The Thanksgiving after my Mom died, Seester Kathy and I wanted to do our traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Neither one of us really cooked but we figured we could handle the turkey, the mashed potatoes (gravy from a jar), the jellied cranberry sauce in the shape of the tin can; when it came to the stuffing, we were lost. We knew it was unseasoned bread cubes, onion, celery and Bell's Poultry seasoning. We tried to recreate it, but it wasn't going well, we ended up putting eggs in it, sugar and who knows what else. Should have seen Dad's face when he ate it. Priceless! For years, we kept trying. It wasn't until a few years ago, I went to buy the bread cubes and was looking at the back of the package...there was Mom's stuffing recipe!!! Since you can't find seasoned bread cubes anymore, here is her recipe for you:

Mom’s Stuffing

1 ½ C chopped celery
3 C chopped onion
3C chicken broth
3 sticks melted butter
4 ½ tsp poultry seasoning (start gradually)
4 bags of bread cubes

Preheat oven to 325.

Saute onion and celery in butter until soft. Pour mixture over bread. Gradually add poultry seasoning while mixing. Taste for seasoning.

Can't wait to make it!

Okay, on with the day. The last time the oven guy came out to fix our oven, he told us that if we soaked the burners in hot soapy water for a few hours and dried them off, we probably wouldn't need a match to light the burners. Since another oven guy is coming tomorrow, I decided to give my baby a once over.

Here she is all neked:

Here are the burners getting their first bath:

So after I got the baby all back together, you still need to light a match to get the burner running. Oh well!

Poppy spent the better part of this morning/afternoon getting plane tickets to fly to Wichita for Christmas. Poppy's Aunt-Katie and Uncle-Suresh live there so the family will be heading to their place for the Holiday. Gotta tell you, the airlines are not making it easy for us either. Why is it, that folks on a budget have to suffer to fly? We've got two stops, one in Lost Wages and one in Denver. I'd rather drive...and it would probably take less time!

Here's the best part of the day though, after Poppy made travel arrangements, it was time to start curing the pork belly for the bacon that we'll smoke next weekend. She's going to do a Jimmy Dean bourbon some on the bacon. This is gonna be good!

Time for a slight retraction...turns out that Depression-Era-Poppy is not trying to relive the old days of Grandma Carpenter's house. Evidently, Grandma Carpenter's house didn't have these kinds of light switches; Depression-Era-Poppy just likes old stuff. Never mind...

Have a good week!

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