Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Do you hear pounding?

I do because we're getting a new roof. Well, we're getting a new roof on the house and porch. The attached garage/shed combo will have to wait a few years. Is there anything more anticlimactic than pouring money into your house for necessary repairs? Maybe next we'll redo the wiring! WHOO! So pretty! At least I won't cringe every time it rains, so that's something. And I did get to pick the shingle color. (Scott: "There are different colors?")

In part of my ongoing quest to bum free food off of people, I'm expecting a delivery of overripe tomatoes and some basil today. You know I'm going to make Catherine Newman's roasted tomato sauce. Did you see her food feature in the latest Family Fun? Now I must have the microwave chips maker she mentions. Hey, I love the Whirley-Pop she recommended.

I was at a church meeting last night where the other members of the committee un-ironically referred to me as a "youngster." I've often thought that I never want to live in a retirement community because I want to be surrounded by people of various ages making me feel young. It never occurred to me I might start reaping those benefits in my late thirties.

Welp, this youngster's going to do some cooking and try to drown out the pounding with children's musical soundtracks.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Green Tomatoes

One of my favorite Tightwad Gazette tips is the one about letting people know you are willing to take free stuff. Even free stuff that seems like junk to them. It may be trash, or it may be something wonderful like hand-me-down clothing. Or green tomatoes.

Fried Green Tomatoes, adapted from Wisconsin Country Cookbook and Journal

green tomatoes
dairy-free milk
flour, mixed with salt, pepper, and a little maple or brown sugar
DF margarine
more DF milk
DF chicken bouillon powder

Slice tomatoes 1/2 inch thick. Dip in milk and then in flour mixture. Fry slowly in 1/2 DF margarine and 1/2 shortening until crisp, brown, and tender. Remove to a plate. Add more DF milk to the pan, along with a sprinkling of DF chicken bouillon. Reduce into a pan gravy and pour over the tomatoes.

After you've eaten your fill of fried green tomatoes, puree the rest of the green tomatoes in your food processor and freeze in 2 1/2 cup and 2 cup amounts to make:

Green Tomato Cake--I usually leave out the raisins and stir the coconut into the batter.
Green Tomato Raspberry Jam

(Yes, we've cooked and enjoyed both. The cake is one of my dad's favorites.)

Now go raid your neighbors' tomato patches. With their permission, of course.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Yes, I do comfort myself with food

Mah babies are at school! I miss them so. Time to distract myself with cooking, especially foods for them to enjoy in their lunchboxes.

Money Saving Mom is starting a lunchbox freezer cooking session, and Milk Allergy Mom is following along with some dairy-free versions of the recipes.

Alisa posted a great-looking curry chicken nuggets recipe at Attune Foods. I especially like the curry sauce.

Our friends just dropped off 5 pounds of Concord grapes, which means it's jelly time! I use the cooked jelly recipe from the Sure-Jell pectin recipe insert, but I freeze the jelly instead of canning it. I prep the grapes this way because I have a Foley food mill, and I follow the advice of this recipe that says I don't have to strain the grape juice.

On vacation one day we had eggplant Parmesan that contained dairy, so for Katherine's lunch, I made this:

Easy Eggplant Parmesan

2-3 small, thin eggplants
1 garlic clove
olive oil
Progresso Italian Panko Style Breadcrumbs

Slice the eggplants into 1/4 inch circles, salt lightly. Chop or press the garlic. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the eggplant and saute until slightly browned. Add the garlic, turn the heat to medium, and cook until eggplant is tender. Toss in a handful of breadcrumbs with a little more oil if needed and stir to combine. Serve with red sauce.

What do your kids like in their lunches?

Saturday, September 01, 2012


Two. TWO! How is that possible?

I love you, Graham. I hope you have a perfect birthday, although I know nothing can compare to the gift the neighbors already gave you: your VERY OWN doggie pillow pet. Life is good.