Thursday, October 22, 2015

Cooking

A new section has been added to my web page—A collections of recipes. Some are favorite recipes— that were first featured on my blog; these have been edited and improved. Others are new recipes appearing for the first time. Find them in the left hand column, Recipes and Cooking,

There are 5 recipes, so far, and many more to come. Several breads, and more soups, and a few one dish meals. Most have been published before, and some are ones I have worked out on my own, others are ones I have adapted to my taste.

I always start the fall by filling my freezer with warm savory foods—soups and stews and roasted meats, so when I come home, cold and tired, (from anywhere) I can make a quick dinner of what I have previously prepared; with just a quick reheat in oven (or micro wave oven)  These recipes are as much for me, to use, as a refresher, as they are to share.

As a child, my mother complained I was a picky eater—I was to some degree. But mostly, we just had a different sense of taste—The vegetables I liked, she didn't and her favorites, were my least favorites.

A match made in hell. And it wasn't just vegetables—I love Chinese food—she hated it. I love nuts (every sort and kind!) Nuts were another food on my mother's never to eat food. She loved cured meats (ham, brisket), and pickled pigs feet(or trotters as she called them)-- and I dislike these foods (Yes, I am Irish, and NO, don't like corned beef!)

Part of her flavor profiles of tastes, was formed in her youth—and by the depression—in general, and living in a poor country, with limited access to imported foods.  So she grew up eating a narrow range of foods. My father was more adventurous, and exposed us to a wider range of foods, but he worked full time—and rarely cooked.. so we got exposed to lots of fruits, but not a lot of cooked food—Cooking my mothers purview—And she rarely add anything she hadn't eaten in her childhood. This did change as she got older, but by then, I was off on my own, exploring new foods on my own.

In both Ireland and England, the slogan “Heinz means Beans” was a long standing advertizement, and beans feature in “full Breakfast” meals. But in our house, when I was growing up, a single small can of pork and beans (an 8oz, can) sufficed—for a family of 7. Servings of beans consisted of so few beans, you could readily count them.

And that was the only beans that were served. Over the years, I have expanded my tastes (and like pork and beans the least)--Now chick peas, (in soup, in humus, as felafel, or curried) are a regular part of my diet, and so are Black beans (mostly as soup, but occasionally as a side dish). Kidney beans, pink beans, small white beans, too, are in the mix. They show up in chili, (real made with dried chili's and no tomatoes, and eastern (US) style with chili powder and tomato), and in US Senate bean soup, or curries, too.

Lentils are in the mix, too. But they were never favorites. But I have discovered French green lentils, (about ½ the size of common green lentils, and very small black lentils (and other colors, too!)

To show the scale, here are a few lentils, (dry) nestled into the finger holes of a small scissors. Look how small those black lentils are! They cook quicker than larger lentils, and have a lovely flavor. I like these cooked with a few vegetables for lunch and in soup, and in a tomato based curry sauce (made with several spices, not with a yellow curry powder)



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