Saturday, November 30, 2019

Cooking in my Kitchen

In my kitchen in November, it's been very quiet. It's a new season, and the prolific fruit and vegetable harvests of the early autumn are over. I've been making salads with vegetables from far away, enjoying the colorful tomatoes, lettuce, avocados, and bell peppers that aren't growing around us, now that the cold has set in: we did have a real cold snap with deep snow in mid-November. The biggest November kitchen event is Thanksgiving, but we are spending this holiday with our family in Virginia, as very thoroughly reflected in a series of blog posts on Thursday!

Although no new kitchen items appeared this month, I still wanted to participate in Sherry's blog party, so I'm sharing some pictures of what we have eaten this month, beginning with some very plain salads -- one is shown at the top of this post. For more exciting kitchen news, check the blog
where many bloggers post their kitchen news. Sherry herself lives in Australia, along with many of the other participants, so you'll find lots of wonderful spring foods, fresh berries, apricots coming into season, and more in their kitchen posts. Fun to read from here, so far and so cold! This post and all the photos are copyright © 2019 by this blog: maefood dot blogspot dot com. If you see this elsewhere, your are reading a pirated edition.

Oven-roasted potatoes and onions, a side dish with roast chicken.
Pork chops with braised red cabbage.
The leftovers were in the salad below.
Salad of lettuce, tomato, and the leftover pork and red cabbage.
I made sure that each bite-sized piece of meat had some good mustard on it.
Really good mustard!
Lettuce, tomato, red pepper, and tuna salad made with mayo, celery, and pickle relish.
Savory pancakes from sourdough starter discard.
Served with salsa, sour cream, and fried onions.
Smoked salmon and hard-boiled eggs with capers, lemon, mayo, and vegetables.

As I say, November was a very quiet month at home. Besides the books I reviewed on the blog, I also read two books that I didn't write anything about (at least not yet) --
  • Amos Oz, Dear Zealots: Letters from a Divided Land, first published a year ago at the time of the author's death.
  • Edmund Wilson, Axel's Castle: A Study of the Imaginative Literature of 1870-1930, which was published in 1931, but first made available on Kindle this month. It's been on my list for a very long time!
And we subscribed to HBO, for at least as long as we find things to watch. What we have watched but I haven't written about:
  • The first episodes of "His Dark Materials," based on the Philip Pullman books, which is being released on a week-by-week basis. So far it's watchable but not fantastic, and I don't have much to say about it.
  • Len watched the 10-episode series "Our Boys," a recently-released Israeli police drama about real events that took place in 2014. I listened to some of it.
  • Finally -- we watched the film Crazy Rich Asians, which I've been wanting to see.  Its food scenes are wondrous, especially those in the markets of Singapore. I didn't write about this film because at the time of the release virtually every food magazine on- and off-line had detailed articles about how these scenes were staged and filmed and what they signified.
December will be busier, but like November, maybe will not involve my kitchen very much.

Thursday, November 28, 2019



Carving the turkey. We divided the labor. I disjointed it,
Len sliced it, Evelyn made gravy!

Dinner included the turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce roast potatoes, brussels sprouts, carrots, and squash; corn pudding, candied pecans, and gravy. Pie for dessert.

Making Stuffing, More Grilling

Chopping vegetables for stuffing to be cooked in the oven while the bird is on the grill...

Frying the vegetables for the stuffing, along with the chopped up liver. One half of the stuffing is without giblets, one half with giblets.

Stuffing out of oven, ready for dinner. Now the oven can be used for pies!

About to grill the vegetables.
Turkey is getting done.

We are cooking!

Drip pan that goes under the turkey on the grilll. 
Chocolate Pie.
For the apple pie.

Candied pecans — the pecans were a gift from a
friend from Texas.

Happy Thanksgiving Morning!

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

The Night Before Thanksgiving

Chili and cornbread for dinner the night before Thanksgiving. And a few corn chips... All the guests are now together.
I suspect that more new-world foods are in this dinner than in the traditional Thanksgiving.
Corn, beans, cranberries, avocados, tomatoes, bell peppers, hot peppers, etc.
Making avocado salad.
Bread, avocado & tomato salad, cornbread with cranberries,
cheese to garnish the chili.

Key lime pies for dessert. Note the special 3-D printed divider to make exactly 9 equal pieces of pie!

Thanksgiving Dinner: Turkey Prep

Herbs for the turkey and for the stuffing --
"Simon and Garfunkle Rub."
Sage was out of stock at one store, this was the last at the next store!
New grill -- the plan is to cook the turkey on the Weber grill outdoors.
Step one today: dry brining the turkey.
Getting ready for Thanksgiving tomorrow, when Len and Tom will be cooking outdoors on the grill.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Waiting for the Plane to Thanksgiving

We enjoyed a beautiful sunrise as we drove to the airport. Now the sun is beautiful. Hoping for good weather for the holiday weekend!

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Along the Mississippi: The Culinary Historians' Dinner

The Culinary Historians of Ann Arbor (CHAA) held their winter theme meal on November 24. The theme was foods from states along the Mississippi River. As we have done many times before, members contribute one or more dishes that follow the theme. We present our dishes and a bit of history or background about what we cooked and how we made our choices and then we eat! 

Here are pictures of a number of the very interesting selections of dishes that came from the whole length of the river from Minneapolis to New Orleans --

Wild rice with several types of mushrooms from the cookbook of the Sioux Chef.
The Native Americans of Minnesota gather wild rice from canoes in the north of the state.
Wild rice with hazel nuts -- another of the several wild rice
dishes on the menu.
Wild Rice and chicken salad.
Our contribution: sauerbraten. It was tasty but not very photogenic.
Where along the Mississippi does it originate? It's from the German
community of St. Louis, via the one great culinary contribution of
our native city, namely, the book The Joy of Cooking, which was
written in St. Louis by Irma Rombauer in 1931.
Iowa ham balls.

My friend Sherry with a Mississippi cookbook, one of several that she consulted. And my friend Randy,
editor of the CHAA newsletter, taking notes on what everyone said. He will correct me if I got any of this wrong!
Southern-style greenbeans.
Louisiana beef stew.
Kentucky corn pudding.
Cajun cornbread with ham, cheese, scallions and jalapeno.
Bread pudding -- whiskey sauce was in a separate dish. 
Minnesota Best Bars: the classic, made with sweetened condensed milk!
Pecan Pie. The baker told us that pecans were used by native Americans
for thousands of years. French settlers in New Orleans began to make pecan pies
soon after arrival, but the most-used current recipe comes from the makers of
Karo Syrup, who published it in the 1920s.

Here is a list of most of the contributions in geographic order. Sherry said "It's a long river," and I think we showed that she was right!

From Minnesota:
  • Favorite Tuna Hot Dish
  • Hazelnut Wild Rice & Passion Fruit Foam Salad
  • Wild Rice Pilaf with Wild Mushrooms, etc.
  • Wild Rice and Chicken Salad
  • Amaranth Bites from the Sioux Chef
  • Very Good Bars
More from the Midwest:
  • Karl Ratzsch’s Burgundy Red Cabbage from Wisconsin
  • Ham Balls appetizer, Iowa
  • Blue Cheese Spaghetti, Illinois
  • Sauerbraten from The Joy of Cooking, St. Louis, Mo.
Going South:
  • Rice Salad, Arkansas
  • Corn Pudding, Kentucky
  • Southern Style Green Beans
  • Cajun Cornbread, Louisiana
  • Jambalaya with Sausage, Shrimp, & Ham, Louisiana
  • Louisiana Beef Stew
  • Shrimp Dip with Crackers & Chips, Louisiana
  • Roselawn Plantation Punch, Louisiana
  • Bread Pudding with whiskey sauce, Louisiana
  • Pecan Pie
This post and photos © 2019 by mae sander.