Saturday, November 30, 2013

Meal No. 864: Lamb Meat Loaf

This morning marks the departure of two Thanksgiving holiday guests of the Roediger House: former WFU grad student Tim Schwarz of New Orleans, and Beau Ward, who is wrapping up a masters program back home in Oklahoma. Just another reason that holidays are special and why it stinks to see them come to an end.

For a farewell dinner last night, I prepared the lamb meat loaf that's been so very good since my sister Allison first hooked me up with the Tupelo Honey Cafe cookbook, the source of this recipe. Neither of the fellas had had it yet and I like to think it proves impressive to discerning palates. They seemed to like it.

And also, by special request, I made a late-night dessert of white wine coffee cake:

Yesterday dawned brisk and cold, with temps around 20°F. After taking Cyprus out for her morning yard break, I had to make another morning fire. While people went crazy with Black Friday sales and shopping, I reveled in the quiet of the Roediger House fireside in the hours before the rest of this busy holiday house began to stir.

Fire No. 19

"Lamb and Multi-Mushroom Meat Loaf," in Tupelo Honey Cafe: Spirited Recipes from Asheville's New South Kitchen, by Elizabeth Sims with Chef Brian Sonoskus. Kansas City: Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC (2011), p. 150.

"Company Mashed Potatoes," a Jones family favorite.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Meal No. 863: Thanksgiving 2013

Hello, my most favorite of all holidays. Thanksgiving 2013 has come and gone, and I hate like heck that it had to be over so darned fast. What could possibly please me more than getting to spend lots and lots of time in my kitchen and celebrating togetherness with a great crew of friends and Roediger House regulars?

Last night's meal was another feast, with no reduction in the quantity in spite of the fact that it was a relatively smaller gathering: only six around the dinner table. But an awesome six it was!

The menu is my standard one, for the most part:

Beef Tenderloin in Wine Sauce

The Wine Sauce (not everybody likes onions and/or mushrooms!)

Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast
(which I butchered because I can't carve worth a lick!)

Layered Green Bean Casserole

Corn Pudding

Slow-Cooker Sweet Potato Casserole

I might be getting over my disinclinations regarding gravy: I did make some but rushed it onto the counter for the buffet-style serving without snapping a picture of it. Which is especially unfortunate given how nice it looked in the gravy boat that came in the set of my mother's china.

We bellied up to the bar and loaded our plates and seconds and thirds were had. I didn't grab my camera quickly enough but even Cyprus fell in at the end of the line for the food. (People food is forbidden to her, though!)

Clockwise from Center Left:
corn pudding, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole,
apple & bacon stuffing, turkey with gravy,
beef tenderloin with wine sauce and horseradish cream sauce.

Finally, I broke with tradition and incorporated a new and untested and untried dish in this very set holiday menu: cornbread stuffing with apples and bacon. It was a certifiable hit with the crowd and got rave reviews!

The twist on this new dish is its source: David Venable, known for In the Kitchen with David on the QVC network. (David's cookbook was Number 3 in cookbook sales in 2012, according to Publisher's Weekly.) And he has the added distinction of being a classmate from Carolina, where we became good friends through our respective leadership roles: he as president of the Senior Class, and me as president of the Residence Hall Association. Here's a fun photo from back in the day:

David's the one towering over the rest of us. Guess that's still true today!

Finally, one more thing: some of you know my joy at catching sight of the local hawk. Working at the kitchen sink yesterday afternoon, I chanced to spy him watching and alert, perched on the top of the chain link fence behind the house. This was the pic I snapped before he jetted off:

"Oven-Roasted Turkey Breast," Betty Crocker: Holiday Entrées, Sides, Brunches, & More, November 2001, p. 22-23.

"Beef Tenderloin in Wine Sauce" (p. 296) and "Spicy Horseradish Sauce" (p. 295), from The All-New Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook. Compiled and Edited by Julie Fisher Gunter. Oxmoor Press (2006).

"Layered Green Bean Casserole," from my sister Allison in Rossville, Indiana.

"Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping," from Southern Living Slow-Cooker Cookbook,  (Oxmoor House, 2006), p. 234-235.

"Cornbread Stuffing with Apples and Bacon," from David Venable. Found online.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Meal No. 862: Thanksgiving Brunch

Part of the RoHo Thanksgiving tradition is to begin Thursday morning with mimosas and a light breakfast or brunch. Some of last night's crew stayed overnight and so I had coffee and goodies ready when they began coming down this morning.

I also got another good roaring fire going since it remains stupidly cold here this morning.

Fire No. 18 in the "new kitchen."

The foodstuffs included creamy grits, party ham biscuits, and zucchini bread:

Those party ham biscuits always take me back to Buies Creek holidays at my mother's house. They were standard fare, always on hand to be pulled from the fridge and heated up whenever anyone wanted a snack.

I forgot to break out the sausage balls that I made the other morning and tucked away in the freezer.

This was my inaugural use of the new University of Virginia plateware I recently obtained. And now, I'll turn my attention to prep for this evening's Thanksgiving feast...

"Party Ham Biscuits," a recipe shared with our family by Susan Brown, who was my sister Allison's college chum at the University of North Carolina. I recorded Susan's in my recipe collection in 1988. There are various versions of this recipe, of course. Pretty popular is the "caramelized" version, such as this one: "Caramelized Ham & Swiss Buns," by Iris Weihemuller of Baxter, MN, in Taste of Home, December 2013, p. 59.

"Zucchini Bread," a recipe shared with me by Laura Thomas on August 23, 2000, in Woodstock, Virginia.

Luquire Family Stone Ground Grits, milled in Greenwood, SC.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Meal No. 861: Thanksgiving Eve Frivolity

This year, the Thanksgiving Eve gathering is even bigger than tomorrow's Thanksgiving meal. It's been a tradition of the Roediger House for quite a few years to have a bunch of folks come over and have laughs and games and karaoke and whatnot on the night before Thanksgiving. It began as an excuse to get together while I'm trying to put in kitchen prep time for the holiday feast. Tonight, it just because a great reason to gather 'round food as well.

Munchables for pre-dinner:

Sausage Queso

Southwestern Dip

Dinner from the kamado grill:

Pit Pot Roast with Cajun Barbecue Sauce

Pit Pot Roast, Macaroni & Cheese, Green Bean Casserole

Best Potluck Macaroni & Cheese

Since the dining room is still a wreck, it took two tables for the crew in the kitchen.

And these delightful small slices of sugary flavorful goodness, that I always associate with the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, called scotcheroos:

Kamado Meal #22

"Chunky Sausage Queso," in the Southern Living Slow-Cooker Cookbook. Compiled and Edited by Jane E. Gentry, p. 23.

"Southwestern Dip," in Betty Crocker Monthly Recipes, December 2001.

"Pit Pot Roast" (p. 128-129) and "Creole Classic Barbecue Sauce" (p. 358). In Smoke & Spice, by Cheryl and Bill Jamison. Boston: The Harvard Common Press, 2003.

"Best Potluck Macaroni and Cheese," from Cook's Country, April/May 2007, p. 11.

"Green Bean Casserole," from Campbell's Kitchens.

"Chocolate-Butterscotch Scotcheroos," from the Rice Krispies cereal box.  I first noted and recorded this recipe in 1988.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Meal No. 860: Two Kinds of Pizza

Barbecue Chicken Pizza with Red Onion

Feta and Pesto Pizza
I'd like to add that this very chilly Thanksgiving week has begged for some good roaring fires in the kitchen fireplace, so I'm rising to meet that expectation:

Fire No. 17

Cyprus looks cozy in front of the hearth.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Mother's Wedding China

Yesterday, I finally dove into the very heavy box containing my mother's wedding china, that's been sitting in the dining room ever since last summer's gathering of my siblings to continue dividing up her estate. It was my good fortune not to have a claim to it challenged by anyone, so it came home with me.

The pattern is Apple Blossom, from Haviland of New York. It is lovely. It's now all been washed and put away in the china cabinet in the dining room, and I'm hoping to put it to first use for Thursday's Thanksgiving gathering.

The set is incomplete, but there are 20 dinner plates. Mother must've bulked up her collection of cups and saucers for church and club gatherings at her house, though, because there are 26 saucers and 25 coffee cups.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Meal No. 859: Chicken Corn Chowder

I love corn chowder, but I've never tried to make it before. And I have, over the years, accumulated a few different recipes. The one I depended on tonight came from Cook's Country and it inspired me to buy fresh ears of corn and slice the kernels off for the freshest and most flavorful possible result.

It did not disappoint. My one modification: I added rotisserie chicken to it to make it a bit more hearty for supper.

This was a perfect meal given the dreadful arctic cold front that is blasting through here. It was a great excuse to build the second fire of this winter season, and the sixteenth since the kitchen addition was built.

Fire No. 16
(I obsessively count and track things that have occurred since I started blogging.)

"Corn Chowder," by Maria del Mar Sacasa. In Cook's Country, June/July 2009, p. 8-9.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Meal No. 858: New Year's Day Meatballs

It was a great night to have folks over, in particular my dear friends lovingly known as The Jens, along with their sweet baby Eliza Blake. I wanted to fill their bellies and try to treat them right, so we had the always-delicious dish known in the Jones Family as "New Year's Day Meatballs" (named as such because the first time we had them was over the New Year holiday). It's also been a while since I put company mashed potatoes on the plate, and good old basic green beans finished out the menu.

"New Year's Day Meatballs," from Carol Fultz and shared with me by my sister Allison Jones Holden of Rossville, IN (2001).

"Company Mashed Potatoes," a Jones family favorite.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Meal No. 857: Juicy Burgers on the Grill

This week, I worked four days in Frederick and Shenandoah Counties, and then made the long drive home this evening. Yesterday and today, I worked at schools on the southern end of Shenandoah County, and that put me within about two minutes of the Route 11 Potato Chips company headquarters. I bought some dip mixes and barbecue chips.

It was a lovely drive home, because there's an unusual warm spell happening today, in advance of a very cold arctic mass of air that will blow in Saturday evening. This felt like my last decent evening to be outside grilling, so with barbecue potato chips fresh from the factory and a night when I could be outside in a t-shirt, juicy burgers on the grill seemed the smart call for dinner.

"Grilled Juicy Burgers," from Pillsbury Classic Cookbooks recipe magazine.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Basil Ignores the Freeze Warning

That fine dish of chorizo-baked scallops with basil cream sauce was made just in time: within days, the summer crop of basil growing outside the back door was killed dead by overnight freezes.

I didn't do a very good job of taking advantage of its aromatic leafy green goodness, but maybe next summer...

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Partisan China

While my heart belongs to UNC, I am still a Virginia loyalist. I recently made an impulse purchase that shows my deep and abiding connection to that wonderful creation of Mr. Jefferson, and which will dress up the dinner table at the Roediger House on occasion:

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Evening View

I do like to see the city skyline as the sun sets behind the house...

Monday, November 18, 2013

Meal No. 856: Grilled Veal Chops for Lunch

Mondays are often my travel day, and this one is as well. But there is still an exception, because tonight I taught a three-hour class next door in Greensboro, for the Guilford County Schools Alternative Certification Track program. My timeslot was 5 pm to 8 pm, and then I drove 4.5 hours up to Winchester. It was a late night!

But being home until about 3:30 pm left me with the opportunity to make lunch before heading out, and I tried not to be shabby about it. Around 2 pm, I sat down for a fine meal of grilled rosemary-crusted veal T-bone chops, lemon-garlic herbed baby gold potatoes with a parmesan crust, and sugar snap peas. That's what'll get me through this long day.

"Lemon-Garlic Baby Dutch Yellow Potatoes," from Melissa's/World Variety Produce, Inc. Recipe on bag of potatoes. Alternative link for recipe can be found here.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Meal No. 855: Herb-Roasted Salmon Fillet

"Herb-Roasted Salmon Fillets," by Luanne Asta of New York, NY. In Taste of Home, December 2013, p. 28.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Meal No. 854: 2 x 2 Soup

Tonight, a return to my cousin Betsy's recipe for the wonderful and wonderfully simple 2 x 2 soup:

"2 x 2 Soup," from various sources.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Meal No. 853: Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

"Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic," from James Beard. Published in One Big Table: A Portrait of American Cooking, by Molly O'Neill. Simon & Schuster, 2010, p. 350.

"Green Bean Casserole," from Campbell's Kitchens.

"Tammy's One-Hour Dinner Rolls," from Guidance also came from Tammy's YouTube video, found here.