Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Meal No. 1174: New Year's Day Meatballs for New Year's Eve

For the New Year's Eve gathering (a quiet evening affair, by design), the menu was by request and included New Year's Day meatballs, company mashed potatoes, and lima beans.

"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.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Meal No. 1172: Molasses-Mustard Glazed Grilled Pork Chops

Dinners at the Roediger House are almost always served buffet style from the long countertop. Tonight, though, I plated the food because I'd taken the extra steps to make both an apple chutney and some fresh apple butter and I wanted to give a couple of my more cautious guests NO choice about whether those elements of the dinner would appear on their plates.

And everybody was glad of it, raving about how all the flavors worked seamlessly together. Hey: I just follow the recipes. I'm glad when they come together to please the assorted palates at the table.

"Molasses-Mustard Glazed Pork Chops," adapted by Nick Kindelsperger from Bobby Flay's Grill It! Found online at

"Company Mashed Potatoes," a Jones family favorite.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Meal No. 1171: Grilled Tuna Steaks with Sauce à la Moutarde

Even though the weather outside wasn't that great, I figured we needed some seafood tonight for the four of us on hand. The tuna steaks looked good and so I grilled them up and topped them with Julia Child's sauce à la moutarde, with jasmine rice and sugar snap peas. We all dug that sauce, let me tell you, and the dinner overall seemed to leave folks reasonably satisfied.

"Sauce à la Moutarde," from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, and Simone Beck. 1961/1983/2001. [Seventeenth Printing, October 2009.] p. 64-66.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Meal No. 1170: Herb-Roasted Whole Chicken

Yet another full table at the Roediger House for dinner, so I did an 8-pound roaster in the style of Asheville's Tupelo Honey Cafe.

I borrowed from my best cookbook for kamado grill recipes to make the sauce to go with it. And I fell back on one of my favorite accompaniments for a meal like this: best potluck macaroni and cheese. We stuffed ourselves happily before most of the crew headed out for a night of holiday reunioning with friends.

"Herb-Roasted Whole Chicken with Savory Pan Gravy," 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. 136-137.

"Alabama Great White Sauce" (p. 362). 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.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Meal No. 1169: Herb-Crusted Prime Rib with Horseradish Cream Sauce

For the Christmas night meal last evening, and with another great small gathering of friends and Roediger House regulars, I prepared an herb-crusted rib roast and served it with twice-baked stuffed potatoes, a mess of peas, and a slightly altered horseradish cream sauce.

I overcooked the roast a bit and should have instead followed the advice of my friend and colleague Donna Whitley-Smith for a better medium-rare result. But we all thought it was pretty wonderful nonetheless.

"Herb-Crusted Prime Rib with Horseradish Cream," from Williams-Sonoma.

"Stuffed Potatoes: Good/Better/Best," in Cuisine at Home, December 2006, p. 23-24. [Recipe Clipping]

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Meal No. 1168: Caramelized Party Ham Biscuits

Thursday December 25, 2014 at 10:30 a.m.

It's Christmas morning at the Roediger House, with a couple of extra overnight guests, and a spot of tasty special breakfast seemed called for: party ham biscuits.

"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.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Meal No. 1167: Indiana Chicken, Corn, & Potato Chowder

Yet another recipe courtesy of my sister Allison and her husband Tom: Indiana corn and potato chowder, which I bulk up with some rotisserie chicken. This was the evening meal when a crew was over for game night on this fine Christmas Eve at the Roediger House:

"Indiana Corn and Potato Chowder," by Brannon Soileau of Maize, An American Grill (formerly of Lafayette, IN). In Indiana Cooks!, by Christine Barbour and Scott Feickert with photographs by Tom Stio. Bloomington, IN: Quarry Books (2005), p. 64-65. Recipe originally shared with me by my sister Allison on December 31, 2006. You can find this, and quite a few other Indiana recipes, if you scroll to the bottom of this article: "Indiana Can Cook."

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Meal No. 1166: Christmas Eve Eve Feast

This year's Christmas feast took place this evening, with a happy hungry crowd of celebrants with hearty appetites. The holiday is an excuse to make the grand Thanksgiving meal that I love. The downside for me: it was the worst day of my Christmas cold and I was a miserable so-and-so throwing all this together, and thanks to my tastebuds being a bit off, I couldn't even get the full measure of its goodness. The reports were favorable from the gathered crowd, though.

"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.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Meal No. 1165: Hamburger Supreme

"Hamburger Supreme," from the late Mrs. John T. (Glynn) Johnson of Buies Creek, North Carolina, via Janice Jones Bodenhamer.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Meal No. 1164: Smothered Pork Chops with Onion-Thyme Gravy

It's pretty fun when the holidays roll around to have a house full of dinner guests for some casual fare. Then again, I suppose it's not that unusual that the Roediger House has multiple places set around the dinner table. That's the way we like it 'round here.

On this Sunday night before Christmas, the dinner was smothered pork chops with onion-thyme gravy, steamed broccoli, and Jiffy corn casserole. There were still some chocolate-butterscotch scotcheroos lying around as well, for thems what wanted a sweet taste of dessert.

"Smothered Pork Chops," by Erika Bruce. In Cook's Country, April/May 2011, p. 22-23. [View and print a pdf of the recipe by clicking on this link.]

"Jiffy Corn Casserole," found on Facebook. Download a pdf version of it by clicking here.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Meal No. 1163: Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

According to the New York Times, Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic is a French fricassee popularized by James Beard and others. It's certainly popular in this household, although I've made it tonight for only the third time, I think:

This is such an incredibly delicious meal and not that complicated to make. There was a good deal of quiet chewing around the crowded dinner table last night, which seemed to be a good sign that folks were happy with what was served up this time around.

"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.

"Macaroni and Cheese Casserole," by Sarah Gabriel. In Cook's Country, June/July 2012, p. 17.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Meal No. 1162: Maple-Glazed Pork Roast

It's the Friday night before Christmas and all through the house was the enticing smell of pork roast cooking to tender perfection, ready to be paired with griddled polenta rounds and some lima beans with a cold bottle of Xingu black beer to wash it all down. Yum.

"Maple-Glazed Pork Roast," by Adam Ried, in Cook's Illustrated, Number Sixty-One, March & April 2003, p. 6-7.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Study of a Mantle

This is how the morning broke over Winston-Salem, as I watched from the upstairs porch in the early hours of the day:

The other beautiful thing of the day: Ricky and Nubee Sneed of Clemmons Flooring LLC finished up the trim and mantles in my study. Here are a few before pics:

And here's a shot of it after they finished up today:

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Meal No. 1160: Ultimate Cream of Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

It's been chilly so far this December. Soup just sounded good.

"Ultimate Cream of Tomato Soup," from Cook's Illustrated, November 1999. Recipe can also be found online at

Monday, December 15, 2014

Friday Night Lights

When I returned from a week on the road to Virginia Beach last week, I came home around 9 pm and found that this had happened:

This is the empty lot behind my house, and the lighting left over from when this was part of Modern Chevrolet has been reactivated and put to use. You might be able to see the back of the house in the middle right of that photo. Here's what that light spill looks like when viewed directly:

Look to the right of the house, where my car is parked.
That's my shadow from up on the hill.
That's how powerful the lightspill is.

This shows the contrast between the lightspill and the shadows.

It feels like, while I was away, my house was relocated to the middle of a high school football field on Friday night.

Here's a shot of the lights from the attic windows, in the rear gable:

No need to turn on the lights in the attic, because this is how much those lights illuminate the interior:

I emailed John Reece, the Managing Partner of Commercial Realty Advisors, which owns this property, to let him know I'd like us to discuss this. His reply was not encouraging, but I think it's because he has no idea how invasive and overpowering these lights are. I've sent him an invitation to come over one night, and I'll hope he'll have a beer with me, so we can look at it from both inside and outside of the house.

I cannot imagine that this kind of impact on a neighboring property owner will sit right with him. But we'll see.

UPDATE: John Reece has come through with a suitable solution: the lights will go off each evening at 7:30 pm. I can live with that!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Meal No. 1159: Pipetizer Casserole

With much credit to the original recipe, but also prideful pleasure in my own enhancements to it, the Sunday night boys' dinner was filling and fulfilling in the guise of Pipetizer casserole:

"Pipetizer Casserole" is an adaptation of "Tailgate Casserole," from The Big Book of Casseroles, by Maryana Vollstedt. San Francisco: Chronicle Books (2000), p. 120.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Meal No. 1158: Lamb & Multi-Mushroom Meatloaf

My best friend back in middle school was a fellow named Todd Kelly. He and his new girlfriend Shelby were in Winston-Salem this weekend and came over for a Saturday night dinner. I figured I'd best treat them right, so we had the always-delicious Tupelo Honey Cafe version of lamb meatloaf, along with company mashed potatoes and seasoned green beans.

"Lamb and Multi-Mushroom Meat Loaf" (p. 150), 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.

"Company Mashed Potatoes," a Jones family favorite.

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Return of the South Parlour

Another room has now come back "on-line" following all the plaster restoration and floor refinishing: the South Parlour. And it's looking mighty good, my friends.

First, a run-down of the plaster restoration:

The boys had trouble with bubbling under the paint.
This is why some areas had to be sanded and re-primed.
Hence, the juggling poodle in the floor pics below.

And then Ricky and Nubee Sneed from Clemmons Flooring LLC sanded and refinished the floors:

Isn't "juggling poodle" an apt description
of the problematic paint areas on the far wall?

This led to a heavy Cy:

This rug was in my mother's house, and it's part of what came to me from her estate:

This sofa was also from her estate, and I had it repaired and recovered over the summer:

I dug up a couple of pictures from the mid-1950s (?) and around 1960 of my parents with my older siblings on that same sofa:

Still to do: crown molding and picture rail, so that some art can go up on those beautifully-redone walls. That will just be bonus adornment, though!