Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Smoking on a Sunday

I have worked on my recipe collection in the recent evenings when I have not been at the show. The recent rush of entries are from my recipe box, which I have had for at least three decades. I will probably post more on this subject in the future, but I'm quite surprised at how my tastes have evolved and developed over the years. Plus, there is a big dose of nostalgia experienced with the process, especially when entering a recipe from a card written by my mom. I used to call her all the time to ask for cooking directions, usually on a weekend while I was standing at my stove. Around this house, when we have time, we cook.

Which brings me to today's post. Sunday's smoker recipes. It takes all day to prepare these dishes.

The salmon only took three hours to complete. So, we made these little snacks while our main dish smoked away, filling the yard with good smells.

Our main dish of the day:

This roast was a bit expensive, took six hours to finish, but was worth every dime and minute!

Sunday morning we had 15 turkeys underneath our feeders in front of our house. You can see some of them here. 

Ten poults and five hens and jakes make themselves at home in our yard.

Sunday afternoon we started to notice a pigeon on our roof and under our feeders. We have never had pigeons. This one is banded, so we presume it is lost. There was a storm on Friday night and so maybe he was blown off course. He spends his day sitting underneath our feeders and is very tame.

Maybe we should start that smoker up again...

Monday, July 12, 2010

Summer Sunday Supper

I have been home for only one or two dinners each week lately due to the rehearsal schedule for our show. When Paul and I are going to have a meal at the same time, we like to plan something a little special.  Our dinner last night was Piri-Piri Chicken and Pasta with Pesto Sauce.

We have made pesto since we were first married. Our family members will recall it was our "go to" dish when we served dinners when our kids were young. We used to grow so much basil we would freeze large amounts so we could make what we called "winter pesto".

Now, we only grow a few plants in a pot on our patio. We rarely make pesto. Pasta doesn't find its way to our table very often. Sigh.

But the basil on our patio is responding nicely to this humid summer. It was just begging us to do something with it. So, out came the food processor. In went the basil leaves. Out came the pesto sauce. Wow, was it good.

I'll talk to you soon. We are headed to the gym. I have some extra minutes to do on the tread mill.


Friday, July 9, 2010

Today's Frame Of Mind

The photographer for our show posted a picture of the production staff on Facebook. My first thought when I saw the picture was, "Wow, look at how gray I am!" That was followed by a quick moment of delusion. "The stage lights accentuate that." That was followed by, "Get real, Barb."

Usually, I am not bothered by the fact I have reached a "mature" age. After all, I am very happily retired from my career. Then, while I was doing my morning reading, this came across my screen:

I thought, "How appropriate for this morning." I considered going for a new look.

I could carry off something kind of "out there." It could be fun. Something different. Or maybe just weird. Obviously not in the best mood, I got ready to go the gym with Paul for our strength training regimen.

It is a good thing he was there to encourage me to go. My muscles and joints have been barking at me because of the hours I have spent at the piano in the past few weeks.

So, there I was on my second machine, resting in between repetitions, when this little old man pushing a walker strolled past. He stopped, looked right at me and said, "Is this making you feel better? I'm not so sure it's working for me!" And then he laughed.

And, so did I. At myself.

Just ask me to tell you a story. "I've got a million of 'em."

Monday, July 5, 2010

4th of July Barbecue Recipes

Jayne and Tom joined us last night for a
Paul and I wanted to try some new recipes. It's nice to feel so comfortable with people we can invite them without hesitation to taste dishes for the first time. Jayne and Tom brought Strawberry Shortcake. I'm always happy when people offer to bring dessert because those recipes are out of my comfort zone!

We are in the experimental stages with our electric smoker and this was our first attempt at spare ribs. I think these were our most successful to date. I also wanted to make baked beans to try to achieve those homemade beans I remember from childhood. The potato salad and ancho chile butter recipes caught my attention from the latest edition of Bon App├ętit.

Here are the recipes with our notes:
Blue Ribbon Barbecue Ribs
Potato Salad with Pancetta, Rosemary and Lemon
Sweet Corn with Honey-Ancho Chile Butter
Barbecue Baked Beans

I love summer time cooking.

Well, I love cooking all year, but I especially love summer time cooking. Try these recipes, I think you might enjoy them! Talk to you soon.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Independence Day!

Happy 4th of July! I have such wonderful memories of this day. When we were young, we celebrated each 4th of July with a huge family reunion. All of the cousins on my Mom's side of the family gathered at one of the family farms for a full day of fun. We played hide and seek in the corn fields, which were knee high by the 4th of July, had volley ball tournaments, blew up firecrackers under the "supervision"  of our dads, had cold pop and watermelon iced in a big aluminum tank and ended the day with our own fireworks display,  supplied by one of our uncles.  And most importantly, we ate wonderful food, prepared by the moms and grandmas and great aunts. Fried chicken, baked beans, potato salad, garden lettuce salad and desserts, all made from scratch. The memories couldn't be better.  We always had so much fun.

It is no wonder I find myself focused on picnic recipes at this time of year. Updating my recipe collection with some of the cooking we've done in the past few weeks, I decided to feature a few dishes on my blog.

I'll start today with two "potluck" salads.

The first one is "Salad On The Wild Side", which has been one of our family favorites for years. It is a great main course addition to any picnic or summer time potluck dinner.

Paul surprised me last week when I arrived home after a full day of rehearsal with "BBQ Macaroni Salad".

He had found the recipe in a magazine we had checked out of the library. The salad is spicy and works really well with grilled steak. Next time I make the recipe, we will have to take our own photo to replace the one we borrowed from the internet. Try it, you will be surprised!

The smoker is working its magic outside right now. I will follow up tomorrow with the menu we have cooked up for our own little 4th of July party. Enjoy the day!!!