What to do…What to do…

When self-isolated I’m sure you assume my go to is to cook.  Of course, your assumption is correct.  We are blessed in that the refrigerator, freezer and pantry are actually well stocked on a regular basis.  We did get out of the house yesterday for a scheduled medical procedure. We stopped on our return for milk.  I hoped the middle of the day wouldn’t see the shelves, counters and coolers bare.  My hope was shattered.  We were looking for 2 % milk. When I came back empty handed Brandt said why didn’t get get whole or skim? He simply couldn’t understand when I said “they don’t have any”…well, I didn’t realize I needed to take a pic to help him understand.  Finally, at the third stop I bought the last two half gallons of whole milk and on the fourth I bought a quart of half and half. I also bought things which were still in stock that I never buy…corned beef, chocolate milk, doritos…heaven help us.

This morning I ventured out to the pharmacy, bank and Donut Shoppe.  Yes, Byhalia has a FABULOUS Donut Shoppe.  I bought Brandt a Steak, Egg and Cheese Biscuit along with a half dozen donuts. I’m happy to report my metabolism has changed enough that I can eat  whatever I like and not see an immediate weight gain (for the first time in my life).  While out I stopped at Reed’s (Piggly Wiggly) just to see what they had.  Mind you, this was 8:30 AM. I’m in full New York City drag…hat, scarf, vest, shearling lined slippers AND GLOVES. I practiced Social Distancing…given my “get up” it wasn’t difficult…most gave me a wide berth.  It wasn’t too bad…still No milk but I did get heavy cream, Bulk Packed Chicken Wings and Legs only; I went for the wings, 2 lb. packs of ground beef with a 2 per person limit. One could easily find enough food to last eight weeks.  On impulse…probably with guidance from Mom…I picked up what I needed to make her Beef Noodle Soup.  Once again, it’s cold and wet today.  Soup sounded good.  She initially used Stew Meat but when the grandkids came along she “kept” all of them.  She switched to ground beef as it “cooked up” faster.

Give it a try…Saute’ chopped onions, add the beef and cook until the pink is gone.  Add salt, pepper and chili powder.  Stir thoroughly, then add water to cover and that much water again.  Add noodles of your choice, bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer for 15 minutes. Don’t ask why but then add potatoes.  I never asked why she used both potatoes and noodles but that’s what she did and that’s what I do…potatoes, peeled and cubed.  Simmer another 15 minutes, then turn the heat off.  Let sit until ready to serve.  Re-heat if necessary.  Serve with sweet pickles and saltine crackers.

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I read an article today by Cody Allen.  He’s an American living in Shanghai, the son of our friends Dee Archer and Dan Allen.  A brilliant young entrepreneur Cody, had his own business before he was in high school.  His adventurous spirit took him to China where he now owns a restaurant and a nightclub. Cody has survived more than a month “locked down”.  Click here to read the article.

Speaking of “locked down”…we’ve been on the farm two weeks…not locked down but being extremely cautious.  Brandt still goes to the office and last week I went to class but to protect both of us I’m not going for the foreseeable future. I wear gloves everywhere I go and wash my hands obsessively.  The real challenge…IT’S MARCH.  My eyes itch, my nose runs forwards and backwards and my throat is scratchy.  I’ve dealt with this all my life.  I’ll get over it but when summer turns to fall I’ll deal with it then, as well.  It’s best that we stay put until the virus flattens out.  So, what to do?

Cook and Blog…

Today, I notice we have an abundance of eggs.  Eggs are not my favorite thing but Brandt loves them.  I actually like them but used in all the variations…just not the first thing I eat every morning.  Bless mom’s heart…she didn’t start a day without eggs, some kind of meat and biscuits.  The untold times she said, “Son, please eat a bit of something”…now I would eat breakfast with her every day if I could.

Variations on Eggs

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Leftover Frittata…I made this from all the dinner leftovers the morning before we departed our villa in Tuscany (2009). Eggs, asparagus, artichokes, tomatoes, porcini mushroom, roasted wild boar and the most incredible italian cheeses, ever.

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Souffle Pancakes…a specialty of the chef at Twin Farms where we celebrated our 20th anniversary. They are listed in a Travel and Leisure article…Around the World in 34 Dishes. 

Egg Cups…Continuing with breakfast or brunch our dear Buckaroo once treated us with Egg Cups.  His version on the left.  Obviously, it’s a real egg which has been carefully topped and emptied, cleaned and re-filled with soft scrambled eggs and finished with decadent caviar and served with toast points.  Taking his lead I once replicated it as a part of Eggs Three Ways.  Egg Salad in an Endive Boat with Golden Whitefish Caviar, Smoked Salmon Egg Cup with Salmon Roe and Potato Blini, Whitefish Pate, Quail Egg and Ossetra Caviar.

Egg Spreads…The photo on the right begins with a layer of Creme Fraiche, then a layer of grated boiled eggs sprinkled with capers and cracked pepper, then topped with three types of caviar. Serve with crusty bread or toasted thin sliced baguette.  On the left you see a spread I made to replicate everything you would have if you ordered lox and bagels.  It’s basically egg salad with a fancy twist….chopped boiled eggs, chopped smoked salmon, finely chopped seeded tomatoes, minced red onion, chopped capers and creme fraiche with cracked pepper to taste.  Topped with Ossetra Caviar and served with Bagel Chips.

Dressed Eggs…of course Dressed or Deviled Eggs have to be on the list. My sweet friend Paul’s family called them Dressed Eggs because just the mention of the devil is a sin.  I actually love the term no matter the origin and have used it since.  Most would call them Deviled or Stuffed.  Counterclockwise…Mom’s traditional-Hellman’s, Yellow Mustard, Pickle Relish or Chopped “Green” Pickles, S/P….Smoked Salmon Stuffed Quail Eggs-For a wedding rehearsal dinner passed hors d’oeuvre…Picnic Eggs with Tasso Ham-traditional eggs topped with a piece of spicy tasso…Our sweet friend Linda’s Creation-she brought them to the party where we first met and it was instant friendship…Finally, a restaurant version of several varieties…one being deep fried.

I can’t say I stock the ingredients for all of these.  However, we can have eggs several ways for several days.  I’m sending positive energy and encouragement for you to stay safe and healthy in the coming days.  Whether it’s cooking, reading, cleaning or napping…I hope your house is lovely and a good time is had by all.

Wash your hands!!!

 

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