Tuesday, February 8, 2011

COOKIN' UP SUNSHINE

We’ve had sunshine!! It’s been scarce and sparse, and sorta grudging of its rays, but the twinkle on the shining glass pitchers on the fridge, and the pattern of the lacy beams---I just stood and looked my eyes full.




And Chris has not been deterred. You know that snow/gloom of night thing? Well, I do believe there are die-hard Weber owners whose grilling would go on in a blizzard. I’ve stood out there and held an umbrella over the food so as not to let the snow/rain fall upon it as it sizzled and he turned and sauced and plattered. I am married to the Champeen Griller of all time.

One night during the iciest, snowiest time, with a little break in the downfall, he was out there with a big platter of country ribs, just working away.

I did a skillet of “baked” beans and a little bowl of baby red potato salad (I SO apologize for my lack of camera skills---I do well to get my hands dried before I go scurrying for the camera, to get a quick snap while the food's still hot or cold).
Along with a pan of stir-fried cabbage with garlic and soy, some snow peas and dip, and some of those just-made bread and butter pickles, you might think you were at a summer cook-out.

About four of these same ribs, left over, went into the oven in foil a couple of nights later, with Sweet Baby Ray's, brown sugar, and lots of onion and garlic. We had those with jalapeno cornbread, a pot of snap beans and baby potatoes, and a salad.

We didn’t do anything to observe the Superbowl. We DID have a nice supper while it was going on---a Sam’s rotisserie chicken, warm and savory and perfect. Caro made some black-skillet-on-the-stove salt-roasted potatoes---little scrubbed half-size bakers with a couple of cups of Kosher salt in the bottom of the skillet, and a handful of fennel seeds thrown in.

I got out the dish of leftover spaghetti---made on a whim the day before, with nobody home but me---a can of diced tomatoes and a packet of plain old store-brand spaghetti-sauce seasoning. It’s one of the comfort foods from long ago, when the ease and the economy of a meal in a hurry was the thing, with everybody in from school and doing homework, and the short time we seemed to have at home evaporating into the night.

I two-layered the pasta into a pie plate, with a layer of mozzarella between and on top, and baked it a bit while I made the slaw---finely-shredded cabbage, with a sweet sesame dressing. The last hunk of the loaf of Italian bread, all slathered with garlic butter and nestled in foil, went into the oven to crisp the crust and let the buttery middle get all melty.




We ate on little trays,


and spent the still-icy evening watching several of our saved-up White Collars of the new season. We love a clever plot (especially if it’s plotted against the bad guys---like Burn Notice and Leverage both are, as well) and after Indiana Jones as #2, ole Neal Caffrey rocks a hat in the #3 spot (With Chris in #1, of course). And the wonderful married couple are so rock-solid and real, it's a joy to see on TV. (Isn't that an odd thing to say---the dearth of TV families who LIKE each other is astounding and dismaying, isn't it?)

And to account for all this good cooking, we’ve been doing a lot of dancin’.

And you?

10 comments:

Bev said...

Wow..save me a plate..excellent food Rachel and the pictures are just perfect!
p.s football schmutball..hockey is where it's at..Go Penguins! Go Canadiens!

racheld said...

Y'know Bev, I LIKE hockey. We went to several games after we moved here, and it was fun---especially the fans.

I liked it all---the swish of the skates and all the clashings, and even the Zamboni interlude (though THAT sounds more like fancy ice cream than just ice scraping).

And one game was particularly fun---a celebrity charity thing (ALEX TREBEK!! MACGYVER!).

Hope your own ice is mild and kind this year!

Elizabeth said...

Hello there! I have been enjoying your blog very, very much; you tell a story using wonderful phrasing and thought and I am usually disappointed at the end of the post because I want there to more, like reading a good book and wishing it could just go on and on!! Your recent story about the broken tombrock and your intense research had me on the edge of my seat. I wanted to comment and let you know how much I enjoy Lawn Tea :-)

And this post seemed to be a good time to comment because I, too, am a White Collar and Burn Notice fan...the character are so 3-D and I care about them. And yes I am pleased to see that happy marriage in White Collar..there isn't going to be any hanky-panky going on, even with a clever looker like Neal around! And isn't Mozzie (sp) a hoot?!

Thanks again, and for posting so regularly.

By the by, I live in NE Mississippi and we are getting 6 inches of snow RIGHT NOW! This is sooo wrong...Ha!

racheld said...

Hello, Elizabeth!!!

How very delightful to see you here, and it's quite a co-incidence, I think. I've been a little bit under the weather, since way before Christmas, and with so much going on besides, I'd decided that I might just post an "I'll be away for a while," post and just shut down and recharge a bit.

I sort of left it to chance, thinking there had been so few comments lately, and said to myself that if I tuned in and there STILL had been no comments on any post today, I'd just take a little break from blogging.

And here you were. How very nice to meet you---I've been delving a minute or two into your own archives, and will go back soon and peek in again.

Thank you for signing in; I love to hear from readers, and welcome the same old faithful places (for which I have few names, but appreciate every one). We DO seem to have similar taste in TV and other things---I was a North MS girl myself for quite a few years, and we've been in the Heartland for a long time now.

Thank you for chiming in, and I'm sorry about your snow---I know how hard it is on those who live in places unaccustomed to such difficulties. We have four inches of ice under an extra four or five of snow (gray and so ugly now) and it's FOURTEEN degrees this minute, with promises of -14 tonight and tomorrow even worse.

I'm so happy to meet you, and I hope you'll visit often.


rachel

Bev said...

Yay! You like hockey too!! I find the Zamboni mezmerizing..weird eh? Hey we had a mild winter where I am..only snowed once or twice..not fair that you guys and even the Southerners got so much..share next time!
Keep your stick on the ice!

Mary said...

Ok, giggling because my husband has been going through grill withdrawal, and then my stomah started growling when I read of all your DELICIOUS meals!

Thanks for visiting my blog. I'm so happy to find someone who remembers those Hepburn lines! :)
Xoxo,
Mary

mustard seeds said...

Your ribs and potato salad look delicious!!! Tell me more about the salt roasted skillet potatoes. I've never heard of cooking them like this.
Sheila

Kouign Aman said...

"when the ease and the economy of a meal in a hurry was the thing, with everybody in from school and doing homework, and the short time we seemed to have at home evaporating into the night"
YES! and so well put.
I like to cook, but I like a little time each day w my family, more.
Wishing you a soon spring!

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

No...the pleasure is all mine to be a face on your follow list. :) I love reading your southern ramblings. Having been born in the south, raised in the south, schooled in the south and still living there I get such a kick out of your writings. So much better said than I ever could. You cook like my Mom does. She's will be 87 in June and still cooks up a storm and can mix and match like you do and put a dinner fit for a king on the table. I have a son that lives in Manhattan and he reads my blog all the time. He says it reads like a Southerner has written it. LOL.... And I am proud of that! Hope you are having a warm day...we are! It's fabulous.

Kim Shook said...

I want to hear more about Caro's potatoes, too! And I have to say that your potato salad looks luscious and I don't usually care for potato salad!