Wednesday, March 25, 2009

5-minute It's an Emergency Dinners

These are the top go-to dinners when everyone is yelling about something and no one can wait 5 more minutes for dinner. Please add more suggestions as they occur to you.

The real question is: why have we been having dinner from this list so often lately?

Grilled Cheese: Enough said.

Crepes with Ham and Cheese: Make crepes. Roll up with ham and cheese slices while still hot.

Crepes with Spinach and Cheese: Make crepes. Roll up with cheese slices and washed spinach leaves while still hot.

Ham Steaks and Fried Eggs: Fry up some eggs. Fry up a ham steak to go along. Drink a beer if you're over 21.

Shrimp, Mushroom, and Cabbage Salad: Saute some sliced mushrooms in olive oil with one or two garlic cloves, not even chopped. Throw in a bunch of chopped cabbage (you know, like the kind that comes in the coleslaw bag!). In another skillet saute peeled shrimp in olive oil for 2-3 minutes. Serve on a big platter, mushrooms and cabbage on the bottom and shrimp over the top. My guys LOVE this. I can't figure out why.

Egg Drop Soup: Whatever broth-based soup you have on hand, bring it to a boil. Drop in one egg per person and let them boil right in the soup, for 5-7 minutes, or longer if you want a hard yolk. Serve one egg per person inside the bowl of soup. This turns the soup into a meal!

Cucumber Salad: This is a good tapa to quiet everyone down. Peel and slice a cucumber. Pour lots of vinegar over the top and a pinch of dill. Slice in a red onion if they'll wait. My guys call this pickle salad.

Antipasto Salad: Throw some salami and cheese slices on a big plate. Add some cherry tomatoes and some olives, and a big scoop out of a jar of giardiniera, if you have one. Celery and carrot sticks work well too. If you have ham, add that, and some fruit will work too, preferably melon or pears. Remember the idea is to get the food out! If you want something more civilized, try this.

Miso Soup: Try this one. Or this one, which I like best.

Corn and Spinach Pancakes: Make some pancakes. Stir some frozen corn and some chopped spinach (frozen or fresh) into the batter. Serve with butter (but no syrup!)

Zucchini Pancakes: Ditto, just add thinly sliced zucchini.

And now for some accompaniment...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

New Glasses

I need new glasses. Which of these looks is best for me?

Monday, March 9, 2009

It's Lemon Season Again!

About 45 years ago, someone planted two Meyer lemon trees in our back yard, one right next to the other. Their trunks have since intertwined so that the two trees look and act like one.

The tree is jam-packed with lemons right now. We're picking them and giving them away as fast as we can!

Here are some of the things that we make with lemons: lemon marmalade, lemon curd, preserved lemons, lemon walnut bread, lemonade, fish stew with lemons, tomato sauce with lemon zest, jars full of lemon zest, chicken with lemons and olives.

What do you like to make with lemons?

Monday, March 2, 2009

A Life Filled with Losses, a Life Full of Love

Imagine three girls. Their parents die of the flu. They live together in a boarding school, and visit with their aunt once a month. Their brother is down the road at the boys' school, but they don't get to see him until they are 16. When they turn 18, they leave the orphanage and move back to San Francisco and live together in a flat in the Mission District. They find work. They buy a house together in a new development out near the ocean beach.

One evening they get a visit from a policeman. Knocking on the front door, he comes to tell them that their aunt, the aunt who had worked so hard to put them through boarding school, who had been their only lifeline, apart from each other, the only reminder they ever had of their parents, had died. Stepping off of the streetcar on the way home, she had been hit by a car. They mourn again.

They meet young men. They marry and celebrate their new lives together, close, separate. They branch out and buy homes, all within two blocks of each other.

Their families grow. Cancer strikes. One boy becomes ill and dies. Another young girl is born. They are together and care for each other.

Sickness strikes again. They come together to care for the children. Life goes on.

The children get married. Some of them go away to war. They come back and the grandchildren begin to arrive.

Imagine the time passing.

There is love, there is family, there is food, there are parties, there are friends, there are weddings, there are baptisms, there are drinks, there are travels.

The funerals begin. Kate goes first. Then Helen. Dorothy is the last one, and she watches over all of us. Mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, matriarch to all.

Perhaps she suffered more, watching so many go before her. And perhaps she loved more, she had us all to herself the longest.

They are together again now.