Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Eats and a Rant

Well, Hallelujah, I made the pizza.

Those poor artichokes were starting to think their days were numbered.

It was very, very good.

I just love artichoke hearts, don't you?

You're not allowed to answer that unless you have actually tried them before.

And this had better not turn into another Beet Ordeal, or I'll have to personally hitch up my buggy and drive around to each and every one of your homes until you adequately impress upon me that you really, really don't like them.

Every person has to take just one bite. That's the rule around here.

Then again, you don't come here to be force-fed obscure vegetation now, do you?


Here's something we can surely all agree on...

Swoony Corn and Potato Chowder.

It's from Country Home magazine, R.I.P.

I tried to Google the recipe, but it seems it was hauled away in the very same cardboard box that still contains a sliver of my heart and soul.

I miss my magazines.

And I wonder, why didn't CH make it?

Truth be told, I have a hunch. It seemed to me that in their sunset years, they took on a certain air of pretension. They started to seem a bit upscale, to me. A bit stuffy. I'm of the opinion that anything with the word "country" in its title should be relatable to us common folk. (Except for maybe "country club", but what on earth would I know about that?)

I almost wrote them a letter about it. And maybe if I had....

Well, shoulda woulda coulda.

I suppose all we can do now is look forward and hope for the birth of some new glossies that feature regular homes, not just "weekend cottages".

While we wait, let's have dessert.

I present to you: Lemon Lush.

It's a total cheater dessert. You know the ones...they have ingredients like instant lemon pudding and Cool Whip. It's an old family recipe for me, but I found a link that comes pretty close. (I use 6 T of butter for the crust (cut butter into flour then add nuts), an extra half-cup of powdered sugar in the filling and topped mine with more nuts.)

If you like lemon as much as I do, you'll love this.

If not, well, you'd probably be wise at this point to just keep such information to yourself.

Swoony Corn and Potato Chowder
1 cup chopped celery (2 stalks)
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 a cup)
1 T olive oil
1/4 to 1/2 cup cooked, chopped bacon, if you have it on hand
2 regular sized cans whole-kernel corn, drained
2 regular sized cans creamed corn
4 cups 2% milk
2 regular sized cans chicken broth
1 cup whipping cream
3-4 dashes bottled hot sauce
4 cups cubed, skinned potatoes (I love Yukon Golds)
2-3 carrots, peeled and sliced into thinnish discs
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup flour
salt and pepper to taste

Cook onion and celery in heated olive oil until veggies are softened. Add cooked bacon toward the end. (You could also omit the oil and cook the veggies along with the raw bacon, but I avoid cooking bacon at all costs and I can buy it inexpensively and pre-cooked at Grandma's Pantry. Not trying to brag here, but Amish country does have its perks.)

Add both kinds of corn, milk, broth, cream and hot sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered for about 30 minutes.

Add potatoes and carrots. Return to a boil, reduce hit and simmer again, covered, for 15 minutes more, or until carrots and potatoes are softened.

In a small bowl, mix softened butter and flour, until smooth. Add flour mixture to soup. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly, then cook another minute or so. Season with salt and pepper. (I usually leave my soup on "low" until we're ready to eat.)