Sunday, July 24, 2011: A McCartney Meal and a bittersweet anniversary

I’m not going to lie to you, but yesterday was a hard day. A year ago Sunday two wonderful things happened to me: I started my 6 month sabbatical and I (with all my family) saw Paul McCartney in concert. Both events changed me as a person in ways I can’t even begin to explain, so Sunday was there was some reflecting and serious sadness going on…and that’s just the truth.

To celebrate our first meeting with our pal Paul, I made a meal from one of Linda McCartney’s cookbooks and homemade cornbread with the Sanford’s baked beans.

At the last moment I decided to add a swirl of honey to the top of the corn bread and it made a crispy, sweet coating…very interesting.

Sanford baked beans is a recipe from our beloved and neighborly-basically-family members, yes, you guessed it, the Sanford’s. John and I leave out the bacon which might drive one of the Sanford’s a little crazy, but hey…we just don’t dig on swine.

Linda’s meal all took place on the grill. It involved marinated vegetables and veggie sausage kabob and egg dipped, garlic stuffed cornmeal potatoes.

Here’s pictures from our grilling process– John was the man in charge of the keeping the fires burning.

pre-grilling/ post-boiling

Ok, here’s the story on the potatoes. The Linda McCartney cookbook I have is used and the cook who owned it before me took detailed notes on what was good or not and why and altered the recipes. If you’ve read Harry Potter then you’ll get the “Half-Blood vegetarian” feel of this next section. The cook noted that these potatoes were “bland, despite the garlic, but the cornmeal crust had a nice crunch.” I thought, “I can add garlic powered and pepper to the cornmeal and that will solve the bland issue.

Dang it! It didn’t work. I have to remember the Half-blood vegetarian is always right.

For dessert we decided to walk down to Sonic for ‘Blasts.”

I got Oreo and John got Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup…can you tell which is which?

They were both almost too melt-y to eat, so we ate the whipped cream off the top and put them in freezer to “reconstitute themselves” as John said. Guess what’s for dessert tonight!

3 Sunday Night Dinners (April 10, 2011): naan, souffle, pork chop

Lynley’s Sunday Night Dinner (April 10, 2011): Curried tofu with naan and mango chutney

to kick off the spring weather i decided curry was in order and what is best with curry….naan

i’ve never made naan but i thought i could handle it to help provide good mojo for this new cooking experience i listened to the darjeeling limited sound track the actual making of the dough was quiet easy

the tricky part came when heating the bread in the oven and then immediately grilling it my little 4 burner stove was put to the test oven going, naan grilling, tofu frying, rice steaming and curry sauce simmering but it was worth it

the mango chutney (bought at work) provided a sweet spicy taste with the creamy richness of the curry and you know there always has to be wine!

 to finish the meal a red velvet cupcake yum

Stephanie’s Sunday Night Dinner (April 10, 2011): Linda McCartney’s Romantic Dinner for Two

Cauliflower Souffle, Potato Rosti, Caesar Salad, White Wine (of course), Diet Coke, Water, and Homemade Bread

This was my first time making a souffle, so although I trust Linda, I studied up on my Julia before I whipped up my egg whites by hand! The souffle did not rise as high as I hoped, but I did cut the recipe in half (per Linda’s “romantic dinner” directions).

Dinner’s ready!

I decided to sprinkle fresh parmesan cheese on top of the souffle. The cheese gave it a nice crisp top which went well with the soft creamy inside. The cauliflower was really good! It had green onion mixed in and a pinch of nutmeg.

This was my first time making potato rosti. They were kind of like hash browns, but I had to work up a lot of trust  not to lift the lid on the pan. I kept imagining my potatoes burning away, but no, they turned out much like the souffle- a good combo of soft and crispy. I love how the made little nests…yeah, that one looks a little burned, but really they were daaaark brown.

We sat with the deck door open and enjoyed the nice spring air. We talked about John’s cold, the weather,  if I would watch Masterpiece Theater (yes), and how the McCartney’s must have enjoyed this romantic meal if they put it in their cookbook. Our nightly pre-meal toast was to Linda.

And yes, it was a romantic egg-y/potato-y Sunday Dinner.

Art’s Sundy Night Dinner (April 10, 2011):

The Springfield Farris’s love outside grilling.  Pork, the other white meat, is one of Becky’s favorite, especially with a sweet barbeque sauce that includes the juice and zest from an orange.  The sweetness for the sauce is provided by maple syrup.  I have always found that  Maul’s regular sauce provides an excellent red base for most basting sauces.

This dinner had a special dish, broccoli casserole.  A recipe provided by my Great Aunt Ilda who was married to my special Great Uncle Walker.  There has long been a family suspicion that Great Uncle Walker was done in by Great Aunt Ilda, but nothing was every proven.