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August 22, 2008 - 8:35am

The Seasonal Cook

posted by Bea McManis in dinner, cooking, soups, lunch, meal planning.
I often wonder how many others are seasonal cooks. All of us, to some degree, must be. We take advantage of the bounty of fruits and vegetables available in our area at harvest time. Yet, how many are like me? I seem to follow the seasons - a spring menu - a summer menu - fall then winter. Dishes I will only make at certain times of the year. The first frost signals a need to make a boiled dinner. The first signs of spring and I crave asparagus. The waning days of August and the month of September can bumfuzzle my palate. I still need the summer foods, but I have an urge to make heartier autumn meals. This week's menu is a good example. Bar-b-que beef (summer); Ham and cauliflower chowder (fall); chicken salad (summer); spaghetti and meatballs (anytime and almost every weekend); egg and olive sandwiches (spring/summer) are all on the agenda for this week. Sliced tomatoes and onions drizzled with olive oil and laced with grated cheese will be a good side dish as will fried zucchini.
Bea McManis
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Joined: Jul 12 2008 - 12:02pm
Did you ever have one of those days when nothing seemed to go right. Nothing really went terribly wrong, but the entire day was out of kilter. That was today. It was 11:30am before I got out of the house - that shot the morning. However, before I left I did think ahead and put dinner in the crock pot so it would be ready by 5. Smart move? I thought so. When I opened the door at 3:30pm , I realized that there was no tantilizing aroma wafting from the kitchen. Yep, you guessed it, the crock pot was stone cold - I forgot to turn it on. Tonight's dinner suddenly was renamed Thursday night's dinner - and a fine dinner it will be. The best laid plans don't often work out the way we hope. Chicken and rice, an old standby with a new twist. Place in the bottom of crock pot: 1/2 cup olive oil 1/4 cup cider vinegar Italian seasoning add: 2 chicken breasts pour over chicken: 1 can diced tomatoes 1 cup water Set crockpot to high and let cook for about 4 hours, stir in 1 cup rice a few sprigs of fresh parsley cover and continue cooking for about 30 minutes. Serve with a cold garden salad and crusty Italian bread.
Bea McManis
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There is a definite crispness to the air that is a sure sign that autumn is upon us. We had to go to Warsaw on Thursday. We were treated to a riot of color on the way there. On the way back, we were treated to cold rain. We picked up beautiful butternut squash and cabbage from a roadside stand. A perfect beginning to make a real fallish dinner. I have a recipe for a ham glaze that calls for prepared mustard; brown sugar; bourbon; and crushed ginger snaps. It is time consuming, but well worth the effort. Today (Saturday) seemed like the day to make this homage to the season. Dinner tonight is ham; baked potato; cole slaw with crushed pineapple; squash; baby spinach; and a little black cherry frozen yogurt. Sounds great.
Bea McManis
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Joined: Jul 12 2008 - 12:02pm
The ham dinner was a success! It is a no fail recipe sure to please. Now, the leftovers. Sandwiches for lunch scalloped potatoes and ham for one dinner grilled ham and eggs for a breakfast and the ham bone. My sister is sending me her recipe for split pea soup, but that isn't one of my favorites. I'm thinking boiled dinner or baked beans, but I'm open to suggestions. Last night while I was escaping the endless baseball games (...and I like baseball but three in a row is overload) I decided to make a batch of harvard beets. There is something so 'homey' about the aroma of anything being pickled. There is enough to cover the beets and then some for pickled eggs, too. I must be a throwback to my father who could pickle anything. This week the beets, last week it was corn relish. No telling what will find it's way into brine next week.
Howard B. Owens
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There's only one thing I make when I have a ham bone -- potato soup. Each fall, at least once, I buy a nice bone-in ham not just because I love the ham, but more, I love the soup. It's my mother's recipe. Um, good.
Daniel Jones
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Joined: May 2 2008 - 9:36am
This thread makes my mouth water, Howard, you should add a cooking and recipe section.
Howard B. Owens
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Joined: Apr 23 2008 - 3:05pm
Maybe some day we can do a Batavian cookbook.

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