Thoughts and Quotes: Food is so primal, so essential a part of our lives, often the mere sharing of recipes with strangers turns them into friends.
When I saw this quote, it reminded me of my friend Audell. She was traveling with her friend, Gail. I was traveling with my friend, David, with a different tour company. We were on a train going from Denali to Anchorage and one of the restrooms was out of order. A line had formed for the other. Gail was sitting on a community seat and Audell was in line. David and I were in line behind her. We all started talking about what we'd seen in Alaska, and what we did and didn't like. Of course, with three women, we went from the food we'd eaten to the recipes. Poor David. He doesn't cook. (By the way, he's the only skinny one in the bunch).
That was eleven years ago, and though I live in Missouri, David lives in Ohio, and Audell lives in Mississippi, we're still friends. We miss Gail, who passed two years ago. I've visited Audell and she's visited me many times. David has stayed a couple of nights when we were headed for an Elderhostel at Harding University. Gail visited me and I visited Gail. We phone and send cards, and I love them all dearly. I'll be traveling again soon, and perhaps I'll meet David in Kentucky or go by and pick up Audell and go to Florida. We'll see. Right now, food is all that's on my mind until we finish these books. And thank you for coming along - company helps.
By the way, Audell (77) works a full-time job every tax season. When it's not tax season, she's taking classes to keep up with changes in the tax law. She loves it. You have to admire her, though I can't for the life of me figure out why it's so much fun.
Amazing how travel brings you new friends, isn't it? I met David on a trip to China in 2003. Also, in 2003, I met Ceil and George on a trip to Great Britain. They live in Minnesota, but always stop by when they're in the area (they travel a LOT). And at a travel talk at the library, I met Bev and Bill. That was at least five years ago. Bev and I started our cooking club in December of 2013, and she was my minion when I did the library teas and I'm her minion when she's getting food ready for her Bunco Club. They'll be here Friday for Cinco de Mayo. And because of our cooking club, I met Mim, the dearest, sweetest lady in the world. She's one of Bev's Tai Chi students and heard Bev talking about the club and we had an opening. Bev and I met Carol when we took cooking lessons at the Keeter Center at College of the Ozarks. I met Peter when he was doing tablescape presentations at the Botanical Center.
A lot of my friends I've met through card making, so if you're looking for new friends, cook, travel, and make cards. Good people belong to these groups. Now I'm finding cyber friends through blogging. Life is good.
On to business. I didn't get far with my National Days of. I made Pigs in a Blanket because I never had before.
And I made zucchini bread because I had zucchini I needed to use, and I was tired of steamed.
That's as far as I got. I spent the week working on the Celebration of Citrus theme meal, the last thing on my April list for the books. I did find time to go to the Greene County Library Book Sale with Joey where I bought a shopping cart of books. What was I thinking?
Theme Dining: Here it is - Celebration of Citrus.
I had pictures left over, so I made a couple of note cards.
Party Favors - Lemon Fudge
LIME CREAM DRESSING
Juice of 2 limes
1 tsp lime zest
Salt and white pepper
6 Tbs whipping cream
2 cups mayonnaise
2 Tbs sugar
Use on butter lettuce or spring greens and citrus fruit slices.
CORNISH GAME HENS A L’ORANGE
(4 dinner or 8 lunch servings)
4 frozen Rock Cornish games hens, thawed – should be about 1 lb. each
4 Tbs (1/2 stick) butter
1-6 oz. can frozen orange juice concentrate
3/4 cup water
2 Tbs steak sauce
2 Tbs honey
6 Tbs orange marmalade
Cut the hens in half with kitchen shears. Remove tail and back bone. Tuck wings behind backs.
Melt butter in a large skillet and brown hen halves on both sides. You might have to do this in batches.
Remove hens and keep warm while making sauce.
Stir orange juice concentrate, water, steak sauce, and honey into skillet and scrape in any browned bits. Heat to bubbling. Reduce heat.
Return hen halves to skillet, cover and simmer 45 minutes, basting several times during cooking.
Spread marmalade over hen halves, cover, and simmer another 15 minutes.
Serve with rice and sauce.
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup minced onion
1/4 cup minced celery
1 cup raw rice
2 cups hot chicken broth
Salt and pepper
1 cup diced tangerine or canned Mandarin oranges
Heat butter in a heavy saucepan.
Add onion and celery and sauté until transparent.
Add rice and toast briefly, stirring constantly.
Add hot broth all at once.
Cover and simmer over lowest heat 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally after first ten minutes.
Stir in tangerines.
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbs cornstarch
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 cups cubed beets (canned)
2 Tbs butter
Mix together the sugar, cornstarch and salt.
Add vinegar and water and stir until smooth.
Cook over low heat for 5 minutes.
Add beets and let stand 30 minutes.
Before serving, heat to boiling and add butter.
1 cup flour
1-1/4 cups quick oats
2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 Tbs (1/4 stick) butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
5 Tbs orange zest
3/4 cup grapefruit juice
Heat oven to 400°.
Butter 10 muffin cups in a regular-size muffin tin.
Whisk together flour, oats, baking powder and baking soda.
In another mixing bowl, beat the butter, sugar, and orange. Beat in egg and then add the grapefruit juice and blend well.
Stir in flour mixture just until all is moistened.
Divide evenly into the ten muffin cups.
Best served warm.
ORANGE MERINGUE PIE
1 Unbaked 8” or 9” pie shell
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup water
3 egg yolks, separated
1 Tbs lemon juice
4 tsps orange zest
2 Tbs butter
6 Tbs sugar
Heat oven to 475°.
Prick pie shell to prevent puffing. If puffing persists halfway through baking, prick in two places.
Bake 8 minutes. While pie crust cools, make filling. Reduce oven to 400°.
Separate eggs into two separate mixing bowls.
In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Whisk in orange juice and water.
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and begins to bubble. Reduce heat. Continue stirring and cooking for 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and pour very slowly into egg yolks, stirring constantly. Return to saucepan and bring back to bubble state. Continue cooking and stirring an additional 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and add lemon juice, orange zest, and butter. Pour into crust.
Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Continue beating and slowly add the sugar. When stiff peaks form, spread over filling, being careful to spread all the way to the edge to seal. Bake for 8-10 minutes to brown meringue.
Bake 15-18 minutes.
Best served the day it's made.
The Citrus Muffins are a little hearty. For a lighter muffin, try this:
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 Tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup salad oil
1 tsp lime zest
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
Heat oven to 400.
Lightly grease a 12-muffin pan.
Mix first four ingredients in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center.
Combine all remaining ingredients and add to mixing bowl, stirring just until moistened.
Spoon into muffin cups (they should be 3/4 full).
Bake for 15-18 minutes until lightly browned.
Serve with Sweet Lime Butter
Sweet Lime Butter: Mix 1 stick softened butter, 2 Tbs powdered sugar and zest from one lime.
Whew! That was a job. But now April is finished, which means the year is 1/3 finished. On to May. I showed you the May tablescapes last week. The tea is finished and I'll show you next week. The Strawberry Lunch is well on the way, but Lazy Daisy Lunch needs quite a lot of work. In the meantime, we'll pause for Cinco de Mayo, because I haven't had friends over for ages. Besides, I already had orange and lime green dishes in from the garage and they'd been washed.
Sorry for the short post, but it's been rain, rain, rain, oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, lemons, and limes all week.
Monday is May Day. Many, many years ago when I was a little girl, we made baskets out of construction paper (sort of a cone), and we put in flowers, candies or cookies and hung them on neighbors doorknobs. Then we'd knock on the door (not many doorbells then), and run. The idea was to be a mystery gifter. With everything available these days, I think I'll put that on my goal list next year. Hopefully, I won't be buried in Teas, Tablescapes, and Theme Dining by then, and I won't have to make the baskets from construction paper. The only problem is that most people don't know about May baskets now. They'll wonder what the heck is going on. Hmmmmm....
TRY TO STAY DRY
PLANT SOME FLOWERS
TAKE A NICE LONG WALK
HOPING YOU HAVE SUNSHINE
DON'T FORGET MOTHER'S DAY IS COMING
HAPPY MAY DAY
THANK YOU FOR SHARING MY LIFE