Sunday, January 09, 2011

Cold, rainy, stay-at-home day

Jacob definitely knows how to spend a cold, rainy day. If he watched his new Star Trek DVD once, he watched it six times. When I told him it would snow, he begged to go out with Scooby and play in the snow--I had to expain it wouldn't be enough to play in, and it wasn't. As daughter-in-law Melanie said, it was a non-event. Big pretty flakes that didn't stick to the ground. Scooby has also spent the day in his bed and is getting spoiled, I fear.
A boastful moment: for years I have taken bad pictures. Even my late good friend Bobbie used to say, "You look much better in reality than you do in pictures." But I liked the cooking picture on last night's blog, and it occurred to me that I take a better picture these days because I'm more relaxed and at ease. I loved my twenty-eight years at TCU Press and would have told you I wasn't stressed, but the difference is amazing to me. I do think it's taken me since June but I may finally be settling in to retirement--and loving it. Polly, if you're reading this, please take a new picture of me:-)
Like the entire nation, I am heartsick about the shootings in Tucson. Tonight I saw an interview with the parents of the nine-year-old girl who died. So painful I couldn't bear to watch and listen. Who thinks of sending their child to a grocery store and having them shot? May God be with the victims and their families. The furor that incident is raising nationally is intersting--and maybe healthy and healing. One can only hope.
A young couple knocked on my door tonight, and I was wary even though they looked most friendly and nice. But I had Scooby by the collar, and they said they were new neighbors, as indeed they turned out to be. I know which house they bought. They were calling on neighbors to introduce themselves and deliver gifts of popcorn, which I thought was enterprising of them. Pleasant young people, and I look forward to getting to know them.
I know I've posted the recipe for Norwegian hamburgers before, but this is for Jason, who read last night's post and said he's always interested in new recipes. Tonight he was on Facebook saying he'd fixed vegetable soup with dumplings--obviously he's become a cook since the days I knew him. Happy cooking, Jason!

Norwegian hamburgers

3-4 slices of onion

3 Tbsp. butter (do not use oil)

1½ lbs. extra-lean hamburger (extra-lean is important)

2 eggs

3 Tbsp. cornstarch or potato starch

½ tsp. pepper

Milk as needed

4-5 envelopes instant gravy mix, prepared as directed

2 beef bullion cubes

Sauté onion in butter. Mix hamburger, eggs, cornstarch and pepper. Add milk as needed; start with ¼ c. and add ¼ c. at a time, but DON’T let the meat mixture get soggy. The last time I made a double batch of these, they tended to fall apart while I was browning them. I bet my mom’s trick of throwing a little tapioca into meatloaf would work here, too. Shape into patties and brown in same skillet as onions. Remove.

Make gravy in skillet, according to package directions. Add 2 bouillon cubes. When gravy thickens, return burgers and onions to pan and simmer 45 to 60 minutes.

Serve with white rice, egg noodles, or boiled potatoes. Peas, beets, or green beans are nice with this.

PS: The recipe is in Cooking My Way Through Life with Kids and Books.

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