Friday, August 04, 2017

Cooking, food, and delightful guests

Food on my mind today all day long. This morning, Jordan and I went grocery shopping. I’m getting to be a pro at the motorized cart, and we went to the store I like best—wide aisles few people. I’m comfortable standing in the car to reach items on the top shelf—a graduation mark for me. In spite of great cooking plans, I did not buy nearly as much as last week.

And I cooked. Company for dinner. I made five dishes, all of them experiments for me—the way I love to entertain. We had ham and pickle roll-ups and a chipped beef spread for appetizer. Turkey burgers, cucumber salad, and a vegetable medley for the main course. I learned something by cooking each dish—I’d use thicker slices of ham and only one slice in making the roll-up. You spread cream cheese on the ham, plot a pickle in the middle, roll, and slice. Easy. But the two slices of ham recommended don’t work—the outer layer peels away. I cut the spread recipe in half and then in half again and was glad I did—still have quite a bit left over.

Turkey burgers met with approval, but I would add more spice to them, even salt and pepper, and make each patty smaller. The recipe called for mixing in buttermilk, mayonnaise, and sour cream—the result to my mind was a patty that was too wet and hard to deal with. The vegetable medley was good, I thought, but too heavy on the corn side. The cucumber salad included pickled blackberries (good) and the blackberry vinegar that came from the pickling, along with mint leaves. Good, but I sure couldn’t taste the mint.

My guests thought it was a successful meal and offered to let me experiment on them any time. I hadn’t visited with Katie Sherrod, local journalist, TV reporter, and activist, and her husband, retired Episcopalian priest (do they ever retire?) Gayland Poole, for over a year—they were people I missed during my long year out, so it was special to have them here tonight. They hadn’t seen the cottage and really raved about it, which of course pleased me. Conversation was about politics and the state of the country a bit, but more about kids and grandkids and dogs and food and Texas geography and all kinds of things. A delightful evening, and I hope now that they’ve found their way to the cottage they’ll return. Sophie thought them both among her favorite people.

Darn! Why don’t I remember to take pictures of the food I cook? A picture of Soph will have to do.

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