Tag Archives: Cooking

Courage at Twilight: Lasagna for Dinner

Dad told me he would cook dinner tonight.  We would have lasagna with meat sauce, plus steamed vegetables.  I told him that sounded wonderful.  When I arrived home from work, he took the lasagna out of the box and slid it frozen into the hot oven.  An hour later he emptied a bag of frozen lima beans into a pan, and shucked fresh sweet corn on the cob.  Stouffer’s makes such yummy lasagna—thank goodness for the occasional frozen dinner.  Stuffed and satisfied, I thanked Dad for making dinner.

Courage at Twilight: Sunday Sabbath

Today is the Sunday Sabbath.  My laptop is hooked up to the flat screen via HDMI chord, and we are watching church by Zoom—the sacramental service, the hymns, the prayers, the speakers, the Sunday School class.  I have brought to Mom and Dad bowls of six-grain hot cereal cooked with apples and cinnamon, cooled and enriched with cream.  When church services are over, Mom asks me to take her envelope with her tithes and offerings—her alms—to the bishop, for the support of the Church and the poor of the Church.  And I walk home to discuss with them the deep doctrines, and what to cook for dinner: chicken fricassee in creamy red wine paprika sauce with steamed zucchini and corn on the cob.  After dinner will come attempts to read, and naps in recliners.

Courage at Twilight: Muffins with Gabe

I tended my great-nephew Gabe on a recent Saturday afternoon. He is all of three years old.  He lights up when he sees me because I love him and play with him.  I light up when I see him because he is adorable and smart and fun and sweet, and likes being with me.  On that Saturday we made my daughter Laura’s recipe for banana chocolate-chip muffins—the secret ingredient is sour cream, and these muffins are wonderfully moist and soft.  Gabe and I set up our work areas on the kitchen’s center island.  Given the attention span and dexterity of three-year-olds, I thought it best to give him his own bowls and measuring implements and ingredients.  While I mixed the real recipe, he mixed his own concoction.  The secret ingredient of Gabe’s muffins?  Colored sprinkles, lots of them.  And egg shells.  As I was breaking eggs into my batter, he asked for an egg for his.  He held the egg over his bowl, smashed it with his little hand, and dropped it into the bowl, shell and all.  Mom and Dad watched smiling from the family room.  I could hear a faint ringing echo as we mixed batter and talked, and I said to Mom, “Can you hear that ringing?”  It turned out to be a hearing aid sitting on a table, reacting to my voice.  But Gabe got off his stool and came over to hug my leg with a concerned look on his upturned face.  He teared up and asked about the monster making the noise.  When the hearing aid explanation meant nothing to him, I tried to reassure him by telling him confidently that there were no monsters in the house because I had eaten them all for breakfast—yum!—and that my favorite one was the chocolate monster—yum!  And not one monster was left to bother him.  He laughed, looked worried, and laughed again.  As Gabe left with my sister and some sprinkle-topped muffins, I told him to gobble up any monsters he found at his house for his breakfast, and he smiled and said okay.  Yesterday he left a crayon rainbow drawing on my pillow.

Courage at Twilight: French Cooking

One of my purposes is to make mealtime easy, healthy, and pleasant for Mom and Dad, by cooking dinner for them. For two years I have enjoyed cooking for them occasionally on a weekend.  Now it can be every day, if wanted.  It brings me pleasure to bring them pleasure.  I have always wanted to learn to speak French and cook French.  I study French lessons on Duo Lingo once or twice a week—I may become competent in ten years so.  And after watching Julie & Julia in 2020, I bought the 50th anniversary edition of Julia Childs’ Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  This week we enjoyed (1) quiche in a buttery shell with green onions, mushrooms, spinach, and ham, (2) salmon soufflé, (3) crêpes with Splenda-sweetened fresh fruit and almond whipping cream (for my son Caleb’s 22nd birthday “cake”), (4) carrots and parsnips glazed in a buttery sweet sauce, and (5) cream of mushroom soup, all from Julia’s book.  I have fun cooking delicious, appealing food, and we all enjoy consuming it.  The recipes were hard at first, but have become second nature with repetition.  Dad sent me an email today, “I will be cooking dinner tonight.”  These six words implied so much: (a) I can cook, too; (b) I want to cook, too; (c) I love to cook, too; (d) I can do things; (e) I want to share the load; (f) thank you for your cooking; (g) I want to take a turn; (h) I want to do something nice for you like you do for us; and, (i) isn’t it wonderful how people take raw ingredients and make such creative, delicious dishes?  So, tonight he cooked delicious “saucy pork burrito rice bowls” with ingredients and recipe provided by Hello Fresh.  When I asked if I could be his sous chef, he said sure.  As the three of us sat at the table with our fragrant rice bowls, Dad remarked, “We made this, together, didn’t we Rog!”  We did.    And it was very tasty.

Consecration Cooking

Consecration Cooking

I cooked for hours.  Even though just yesterday I had roasted the annual turkey, yet today I had cooked for hours, for my children, who would arrive at 6 o’clock for dinner with dad.  Tó Brandileone crooned in the other room as I kneaded five parts butter to four parts flour, simmered sliced leeks in butter and their own juices for a long time until totally tender, whisked eggs and cream, rolled out the cold dough and baked the shells in 10-inch springform pans—they would be enormous quiches, Continue reading

Homemade Granola

Laura compiled a family recipe book for Christmas 2018: A Little Bit of Everything.  My favorite recipe so far, her own, is for yummy homemade granola, full of oats, coconut, almonds, and flavor.  I decided to put the process to poetry.  (The full recipe follows the poem.)

Homemade Granola

A gifted daughter gifted
to me her granola
recipe for Christmas
with smiles and promises
of customer satisfaction
and I have made it these twelve months
one gallon at a time: it is so
very tasty and crunchy
with flaked coconut and almonds,
slivered, and rolled oats, ground flax
sweet from honey and brown sugar,
and that flavor enhanced with happy splashes
of coconut, almond, and vanilla extracts
all mixed
with melted coconut oil and baked
for 13 minutes then turned
and baked for 13 more
at 325 until golden
brown and glistening from the egg whites, oh,
can you smell it! the confluence
of aromas, warm and delicious and balanced:
they linger for hours and I do not even
need to nibble
though I no doubt will eat some in the morning
from my favorite clay bowl
the bowl with the chip and the bright
colored rings, with icy whole milk.
I say thank you with a slurp
I do not intend despite its
inevitability. But
no matter: I have no audience
to impress, and, if I had,
she would surely
understand
if not
approve.

The Recipe

Beat well in large mixing bowl:
¼ cup coconut oil, melted but not hot
1 egg white
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
¼ tsp almond extract
½ tsp coconut extract
½ tsp vanilla extract

Mix well with wet ingredients:
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 cup slivered almonds
1/3 cup ground flax seed

Bake:
Spread mixture evenly on large cookie sheet. Bake for 13 minutes at 325F. Remove from oven and turn mixture well, then spread again. Bake for another 13 minutes, still at 325F, until golden on top. Remove from oven and turn. Allow to cool. Eat it up!