Garden Fresh Tomato Sauce With Mini Shells — We partook of the wonderful bounty supplied by good neighbor Andrew S a few days ago and made a delicious pasta and sausage sauce which in which we soaked store-brand mini-shells and created an absolutely wondrous repast.
And we are going to tell you how we did it.
We took three pieces of Italian sausage, removed the casing and browned it in olive oil in a pot over medium heat. How much olive oil? We didn’t measure. It just covered the bottom of the pot.
We removed the sausage, and added powder garlic to drippings and oil. How much? Don’t ask. It covered the bottom of the pot.
We put in a diced onion and a large diced garden-fresh bell pepper and let them sauté.
We deglazed with white wine and put in a small can of mushrooms (undrained). We returned the sausage and added seven large delicious garden-fresh tomatoes. The tomatoes were salted and quartered, well eighthed actually. We did not peel or deseed them, nor de we add any extra stock or water.
This was a fun meal.
We brought the sauce to a boil and let it simmer for about an hour and a half, after which we started the shells in a separate pot. While the pasta was boiling we added powdered basil, oregano and fresh parsley to the sauce. Before the shells was completely cooked, we drained them and added them to the sauce.
We let it simmer for another 10 minutes or so, plated and ate.
We are sure better cooks could do better but this was easy and fun and totally beat the stuff from the jar.
Chicken Cacciatore Today’s Meal — Today’s delicious meal was chicken cacciatore. Cacciatore means hunter in Italian. It’s simple and easy to modify. Our feast was an amalgamation of several recipes hence forming a new one.
Here it is.
4 Chicken thighs.
4 Large tomatoes (garden fresh, thank you Andrew)
1 Bell pepper
1 Tbl olive oil
1/2 Cup flour
1/4 Cup powdered garlic
1/8 Cup white box wine
3 Tbl salt
2 Tsp pepper
1 Can tomato sauce
1 Cup garden fresh parsley.
Dice the onions and pepper. Pat the chicken pieces dry and salt them. Mix the rest of the salt along with the parsley, flour, and a tablespoon of garlic in bowl. Coat the chicken with the mixture. Cover the bottom of a hot dutch oven with the olive oil. Place in the chicken pieces. Fry on both sides, two to three minutes per side and remove. Put in the veggies and the rest of the garlic. Saute them for about five minutes. Deglaze the pan with the wine and return the chicken. Cut up the tomatoes and put them in the pot. Add the tomato sauce and a can of water. Bring to a boil then let it ease to a simmer. Let it remain at such for a couple of hours.
We served it with bow ties and Walmart bread. Chef Bill Sr. found it especially praiseworthy and gave it yum.
Grilled Italian Sausage Sandwich Labor Day Meal — Today’s Labor Day meal was grilled Italian sausage sandwiches smothered in a homemade sauce based on garden fresh heirloom tomatoes and red bell peppers.
Thank you Andrew.
The sides were locally grown corn from Pete’s Produce Farm and a homemade white bean and sausage soup.
Nobody knew Charlie’s real name, not even his closest friends. He was the biggest liar in California and probably the smelliest person in Sacramento.
He was known throughout the gold territory as “Charlie Talltale,” and the only reason his friends came within listening distance was to hear his outrageous lies and to eat his flapjacks.
Charlie credited the miraculous flavor of his pancakes to his magic frying pan. He bought it in a second-hand store in Sacramento and swore that it was human.
“It’s a female,” he should whisper. “It grows four or five feet at night and dances. Sings too. Sweetest voice this side of Helena, Montana.”
His audience would laugh and jeer.
“Does it have arms too, Charlie? Does it have hot lips, Charlie? Did you ever kiss your frying pan, Charlie?”
California’s biggest liar would lean back and smile knowingly. His friendly blue eyes twinkled like the night’s brightest star. “I’m telling you the truth,” he said.
One night a few of the old prospectors were sitting around a campfire laughing at Charlie’s preposterous claims.
Old Dutch Martin, who had been sipping homemade whiskey, suddenly got an idea. He would take Charlie’s magic pan and hide it. He got up and, without letting his cronies in on his plan, stumbled towards Charlie’s camp.
Charlie, after making flapjacks that day, had rinsed the pan in the nearby stream, and without realizing it, placed it over the nest of a family of pocket mice.
Just about the time Dutch Martin arrived, the pocket mice decided to leave their burrow. The effort of moving the pan caused the mice to grunt and squeak. To Dutch, standing there boggle-eyed, they sounded like a dance-hall soprano. Then the pan started to move. It appeared to grow feet and dance.
“Whoops,” shouted Dutch. “Charlie was telling the truth.”
Dutch ran back to the campfire to tell the boys what he saw. All the boys were pretty well soused, but since Dutch was known as a straight shooter, decided to investigate his story.
They made enough noise to awaken Charlie from a sound sleep. He listened as Dutch pointed to the pan and described what happened.
Charlie grinned, “Ah, the pan must really like you Dutch, she don’t dance and sing for just anybody.”
Charlie invited the boys to stop around the next morning for the most delicious pancakes in the west. Here is his recipe:
Charlie Talltale’s Flapjacks
1 Cup flour
1/2 Tsp. salt
1/2 Tsp. baking powder
3 Tbl. sugar
1 Cup milk
2 Tbs. melted bacon fat or butter
Sift dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Beat eggs until light in a separate bowl. Stir in milk and bacon fat or butter. Then, using a few strokes as needed (over-beating results in tough flapjacks) blend the egg mixture into the dry.Pour about quarter-cup of batter per flapjack on a hot greased pan. The flapjacks are done when both sides are nicely browned. Serve with butter and syrup. Charlie’s flapjacks always came with bacon.
Charlie, whenever, possible added fresh picked huckleberries to his flapjacks always measuring by a generous eye. Arguably, that’s what really made them a legend.
For a modern twist, use blueberries in lieu of huckleberries, mix a very ripe banana into the batter and add a dollop of vanilla.
Dan Colt sat in the parlor car quietly sipping bourbon and listening to two big drunks argue. He was going home in style, using his mustering-out pay to travel first class from California to New York.
In a few days, the sharply pressed uniform and highly polished boots would be replaced by a charcoal grey suit and cordovan brogans.
Colt was 21 – young to be a U.S. Army Ranger captain. He received a battlefield commission and Silver Star during a fight for a piece of Korean real estate.
The drunks got louder and suddenly started throwing punches. In a few seconds, Colt had them separated and even laughing. He was of medium height and build, not a big man, But he appeared bigger.
When he sat back down in the stuffed chair, the handsome silver-haired man sitting next to him addressed him.
“You know how to handle yourself.” It was a statement of fact.
Colt’s traveling companion turned out to be Thomas Meridian, the owner of Meridian Industries. Before the train reached New York, Colt was hired as Meridian’s bodyguard and aide.
Meridian’s home and company headquarters were outside of Ithaca, N.Y. Colt moved into his home, and soon became as close as a son to the Meridians who had no children.
He bought a toy poodle that he trained to bark at strangers, and enrolled as a business major at Cornell University. He spent a great deal of time in the Meridian kitchen.
In his travels, he had learned to cook and especially loved grilling. His favorite was a rosemary crusted chicken which he always served with a side of grilled veggies.
The Meridians insisted that he make it for all their special barbeques.
Colt had been at the Meridian estate for about a year when, late one evening, the dog jumped on his bed and barked. An armed burglar was in the Meridian’s bedroom. Colt moved fast. The burglar did not see or hear him coming, before it was too late. He broke the intruder’s arm.
He did not call the police. Instead, he took the whimpering burglar outside. “I’ll break both of your legs if you ever come back,” he told him. The burglar knew he meant it.
Within three years, Colt had his business degree. Three years later, he had a law degree. Meanwhile, he moved up in the company, and was eventually named president. It was understood he would become chairman when Meridian finally retired.
Colt eventually married a beautiful brunette named Kelly Barranger but remained close to his surrogate parents. The couple often went to visit them on summer weekends. Colt always manned the grill.
Dan Colt Rosemary Grilled Chicken
Make a rub of salt, rosemary, garlic powder and pepper. Dan’s proportion is 3 salt, 2 rosemary, 1 garlic and 1 pepper. How much you make depends on how much chicken you plan to cook. For a couple of drumsticks, a tablespoon of salt, two teaspoons of rosemary and a teaspoon each of garlic and pepper would work for most people. With regard to the rosemary, fresh is best but dried is fine and don’t worry about mixing them. With regard to the chicken, thighs and drumsticks are what Dan preferred.
Pat the chicken dry, coat it with the rub and let sit while you prepare the veggies. Cut an onion in rings, a bell pepper in strips and slice three carrots lengthwise then halve them. Coat the veggies in olive oil and smother to taste with garlic powder and salt. Remember, Dan was a guy who liked to live.
Heat up a side of the grill as hot as you can get it. Set the chicken down for about three minutes per side, then put the pieces on a spot away from the flames where they can roast at about 400 degrees. This means lid down. In five to 10 minutes set upon the grill a piece of aluminum foil with the sides turn up and spread the veggies atop it. In about five minutes the chicken should be done. Check with a meat thermometer which should read at least 165 degree.
Take the chicken out to rest. In about five minutes the veggies should be done. Place them over the chicken and serve.
John Cruaxe Shrimp N Grits — John Cruaxe had just received disturbing news. Cruaxe was the fatherly founder of a small, but highly respected and profitable, Silicon Valley computer company.
The aggressive little firm managed to remain a step ahead of the industry giants in many important computer developments. Much of the credit was awarded to Phil Dillon, a brilliant young scientist who was forever “pulling money-making rabbits out of a hat.”
Dillon, who had a beautiful wife and pretty daughter, had in the past a ready smile for everyone, despite the seriousness of his work.
But lately, the smile had been replaced by a worried frown.
Cruaxe now apparently knew why. The company’s general manager had turned in a report that revealed that Dillon had met with representatives of a Japanese competitor on several occasions. The report, prepared by Cruaxe’s security personnel, also showed that Dillon was a heavy gambler and was in debt to the tune of over $100,000.
The general manager insisted that Dillon be fired immediately.
Cruaxe, in a quiet voice, said, “Let’s find out a bit more, before we do anything. I look upon this company as I do my own body. If something ailed my arm, I would try to heal it, before I cut it off.”
Cruaxe called the young computer scientist into his office and confronted him with the evidence gathered by the security department.
Dillon broke down. Between sobs, he explained how the Reno gambling tables drew him as a magnet would a piece of iron. How he began placing larger bets in an attempt to recoup his losses. How he began arguing with his wife. He was very unhappy. He swore, however, that although tempted, he never betrayed Cruaxe or the company.
Cruaxe smiled. He wrote out a check to cover the gambling losses. He then gave Dillon a large raise that would be taken out of his pay each week to repay the gambling loan. He then promised Dillon a five percent ownership in the company if he would join Gamblers Anonymous to cure the destructive malady.
Within a few weeks, Dillon was smiling and again pulling money-making rabbits out of his hat. One idea alone was worth over $500,000.
To celebrate, Cruaxe, a native-born South Carolinian, held a weekend barbecue for the entire staff. Spareribs, steak and chicken were served but the real hit of the event was the very simple shrimp and grits recipe passed onto him by his father.
John made this without meat although adding bacon is always good.
Take the amount of shrimp you want, lightly pepper them and smother them in garlic powder.
Then cook the grits according to the directions on the box except substitute chicken broth for water.
When the broth is absorbed mix in cheese — cheddar is best and the amount is your call — and cook until incorporated stirring frequently.
While you are incorporating the cheese, heat butter (or oil) in a very hot pan and put in the shrimp. Cook them for a minute or two on each side. Plate the grits — or put them in a large bucket for a barbecue — and add the shrimp.
Gourmet Pierogies At Holy Myrrh-Bearers — Holy Myrrh-Bearers Parish pierogie-makers just couldn’t stop pinching for the entire summer and are now taking orders for a special run of “Gourmet Pierogies.”
Being offered are
Blueberry – $6 ½ dozen
Buffalo Chicken – $7 ½ dozen
Cheese Steak – $7 ½ dozen
Jalapeno Cheddar – $5 ½ dozen
Kielbasa & Sauerkraut – $7 ½ dozen
Order are being taken through Sunday, Aug. 13 Call 610-544-1215 for email at HMBChurch@verizon.net. Leave your name, phone number, and the amount desired.
Pickup is between noon and 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 19 at the Parish Hall, 900 Fairview Road Swarthmore, Pa. 19081.
An extremely skilled worker named Daedalus many years ago, lived on the island of Crete. King Minos, who placed Daedalus in charge of building the island’s famed labyrinth, recognized his talents.
Soon after the labyrinth was completed, however, King Minos became very angry with Daedalus and ordered him sent to prison. Daedalus escaped from the prison, found his young son, Icarus, and took him to hide out in a cave. They could not leave the island because Minos put a watch on every ship.
One day, while lying on the beach, Daedalus became interested in the flight of a bird. He decided to build wings for Icarus and himself and fly from the island.
He carefully inspected the feathers of many birds and fowl, including those of the chickens he used to prepare a delicious meal.
He tied the larger feathers with thread onto a wooden frame. He used wax to bind the smaller feathers. Finally he finished. He fastened the wings to his arms, and copied the movements of the birds. Soon, he was soaring above the earth.
He then gave Icarus flying lessons. The boy was a fast, but impatient, learner. His father warned him not fly too low for the damp air would cause the feathers to stick together. And to be especially careful of flying too high. If he got near the sun, the heat would melt the wax.
The sight of Daedalus and Icarus flying over them boggled the shepherds and farmers. They winged over Samos and Delos. Icarus, in a burst of enthusiasm, forgot his father’s warning.
He soared higher and higher until the sun caused the wax to melt. Like a crippled bird, he fell and crashed into the Aegean Sea, near an island that today is called Icaria.
Daedalus mourned the loss of his son. He remembered the good days when Icarus reaped the wild oregano to be used in the wonderful chicken recipe which is below and obviously moderinzed.
Daedalus’ Crete Chicken
3 Lbs. chicken pieces
1/2 Cup vegetable oil
1/4 Cup lemon juice
2-1/2 Tsp. dried oregano
3/4 Tsp. salt
1/2 Tsp. pepper
1/2 Tsp. garlic powder
Place chicken in baking dish. Pour mixed ingredients over chicken. Bake uncovered in 375° F oven for an hour, occasionally spooning sauce over chicken and turning once. Garnish with citrus fruit slices — lime or orange — are nice and serve.
The July sun warmed the cockpit of the little monoplane as Louis Bleriot banked for a landing in a pasture outside Orleans.
The pilot was ecstatic. It had taken him just 45 minutes to fly the 33 miles from Etampes. The 25 horsepower engine purred all the way.
Bleriot’s mechanic, Marcel Donnet, was waiting in the pasture as the plane came in for a perfect landing. Donnet grasped the pilot and kissed him on the cheeks.
Squirming away, Bleriot announced that he had made a decision.
The London Daily Mail had upped its offer from 500 to 1,000 British pounds to the first pilot to fly across the English Channel.
“I am going to do it,” said Bleriot.
“No, my friend,” gasped Donnet, “it’s too dangerous.”
“Eh,” said Bleriot, “I have just flown 33 miles without mishap. It is only 20 miles from Calais to Dover.”
“But,” argued the mechanic, “the currents and water are treacherous. If you should crash, you will die.”
“I will not crash,” said Bleriot.
“You are sick in the head,” said Donnet.
On July 25, 1909, a Sunday that the weatherman promised would be completely clear, Bleriot took off from Baraques and headed for England.
As he climbed into the air, his mouth fell open and butterflies filled his stomach. There ahead were thick, black clouds.
“Mon dieu,” he whispered. But he never thought of turning back. His only navigational aid was a compass similar to that carried by the Boy Scouts.
He plunged into the clouds, and after what seemed to be much longer than the actual few minutes, broke into the clear. Then he spotted more thick clouds ahead. But they were clustered above the altitude at which he was flying. He continued to fly west. He had been flying for about 20 minutes. Another 15 minutes and he would be able to see England.
Suddenly there was another black cloud ahead. The choppy waters below were frightening. Bleriot flew into the black cloud. When he made it through, he checked his compass. He was heading due south. He turned west again, but now he was off course. He could not make a correction to take him to Dover where friends were waiting. It did not matter. All he had to do to win the 1,000 pounds was land in England.
Then he saw the coastline. He did not see Dover, but he saw a nice field on which to land. He set down exactly 40 minutes after leaving France.
An English policeman came running across the field as Bleriot climbed out.
Bleriot smiled at the constable and said, “Allo, I am Louis Bleriot. I am French.”
The constable introduced himself as George Sanford and offered to guard the plane while Bleriot sent telegrams to his friends in Dover.
He was picked up shortly thereafter and taken to an English pub, where Chip Parker, the cook, fed him a meal of fish and chips.
Bleriot, enthusiastically praised the seafood treat and returned the favor by giving Parker the recipe for his mother’s onion soup. The grateful cook responded by giving Louis Bleriot the fish and chips recipe.
Parker’s Fish and Chips
1 1/2 Lbs. fresh thick cod fillets
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 Cup all-purpose flour
1/2 Tbs. baking powder
1/8 Tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 Cup water
1 large egg
Vegetable oil, for frying
Lay the cod fillets on a cutting board. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Cut the fillets in 1 1/2 by 3-inch pieces.
In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, lemon zest, cayenne pepper, 1 Tsp. salt, and 1/2 Tsp. pepper. Whisk in 1/2 Cup of water and then the egg.
Pour 1/2-inch of oil into a large (12-inch) frying pan and heat it to about 360 degrees F.
Dip each fillet into the batter, allowing the excess to drip back into the bowl. Place it very carefully into the hot oil. Don’t crowd the pieces. Adjust the heat as needed to keep the oil between 360 and 400 degrees F. Cook the fish on each side for 2 to 3 minutes, until lightly browned and cooked through. Remove to a plate lined with a paper towel. Sprinkle with salt and serve hot with the “chips.”
Recipe for Baked “Chips”
2 large baking potatoes, unpeeled
2 Tbs. good olive oil
3/4 Tsp. kosher salt
1/3 Tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 Tsp. minced fresh garlic (or 1 Tb garlic powder if you ar lazy and like garlic)
1/2 Tsp. minced fresh rosemary leaves
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Scrub the potatoes and cut them in coins. Place the potatoes on a sheet pan with the olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and rosemary. With clean hands, toss all the ingredients together, making sure the potatoes are covered with oil. Spread the potatoes in a single layer with 1 cut side down.
Bake the potatoes for 30 to 35 minutes, turning to the other cut side after 20 minutes. Bake until they are lightly browned, crisp outside, and tender inside. Sprinkle with salt and serve immediately.
Louis Bleriot’s Fish And Chips — A Legendary Recipe
Edith Cavell watched silently as the August sun beat down on the green-gray lines of German troops marching into Brussels.
She had arrived from her native England seven years before to organize and direct L’Ecole Belge pour les Infirmieres Diplomees, Belgium’s first nursing school, which almost immediately became known simply as the Clinique.
She had already made a dent in the country’s nursing profession. Before her arrival, doctors had treated nurses as servants. She told her students to demand they be addressed as “Nurse.”
When they expressed doubt, Miss Cavell insisted that “even doctors can learn to be courteous.”
By 1914, the nursing profession had been uplifted to a point where the school was not longer having a problem attracting excellent students.
Then the Germans came. Miss Cavell ordered her charges to treat all soldiers equally without regard to nationality. There were many allied soldiers still wandering around Belgium. Many were sick or wounded.
Miss Cavell welcomed them to the Clinique, then went a step further and helped to smuggle them through German lines to France or Holland.
The quiet spoken nurse was always small and slender. The night journeys caused her to lose even more weight and become haggard.
The Belgians soon knew the Clinique was a haven for Allied soldiers. There, unfortunately were a few pro-German Belgians, who alerted the Germans.
They planted a couple of men who posed as French soldiers, and about a year after Miss Cavell had started smuggling operation she was arrested.
She had probably never told a lie in her life, and she refused to lie at her trial.
Asked if she had helped 20 soldiers to escape, she softly replied, “It was more like 200.”
She was found guilty by the German military tribunal. A judge read the verdict: “Edith Cavell – todesstrafe – death!”
During the following weeks she wrote to all those dear to her never once expressing fear. To her nurses, she wrote “If there is one among you whom I have wronged, I beg you to forgive me. I have been perhaps too severe sometimes but never voluntarily unjust. And I have loved you all much more than you thought.”
When the guards arrived at 6 a.m. on the day of her execution, she had just finished jotting a note in her prayer book. It read: “Died at 7 a.m. on Oct. 12th, 1915. With love to my mother. E. Cavell.”
She was taken to a rose garden to face the firing squad. A German officer shouted a command. There was a burst of gunfire. Edith Cavell was dead.
But she is still remembered. The Clinique is now called: “Ecole Edith Cavell.”
A beautiful statue of Edith Cavell in her nurse’s cloak stands majestically in London’s Trafalgar Square. There is a sculpture of her in Paris’ Tuileries Garden. There is Mt. Cavell in Canada and Cavell Glacier in the U.S. Rocky Mountains. Her portrait hangs in her childhood home in Swardeston, England and over the altar of the church of which her father served as pastor is a stained glass window dedicated to her memory.
Edith Cavell’s favorite meal, as with many Brits, was breakfast. She especially enjoyed a simple but delicious Belgian cheese omelet similar to the one that follows.
Edith Cavell’s Belgian Cheese Omelet
2/3 Cup chopped or shredded Swiss or gruyere cheese
2 Tbs. of butter
Thyme (what makes it special)
Mix eggs in bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste, along with healthy sprinkle of thyme. Melt butter in 12-inch frying pan. Pour eggs in pan. Tilt pan so eggs cover bottom of pan. Let stand over heat a few seconds. Loosen edge of omelet all around with spatula. Sprinkle with cheese. Tilt pan, using spatula carefully roll up omelet or fold in half.
Hold skillet so that bottom rests on edge of platter, slowly roll omelet onto plate.