I've already told ya'll a bunch, I'm not a cook. Of course, if you follow my blog, you know that I'm referring to me, Elaine Parny, and not Chef Roland. :)
Well, I thought I would at least try to produce something for the wonderful holiday meal our family had, hosted by my brother Scott Jones & his wife, Chrity Calhoun-Miller-Jones. It was a great time had by all and we each contributed, in our own way, to the fine dinner that we had to celebrate the occasion.
Even though I'm not in the kitchen much doesn't mean I don't like to be there. I just wait until no one is around to watch me struggle. I always love to sit down and go through cookbooks and I'm hoping to learn enough someday to do some "food writing". I did select two recipes to attempt for the holiday. One not so healthy but a fun experiment and very flavorful: It was Blackberry Jellies, a very sugary candy made by cooking down blackberries. I'm being very selective as to how much and when I have a little of that! The other recipe is a curried butternut squash soup, and it was a hit! We don't have a food processor at our house, so I simply mashed the heck out of the cooked down squash with a potatoe masher and then whisked the devil out of it until I achieved the consistency I wanted. (I have my own techniques).
Hope your holidays were blessed and memorable.
Now, it's time to look at seed catalogs and dream of that garden we want to get in this year! Remember, heirloom seeds reproduce and are not genetically modified.
Often, fresh nutritional food is spoken of as "fresh from the garden". I want to bring to your attention that there's food in "them there woods". On one of our trips to France, I have a fond memory of going out looking for chestnut trees on the side of the road with my husband, Chef Roland, and his parents. It was a wonderful experience for all of us and a great reason to go for an outing. They are in their late 80's and you could tell they really enjoyed being our guides to a choice spot and that they were able to "pass down" part of their food culture to me, their American daughter-in-law who had never harvested chestnuts in the wild. It was beyond a Kodak moment. After we located and gleened the chestnuts from a quaint country French farm road, we took them home where Chef Roland's mother cooked up a scrumptious chestnut soup for part of our evening meal. That experience beat out anything else France had to offer! Since I've not been diligent to post anything for the holidays, I will make this my contribution because ,really, it's about family and memories. So, I've posted a link for a nice chestnut recipe. Unfortunately, they are a little expensive in the store. However, you can contact the Missouri Department of conservation and purchase a bundle of chestnut trees for a nominal cost and start your own chestnut orchard!!
Merry Christmas & Bon Appetit!
We all LOVE good food and it's that love that usually causes us to seek out everything 'food'. We love to look at the pictures, we're enthralled with the foodie programs and one of our greatest trophies is to say we ate with some pretigious chef or at in an exclusive restaurant. We're movitvated to spend that little extra to buy the best, when we can. Writing this post, I'm hoping to really bring attention to the 'other side' of good eating, our bodies need us to seek out and ingest key foods so that our body can run as efficiently as possible and do it's job to keep us healthy and functioning at our best. I try to read over articles regarding health maintenance and it seems that two subjects keep coming up in a variety of illnesses and health issues, "inflamation" and "immunity". I encourage you to do a little web surfing and see for yourself how important it is to tend to these two items regarding your own health and see how you might incorporate some healthy personal choices to raise your own level of health.
I've included a link that focuses on boosting your immunity through specific foods and some simple 'tricks' you can do that will boost your immunity so that your immunity can do a better job keeping you well, especially through the cold and flu season.
I've already admitted to you all that I'm the food/cooking novice in the family. Maybe that's a good thing? You know, they say that "too many cooks spoil the broth" and I know that for sure, I don't want to have to compete with Chef Roland in the kitchen. But, I decided that this year, I'm going to put it on my "list" to start trying my hand at various dishes, with the intention of cooking Christmas Dinner for my family (if any are brave enough to come) next year. I've been reading over some recipes, seeing which ones I'll try first and have found one for my soup and one for my first course that I'm not going to reveal until I know I can succeed. I'll keep you posted as to my progress!
One of the recipes calls for sultanas and when I come across a food word that is new to me, I like to pass that information on to those of you who are Gourmet Beginners, like me. The new word is "sultanas" and even if you know what they are, I think you will find the link I'm using to be informational and entertaining.
I did manage to make a couple of different kinds of cookies for the holiday that I am gifting to others (if I can manage not to eat them all up) and think they are a bit different than the usual fare I see others preparing. I made chocolate shortbread and thumpprint cookies with apricot preserve centers. They are delicious, if I may say so without bragging. They're simple enough and I found the recipes in a magazine.
If you would like to share stories or comments about your christmas cookie experiences this season, please submit them via our blog comment box and I'll be happy to post them. Sometimes the stories are just as good as the cookies, if not better!
Definition of Sultanas: http://www.ochef.com/676.htm
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year & Bon Appetit!
I've told you, I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to food. That's why I like reading so many different kinds of articles on a variety of food subjects. This subject caught my attention because I simply thought there are no real good fresh fruit and vegetable choices during the winter because, as far as I knew, fruits and vegetables come in the spring, summer, and fall, not winter. But, I did find out that there are some fresh things that we can add to benefit a healthy diet during the winter months.
When Roland and I met, I was one of those people who opened the box or can and warmed up the family meal. After our marriage in 2005, I truely began to appreciate what food is really about, not only that it can taste very good, and be nutritious, but that it can be a celebration of who you are and the people that you share it with.