💘 day

I heard the breaking news from MSU right before I went to bed last night…made and makes me sad. Personally, during my MSU years, I spent very little time on that part of campus. I daresay that decades later, my spouse spent far more time in the Student Union than I ever did; he was using the internet. For work.

For our fancy ❤️-appropriate dessert, we comparison-tasted two mint-chocolate chip ice creams: Breyers and Tillamook. I enjoyed both. I thought the chocolate, the mint, and the ice cream…all were tastier in the Breyers. I would be happy consuming the Tillamook, however, if the Breyers wasn’t available. [I’ve had several other brands…typically not minty enough, and with wimpier chocolate.]

Still life moments

Prepped casserole ingredients: ready for assembly.

Final casserole, and side salad with dressing—not yet mixed. The former was a lasagne with squash slices instead of pasta. The latter was inspired by an old “Joy of Cooking” BBQ slaw recipe (her term) that has some lettuce and some cabbage, plus other raw veggies.

Yield: happy diners. Yay!

Ps ending with pi

Breakfast pączki. Tis the season.

Then quiet chatting over pecan shelling.

Out for a walk, we found this pair of venerable birches. I think of birch pairs as not terribly uncommon; I don’t know why there’d be a propensity for pairs in this species.

Finally, we had a two-pie dinner. Chicken pot pie for our entree, and cherry for dessert. With a side of cole slaw and another of sauteed boc-choy. We are living well visiting here, and being treated like royalty.

We were not robbed

Those factory shrink-wrapped, one pound ground meat containers aren’t my favorite way to buy ground…beef, usually…because the grind is waaaay too fine and the meat has been mixed and crushed into the package…all of which change the way the meat cooks, as for burglars.

Sometimes we buy beef this way (usually if we’re in the UP), but more often it’s bison. Once or twice it’s been lamb. Today, we had an option we never had before: venison. From New Zealand. And this is it: venison burglars.

The meat still had texture isses from the super-fine grind and the compaction packaging, but I kept thinking: much lower cholesterol. So, yay!

Themed BookClub

The setting of the book is Cyprus (and London)…so our hostess chose a Greek theme, which overlaps the many cuisines of neighboring regions that make similar goodies. The name you use indicates your allegiance to which area. Language tells your ethnicity, essentially. On modern Cyprus, it’s either Turkish or Greek.

Did buy cauliflower

Turns out we got another wave of precip/storm overnight (after yesterday’s post) and through midday. This was at 7:20am. We received enough rain to cause local flooding and general super-moistness. Then, by 2pm, sunshine and gorgeousness.

So, we headed to our favorite international food shopping emporium to peruse a large assortment of plant varieties (while well masked). I found these Win Beans. That’s a typo for winged beans, and winged beans are Psophocarpus tetragonolobus. The whole plant is edible (including roots), and the pods have frilly edges, as you can see. Did not buy (call me chicken?).

Close enough

As I recall the traditional southern New Year’s Day good luck/health/wealth menu includes rice, field peas/beans, and greens, often collards. We had spinach for the greens and mixed beans (mostly garbanzos and black) for the beans. We skipped the grain, but had wheat crackers. We topped with white cheddar, green onions, and fresh cilantro.

On the up and up

Went to what passes for a fancy bakery around here. It’s more than a bakery with wine and sandwiches and a deli mmmmm. I always find the colors of the macarons interesting. I usually think of them as including brighter colors. I didn’t ask what the flavors are. Use your imagination.

These are the fancy bakery items we did bring home. A raspberry cheesecake swirl. Love cheesecake. Love raspberry. And a crème brûlée. MMmmmm.

Gymnastics experiment

The term is spatchcocking. I think of it as turkey gymnastics.

I’ve never spatchcocked a bird before. Today was the day. Indeed, the dark and white meat areas roasted at about the same rate. Huge victory.

However…however, next time I’ll probably roast a turkey in parts. It’s an easier prep, I think.

Hue and cry?

I always forget how saturated and red-red cranberry sauce is, until I get it finished. If I were to pick a color I’d call “cranberry red,” I don’t think it would be quite this. Maybe a bit less yellow?

This is the old-fashioned basic recipe—just berries, white sugar, and water; however, it’s far less sugar and less water, so that it’s tart and dense. Mmmmm.