Friday, January 22, 2010

Food and Politics

What a combo, huh?!

Thanks for the drooling y'all did over yesterday's post. If you all could've come for lunch, I would've used a whole fryer! Even though I cut the recipe down some, I still had sauce left over. It went into the freezer for later use.

After doing a bit of research on the internet, I found out I mispronounced mirliton. It's been a few years since Jerry told me how to pronounce it. me lay taw is what I found - in one place anyway. It is a member of the gourd family, and from what I understood from Jerry way back when, it grows on a vine. Seems he described it similar to a potato, and I guess raw, it is. Very, very mild flavor...almost non-existent. Raw, it also has the texture and consistency of an apple and can be used in salads or even just to munch. Cooked. It is rather bland...neither bad nor nothing good to 'write home about.' It really needed more than just salt and pepper. I should've put some of that Louisiana seasoning on it. But that cheese sauce on top...I'd almost...and I did type ALMOST!!! would consider eating liver. On second thought...NO WAY!

Down to the politic section of this post and if you don't want to read it you won't hurt my feelings. ;o)

We received something in the mail yesterday. A non-lifer politician is running for Congress in my district. He says he will:

1. Vote pro-life
2. Defend our 2nd Amendment rights
3. Fight government-run healthcare and protect Social Security
4. Support our veterans (He is a veteran)
5. Protect provate property rights
6. Defend traditional marriage
7. Support term limits to stop career politicians
8. Oppose earmarks

My stand:
1. I do not believe in abortion as birth control. There are way too many other methods out there that if used properly prevent pregnancy in the first place. And, yes. There are some women out there who have had multiple abortions...using it as birth prevention...because evidently they certainly do not have any control. Unwanted babies...people are lined up to adopt.

I am not 100% anti-abortion as some right-to-lifers are. If the mother's health is in danger, either physically or mentally, if the pregnancy continues. That decision is hers to make. Along with her doctor and husband if there is one...but ultimately it is her decision in that case. In the case of a teenager in the same circumstance, that decision is hers and her family's along with the doctor. In the case of rape, a grown woman has the right to do what she feels is best for the situation. In the case of rape or incest of a minor...that is between that child and if she has no supporting parent, a make that decision.

2. I have a 30-06, a 20-gauge shotgun, and a .357 Smith & Wesson. Does that answer your question? I have been trained to use them. I have hunted. And I would not hestitate if someone broke into my home, and I was here alone. My life or theirs? No question about it. (I might need counseling later...But forget that, "If you take one step closer" business.)

3. What a sticky-wicket! Health-care needs overhauled. But the government has so screwed up Social Security since LBJ and the then sitting government opened it up to be raided (I could've typed 'raped') consistently. How do you think government-run healthcare is going to fare?

4. AMEN!

5. Developers want to tear down those quaint seaside neighborhoods that are not diseased with poverty and drugs so that new condos can be built?! I think not!

6. A marriage is between a man and a woman. Aren't things backwards when so many men and women are foregoing the marriage ceremony and same-sex couples want to get married?!

7. See my post 2 or 3 down.

8. I gotta look into this. The only thing I can thing about earmarks is when hog farmers notch their pigs' ears in a certain pattern so that they all know whose pigs belong to whom. ;o)

Y'all have a good day!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Cajun Cooking

I got up this morning and got ready for school. Walked in and the secretary looked at me. "You're not scheduled today." I think I'm the one who made the error, but no problem. I dropped by the library and did a couple hours volunteer work. Stopped by the grocery store for a bell pepper. FINALLY! I spotted some mirlitons. Huh? You ask. In our stores they are called by the Spanish name...Chayotes...a squash. And the best that I can spell the pronunciation of the Cajun French mirliton is: mur' lay tawn Be sure to say it with a Cajun French accent. ;o)

When I got my Cajun cookbooks, I noticed some recipes for mirlitons. I asked my Cajun co-worker and Jerry told me what they were. Anyway,
I purchased a couple along with the bell pepper and headed home. When I got home, Sam was in the shop. I called him and told him that lunch would be ready about 12:30. Of course I had to explain what I'd done.

Chicken Sauce Piquante

Mirliton Au Gratin
Orange stuff ;o)

Chicken Sauce Piquante
3 or 4 lb. hen, cut in pieces
cooking oil
2 small onions, chopped

1/2 bell pepper, chopped
2 buds garlic, minced
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 large can tomato paste
1 can mushrooms, medium size
salt, red pepper, black pepper
1/2 cup wine
Fry pieces of chicken in oil until brown. Remove chicken from pot. Add onion, bell pepper, garlic, and celery to oil and cook until transparent. Add other ingredients and chicken. Add seasoning. Cook over medium heat until tender, will take from 45 minutes to 1 hour. Serve with rice.

Just two of us, so I reduced the amount of ingredients. I intended to use some thighs I purchased, but they were in the freezer, and these two boneless skinless chicken breasts were in the refrigerator.
I put all the vegetables in the oil except for the fresh mushrooms. I'm not much on canned mushrooms. After the vegetables were almost transparent, I added the mushrooms.

Jonathan gave me this seasoning (from New Iberia, Louisiana) when he visited a loooong time ago it seems. It is very good on poultry.
The chicken piquante is simmering on the back burner. Time for the mirlitons.

is a mirliton.

Mirliton Au Gratin

medium white sauce
buttered crumbs
salted water
grated Cheddar cheese

Wash mirliton and cut into cubes. Boil in one inch of boiling salted water until tender, about 10 or 15 minutes. Drain. Place in buttered baking dish. Cover with white sauce and sprinkle generously with grated cheese and some buttered crumbs. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and bake at this temperature for about 15 minutes.

I kid you not. That is the recipe as printed in the cookbook. I HATED recipes like that when I was learning to cook. At least this one doesn't say "bake in a moderate oven until done." Sheesh.

This is what I did:

2 mirlitons. Sam asked about peeling them but the recipe didn't say to peel so I didn't. I tasted it raw...very, very light squash flavor.

Medium White Sauce
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk

Melt butter in a saute pan, whisk in flour and cook a few minutes so the white sauce won't taste like raw flour. Whisk in milk and cook until slightly thickened. (Okay...this is called "white sauce." I'm from Texas and call this gravy.) Add a little salt and pepper. Some people don't like the black pepper flakes in this and use white pepper. I don't have white pepper.

I added about 1/2 cup grated cheese to the sauce.

I haven't made bread lately and have NO bread crumbs. So I crushed a handful of saltine crackers. It didn't brown, but everything was bubbling, so I pulled it out of the oven. Ready to
plate.Ready to serve.
The recipes came from this cookbook:
Oh...Almost forgot the Orange Stuff.

1 package of orange Jell-o (Regular or sugar-free) Do NOT make Jell-o
1 carton Cool-Whip (whichever variety of plain that you like: regular, fat-free, sugar-free)
About 1/4 pound cottage cheese
2 cans Mandarin oranges, drained

Pour the dry Jell-o over the Cool-Whip and stir until the Jell-o is incorporated into the Cool Whip. Spoon in the cottage cheese and orange slices. Stir. Refrigerate.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Well...Massachusetts made a change didn't they.


The next change that should be made is term limits in the Senate. Then perhaps those old fogeys who have totally lost touch with reality will not continue to be re-elected 'just because.' Yeah. I know. Don't hold my breath.

Monday, January 18, 2010


My cornsticks didn't stick! I put about 1/2 teaspoon of bacon grease in each depression. (More in the sectional pan.) Then put them in the oven as it was preheating. The bacon grease was good and hot and sizzled when I spooned about 1 1/2 tablespoons of batter in each section of the cornstick pans. I divided the rest of the batter in the sectional pan.
The cornsticks were so crunchy on the outside. Eat your heart out Nancy!
I finished sock #1 of my latest pair and started on sock #2 last night. Got quite a bit done, and worked on it more this morning.

Okay. Y'all need to lock me in a rubber room. I am amazed that I didn't burn myself baking the cornbread. eyeroll I opened a can of fruit yesterday. One of those cans you don't have to use a can opener on. Pull up the tab and peel the lid back. The lid boinged, and I felt a sharp stinging ouch. Looked and blood was pouring. Pure shock! I am right handed. How did I pop a knuckle on my left hand?

Today for lunch I opened another of the same style can (soup this time) so paid close attention. I hold the can with my right hand and open it with my left. I'm backwards. LOL At least it explained the ouch to a finger on my left hand. I am soooo glad I didn't repeat the boing...ouch! ;o)

Of course it is right in the bend of the knuckle. I can press on the ouch and it doesn't hurt, but when I bend my finger or rub it against something...especially rub it against something or bump it. OUCH all over again.

Sam may have to lock the knives away. ;o)