Sometimes, you need a little Christmas, right this very minute. That’s why we love ham steaks, because you satisfy your craving for a good piece of ham, without having to cook a whole ham. If you’re lucky, you even get to have the bone with the luscious marrow.
When I make a whole ham, I usually make a glaze of Russian mustard and Sour Cherry preserves. It’s sweet and a little hot, and definitely wakes up the ham. One of the traditional gravies for ham steak is Red Eye gravy, which has, you guessed it, coffee in it. I wanted to incorporate both.
Since The Good Plate is all about deconstructing packaged foods, and one everyone likes a lot is Rice-a-Roni. Rice-a-Roni is rice pilaf, but with way too much salt and other preservatives. There’s no need to use the box, just get the ingredients together and make it from scratch – you know what’s going in it, and you can add whatever you want.
Over the weekend, I made a salad with a new dressing. It was fresh dill and lime, and Amber absolutely loved it. She asked for it again tonight, so I’m including the recipe for it here.
Remember, if you’re having a ham steak, and you don’t want your bone, just give it to me!
One of my favorite things about the Christmas season is eggnog. Spane and I love eggnog. I like mine with a little Jack Daniels, Spane likes his plain. If we have any left, I make French Toast with it. Well, it’s July now, and no hope of going to the market and getting eggnog.
What do you do when there is no eggnog at the store? You make your own. Some eggnog tastes strange – last year I wound up giving one I didn’t like to an unsuspecting neighbor – they liked it, so no harm done. Based on what I made today, I’m confident that this Christmas, I’ll be making my own eggnog. I have a friend who raises chickens, and always has fresh eggs – he even has a big orange chicken that I am waiting to get old – I’ve named her Coq au Vin (seriously).
A few weeks ago, I bought an electric skillet at the Goodwill Store. My parents always had one, and I thought it would be a good idea to have one, just in case Bertha was broken. Then, when Father’s Day came, I was reminded of the wonderful pancakes my father would make in the electric skillet on Sunday mornings. This morning, with fresh blueberries in hand, I continued the Boswell tradition by making pancakes in the electric skillet.
When I buy blueberries, I use some of them for pancakes, and the rest for making Blueberry Muffin Morning Cake. But, it’s getting hot, and I really don’t want to heat Bertha if I don’t have to. Why not combine the two?
You have to try these pancakes. Making pancakes from scratch is really easy. As a matter of fact, you can just put the dry ingredients together and put them in a sealed bag for later use. Then you only have to add the liquid ingredients.
This is fast becoming a staple Thanksgiving dessert. I don’t like pumpkin pie, and mince-pie is wonderful for Christmas, so this has the one for this holiday. It’s very simple to make with only a few ingredients that you probably already have on hand.
You will want to use Panko bread crumbs, because they are large and very dry. Broken up bread will not absorb enough of the juices to make a nice top on this. Breadcrumbs that come in a can will not work either, as they are too small, and you would just have a cranberry pudding instead of a Brown Betty.
If you like to add things to your cranberry sauce, like pineapple or nuts, you could easily add them to this recipe as well.
I was thinking today that school is going to start soon, so it is time to start making quicker dishes, eat dinner earlier, and get Spane to sleep earlier. That way, going back to school will not be such a big adjustment.
Our dinner tonight reflected a holiday dinner, but was much simpler, and not any where near as much food. Having a ham steak lets you get a nice thick slice of ham, with the bone if you like the marrow like I do, without having to buy the whole ham.
Did you know that the long, red skinned, orange fleshed vegetables Americans call yams are in fact sweet potatoes? They are. I like the orange sweet potatoes a little bit more than I like white sweet potatoes. They have more sugar and are moister than their whiter cousins. Even though American grocers label them incorrectly, they are not even distantly related to yams.
When I was a little girl, my mother would get sweet peas in their shells, and we would sit and shell them. The peas never made it to the stove, though, we ate them as we shelled them. I have yet been able to find big fat sweet peas like those, but I did find some with smaller peas, whose shells were still soft enough to eat, and I used those.
I also had some lovely peaches in the refrigerator, ice cream and a new jar of rose preserves. I made Peaches Raleigh for dessert.
According to the Aztecs, the foam was the best part of the chocolate. Not having a Molinillo on hand does not mean you have to settle for “flat” chocolate. I discovered that an old fashioned egg beater does a great job.
If you get the Mexican chocolate discs, just put one disk for every pint of milk, and use the egg beater to make the foam. The Mexican chocolate already has the cinnamon in it, is rich, and quite delicious.
Recipe: Hot Chocolate
Summary: Make real, flavorful hot cocoa
2 tsp Hershey’s Cocoa
2 tsp Sugar
1 pinch Cayenne (optional)
1 1/2 cups whole milk
Drop or two of pure vanilla
Put enough cold milk into your cup of choice, and pour that milk into a non reactive pot. Add the sugar, cocoa and cayenne if you are using it. Place on medium heat.
Take your egg beater and start beating the chocolate right away. Continue to beat it until the milk is hot – not boiling.
Pour into the cup, and dust with cinnamon to taste.
You can also put red hots candies in, which will not completely melt while you’re drinking it, but you’ll have a nice treat at the end.
You can also put marshmallows if desired.