Recipes

Hello? Ok, I’m listening….

“Go for it. What do you have to lose?”

That’s something that my Mom said to me a fair amount when I was growing up. It resonated with me then and has stuck with me still. In fact, those words rang in my ears when I decided to attempt this blog. Glad I heard them because this new experience has afforded me a new creative outlet (without one I would wither and die), has had me surprising myself on a daily basis (in a good way) and has given me some new experiences that I would not have had otherwise.

Moral of the story: Listen to your Mom.

In fact, when I say THAT to my girls (just did yesterday), I feel as old as the hills. I may be more fit than I ever have been in my entire life, I may be having a great hair day and lookin’ fine…but, oh, say those words and…slam! Not to say that my Mom is as old as the hills (she’s not. But she walked up one of those hills to school. In the rain. In the snow. Every day to school. Back and forth. Lugging mountains of books), but I officially feel like a grown-up when those words come tumbling out of my mouth. After all, I’m dispensing advice and guidance. A Mom-Pez dispenser of sorts. Giving you advice instead of candy. But then again, some of it is sweet.

It’s always startling when you hear your Mom’s or one of your parent’s voices coming out of your own mouth. And I love my Mom. Sometimes it’s not even a word, per se. My daughter said something to me the other day and I laughed in response. But it was my mother’s laugh coming out of my mouth. Same intonation, same rhythm. Again, I love her but this was downright creepy.

And yes, “they” say that you will turn into your parents, but honestly, who really believes that when they are 25. You sure as heck don’t.  These “grown-ups”, they also say that Time Flies. And yikes…They Are Right. Good God, I think they are onto something. They’ve been holding these secrets, these morsels and keys to “Life”, waving them in our faces all these years…us youngin’s not believing the stuff they are saying…when all along, this stuff! This stuff! It’s all not only true, but soon we will be repeating it with conviction as well.

Ah, life is funny. That’s another one. See?

I always seem to be saying that there are a zillion things the baby books don’t tell you. For instance, when you have a child, you really haven’t given birth to a human, but an X-Factor. At any given moment, this X-Factor can change the course of your day in a nano-second. Child went to bed fine, woke up at 2am puking. Therefore, plans for lunch with your girlfriend that you’ve tried to coordinate now for 3 months just went out the window. Did you think you’d be in the ER on a Friday night at 11pm? Nope. Again. And see, if you knew this stuff, no one would have kids. No one loves the unknown THAT much. If we did, we’d all be signing up for bug-eating reality shows. This is OUR reality show, entertaining as it may be.

I’m coming to realize that the flip is true, too. Lots to learn about the Adult Years. Where’s THAT manual, please? Chapter One: You will turn into one of your parents. Little by little. Suck it up, creampuff.

But you know what, that’s not a bad thing. AT ALL. I think I’ll settle into Chapter 2…..

So, continuing on with honoring the Mom-that-you-are-turning-into, here are a few more recipes for you to wow her with.

Cold Potato and Leek Soup, courtesy of The Stonewall Kitchen Harvest Cookbook
(Note: You can serve this warm as well, and it’s just as delightful)

2.5 lbs. leeks
1.5 Tb olive oil
2 Tb. minced fresh chives
1 Tb. chopped fresh thyme
3 lbs potatoes (russets or Yukon gold), peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces (about 5 very large potatoes)
8 cups chicken stock
1/4 tsp. salt
black pepper to taste
1/2 cup plus 2 Tb. heavy cream

Cut leeks in two crosswise to separate the dark green portion from the white. Discard the greens. Compost. Make veggie stock with it. Cut the white part of the leeks in half lengthwise, and rinse out any dirt between the layers, then cut the leeks crosswise into 2-inch pieces (NOTE: easy way…do ALL this cutting, then put all the little pieces in a big bowl of water. Swish them around. The leeks will float, the sand and grit will fall to the bottom)

In a large pot, heat oil over medium-low heat. Add leeks, chives, thyme and stir. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the potatoes, stir well and cook for 2 minutes. Raise heat to high and add broth, salt and pepper. Careful not to oversalt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for about 15 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Off heat, use immersion blender (or a regular blender in small batches ) and puree! puree! puree! When done, pour into large bowl, add cream, stir, give a final seasoning and refrigerate until well chilled.

LOVE!

And here’s a easy, easy salad dressing that’s just a little different but very good for that salad that you will, no doubt, be whipping up…

Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette from MyRecipes.com

1/4 cup red pepper jelly
2 Tb. cider vinegar
1 Tb. extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Place jelly in a heatproof bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Add vinegar and other ingredients. Whisk to blend. Cool to room temp.

Goes fabulously on a salad of young spinach greens, crumbled gorgonzola, yellow tomatoes (or Kumatos…yum!) with a sprinkling of pistachios.

Enjoy!

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