Sunday, November 6, 2011

Surprise!! Happy Thanksgiving!!

Well, I just put a meatloaf in the oven - waited until after 9:30 to make it, but heck.....I always eat late. Looking forward to it, too, because I LOVE cold meatloaf sandwiches!

I'm also drinking a wonderful cup of Starbucks coffee (Venti size) that Tom brought me after Mass. Love that boy - he's so good to me.

This reminds me of Mom's house. I have that green dish,
but in amber.
But, here's the other thing I wanted to share. My daughter and I are going to have Thanksgiving Dinner in Medford courtesy of Scotch Bonnets restaurant. I couldn't believe it when I saw their post. Free Thanksgiving dinner for people who are down on their luck and, believe me, this year has been a tough one. 

We currently have a shut off notice on our electric even though we haven't missed a single payment for the last year and a half. BUT, because we were late a few times due to when MY check arrives, they are demanding payment in full of the previously agreed-upon payment arrangement and a new deposit. It apparently doesn't matter that it's November or that we haven't missed a single payment, or that our current usage is less than our equal payment plan (so we're in credit status there). It's frustrating beyond understanding!! So, Thanksgiving dinner at home this year just wasn't going to happen. Then this came along and, thinking they'd just take names and choose later, I registered. I immediately got a link for the tickets and an email confirming that we will be included in the dinner. WOW! I am impressed. 

The owner of this restaurant is so grateful for the opportunities she's had in this country that this is how she's giving back. I was there once as a customer and practically moaned my way through my meal, it was that good. If someone else hadn't paid, I might not have been there. I haven't been in a situation since moving back to New Jersey where finding a free Thanksgiving dinner was something I sought - and I didn't seek it this time, either. There were a couple of times in the past, when we lived in Arizona, that I partook of the generosity of different organizations, for which I am grateful. I was on welfare at the time and the money didn't even cover my rent, so the occasional helpful boost was much appreciated. But, this notice just appeared as a post on my Facebook wall. I had "liked" them after experiencing my meal, so when she posted this announcement, I received it. Otherwise, I wouldn't have known about it at all.

Short and Sweet (or at least Savory!)

PA Dutch-style Chicken Potpie
I've been craving chicken potpie for a week or more. I'm not talking about something with a pastry crust. I'm talking about the kind of potpie I grew up on that can be found in many parts of South Jersey and in Lancaster County, PA. Sometimes called "slippery" potpie, sometimes called rolled potpie, it is basically strips of rolled dough that are cooked in chicken broth or stock like noodles until they are tender and the broth is thick. In the Southern US, they have a version of chicken and dumplings that resembles this very much because it, too, is made with strips of dough (usually cut into smaller units) that are then cooked in the broth. They just add the shredded chicken with it where we generally don't.

Well, I got tired of dreaming about it and finally made a short-cut version of it using flour tortillas that I cut into strips and then shook in some flour that would then thicken the broth when they were cooking. The broth I made using powdered chicken stock. I have to tell you - it may not have been the same as Mom made, but it sure did satisfy my craving!! It was the perfect comfort food!!

To top it off, I had a new jar of cinnamon applesauce just waiting to be opened. If I don't have cranberry sauce to eat with my potpie, then applesauce is the next best thing. And, let me tell you - it was WONDERFUL!!

So, if you're a fan of this kind of potpie and don't want to be bothered making the dough, rolling it out and letting it sit while you make the broth, then satisfy your craving using flour tortillas (really - tortillas and potpie dough are made from the same ingredients!) and using a broth base to create the liquid portion. It'll sure do in a pinch!! 

Let the comfort begin!!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Late Nite Dinner and Other Food News

Happy November!! It's my birthday month and I've been promised a trip to Vermont as my present. We shall see. Money is tight for both of us, but other than gas, I think we can budget it fairly well. Maybe this time I'll get to see the Grandma Moses exhibit in Bennington that I was promised the last time we were there.

Apparently, I had an older version because ours had egg noodles.
Anyway, I am in the process of making Hamburger Helper Beef and Noodles, but I added a can of green beans to it as well as another cup of gravy so it will go farther. It always seems the gravy isn't nearly enough when you make these, but that won't be a problem this time. I'm also using soy milk instead of regular milk because my daughter has an unusual intolerance to milk. Most of us who have reactions have digestive issues. My daughter breaks out all over with acne. It's a shame because she just loves milk and dairy products, but as often as possible, we try to make them so she won't react. It's funny, too, because she can drink LactAid without a reaction, so it is apparently the Lactose that's the issue, but she doesn't have the most common reaction.

Anyway, I decided that, while the food is simmering the required 10 minutes, I would come in and post a long-overdue blog entry in my food blog.

I had the feeling when I wrote my last food blog entry that I was forgetting one of the places I had gone to eat. I just realized I'd forgotten TWO! LOL

Example of an Indian buffet
I went to another Indian buffet in Pennsauken called Palace of Asia. There have been others I liked more, but there have also been others I liked far less. The food was fresh and varied, something for everyone. I loved the fruit custard they had available for dessert. I'd love to know how to make the "custard" they put the fruit in. It wasn't vanilla or chocolate - it was fruit flavored, yet thick and creamy. Delicious!

Lobster Bisque
We also went to Cap'n Cats Crab Bar in Voorhees last week. It was my turn to treat and I had bought a certificate worth $30 for $15. So, that and an additional $6.21 at the end fed the two of us some delicious seafood. We both started off with Lobster Bisque, which was excellent. I had Coconut Fried Shrimp with onion rings and he had grilled Mahi Mahi, also with onion rings. He was a bit disappointed with the quantity of fish he got for the price, but otherwise it was all excellent. My shrimp came with a Pina Colada dip, but I opted for the cocktail sauce instead. And, we had a bottle of French cabernet; not one of my favorites, but I had a glass while he finished the bottle himself. Good thing I was doing the driving!