Refrigerator pickles

pickles1

Recently, I’ve done a lot of stupid stuff. First, I cut my finger. Not badly, and it’s almost healed by now, but still, cutting your finger sucks. Then, I bumped a hot oven with my arm. Burn 1. I stuck my hand in 171F water. Burn 2. A couple days later, I decide to go for a long run. Three-fourths the way through, I trip on nothing and scrape my knee like a little kid. I ran home with blood running down my leg, and no one said anything to me. I was really surprised about that, actually. Continue reading “Refrigerator pickles”

Dressing balls

dressingballs2If you thought that I was going to say that I don’t like Thanksgiving food, share one recipe and then bow out of the turkey day food madness with one quick turn, you have predicted incorrectly. I will actually be sharing two more recipes (including this one), but none of them will be for a turkey. I have no idea when or if I’ll ever roast a whole turkey in my life–I’m sure I will for some holiday down the road– but that is way too much food for the two people (including me) that I feed. I don’t have a turkey, but I have a couple of things to go along with it.

First up is dressing balls. I was clicking through imgur yesterday and landed on a 20 year history of Thanksgiving foods for the past twenty years online, and I learned that dressing instead of stuffing is a relatively new preference. (I actually googled “20 year history of Thanksgiving foods” and found this, which is what I saw on imgur.) In 2006, a report came out declaring that stuffing in the cavity of the bird may not get hot enough to kill germs that could lead to salmonella, so cooks started to prepare dressing, which is the same as stuffing but doesn’t stuff anything but a casserole dish.

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Grandma’s cornbread

cornbread3

This has been a Bad Week. On Monday, I was in a car wreck. It wasn’t bad at all, but it still happened and I still have to deal with getting my car repaired as well as a tooth that I discovered chipped a bit in it.

Tuesday was a pretty normal and boring Tuesday.

On Wednesday, I thought my car had been stolen. After wrecking the contents of my purse and gym bag as well as scavenging in and around my desk, I decided my best bet was to ask the building’s reception desk if any keys had been turned in. Of course none had been, and at this point, I was starting to get really anxious, but I still had a little hope. I’d find my car in the garage and hopefully the keys would be on the ground next to it.

As I trudged down the slow incline of the parking garage to the lowest level I could have possibly been fortunate enough to find a spot, I started to freak out: Someone must have stolen my car! At this point, my mind was racing, I was on the verge of tears, and I started to worry about having to buy a new car and even figure out how to get home for the night. Continue reading “Grandma’s cornbread”

Zucchini bread

zucbread1My grandma has a story that she loves to tell whenever she makes zucchini bread. Once, she made zucchini bread and gave some to my granddaddy. He refused to eat it. She made zucchini bread another day, but this time when she served him a slice, she said that it was spice cake. He said it was great. She called it spice cake from that day on.

together

I don’t know anyone other than my granddaddy who has ever been so turned off by the thought of zucchini being in bread to refuse it, but I have found a few who can’t believe that there is zucchini in the bread. The secret is that zucchini makes a super moist snack cake.

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Three bean salad

on spoon 

We’re coming upon the eve of the Fourth of July, and if you haven’t already gone to the grocery store to stock up patriotic groceries and libations, you might be thinking about going. July is hot, though, and if you’re like me and don’t have a grill, you’re also probably looking for ways to avoid turning on the oven. Even if you have access to a grill, it’s likely that you seek reprieve from the heat outside, too, and hope to spend as little time as possible in the kitchen, even without the oven on. Filling your belly with watermelon is a good solution, but one can’t survive on watermelon alone. Let me introduce you to the solution to  your problems: three bean salad.

ingredients

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Strawberry Shortcake

strawberry-panier

I love food. I love cooking. I love baking. I even sometimes love grocery shopping. I love learning about new foods, and I’m game to try anything once. I often try new recipes, and sometimes they turn out great, but sometimes I don’t do something quite right. Sometimes, though, the recipe is just disappointing– it isn’t worth my time, effort or the money spent on the ingredients.

Not only do I plan to share my cooking and baking adventures here, but I’m going to share my honest, not so sugar-coated opinion of the results. Is this food worth it? We’re busy people, and making something lackluster that was supposed to be great is one of the biggest letdowns in life. Sometimes you know when a meal you make just isn’t going to be so good, but I hope to help you avoid the letdowns and find the successes in your kitchen.

This recipe is a success: I don’t think there is any way it could ever fail. It’s a summer staple in my family; no one can resist my grandmother’s strawberry shortcakes. A lightly sweetened biscuit, syrupy strawberries and ice cream. I don’t think there’s anything better than sitting on a porch, eating those three things piled on top of each other.

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