cold in the head, mice in the shortening

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It's been hard to cook much due to a headcold. I can still put the food together to feed the hungry people around here, but it's not the same when you can't or don't want to eat it yourself. I guess I really do cook for myself, I just don't prefer to go to the trouble unless there are other people to enjoy the meal with me. I used to think I mostly liked to cook for others. Must be about pleasing the audience, in addition to "me, me, me...". (Agent Smith in Matrix Reloaded.)

I served bacon-wrapped filet mignon Monday night. Pan seared, including the edges, and finished in the oven, topped with a round of lemon-herb butter. Nobody liked it. (Well, I did; there's me again....) When I was young, my mother served it that way every time, and we ate it about once a month. It was considered too lean a cut of meat, so it needed the extra fat from the bacon AND the butter. Although mom didn't flavor her buutter, she always put pats of butter on top of cooked red meat, particularly steak. Funny how that's too rich for our tastes now. (well, not for me.)

Last night was pork chops with a well-researched crunchy coating. The trick was using melba toast. I found a recipe where they had tried different things (a' la Shake & Bake) to get a nice crispy coating. Crush melba toasts with some other seasonings, but first use mayonnaise to get it to adhere to the chops. Slather on a small bit of the mayo, then press on the topping, then cook in a hot oven. Put the chops on a raised metal rack over a roasting pan. Then the heat gets all around, because they don't sit in the fat as it renders, getting the bottom soggy. They turned out great, & I can imagine using different seasonings to flavor the crumbs, or buying the different flavored melba rounds. I saw about 6 different varieties on the shelf.

We are now sharing our pantry staples with some mice. I found their leavings yesterday, and had to throw out all of my favorite, hard-to-find staples. Like brown, and pink lentils. They are hard to get! Dried beans form last years' garden had to go. The most popular item over in the baking cupboard was sticks of Crisco. You could see all the little teeth marks. (I don't like that stuff, but it's neccessary for proper pie crust.) I guess that feast kept them out ot the cocoa, block chocolate (that would have meant immediate war...) and pasta flour. Going to get traps today. That oughta get little Hobo worked up. The other cats have been through this many times. Usually they are our early mouse warning system. When one of them begins sitting in front of a cabinet or corner, for hours at a time, just staring, it's due to mouse scent. But since this generation of mice are in the uppermost cupboards in the new kitchen, the old fatcats can't get a whiff. I am surprised the cats have not heard the scatching and scurrying. Maybe they are a new breed of stealth mice. Too bad, they'll soon be dead mice. Natural mouse genetic engineering hits a dead end at my house.



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This page contains a single entry by Carol published on February 15, 2006 10:16 AM.

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