Nine inches of snow
Is sixty-three in cat math--
Please send it away.
In the past two weeks, by the old Fahrenheit thermometer, we have gone from 24 below to 64 above and back to 4 below, this time with a snowfall just deep enough to make getting out a nuisance. This is ridiculous. The sane people stayed in all weekend, this being a three-day weekend, but we had tickets to see The Lion in Winter on the big-screen vintage theatre in town, and therefore did not qualify as sane people.
Negotiating the uncleared streets and sidewalks would be complicated enough without having to factor wheelchair logistics into the equation. We went, however, and it was awesome as always. We even managed to forge through the snowdrifts there and back without staging a repeat of the Old Sparky scenario.
Now we are waiting to see if the sidewalks get cleared as arranged while worrying about Shirley's carpal tunnel surgery today (although this looks like it doesn't even qualify as outpatient surgery--more like drive-by).
I think everyone is tired of winter at this point, especially since it has never settled down and really acted like winter. It is definitely off its meds. The ice in particular needs to go away.
Hibernation thoughts, however, are going away. We want to get out and play, not curl up and go back to sleep. We're restless and eating lighter foods. Here are some favorites that we're likely to be making soon. These are all vegetarian, but not vegan.
Green chile torte
1 ½ cups skim milk
1 ¼ cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
4-oz can chopped green chiles, seeded
Pinch cayenne pepper
¼ tsp vegetable salt
Preheat oven to 325* F. Heat milk in small saucepan until hot but not boiling. Beat eggs. Slowly beat milk into them. Add cheese, chiles and seasonings. Pour into 6 lightly greased shirred-egg dishes or one 9” pie pan. Bake for about 40 minutes or until set.
4 portobello mushrooms, stems removed and discarded, caps wiped clean
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 T soy sauce
1 T chopped fresh cilantro
6 oz dark beer
1 T fresh-ground black pepper
1 T habañero pepper jelly
1 onion, sliced into ½“ thick rings
Combine olive oil, sliced onion rings, lime juice, garlic, soy sauce, cilantro, jelly, beer and pepper in a large Ziploc plastic bag. Add the mushrooms, seal the bag and GENTLY shake to coat the mushrooms with the marinade. Place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Cut 4 12”x12” pieces of foil. Remove mushrooms from marinade, place a foil square on a work surface and set a mushroom on top, underside up. Fold the foil edges over to enclose the mushroom and seal the edges shut. Grill indirectly over medium hot fire for 10-12 minutes with the lid closed. Remove and discard the foil. Return the unwrapped mushrooms to the grill, bottom side up, brush with the marinade and cook until grill marked, 30-60 seconds. Remove from the grill and slice into ¼“ slices. Serve with warm flour tortillas, grilled onion rings, guacamole and pico de gallo.
These are a couple of recipes for gallo pinto, which Gene learned to make on his birding time in Costa Rica. Gene omits the bacon. You may or may not wish to do the same. It's a very flexible recipe with lots of possibilities for improvisation. The rice really should be cooked the day before in order to get the right texture.
Gallo pinto I
3 cups day-old cooked rice2 cups cooked black beans
2 T fresh onion, finely chopped
1 T bell pepper, red or green, finely chopped
2 T fresh coriander, finely chopped
3 strips bacon, cooked, drained, crumbled
2 T oil
½ T Worcestershire sauce
½ T Tabasco sauce
Sauté onion and bell pepper in oil on medium heat. Add beans and cook 2 minutes longer. Add rice and mix, cook 3 minutes more. Add Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce and coriander, mix well. Garnish with bacon crumbs. If desired, top with sour cream. 6 servings.
--Gene K. Hess
Gallo pinto II
Sauté in butter or oil: fresh onions, fresh sweet pepper (red or green), cilantro (½ stalk cut into very small pieces). Mix in ½ lb cooked red or black beans. Add 2 T Lozano sauce, 2 T soy sauce, a little black pepper, and salt to taste. Add cooked rice, as much as you like. Chop 1 small tomato into pieces and put on top. Cover and cook 10 minutes.
--Gene K. Hess
Happy Monday. Get outside and play if at all possible.