Memorial Day is just around the corner, which means most people will get their grill out and start the outdoor cooking season. My first adventure into summer cooking was a week or so ago when I took the grill out of the garage and quickly found out I had not cleaned it before putting it away from the winter. Definitely not a smart thing to do, but I think that is typical of most of us - once the weather turns cooler, the grill just gets hidden back in a corner.
It has been a couple of weeks of mad-dashing around the yard to try to get the winter stuff out of the way and get ready for spring. Naturally, that leaves very little time to cook. Slow cookers are your best friend when you want a home-cooked meal, but don't want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. So this week was spent researching and delving into new slow cooker (or crockpot, depending on your terminology) recipes.
When you get a nice fall day, the last thing you want to do is to be standing around the kitchen cooking. We all know our nice days are numbered and there are always those few last chores to be done before the snow flies. And we all know it won’t be too much longer before you’ll need seven layers of clothing just to walk out the front door.
Asparagus is one of those foods that people seem to either love or hate. Spring is the time you not only see a lot of this culinary delight in stores, but it's also the time when it's very reasonably priced. So if you're ready to start experimenting with asparagus, now's the time to do it.
Driving to work in early April in a blizzard just seems plain wrong. And heading off to work recently, there was so much snow and wind it was tough to see 100 feet in front of the car. What happened to spring? With a bit of luck (cross your fingers) a string of 60-degree days is headed our way. With that in mind, it's time to think of spring recipes. Even though strawberries tend to be available year-round, there's something about eating a juicy, red strawberry that makes you think of gentle breezes, warm days and rays of sunshine.
So, it has been a bad couple of weeks. Several factors have tipped the scales for the past few days: Hectic workdays, too much to do at home, snow that arrived when the yard was almost free of snow and ice; and the ultimate, another deer (yes, another one) that decided to run into the front passenger side of my car.
For some unknown reason, I found that I had several cans of mandarin oranges in my cupboard. I do like eating these right out of the can, but I decided to go on a quest and see what kinds of recipes use these tiny slices. Mandarin oranges are quite interesting. There's a whole family of fruits that fall under the name of mandarin oranges, including tangerines and clementines. I've never known anyone who didn't like mandarin oranges.
Sometimes you just need to lighten up and not take things so seriously. That might be enjoying a good joke, not worrying about being perfect at work and not stressing out about having that perfect Christmas tree. And, of course, at this time of year, it's a good thing not to stress out about all of those Christmas goodies you're eating. Granted, it's not a bad idea to try for a lighter meal to offset some of those calorie-laden dishes.
Last week, like so many others in the area, I found myself in the area's newest grocery store. It is not a large store, but it had the basic four food groups plus quite a few additional items. My only problem with the store was that I could not figure out how to gracefully return my cart and get my quarter back. Oh well, not a big loss. One interesting item I came across was in the meat section — there were a large number of beef briskets for sale, which are sometimes difficult to find.
For food lovers - well, actually for everyone - Thanksgiving is the time to enjoy your favorite dishes, with many of these dishes only being prepared for this one special holiday. But let's face it. What a lot of us enjoy the most are the leftovers. There's nothing like grabbing a few pieces of cold turkey, leftover stuffing and, if it's left, that one last piece of pumpkin pie. Many of us enjoy taking that leftover turkey and slapping together a sandwich.