Monday, July 24, 2017

Simple Country Fixin's

Can I just hug you right now, for reading?  My few faithful readers, THANK YOU for expressing your care or appreciation in this way.  It is my GREAT pleasure to put stuff here to share with you!

This was a day when we could have "gone out to eat," in town before we grocery shopped.  I opted to cook at home and eat BEFORE we shop, in order to save money (me going part time, and son in university are both reasons enough to explain this).  Locals understand this; we live so far rural-y from shopping that grocery shopping means at least automatic three hours of our day.

So I came home and (thanks be to God..... and my gardener friend) I took great satisfaction putting this meal together and I DELIGHTED in over-indulging afterwards.

Here I will share how I made two of the dishes. 1) macaroni and cheese  2)fried okra and squash:

Macaroni and Cheese:

First I brought my milk to boil.  Yes, milk! I drew on my experience to put just enough milk in the pan, as I thought would be soaked up in the boiling of the pasta.  Heat was set on about 3 (medium low).

When milk boiled, I added pasta, in this case, angel hair, and I broke it so it would fit, and fall inside the milk.  I let it cook, and stirred to break up lumps that may form as pasta strands stuck together.

As the pasta cooked, it took up more and more space and soaked up the milk of course.  Keep stirring.  This is what you want!

Then add the cheese, however much you want!!  Stir, and add pepper and butter and salt, to taste.

Take it off the heat and just stir.  Add more milk, or olive oil, or butter if you want it to be creamier.  I added only about a tablespoon of butter.

 Okra and Squash fried the way I think my Grannie did it:

Chop it up.  

Cover the frying pan with oil.  I used olive oil, because I CAN and I had some around.

To the okra and squash, add just enough water to coat it in tossing.  I probably added about 2 tablespoons of water.

After you toss in water, then toss in corn-meal, enough to coat.  I think I used about 4 heaping spoons full of cornmeal.

Then put the mixture into the hot pan of oil and stir and flip occasionally.  I had the heat on about 4 most of the time, which I would call medium.

When it is mostly golden brown, and the squash is looking soft or a bit translucent, then it is probably done!  It had been many MANY years since I cooked okra like this.  I thought it was very cool that it did not stick to the pan, and it did not take much oil.........It just didn't !!  Try it for yourself.

My daughter likes ketchup with her fried okra.  She learned this from her friend Lily.

I LOVE the creaminess of the mac-n-cheese along with the tasty grit of the cornmeal that the veggies were fried in.  Salt and pepper to taste, and YUMMY YUMMY.

Thank you to my amazing gardener friend who shared her bounty with me.  My garden efforts have mostly failed, so I have GREAT appreciation for the fruits of my gardener friend's labor.

"Thank you God, for our blessings, and friends with which to share."

Thank you for reading.  If you have a memory of country cookin' or your grandmother's special touch, I would enjoy reading about it in the comments.

Grandma Mary Marthađź’–

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