Re: [gardeners] Friday and Saturday in the garden

penny x stamm (
Sat, 27 Nov 1999 12:22:19 -0500

George, I also utilize the ice cube trays for portion control...

Extra chicken broth gets frozen cubed, and then stuck into a 
Freezer Weight baggie. As you said, each cube equals 2 TBL
of liquid.  In this manner, small portions are always available, 
and nothing gets left to spoil.

Same thing goes for the giant can of pineapple juice which I
consider a taste treat upon occasion for a thirsty indoor OR
outdoor gardener. Pull out 5 or 6 cubes into a glass, and let
it stand for 15 minutes or add a speck of water, and voila! you
have your drink. 

Just ran into a curiosity:  whenever I make pot roast, I use
two full 1st cut briskets and pressure cook them. Yummmm...
I slice everything up as soon as cooked, and apportion it all
for the freezer in 2- and 4-people portions. But there's ALWAYS
some excellent gravy left over. This gets put into slender half
pint containers, labelled and frozen. Of course, in the back of
my mind there would be nothing finer than some of this meaty 
flavored gravy over mashed potatoes in the cool weather -- but
I NEVER get around to using it. With Jimmie's appetite, I must
load the dinner table as if we were expecting a contingent of
Shirley grandsons for dinner. He's spoiled, of course, but not
even does every meal have to have meat (3 x a day) but every
forkful has to have a balanced meat, veggie and starch!  Jeez,
I grew up eating my least favorite food first from the plate, in toto, 
and then progressing to the best, always eaten by itself. Very
different from Jim's Germanic training! 

Well, I pulled out a package of pot roast for 4 yesterday, just for
the two of us. No time to cook. And there was not enough gravy 
in the container to accompany 2 days' worth of meat...  Ahha --
down to the freezer for one of those 1/2 pint lay-aways, and the
day was saved.  Now I must have at least 1 dozen of those gravy
1/2 pints down there, and never used one before!  Felt very smug
about it...<vbg> ....  
Our family Thanksgiving dinner was (in my eyes) a catastrophe. 
First off, we had to make a long and dangerous drive to the
cousins' house in New Jersey in rain and weird fog.  The 
Tappan Zee Bridge across the Hudson River has a mile long 
approach over  water,  and even while crossing  the bridge, we 
could NOT see the blue lights or suspension cables of the high 
part of the bridge, mid-river..!  It looked as if when we reached the 
middle, we would be hurtled clean off and into the river!  Awful

Nonetheless, we all arrived, from Pennsylvania, Long Island, 
Westchester, Manhattan, and Jersey, in 6 cars. We had a 90- and
87-y-o missing (not well) and an 88 who had died, but the rest of
us hearty eaters were in attendance:  89, 89, 79, 78, 75 and two
more generations to total the very small group of 16..  All but one
still drives, btw.

Everyone brought food:  homemade gallon of cranberry sauce, 
two cassseroles of sweet potatoes and apples, brocolli in cheese
sauce, carrot slaw, a huge mixed salad -- and the hostess' giant
turkey with stuffing. For dessert she had made a fine cheese cake, 
and I had brought a mammoth 16 inch pineapple upside down cake,
plus a double tray of warm brownies.

I didn't say a word to all those dear old codgers, but nothing was right.

The cranberry sauce still had whole cloves left in it, which we bit down
upon while eating.  The salad had been made the day before by one
of my daughters, and in the 24 hour's wait, it had oxidized and looked
ghastly, plus the tomatoes had collapsed. The carrot slaw was made 
from pre-shredded carrots in a bag which were far too mature and 
rather bitter tasting. The potatoes with apples had turned ash brown
and were unrecognizable. The cauliflower, turkey, stuffing and gravy 
were all served at room  temperature -- which, to my palate, leaves 
a lot to be desired. (Gosh, I always warm my dinner plates!) 

When we got to the desserts, we had another problem. Staring at
that pineapple upside down cake I realized with a shock that we
had left the whipping cream at home on the cellar floor....not only
that, but obviously I used to use light brown sugar for the glaze,
but this time I had used dark brown, and the pretty pattern of wheel
spokes was almost impossible to see!  Then, to make matters 
worse, the 15-y-o in the house stood next to me and almost cried, 
"But where's the chocolatine cake..?"  Obviously I might just as
well have stood on line at the local bakery and bought whatever
was in sight.....   

But you know and I know, everyone thought the get-together was
a rousing success. And only Penny left there hungry.  We got home
at 11:30pm, and I made myself a ham & cheese sandwich. What
a concept~!   I was still so unfulfilled by yesterday that I dragged us
out to the Chinese Buffet so I could assuage those longings for
hot food, warm plates, and a big crowd of happy people! 

Some people are so hard to satisfy, aren't they...? But then, I have
always said that what's worth doing at all is worth doing well.

Penny, NY