Thursday, December 13, 2007

Saddle up the Oven we are Baking Ham Loaf

My grandmother is hysterical. She never fails to make me laugh. She is 82 and doesn't look a day over 72. She lives in NW PA. Grandma-ma calls me on the phone yesterday laughing her keester off. Says she had a dream the night before that our oldest son took a girl out on a date. Well apparently this girls mother showed up at our house stating she wanted to talk to us. This woman would not leave. I then apparently called my grandmother on the phone saying "oh my gosh, what do I do, this swamp-ass won't leave (I apparently was calling this woman swamp ass)". Grandma then tells me to go and load the rifle up and put a new part in swamp ass's hair and that should do the trick. GO GRANDMA!!! Apparently grandma-ma dreams in the technicolor dreamcoat.

Anyway......for years when I was growing up our tradition at Christmas was to go to grandma-ma's house on Christmas Eve for Ham Loaf and snacks and presents. Hmmmm Ham Loaf you say. Yes, I know, the next question is What is Ham Loaf???? Well I am not really sure. I assume it is ham ground up like hamburger. There is a small grocery store in Hydetown, PA called Hawk's Grocery and they always had ham loaf there. I have never encountered it anywhere else I have ever lived. I have never heard anyone else talk of it. She would form it into a loaf and heat it with a sweet glaze on the outside and then slice it like a meatloaf. It was actually pretty tasty......salty but tasty. It was great in a sandwhich with mustard and rye bread. It was also really good cold the next day. I looked forward to ham loaf. So if anyone finds themselves in Hydetown, PA stop by Hawk's grocery and saddle up for some Ham Loaf. You won't be disappointed. I had to dedicate a post to "Ham Loaf".

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Frittata Hater=FRITTATER

Okay, so I have a gazillion egg whites leftover from all the egg yolks I had use up during my ice cream-athon. What better way to use up eggs than to make a frittata. I love Frittatas. I thought everyone loved Frittatas. What is not to love??? Eggs, some cheese, veggies or meats of your choice a touch of cream...cooked on the stove top until almost set and then whisked away to the oven to broil for a few minutes until set, golden and fluffy delicious. The great thing about Frittata is that it can be eaten hot, cold and it is wonderful at room temp. A Frittata is an Italian Omelette.

So my husband holds a staff meeting every Thursday of the month for all of his peeps. He says.....can you whip us up something. Sure I say.......I will whip up a versatile, so yummy. I make a Frittata with potato, prosciutto (italian ham), and parm regianno and a little roasted red pepper. TO DIE FOR.........even more yummy on a toasted onion roll drizzled with Olive Oil. Remember..........delicious cold, hot or even ROOM TEMP......hence the reason I made it. You don't have to worry about when you eat it. Everyone gobbled their sandwhich down except one little ungrateful man. This man even comes up to my husband and says the dessert was great but the sandwhich not so much. He wanted to know what it was and where I came from??? Like it was monkey brain stew and I was from picky wicky island off the coast of ishu bishu. Being the brilliant MBA holding business man my husband is that runs a 500+ person facility he says "uh, she is from the land of the food network"............HUH??? You just cant win. Like I am some freak from outerspace. Whatever DUDE!!! Hence the becoming of the "FRITTATER". This man is now known as the Frittater. He no longer has an identity.........he is the Frittater. His whole life existence is for nill now. He is only known as Fritater. I don't care if he cures cancer or helps old ladies or feeds the poor or takes in hurt stray animals. He is forever known as the FRITTATER.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I Scream, You Scream, Y'ALL Scream for ICE CREAM

I did "y'all" in honor of the south.

Churning out ice cream today like a Blue Bell Bunny......or perhaps more like a Ben & Jerry's non-growth hormone holstein.

I have spent part of yesterday and part of today making the mixes I need to churn. I have gone through 4 cartons of eggs, 2 pints of heavy cream, a quart of whole milk and 4 quarts of half&half, 5 bars of Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark, 4 bars of Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chocolate, some Grand Marnier and a handful of almonds. I had to make 4 batches of peppermint ice cream (2 for moi and 2 for a present), 2 batches of the dulce de leche w/bittersweet chocolate shards (both for a present) and least but not last one batch of chocolate Grand Marnier with almonds (for my self to go along with eggnog poundcake). I probably could have given a small family a heart attack with all this cream.....I kept the paddles close by while cooking all the custards off just in case someone needed to shock me off the fumes.

Last night we attended Operation Light Sabre, I mean Life Saver dinner. I kept wanting to say Light Sabre all idea why. There were no trekkies there, no darth vader, no princess leigh (although I loved her hair back in the 5th grade). Operation Life Saver is all over the country. It is a commulation (sp) of all of the railroads coming together to teach and bring awareness that you shouldn't walk in front of a train...........DUH!!! They really do a lot of good going into the schools and teaching small children to stay off of tracks. Although I am thinking they need to work on adults also because just this past week some dingo was texting on his cell phone and walked right onto the tracks and played flat stanley. I don't get it........maybe I am just not that in love with my cell phone. Mounds of fried food at Cock of the Walk, chicken, catfish, hushpuppies, fries, onion rings, pickled onions, fried pickles, coleslaw and collard greens and peach and blackberry cobbler. Just what my thighs had been asking for for Christmas. Nothing like unwrapping your gift early.

Thursday night is dinner at 1620 Restaurant. I will report back. I am sooooooo excited as there is a goat cheese tart on the appetizer list and I LOVE GOAT CHEESE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

May the force be with you Luke, nanoo nanoo.

Monday, December 10, 2007

There is a Sssssnake in my Boots and a Hogs Head in my Freezer

You know, I have always envied families that have all these strong traditions during the Holidays. Some chop down their tree and decorate on xmass eve, all the women of the family get together and bake and make candy, some have certain family recipes passed down from generation to generation and they make them every holiday. Some adult children go home for xmass to the same house they grew up in and their bedroom is untouched from when they grew up (really that is kind of creepy hahahahah).

I have had 8 different transfers to 8 states in the last 17 years. The longest I have been anywhere has been 2 1/2 years. I have spent xmass in snow and in boiling heat. If I remember correctly I have only been home for xmass once in 17 years. My husband and I decided that when we moved away that "our home" was wherever we are living at the moment. My home is no longer from NW PA. I am from NW PA but my home is where I am at. Although I do miss relatives and parents during the Holidays (and year round) I thought it was and is important to raise strong and emotionally healthy children that can function wherever they find themselves on holidays or anytime of the year. Children that didn't feel they HAVE to be home. I think I have succeeded with the 19 year old now I have 2 more to train hahahaha.

I guess our Tradition has been steeped in food for some time. I always try and make something based on the heritage of our location. I will never forget in 1996 when we were living in San Antonio and the grocery stores carried HOGS HEADS during the Holidays for the Tamales all our mexican friends would make for xmass eve. In honor of being in the south this year we will have a Red Velvet cake for dessert on Christmas Eve along with my own homemade peppermint ice cream. I have ordered this moist bundle of cocoa joy from Perfect Endings Bakery through Williams Sonoma.....yes I could make my own but I am making the ice cream. One thing I have learned through the years is not to kill yourself. You can't do it all. You do some and let someone else do some. I like to enjoy myself. Although I will miss the beady little eyes of Mr. Hog staring back at me in HEB this Christmas, I am looking forward to trying this Great Southern Treat.