Sharing Two Favourite recipes
Life can revolve around the dinner table where we share daily events, joys and sorrows. But is this becoming a thing of the past? Many modern families take a packaged dinner out of the freezer and zap it in the microwave. Quick, easy and to all accounts nourishing. For the body, yes, but not the soul.
Several years ago I attended the Qualitative Inquiry Conference at the University of Illinois USA. While there, I had a chance to meet for the first time, a friend I met over ten years ago on the internet . Cindy took me to a home cooked lunch in an Amish home. We sat with other guests and discussed families, friendship, different cultures and of course the unseasonable heat. Without air-conditioning we sweltered. United by a common bond we reached for chicken and salads, laughed and swapped stories. It was as if we had known each other all our lives. I arrived home to Melbourne to rain, hail and a top temperature of 10 Celsius. I soon grabbed my slow cooker. There is nothing better on a cold winter’s day than sharing a hearty beef casserole, crusty bread and stories with family and friends. however, for me it is the getting together, the talking and sharing that counts. If I had a put a feather on our plates we would have thought it was chicken.
On the wall of the Amish home was a beautifully needle worked sampler.
Doing what you like is freedom. Liking what you do is happiness.
My passion is writing and the journey it is taking me. Years ago I would never have believed the novel I was sweating over would be published. I certainly would not have believed that I’d have completed my academic journey and, for the first time in my life, travelled alone to America. I love the old homily; Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is the gift: the present. I can’t wait to see what the future will bring. In the meantime here are a couple of recipes that have become favourites in this household.
Amish Overnight Pasta Salad 2 cups lettuce (cut up) 4oz cooked tiny shell macaroni 2 hard boiled eggs (sliced) 1 cup ham (strips) 1 cup Frozen peas (thawed) ½ cup Swiss cheese (shredded) ½ cup Miracle Whip ¼ cup dairy sour cream 1 tab onion (chopped) 1 tab mustard. METHOD: Put lettuce in bottom of a casserole dish. Sprinkle salt and pepper. Top with cooled macaroni. Place egg slices on top. Layer ham, peas, and cheese. Combine Miracle whip, sour cream, onion and mustard . Spread over salad sealing to edge of dish. Cover and refrigerate 24 hrs. Sprinkle with paprika if desired. Toss before serving. And below is one of my all time favourite recipes.
Auntie Clarice’s Quick And Easy Casserole 1 kilo scotch fillet (cubed) or 6 forequarter lamb chops (cut in half) Dip in seasoned flour In pan, brown meat and 2 large sliced onions. Add 1 cup chopped green and red capsicum, ½ cup chopped carrots, ½ cup chopped celery. Broccoli can also be added. Place in slow cooker or casserole dish Mix 1 large tin tomato soup 1 dessertspoon Worcester sauce 1 tab vinegar 1 dessert curry Pour over ingredients and simmer or bake 1 1/2 hrs (or 8 hrs in slow cooker).
These days I also take short cuts and buy some of the tasty seasoning packets for slow cookers/crock pots available in local supermarkets.
I love sharing a meal with loved ones because I revel in the communication and conversation that bounces around steaming bowls. It’s a chance to keep in touch, to celebrate successes and empathise with disasters. It gives me the opportunity to show the people in my life that they mean the world to me.