Archive for June, 2012
Who says you have to have a lot of money to brighten your life? Spray paint will do it.
Here are a couple of examples. My niece Lori and her best bud Mike recently decided to jazz up some cheap white plastic-ish outdoor chairs. The before and after photos tell the tale.
Beware, however, when you buy several cans of spray paint at the local hardware store. A friend was caught up in a conversation with a “cute, little teenager at the checkout” recently. The teen asked my friend if she was going to “huff.” My friend, who is probably 50-something, replied: “No. Tonight we’re just going to do some tagging.”
Whatever you do with your spray paint, be safe. Have fun. I painted a couple of old, beat-up wicker chairs a few years back and they are kinda cute in the front yard (that I no longer own.) But it’s fun to do and to look at. Do it.
While he was cooking, my father was an intense maestro, focusing on getting dinner on the table every night after work. “Outta MY kitchen,” he’d say, waving a spatula or a ladle or a chef’s knife at those who dared to offer help or peer over his shoulder as he was peeling and chopping and sautéing.
The kitchen was his domain. Our garden was his market. The milkman (yup, I’m THAT old) supplied milk, butter, cottage cheese and the meat locker supplied a side o’ beef for the double-wide chest freezer in the garage. We kids acted as his crew when it came to planting and harvesting and cleaning and preserving the strawberries, raspberries, peas, sweet peppers, cucumbers, green beans, tomatoes, corn and potatoes. But help in the kitchen fixing meals? Nope. Dad would have none of it. Well, except for the salad that the kids took turns making every night. For the most part, Dad brought home the bacon and cooked it up every afternoon after work. (Mom was the baker in the family.)
And Dad loved cooking. A couple of times a week he would say, “This meal is better than you could get in any restaurant.” Leftovers? “These would be good for breakfast with an egg cracked over it.” Or, “I can turn this into hash tomorrow morning.”
And so, in honor of my dad for Father’s Day, I created a nouveau hash this morning. I used baby new potatoes, something that would appall my dad. He always told us to leave the baby potatoes on the ground when we stooped to pluck them from the ground. “Throw those things away. They’re too small,” he’d say.
What were you thinking, Dad?
New Potato Hash with Mushrooms and an Egg on Top
No recipe here. It’s a make-it-up-as-you-go kinda dish.
1. Cook baby potatoes until just tender. (I simmered them in salted water, altho I sometimes roast or even microwave ‘em.) In the meantime, sautee thinly sliced leeks and garlic scapes in olive oil. (or use chopped onion and a clove of chopped garlic. Add sliced shiitake mushrooms and baby ‘bellas. Cook and stir until mushrooms are tender.
2. Drain potatoes, cut the bigger babies in half. Toss ‘em in the skillet with the mushroom concoction. Add a tablespoon or two of butter or additional olive oil, if needed. Sprinkle with a good seasoning. Maybe salt and pepper. I use Gray Sea Salt w/ Five Pepper Blend from ile de Re France. Add some chopped fresh rosemary (or whatever herb you have handy). Toss and stir for about 5 minutes to combine flavors.
3. Cook an over-easy egg (or two or three depending on who’s invited for breakfast). Put potato hash on plate(s). Top with the cooked egg(s). Add fork(s).
I have a huge girl crush on The Bloggess (thebloggess.com), aka Jenny Lawson. I want to be her best friend. Her writing makes me laugh out loud, so she’s my go-to blues buster.
Went to see her in Chicago Saturday. She was there for a book tour. We bonded. She took a video of me that she promised would go up on her blog soon. Well, when I say “we” bonded, I mean me and the hundreds of other people in the audience. And, yeah, the video was a quick pan of the crowd. But I WAS in the first row and asked a question. We made eye contact. And I could see in her eyes that she agreed that we should be best friends.
If you ever need a push to take action and get yourself out of a funk, read her Red Dress story. It caused me to immediately write a hilarious blog post of my own (not this one, which you’ll notice, isn’t hilarious).Then go buy her book, “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened.” And then bookmark her blog. Because I’m sure my picture will be included in it one day soon.