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What’s for supper? Vol. 46: Fried pickles and homemade blackberry jam, apparently

irene cotton candy

Simcha Fisher - published on 08/12/16

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whats for supper aleteia

Here is my story about food:

Korean beef bowl; rice

Yep, Korean beef bowlagain. It’s so good!

beef bowl

And what made it taste even better was (a) my husband made it, because I was exhausted from a trip to Colorado followed by grocery shopping and (b) my husband kept marvelling at how exhausting it is to care for kids and cook dinner and run errands, never mind writing about it. Delicious. I mean, gratifying. I mean, I like him.


Sausage subs with peppers and onions

On Sunday, we went to the county fair for six hours! Fun fun fun! I love the fair. And I was so smart: I cooked dinner the night before, so we just had to heat it up when we got home.

sausage subs

Fair food is, of course, hideously expensive and deliciously hideous, so we were strategic about keeping everyone fed and hydrated throughout the day without spending too much and without throwing up.

We had lunch right before we left, and we brought water, juice, candy, and frozen grapes. The frozen grapes are wonderfully sweet and refreshing snack for when you’re out in the hot sun (as long as you have a cooler with you).

Then, after we were pretty much done with the violent rides, everyone got to pick one item of fair food. Benny had her first ever cotton candy and was in paradise.

Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 11.28.45 AM

The other kids chose fried dough or french fries, and Dora and I had fried pickles.

fried pickles

I’ve seen the sign for years, and always imagined a giant batter fried dill pickle on a stick, which is just silly. But it turns out they cut the pickle into chips and fry them separately, and they were fantastic, if you like that kind of thing. (A clear winner over their other options, fried green beans, fried Oreos, and fried strawberries. That ain’t right.)

At one point, after the pig races but before the free Bibles, my son said, “I want to be a demolition derby driver when I grow up!” and I said, “WE HAVE TO GET OUT OF NEW HAMPSHIRE.” But we distracted him with candy and he forgot about it. So like I said, we were there for over six hours, with the goats and the heat and the ring toss heartache and the face painting and the pony rides and the neck-snapper and the upside-downer, and by the time we got home and had supper, all ten kids agreed that it would be prudent to skip dessert. Whew.


Blueberry chicken salad; ice cream sundaes

You know how your wife is always telling you that a salad can be really filling and satisfying if it has enough protein in it? Your wife is not crazy (in this regard, anyway). This recipe (from the Blueberry Council, which my kids thought was hilarious) has chicken, blueberries, toasted pecans, red onions, romaine lettuce, feta cheese (the recipe calls for bleu cheese, but I didn’t think the kids would like it) and a dijon vinaigrette dressing.

blueberry salad

Really delicious, and also pretty.

I did owe them dessert, so we had hot caramel sundaes.


Giant pancake with accidental blackberry jam; sausages

One box of pancake mix, plus cinnamon and some of our lovely homemade vanilla extract. Mix it with water until it looks right, throw it in a buttered pan, and bake for a while. Cut in wedges. It’s sort of like a muffin scone cake pancake thing, and it fills up enough of the plate that I feel like I can call it “dinner” without too much shame.

Here’s a pic with a terrible camera:

blackberry jam

The blackberry jam was homemade. Homemade, I tell you! We have ten thousand wild blackberry bushes, so I told the kids that if they picked enough berries, we could make syrup. Not jam, since every time I try to make jam, it ends up being syrup, no matter what recipe I use, what kind of pectin I use, how carefully I employ a candy thermometer, etc. We always end up with thin syrup: grape syrup, chokecherry syrup, even dandelion syrup. The only exception was when we tried to make maple syrup, and ended up with maple-flavored scouring solution, full of ashes and grit.

So I threw the blackberries in a pot, mashed them a bit, added some water and vanilla extract and sugar, and let it simmer for a good long time. Then I left the house for some errands and completely forgot that the stove was on. Came back, saw that the house was still standing, and threw a little butter into the pot and let it simmer some more. Then we poured the syrup into a jar and put it in the fridge, and forgot about it for several days.

So, that’s how you make jam, apparently. What do you know about that?


Ham, cheese, and mushroom omelettes; watermelon

I feel like there was a story here, but I forget what.


Chicken quesadillas, frijoles, tortilla chips, corn on the cob

I abused, maligned, perverted, shamed and defamed my friend Elizabeth’s Cuban grandmother’s recipe so badly, I won’t even reproduce it here. But look at my pretty red plate!


Pasta or something

The perfect meal for when you stayed up late with a bunch of callow youth to watch the Perseids that never really turned up, and then the baby wanted to nurse for several hours, and then it’s super hot but someone stole your fan, so, rather than sleep, you had a four-hour medium-sized panic attack about children leaving the nest, and then there was this terrible fly that wouldn’t leave your face alone (AND MAY HAVE GOTTEN STUCK IN YOUR EAR). Then you doze for three hours with the baby sitting on your head and repeatedly stealing your nose, which would be cuter if someone would trim her fingernails.

Bye, Friday! Bye!

Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 11.32.23 AM

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