Aleteia

What’s for supper? Vol. 58: Reserve candy corn for garnish

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My last week of meals with Aleteia! It’s my very last blog post for Aleteia, alas, before my new blog really takes off. I’m sure they were tired of being stuck with all the dishes anyway while I slink off with a beer in my hand and pretend I don’t know what time it is.

What’s for supper at your house? Here’s what we had:

SATURDAY
Hamburgers, chips, ice cream


And it was a “sit on the floor and commune with the dog” kind of meal, too. Could be worse.

***

SUNDAY
Chicken pomegranate salad, depraved brownies

I really wanted to make a meal with pomegranates while they’re in season, but the word “reduction” always intimidates me. I know it’s not really a big deal, but that’s where I’m at. So we went with this chicken salad recipe, which is some nice piquant chicken served atop a spinach salad with pomegranate arils, chopped pecans, and sliced avocados.

I’m not convinced the avocados really made friends with the rest of the meal, but pomegranate and pecan, yes yes yes.

One kid wanted brownies, so we used a few boxes of mix and threw in some more pecans and a bunch of candy corn. If there’s one thing I’ve learned as the purveyor of a high-end food blog, it’s that when you mix something special into the food, you reserve a handful for a garnish. Guess what happens when you garnish brownies with candy corn?

That’s right, the candy corn melts, duh, leaving a caramelized corn-shaped crater, which is the greatest garnish of them all.

***

MONDAY
Hot dogs, CANDY

Halloween, of course. The hot dog are a protein formality. Pretty good costumes this year. My oldest daughter made a scrumptious Pikachu costume (yellow tutu with tail and hat with felt ears) for my youngest, who of course refused to wear it. She still got candy when we went trick-or-treating, because this is what she looks like:

I’m . . . I’m going to go get her some more candy right now.

Here’s some of the rest of the crew:

Clockwise, starting top left: Katara (a waterbender);Ichigo in the Hollow Mask; Batgirl; Zero Suit Samus; Avatar Kyoshi (an earthbender, I think); and Nightmare Moon, who tried on her costume so often in the week before Halloween that most of it was, of course, missing on Halloween. Not pictured: the “ho ho ho now I’ve got a machine gun” guy, who stayed home, and a feathered masquerade ball attendee, whose friend knew a more lucrative neighborhood than the one we use.

And here is a picture I will treasure forever: me applying face paint to my own little Hellboy.

He looked pretty great once we got him all painted up, and his cardboard cigar and right hand of doom were terribly menacing, but *boop!* first he needs his mom to get his nose just right. Luckily, he is left handed, so was able to collect candy without too much trouble.

***

TUESDAY
Beef stew, soul cakes

Oh, man, was I in a hurry. I tried making beef stew in the crock pots, but somehow felt that I didn’t have time to look up a crock pot-specific recipe, so I just threw a bunch of things in. It tasted fine, but it was really soup, not stew. How do you make thicker things in the crock pot? How do you know how much liquid to use? As I write, it occurs to me that you could measure it . . . nah, that doesn’t sound right.

Anyway, I used cubes of beef coated with flour, chopped onions, cubed potatoes, baby carrots, fresh garlic, water and beef bouillon cubes, and some apple cider. Pretty basic, no tomatoes or mushrooms or string beans or herbs. Bustling in the front door at 5:30 and smelling that smell warmed me to the bones, though.

The soul cakes were not great. The whole “monstrously busy and running very late” thing didn’t lend itself to baking success, and there are actually about ten leftover soul cakes, presumably trapped forever in limbo. Oh well. They smelled good, which is more than you can say for most things in these environs.

***

WEDNESDAY
Chicken burgers, potato puffs

I don’t even remember Wednesday. Here is a completely gratuitous photo of Benny holding the one silly pumpkin our garden yielded this year:


In the background, Dora chortles as she makes, for some reason, a jack-o’-lantern of Richard Nixon.

***

THURSDAY
Pizza

Nothing to report, except guess how long it took to make four pizzas? About three hours. This is because Corrie has been in a good mood, and when she’s in a good mood, she goes on a rampage. She pushes up chairs so she can reach the top tier of the recycling bins and toss everything out, and then she fills it with ramen and forks and library books. She stuffs tangerines under the fridge. She finds an open box of rice krispies and shakes it as hard as she can, and then takes off her diaper and swims around on the floor. She rubs lipstick into her thighs and hair. She squeezes yogurt between the cushions of the couch and forces it further in with a chopstick. I found her sitting on top of my daughter’s new rental violin, and when I picked her up, there was a very distinct bite mark on the box.

We also roasted pumpkin seeds on Thursday. This is the real reason I had ten kids: so there will be no end of pumpkin seeds in the house. Here they are, slaving in the pumpkin seed mines:

I made them in four batches, and I like leaving on some bits of pumpkin pulp here and there. 300 oven for half an hour or more, with a little olive oil and kosher salt. Every year, I consider looking up some razzle dazzle new idea involving chili or nutmeg, but then I realize that there is no possible way to improve on these.

***

FRIDAY
Mac and cheese

I’ll use the tried and true Fannie Farmer recipe. Can’t have comfort food without leaning on Fannie, as it were.

And that’s a wrap! Goodbye, dear Aleteia. Come with me, o readers! I’ll be keeping up the What’s For Supper? posts at my new blog. Hope to find you there!

 

Simcha Fisher
Swimming In the Dark
Simcha Fisher is a freelance writer and speaker whose work appears in many publications. She is the author of The Sinner's Guide to Natural Family Planning, and lives in New Hampshire with her husband and ten children.
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