It's been a quiet week in Lake Wobegone…..
Okay, so I wasn't in Lake Wobegone – but I was close.
After three wonderful days in Paris, where we spent our time walking where-ever our feet led us and eating wonderful food, I went on to Minnesota and Wisconsin. I spent two weeks visiting family and friends and running around like the proverbial chicken sans head. I logged more time in a car than I have in the previous 11 months…. Since my last trip there.
People keep asking me what I do 'all by myself with all that time'.
Damned if I know…..
But I do know that I didn't have enough of it (time).
I had the usual shopping to do: green chilies, green Tabasco sauce, long underwear for mon mari (so he can work all winter…. I'm a good wife), a couple of drill bits for an old favorite drill, (also mon mari) and, of course, my camera.
Because I was afraid to turn it on I went to camera school. (I got free classes with the camera.)
And I listened to lots and lots and lots of political ads.
Well, actually, after the first few days I only listened to them when I couldn't get the radio or TV turned off fast enough.
I must say that all sides spewed enough vitriol about the Spawn-of-Satan that was his or her opponent that I would have run in fear had I ever had the misfortune to meet one. I certainly wouldn't want them representing me in any way, let alone in the government.
That does present a wee problem though….. If all the allegations made by everyone are true than all the politicians are truly despicable creatures.
And if they are all truly despicable creatures how can any of them be trusted to actually run the country?
I have always hated negative campaigning….
The phrase that stuck with me, that I hated most, was 'job-killing taxes'.
Here's the kicker: I have no idea which candidate for which political party was using that phrase.
If it's an effective campaign shouldn't I remember who said it about whom?
There was one ad that stuck with me, though.
It shows a cheerful mother of two small children spreading Nutella on their morning toast.
I agree with that – how can one not like Nutella Toast for breakfast?
Then she explains that, since it's made 'with nutritious hazelnuts, skim milk and a hint of chocolate' she felt good about giving it to her kids.
A 'hint of chocolate'?
Has she tasted it?
I love Nutella. I'd describe it as thick chocolate frosting or a soft chocolate candy bar.
I know it has nuts (which are good for us) and milk (which is good for us) and chocolate (which is good for us – but dark is better).
But her description is not the Nutella I know….(and love)
It's healthy, yes, but not quite as healthy as, say, a bowl of oatmeal and a glass of skim milk
It's all in the turn of a phrase; the judicial use of an adjective.
If one can't trust the ads to be honest about something as simple as Nutella…..
I'm not going there…. I've likely gone too far already…. I just can't seem to help myself….
Perhaps I should stuff a mushroom (in my mouth? – Don't say it!) instead.
8 large cremini mushrooms, (1 1/2 " diameter, 4cm)
1 tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic
5 tbs shredded cheese
3 tbs Greek yogurt, crème fraiche, or sour cream
1 tbs breadcrumbs
1 tsp marjoram
1 tsp oregano
1 tbs Parmesan, optional
1/2 cup (4oz, 125ml) tomato sauce
Clean mushrooms, removing stems. Finely chop the shallots and mince garlic. Heat oil in nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushroom caps and sauté until light brown, 3 – 4 minutes, turning once. Remove and place on a baking sheet – with a lip so they don't slide off. Add garlic and shallots to pan and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.
In small bowl mix yogurt, shredded cheese, herbs and crumbs. Add shallots and garlic and mix well. Spoon mixture into mushroom caps, dividing evenly. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake in 375F (180C) oven for 10 minutes, until they are light brown.
To finish: Heat tomato sauce in a small saucepan just until warm. When mushrooms are done remove from oven. Spoon some tomato sauce onto the bottom of 2 small plates. Divide the mushrooms and arrange on sauce. Serve.
Note: If liquid accumulates in the caps before stuffing, stir it into the shallot mixture.
In addition to this, for the week of October 15 we have Smoked Salmon Kedgeree, Beef Braised in Chianti, Butternut Squash Quiche, Stuffed Bell Peppers….
Thyme for Cooking is a Weekly Menu Planning Service focusing on healthy, seasonal foods.
Join now and try it free for a week! The menu, complete recipes with meal preparation instructions, and shopping list is available each Thursday. (Reverse seasons available for Australia, and others in the Southern Hemisphere).
Don't need 7 complete dinners? Try the Main Course Menu Mailer option: 6 new main courses every week.