In honor of Julia Child’s birthday, I wanted to eat. Going off to Paris was not an option, and no French restaurants were open in the area – but Julia would want me to cook.
Channeling her joie de vivre and her courage to use whatever happened to be on the shelf, I found shallots, garlic, elbow macaroni, olive oil, fresh parsley and basil from the little pots I nurtured – and Romano Pecorino cheese.
After slicing the shallots and chopping the garlic, I heat the pan before pouring in a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil. First – the shallots sautéed to a shimmer; then the garlic – just soft, not burnt. In the meantime, the pasta boiled to al dente in 6 minutes.
I poured the shallots and garlic into a deep crockery bowl from my Grandmother’s era, and then remembered her cheese trick. I grated the cheese into the now empty shallot/garlic pan – mmm, melted cheese – browning and aromatic.
Only a cup of the macaroni went into the crock (I had used only one shallot and 2 cloves of garlic – lunch for one). Then, the chopped parsley and basil and, finally, the liquid cheese. I gently tossed all together, and sat down to eat right out of the bowl.
A moan of pleasure out of my mouth and a toast to Julia – happy birthday! No pictures – ate it all!
My mother made her famous meat and carrots meal whenever she was running late, which happened a lot. It could have been one of those Rachel Ray under thirty minute meals – fast, easy, tasty. I loved it – still do…You’ll need:
- 1 lb. good quality ground meat (my mother would have the butcher – or the man behind the meat counter – grind up a filet – much to his dismay), but ground round will do.
- a bunch of carrots, some garlic, and fresh Italian parsley
- a sturdy iron skillet and some olive oil
Heat the skillet and then simmer sliced carrots with a little water to soften them. Drain the water and add extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and 2 chopped cloves of garlic. Add beef and brown over medium heat. Add the chopped parsley last – after meat is mostly cooked. Salt and pepper to taste.
Candy, candy, and more candy is my mantra for Halloween. But sometimes I eat so much that I need a pickle – so I can cleanse the palate and go on to eat more candy.
My mother like kale to balance the sugar rush, and she would take the decorative kale from the sandwich plates served in restaurants, saying “what a waste that they don’t know this is something to eat.” She bought kale too – usually baby greens when she could find it.
It took me awhile to acquire a taste for the green glop, but now I actually like it.
Kale – from Grandmom’s Secret Stash
Start with a big bunch of kale (it will wilt down to half); clean and drain – then strip the leaves from the stems. Use extra virgin olive oil, at least 5 cloves of garlic (to scare away the vampires); fresh chopped basil and fresh chopped parsley (important to use fresh).
Heat a large pot; when the pot is warm, add olive oil to medium heat; add minced garlic – cook only until you start to smell the fragrance – do not burn. Add kale, basil, and parsley. I know this is a lot of green, but the flavors all come together with the herbs – you need them.
Stir with wooden spoon as the kale melts down – will look like spinach. Salt to taste. Tasty warm or cold – or some can be frozen.