SNOWY WEATHER MAKES ME WANT TO COOK

As the title of this post suggests cold, snowy weather brings out my desire to cook.  Of course, it goes without saying that the cooking actually is not the goal.  Eating is the goal.  Due to our recent snowmageddon, I have had both the desire to cook and to eat!  If I lived in a more arctic terrain, I am sure I would weigh twice as much as I do.

Yesterday I made a variation on Swedish meatballs.  I know, everyone has their own recipe but here is what I did yesterday; and I might add, with fantastic results.

I mixed a pound and a half of hamburger meat with half a diced onion, steak sauce, garlic powder, salt, pepper, a teaspoon of vinegar, a dash of cumin, and a bit of oregano.  After I sufficiently mixed it all together I added one raw beaten egg and a splash or two of flour.  The egg and flour function like glue to hold the meatballs together.  After that I made tiny meatballs, about the size of a large walnut and then browned them in a nonstick pan on the stove top.  I have found when browning meatballs, covering the skillet while they cook is important.  I flip them over after about 2 or 3 minutes.  After another 3 minutes or so, I remove the meatballs.  Invariably one of the meatballs always falls apart, that is fine.  Leave it there.  It adds flavoring to the sauce.   The meatballs are not cooked yet, they will finish cooking later in the rue (roux).

Once the meatballs are removed there are bits and pieces of meat, onion, and hamburger grease (renderings) in your pan.  Leave them and do not adjust the heat.  Add to it one stick of real butter.  When the butter melts dash in all purpose flour.  How much?  Well, that depends on how thick you want your rue!  I put in the equivalent of two tablespoons, but really I have no real idea. I usually eyeball it.  The mixture will bubble a bit but keep stirring it until all the flour is mixed with the butter/grease/onion/meat.  Once it is mixed, add about a half a cup of milk, maybe more if needed.  The secret to rue or gravy is that you can keep adding liquid to get the consistency you want.  However, in my experience, once you’ve added the milk or water, you cannot then add more flour to thicken.

Keep stirring the rue until you are comfortable with the consistency.  Maybe add a little water with the milk to loosen it up if need be.  Taste it.  Add seasoning as desired.  Then put the meatballs back into the sauce pan.  I like to role them around so they  get completely covered in the sauce.  Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes.  The meatballs should cook through.

I served these delights on a bed of mashed potatoes with a side of green beans (of course).  Oh, and don’t forget the buttermilk biscuits.

THE BLESSINGS OF SNOW?

My hatred for snow is pretty well documented among those people who have shared life with me.  However, one particular snowy day when I was complaining to the Lord about ice flakes falling from the heavens, he rebuked me.  I had just finished praying and was now turning to my devotional readings and my reading for that day was from Psalm 147.

 

He sends out his command to the earth;

His word runs swiftly.

He gives snow like wool;

He scatters hoarfrost like ashes.

He hurls down his crystals of ice like crumbs;

Who can stand before his cold?

He sends out his word, and melts them;

He makes his wind blow and the waters flow.

 

These words come in a passage describing God’s unique blessings to Israel.  Snow is, therefore a blessing.  The Lord dealt with me sternly on the subject that morning.  Regardless of how much I might not enjoy it, snow is a part of his plan for the world and apparently for my life.  Therefore, as I see the snow falling outside the window of my study this morning, I am working on some positive things about snow.

Positive Thing 1:  It helps kill off bugs and insects.  A good snow accompanied by cold weather can significantly reduce bugs and pests this summer.  Snow now means a more enjoyable cook-out in July.

Positive Thing 2:  Many of the people I know are in the medical field.  All of this ice and snow should create many broken bones and busted lips in need of stitching.  In a way, the snow keeps people with plenty of employment opportunities.

Positive Thing 3:  In a related issue, nothing creates work for auto-body repair shops like inclement weather.  This could bring the economy out of a recession.

Positive Thing 4:  I probably had too much discretionary income anyway.  The extra money I will have to pay for home heating oil will alleviate me of the added burden of spending money.

Positive Thing 5:  Yellow snow.

Positive Thing 6:  The landscape looks picture perfect right up until it all melts and turns to a muddy nightmare.

See, I’m trying to keep a positive attitude about the snow.  The weather forecast indicates that this should continue through today and be especially heavy tomorrow and not end until Wednesday afternoon when it all turns to rain.  Wednesday can’t come soon enough.  Until then, I will meditate upon these positive thoughts.  Ooh, I just thought of another one . . .

Positive Thing 7:  If it snows enough the power will probably go out and that will give me a chance to appreciate not being able to cook for four days or have hot water.