In my forced leisure I have been reading vintage (pre-canned soup era) cookbooks. I tried to dump my preconceptions of older cooking as too rich and bland and came out with some interesting conclusions. #1 Servings sizes were much smaller. #2 Sure, most vegetables were done with a little white sauce, but a little is the key, it seems just enough to form a thin coat on it. #3 Recipes containing cheese only include 1/4 to 1/3 cup of the cheese, a sprinkle, versus our 1-2 cup shredded cheese wonders. #4 They ate a lot of bean soup. #5 There is more variety than I had anticipated. #6 The folks back then must be the reason there are so few oysters left, there is a recipe for oysters with virtually everything, except dessert.
My return to cooking has begun, this week we did take out a couple of times and I resorted to tomato sauce from a jar, but I could not do that for long. I was up to tossing blanched broccoli rabe with tons of garlic and caramelized onions, Italian tuna in oil, cannellini beans and lemon juice, no leftovers. The balance came out just right, Jillian, who is not fond of many greens scarfed it down thinking that the broccoli rabe was broccoli. I did something similar a couple nights later with the rest of the broccoli rabe with fresh tuna that was sold in chunks for half the price of the tuna steaks, only I added roasted red peppers and capers.
This morning, after the first cold night of the season, our somewhat insulated Florida home needed a little warming, so I decided to try a recipe that I found on another blog, German Apple Pancake
(http://tortatebukura.wordpress.com/2009/09/11/german-apple-pancake/ ). It is apples sautéed in butter (margarine for me), brown sugar, and cinnamon, and then a thin sweet pop-over type batter (made with four mini eggs from our bantam Cochin chickens) poured over the top and then placed in a hot oven. Very yummy. This recipe may become a “regular” in our house. Jillian offered to peel the apples tomorrow, so that I can make it again. Since she leaves for school at 7:15 AM, she will change her mind when I awaken her at 5:30 AM to do it.