Thank you all for your comments about our ordinary meals a couple of days ago. I guess I've been listening to my kids, especially my second son, gripe about my food being boring for too long. Well, look at it from my perspective: my dearly beloved says he'd eat nothing but oatmeal if that's what I was serving, and who else but the kids is here to gripe at me? So, thanks, you've all made me feel better.
Now, some of you wanted to know how I did one thing or another. So, here goes:
Paula, the acorn squash is easy. Cut the acorn squash in quarters, and crumble about a tablespoon of light brown sugar into each section. Then put a tablespoon or so of chopped walnuts into each quarter. Drizzle a little bit of plain old pancake syrup over the walnuts - I'm probably talking about a teaspoon or so. Last, melt 4 tbsp butter, and drizzle that over the top and yellow sides of the squash. I roast mine in the oven for about an hour with my meat, until it's fork tender. My older kids have refused to even try this, but I threatened the little guys with living in the garage with the dog, and eating nothing but "Bites & Bones" if they didn't eat it, and they loved it! Ryan told me Patrick must be the leader of the food idiots.
Cathy, the pretzels were the same recipe as my boys' pretzels last week; I just shaped them differently.
Duckie, I made another version of wheat french bread, which went like this:
3/4 cup warm water
3 tsp yeast
1 cup flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp olive oil
Mix in the bread machine, or soften the yeast in the water for a couple of minutes, then stir in the honey and olive oil, followed by the flours and salt. Stir until combined, and knead for about 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. In a Kitchenaid mixer, add the ingredients in the order listed, and, using the breadhook, mix on speed 2 for 8 to 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth. Regardless of the mixing technique, shape into one french bread loaf, let it rise about 20 minutes, then bake at 375 for 15 to 17 minutes, depending upon the desired darkness of the crust. Note that I used a locally produced dark honey; lighter colored honey will have a less distinct flavor. This is great hot from the oven, and also wonderful toasted for the next day's breakfast. (Also note that this is a small recipe, for people who aren't cooking for a large army, as I usually do).
And heart attack potatoes were named for my second daughter's exclamation one night: "Mmm! Heart attack goodness on a plate!" They're very easy. Wash and slice redskinned potatoes (or potatoes of your choice). I just use the food processor for this; you don't want the slices too thick, and they don't have to be pretty. I also leave the skin on for added flavor. Boil with just a touch of salt for 10 minutes or so, until the potatoes are soft. Drain, and cover the colander with the pot lid to keep the potatoes hot. In the potato pot, melt 1 stick of butter per 2 pounds of potatoes, grind in a generous amount of pepper, and add a good handful of chopped parsley per stick of butter. Stir them together, then stir the potatoes back into the pot. The slices will break up and absorb the butter, pepper and parsley. Like my daughter said, heart attack goodness on a plate.
Did I forget to tell you anything? I'm so happy that you all read what I write, and take the time to respond. Thanks, everybody! More food will be coming soon, I promise, including using the few peaches the (expletive deleted) deer didn't eat off our peach tree!