a comfort food supper for the times: sheet-pan chicken with new potatoes, onion, oregano and feta cheese –

Four thighs = two suppers for Buck and me. Tonight we enjoyed the leftovers.

There were glimmers of hope from the Covid-19 modelers this morning, along with constant incoming reports from individual states.

One of our air-conditioning system baffles stopped working today, so I called our long-time professionals, Mooneyham HVAC, to come send Danny to the rescue. He fixed the problem. We know Danny. We love Danny. But nonetheless, soon as he left, I wiped down door handles, thermostats, even the dog, with a Clorox wet wipe, then washed my hands in hot water while saying the Lord’s Prayer (20 second version!), while Buck poured me a Scotch and water before dinner.

Stay safe as you can, all y’all.

simple stay home supper

When I ventured to the grocery store recently, there was one little fresh cabbage left in the bin. It was missing most of its outer leaves. I picked it up. Put it back down. It reminded me of Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree. I retrieved it and took it home.

I braised the little cabbage in a bath of chicken broth. It fed us well last night, along with a baked sweet potato and garlic-roasted pork tenderloin.

We are grateful to be in a place of comfort and relative safety here in the Longleaf woods, but our hearts are breaking for New York and the other hardest hit areas.

suppers: quick shots

Here at what we fondly call The Longleaf Bar and Grill, it’s eating for two most of the time. After many (many) years of playing in the kitchen, I’m much more interested in playing at my desk or elsewhere with a notebook and pens rather than a whisk. Still, food is the fuel, so Buck and I have a collaborative style that gets the job done in an enjoyable way. Here’s an example from the last three suppers.

Great Northern Bean soup with smoked turkey and a spoonful of basil pesto. I make a cauldron of this stuff. It’s ultimate comfort food and freezes like a dream.

The ubiquitous sheet pan chicken, thighs with potatoes, carrots, onion and capers variant. Includes a chapter on how I learned to love those little green cabbage-looking veggies.
Salmon with brown sugar and bourbon is like soup with pesto. What’s not to love?

Life: Spicy, Sweet and Full of Juice

The Longleaf Bar and Grill, nickname of our home kitchen, is revivified now that all our taste buds are restored from last year’s adventures. Happiest times here are lunches with a daughter or granddaughter. We sit at the round table in the bar where we drink tea, eat composed salads,  and talk afternoons away. There is never enough time to get it all said, and isn’t that just the way it should be with folks who love one another?

Suppers are simple affairs, with piquant dishes flavored over bland these days.

Catfish Veracruz (based on a Mayo Clinic recipe called Fish Veracruz)

Fresh ears of corn are back at our local Publix now. I’ve found the Florida Tasti-Lee organic tomatoes are astonishingly good. Pricey, but with the aroma, taste, and texture of a summer tomato. The salsa topping, full of peppers, onion, and garlic and sprinkled with fresh cilantro, is here. I found it in a Mayo Clinic Diet newsletter that appears once a week in my electronic inbox.

Visits to Joe Patti Seafood have become a regular run for Buck and me again. I made scampi-style shrimp with pasta a few days ago. Our eyes were bigger than our stomachs on the first go-around, so last night we enjoyed another plate and polished it off. Full of tender crustaceans, garlic, cut peppers, and Italian parsley from my little herb garden under the outside stairs, it’s murmur-inducing fare.

Scampi-style shrimp with pasta.

We saw whole red snappers and lovely pompano at Joe Patti’s last week and made plans to call ahead to order one to bake, probably with a light stuffing made from Blue Crab claw meat.

Life, as Buck and I savor our history, enjoy the moment, and plan our next move like children going to the fair, is spicy and sweet. I’m headed to the kitchen now to grind beans for a pot of Italian Roast coffee. It’s a drizzly Sunday morning, my favorite kind. Buck and I will share a late breakfast of whole grain waffles topped with dark sweet cherries and talk away the morning. And no,  we’ll never have enough time to get it all said, but how delicious to try.