Sunday, July 12, 2009

Differing Ideas on Sunday Night Supper

I eat one thing for breakfast-- raisin bran. Ever since I was about seven or eight, I have clung to my bowl of raisin bran to start the day off right. (There was a brief flirtation with both Frosted Mini Wheats and whole grain toast with banana and peanut butter, but raisin bran won my heart back.) The problem is, I really like lots of other breakfast foods-- pancakes, French toast, eggs, oatmeal. I just don't like to eat them in the morning. I love to cook them for supper, though!

Evan is a latecomer to the idea of breakfast. It is only since he started working construction that he even eats breakfast. And he's fairly lukewarm on eggs, oatmeal, and the rest. He likes suppers with MEAT in them!

The one time our differing ideas can coexist fairly comfortably is Sunday night. Evan would be perfectly happy eating a bowl of popcorn while vegging with his computer, but he will eat something if I make it. Since he doesn't have high expectations for Sunday's supper, breakfast foods are okay.

Until tonight, when I geared up to make pancakes, and Evan rebelled and said he wanted leftover spaghetti! Cheyenne, trying to be cool like Daddy, echoed him. So I heated up a leftover hamburger and Evan warmed up spaghetti. I'm still thinking of these pancakes, though. They're from an old Betty Crocker book Mom has. I have an older one from the sixties, but this one is from the forties or earlier. I love the illustrations in it, but it is inexorably falling apart. The index has been missing since I was a kid, so you have to guess where in the book a recipe might be. While Mom does the bulk of the cooking in our family, these pancakes are something Dad always cooked.

Betty Crocker's Buttermilk Pancakes
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups buttermilk (the recipe actually says 1 1/4 cup, but I like them lighter).
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 T shortening (I usually use butter)
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
The recipe just says to mix them all together, but I find it's easiest to cut the butter into the flour with a pastry cutter or a fork, then dump the rest of the ingredients in and mix until just blended. It should be fairly lumpy still. Bake on a griddle or frying pan at medium high heat, flipping them over once the bubbles in the batter pop. Dollop butter on them, drench them in NY maple syrup, and enjoy with a side of bacon and a large glass of milk! This recipe makes 16-18 pancakes; if you want to halve the recipe, you can still use a whole egg, it works just fine.

Okay, in the interest of fairness, here is what Evan wanted tonight. It's what he ALWAYS wants to eat. Anytime I ask Evan for input on the menu, this is what Evan says: "Spaghetti."

This recipe is from the Rival Crock-Pot cookbook. It's tripled, since Evan ALWAYS wants spaghetti. It's an awesome freezer food-- it's handy having frozen containers of spaghetti sauce for a quick supper.

Evan's Spaghetti Sauce (Tripled)
  • 1 lb. bulk sausage (such as Jimmy Dean's sage flavor)
  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 3 T butter
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 3 (28 oz.) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 2 T salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 T leaf basil
  • 1 T leaf oregano
  • 3 (6 oz.) cans tomato paste
  • 3/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
Brown the sausage and ground beef. Drain the meat, then dump it in a big (6 qt., at least) Crock-Pot with all the other ingredients. Cook on Low for 8-10 hours, or on High 4-6 hours.

If you don't want to make enough sauce to feed the Russian Army, here is the original, un-tripled version.
This will fit in a smaller Crock-Pot. Actually, both recipes would probably work on the stove-top, simmered on low heat and stirred occasionally.

Spaghetti Sauce (Original Proportions)
  • 2 T butter or olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 can (28 oz.) Italian-style tomatoes, mashed
  • 2 tsps. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. leaf basil
  • 1 tsp. leaf oregano
  • 1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1 lb. ground beef, browned

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