Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I'm in a rush to clear out some of my canned and frozen goodies from last year before the same things come back into season...But a few things have already gotten ahead of me, like beets.  I still have nearly a dozen pints of pickled beets sitting in our basement, and yet, tonight, I am cooking the first two beets we'll eat this summer.  Ahh, well, I guess that just means I'll not have to can those this year.  I'm also, more than happily, helping clean out my mother's cellar.  I've become reacquainted with my undying love of tart-apple applesauce.  And though a good deal of my fruit servings these days goes towards ungodly amounts of sweet cherries, I've also found space in my stomach for the hearty bowl of cold applesauce on hot nights.  I like food a little too much, it seems...

90.  Bierrocks, pg. 144

A grateful nod to Rocky Mountain MCC Relief Sale for introducing me to this dish nearly 8 years ago.  Before my service group's trip there, I'd never known that hamburger, cabbage, and onion could be enclosed so nicely in a soft, wheaty bun.

So, last night, with meat-eating friends coming over, I dove headfirst into tackling this cultural delight (and tried to gear up my stomach to ingest beef for the first time in a very long time.)

I halved the recipe since there were only four of us.  In the dough, I still used a whole egg, and it turned out fine.  I used one cup of whole wheat, and the rest white.

I used a whole pound of ground beef, since it was frozen and I wasn't patient enough (or had enough foresight) to use just 3/4 lb.  I did end up with extra filling, but I think I could have put more than 2T. in each pocket.  I got 6 large bierrocks out of the recipe.  Be forewarned that the dough really expands when it bakes!

Served alongside hot sauce and ketchup, these bierrocks were very tasty.  Not as good as I remember them from the Relief Sale, but not having grown up eating these, I can't say I did too bad for a first go. :)

Overall:  3.6 out of 5  Good.  A fun substitute to boring ol' hamburgers!

91.  New Potatoes and Peas with Ham, pg. 140

In my opinion, creamed peas and potatoes are The Quintessential Summer Dish.  Their combination signals the beginning of something very good.

When you're getting your veggies together, I don't think it's super important to maintain the proportions listed.  I often don't use onions at all, sometimes use fewer peas (depending on what I have on hand), and will use medium-sized potatoes and cut them up.

Normally when I'm making this dish, after cooking the veggies, I drain all the liquid and just add a little bit of butter and milk.  But I have to say that I really liked making the roux with the extra liquid.  I liked the thick, almost-gravy it made.  I will definitely do this again.

And I completely nixed the cooked ham and cheese.  I suppose if this is your entire dinner, you might want that protein in there, but for a main veggie dish, doing without them is completely understandable.

(The leftovers are great for breakfast, too. :) )

Overall:  4.6 out of 5  Simply Summer.  Yum.

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