Monday, December 5, 2022

Hollies, tiny Santa and potato cakes

Yesterday's walk was about pretty much leafless trees, but a couple of little American holly bushes, lovely bright berries. I didn't cut any, left them for the birds. 



It's different from the English holly beloved of Christmas cards, and just as lovely when the deciduous trees are asleep. 





And down the street, a tiny Santa light bravely lighting the path


The walk took place in the middle of making potato filled pancake things. Since it's a risen dough, there was an hour when it needed to rest, so I went walking, happy the sun had come out.

This is the kind of food you make when you're in pottering mode, because it's a few stages, not fast food. I fried onions to brown not caramelized,  added in spinach till wilted but not vanished, microwaved three potatoes, mashed them, then picked out the skins. No need to faff around peeling them. The skins ended up with the stock makings in the freezer. Waste nothing!   All the vegetables you mix well.

You need to spice up the filling well, because this is stodge, needs the help. The potatoes got salt and za'atar the other vegetables got salt, Old Bay, how did you guess, and  turmeric. 

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I  made the dough, yeast, warm milk, some water, flour, salt, kneaded a bit, left to rest an hour in an oiled bowl.

Once back from the walk, I divided the dough, I love my bench scraper for cutting dough, into eight, rolled them out, put a good spoonful of filling on each, folded the dough around, flattened, then six minutes covered, fried, turning once. It was like playing with clay, fun for tinies!







And as you see, came out well. I cut a piece, like the cake judges at the WI show, so you can see it looks done.

I liked making this, and it could be filled with berries, then dusted (cook talk) with sugar, for a hot dessert. Or any number of other vegetables, pumpkin instead of potato, loads of possibilities.

So I now have a plateful in the fridge, for several lunches. I expect I could freeze them, too, like practically everything else I freeze. I know it's no use offering a share to Gary, because shock, horror, it's got vegetables. He grows them to give away, not to eat!

He and vegetables are not friends. You could say he's an opponent of them, which also happens to be the solution to the latest word puzzle.  Tom gave the broadest,  funniest of hints in his recent comment! And the World Cup, my timely clue, puts out opponents on the field in every match. It's odd how hard a common word can be to guess when it's broken up into a puzzle.

Making soup today, squash and carrot, maybe chickpeas too, using the stock I made last night. Since the episode of the stove absent mindedly left on all night under the stock pot, and the more disastrous later burning out of the kettle overnight, I now have an alert on my phone daily at 10pm to CHECK STOVE TOP! 

Happy day everyone, try not to burn out your kettle, consider it a successful day when you manage not to.




27 comments:

  1. My cat Jacob burned out my kettle by jumping on the stove top and playing with the knobs when I was gone away. The pet sitter found the kettle bottom melted to the burner when she came to give him breakfast. Could have been a disaster. I'm glad yours wasn't.

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    1. That's some exploit! Good thing it was detected before worse happened.

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    2. I think we should hear Jacob's side of this story ;)

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  2. Ay! Good idea on the phone alert. It happens. I've taken to doing the same when I have something in the oven for when I need to check it. Otherwise, I get involved in something else and then...Not good.
    Those pancakes look delightful! I am sure they are delicious.
    We have Florida hollies here. They are, as you might assume, different.

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    1. I wondered if there were southern hollies, too, not just northern climate ones.

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  3. I have always loved the unique look of holly!

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  4. Good idea of the reminder to check the stove top.

    As for your cooking? I am just amazed. Wow.
    I did however make what we call Woods soup. It had venison, dehydrated veggies from the garden, wild mushrooms from the forest and herbs I'd grown along with leeks I'd also dehydrated.

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    1. That sounds pretty impressive! Home grown and picked.

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  5. Yikes! So far I haven't burned out my kettle. This is a new recipe for me. It looks good. We do like our Old Bay and turmeric. Years ago I tried growing holly but the climate is too cold. Perhaps it's been hybridized for colder weather now? I've never looked.

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    1. I don't know about sub zero temps for holly. But they're worth looking into next year maybe.

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  6. That is too funny about Gary vs vegetables. You do have great neighbors; growing vegetables just to give away is odd but wonderful.

    I did not get this last puzzle - am looking forward to the next. Sometimes the answer pops into my head immediately; other times I worry it about like a dog with a bone, and come up with nothing.

    Winter days (even if it's technically still autumn) are perfect for pottering in the kitchen. Your pottering, as always, looks delicious!

    Chris from Boise

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    1. He just loves growing things. A lot of flowers out front, too. His daughter gets a lot of the peppers, and the cucumbers. I don't like cucumbers and oddly, he does, almost the only veg he'll eat.

      The last puzzle was trickier, I agree. It looks as if I have to keep finding puzzles. They seem popular even when too hard!

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  7. I remember the first time I saw holly trees here, only 15 or so years ago. I was organizing a forest management workshop for landowners, and the site we used on the eastern edge of MA had mature hollies. Always something new to see and learn!

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    1. I thought they were pretty much everywhere. Live and learn.

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  8. The holly trees are the prettiest at this season and make for great natural decorations too, but they do look nicer left outdoors. The potato pancake filled things as you called them did look delicious and imagine they tasted great freshly eaten too.

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    1. I cooked two more for today's lunch. Good again. Holly is the only green I'm not violently allergic to, so I don't have a live tree or cut greens. In fact I have to check whether any indoor event might have them, too, and have to bow out if so.

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  9. You are quite a dab hand in the kitchen. Now, I should find out if I have that British expression right from my British telly shows.

    Oh, I do. You're an expert in the kitchen!! Yay for both of us. 👏

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  10. Sounds good to have a filled meal in the freezer.

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    1. Always a comfort, especially when you're hungry and tired.

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  11. They look very yummy. And freezing them sounds like a great idea for a quick meal in the future.
    Your walk looks like a lovely place to visit

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    1. I do live in a nice development, plenty of trees, well, the whole state is full of trees and ponds, plenty of walks from my house.

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  12. Those look wonderful. I could smell the onions all the way to NE Ohio.

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    1. They browned up very nicely. I think that's appetizing.

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  13. I have great success growing a female holly but the male plants always die. I don’t have many berries for the birds this year, sadly!

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  14. I nearly ruined a revere ware pot I had put on the burner full of water to boil to pour down the sink and completely forgot about it. All the water had boiled out when I remembered but didn't completely ruin the pot. I've left the oven on a few times but the husband always hears it click on and he turns it off.

    I played hangman with one of my grandgirls when she was a kid. The word was ocean and she never guessed it. It's one of my favorite words because when you write it in cursive it's like the rolling waves.

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  15. Yes. I also love to write Canada and banana, lovely flow. I'm seeing I'm not the only absent minded person around here.

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