Quarantine Cooking Part 3: Ground Beef

Ground beef is meat from trimmings of larger cuts of beef which is ground into small particles.    It is labeled by the name of the location from which is was taken.  The percentages of lean  and fat can be variable.  Typically, the percentage is included on the package label.  Personal choice dictates which kind of ground meat one selects at the grocery or butcher shop.  Some people like the very lean selections.  At our house we prefer 80/20 (80% lean and 20% fat).  We feel that the fat gives it more flavor and helps to prevent it from sticking to the pan as much.  The price of ground beef can vary according to the part of the cow with ground sirloin being the most expensive.  We prefer ground chuck.  Chuck is a tough cut for beef and that's why grinding it up before selling it is a good solution. 
While still avoiding public places and continuing to have groceries delivered during the pandemic, I came upon a great sale for ground chuck 80/20!  I purchased about 10 pounds, portio…

Food According to Elise

My Momma, Elise, was a great cook!   She wasn't a gourmet cook by any rights, but she cooked every single day until her last few years.  She was good at it!  Her cooking was not particularly adventurous, nor did she use any exotic ingredients.  She grew up on a farm in rural Louisiana during the Great Depression and learned to use the food from the land.   As long as I can remember she tended some sort of garden.  It may have been 5 acres of vegetables, a blueberry patch or simply her roses.  She was a tiny thing and weighed 120 pounds dripping wet for her entire adulthood.  If that crept up at any point, she "dieted" until she was back at 120.   
She and my Daddy, Maxwell, were committed to feeding a family of six.  We four children never went hungry as they had in childhood.  My Daddy worked, but it was contract work and sometimes there was no work.  Feeding us was a priority, so they worked diligently to make sure there was not just enough, but plenty.  I can remember …

Quarantine Cooking Part 2

We are in quarantine, so…. I started cooking!  We learned how to order groceries online and have them delivered to us.  We began using “touch free” grocery pick up.  I joined some cooking groups online.  I dug out cookbooks that I hadn’t touched in years.   Luckily, it’s the time of year for harvest and good availability of south Louisiana fresh fruits and vegetables.  My refrigerator and freezer have never been so full.  It’s become habit to make each evening very special with a cocktail hour and a sit down dinner.  There is nothing better than sitting down together to enjoy home cooked food.  It's my favorite part of the day!   
I decided to dig in and make the best of it!  What else was there to do?  My Momma used to quote the adage: “When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.”  Sounds cheesy, but that attitude has always been my mantra.  I don’t have lemons, but I do have lots of groceries including fresh tomatoes, cantaloupes, peppers and other fresh vegetables, some goo…

Quarantine Cooking

Today is April 28, 2020.  The last time I went out in public was March 14....45 days ago.  During a coronavirus Stay at Home order imposed on my state, I have avoided people, places and all things social. Luckily my husband of 52 years years and I are compatible!

 It has not been hard to stay busy.  Closets are cleaned and drawers are organized.  Dusting, vacuuming and mopping are daily.  Laundry also daily, and never-ending, has kept me busy.  There is also yard work to fill my days.  Sewing face masks for family and friends has become an almost daily chore of love.  One of the most pleasurable tasks has been preparing food.  We are lucky enough to have food delivery and pickup available without breaking our quarantine, therefore, I cook!

I love cooking, but in retirement, my husband and I fell into a routine of frequent meals at restaurants.  We love going out to eat!  Since we had the resources and I was often busy during the day with volunteer work, bridge and social activities,…

Social Distancing, Coronavirus and Polio

This anxiety about disease must be how it was for my parents during the polio epidemic of 1952. I was diagnosed with polio at age 4 in 1952. This is different since so far, by the Grace of God, COVID-19 has been kept away. As a polio patient, I was hospitalized and isolated. I remember the horrible headache that was symptomatic of the disease. I remember screaming during the spinal tap test that diagnosed the polio. I remember going to the window on the 5th floor of the BR General Hospital on the Florida Blvd. side and waving at my parents and siblings because they could not visit me. I don't think it was called "social distancing" in those days. I remember that I could not keep any of the toys I was given because of possible contamination. I remember being given a salt tablet every day. I developed a love for puzzles at that age. I had lots of them.... particularly a Cinderella one. I remember some children were in an iron lung. I remember whirlpool baths. I remember phys…

Traveling Trio Takes a Big Bite of the Big Apple

How exciting to be able to spend a few days in New York City!  Three women descended from the sky and hit the ground running.  A 6:30 am nonstop flight from New Orleans made it possible to have almost an entire first day to enjoy the sites, sounds and tastes of the big city.  Thanks, Delta, for a smooth flight with no delay.  Having TSA Pre-check status was wonderful as there was no disrobing or pat downs in the line to board.  A real luxury!

Dot, Debbie and Donna made a trio of travelers looking for new adventures.  All of us had traveled to NYC many times, and this trip we wanted to see and do things that we hadn't experienced before.  Of course we stayed at a familiar hotel, The Marriott Marquis, because of the convenient location right in Times Square, and we did see Broadway plays and visit THE MET, but the trip was sprinkled with new fun each day.  Good planning was the key!

First things first:  Food.  We wanted to go somewhere we had never been so we sought out a recommen…