It’s February, it’s Valentine’s Day week, it’s cold outside and there’s snow on the ground – pretty typical here in the Midwest. What’s not typical here in the Midwest, at least in this house, is that The Professor and I began a new exercise program in January and . . . I can’t believe I’m saying this but . . . we’re still at it. As in, getting up every day and actually doing a full exercise routine, sweating and everything. I know. Who are we?!! The truth of the matter is, we are actually enjoying the process. I know. Again, who are we?!!
These crab cakes are a spin on sushi – probably my favorite Japanese food. Gluten-free bread crumbs, snap peas, scallions and tamari replace traditional crab cake ingredients, the guacamole-wasabi and pickled ginger garnish give these crab cake bites a fresh twist.
Today began rather early – 3:30am to be exact; one of those nights where sleep is restless as I process the tasks completed yesterday as well as those left undone. I dozed from 6-7:30 and then it was time to be an adult. ‘Please don’t make me adult today’, I said to The Professor. His baby-blues simply twinkle back at me and he doesn’t say a word . . . because he knows that even if I wanted to, I cannot stay in bed.
We’re in the throws of winter here in the Midwest – although we managed to dodge big blizzard, ‘Jonas’, of 2016 and for that I am grateful (I mean seriously, 40-inches of snow in 24 hours?!!). However, there is something to be said about being snowbound while the white stuff tumbles furiously from the sky – it can be magical. But when you live in the country like we do, there is always the fear and trepidation of loss of power that usually accompanies said blizzard.
Twas the week of Christmas and all through the house . . . we’re racing around like a goose and a grouse . . . I asked The Professor what rhymes with ‘house’ and this is what he came up with – feel free to eyeroll in his direction. Regardless, I know we’re all in the same boat because I see you in my social media feeds. You can run but you can’t hide.
Until a year ago, I had only used persimmons as table decorations but had never actually tasted a persimmon – even though I’ve lived here in Indiana for almost 20 years and persimmons are well-known in these parts. We’d tucked some pulp away in the freezer and The Professor found a recipe he wanted to try – I was more than a little suspicious but he forged ahead and I am now happily eating my words . . . uhm . . . pudding.
We don’t make casseroles very often now but I do remember making them weekly when I was a single mom; they almost always included canned cream of chicken or mushroom soup, a pound of protein in the form of chicken or ground beef and a frozen vegetable – usually carrots or corn. Add a tossed green salad and dinner was on the table in about an hour.
I’ve mentioned before we are lovers of all-things-potatoes; chipped, mashed, baked, roasted, scalloped, cheesed, twice-baked and stuffed as well as fried, it’s a given that nary a potato goes to waste in this house. And in fact, given a choice between potatoes and something sweet and I’ll choose a potato every time.
It’s been a great summer here at the Smith Bites Homestead; it is the first summer where The Professor didn’t teach during the break and we’ve had more than eight weeks to dig in our garden, work on our home and just simple be – sleep late, stay up late, read books, have friends over, bake, grill, eat and repeat. It has been glorious and was exactly what I needed to fill my soul.
It is not lost on me that while I’m still enjoying the last dog days of summer – hello high humidity and 90-degree temperatures – I’m here with a recipe for pumpkin dip. And it’s the last day of August. And we haven’t even seen September, apples or pears. And I rather enjoy taking one season at a time, thank-you-very-much. And over the next couple of weeks, there will be a glut of alllllllll things pumpkin which will hit the blogosphere, so brace yourself. No, sharing a recipe for pumpkin dip in August is not lost on me.
The days get shorter, the sun sets a little earlier, the temps are slowly creeping into sweater or jacket weather, our garden is nearly spent and over the past couple of weeks, I’ve seen some pretty cute back-to-school photos in my social media feeds. But there’s one more final end-of-summer get-together before the onslaught of football and all things pumpkin; actually, we plan to gather family and friends around our table even after summer ends – and most likely our meals will include something grilled. Sometimes it’s brisket, chicken or smoked turkey breast, but quite often it’s something as simple as a great burger.