Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Echos of the upper Midwest in San Diego

Hello, Everyone!

It's late on a cold, rainy, windy, Wednesday night in San Diego.  Dan sez it reminds him of Minnesota, but without the snow.  This is what passes for winter weather with us.  Last week we were roasting over 100, sheeesh.

I feel ok.  I had a minor stomach bug, but it seems to have passed.  Maybe it passed to Dan, he went to bed real early tonight, which I did last night, LOL.  I'm listening to piano jazz on  Go, Herbie!

About that discipline and restraint I was working on yesterday, well, I'm doing just fine.  I have not, repeat not, cast on for the new shawl yet.  Actually, I can't find where I put the yarn.  A week or so ago I was cleaning up the area around my "knitting rocker" and I put this lovely ice blue yarn away somewhere, ahem.  But where?  Oh, well, it is doing wonders for my discipline. I'll find it soon and then we'll see....

In honor of the rainy evening, I made a nice, Midwestern supper.   I made real-deal from scratch mashed potatoes with cheddar cheese stirred in. A green salad with tomatoes and my home made pickles. I make my own pickles so I can control the salt.  Then I made Polish sausage with sauerkraut.  Rice pudding for dessert with yogurt sauce.  All very Midwestern.

My sauerkraut is pretty special.  Dan Likes it even though he doesn't generally like sauerkraut.  Well, I am German, you know. He's Polish, so this fits us both.  Here's the recipe if you want to make it.

Julie's Polish Sausage with Sauerkraut.
serves 4, or 2 people twice in my house

1 pound Kielbasa (Polish Sausage), can be frozen!
3 slices of bacon (Yes, I know the word rashers, but it is too old fashioned for me)
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small can sauerkraut.
1 tsp caraway seeds. You can use cumin if you do not stock caraway, they are actually very close.
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
no additional salt, as the bacon, sausage and sauerkraut all have lots
1 Tbsp brown sugar
3/4 cup potato water

Cut the Kielbasa into 4 pieces.  Cut the bacon into bits, and add to a large frying pan that has a lid over med-low heat.  Cook the bacon until crispy.  Just as it is done add the onions and stir it all up.  Add the garlic.  Add the sausage.  Open the kraut can and drain it really well. Taste it.  If it is real puckery sour, rinse it in a colander. Tonight's can was fine without rinsing.  But sometimes you get a real sour one.  Add the kraut to the onions. Add the caraway and pepper and mix well.  Add the sugar.  Stir it frequently as it browns.  Careful, once the sugar is in, it will burn easily.  When it is all yummy and caramelized, add the water.  If you forgot to save the potato water, it's ok to use regular.  Put the lid on and turn the heat down.  Keep it on low heat until the sausages are done, maybe 5-7 minutes. The water will disappear. Serve beside the mashed potatoes with mustard for the sausage.  I don't need to tell you how to make cheesy mashed potatoes do I?

Yum.  My fav.  But then I am German. We drank some nice cocktails made with run, mandarin soda and cherry syrup.  The sort of thing you might get on a cruise ship with a colorful umbrella in it. The drink of the day is...

Wasn't that crazy about the cruise ship with the engine fire off Cabo?  No AC, at first no water, no toilets.  4000 people and no working toilets, wow!  Only cold food like spam.  Not moving at all, dead in the water.  Then they got the aux power on, so cold water and toilets working again.  Great fun I'm sure.  And I really do love to cruise.  But not on that cruise.

I was eating a bowl of the rice pudding with a sauce of strawberry yogurt as I started this post.  Yum!  Lilo kept begging and I kept telling her it was nothing a kitty would like, but she would not believe me.  So I gave her some.  She looked at me like, are you nuts?  Ha, silly kitty.  She's staying inside tonight, spent most of the evening snoozing in my sweaters.  Great, now they'll all have white cat hair on them.

Sorry, I did not get a picture of my plate for you tonight.  I just ate it right up too fast to photograph!  So, I gave you the recipe instead...

Have a good night's sleep, rainy nights are good for that...
Julie and Lilo, yawning and heading for bed

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