Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Meals -on my Mind

I know I mentioned before that as a general rule, I tend to do most of the cooking here for the family. Sometimes, I try to set things up and kind of force Mandy into venturing forth into that vast area known as the kitchen and to get her to try to fix balanced meals every now and again. I do this because I think she needs to do a bit more of this. Learn more about cooking and really get her feet wet.

I keep telling her she needs to do this more often simply because Mom is not always going to be around to cook full meals for her and the family.

She knows this. I really know this too. But it's a long, sometimes arduous project I keep working on to try to impress her that it's not the best idea to exist on pizza, cheese steaks, tacos or french toast and scrambled eggs. Granted, I enjoy those food items too from time to time - especially the french toast, scrambled eggs and a good bit of bacon with that as well - but so far, she hasn't had a light-bulb moment when she's discovered a larger liking for playing in the kitchen.

Now, this week there's yet another holiday and one that possibly will mean more than just us here for dinner too. That may be just my son but one never knows -the older daughter, her fiance and my grandson could possibly show up. It could happen.

Fortunately, on one hand, cooking for New Year's Day here is generally fairly simple as we follow the tradition of this region and it's pretty much mandatory that we have pork and sauerkraut with mashed potatoes. I'll toss in a package of hot dogs too mainly for the two little one's benefit because they won't even think of touching the pork and sauerkraut. That is pretty much guaranteed. Most likely I'll have to fix a package of macaroni and cheese too -just for them -so they have something besides a hot dog for dinner.

One thing I like to have as a side dish though with pork and kraut is a nice big dish of applesauce too. Just sets my meal off in my opinion there.

So what's my issue with this? It all sounds pretty clear-cut doesn't it?

Well, for openers, Mandy and I have a running argument about how to cook the sauerkraut and meat. She prefers just putting the two items together in either an oven dish or crockpot and let 'er rip. I like to add brown sugar to my sauerkraut and the meat. To me, that gives the kraut an even better flavor.

But this year, the thing I'd really like to serve is something that someone from our church brought to a St. Lucia dinner about two years ago and that was applesauce with pomegranate seeds sprinkled on top of it!

Part of me hesitates to try and serve this as it would be a totally new thing for everyone here. But then, considering I can't seem to locate any pomegranates ANYWHERE -in any of the grocery stores in this area, I don't think I'll need to worry about pulling a surprise food item on the family to welcome the New Year.

Now, if I thought Pomegranate trees would be able to survive in this climate, I would really give some very serious consideration to purchasing and planting a tree so I wouldn't have to worry about whether the stores here carry this item or not in the future then. Heck, if they could withstand the cold temps of Central Pennsylvania, I might even consider planting a couple of 'em -just in case, cause you might remember gardening -of any type -isn't necessarily my strong point either. But it's a thought I am seriously entertaining for sometime in the future. Maybe?

But for now, guess I'll have to deal with plain applesauce and a little shaker of cinnamon, won't I?


Kanani said...

Last night on Diners DriveIns and Dives, Guy Fieri went to a place that served Pork Chops with this delicious mixture of brown sugar, sliced apples and raisins. They put the sugar, apples and raisins together for 24 hours, just let it all meld together. The next day they added some water and let it all cook through with the Pork Chops. Looked great!

As for pomegranite trees --they grow great here in our Mediterranean climate. Not sure how they'd do with the snow fall, but you never know until you try! They are a bit of a bear to prune --that's the only complaint i have about them. They're more of a shrub than a tree!

Smalltown RN said...

I love traditions as well, but for me it presents a problem....it's a tradition and hence you don't mess with tradition. If you were lucky enough to find some pommegranite I would make a small dish that you want to try...and keep the rest as the tradition. Just a thought.....

We don't have any New Years tradition that I can recall...especially in the food department...the only thing I am going to try and do this year will be the Polar bear swim...and that it will be as the snow is still here...not sure how I am going to make out but I am going to give it a try.

I hope all of you family manages to arrive for New Years day and you have a wonderful celebration together.

Celebration of Life said...

Hi Jeni! Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting! I love pork and kraut cooked together in a slow cooker then serving it over mashed potatoes. Unfortunately, I am the only one in this household that appreciates those flavors together. My grandmother on my father's side was German and she taught me how to make kraut in a crock. Later she gave me that crock and I made it for several years until the crock got cracked and it croaked!
Have a very happy holiday with your family!

Suldog said...

My Dad used to make his own homemade applesauce. It was excellent. In some of the batches, he would add black plums to the mix. It worked marvelously well. I wish I could tell you the exact ratio, but he's not around anymore and I don't know. But, worth a shot, possibly.

Debo Blue said...

Hi, I've never heard of sauerkraut served over mashed potatoes with a side of applesauce. I'm intrigued.

Our New Year's tradition starts New Year's eve: rolling tamales and chitlins. New Year's day the menu is tamales, chitlins, black-eyed peas, mustard or turnip greens and lots of cornbread and hot sauce (Red Devil).

I'll have to post about this:-) because now I'm hungry:-)

Michelle O'Neil said...

I can't even spell pomegranite let alone plant one, or cook one!

Happy New Year! May it be delicious.

janeywan said...

Yep, like the brown sugar on my kraut too! Must be a Pa thing, most out here in the wild west have never heard of doing that. Not so sure kraut is real popular really. Happens to be one of my favorite meals.
Homemade applesauce, made with Oats apples, yummm.

Happy New Year Jeni!

fermicat said...

Pomegranate seeds are definitely on the exotic side. I lived 42 years before ever having a dish that had them, and it was just a few weeks ago. They were pretty and festive, and added a nice, tart taste to the dish. I would not have the faintest clue where to get such a thing, but here in the ATL I would be inclined to try the DeKalb Farmer's Market. They have everything!

terri said...

Pork, sauerkraut and mashed potatoes. My German mom would love that meal. I never learned to like sauerkraut and have never made that meal myself.

But if I did... I'd go for the crock pot. Whoever invented the crock pot should be granted saint-hood!

Mary said...


Amazon.com sells pomegranate sees in the lawn and garden section. 40 seeds are $3.99. I think it would be worth a try. When we moved here my neighbor had a fig tree, which is only supposed to grow in warm climates and it did fine.

Wishing you and yours abundant blessings in the New Year.