Welcome to the foodie conversation on this fine April morning. Our first request came from Winnie Reidl, who sampled “a lemon vinaigrette that my hostess said she had purchased from Kroger. Since there is no Kroger in Chattanooga, I wonder if someone would send a recipe for lemon vinaigrette. And please ask readers to send any recipes for lemon desserts, easy ones or recipes for special occasions.”
Keep reading for a discussion question about appliances that work in your kitchen.
EGGS TO OMELETS
Many years ago, when I wrote a column called “Bread and Better” for The Chattanooga Times, I visited Jane Guthrie’s kitchen for a story. The story she told for you all today, about her remodeled kitchen from their 1952 vintage home, is a tale of a still-inventive kitchen and a healthy disregard for some remodeling upgrades.
Ms. Guthrie began, “I cooked a great microwave egg omelet today.
“We have company coming, and for breakfast I wanted to do an omelet one morning. I have had a good experience with microwave scrambled eggs for us.”
First, here’s how she scrambles.
Microwave Scrambled Eggs
A little seasoning
Melt a little butter in the bottom of a 4-cup measuring cup. Add some milk and about the same amount as the eggs you want. Mix it up, add a little seasoning and put in the microwave for a minute. Stir and cook one more minute, and it’s done. Cooking time will depend on the number of eggs and the power of your microwave.
Then came the omelet, fit for guests.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup (approximately) of milk
Salt and pepper to taste
In a 4-cup measuring cup, melt unsalted butter, then add milk, eggs, salt and pepper. Beat.
Pour mixture into a greased glass pie plate. My microwave took 5 minutes on high.
To test, cut a small wedge, and if it is good, put a spatula under omelet and you will find it is no problem to move it.
It would be a little thick to try to fold over bacon, tomatoes and other fillings, so I cook two in the microwave together and layer bacon, tomatoes etc. in between.
For a thinner omelet that would fold, reduce the number of eggs — I would guess 3 eggs — reducing microwave time to 3 minutes or so. But this is just a guess.
Ms. Guthrie concluded her missive with praise for the microwave instead of a glass-surface stovetop.
“We remodeled our kitchen awhile back. At that time there was no way to have a gas stove, so I settled on one of the glass-top models. I fought several wars keeping it clean; the eyes were frustrating and twice as much work. Finally, I gave up and use the microwave for most things. My glass-top eyes are covered with a homemade fitted tray, adding a great place to prep in the kitchen and the like.”
Have any of you forsaken upgrades to do things a simpler way? How do you feel about glass-top surfaces? What stoves, ovens and the like work well in your kitchen?
I wish you could see Rose Secrest’s recipes in her distinctive hand printing, but typeface will simply have to do. The two recipes printed today are spring-fit. As always with the recipes sent by Ms. Secrest, a cookbook author, salt is to suit your taste. Her first is in response to the request for curry recipes.
1 package frozen artichoke hearts
1/2 cup dry garbanzo beans, cooked
1 potato, diced
1/2 cup peas
1/4 cup onion, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup mint, minced
2 tablespoons mustard
1 tablespoon curry powder
Salt to taste
Simmer together all ingredients until potato is soft, about 20 minutes.
Asian Pear and Ginger Vinaigrette
1/2 Asian pear, chopped
2 inches fresh ginger, grated
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons white miso
2 teaspoons lime zest
1 teaspoon pink peppercorns
Salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
Puree ingredients, and they are ready to serve.
Most of us Fare Exchangers are experts in our own kitchens and with our own people, but it’s always good to get a word from experts outside the personal spaces of home.
When there was a request for lactation cookies, Liz Held simply had to reply.
Ms. Held wrote, “I am an avid reader of your Wednesday Fare Exchange column. In reading the March 23 column, I felt compelled to write to you and clear up a pervasive nutrition myth that is unfortunately still being propagated.
“I am talking about the request for recipes for lactation cookies. The idea that there are cookies, teas or other ‘superfoods’ that can increase the amount of milk a woman produces in preparation for or while lactating is simply not true. There is no one food, or combination of foods, that can increase a woman’s milk production while she is breastfeeding. This is backed up by numerous scientific studies.
“If a woman is experiencing difficulty with her milk supply, the first nutritional component that should be assessed is her hydration status, as being dehydrated can have a direct effect on the amount of milk she is making. Any time a woman is unable to make enough milk to feed her baby or pump enough milk to put in refrigerated storage, the first nutritional change she should make is increasing the amount of water she is drinking per day and decreasing the amount of caffeinated and sugary beverages she is currently drinking.
“If a woman in the Southeast Tennessee region has questions or concerns about breastfeeding, she can visit one of the 10 rural county health departments in the Southeast region or the Hamilton County Health Department in Chattanooga. Each health department has a designated breastfeeding expert, as well as at least one certified lactation counselor, and most WIC program nutritionists are also well educated and experienced with providing breastfeeding assistance.
“Thank you for your help in maintaining scientifically proven answers and solutions to women and children’s health concerns.”
Clearly these were an expert’s words, and we are grateful. Please keep on reading and commenting from both your experience and your expertise otherwise. As always, we need each other.
— Lemon vinaigrette
— Lemon desserts
— Best/worst kitchen upgrades
TO REACH US
Fare Exchange is a longtime meeting place for people who love to cook and love to eat. We welcome both your recipes and your requests. Be sure to include precise instructions for every recipe you send, and know we cannot test the recipes printed here.
Mailing address: Jane Henegar, 913 Mount Olive Road, Lookout Mountain, GA 30750
Email: [email protected]