Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Cookbook Countdown, Library Loot and What's Outside My Kitchen Window

Last year, during the spring and summer, while my yard and garden were transforming, I took pictures of what was "Outside my Kitchen" window (and other windows), and posted them almost every Wednesday.

Today is Wednesday and I thought I'd show you that spring is indeed popping up out of the frozen northern Nevada dirt!

But first, let me tell you about another "cookbook countdown" recipe I made last night and for all the "book bloggers" who are checking out this post for my first ever "Library Loot" post, don't be discouraged, just scroll down to the bottom. (I'm putting everything on this one post today)

After posting a "Cookbook Countdown" the other day, I realized it had been well over a month, and if there is anyway at all that I'm going to get thru 200+ cookbooks, I better get my rear in gear. So last night I made a side-dish to go with our chicken, from "The County Fair Cookbook." (and I got side-tracked reading all the great stories--it had been awhile since I opened this one up). I made "Garrett McClure's New Potatoes and Peas in Cheddar Sauce". I  t wasn't very healthy, or fancy, but it was really good. Kind of like a "cheesy" creamed potato dish.

Garrett McClure enters his dishes in the Ford County Fair in Dodge City, Kansas.  In this cookbook, the authors take the United States in sections and have visited and interviewed many State Fair, blue ribbon cooks.  There are tons of great stories and old pictures.  If you like regional cooking at all,  you'll love this cookbook...just for a great read if nothing else.

I don't know Garrett McClure, but one thing I can say, is that "country" kids are so much more "community involved" than city kids. No, that's not fair...just involved in a different way, I guess.

I work for the Chamber of Commerce here in my little town, and whenever we have events that are more attractive to the ranching people, I notice they bring the whole family. For example, dances and concerts.... they bring the whole family, while if you live here in the city (town, really, since we are not big) we tend to get "sitters" for an event like that, so we can enjoy it with our spouses. Our "date night" if you will. I guess the ranching life just lends itself to more family oriented activities.
One does not get a "sitter' when you live on a ranch 80 miles from town.

But, back to Garrett McClure....a high-schooler, who has been in 4-H since he was nine, his main 4-H projects are Leadership, Gardening and food preservation.
He says, "I enjoy looking thru cookbooks. I don't know if cooking will be a career, but it is a pleasure"

You go Garrett!! Because your New Potatoes and Peas in Cheddar Sauce rocks!
It was really good, and had a bit of a spicy kick to it. Yummy.

The County Fair Cookbook
by Lyn Stallworth and Rod Kennedy, JR.
Garrett McClure's New Potatoes and Peas in Cheddar Sauce
Serves 8

2 pounds new potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks, 7-cups.
3 cups chicken broth
2 T. butter
2 T. flour
2 t. dry mustard
1/8 t. ground red pepper
1 t. salt
1 cup milk
2 cups defrosted frozen peas
4 oz shredded cheddar cheese (1 cup)

1. Bring the potatoes and broth to a boil in a 3-quart saucepan. Cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender, but still firm. Drain and reserve 1 cup of broth for the sauce.

2. Make the sauce: melt the butter in the same saucepan, add the flour, dry mustard, red pepper and salt. Whisk over low heat until smooth and frothy. Let the mixture bubble for about 3 minutes, stirring often to prevent browning. Gradually whisk in the broth and milk. Increase the heat to moderate and whisk the mixture for 2-3 minutes until the sauce thickens.

3. Add the peas to the sauce and bring to simmer, stirring gently. Add the potatoes and stir gently to coat. Reduce heat to low and cover. Heat for 5 minutes, stirring once or twice. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese.

Serve at once.
We really, really liked this dish. It would go really well, with a Turkey at Thanksgiving time, or an old-fashioned Sunday dinner.


What's outside my kitchen window?

GREEN STUFF poking thru!! Yay. Pay no attention to the fact that we didn't get all of our leaves out of the rock garden last fall....nor did I trim back flowers, so we have dead reedy things hanging around.

You just watch tho.... how much my yard can change in just a few months.
Now for my new weekly Meme!!
Library Loot!
I'm so excited.

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Eva (a striped armchair) and Marg  (reading adventures) which encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries!

( Just click on Eva or Marg's names to take you to their sites with all the info about  Library Loot )

I decided, long before I found this meme, to use the library more this year. For one thing, I am running out of room to store my books, and another....I can't AFFORD to purchase every book I want, but I am like a kid in a candy store when I go into a library. I start grabbing until my arms can hold no more and then I request some they don't have.

(just fyi...I am on the library board...and.....I am always late in returning my's a horrible old-librarian habit, because we've never had to pay late fees. It worked fine until someone wanted THE HELP, and I was not done with it...they actually wanted me to turn it back in!! I read very fast and then turned it in. LOL )
This week, I checked out 6 books. I guess 6 is not too bad.

I think the bag they gave me to carry my books is funny...

...."What's COOKING at your library?" Because first, this was/is a food blog. So, it's either a sign that I can do two blogs in one OR I am just easily amused by trivial coincidences.

My six books are:
You Remind me of Me by Dan Chaon
Book Sense; Best Children's Books complied by Book Sense
One Night Stands with American History by Richard Shenkman and Kurt Reiger
Sisters Choice by Emilie Richards
Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen by Susan Greg Gilmore
Still Summer by Jacquelyn Mitchard

We will see what all I can get accomplished, as I have a large TBR pile of my own books and two bookclubs with assigned books to finish by the end of the month too.


Joie de vivre said...

I DO see spring, I DO see spring!!!!

Karen said...

Those potatoes look really good - I love peas in stuff... they're so bright and all. I'm very envious that you have green stuff coming out of the ground. I'm beginning to think winter will never end up here :( SIX books in one day.. oh my... I probably haven't checked out 6 books from a library in my entire life! LOL Really wish I could read :(

Kathleen said...

Yay! Spring is on the way!!! Those potatoes look out of this world in that cheese sauce!

Miss Moppet said...

Thanks for stopping by The Misadventures of Moppet, Debbie, and I hope you enjoy your books! The Dairy Queen one sounds intriguing.

Love the recipe too.

Terri said...

The potatoes look great! I posted something similar to kitchen window Wednesday today. Already have chives I can snip! Ordered my tomato seeds today. Spring and Summer and Kitchen Window is about to be in full swing :-) It looks like it is definitely spring in Winnemucca!

Linda said...

Great loot! Looking forward to haring what you think of them!

Eva said...

I haven't read any of your library books, but they do look like fun!

NKP said...

Signs of life! I love that spring is coming - can't wait til I see some here!

Anastasia @ Here There Be Books said...

Haha, I had to return a book someone wanted once, and I hadn't read it yet! But I HAD had it for about a month (or maybe two?), so I felt pretty bad and returned it quickly. I figure I can just check it back out again later, right?

Jolina said...

How is One Night Stands With American History? It sounds interesting. I'm going to try the potatoes, they look yummy.

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