Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Dinner At Maxine's.

Mr. Hawthorne and I left Saturday morning for a brief road trip. He dropped me off in Danville for a visit with Mama Hawthorne and he continued to Bassett for his family's annual reunion.
As usual, I stayed at my dear friend Maxine's house. This is Maxine's lovely, relaxing, peaceful, serene backyard.
I'm cooking dinner Saturday night for Maxine, starting with stuffed peppers. It's always a challenge cooking in someone else's kitchen, whether it be finding the right utensils or ingredients. I have found that my idea of "staples" is not someone else's. Not to worry though. Rosie can do this.
Stuffing ingredients include: cooked black beans (drained halfway through cooking and fresh water added) chopped tomatoes
sliced green onions and minced jalapenoes
black olives
"Mexican" rice (I'd found the rice earlier at Yoder's Market in Yanceyville where we always stop.) lime zest
Pepper Jack cheese This dish would certainly be fine by itself, but I brought along some peppers from my garden and will be stuffing them.
Slice off the tops of the peppers, scrape out the seeds and ribs, and stuff to overflowing.
Top with "pre-shredded" cheese, a la Sandra Lee. I poured water halfway up the peppers and baked at 350 for about 30-40 minutes until the cheese was nicely browned. Next up, I'm making a Mexican-inspired soup to pair with the stuffed peppers.
I had brought along a quart of my chicken consomme. Yes. Rosie travels prepared. She used to be a girl scout, you know.
I sliced some pork chops into thin strips and salted, peppered, and cumined them.
Maxine had this rather odd squash which I'd never seen before. Sort of a cross between a zucchini and a yellow crookneck squash. If anyone knows the name of this squash, please let me know. I should've saved the seeds. I found this zucchini which looks similar.
I peeled and diced the squash.
While my block of consomme was melting, I sauteed the pork strips in olive oil.
I deglazed the pan and added the juices and the squash to my broth.
Pork strips draining on a paper towel.
Ingredients for my soup: chopped tomato sliced scallion sliced green pepper pork strips
I added the tomato and peppers to the soup.
Here I have half an avocado, the sliced scallion, chopped parsley from Maxine's garden (Dang it! I forgot to bring my cilantro.), and sliced lime.
Pork went into the broth.
Add the scallion, parsley, and avocado just to heat through.
Add the lime slices. Chopped red onion would be nice too, so just imagine there's some red onion in there.
Dinner is ready.
This was a very satisfying meal with happy, friendly flavors. I'll be making more of the same for Mama Hawthorne for Sunday lunch. I thought you'd like to see more pictures of Maxine's backyard.
It's so peaceful out here.
Birds and squirrels frequent the garden.
Babbling water fountain.
White coneflower. Oh, I went through the back garden gate and stole a bunch of columbine seed pods. Hope Maxine doesn't mind.
Here's Maxine's garden angel. And here's Maxine:

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