Saturday, November 27, 2010

Crab cakes Savoy

I have eaten a number of crabcakes, and these are the best I have ever tasted. And these are the first crabcakes I have ever made! I used approximately 4 cups of the "Piquant Crab Salad" I described in my previous post. To the 4 cups I added 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise, 1 heaping tablespoon of Dijon mustard, 2 eggs, and 1 1/2 cups of Panko crumbs. I combined everything, then shaped the cakes and put them on a plate covered with plastic wrap. I covered them with another sheet of plastic wrap, and put them in the refrigerator for 2 hours to firm them up. Then I carefully lifted them into a baking dish I had brushed with oil. Then I baked them at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

I think the Savoy cabbage made these particularly succulent. I have four cakes left. I not think they will be here in the morning!

Thanksgiving Potluck

Several weeks ago, as I was browsing once again through the used cookbooks at McKay, I found James Beard's "American Cookery", in its 2010 re-issue. This seemed strange, for the book had only been sent out from the publisher within the last month. What, I wondered, had prompted its owner to trade it in so quickly- Was it an under-appreciated gift, say from an aunt to a new bride who has no intention of ever learning to cook? An unwanted hostess gift? It is not a book I would take to McKay unless I was out of gas money.

I adapted Beard's recipe for " A Piquant Crab Salad with Cabbage", and took it to work Thanksgiving night for our potluck. It was a hit, but because I made so much of it I had to bring some home. It is being re-incarnated in the oven as crab cakes as I write this. I ignored Beard's call to use chilies, and I used a mixture of Remoulade and mayonnaise instead of his recommended vinegar dressing.

You need:

2 8 oz containers of lump crab meat

1 medium sized Savoy cabbage, shredded. I used the grater blade of my Cuisinart.

11/2 cups mayonnaise

1/2 cup Remoulade sauce. I used prepared sauce by Boar's Head.

3 bell peppers- 1 red,1 yellow, i green- diced.

1/4 cup finely diced red onion.

Reserving 3 tablespoons of diced peppers, mix the crab meat with the cabbage, peppers and onions. In a separate bowl whisk together the Remoulade and mayonnaise. Add to the crab meat mixture. If you need more mayonnaise, add it. Use the 3 tablespoons of tri-colored peppers to garnish the top.

This will feed a mob, and there may still be left-overs.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here is Dippitty Dog enjoying the couch. Poppette, the Shih tzu, is in the window looking for chipmunks. The camellia is "Winter's Joy", a new cold-hardy camellia. It is covered with buds and should bloom through December. It is 71 and windy in Nashville. I expect tornado warnings tonight. The Weather Channel claims it will snow a bit after midnight. Such is our bizarre Tennessee weather.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Motherboard and I

One of my best friends has raised a Techno-kid, and last evening he looked at my still ailing, on and off computer.

"What poor design", was one of his comments. He was talking about the fan and the vents, which are on the bottom of this $2000,00 top of the line laptop. He diagnosed overheating, which was causing the Blue Screen of Death, the distorted psychedelic graphics, and the start-up problems. He suggested that I raise the computer on stilts, so to speak, so the fan could work and the air vents vent. So here it sits today, propped on a souffle' dish with its nether parts in the air. Techno-kid also broke it to me that laptops are overtaxed by too much Netflix streaming video. I know this is true because this machine crashed initially after a marathon of the first two seasons of "In Plain Sight".

So soon I will be going to the re-built computer store to buy myself a desktop, which Techno-Kid says is more reliable. Since Techno-kid gave me speakers,a keyboard and a monitor, I will pay under $150.00 for the computer. And I bet it will last longer than this laptop.

Yes, this computer overheated and "fried" the motherboard, but I smell a whiff of "planned obsolescence" here. Never again will I spend $2000.00 on a computer. Not if they are just this side of disposable. Not if replacing a "Motherboard" costs $500.00.

My friend had listened to her son's diagnostic of my sick laptop. "What's a Motherboard?" she asked.

"Oh Mom", said her son, rolling his eyes in disgust, "Everyone under 30 knows what a motherboard is." That is true, I wager, but what I have learned is that the minute one hears about trouble with the Motherboard, the next thing one will hear is "You are better off just buying a new computer".

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

About those Daffodils-

I have been reading up on daffodils, since the miniatures I planted seem to want to bloom before Christmas.In "Gardens in Winter", Elizabeth Lawrence quotes the poet Coventry Patmore who wrote "The buried bulb does know/The signals of the year". Perhaps that is true in England. It is not true here, and it is probably my fault. I should have planted the bulbs later and planted them deeper. This fall's prolonged warmth did not help either.Now my window boxes will have to be dragged inside if we have bitter weather. Or I can leave the daffodils to their fate. I shall have to ask around to see if anyone notices established daffodils coming up. Maybe there are other confused bulbs out there-

Goodbye to St. Martin's Summer

My violas and pansies have needed watering every day since we have had such a prolonged stretch of St. Martin's Summer. When I lived in New England I called these warm days Indian Summer. I first read of the Saint's summer in "The Garden in Winter", by the incomparable Elizabeth Lawrence. She devotes an entire chapter to it, and to the flowers that linger or prefer the autumn air. In Tennessee ,garden centers sell pansies as "winter survivors", and southerners bed them out to replace summer annuals. I prefer the smaller violas- the "Johnny-Jump Ups"- because their flowers are more in scale with their groundhugging rosettes of leaves. But all members of this ancient tribe are welcome in my window boxes. And today they have company, for my miniature daffodils are coming up around them. In November!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Kindness of Strangers

The Blue Screen of Death came to haunt my computer around 3 weeks ago. It corrupted it, and it kept me off line. I anticipated another month until I could afford the inevitable $200.00 repair bill. Yet yesterday, a repair man came to fix something in my apartment. In passing I mentioned my computer was dead, killed by the Blue Screen.

"Let me look at it", said the man. An hour later he had fixed my computer by downloading a new driver. I paid him $50.00 for his work, even though he said I did not need to. He gave me his phone number to call if I had more problems. He saved me precious dollars out of the instinct to help. Out of the goodness of his heart. There are many good people in this world.