Food I’ve never told you about

I make, photograph, and eat a lot of food that I never tell you about, probably more food than you care to know about. But even if you don’t care to know about it, Iā€™m going to show it to you anyway.

I can be pushy that way. Just ask my friends. Or my husband. Or my children. Or my mother. They’d all tell you I’m pushy. But now they don’t have to, seeing as I’ve already told you myself.

Sheesh. I’m glad we got that out of the way.

Some of the following dishes turned out horrible, some were simply so-so, and a few were scrumptious. The reason I haven’t posted them? It’s mostly due to one thing (and I won’t call it a “problem” because that would be downright scandalous): too much good food and too little time.

Ready to see proof of the eats? Okay, then. Here we go.

Small Pasta with Spinach and Parmesan cheese. And pine nuts. And bacon. And balsamic vinegar. It’s incredibly delicious.

Pound cake. Real pound cake with a pound each of flour, sugar, eggs, and butter. I usually serve slices of the cake with a fruit sauce and whipped cream.

Nicaraguan red beans with homemade sour cream. The beans are plain, just with salt. We love them that way.

Cinnamon sugar biscotti. I didn’t like this recipe; I found it dry and flavorless. I’d take a slice of buttered cinnamon-sugar toast over these biscotti any day.

Fried Polenta Cakes. We were reading about the Pilgrims, so I made these for our supper one night. The kids were enthusiastic about trying them, but I was the only one who truly enjoyed them. Maybe I need to start serving polenta on a more regular basis…

French Potato Salad. This is a recipe from Dr. Perfection herself. She served it at our last soiree. I’ve been meaning to post it ever since, and I will, someday. Promise.

Simple Pressed Cheese. A basic rennet-based cheese with lots of salt. It’s briefly smooshed in a cheese press, just till it holds together. It reminds me of fresh Mexican cheese. My kids love it.

Fried Rice. Cristela, my Nicaraguan neighbor, taught me how to make this. I had to squat by the fire on her dirt kitchen floor to stir the kettle of rice. I miss Cristela. I do not miss the scorpions.

A gross yeasted apple coffee cake. Absolutely no flavor whatsoever.

A delicious yeasted apple coffee cake, with a glaze. I really must share this recipe with you. The dough requires an overnight rest in the fridge so it’s super-easy to turn it out, hot and moist, for a yummy breakfast.

Roasted Cauliflower with Raisins and Almonds and Some Other Stuff. Not a hit.

Parmesan Cheese Straws. I love them, but the kids don’t. They have a bit of a bite from some cayenne; I think that’s what the kids react to.

White Pizza. I’m still hoping to perfect this recipe.

Spritz Cookies. I was surprised by how much I liked them. I popped a goodly number of them just as they were, unadorned. But the others I drizzled with a lemon glaze. Yum.

Potato Chips. I gave Mr. Handsome a mandolin slicer for his birthday (and a potato, all wrapped up in colored paper) and now fresh potato chips are ours for the having.

And that’s all the pictures for now. I only worked back through about five months worth of pictures, so I have a lot more to show you.

Later, dudes.

About one year ago: Cleaning up bad attitudes.


  • Jennifer Jo

    Mavis, Yes, we eat junk food, but not as much as The Average American. For the homemade sour cream I used a starter I bought from The Cheese Queen—Ricki Carroll (google her). Peas? Usually around the first day of spring. Why? Are you going to come plant peas with me?

    ThyHand and Beth, I will share the recipe. You are right to want me to.

    Chicken Mama, Wash and peel the taters and slice them as thin as possible. Working in batches (and using a big kettle with high sides), cook them in hot oil (I used canola). Stir them gently while frying, and when they are beginning to brown, remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon and spread them out on a cut-open brown paper bag. Immediately sprinkle with salt. To take into considerations: one large potato makes a lot of chips.

  • Chicken Mama

    Hey, I just jumped over from a post you made on my mom's (Mama Pea), A Home Grown Journal blog.

    So, I need to know ('cause I have a mandolin & LOVE it) . . . how do you make the potato chips? Just slice 'em fine & fry 'em? In what? How long? How . . . what . . . when . . . ? Thanks! šŸ™‚

  • beth

    That was fun to look at. Thankfully I just ate…or I'd be really upset that you didn't include the how to's! That first one is the one I'm going to want right away. šŸ™‚

  • You Can Call Me Jane

    Holy cow and great post, woman. Even your duds look delicious! I really need you to post about the pasta and the potato salad, okay?

  • It's me ...Mavis

    JJ I have a few questions for you…

    #1 Do you eat junk food or not? You only post about pretty homemade food… is this because this is all you guys eat?

    #2 How do you make homemade sour cream?

    #3 When do you plant peas in Virgina?

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