cook until done

I've spent some time cooking lately so I suppose I must include food as one of my preoccupations this week.  You should know that I am a leftover cook: I refuse to throw away food.  The first cookbook I published was about leftovers and one reviewer said you could save $1000 a year following my recipes and advice. My second cookbook (about cheese) had pen and ink illustrations and the illustrator made a special page of drawings for me - of rotting food with fumes coming off it, or cobwebs, or covered with mould.  Just so you know.

A few weeks ago a dear friend went to New Orleans and brought me a present of a Gumbo Mix.  I used it and made a gumbo with peas and okra and chicken (meant to add shrimp but forgot).  She was not free to come and share it so I put it in  the freezer.  This past week I thawed it when I had my talented grandson and his wife for dinner and I baked a double cornbread to go with it, double because in addition to cornmeal I mixed in corn niblets in maple syrup to cover (and used less sugar).  The next day I had a Devonshire cream tea birthday party for a friend.  I made the scones and another friend looked after the Melton Mowbray pie, the cucumber sandwiches, and devilled eggs - with a dollop of caviar (lumpfish).  I added sherry, three cheeses (Brie, Manchego, and Danish blue), green grapes, and of course - tea. Oh, and individual chocolate cream cheese cakes purchased for the birthday occasion. 

So the next day a friend who had intended to drive to the U.S.  was turned back by a blizzard and invited himself for dinner. I served gravlax (with red onion, gravelaxsass ((honey mustard with dill)), and buttered brown bread, with akvavit and beer. (He brought the akvavit.) Dinner was baked pork tenderloin in a garlic and honey marinade with roasted Honey Crisp apple slices on the side, mini-potatoes in butter and chives, brussel sprouts, a baby spinach and avocado salad and vinar terta for dessert. (My Icelandic tastes are showing.)  Today I made soup with enough chicken broth to thin a leftover casserole of cooked chicken, peas, carrots and couscous. Tomorrow I will serve lunch to my daughterin-law and son when they come to help me with some non-functioning machines (TV and Bose).  I'll make crab wraps and you already know the recipe for that because I published it a few weeks ago. 

This isn't really about leftovers and cooking, it's about trying not to gain weight, trying, in fact, to lose.