Monday, March 8, 2010

Humble Beginnings

My Beloved and I have a new resolution - to have one meatless day a week. Today was the first day.

For lunch, we reheated some of that parsnip soup that I made a few days ago and served it with those avocado toasts that I posted about yesterday. It helped us get through the tax preparation and fueled an afternoon of serious estate work.

We had an old, rusty wire fence running halfway between our house and the neighbors' - it was never connected so it didn't keep anyone in or out and the soil is nicely soft now after all the rain, so it was time to wiggle those posts out and roll up the rusty wire, not a fun task on such a steep hill. I'm glad I recently got a tetanus shot but mostly I'm just glad it's done. My good neighbor will help me take the rusty wire to the dump.

Tonight's dinner was a baked potato topped with white cheddar cheese sauce and broccoli. My Beloved made his even more beautiful by adding some crispy onions. There's something very humble about a baked potato for dinner, but it's a good beginning for one meatless meal per week.

Simple Cheese Sauce

1 Tbs. butter
1 Tbs. flour
1 cup milk
1/4 pound white cheddar cheese*, sliced or grated

In a small pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for a few minutes - this is an important step; it keeps the sauce from becoming lumpy and it dispels that "raw flour" flatness that so many sauces and gravies suffer from. Once the roux is ready, milk a bit at a time, whisking constantly. It will thicken as you add; keep adding until all the milk is incorporated smoothly, then add the cheese, stirring over lowered heat until the sauce is smooth and all the cheese has melted. You may enjoy a stronger cheese flavor by adding additional cheese.

*White cheddar cheese is preferable because it doesn't contain the dye that cheesemakers use to make cheddar orangey yellow. It is naturally a pale cream color but tastes the same as the yellow kind.



Blogger namastenancy said...

I have always preferred white cheddar (extra sharp) but didn't realize why it was white - one more reason to eat it, instead of the more processed stuff. That cheese sauce sounds delicious and could be used to top any number of vegetables. Once you get into one day without meat, I hope that you will find it easier and easier.

Monday, March 08, 2010  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Wow, you're into serious spring cleaning. It's imperative to do the soggy-soil chores when the soil is soggy; good on ya.

Beautiful food. There's so much to eat that's not meat.

Monday, March 08, 2010  
Blogger Pink Granite said...

That looks just perfect!
- Lee

P.S. Hope the car situation has been sorted out.

Monday, March 08, 2010  
Blogger dancingmorganmouse said...

Ooo, Meat Free Mondays, it's a bit of an institution. Your pipes will thank you.
We do several meat-free meals a week, sometimes a whole week, although Mr Brown starts to grumble after day 3. He's easily sweetened with a rasher or 2 of bacon though :)

Monday, March 08, 2010  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Nancy, it's not all that difficult now, we just don't tend to think about it so maybe a formal day without meat will bring it more easily to mind.

Cookiecrumb, it certainly is soggy now - perfect conditions for wrangling that rusty old fence.

Pinkie, sadly, the car sage in ongoing. We found they had burned out the clutch (it's a stick shift car), dented the side and stolen all Buzz's samples. The insurance company has the car now and will let us know if it's worth fixing...

Morgan, my challenge is to find things to eat so hearty that MB will not miss the meat. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010  

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