I think one of the things I miss most about living in the US (other than my family and friends, of course) is the GREAT FOOD I grew up on in the south. Simply nothing like it anywhere!! Though I often eat grilled fish, rice, salad and miso soup (made from soy beans) for breakfast now, I still often dream of grits mixed with scrambled eggs and buttermilk cornbread muffins (no joke). My last trip to Atlanta had me giggling like a kid over the HUGE blackberries I had for breakfast at my hotel. I have never even seen a blackberry here...
I couldn't find BBQ sauce when I first moved here so I learned how to make my own. Still, when I go to Memphis, I find myself contemplating whether I'll get rubbed wet or dry. (For those of you who don't live in the south, this has absolutely nothing to do with massages.) Now, I make my own breads, jams, ice creams and pastas. The more I make from scratch, the better! Hope to start working on my own garden one of these days.
By the way, for all my fishing buddies out there (especially you, Dorcheated!!), I just made some crabcakes the other day. In addition to the crab, bread, seasonings and eggs, I added some finely cut broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, spinach, onions, mushrooms, fruit tomatoes and garlic. Topped those with a little pineapple-chili sauce and WOW!! Now THOSE were the best crabcakes I have ever tasted.
Finally, to all of ya'll 'old school' folks out there...I made macaroni and cheese for Chaka Khan during one of her concert tours in Japan. She made a stop in my city and a mutual friend gave her stage manager my telephone number. It was during a Memorial Day holiday and she wanted some "soul food." Now, I live sorta out in the boonies here. There are no American restaurants like in Tokyo, so I ended up making a homemade mac & cheese recipe that was a mix of mom's and grandma's. It was complete with sour cream, cream cheese and about 4 or 5 different cheeses. Though that dish probably added 10 pounds to each thigh, it didn't look as though Chaka cared. She ate half a pan by herself and then was able to dance all over the stage. Another truly memorable food moment!!
Being in Japan has given me the chance to put a little 'foreign' spin on some of those old time dishes I grew up with. And for that...I am very grateful! I've had the pleasure to discuss food with a few of you in here and it has been lots of fun. Though we have yet to meet, it truly does feel like we are already a community of family. That being said, I thought it would be nice to share some food ideas that I love with you all. A month or so ago SueBaby asked for my Strawberry Cream Pie recipe, so I am starting with that below.
Anyone else care to invite the shale into your kitchen..? Please feel free to share some of your favorite recipes here with us. To good friends, good food, good conversation...and the spirit of sharing.
ANTSU'S STRAWBERRY CREAM PIE:
(see my page for picture)
* 9-inch baked pie shell (actually, I like to crush my favorite butter cookies, add cinnamon and nuts, butter and sugar to make my own shell. Tastes sooooo much better than those store bought ones!!)
* 1 1/2 quarts of strawberries
* 3/4 cup of sugar
* 3 tablespoons of cornstarch
* 2/3 cup of water
* a few drops of red food color (if desired...I don't add it)
* 1 1/2 packages of cream cheese, softened
* 1/2 cup of powdered sugar
* dash of cinnamon or nutmeg
Prepare and bake pie shell if needed. Mash enough of the strawberries to measure 1 cup. Mix the sugar and cornstarch in a 2-quart saucepan. Gradually stir in water, food color and mashed strawberries. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir for one minute; then cool.
Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add spices and powdered sugar. Spread in pie shell. Fill shell with remaining strawberries. Pour cooked mixture over the top. Put in the fridge for about three hours or until set. Enjoy...
PS...I've done this same pie with lemon peels and lemon juice instead of strawberries.