Sunday, July 22, 2007

Menu-Plan Monday

On Saturday, we spent the day with Abe's family in a nearby community, watching a parade and visiting area-wide garage sales. After the festivities, as we ate a late lunch, Abe's dad mentioned that his Brother-In-Law, a local farmer, had had his green bean crop harvested but the harvesters had missed lots, and so there were fresh green beans free for the picking. Now, generally speaking, I am a huge fan of fresh green beans, but I think it goes without saying that I am an even bigger fan of free fresh green beans. So off we trotted to a deserted field, bent on gleaning as many green beans as we could stuff in our vehicles. I ended up with probably about 10 pounds of beans after a mere half hour of picking. I'm telling you, whatever method they use to harvest these babies is horribly inefficient--but I'm not complaining.

The long and the short of it is that Abe made me promise not to fix green beans for supper every day, and I assented. Green beans are only showing up once in my plan this week. (But plans can change!)

Also, you'll notice Meat Pies on the slate for Tuesday. A friend of mine, Amy, is coming to visit; she lives out-of-town now, far, far away, but she's home for a while, so she's coming over for dinner. Four years ago, we traveled together with our Church choir to Scotland and the Faroe Islands, and it was in Scotland that we first met our friend The Meat Pie. A quote from my journal reads: "...On our way back to the hotel, Amy and I stopped for meat pies, a Scottish treat that we LOVED. Hopefully, we'll be eating a lot of these." And wouldn't you know it, we did: the phrase "meat pie" shows up no less than five times in my journal. And given the fact that this journal was not about food, that's significant.

Essentially, a meat pie is a filling of meat and sometimes vegetables encased in a pastry-like pocket. The Upper Peninsula of Michigan offers a variation on this theme called the pasty, which, while tasty in its own way, simply does not hold a candle to the Scottish version (elsewhere in the UK, these same delicacies go by the name pasty, but inexplicably, they don't in Scotland). Before Amy moved away, we concocted a meat pie recipe of our own, hoping to recreate this British delicacy State-side. We used pie crust for the pastry element, and it was fine, but it didn't hit the mark. The filling, composed of ground beef, finely diced potatoes and carrots, and a bit of gravy, was pretty good, so I don't think we'll tinker with that much. But this time, we're going to try puff pastry instead of pie crust. At any rate, whether it ends up more similar or less, puff pastry is always tasty (thank you, butter) and will no doubt provide a gustatorily pleasing experience.

Here's the plan for the week!

Fruit-glazed Pork Chops
Roasted Green Beans

Meat Pies
Fresh Pineapple

Roasted Chicken
Aglio e Olio (recipe to come)

Potato Wedges

Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Garden Salad

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