Sunday, October 28, 2012

Betty's Bare Cupboard Improv Sunday Gravy

Betty's Improv Sunday Gravy

My Sweetheart and his Improv Troupe, Nine and Numb, put on a fabulous late night show last night after Closing Night of our show, Sordid Lives.  My friend, TheCoolGirl came to see us, and we had a blast watching the Improv and doing product testing for her website.  Needless to say, we were up well past our bedtimes, but we enjoyed every minute of it!

Today, for us, was meant to be a lazy day to catch up on rest, football, Twitter, rest, reading, rest, shows we have on DVR, relaxation, and more rest.  Cooking on Sundays, for me, is a major source of relaxation.  However, finding the cupboard mostly bare, and still wanting to make something delicious for dinner, it was time to work with what we had: to improvise.

This is how the magic happened.

I thawed a whole package of low sodium bacon in the microwave just enough to be able to chop it into small pieces, and tossed them into the Dutch Oven to brown. Being devoid of any actual onion (How the Hell did we let that happen?), I dumped a bunch of dehydrated onion into the bacon grease to let it start absorbing the bacon-y goodness. As things started sticking, I deglazed the pan with some Blue Moon Pumpkin Ale, and had a sip or two to make sure it wasn't poisoned. That is important!  I can't be serving poisoned food! It was safe.

Meanwhile. I was furiously chopping garlic. I threw five or six (maybe seven) cloves of chopped garlic in with the bacon, onion and beer. I add more beer, and gave it all a good stir. Everything started to turn a really beautiful brown color, so I just let it all play together for a little while.

We were also out of ground beef (We really need to go grocery shopping.) but I found half a package of turkey meatballs in the freezer from our last party, so in they went with the rest of the beer, and I gave it all, a big stir. I covered it for a few minutes, then stirred it again.

Fortunately I did have a box of chopped tomatoes, so I tossed those in along with a can of tomato paste and a good size squirt of tomato paste from the tube. I stirred it all up together and brought to a simmer. This was much thicker than my usual Sunday Gravy so it was throwing mean bubbles up into the air. That's when I remembered to put on an apron. Thank you, Donna Reed. I wanted to make it a little thinner, so I found some open wine that someone left here after the cast party and dumped it it before paying attention to what kind I was adding. It was white Zinfandel! D'oh! I panicked, thinking I had just made sugary sweet sauce, so I added some chicken broth, dumped in some Dry Vermouth and, just to be on the safe side, a big swig of Vodka. It worked.

Sweetness crisis averted, I dumped in Oregano, Basil, Italian Parsley, Black Pepper, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, and Old Bay by the handful, pinch, dash, or shake. I may have put in a pinch of White Pepper and some Adobo powder, too.

I let it simmer.
I tasted it.
If it needed something else, I added it. Then I turned it down to simmer and left it alone for a few hours.

The whole house smells amazing!

Soon I'll boil up some whole wheat pasta in salted water and drain it when it is done, toss it with the gravy, grate some fresh Parmesan Cheese over the top and enjoy it with garlic bread.

And, believe it or not, leftovers tomorrow, it will taste even better!

Who knew I could improv, too!

Is it dinner time yet?

Betty's Improv Sunday Gravy 

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Scary Silence

For Round Four of Ketchup with Us, Mel and Michele challenged us to do the following:


In 57 WORDS OR LESS, retell the plot line of your favorite horror movie. And, if you can find one, be sure to include a movie clip of your own.

 My choice was a no brainer.  I give you The Silence of the Lambs  Now "Put the f*#king lotion in the basket," and read it, please.

"You use Evian skin cream. And sometimes you wear L'air du Temps. But not today."

In sixteen minutes of scintillating screen time, Dr. Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter is, "Courteous and receptive to courtesy," with FBI Trainee Clarice Starling. But he would admittedly eviscerate, sauté, and ingest anyone who dared impede his, "Having an old friend for dinner."