Thursday, March 29, 2018

A Day in the Kitchen

Really.  A whole ding-dong day in the kitchen.  That's what I did yesterday.  But it was worth it.

I've been thinking (ouch) and planning ahead to the coming busy season when my kitchen is frequently without a cook.  Getting the freezer stocked and as much food preparation done ahead of time is my current agenda.  I was able to cross quite a few items off my list of same yesterday and felt like I'd accomplished a lot.

Started the day with a double batch of spaghetti sauce.  (My stove top always gets a good cleaning when I make this sauce.  I simply can NOT make it without splattering sauce every which way 'til Sunday.)  I put meat in my sauce but usually also have meat balls (still on the list to do) in the freezer to add for that man I live with who needs more meat protein than I do.

Having pre-made burgers all ready for the pan is always a quick, easy meal for me.  (Blurry pic, I know, must not have had my glasses on.  Looks a lot like the spaghetti sauce, doesn't it, except blurrier.)

I mix seasonings in with the ground beef before forming it into patties and wrapping for the freezer.  I add prepared mustard, catsup, salt and pepper, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, bread crumbs, onions and an egg for each pound of meat.

It's not homegrown pork (we're trying to simplify here, folks) but I've found a pork sausage mix in one pound packages at our co-op in town that we both really like.  I divide the pound into six pieces, form the pieces into patties and freeze in that form.

I made a batch of Italian bread and formed it into four small loaves.  They're wrapped and stored in the freezer and are wonderful for Garlic Cheese Bread.  Each little loaf is just right for two people to share.

Traditionally I bake sugar cookies at Easter.  In the shape of eggs 'cause they're so much easier to decorate than rabbits.  (My mama didn't raise no dummies.)

Mixed up the frosting and have it waiting in the fridge to tint pastel colors but won't decorate the cookies until Saturday.

These Chicken Squares are delicious and something a little special when having company.  The filling is chopped chicken, cream cheese and some veggies of your choice.

I serve them with Chicken Gravy so I made a big pan of it using some of our chicken bone broth.

The above took me until about 6 o'clock last night with three meals squeezed in there somewhere.

Why is it at the end of a day like this in the kitchen, I feel as if I'd done hard physical labor outside?  Awww, must just be my imagination.  Everyone knows being a homemaker and cooking from scratch is a snap.  (Cough-choke-gasp-chortle-snort.)

It's totally worth it though, and I wouldn't trade my job (or very soiled apron) for any other.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Breakfast for Lunch

It's not unusual for me to fix a traditional breakfast meal for dinner, but I don't think I've often done the same for lunch.

Long about 11 o'clock this morning, my stomach was signaling me it was EMP-ty and needed some refueling.  What sounded good?  French toast with haskap berry syrup.

I've whined and complained plenty in past blog posts regarding the sour and unpleasant taste of haskap berries fresh off our bushes.  Heck, we've even put them in a bowl swimming in cream and they still aren't pleasant to eat.

Other than the cordial dear daughter made with some of the berries this past Christmas time (the contents of that bottle of deep purple liqueur disappeared in no time and was excellent), I've found another way to use the berries that we simply love.

I tried making jam with them following my blueberry jam recipe adding no more sugar than I do in that recipe.  The end product didn't come anywhere close to jam consistency, but wowzer!  Do we have several jars of a really good tasting syrup.

Not the least bit sour, bitter or otherwise unpalatable.  We've been eating it over pancakes, waffles and French toast and enjoying it very much.  (I have a strong feeling the haskap berries would make an excellent wine, too, if anyone in this family ever got around to doing that.)

Haskaps are so loaded with high nutritional value including many times more antioxidants than even blueberries that we don't feel hesitant to slather the syrup on.

Today's lunch:  French toast made with sourdough bread we've been getting from a young entrepreneur who has been baking his bread in an outdoor oven all winter, part of it with some of the haskap berry syrup already ladled over it, homemade coleslaw from veggies from our root cellar, homemade applesauce from our orchard's bounty, and a sausage pattie not home grown, but made from bulk sausage purchased from our co-op in town.

Gotta say that lunch took care of my growling tummy.  I could eat that for breakfast, lunch or dinner any day.  Plus, now I'm loaded with a good dose of antioxidants from the haskap syrup. 

Monday, March 26, 2018

"Would You Like One Egg Or Two?"

Although our landscape and temperatures wouldn't give you the idea it was spring time, apparently our poultry received a memo that it is.

Between our chickens, geese and ducks, our egg production has been eggs-ceptional!  (Sorry, that was bad.)

For comparison of sizes, the eggs across the top of above photo are from our chickens.  The two on the left of the bottom row are from ducks, and the big honker, next to the avocado to give an idea of size, is a goose egg.

Goose eggs are . . . great, big eggs!

I fried the goose egg this morning.  The skillet it's in measures 10" across.  The yolk is a full 3" across.  Wouldn't it be fun to dye some goose eggs for Easter?  What about making deviled eggs with them?  Gollywampus!

We currently have 3 female geese and the egg shown is the first one we've gotten this year.  The 4 female ducks have gone into production in a big way, and for the past week or so we've been getting three or four duck eggs each day.  The 13 female chickens, not wanting to be called slackers, are giving us 10 to 12 eggs a day.

If this keeps up, I may find it profitable to put a stand out at the end of our driveway and start selling eggs.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Breaking the Silence

Yep, I know I've not put up a new post in a week, but haven't felt I had anything to share.  

I may be in a bit of an in between seasons funk.  Good sleep at night has been eluding me no matter what I try.  Neither outdoor exercise nor a capsule or two of melatonin does the trick.  And yet if I sit to knit or read during the day . . . you guessed it.  I fall asleep in a matter of minutes only to jerk awake wondering where am I, what day is it, what time is it, who am I?  I think if I let myself, I could be like the newborn babe with days and nights mixed up.

So I've been taking it really easy this weekend, avoiding most tasks on The List I could be accomplishing.

We have a fly problem equal to that of Jenn who writes the blog, 
Coffee on the Porch with Me.  The flies are those big ol' black ones that come out of the cracks and crevices and seem to immediately land belly-up (deader than a door nail, which is probably not a bad thing) all over the house.  Like Jenn, I have to spend too much time each day either sweeping or using the vac to suck them up and away.  Mine are especially bad in Papa Pea's upstairs unfinished office.  I think a few of them must crawl behind the insulation each fall and happily procreate all winter.  In the spring, the hoards emerge and die.  Kind of like the salmon  after spawning.  Darn good thing they're not the size of salmon because they conk out all over the house.  On any and all surfaces.

Our daughter is doing a two-week+ house sitting gig for good friends of hers.  She will be there over Easter Weekend and they have told her to treat their place as her own so she's preparing dinner there on Easter, and we're invited.  Don't know what she's serving but it won't be ham.  I've mentioned before she was raised vegetarian and has never developed a taste for most meat.  She says the texture of ham is especially bothersome for her so she avoids eating it.  I really don't care if we have egg salad sandwiches (all those colored Easter eggs, you know) 'cause as long as I don't have to prepare the meal myself, it will be a treat. 

Our snow continues to melt.  Although we haven't had a drop of rain  nor seen a snow flake in weeks, tomorrow is supposed to be one of those lovely (not) mixes of snow/rain/sleet/ice just to remind us that Old Man Winter has not yet "left the building."

Posts containing pictures are always so much more interesting.  Maybe that's why I haven't felt like doing much posting lately.  Our bleak white/gray/black scenery out-of-doors hasn't been enticing in the least.  As far as inside activity, I've been making some little items that will go in Easter baskets but, of course, I can't show them before the Easter Bunny delivers them!

Monday, March 19, 2018

The In Between Period

We've been having beautiful, sunny days above freezing so the snow is slowly melting.

Not the prettiest time of year around here, but we have to go through it to get to warmer weather and the beginning of another glorious, green, gardening season.

Speaking of which, I'm actually starting to work on the layout of this year's garden.  As much as I fight to hang on to my winter hibernation period, I'm actually getting a little itchy to see green plants and colorful blossoms where a solid blanket of white has been for several months.

I feel a good organizational kind of day coming on for tomorrow.  Lots of must-dos were taken care of today.   Laundry and ironing, I cleaned out the refrigerator (yay!), made some good food that will serve as yummy leftovers tomorrow so I won't have to do much cooking.  

Sunday night I baked an apple cake that isn't totally obliterated as of this hour so that should serve as a sweet should it be needed.  

I started to get out Easter decorations today but realized they just "don't go" with the winter ones still scattered in every room.

Yep, even though it's a long time before real spring hits us in our northern clime, I'm going to pack away all the blue and white snow-flaky decor tomorrow and put up some light and bright spring things.  Then I'll feel I can finish placing the Easter ones around, too.

The above shows the beginning of our driveway (just to the right of the big snow bank on the left) leaving our yard area.  Truth to tell, we haven't had a snow flake fall on us for a couple/few weeks now (sorry, Susan) and the slow melting that has been going on has enabled the moisture to seep into the ground without forming as much mud, puddles and ice as usual.  Not a bad way to slip into spring up here in the north woods.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The Kitchen Tour

On her post of Friday, March 9th, a new favorite blogger of mine, 
wisps of words, took us on a tour of her kitchen.  She asked if we readers would do the same by taking pictures of our kitchens to post on our blogs.

So here goes.  I grabbed my camera and started shooting with the sun streaming in through the south facing windows which proved to be not the best lighting for my pictures . . . as you will readily see.

Here I'm standing in the doorway of what we call our entry room.  Before we started adding on to our little hacienda here, it was the door that went directly outside.  The wood stove on the left is situated between the kitchen, a small hallway and our bedroom.

Without moving but turning to the right, you see down the kitchen in that direction.

Looking directly across the room from the same spot, you see our kitchen table and the south facing windows. 

Walking ahead and getting closer to the table, I start to turn right past the back side of the work island in the middle of the kitchen.  You can see just a corner of it on the right.

Now you see the refrigerator and more of the back side of the island.  To the left of the refridge is the door going into our living room.  That door is most often open but has proven to be handy to shut out noise from either room. 

As we keep veering right, you see the stove past the refrigerator and then the sink. 

Directly across from the island is the counter area past the sink.  The windows you see on the right look out on our unheated, enclosed porch.  When we remodeled, I wanted to take out the windows and build in a floor-to-ceiling storage unit.  I was out-voted and the windows stayed.  I still don't like looking out onto the porch though.

Moving down the "work" side of the center island.

Now we're almost back where we started.  The doorway past the two windows is where I was standing to begin.  The door at the far end of the little hallway leads into our bedroom.

When you look at wisps of words' lovely kitchen, you'll see it looks "magazine ready" which mine does not.  I didn't take the time to tidy up before taking the pictures.  As they say, "What you see is what you get!"

It's a comfortable size which I appreciate since the space, before we started our remodeling and adding on, used to be both kitchen AND living room.  My kitchen has turned out to be very convenient for me, and I love it.

Now how about a tour of YOUR kitchen?

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

I Am Good At Some Things

No, really I am.  (I just can't think of any of them at the moment.)  You see, my head hurts and I'm feeling extremely stoopid.  Why, you ask?  (I thought I heard somebody ask.)

I am in the process of trying to learn to use a laptop computer.  And the learning curve is HUGE.  (Pshaw, you say.  If you can use a computer on your desk, there's no reason you can't use a laptop.  Well, that's what you think.)

First off, there's no way on earth I understand enough about computers to set up the laptop with the info I need to make it actually usable.

The only thing saving me at this point is my computer guru, otherwise known as my extremely intelligent and competent daughter.  However, there's a good chance the whole process may cause her to divorce me before we're done.  (What's the legal term?  Emancipation, I think it is, when a child becomes free of his parents.  Or in this case, just one parent.  Me.)

To say I have a short circuit in my brain when it comes to understanding computer-eeze is such a gross understatement.  The language is foreign, the reasoning (you can't convince me there is much of any rhyme or reason to it, frankly) is beyond me.  I'm not even good at coming to grips with not having a stand alone mouse to use with the laptop!

Bottom line, she's working hard at getting me set up and hasn't lost patience with me and my computer lame brain (yet) nor given up on my repeated questions, over and over, since I can't seem to remember what I need to remember from one hour to the next.

When (and if) I can muckle my way through this challenge, I'm hoping having a laptop will enable me to do (more conveniently) what I want to do.

She's also doing some moving around and cleaning up on my main computer that has been long overdue.  Feels great to have some changes made that I've wanted done for a long time but, again, don't have the smarts to figure out how to do them myself.  Please don't tell me I could learn to become computer literate if I just tried.  (Refer back to admission of that short circuit in my brain as mentioned above.)  My daughter can testify that she's had to come talk me off the ledge get me out of big computer trouble more than once when I got big and brave (fortified with a glass or two of wine) and tried to learn, change or fix something myself.

Dear daughter is the one who found the nice (reconditioned) laptop for me at a very reasonable price (very reasonable, but that's another long story) in the first place.  

She just left a few minutes ago after trying to teach me (i.e., d-r-a-g-g-i-n-g me along) for a few hours.  That strange noise I heard as she went out the door may or may not have been the sound of her grinding her teeth.

Wish me luck.  No, better you wish her luck.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Here's A Question For You

Would having adequate amounts of money make you happy?

I'm not talking about having so much money you couldn't possibly spend it all in your life time, but rather enough so you could purchase all the fencing materials to keep your vegetable garden and orchard safe from hungry critters, or enough to get that much needed tune-up on your main vehicle (and why not get those rust spots on the body taken care of at the same time?), or even enough to hire (gulp) a professional to power wash and paint the house this summer rather than spending the time doing it yourself.

My better half and I have been struggling with achieving that elusive balance between work and time off.  You know, time off to spend the day (days, even?) recreating, relaxing, pursuing personal goals, doing nothing if that's what seems needed.

Try as we might, that balanced life doesn't come as easily as we would wish.  I tend to think it would be easier to achieve if we didn't feel it necessary to put in our own time and labor on certain tasks rather than making them go much faster and easier by, for instance, being able to purchase all the best of needed materials for a job at once or enlisting the aid of a professional who could do the job probably better and certainly quicker.

I'm not for a moment suggesting we're suffering from lack of funds to provide us with the basic needs of life.  But we do have to keep a close eye on the money we have coming in and the way it goes out.  Therefore, we tend to do whatever we can in the way of home maintenance and improvements to our property using our own time and labor.  We're careful in the purchases we make.  We make do with equipment and supplies that are recycled or purchased ones that are "not exactly" what we would choose if we could buy the top of the line.  We take care of what we have so it lasts a long time.

Looking at our To Do List for this coming spring/summer/fall season when weather up here near the tundra is conducive to nearly all projects without risking frozen extremities (or slipping ladders --- let's not even think about that), we fantasize about ordering new fencing materials (sorely needed) and hiring a crew to come in to install same.  'Twould be done in a day's time, I betcha.  Wow.  Super.  Let's do it.  Then rather than spending the week (or so) doing it ourselves, we could take the time off and go canoeing, hiking, sight-seeing.  If I had the time, I'd love to volunteer at our wonderful library.

The one stumbling block to creating this kind of scenario, of course, goes back to the financial dilemma.  So much in life seems to go back to the financial dilemma.

Would we be happier if we had adequate amounts of money to use in any way we wished?  Would the money enable us to create an environment in which we felt we could have more of a balanced life?  Would I have a more restful night's sleep if I didn't wake, as I did this morning, from a stressful dream of agonizing over buying a new set of bathroom towels?  (In my dream, I was in a large department store and after spending too long comparing the price of towels, I finally purchased a set and then was devastated when presented with the bill of over a thousand dollars!)  Silly, I know, and small peanuts compared to the problems many folks have.  (I'm aware others are struggling to put food on the table, and I don't mean to make light of that.)  But I'm sure in my subconscious this all relates back to feeling the need to "count pennies" when dealing with finances.

So how do you feel about the question, "Will money buy you happiness?"  We frequently hear the saying, "Money won't buy you happiness," but I'm curious to hear your thoughts on the subject.  Wanna share?

Friday, March 9, 2018

A Room with a View (of a Sign)

A couple of years ago I saw a wooden sign in a gift catalog that I really wanted to have to hang in our bathroom.  But being rather frugal (ahem), I thought the price asked was too much.

I kept thinking about the sign and even searched online for one like it more than once.  No luck.

A week or so ago I decided I could make the sign as a small quilted wall hanging.  And so I did.

Here it is in place over the window at the far end of our long, narrow, small bathroom.

Since most of you won't have a chance to enter our bathroom and get close enough to read what it says . . . 

. . . here's a close-up for you.

I don't care what anybody else in my family says (and they have not all been complimentary . . . just no sense of humor), I love it.

* * * * * * * *

Since we're talking bathrooms, I want to share a little story with you.

A Bathroom Story

Papa Pea and I have been known to bemoan the fact that we have only one bathroom in our house which is kinda sorta unusual these days.  Every time we think having that second bathroom would be very convenient, I think back to my grandma and grandpa and how they managed to survive while raising seven children . . . with only one bathroom.

Actually, in their first home the bathroom was that little house in the back yard known as an outhouse.  Years later while their kids were still all home, they did get "modernized" and gained an indoor bathroom.

Their situation changed and they moved to a new location, a new (to them) house, but still containing only one bathroom.

In the early l940s, some of their kids had grown and left home, but Grandma and Grandpa and three of their daughters still lived under the one roof.  World War II was in full swing, my dad was shipped overseas so my mom (who was pregnant with me) moved back in with her parents.  Shortly thereafter, the husband of one of Mom's older sisters was sent overseas so she and her infant son moved in with the rest of us.

This meant that the members of the household were then Grandma and Grandpa, their youngest daughter still in high school, two other daughters who had graduated and joined the work force, my mom and me and another daughter with her infant son.  That adds up to seven adults and two babies.  Yep, all of us and only one bathroom.  (Plus, no hot water.  All water for dishes, laundry, filling the bath tub, etc. had to be heated on the kitchen stove.)

So when Papa Pea and I think we suffer any kind of hardship (puleeze!) because we have just one bathroom for the two of us, it brings me up short, and I realize we have it pretty good, don't you think?

The end.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Well, Darn . . .

Yep, that is a great big ol' tow truck backing up to load our Suburban onto it.

And there it is leaving destined to be dropped off at our mechanic's garage. 

How did this all come about?  Well, Papa Pea was off early one morning recently to get our resupply of fresh, raw milk products.  He was about four miles from home, going up a steep grade when the truck started to lose power.  He was able to pull into a driveway, get turned around and coast down the hill for a couple of miles before he ran out of "hill" and had to stop.  One more try and, yippee, the truck started again, but ran for only a hop, skip and jump before stopping . . . for the final time.

He was then only a couple miles from home so called for reinforcements.  I didn't want to pull him home with the big pickup truck with the 9' plow on the front so we contacted Chicken Mama who was home and available.  She grabbed a towing strap and other equipment that might have been needed and soon successfully towed him home with her Suburban.

Papa Pea and Gilligan took a cursory look at the truck and after checking what they could here in the yard, decided it was probably a fuel pump or related problem.

Since our mechanic is about seventeen miles away, up and down some hills and twists and turns in the road, and our Suburban currently has little or no braking power, we decided not to chance towing it all that way.

Only way to get it to the garage was to either manually push it . . . or call a towing service.  We opted for the latter.

We're hoping to hear soon what the diagnosis turns out to be.  And that it's not gonna break the bank to do the repairs.  Besides being an excellent mechanic, J is a good friend and will do what needs to be done to get us back in business.  

In the meantime, we're not stuck without options for transportation.  All will be well.  Considering this is the first time in the nearly fifty-five years of our marriage that we've had to have a vehicle towed (other than towing it ourselves), we can't complain one bit.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Done Ahead of Time!

I keep a small wall hanging or sign to the left of the door that leads from our enclosed porch into our house.

I've shown you this one before but it still makes me smile every time I see it.  It usually goes up when I take the "Christmas-y" one down.  Then when spring seems as though it really is going to appear in the north woods, this one comes down and I put up something "spring-y."  Except I didn't really have anything that appropriately heralds the spring season.

But now I do!

I recently finished this small quilted wall hanging, and lo and behold, it's done before I actually need it.  (We had a temp of 14 degrees this morning so unlike some of you with beautiful spring flowers dotting your landscape, there's no evidence spring has arrived here yet.)

The label I gave it is "Spring Piggies." 

Here's a closer view of the
  happy little piggies.

The pigs came from a panel I bought a month or so ago showing different farm animals.  Along with the pigs are horses, chickens, goats, and sheep.  It took me forever to choose which grouping of animals I was going to use for this wall hanging.  I finally cut out the pigs and started winging it from there.  

I wasn't sure how it would end up or if I'd be happy with it.  Turns out, I do like it a lot, and now want to make something using some of the other animals.  Where will I use them?  Probably in my pantry.  I already have a few small pieces on the walls in there for decoration  and color, but I'll bet I can squeeze in a couple more.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Sorting in the Root Cellar

Last Saturday was time to do one of our routine sorting jobs in the root cellar.  We knew it was needed since our 30+ degree weather is causing the temp in the cellar to rise degree by degree.  Not good for keeping the environment cool for as long into spring as we can.

Papa Pea hit on a great idea for trying to keep the cellar a little cooler and at the same time add moisture/humidity which we're usually lacking in our cellar.

He filled pails with snow which we carried down.  I thought we were just going to let the pails full of the snow sit on the gravel floor, but as he explained, if we dumped the snow onto the ground, it would still give off cold air, the melted snow would seep down into the gravel (and ground) and add some needed moisture.

I wanted to build little snow people to play among the apples, beets, potatoes, etc., but for some reason he didn't want to take the time to do that.  (He's such a spoil sport.)

Sorting the apples was first on the agenda.  Yes, we did find quite a few that had started to spoil, but still have several remaining boxes of them that look really good.

We even have a few of the sweeter eating apples left (the rest are for cooking/baking) like these we brought into the kitchen.  They've developed a few blemishes but are still firm.  We have maybe twenty more of them left.  (Funny how the tastier apples are always the first to disappear.)

Nearly everything else in the cellar looked good considering the time of year.  

The cabbages we stored hanging from their roots have lasted longer than with any other method we've tried.  The remaining green ones are looking better than the red.  (Drat.  I prefer red cabbage.)  The outer leaves are wrinkled and soft and not nice, but the bulk of the heads of the green cabbages are still firm.  The red ones, not so much.  Most of them are on their way to the poultry.

We did pull out and toss the pail of kohlrabi we thought we would cook up and feed to the poultry over winter.  Even though Papa Pea simmered the chunked up kohlrabi over night on the stove in the garage, the . . . um, uh, . . . aroma . . . okay, AWFUL SMELL was too much for us to tolerate.  I guess an old kohlrabi is not a good kohlrabi.

It will be interesting to see how long the clumps of snow last in the root cellar.  We strive to keep the temperature about 35-37 degrees, but it's already in the low 40s.  Another sign spring really is approaching.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

This Is What Our March First Looks Like

So, okay.  These pictures weren't taken on March 1st, but rather March 2nd.  (As usual, I'm a little slow.)

I got it into my head yesterday that I should take a picture of my raised bed part of the garden on the first of each month from now until the end of this coming gardening season.  Just to chronicle what a difference in the landscape a few months can make.   Looking out of a window in Papa Pea's upstairs office, I think I captured the whole area of the raised beds.  (Please excuse the corner of the roof line that insisted on being in the picture.)

Raised beds, you say?  What raised beds?  It took nearly to the end of our winter season for the beds to be totally covered, but covered they are now.  (The box-like structure in the back of the picture is a compost bin which is about three feet high.)  What will the same scene look like on April 1st?  Stay tuned.

This was one section of our driveway when we took a walk out yesterday to our mailbox.

Certain parts of the driveway melt sooner than others.  The gravel showing in this picture was actually dry.  Papa Pea commented that's the way you like to see snow and ice melt.  Slowly and drying out as it disappears. Unfortunately, that doesn't usually happen.  Most often (and I'm sure it will be the case most everywhere this year) we have to slog our way through the dreaded Mud Season with plenty of the gooey-gloppy stuff in abundance.

How does the landscape around your place look currently?  From some of your pictures recently, I've seen both spring flowers blooming and lush, green grass showing and, from those of you in the northeast, three feet of new snow!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Linguine Casserole with Spaghetti Sauce

The beginning of the organic co-op in our town was a humble one . . . on the enclosed front porch of a couple several miles out of town.  The original idea was to enable folks to buy nutritious foods economically in bulk.  We formed a buying club of sorts and it quickly became very popular.

That was the co-op's infancy.  It quickly grew into toddler stage and beyond and moved to a (very small) store front in town.  During this time, no meats were carried and many of the members were vegetarians as we were at that time.  I was asked if I would submit and post a vegetarian menu weekly highlighting a dish containing an ingredient (or ingredients) that could be purchased at the co-op.

One of those recipes was Linguine Casserole with Spaghetti Sauce.  But somehow, someway, I lost my recipe and couldn't make the dish for many years.  Well, I just found a thick folder of all the recipes I submitted to the co-op during that period and now had the "lost" recipe in my hands.  (You can guess where I found this folder, right?  Yep, in THE BOX!)

I eagerly made this casserole a couple of nights ago and it was as good as I remembered so I'm sharing it here.  It would be great with pre-cooked, crumbled sausage or bacon in with the pasta and cheese (if you didn't want to keep it vegetarian) or by adding meat to the spaghetti sauce or adding some pre-cooked, baked meat balls as I did.

I didn't have linguine, so substituted spinach fettuccini.  Close enough. 

* * * * * * * *

Linguine Casserole with Spaghetti Sauce

8 oz. linguine, cooked and drained
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons dried parsley
8 oz. mozzarella cheese, grated

Combine cooked linguine, eggs, Parmesan cheese and parsley.  In a greased 11" x 7" (approximately) shallow baking dish, layer half of linguine mixture and half of mozzarella cheese.  Repeat layers.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Cut baked casserole into squares and serve with your favorite spaghetti sauce on top.

This recipe can be doubled to serve a large group.  Leftovers freeze well.

* * * * * * * *

Mixture in baking pan.  Only needs
top layer of cheese.

Topped off with cheese,
ready for oven.

Just taken out of oven.

And served up on plate.

We made a good dent in it 
the first night.

Then I warmed it up the next night (flavor was even better, we both thought) and still had a smidge bit left that I served with scrambled eggs (cooked right in with the leftover casserole) this morning.