Sunday, September 18, 2011

Chapter 8 - He Cooks

You guys asked for it -- more of "Our Book!"

But before we go there, for those who have asked, Kathie is doing well following her recent back surgery. She plans to go back to work Monday, which is when you'll probably read this.
Suzy is writing this chapter
I'm a good cook, and Jerry, my husband, is no slouch either. He has watched me over the years (51 of them) while I measure things by the “handful,” the “pinch,” and the “skosh,” and he hasn’t understood a word of it. So Jerry cooks his own way, by the “just about” or “more or less” method. The galley in our 36’ Itasca isn’t big enough to store a lot of measuring devices, so he guesses the quantities, and it almost always comes out pretty good.
Breakfast is Jerry’s strong point, and herewith are some of his recipes. Remember, of course, that all these measurements are “just about” or “more or less.” Also, many of the ingredients are interchangeable, optional, or at your discretion. So, have at it!

Jerry’s Oatmeal (Serves two)

In a microwave-safe mixing bowl stir together:
·        1/2 cup Old-fashioned oats (nutritionally superior to quick)
·        1/2 cup barley nugget cereal such as Grape-Nuts (if you are concerned about fat content, read the nutrition statements – the brands differ a bit!)
·        2 Tbsp brown sugar (or a good dollop of honey)
·        ½ cup or more (or less) of dried fruit such as apples, cherries, apricots, raisins, cranberries, dates, prunes. Sometimes I prefer to use fresh fruit as available. Be adventuresome: mix two or three varieties of fruit.
·        Nuts, if you like. Walnuts go well with apples, almonds are a good companion for cherries or apricots.
·        Sprinkle of cinnamon
·        1½ cups fat-free or reduced fat milk
Cook uncovered in microwave oven on high setting for 5 minutes. Remove and stir. If too dry, add a little milk and cook another minute; if too moist, cook another minute. Spoon into bowls and serve. 
For extra fiber I sometimes put in a teaspoon or so of flaxseed meal prior to cooking. Wheat germ would be good too. No salt is necessary, as everything has its own flavor, and salt gets in the way (as well as being a detriment to blood pressure). 
As with all of my recipes, the measures are approximate and variable depending on personal taste.

Jerry’s Omelet (Serves 2)

Mix well together and set aside:
·        4 Eggs, OR
·        2 Eggs and ½ Cup egg substitute (such as Egg Beaters), OR
·        1 Cup egg substitute
·        I usually add a hearty dash of Turmeric to my egg mix, because it is said to have antioxidant properties. It also adds a bit of yellow color to the egg mix and to any plastic bowl you might use. You have to really whip it in, because it doesn’t want to dissolve.
·        (Optional) Salt-free seasonings (Mrs. Dash and McCormick offer several neat varieties). With a good selection of the foods below, you won’t need additional seasoning at this stage.
  Accumulate a nice variety of the following:
·        Leftover ham, salami, lunch meat, roast pork, chicken breast (you get the drift – whatever’s left over in the refrigerator)
·        Chopped onion (green onions work well, as well as yellow or red)
·        Sliced mushrooms
·        Chopped tomatoes
·        Chopped olives
·        Canned diced green chilies
·        Grated cheese (nearly any variety will work well)
Saute the meat, onion, and mushrooms in a little olive oil in a large skillet, then set aside and keep warm. Spray the skillet with cooking spray, heat until fairly hot, then pour in the egg mixture. As eggs firm up around the edge, gently lift with spatula and let uncooked eggs run beneath. Continue around the pan in this manner until all the egg is set. Then scatter the sautéed ingredients across the top of one half of the cooked egg, followed by the cheese, olives and/or tomatoes. Turn the heat low. 
Now comes the fun: with your spatula (use two if you have them), gently fold the undressed side of the omelet over the other side. Once in place, allow the folded omelet to sit a minute or two, then cut in two portions and serve. Turn off the fire under the pan.

Jerry’s Chili Relleno Omelet

The procedure is the same, with these specifics: in the egg mixture, use Mrs. Dash Southwestern Chipotle seasoning or a liberal dose of Tabasco’s chipotle flavored sauce. 
After the egg mixture is nearly cooked, spread one 4-oz can of diced mild chilies, drained, over one side of the eggs, top the chilies with sliced or shredded cheddar, Monterey Jack, pepper jack, or soft mozzarella cheese. Fold the unadorned half of the omelet over the cheese, and let cook a little longer on a low fire to warm the chilies and cheese. If you warm the chilies slightly in your microwave before adding them, it will be better.
Divide in two and serve onto plates, top with warmed green enchilada sauce, more shredded cheese (we like to use cheese made from 2% milk), chopped green onions, sliced olives, whatever you like, and light sour cream. Serve with refried beans similarly topped with cheese and sour cream.

Jerry’s Mistake

Yes, I do make mistakes! One time I was cooking up a very special omelet (baby Portobello mushrooms, chopped bacon, shredded cheddar). As I mixed up the eggs and the egg substitute, I grabbed the jar of turmeric for the antioxidant value, and added a healthy dose. As I began to whip it into the mix, I noticed it seemed to be a darker shade than usual. That’s when I realized the jar of turmeric was actually the jar of cinnamon! Not being one to waste food, I added the real turmeric, and proceeded to cook my omelet. It was delicious! I won’t add cinnamon regularly, but the additional flavor was not at all out of place.

Jerry’s Skillet Breakfast

This is essentially the same mix as the omelet, but you cook it this way if there are leftover baked or roasted potatoes in the refrigerator. 
After sautéing the meat, onions and mushrooms, remove them from the pan and replace with the (cut up) potatoes. Heat the potatoes, return the meat mixture to the pan, then pour in the eggs. Stir. 
When the eggs are nearly cooked, add the tomatoes and/or olives and let heat briefly. Turn off the fire, add the grated cheese, and serve.

Jerry’s Baked Apples

For two servings, wash, core and coarsely dice two apples. Many varieties will work, we prefer Granny Smith, but also frequently use Fuji or Gala. Rome Beauties are the traditional baking apple, but I never use them. Can’t tell you why. 
Place cut-up apples in a microwave-safe baking dish, sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar to taste. (See the oatmeal recipe about adding fiber. Same thing here!) Stir in some raisins, dried blueberries or dried cranberries if desired, maybe some chopped walnuts, and microwave on high five minutes. Divide into serving bowls (be sure to include the liquid) and top with shredded cheddar. Allow to cool before eating, or you’ll burn your mouth.

Bananas Foster  -- “Children, don’t try this at home.”

For years I have been fascinated with tableside cooking in restaurants, where the maitre’d would regally flambé Steak Diane, Cherries Jubilee, Bananas Foster and the like, drawing gasps of astonishment and appreciation from the two of us as well as from half the patrons in the restaurant. I watched carefully, noting ingredients and processes, and building up the courage to try it myself one day. 
One day I did try it myself (in the motorhome, of course), and Suzy was ready to run for the fire extinguisher! First I assembled the ingredients, carefully slicing two bananas in half lengthwise. I selected a sauté pan, set it over a portable butane burner on a table in front of the couch before my rapt audience of one. I melted the butter carefully, then stirred in the brown sugar; next I added the bananas and the Triple Sec, heating to just the right temperature. 
At the right psychological moment, I measured the brandy into the pan, tipping the pan just enough so the brandy crept to the rim, and voila!, a flash of flame! They were delicious. And the fabric ceiling wasn’t charred in the least. My eyebrows, however, took a while to recover their fullness. 
Now, of course, any time I even mention flaming something, Suzy immediately responds, “Outside!”

And. out of the book, that's how it is, living ... Our Life on Wheels!


  1. Now I'm really hungry for a good breakfast. My Jim makes a spectacular omelet also. I can't cook an egg for anything so this works out great. Not sure I want to try the cinnamon but the tumeric sounds good.

  2. Craig doesn't cook. But he is my #1 slicer and dicer, critic and picker outer of recipes.

    I hope that if we ever do get to RV he will be my BBQ guy. Here at home I do all of it. BBQ as well.

  3. Did I somehow miss chapters 3-7? Recipes and food stories always make good reading (and eating).

  4. Thanks for the recipe. I think I'll try the oatmeal first.

  5. Love the flambe story! And all the other recipes sound yummy. Some are similar to things Don and I have made, but you gave us some new ideas, too.

  6. Lots of great recipes to try - I love breakfast so I'll be giving them a go. Maybe not the flambe though as me and fire don't get along all that well - and Paulette would be long gone down the road if she ever saw me lighting a match!!

    Thanks for Chapter 8!

  7. I think I can smell the aromas wafting by my computer as I write.. um,um good!
    Hey Jerry what stop by and cook for a while at our abode.. my hubby would love your style of cookin'.
    I could eat breakfast, morning, noon and night.

    hugs y'all,
    Pam i am

  8. You two are so funny. Will you book be in the humors section of the bookstore?

  9. At least Jerry will use the stove. Dennis only cooks if grilling or a Dutch Oven meal is involved ..outside. But, I have to say, he has whipped up some pretty good breakfasts in the electric skillet (which we plug in OUTSIDE, so he can do it on the picnic table)...Thanks for letting us preview your book!!

  10. Pretty much sounds yummy!!! You can cook for me anytime!!!
    Have fun

    BTW ~ On my post... the smaller building was the kitchen however it is now used as an office for the rangers.

  11. Hi Jerry, I'm leaving this comment on your blog so that you can check to ensure that you get an email also. If you have Blogger Settings configured correctly you should get an email with all comments that are left.


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