Saturday, July 5, 2008

Fourth of July, Squash and Corn and Eudora Welty

For the first time in my life I did not go to the fireworks nor did I miss them.

One of my favorite authors is Eudora Welty and if we still had a record player, "WHAT'S THAT? It is older than a walk man!", I would have kicked up my feet and listened to my favorite 4th of July story, "Why I Live at the P.O." It is my tradition to hear or read it every 4th. Well, I missed it this year but I heard NPR talking about her and they played an exert of one of her lectures. Read the short story. I love it.

Both of my children being mostly grown, have their own lives including fireworks and friends. Even as a child I did not like the sound of fireworks exploding. Like the cats, I want out the front door, hear the noise and cling to screen to get back in. The colors in the sky are lovely but the noise and fiery smells remind me of war. It is kind of like the song, "Onward Christian Soldiers" is that the right way to think? I have never understood why anyone would celebrate fighting in the name of Christianity. I guess I am more of a Quaker.

Anyway, back to the subject, my day stayed in the theme of exercise, cleaning and cooking.
I sorted through stuff at home realizing my basement is now so full I cannot even get around it with a vacuum cleaner. So I looked at the ever so important life junk and either tossed it if it had too much cat hair and dust or if it was usable decided to share it with others, mostly. I could be the ultimate star of the TV cleanup show. My nose is full of mold and dust and I still have a long way to go. I did get slowed down with a deep cut to my thumb and a band aid.

I guess it is a phase of life. Change. Can't do anything different if life is too cluttered with junk.

In the name of abundance in America, I cooked. I made too delicious casseroles instead of watching explosions. I made a squash casserole and a corn casserole. What could be more all American? Corn and Squash.

Squash Casserole a Southern Living cook book (good but not the Cowgirl Restaurant in Santa Fe's version I was aiming for)

Squash casserole
2 1/2 pounds of yellow squash, sliced
1/2 cup butter (I used a healthier 1/2 butter and 1/2 canola blend)
2 large eggs
1/4 cup mayo
1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1 -4oz jar pimentos, drained
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup red pepper (instead of green)
2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp of salt
10 round buttery Ritz crackers crushed (or a few more)
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar
and I threw in some shredded Parmesan cheese as well

*Cover an cook squash till softish and drain well, and try to get extra water removed
*Combine squash and butter in a bowl till butter melts then and mash and stir in the rest of the ingredients except cheese. Pam a 2 quart bowl and pour it in and bake 30 min at 325 and then add cheese and bake another 5 min and eat it and enjoy the fact that it took longer than you thought it would.

While looking for squash recipes I came across this one in one those group lady cook books and because I confess I had jiffy corn bread mix in the cabinet and it does not have canned Campbell soup in it I made this too. I refuse to use canned salty soup in homemade casseroles.

Corn Casserole
1 stick of healthy butter
1 8 1.2 box Jiffy Corn Mix
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. lite sour cream
1 can whole corn and juice
1 can cream style corn and juice (not quite canned soup but pushing it)
2 T chopped green onion
2 T chopped red pepper instead of green
salt and pepper to taste

Mix it all together and bake at 350 for about an hour and it is not goopy.

If it was not so late and if I had not been fooled by someone leaving an empty butter box in the fridge, I would have also made baked brie. I bought the puff pastry but ran out of energy.

Alright dear diet friends, a should have eaten the squash raw and avoided the eggs, sour cream and butter but it wast he 4Th of July and I did walk 8957 steps which may have walked off one bite.

Julia Child would say it is OK as long as you don't eat too much. So here is to Julia!

Eat well, Love well, Enjoy Life or something like that.

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