Did you have a happy new year? I would love to report that I did something fun and exciting to bring in 2010, however M & I just had a quiet night at home with the dog. Nary a toast of sparkling wine to be had! In hindsight, it was probably for the best. A whirlwind of activity was our 2009, and being well-rested amongst flannel sheets was a wonderful way to start off this new year!
M and I were discussing if we were twenty-ten sort of people or two thousand ten sort of people when he interjected that he plans on referring to this decade as the tensies. Obviously it’s much more important to get down the decade jargon, at least he thinks so. By the way, we’re both twenty ten sort of people. Please don’t hate us for it.
(Don’t worry, photos are coming soon…)
So what are my 2010 resolutions? I’m not really sure, to be honest. This year I feel like instead of focusing on what I want to change, I’m more drawn to things I want to stay the same. Time well spent sewing, gardening, reading. Trips to the park and frisbee with Mr. Tucker. Cookouts with friends. Lazy family dinners at home with M. And speaking of M and lazy family dinners at home…
I feel so blessed to have a husband who can hold his own in the kitchen, especially on a day like today when I would have been perfectly happy to plop a roast in the Crock Pot and call it good. He not only cooked this feast, he also did the grocery run.
M made this recipe for Apple-Fennel Stuffed Pork Tenderloin that he found on the Rachael Ray site. Some of her recipes may be a little out there, but we’ve found that the more traditional ones are really solid and never disappoint.
Did I mention it was a feast? We had the stuffed pork, cornbread dressing, asparagus, cranberry sauce, and veggie mashers. The veggie mashers were delicious- a concoction of turnips, parsnips, and butternut squash mashed so that they were half creamy, half textured. I asked him if he used a recipe, which he did not. I asked if he would tell me how he made them so that I could share, and he obliged. I’ll share the how to with you, but must warn that this is the story of a side dish with many asides.
M’s Veggie Mashers, as dictated to me:
Well, if you want to do it like I did, you wander around the produce section for 20 minutes and try to remember what exactly was in that thing Jamie Oliver made. (See notes) Then you get one of each turnip that they had at the store since they must be different in some way and would add variety to the dish. One was yellow and one was white. And then, you think of any other good root vegetables that they might have at Giant, and you look for them and find a bag of parsnips. (Punctuated with a yawn.) And then you think that’s going to be boring-looking since everything is whitish, so you wander around some more and find some cubed butternut squash thinking that will add some color. Then you put it all in the basket, then take it out thinking: will it be too mushy to smash? They do make baby food out of this stuff...and then decide to put it back in the basket because it’s beechnut that’s the baby food, nut butternut. Then, you check out and try to convince the check-out person that there are two different types of turnips that she needs to ring up.
When you get home you peel everything and and cut it into cubes. Except the butternut squash because that was already peeled and cubed. Then you throw it all in a pot of boiling water and boil for about 20 minutes until fork tender. It was tender a lot faster than I thought it would be. Then you take them out of the water and put them in a big bowl.
Here’s where it starts getting dangerous, because you throw in [more like hide from the wife, omg!] an entire stick of butter and decide if you want to try and make it taste like mashed potatoes with salt and pepper, or sweet potatoes with brown sugar. It’s easier not to decide, so I added a couple of teaspoons of brown sugar, and a few shakes each of salt and pepper, then mash with a potato masher until some of it is smooth and some isn’t.
And that’s it.
I’m pretty sure that this recipe from the show Jamie at Home is what he was thinking of– Jamie Oliver’s Bubble and Squeak.
Also, we agreed that maybe an entire stick of butter wasn’t really necessary. I suggest cutting it down to a few tablespoons, instead.
Happy New Year! May it be a year filled with moments that put a spring in your step, a song in your heart, and a smile on your face.