Sunday, June 30, 2013
That said, I had a question last week from Louise who asked how I keep lettuce fresh. I invested in some of those cotton flour sack towels. I use them exclusively for my vegetables (cabbage and lettuce mostly). I rinse the lettuce, core it and then let it drain over the sink for a bit (a colander works well). Then I take it up, wrap in the flour sack and put in a gallon zippered bag. The WHOLE lettuce keeps far better than tearing or cutting for salad. Because it's washed it takes only moments to make a salad anyway. I much prefer romaine which seems to be a hearty lettuce, better for you with all those deep green nutrients, and keeps longer, but I've had decent success with ice berg. When shopping for iceberg (that's John's favorite), I personally tend to buy big lightweight heads of lettuce with a smaller core and less tightly packed leaves and I believe that has something more to do with my success in keeping lettuce well. I've found heavy heads with a dense core don't seem to keep nearly so well and are more bitter in taste as they age. However, we can eat a single head of iceberg in about a week's time since we eat lettuce salads 4-5 days a week so aging isn't too much of a worry for us.
I truly believe you could use tupperware or another large AIRTIGHT container for storage. I prefer the gallon sized bag because I can usually fit the lettuce into the crisper drawer and I seem to be forever looking at a full fridge so it's necessary to store it in the drawer.
And my final tips. Because John and I differ in taste about the type of lettuce we eat, I usually buy one head of iceberg and one 3pc packet of romaine hearts per pay period. We always eat the iceberg first because it's the hardest to keep fresh for a full two weeks. The romaine can stand up to a longer period in the fridge. I don't wash the romaine until we're ready to start using it for salads either. I just leave in the package it came in and store in the crisper drawer. I don't put other vegetables in the drawer with the lettuces either. I store celery, carrots, and other items in one drawer and nothing but lettuce in the other, so the humidity levels remain fairly low in the lettuce drawer.
Now you've heard all about lettuce, let's look at the plan for the week ahead.
Chili Dogs, Chips, Peach Cobbler
This was our 'easy meal' for Shabat day. It was ready in a matter of minutes after we got home from synagogue and John enjoyed it greatly. I'll have to plan more of these sorts of easy but hot meals for Synagogue Sabbaths. If I'd planned better I could have had coleslaw ready to serve, too. I'm afraid this past Friday I just plain worked too hard to think about weekend meals.
Meat and Macaroni Casserole, Steamed Peas in Pod, Green Salad, Challah
I made up this casserole in April and put in the freezer. The recipe came from a 1970's cookbook. I halved the recipe and it was still large enough for 4. The casserole was decent. I wasn't completely pleased with it and have been trying to determine how it might be made better. The recipe calls for cooked pasta, canned luncheon meat (I used 1/2 can of turkey Spam), green bell pepper, tomato, onion and soup. I think it was the cream of celery soup that put me off. I'll figure that out before I make the casserole again.
Beef Stew, Coleslaw, Corn Muffins
I know...but John's only mentioned it twice now so I guess I'd better make him a dinner of beef stew. He's really fond of it and he doesn't much care that it's been hot as blazes. I'll use the crockpot to make up that nice slow cooked stew that has green beans and potatoes and tomato soup in it. Since I'll need to thaw a portion of roast to cut the beef cubes, I'll plan to cook the rest of the meat in the smaller crock pot and slice it for sandwiches.
Vegetable Lasagna, Green Salad, Garlic Toast
I will use zucchini for the pasta, layer on my cheeses and tomato sauce to make the lasagna, another good candidate for the crock pot this week. John seldom notices when I serve meatless meals such as this. He just enjoys them.
Red Beans and Rice, Coleslaw with Pineapple, Corn bread
When we last went to Florida, we visited a new to us place on Mantanzas Inlet, after a couple from our hotel recommended it. It was good fresh food but the coleslaw was the star. It was crisp, sweet and light. It had cubes of pineapple in it! I think this would also be good with the addition of a bit of fresh jalapeno but I don't have any and John would be leery of the heat anyway.
Garlic Chicken Breasts, New Potatoes with Lemon Butter, Sliced Tomatoes on Lettuce
I'll roast two extra breasts for chicken salad for sandwich filling. New potatoes and butter with lemon are so very good. If you've never tried a bit of lemon on your new potato I recommend it highly.
Corn Dog Casserole, Pineapple Salad
We had leftover hot dogs Saturday and I want to use them up. And yes the pineapple is a 'use it up' item as well. I may add a second side to this meal but I'm cautious about getting making the meal too heavy. The original recipe calls for baked beans and sliced hot dogs topped with a cornbread crust, which seems more than enough heft for a meal to me.