A Long Way With Only A Little
Made some banana oat cookies on Saturday and they were not bad. Made a pumpkin pie, too, and cornbread, and tried my hand at a lutefisk casserole. Yes, I’m serious, and Mr. S was too when I told him what I’d made for dinner. “Casserole?” he asked. I smiled and said he really ought to give it a chance. He was dubious, I know. After all, lutefisk is something of an acquired taste for those who did not grow up attending church events featuring the dish. I, for one, am not a big fan. We have the gift of abundance in these parts, it seems, and I’ve never gone without. Why then, eat lutefisk if you have to kind of, well, gear up for it?
Well, there have been stretches in my life when the word “abundance” would not have cut the mustard. We lived on $20. a week when we were first married. For a good while. Cheese, bread, milk, sometimes flour, always butter, and a take-out pizza now and then to celebrate something ordinary for the sake of celebrating. Like the first day of November, or a blizzard on its way or the anniversary of the first time we met. Sometimes Mr. S would announce, “It’s TODAY!” and I knew we’d be eating pizza for dinner.
What I have learned along the way – through those first years, through the food stamps we received for a short while, through the rough stretches when we kept from the kids the stress of counting our change – is that a person can go a long way with only a little. Sometime an amazing distance. I recall creating, one winter, seven different recipes with flour, milk, eggs, butter and cheese. Thing is, I still make some of ‘em. Why not? The kids like the big puff pancake, and Mr. S loves the extra-thick omelets.
And that’s pretty much why the lutefisk casserole. A friend gave us the fish, and it’s what we had, and I did my best. It’s what a person does. Especially if it’s a gift from a friend. Especially if you’re hungry. Especially if you’ve got it in you to experiment a bit. You very well might hit upon the NEW Dish-You-Take-Everywhere. And, you might end up stuffing it down the disposal. In which case a take-out pizza would be in order. Which, if you live pretty much anywhere, is always a good thing.
Here are two recipes I tried out, tinkered with, and am pleased to share turned out just fine. Better than fine, even, if I may say. Here’s to autumn, and new recipes, and having someone willing to give ‘em a whirl.
Banana Oat Cookies
3 mashed bananas (ripe)
1/3 cup apple sauce
2 cups oats
1/4 cup almond milk (regular milk works just fine)
1/2 cup raisins or chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a lightly greased cookie sheet.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
Secret: No Sugar in these babies.
1 cup uncooked rice (not Minute Rice)
2 eggs, beaten
½ cup butter, melted
3 cups flaked lutefisk
Salt to taste
Preheat oven to 350. Fold ingredients together. Place in greased casserole.
Add a bit more butter mixed with milk on top for crust. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes.
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