I must include a snacks section in the cookbook, with spiced nuts included. And energy bars (a.k.a. fancy rice crispy treats.)
I have made an executive decision to leave casseroles out of the cookbook, because they represent such a stupid amount of work, followed by a stupid amount of cooking time. They are recipes designed for the 50's-era stay-at-home mom. And the "convenient" casseroles call for cans of this and cans of that. And, especially, cans of "cream-of-blah" soup that contain no actual cream. Yum, hydrolyzed soy protein! (Which is just another way of saying "MSG".)
And for a disjointed change-of-subject, this evening, for the first time, I cooked and ate lambsquarters. Most people know of this plant only as a weed, but it is, in fact, one of the most highly nutritious green plants a human can eat. I had hesitated to cook it, because it tastes pretty blargh when raw. Cooked, however, it was like an improved spinach! I need to see if there is more growing in the yard. Free greens!
Fruity Bread Pudding (dessert, make in advance)
This dessert bread pudding is pure comfort food. It’s as tasty as pie without all of the work. Eat it hot or cold, by itself or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. This makes enough for about four hungry people.
1 20 ounce can of pineapple, peach, or other canned fruit, plus the liquid from the can
3 or 4 cups torn-up stale bread
¼ cup butter
½ cup sugar
(optional) 1 diced banana, apple, pear, or other fresh fruit
(optional) ½ cup raisins or other dried fruit, or nuts or seeds
(optional) pumpkin-pie spices, such as nutmeg and cinnamon
If the canned fruit is in large pieces, cut it up into bite-sized chunks. Beat together the eggs, sugar, and the liquid from the canned fruit. Combine this with the bread, fruit, and optional ingredients. If the bread is particularly dry, give it ten minutes to soak up the liquid, stirring once or twice. Then put the mixture into a baking dish and bake at 350 until the pudding is firm all the way through, or when the center reaches 165 degrees.