Great day for a motorcycle ride. Bike starts..bike stops. Install new set of sparkplugs..(no easy chore) Bike starts..bike stops. Now it sits taking up space in the garage like a big lifeless black lump on wheels and I’m faced with the prospect of having it hauled off to the repair shop to be fixed for god knows how much..probably more than its book value. That’s not going to sit well with Linda who hasn’t been too crazy about me riding anyway. (She may have put a curse on it..or sugar in the gas tank..kidding.)
So, I’m feeling rather glum as I go into the house to work on my blog. I fire up the desktop computer. It starts..then stalls. Good grief. I reboot; machine finally starts but incredibly slow. It has been acting like a tortoise in a blizzard for some time now so, even though I’ve not had much luck fixing things lately, I decided it was time to perform a little computer clean-up. Now, you have to understand that I know just enough about computers to get myself in trouble but figure by going to YouTube I’ll find some geeky guy or gal on there more than willing to walk me right through process at no charge. There is no shortage of these people on You Tube and all tell pretty much the same story; clean up your hard drive, defragment the system and get rid of programs that automatically startup when you turn the computer on. Then they show you how to do it. I have followed their instructions implicitly and it has helped so I’m one for one in the do-it-yourself department. They also suggest I buy additional ram. That’s all I need; a male sheep to keep my dead Kawasaki company.
Then I go to post my blog on the internet and I’m denied access. I was reasonably certain it wasn’t my fault since I couldn’t get on to WordPress with my laptop either. That was two days ago. The “access denied” gate was finally lifted this morning but the blog was rather dated so this is a re-write.
After such a rough day, I needed some TLC and, for me, there’s nothing that soothes the soul of the inept handyman better than foods that have given me comfort since childhood. Linda’s Tater Tot casserole has this healing effect. Although, it’s a definite diet killer, it’s as delicious as it is easy to make; just a layer each of hamburger, onions, cream of mushroom soup, green beans and as many Tater Tots as possible on top. Bake for an hour and a half at 350 degrees..and, voila, before your watering mouth is the greatest mood improvement drug since Prozac.
During the recent South Carolina reunion of the Lund brother’s families, we got to talking about some of our favorite dishes from mom’s kitchen in our youth..foods that we haven’t tasted in a very long time. It should be noted that our mom went out of her way to please her boys at the table. She loved it when we gobbled up her stuff. Our idea of a balanced diet was when the homemade French fries weighed about the same as the hamburgers made from half frozen ground beef.
She used to fix regular fried potatoes in a cast iron skillet and to make it stretch farther, would dice up chunks of day-old bread in it. They would crisp-up and become even more tasty than the spuds. All three of us boys have tried to duplicate this recipe without success. Maybe she used lard. Whatever..it’s a taste apparently lost to the ages. We always looked forward to mom’s salmon loaf. Again, I’m not quite sure of her technique. I seem to remember her combining cans of salmon, eggs, saltine crackers and baking in a round pan until it achieved that crispy crust on top. It was remarkably good and something I haven’t had in 50 years. I remember really enjoying those little round salmon bones that gave a lovely crunch. For some reason, after leaving home, I never cared for salmon..or any fish for that matter.. other than canned tuna and oyster stew. In that same syle pan, mom used to fix a recipe that involved cooked rice which she would place under the broiler for a few minutes again achieving that delicious crust on top. We’d scoop big spoonfuls of those delicious morsels into a bowl, add milk and sugar then devour it like ravenous wolves. I’ve tried to make this too but wound up with a dry pan of tasteless disappointment. I’ve also tried to duplicate mom’s pop-overs. But rather than achieving her soaring towers of inflated eggy goodness..I get flat little hockey pucks. I’ve tried in vain to duplicate her homemade tomato soup, oyster stew and roast beef gravy. About the only thing my brothers and I have managed to recreate is her dumpling recipe. They must be hard as a carp..never mooshy. (Just use plenty of flour, eggs, salt and time in boiling water). Denny loved them so much he made the mistake of telling his high school buddies who..to this day..still call him “Dump.”
Gosh, all this talk about comfort food has made me hungry.
I wonder if there’s any left-over Tater Tot casserole in the fridge.
Yeah, right..like there would be left-overs.