Friday, August 31, 2012

Keeping Onions

To the shriveled and parched,

Onions keep quite well in cold storage, when they aren't sold in a grocery store at two years old.

However, you may have onions that need to be dealt with or used up quickly.  You may have no room for cold storage or, like us, you may be in a region with long, humid summers and can't really implement that spare room for cold storage.  In the Pacific Northwest, we just used a spare bedroom without the heat on - it was chilly in there ten months out of the year!  We kept onions in our cold storage for six months.  No such luck in Virginia, where the coolest recess of the house is still a soggy 85 degrees at best.

So, we turn to other methods of storage for now: frozen dice, onion flakes, and onion powder,

At the food auction, we got a half-bushel of onions for $7.  A half-bushel of onions - bushels are measured in volume, not weight - is about 25 pounds.

I reserved a few in skins for use with cooking over the next few weeks, but the rest we peeled.

My mom first came up with this idea, which I used on a bushel sack of onions a year or two ago:  We chopped them coarsely, and put through a food processor for a few seconds to achieve a fine dice.  If you have a larger food processor, this goes much more quickly!

We decided to store them in food-saver bags since I won't be using them until the dead of winter, several months hence.  We packed onion in measured cupfuls into the bags and labeled them, then put them in the freezer to freeze solid.  Once they were frozen, we sealed the bags and returned them to the freezer.  Hastily bringing together a big pot of soup is a snap with already-diced onions.

This foodsaver has an option so I can freeze items with liquid, but it still sucks
out some of the liquid so I decided to freeze first, then seal.
We had a watchful supervisor ... 
While we were chopping and dicing, we also cut a few onions into wide slices, about a half-inch thick.  We broke these up a little and spread them on a food dehydrator.  Drying time depends on your food dehydrator - this is an oldie, with weak fans, and took about 24 hours +.  It is also soakingly humid here, and so I needed to deal with them immediately after turning off the dehydrator, or they'd be soft again!

Once again under the watchful eye ... 
After they were crispy-dry, I put them through the food processor.  You can chop as fine or as coarse as you like.  I will use these in soups, dips, and when cooking meats during the deepest parts of winter when onions are unavailable for purchase, and any cold stores (if I am so lucky as to have any cold stores!) are depleted.

Eight trays of onions produced a tightly packed pint, plus a quarter-pint.  If your dried food has more than 70% of the moisture removed, you can store without refrigeration or freezing, without fear of mold.  Even though our freezer space is limited, I put these jars in the freezer for storage; since it took eight trays of onions to fill these jars, I am still consolidating and saving freezer space.  Previously, after drying onions I transferred them into foodsaver bags for freezer storage, because I only had a side-by-side fridge and freezer and needed everything to be narrow and thin!

You can put them through a coffee grinder, if you like, to make onion powder.  Of course, the coffee grinder must be clean and dry.

Just a few seconds will do the trick.

With any luck, there will be more onions at the next food auction and I can dry and freeze enough for the whole winter!  We also pickle a good quantity of onions and use them in potato salad, tuna salad, other cold dishes and as snacks.

How do you preserve and store onions?

Mrs H

This post is linked up at Monday Mania and Real Food Wednesdays, two fabulous resources for you!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Feeding Chunky Monkey: Let's Talk Nursing

Dear mothers-to-be especially, but everybody else in particular,

I am not a breastfeeding expert.

I have not taken classes.  I am not a member of La Leche League.  I have not read breastfeeding books, or looked up websites or watched videos on YouTube.  I don't have a dozen successfully breastfed and weaned children praising me in the background.

All I have to my name is a nine-week-old baby with more rolls than a Dutch bakery shop!  I want to share my experience with this most marvelous of womanly arts, breastfeeding, because sometimes just hearing an experience from a non-pro perspective is beneficial.

The Mysterious Mrs S shared about her breasfteeding experience in an article called Nighttime Nursing, which I read two weeks before my own little boy was born.  I loved her article and benefited from hearing her experience - so I hope I can do the same for future moms!

As to others - I hope you enjoy hearing about it, as well, and that it inspires you to encourage and support moms feeding their babies.

I know some moms are anti-covering when nursing in public - I'm neutral
on the subject and don't really care either way.  My little man gets pretty excited
about any noise or movement and tries to check it out, so sometimes a cover is just
helpful for speed and efficiency when there are lots of distractions going on!  
Snack time at the garden store ... I've never received "dirty looks" or been told
to leave, and we have nursed in many places.  I am grateful that people are
understanding and helpful in this regard.  A store manager at Panera Bread
even brought us more soup for free one time, because he saw I inhaled mine so quickly!!
Before our little chunky monkey was born, we took a short birth class, taught by the wonderful midwife apprentice that later attended the birth.  We took a private, two-session version because I was already over eight months pregnant and we certainly didn't have time for the full-blown class!  It was great fun (you might say it was a "scream"), and we learned about comfort measures and positions to engage in during labor, things Mr H could do to assist me, what we would need to do to prepare for the home birth (not much - have extra towels on hand and blow up the birthing pool, essentially!).  The apprentice brought a little doll to the second session and showed me some nursing positions and gave a few tips.

That is, I think, the extent of my formal nursing education.

When our wee little man was just minutes old, I held him tightly to my chest as I got up from the living room floor and walked to the bedroom.  I snuggled (nay, I collapsed) on the bed with him and Mr H, and the minutes-old baby nosed around at my breast for a moment but didn't show much interest in eating.  It was probably two hours after birth when we were getting ready to go visit The Seamstress that the midwife helped me position him in my arms while I sat on the couch, and he latched on for his first nursing amidst the gratifying oohs and ahs of appreciation from the midwives.  I'd been watching my mom feed babies for almost my whole life and never once questioned that this was how I would nourish my own children, and it seemed like second nature to hold him in that familiar position and hear him snuffle around.  He didn't eat for long, and he was more eager to sleep than he was to sample the other side.  I was just producing colostrum at this point, of course - the "pre-milk" which is so rich in nutrients and necessary for his starter immune system.  Over the course of that day, he never did eat much but mostly slept, nibbling and then falling back asleep for hours.  The midwife assured me that he was just worn out from the labor and would eat plenty, soon enough.

Boy, was she ever right!

I believe it was only the next day that my milk came in.  The little guy had finished pumping out all the meconium in his system and had some nice, newborn poo that day.  He started up eating, just little bits, but soon more and more frequently.

Not surprisingly, my breasts were somewhat tender and I wasn't too anxious to have him latch on each time.  "I think he's hungry," Mr H would say when the baby started squirming around.  "Are you sure?" I would hesitate.  Maybe he would just fall asleep ... but usually, he wanted to eat!  Once he got going, though, the sensitivity and tingling sensation would fade away.  My body was learning how much he needed to eat and was producing a lot of milk in the beginning, with a let-down reflex like a fire hose that was sometimes so strong he couldn't keep up and would draw back, sputtering, coughing, and usually crying.  I learned to keep a rag or diaper pad handy and to express some of that rushing first flow into the cloth, even though he would sometimes scream hungrily for the moment it took me to do so.  However, doing this helped him to keep from gulping down air, which in turn cut down on the large amounts of puke that he kept flooding our bed with in the beginning.

I hope ya'll know I won't wait long for this-here milk!

My breasts adjusted to nursing within a few weeks - the soreness faded faster than I was expecting, although in the beginning I kept dabbing them with salve, occasionally applying cool ice packs after nursing, and letting them dry in the air as much as possible.  In the bath, I would slap on warm washcloths which felt deliciously soothing and were great just before nursing him.  Milk quantities leveled out in a few weeks, too, so they weren't hard and full all the time - I never experienced a truly hot, painful engorgement during the first weeks, fortunately.

The little man knew his job, too, with that natural instinct that babies are born with.  We just applied patience and confidence.  He was 8 lb 4 ounces at birth, and by six weeks he was fourteen pounds.  I'd say he's a professional eater!

I ate way ... too ... much ...
I can't believe it's not butter!!!! 
My dad called it the Milk Truck when the babies were nursing, growing up ...
This is what I call getting hit by the milk truck!  
Before he was born, I read lots of birth stories and enjoyed reading about the empowerment and strength women felt during birth.  I reveled in that at his birth, too; yet in my memory that was not my most outstanding, shining moment.  Birth alone is not what made me feel like a birth mama, a goddess, a powerful being.

What made me feel powerful and stronger beyond anything else I had done in my life was nursing my child.

Some women feel that surge of strength and glory when they are pushing; some feel it when they see their belly swell with the new life within; some feel it when they see their baby open his or her eyes for the first time.  I felt it when my child came close and nursed. Felt powerful.  Felt unstoppable.

Felt it when I provided the precious nourishment that no other person on this earth could provide so completely as I.

Felt it when I healed my own body, and grew his, by the power of nursing.

Felt it when his legs grew fat and his eyes brighter and ever more alert and mature as he ate, many times throughout the day and night.

Felt it when his little blue eyes gazed up at me trustingly while he drank and drank of the best nectar creation could offer him.  When my milk would soothe his cries and satisfy his hunger when nothing else could.  When he would pull away with a drowsy, milky smile and beam up at me, then latch on and nurse furiously, clutching at my shirt and skin with his tiny fingers in eager haste.

Felt it when I nursed with confidence, trusting that when he turned away to sleep he needed that more than calories, and that when he cried when it seemed I had just fed him, he knew it was time for calories again and I had no reason to stop him.

This was my moment!  Let nothing stand in our way.

Mrs H

Monday, August 27, 2012

Dinner Menu XII

The soaring heat has been torturous, magnified by drenching humidity.  A new sympathy for the three Hebrew children emerges. Motivation for cooking has been low - not only because the kitchen easily reaches 115 degrees and rages hotter with the oven and stove rolling, but the humid air sucks your energy like a parasite.

However, relief!  The last week has been deliciously cool, floating somewhere in the 80s and with a few overcast days scattered throughout.  Our house has been in the low 80s, sometimes even dipping into the chilly 70s.  It's still humid, but it's not 90% humidity any more!

We've been canning, regardless of the heat, and I've even found the time for some experimental projects in the kitchen - but more about that later!

Squash Saute on Buttered Herb Noodles

Broccoli-Cheddar Soup
Garlic Loaf

Pushcart Peppers & Sausage

A night out!

Meatloaf with Salisbury Sauce
Red Noodle Beans in Garlic
Mashed Potatoes
Sausage Stuffing
Corn on the Cob
Canary Melon

Many-Layer Nacho-Enchiladas
Sour Cream
Eggplant Caviar

Hunter's Stew
Buttermilk Biscuits
Ice Cream with Peaches & Blueberries in Honey Syrup

Hunter's Stew
Perfect ice cream topping! 
A big pot of bubbling hunter's stew to sop our biscuits in

Who has two thumbs and loves life?
Auntie Jessie evades work once again
Peppers, sausage, and onions, simmering to a bubbly melty goodness
Hot buttered noodles with Parmesan cheese
This squash saute dinner was a spur-of-the-moment inspiration, and I
could eat it all night - it was amazing!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Food Auction

Dear frugals,

Mr H and I went to a food auction a few evenings ago.

Held at the location of our local farmer's market, the auction consists of large amounts of surplus produce farmers in the area haven't sold.  It is indeed, as it was described to me by the friend who informed me of said event, "glorious!"

It begins much like any auction: after registering with the ladies behind the cashier's table, you are assigned a number on a card and head out to the auction floor.  This number will be yours all season and, presumably, in future years as well.

The auctioneer has a podium on wheels and is attended by a lady with a clipboard.  He rolls up to the first pallet of produce boxes, which has a number stapled to it - that farmer's unique ID, which will enable him to be paid when the night is through.

A boy will hold up a sample of the item in question at the moment - maybe a box of peppers, a watermelon from a pile of twenty, or a sack of potatoes.  The auctioneer will assign a fair price to the unit being sold, say, the box of peppers.

"Nine dollars for this box of pepper!" he'll begin, and the bidding will go from there.  Usually it goes up.  When the bidding stops, he'll ask the winning bidder if they want just one box of peppers, or all the boxes on the pallet.  Usually they only want one or a few of the units, but occasionally somebody is buying for a restaurant or for canning and wants them all.

If the winning bidder only opts to take one or two boxes, then the rest are sold off as fast as people can hold up their numbers.  The lady with the clipboard records which numbers purchased what.  Sometimes, like was the case when there was a huge box of watermelons, everybody that wants a watermelon has taken one and there are still more left.  In this case, the auctioneer starts sliding back down the price scale - the prices can get pretty hot, and then they go.  As happened with the watermelons, there were still more left that nobody wanted, so the price plummeted with the stipulation that you buy, say, two of them at a time.  Or in some cases, as happened with a bunch of canary melons, the prices is rock bottom if you buy them all.

If you wander around the auction floor in advance and see perhaps four unique pallets from different farms, all with zucchini on them, you know that the later zucchini will probably sell for a lower price than the zucchini that goes up for bid first.  Some popular items go up in price as the night goes on.

The point is not necessarily to get the lowest price you can possibly walk out of there with.  This is an insult to the farmer, who put in hard days to raise the produce.  The point is to get lower than market price, but not so low that it's a slap in the face.  Produce needs to move, and it needs to move fast, so farmers can't necessarily set it aside to sell when demand is higher - they need to sell it now.  This is part of the risk of farming, and part of the excitement of trying to buy.

Mr H and I, in our effort to eat local food, find ourselves not necessarily bidding on the hot commodities that we really want - but instead developing a taste for, and learning to use and preserve, items that may be more foreign or less popular.  This is all a part of living and eating well, on a strict and unbending budget.

We didn't get much, because there wasn't much in the way of bulk produce for sale.  We did walk away with green bell peppers, sweet potatoes, zucchini, onions, mixed hot peppers, two large watermelon, and a canary melon.

I brought my notebook, ID, and a checkbook.  I took notes on the prices things were going for so I could compare prices the next week, and see how things lay in the good state of Virginia.

The little man enjoyed himself, spending time with Auntie Jessie and taking pictures.

After the auction, everybody loaded up their produce and the floor was cleared again, ready for market in the morning.

Slicing n dicing,

Mrs H


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

On Growing and Shrinking - Pregnancy Nutrition!

Dear ones,

The little man has been growing at an almost alarmingly fast rate.

Tipping the scales at 14 pounds when we brought him in
at my six-week check-up with the midwives (he had a 24-hr
check-up and a one-week check-up, both at home with
midwives, but other than that he hasn't had any extra
attention from professionals after birth) 
Look at those thunder thighs! Don't you just wanna squeeze em!?
I say alarming, because by the end of the day he's almost busted out of the onesie I put on him in the morning, that is to say, I've already boxed up half his clothes - and that was at the six-week mark!  The midwives congratulated us and said he was the largest 6-week baby they've seen!

Cozy with Auntie Mandatory during her recent 3-week visit with my mom
and another sister, Auntie Kejmo
Explaining the ins and outs of childhood to Auntie Kejmo - as you can see
we were sorting through his clothes, packing away the small ones and getting
out the larger ones! 
Many thanks to the wonders of breastmilk - his complete diet since day one!

I told you I'd mention something about the part nutrition had to play in my pregnancy and labor, so here it is!

I am no food Nazi - you know I have my weaknesses - but in large part our house is free from processed, pre-packaged, non-organic, un-local food.  I suppose if I had to estimate I would say about 80% of our food is organic locavore.

This trend has been going for some time, and that percentage increases steadily.  This makes it easy to eat well, because when you shop like this, just about anything you pick up to eat in your own house will be nutritious (not to mention pre-made snacks aren't always readily available - have a banana?); and things that are processed or pre-made rapidly lose their appeal.  Yes, even long-standing "but-I-ate-it-when-I-was-a-kid" stuff.  There are a few devilish treats I loved when I was little that don't satisfy any more.  They look good, but when I bite into them they just aren't what they once were; and many packaged treats make my mouth mysteriously sore.  Hmm ... problem with me, or problem with the chemicals in the plastic-wrapped snacks? I'm leaning towards the latter, although conventional medicine might say otherwise ...

My sister sent me some of the homemade cookies from her wedding, which was
three days after the little man was born - and I had no problem consuming those!
And so it was that during my pregnancy, it was easy, nay, it took no effort on my part, to eat a nutritious and balanced diet (it probably would have been even easier if we hadn't moved once every trimester, thank-you Navy!).  I was craving primarily salads and water (water!! water!!!), and had no appetite for sugary, snacky things except a few times.  Once in California, I remember I sorely wanted a doughnut.  I don't know if this had anything to do with the pregnancy, and I was loathe to indulge in things and use the pregnancy as an excuse because I had seen where that road could lead - but Mr H and I bought two doughnuts, one for each of us.  Unfortunately for him, he did not eat his fast enough and I consumed both doughnuts before he had a chance.


Such surprise when he found the empty package.

When we moved to Virginia, our nutrition intake ratcheted up a notch.  Not being on the lam every few weeks helps immensely with settling in and discovering the food culture of a given area, which is what we have been doing ever since we arrived.

Our CSA box started in mid-May, so until the little man was born on June 21 I was automatically compelled to consume half a crate of kale, chard, turnips, beets, lettuces, lamb's quarters, and more a week.  After the little man was born in our living room, the midwives were in the kitchen testing the blood from the placenta to type it.  They came back and congratulated me on my rich blood.

"Such beautiful blood!" my midwife said.  "It must be from all that kale you are eating!"

Lamb's quarters, commonly known as a weed, are rich in Vitamin K.  My midwife, who has known the farmer that runs our CSA for years (she was doula for his daughter's birth, years ago!), advised me not to eat too much in a given day so I don't overdose on Vitamin K, but she was excited that I was eating it!  As any birth worker knows, Vitamin K in the colostrum and breast milk are vital for the baby, and play an important role in blood-clotting and healing for the mother.

Clockwise from bottom left: Lamb's quarters, red-leaf lettuce, kale, drunken
woman lettuce, radishes, various colored potatoes, onion, elephant garlic

My body responded well to the birth - even though the little man had 14.5" shoulders, I had no external tearing.  I credit this to the length of labor, allowing my body to flood with hormones and blood in the tissues, and stretch as necessary, and the attentiveness of the apprentice and midwife who helped gently ease our little man into the world with the help of warm olive-oil compresses.  There was a tiny tear inside, however, because just before his shoulders emerged he did a complete rotation - not a half rotation to work the shoulders out, as is usual for babies, but a complete spin.  The apprentice had not seen this before, and our midwife said she had only seen it two or three times.  It felt ridiculously crazy, and I could see my stomach jostling wildly as his legs and arms swirled all the way over!  The grinding of his shoulders twisting in the narrow birth canal is presumably what caused the small first-degree tear I did experience (although I never felt it), and had stitched up at a doctor's office just a few hours after birth.

The doctor that put the stitches in was pleased with my blood as well, and I was gratified when he complimented me on a strong body with "beautiful" tissue. I was thirsty, which made him concerned that I might have anemia, but a nurse took a blood sample and came back impressed.  "Perfect!" she said.  I did, however, realize why I had been ravenously hungry for beans for the last few weeks when he asked the midwife if I was vegan - apparently he felt I needed more protein in my diet!

I healed well, as far as I can tell - all systems are normal.  I was never sore, and I never felt dizzy or woozy despite losing what amounted to eight pounds worth of fluids and placenta, plus the eight pound-four ounce baby.  I had no night-sweats, I had no extreme fatigue despite having a newborn to look after.  He has fortunately been the mellowest and most compliant of babes, sleeping during the night and waking briefly for his feedings, of which he generally has two, and then falling promptly back asleep.  Our midwife encapsulated the placenta, and brought the capsules to our 24-hour home check-up.  I never experienced any "baby blues" and whether we can credit the capsules, general nutrition, the natural hormones that are allowed with natural birth to enable bonding, or my husband's attentive care or just all four for this, I will never know - either way, the days and weeks following his birth have been joyful and pleasant, and I love that.

The day after the little guy was born and for several days following, I craved and consumed huge amounts of fresh, crispy greens and protein.  Of course, water is ever at my side now that I am feeding him constantly throughout the day!  He was born just before a staggering heat wave - the next day it was 105 by noon, and for several weeks following the temperature rarely left the 90s during the day, and barely dropped to the 80s at night, with humidity ranging at 90%.  I was grateful that I didn't have to be pregnant during this heat, but at times it was torture to clasp a hot little body to myself for nursing - we'd both come away drenched in sweat, myself glued to the couch and his little wisps of hair pasted to his head and cheeks.  Our AC was virtually useless, although with it running nonstop and all the other rooms to the house blocked off, it could with a great effort get our living room down to the mid-80s.

At the beach
Picking blueberries ...
Yum, yum! 
We just took it easy.  With no expectation of getting things done, there was little pressure.  With little pressure there is little stress - life moved back to normal at a gradual, comfortable pace.

The body can do marvelous, wonderful things when it is given the proper tools, and not handicapped by debilitating foods.  I don't mean fats or carbs - I mean empty carbs, homogenized fats, garbage calories.

Perhaps the best part of all this nutritious eating (remember, I wasn't trying!) and my daily yoga practice was that I wore my own jeans for the entire pregnancy, and easily slipped back into my own clothes the day after Farmer Boy was born.  I never felt "sick" of being pregnant - I never felt encumbered by my body.  I was perfectly fine hoeing potatoes and weeding raspberry beds the week before he was born, and picking blueberries while he nursed just a few weeks after his arrival.  I still have extra chub, but the midwife assures me it is due to breastfeeding and my body storing nutrients against risk of famine, to protect the baby.  Eat more, Farmer Boy - the more you eat, the more I lose!

I don't say these things to announce how great I am, or that I did something wonderful, cause I did nothing that should not be normal and customary for everybody.  I say them, rather, to inspire you!  To let you know that yes, it makes a difference.  Yes, it means something to eat nutritious food.  Yes, you can and should start the switch so that you, too can benefit.  Forget about sugar-free foods, non-fat dairy, low-cal snack packs, an extra hour in the gym.  All of that is junk.  Just eat, and enjoy, real, good food with enjoyable, normal activity and (of course) yoga.  Reap the benefits forever!

Weed em and reap,

Mrs H

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Friday, August 3, 2012

Apples That Don't Bruise? ...

Dear watchers of the night,

Farmers and consumers alike are concerned about the latest GMO controversy - genetically modified apples that do not brown or bruise when cut or damaged.

Farmers are concerned because the pollen can contaminate their orchards, and put their fruit at risk.

I am concerned because we still don't know the long-term effects of all genetically modified foods.

Hybrid foods, or plants that have been cultivated for generations for the strongest, best variety, and blended with other plants (durum and kamut wheat, for example, are relatively modern grains cultivated from two different grasses merged), have been around for generations - as long as we've had agriculture.  While they are not always nutritionally optimal - the un-hybridized ancient einkorn may be preferable to the modern hybrid durum wheat - they are still generally considered "natural" in the sense that DNA has not been tinkered with.

Genetically modified food is different, and can have features not native to its species introduced - they can incubate pharmaceuticals, be resistant to certain pests or chemicals, extend shelf life, grow larger than normal ... And the controversy over whether this is potentially dangerous or not rages on.

I am of the opinion that the more we tinker with the good Lord's perfect creation, the more we run the risk of getting in over our heads and messing with processes we still know very little about!

Testing for new genes is usually minimal, done by the company that would benefit from the success of the product, and risks are not thoroughly assessed.  What about the damage to neighboring farms?  The food-chain and eco-system?  Bees, squirrels, bugs, groundwater ...  There is much to be considered.

"Kirk Azevedo, former Monsanto employee turned whistleblower warns:

'I saw what was really the fraud associated with genetic engineering.  My impression, and I think most people's impression with genetically engineered foods and crops and other things, is that it's just like putting one gene in there and that one gene is expressed ... But in reality, the process of genetic engineering changes the cell in such a way that it's unknown what the effects are going to be.'"  (As quoted by The Healthy Home Economist blog)

If you feel similarly, I encourage you to fill out this online form and tell the USDA to keep apples natural here!

Concerned citizen,

Mrs H

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Fettuccini Fast!

Dear summer cook,

In the interest of saving time and cutting down on steam and heat in the kitchen, we've taken to piecing up a whole chicken, boiling the pieces, then shredding them from the bone and refrigerating in a container.  Throughout the week, the cooked chicken becomes parts of various dinners or lunches.  We used our cooked chicken in the following recipe, a few days after the little cowboy was born.

We have also made this dish without the meat, and it is just as wonderful.

Mr H's Fettuccini
Mr H made a fettuccini recipe from a Cook's Country magazine, then changed up the sauce just a bit.  After this, the Olive Garden will be but a faint and distant memory ... 

Cooked, shredded or chopped chicken (optional)
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, minced
2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 pound fettuccine
1 additional tablespoon olive oil
Fresh flaked or shredded Parmesan cheese
1 cup minced fresh basil

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Set aside.

Heat a skillet with the butter or olive oil; add the minced garlic and cook about thirty seconds.  Add cream and lemon juice and bring to a simmer; cook, stirring, until sauce is slightly thickened, three to five minutes.  Add the chicken and heat through.

Pour sauce and chicken over pasta and stir to coat.  Serve hot.    

If desired, add a bag of frozen peas in the last moments of boiling the pasta,
and then drain all in a colander and toss with the sauce and meat.  
Stir the sauce frequently to keep from sticking. 
Mr H served it with braised beets and turnips and sauteed greens.
Do not keep me from my pasta!

Mrs H

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We shared this goodness with the folks at Frugal Follies on Frugal Thursday!



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