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Welcome Autumn, Seat Sales, and Meat Patties

Welcome to autumn. The fall brings back to school, seat sales, wild blueberries, and the start of the apple crops. Do you receive those Air Canada Websavers? Just before the Labour Day long weekend…the calm before the storm for my cooking class schedule and me… I received a seat sale offer that was too good to refuse. $109.00 one way and a chance to take 4 days out of my schedule to visit my daughter and family in Winnipeg.

My daughter has been on my case to come and see her new home. At the tender age of 23, she decided to buy her own house. I am so proud that she was able to save and secure a sizeable down payment to achieve this life goal. She moved last February, bought a bed, and cozy comforter for the spare room for me. I haven’t been able to get away to visit her until now. I cherish my time with her as we are very close and she now lives far away. On my return to TO, my buddies asked me what I did while I was in the ‘Peg. Here’s how my visit went. My friend Gail picked me up at the airport as my sister was still at the cottage, my daughter was working, and my other sister was working too (lunching with Connie on the Saturday). Since everyone was working, I had a chance to have my 89 year old spry Mom all to myself…up until my daughter came home to show me her new dibs.

To answer the question what did I do in the ‘Peg? Cook and eat of course!

I love my visits with Mom. She’s 89 going on 60. Well actually we’re planning her 90th in April. I’ll save that for another story. We spent our time laughing, reminiscing, answering life’s questions, and looking at old photo albums…and well, we got hungry. Her fridge was sparse as it was just before a grocery shop so I had to do some magic and we came up with plain low fat yoghurt, layered with a sweet spiced berry sauce, and toasted almonds. This was to tie us over, it was about 4:00 pm, until I was told the plans for dinner.

The berry sauce was made from an unsweetened mostly berries jam. I took about 1/3 of a cup of jam, about 1 tablespoon of maple syrup, 1 teaspoon vinegar, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon allspice, a pinch of cloves, and heated it on the stove. My Mom was in her glory and so impressed, “I hate yoghurt and you made it delicious”, she exclaimed. I love making my Mom happy. By the way… Mom goes to the gym and walks 3 to 4 times a week and is totally self sufficient in her own home. In our talking, she managed to scoop my omelet recipe, which I will share with you at some point. She recreated it yesterday and called me all excited. I aspire to be her. My Mom is superhuman amazing!

Ok on to my daughter. Her fridge was bare and as every good visiting Mom does…we filled it up. So grocery shopping lead to my cooking as much as possible to fill up her fridge and freezer. We spent the time cuddling as much as she would allow and I made her a fave…one of her old favourite childhood dishes. A staple meal in our home was meat patties braised in juice or sometimes wine with apples, red peppers, and mushrooms. My kids absolutely love it! No worries, the alcohol dissipates with the cooking time. Cori happened to have some sparkling rosé wine given to her as a housewarming. Here’s the recipe for those back to school nights when it’s…What do I make for dinner?? This recipe freezes well. Portion it out and just microwave or reheat in a 350 degree F. oven. Here’s the recipe from memory. See more on Dishes Delight Daughter Part I and Part II.

Meat Patties with Apples in Rosé Wine Sauce Serves 4 to 6

For meat patties:

2 lbs ground extra lean beef, turkey, or chicken 1/3 cup finely chopped onion 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce ¼ cup cheerio crumbs, finely crush them in a plastic bag with a rolling pin or cup 1 egg freshly ground pepper

For Braising:

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 1 medium onion, chopped ½ cup red bell pepper, cut in 2 inch strips 1 apple, sliced ½ cup small crimini mushrooms, quartered ¼ cup all purpose whole wheat flour 1 teaspoon curry powder Freshly ground black pepper Coarse kosher salt Wine of your choice, but something you enjoy

  1. Heat a large skillet on medium high heat with 1-tablespoon extra virgin olive oil.

  2. In a large bowl, mix the ground beef, onion, soy sauce, cheerio crumbs, freshly ground pepper and egg. Form patties, about the size of a tennis ball. About 5 ounces of raw meat per person. Slightly flatten.

  3. Lightly dredge the patties in a mixture of flour, curry powder, coarse kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Fry up the onions and push to the side. Then quickly brown on both sides but do not cook through.

  4. Add the apples, peppers, and mushrooms.

  5. Pour enough wine to come up to half of the contents of the pan.

  6. Bring to a boil, then down to a simmer, and cover.

  7. Cook through for about 20 minutes.

  8. With a slotted spoon, remove the patties into a plate.

  9. Reduce the liquid with apples until just starting to get thick and apples are soft. Add more wine if you want more sauce. Season with coarse kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

  10. Serving suggestion per person: plate a patty, some apples, peppers and mushrooms over ½ cup portion of cooked brown rice and top with sauce.

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