Chicken Sandwiches, Fruit, and Soups

A hearth is the heart of a home, but in last Saturday’s storm, the wood was wet and too (two) tired people were not able achieve much warmth in the new house. Even so, the house is becoming a home with some home-made food.

Chicken sandwiches with lettuce, tomato, mustard and mayonnaise are delicious! At this time of year, tomatoes are sad-damp facsimiles of their summer glory. Some while ago, one of my regular readers posted about a lettuce salad with citrons and I had an “aha!” moment: why not use a seasonal fruit rather than imagining the sparkle a tomato provides? Supermarkets here have mangos, papayas, oranges, grapefruit, kiwi and persimmons in beautiful displays aplenty. J was skeptical, he being a sandwich purist: good bread, meat, and mustard being all one needs. I reminded him of how much he liked the buta-shabu (pork shabu shabu) with the combination of fruits and vegetables; I think he still didn’t use mayo, though.

Quick note about the chicken: I sliced the chicken and marinated the slices in egg-white et al as in the stir-fry with miso sauce recipe. After that, I just poached the chicken with the Chinese method: Bring water to a simmer, add the chicken breasts, and let the pot stand unheated to cool. (If you do this with a whole chicken, you’d put the chicken into the cold water, bring to a simmer, then turn off the heat—white meat, especially sliced, doesn’t take long to cook this way.)

Gracy and Mikey hope to sample some sammies… …but they have to wait till the bean soup is ready.
Beef stew with red wine, potatoes, pasta, backribs, chuck, garlic… J. is the expert mushroom cook…

A note about the stew:
This stove is one of those glass top electric models which need pots with nice flat bottoms. My ancient pots and pans, well…
The original recipe, with just potatoes, wine, bay leaves, black pepper, was from THE VEGETARIAN EPICURE
Written by Anna Thomas
Illustrations by Julie Maas
Alfred A. Knopf, 1972
Obviously much changed.
I would still recommend the original. The book had already been out for some while but we got it as a wedding gift. It was among the first recipes I cooked with a real “wow” factor. In fact, now I’m hungry for it…


13 thoughts on “Chicken Sandwiches, Fruit, and Soups

  1. Hey Tess,
    I haven’t even fired up my fireplace yet. It’s an old building, and every time my neighbors turn theirs on, I can smell it in my house. I just need to get my flue checked out. Food does indeed make a house a home. I actually ordered a vintage fondue pot with its’ little cookbook off of eBay. My dads’ original one got lost in the move. I’ve already done two Nabes here, but a traditional Swiss Fondue sounds scrumptious! I’m in a Retro mood these days.

    How are Gracie and Mikey adjusting to their new home? I can tell that you indeed chose the right home!
    <3 Karla

    • Gosh, maybe I shouldn’t have gotten rid of my fondue pot: copper with nice colored long forks. Fondue sounds soooo good. Oh, but this move is about getting rid of stuff I haven’t used in years.
      I’ve still got tons of junk to dispose of.
      I’ll keep my crock pots, though. The smaller older one is about right for a nabe for two. That sounds like a good idea to have at the Gingko house. J. is back in Buffalo again. But when he gets back, it will be nice to eat in front of the fire.

      With him out of town, I let myself slack off. He was here for “the weekend” which means pretty much only Saturday because it’s such a long drive. We went shopping for a stove. I hate shopping. I bought a chair and a rug. Which don’t match anything.

      Gracie, Mikey, and ‘sula are learning to ride in cars. Together. Back and forth. They all 3 want to sit on my lap together when J. drives. But there are some expressions of antipathy apparent with the cat boxes. Marking territory with poop.
      How childish of them!

      Is your fireplace wood-burning? If you can smell your neighbor’s, might hat be dangerous? No mind me: it’s been decades since I lived in a house with a fireplace. Don’t know anything about them.

    • Hi Kathleen,

      Your comment is encouraging. This move is such-much more of a ‘change of life’ for me than I expected—even though we are only moving only a few miles.
      an unexpected much

      I like to think about you saying “little peeks at this new home” though I’m feeling overwhelmed just now!


  2. Tess, it’s good to hear that your house is becoming a home with cooking smells and tastes, even if your firewood was a bit wet.

    I had to laugh at how the Anna Thomas recipe was changed into a meaty stew. I have her original book, which is full of wonderful flavors. Because of your mention, I did a search and see that she has a new book out as of last year. It’s called Love Soup, and there are raves on Amazon. You can guess what the subject is.

    May you, J. and the kitties stay warm. :)

    • Hi Marcia,

      I did wonder if anyone would notice the very odd adaptation of a vegetarian recipe to a meat and potatoes version. LOL and my bad.

      Her first and second books, which I have, are very mostly rich. But oh so delish. For being vegetarian.

      “Love Soup” might could be romantic, or mature.
      A coworker asked me last week, “Why is Santa so jolly?”
      Answer: “Because he knows where all the naughty girls are…”

      • Oh my, what a thing to think about Santa. My Santa is a kindly and generous soul. :) The Thomas book is about soup, as you well know, Tess. She has a third book out for which reviews are not so glowing; it seems she decided to cut fat and calories.

        I had not realized the J. was going back and forth to Buffalo, and driving, too, in all of the snow. May he stay safe and warm and may you take things easy with the two houses. It’s a difficult thing you’re doing, and I rather doubt those cats are much help.

        House things will be accomplished. I hope you will be kind to yourself. It’s much easier to be kind to others, I’ve noticed.

        • Scratch the *ly* on kind, please. I would be the world’s worst copy editor. I shouldn’t say that considering how many errors there are in today’s books. Close to the world’s worst copy editor is probably more accurate.

        • I had Ms. Thomas’ third book out from the library. If I recall correctly she was also criticized because she included a recipe for roasting a turkey…

          (not being a vegetarian, I didn’t mind) The V. E. books, though I love. I’ll take a look at the soup book. (I do look forward to C’s slightly off-color jokes—she only volunteers once a week…)

          I suspect it is easier to be kind to others—to see my biggest critic, I need only look in a mirror…

  3. Such warmth in your photos, Tess even if it was so chill. You have really captured that coppery glow around an open fire. There is something lovely about a meal eaten at the hearth. Did I read somewhere that hearth and heart come from the same wordy root? There is something quite wonderful too about watching someone else cook – even if from this distance. Perhaps that is why I so often wander into your kitchen…

    Your cats are hilarious. So bossy! So gorgeous and so self absorbed.

    • LOL. That “glow” lasted about one minute. It’s the magic of digital photography. J will be back this weekend. It’s Christmas. Right!!!!

      I don’t know about heart and hearth having the same etymology, but a quick Google shows lots of healthy homey loving companies that do make something of the similarity between those words in English.

      I’m picturing you on a beach, teaching your doggies to surf while singing the Chipmunk Christmas song, in a bikini. Don’t forget to wash those lovely Christmas cherries before you eat them…

      I’m wishing the cats would just kill each other: one of them decided to poop on a counter in the kitchen today. That is taking the territorial aggression just too far.

      I’ll wait till you forget that before I invite you to the housewarming party…

  4. Hi Tess, just dropped by to wish you a merry christmas…
    looking forward to seeing more and more of your new home.
    but do take it easy!

  5. Merry Christmas Rita!
    I hope you are having a lovely day. As for the house, the move is slow because I do take things easy. LOL. I had wanted to have Christmas dinner there, a real meal, but other obligations call. We bought a bed yesterday, so once it’s delivered we can finally sleep there. Getting internet there would help too… (revelation: I am a net addict.)

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