8th Dinner Club Meeting – Americana Summary
This was a fun blast from the past! Pigs in a blanket are one of those things that you always sort of hate to admit that you like but are always fun. You wouldn’t be caught dead bringing them to a party now – or at least not unless they were an "upgrade" like Ina Garten’s "Lamb Sausage in Puff Pastry". The Manhattans were great, too! In the past, this has not been one of my favorite drinks. I think my first exposure was at the "Captain’s Party" on a Carnival Cruise and maybe that wasn’t the place to judge a drink. K made them with Maker’s Mark and I think that made all the difference in the world. I still am not keen on maraschino cherries, however. I grew up in Salem, Oregon and we had a maraschino cannery there. You should have seen the hands of the people who worked there! The brine just made a mess of them (and that is putting it nicely!).
But on to more pleasant topics. Iceberg lettuce is another item that has dropped in popularity over the years but of all the lettuces I actually find it to be the most refreshing since it is so full of water. Add a little blue cheese and some fresh tomatoes and how can you go wrong?
Since M had never made meatloaf before, she had a hard time making a decision on her recipe. She ended up with one that used a combination of meats and had the ketchup glaze, The Perfect Meatloaf, and one that was made just with beef and didn’t have any type of glaze or sauce, the Fannie Farmer version. They were both good but my favorite was The Perfect. I like some sort of tomato with my meatloaf! (Side note here, the next morning I had a cholesterol test – not good planning on my part!)
It was fun to remake the Green Bean Casserole, I would tinker with the topping a bit more though. It was not quite as crispy as I had hoped it would be. Twice-baked potatoes are actually one of the things that have stood the test of time. You still find them, in many variations, on menus today. The fun part is adding your own twist to the recipe.
And we ended with apple pie with vanilla ice cream – can’t get much more American than that! I gave R quite a lot of grief about it though, because she never has shared the recipe she used. Hmmm. I’m thinking there may have been some shortcuts involved. We wouldn’t care but I guess it might be hard to admit to a Cooking Club. :-)