Slow Days: Penne with Tuna and Tomatoes

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions: “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?” To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’ This feature will appear sporadically. 

Now for the answers. Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day? Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight. There are many questions asked on the FastDiet Forum which attest to that. Once in a while you can splurge, as long as it isn’t everyday. For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet. As for how we eat, an example follows.

On Wednesday, which is a Slow Day in our house, we invariably dine on a pasta meal. There are so many fine ways to top a plate of pasta that it can be a while until a particular meal is repeated. What follows is a recipe from Diary of a Tuscan Chef by Cesar Casella & Eileen Daspin. The chef calls it “Garganelli con Tonno Fresco,” but we call it Penne with Tuna & Tomatoes. This is so special and so easy to prepare that we schedule it when we want a lot of impact even when there is little time.

My job is to prepare the mise en place and to cook the pasta.

Here we see fresh tuna cut into 1/2 inch cubes, along with garlic chopped with fresh oregano, and 2 cups of halved cherry tomatoes. Cook the pasta of choice in salted water. Meanwhile, saute the garlic and oregano in olive oil until the garlic begins to color. Add the tuna and a pinch of crushed red pepper, and cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes until the fish is done to your liking. Remove the tuna from the pan to a plate or bowl. Drain the pasta, saving some cooking water. Deglaze the saute pan with about 1/3 cup white wine, and let it cook down while you scrape brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the pasta water and the tomatoes to the pan and cook for 2 minutes. Toss in the pasta, some chopped parsley, the cooked tuna, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. That took less than 15 minutes.

Dear Husband cooks the meal and chooses the wine.

Plate with crusty bread and a crisp salad of many different greens. Easy and delicious — especially when Dear Husband does all the cooking.

Tomorrow marks the 8th anniversary of our Fasting Lifestyle. Our weight is still down where we want it to be, our health is good. And we continue to eat pasta on Wednesdays — what a life!

Slow Days: Hot Cross Bun Pancakes

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions: “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?” To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’ This feature will appear sporadically. 

Now for the answers. Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day? Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight. There are many questions asked on the FastDiet Forum  which attest to that. Once in a while you can splurge, as long as it isn’t everyday. For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet. As for how we eat, an example follows.

The pre-Easter season of Lent calls for Hot Cross Buns. I love to make them and to eat them, but that is for a posting next year. If you want a real treat for a Lenten Sunday morning, try these pancakes. The recipe comes from the website Joy The Baker, where I have found many fine kitchen projects. Below, you will see the mixtures that will be combined for the batter: milk-egg-butter + flour-spices + fruit-zests.

2 T no-salt butter, melted/ cooled
1 cup buttermilk/soured milk
1 two-oz egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
In a small bowl whisk together butter, buttermilk, egg, and vanilla extract. Set aside.
1 cup white-whole-wheat flour
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda + ½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cardamom
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Add the wet ingredients all at once to the dry ingredients. Stir to combine. It is ok if the mixture is a bit lumpy.
¼ cup dried currants
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
1 teaspoon fresh orange zest
Add the currants and fruit zest and stir to combine. Allow mixture to sit for 5 minutes while the griddle heats.
Preheat oven to 150 F. Place an oven-proof plate in the oven. This is where the pancakes will stay warm while the entire batch is cooked.
1 tsp butter for cooking 
splash oil for cooking
pure maple syrup for serving
Heat griddle (or nonstick skillet) over medium. Heat fat until hot, then wipe with paper towel. Save the towel. Spoon 2 Tbsp batter** onto the griddle for each ‘cake. Fry until golden, flipping once. Place cooked pancakes on warm plate in oven and cover with a clean towel. Wipe with the buttery towel and spray griddle with non-stick spray for each batch.
**Dear Husband just free-formed them, yielding 10 pancakes. If one used 2 Tbsp of batter, as described in the recipe, one would probably produce more pancakes. Suit yourself.

Joy The Baker says to top your stack of pancakes with a piped icing cross. Look, when the pancakes are hot off the griddle, we don’t mess around — they go straight to the table for eating. We used a cross of good New Hampshire maple syrup instead of icing. Delicious pancakes!

Slow Days: Pastitsio

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions: “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?” To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’ This feature will appear sporadically. 

Now for the answers. Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day? Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight. There are many questions asked on the FastDiet Forum which attest to that. Once in a while you can splurge, as long as it isn’t everyday. For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet. As for how we eat, an example follows.

My friend Nick, a pure Greek-American from the Greek neighborhoods of Manchester, NH, called pastitsio ‘Greek macaroni and cheese.’ If your mac&cheese is in a rut, try this variation — it is really good. And don’t even think of telling Nick’s mom that pastitsio originated in Italy!

Ground lamb meat, onion, tomatoes, cinnamon, Greek oregano, butter [not the entire stick], elbow macaroni — here is the basis of Pastitsio. The oregano and cinnamon tell you how Greek it is. Nick always wondered how the early Greeks got tomatoes, but he was willing to give that a pass….

Pastitsio Sauce + Casserole
1 cup chopped onion
½ pound ground lamb
Saute onion and meat in a heavy saucepan while stirring sometimes until the meat is brown and the onions are golden.
1 cup crushed or whole tomatoes
1½ tsp salt freshly ground pepper
1 tsp Greek oregano
1½ tsp cinnamon
Stir in these ingredients and simmer 5 mins.
½ cup Gruyere cheese, gratedStir in the cheese and taste for seasonings.
3 oz elbow macaroniCook the elbows. Stir them into the tomato sauce and turn the mixture into an oil-sprayed 1-Qt casserole.
Salsa BesamelTop with salsa besamel and bake at 350F for 30 minutes.

The meat sauce is combined with cooked pasta and then you prepare a besamel…..

The salsa besamel goes on top. Milk thickened with a butter-flour mixture, grated cheese and egg all combine in a sauce that is poured on top of the pasta and sauce prior to baking.

Salsa Besamel
2 Tbsp butter Melt butter in a saucepan. Take off heat.
1 Tbsp flour
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp white pepper
1 cup milk
Stir in flour, salt, and pepper, then add the milk gradually and stirring all the time. Put on low heat and stir for 5 minutes.
1 egg yolk
¼ c grated Parmesan cheese
Beat together in a small bowl, then slowly add the warm white sauce and stir constantly.
Baked to a golden turn.

Serve with Winter Vegetables, as seen here, or with a Greek Salad, Pastitsio makes for a hearty mid-Winter meal. Delicious.

Slow Days: DIY Sauerkraut

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions: “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?” To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’ This feature will appear sporadically. 

Now for the answers. Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day? Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight. There are many questions asked on the FastDiet Forum which attest to that. Once in a while you can splurge, as long as it isn’t everyday. For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet. As for how we eat, an example follows.

I like sauerkraut. My mother served it, redolent with caraway seeds and topped with pork. Dear Husband used to dislike it — but he has since come around. How delighted I was to find out how easy it is to prepare one’s own pickled cabbage: from huge batches to one jar at a time. The method is from James Beard‘s American Cookery, page 500. For each quart jar, you need enough sliced cabbage to fill it and 1 Tablespoon of kosher salt.

Lightly pack the cabbage into the jar, add the salt, and pour in lukewarm water up to within a 1/2 inch of the top of the jar. You want to keep the cabbage submerged in the water so it doesn’t turn brown. I floated a small, upturned lid on the jar contents and then weighted it with one of those tiny jam jars. That worked. Then you put the jar in a not-too-cold place — mine was in the coolest corner of the kitchen, but the unheated basement would have been OK too. Check the jar every day or so — you are looking for bubbles to form amid the cabbage. It could be that you don’t see them until you jiggle the jar and then they emerge and race to the top. Depending on the temperature, this can take 5-10 days.

In the jar, with water and salt, weighted down.
After several days, it has fermented.

If using it within a week, put a lid on it and keep it in the refrigerator. If you are a canner, you may process it in a hot-water bath in the same jar in which it fermented. Process for 20 minutes in boiling water to cover. When cool, store on the shelf to use for all sorts of good meals. Once the jar is opened, left-over ‘kraut can be kept in the refrigerator for weeks.

Our’s is braised in stock [the Alsacians will add white wine, the Germans will add beer] with sliced onions and caraway seed, then baked with chunks of sausage. Served with mashed potatoes, as my mother did, along with some rye bread. A feast! For a Fast Day, you could use the sauerkraut to prepare dinners such as: Sauerkraut & Sausage, or Baltic Bake. Or at breakfast in Reuben Matzo Egg.

Slow Days: Tourtiere

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions: “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?” To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’ This feature will appear sporadically. 

Now for the answers. Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day? Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight. There are many questions asked on the FastDiet Forum which attest to that. Once in a while you can splurge, as long as it isn’t everyday. For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet. As for how we eat, an example follows.

In French Canada, Christmas is marked by a series of events. Beginning on December 24, there is a meatless meal for dinner — often including oysters. Then midnight mass and then the Revillion: dining with family into the wee hours to celebrate the birth of baby Jesus. And what do they eat on this special night? Tourtiere. The recipe for this pork pie goes back to medieval times: you can tell by the combination of ‘exotic’ spices with meat. The preparation of the pie begins in November [St Martin’s Day perhaps?], when the pig would be slaughtered. Bits of meat left over from other cuts would be ground or minced, combined with spices, and wrapped in a lard pastry. It could be shaped as a boule or in a pie plate. As many of these pies as possible would be put into the cold shed off the kitchen, where they would freeze for the rest of the winter, ready to be taken out and baked for a meal — the original convenience food.

Our recipes, for the tourtière and its crust, are from Craig Claiborne’s NYT International Cook Book. We enjoy tourtiere for dinner on some evening in December [not Christmas Eve, for then we dine on Dear Husband’s Seafood Chowder]. Since it can be prepared in November or even October, tourtière makes a perfect ‘prepared meal’ to whisk from the freezer for dinner on a busy day.

Ground pork, spices, savory [of course!], onions, garlic, stock — simple ingredients for an old-fashioned meal.

Since I don’t know how many you will be serving, I’ve written the recipe for 6 or 3 or 2 persons. We will be serving only two this year.

Sv 6Sv 3Sv 2
1 cup
1 clove
2 Tbsp
½ cup
½ clove
1 Tbsp
1/3 cup chopped onion
½ clove minced garlic
2 tsp butter
Chop the onion and garlic an cook in the butter until wilted.
1 ½ #¾ #½ # /8 oz ground pork Add to the pan and cook, breaking up lumps.
¾ tsp
¾ tsp
¾ tsp
1 leaf
¾ cup
ad lib
3/8 tsp
3/8 tsp
3/8 tsp
½ leaf
1/3 cup
ad lib
2 Large pinch cloves
2 large pinch cinnamon
2large pinch savory
1/3 leaf bay
¼ cup pork stock
salt & pepper to taste
Add the seasonings and stock to the pan and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring sometimes.Cool the mixture and run it through a food processor to chop the filling more thoroughly.
Scrape into a bowl and chill thoroughly.

**This lard pastry is traditional and is perfect for a savory pie.

1 cup white whole wheat flour
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
Cut together with a pastry blender or 2 table knives until ingredients are uniformly crumbly.
3+ Tbsp cold waterUsing a 2-pronged fork, stir the water into the pastry crumbs, adding more if needed, until it all comes together in a ball.

Roll out the pastry and fit into an appropriate pie plate or into a bowl large enough to contain the filling. If baking as a pie or tart, cover filling with a top crust. If baking as a boule, line the bowl with pastry, with a generous overhang. Put the filling in the bowl and trim the pastry to enclose, without too much bunching or overlap. Seal edges. 

If cooking as a boule, turn out the boule onto a glass pie plate so that the round side is up and the gathered side is on the bottom. This year, I used some extra dough to make some decorations. Been watching too much Great British Baking Show, I guess.

Freeze the pie – overnight or for weeks.
The day before baking: Thaw the pie in the refrigerator. To bake, set oven at 425F. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn down temperature to 350F and bake for 30-40 minutes [check it at 25 minutes]. Crust should be cooked and beginning to turn golden.

The tourtière is best served with gravy, winter vegetables, and ‘chow’, a green tomato relish beloved in Quebec and the Maritime Provinces of Canada. What a fine meal for a winter night.

Slow Days: Pot Roast

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions: “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?” To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’ This feature will appear sporadically. 

Now for the answers. Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day?  Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight. There are many questions asked on the FastDiet Forum which attest to that. Once in a while you can splurge, as long as it isn’t everyday. For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet. As for how we eat, an example follows.

I have fond memories of my mother’s pot roast during my Connecticut childhood. No idea what cut or size of beef she used…I do remember long chunks of carrot and large chunks of potato infused with the braising liquid. Probably cooked in a pressure cooker, and following the recipe in Fannie Farmer’s Boston Cooking School Cookbook. Delicious way to fill up a family. Dear Husband suggested recently that we do a Sunday pot roast. It seemed appropriate as the Autumn advances during a deepening season of Covid cases. We looked at Jacques Pepin Celebrates, and there was his ‘Connecticut Pot Roast.’

4.5 pounds of beef bottom round were browned in butter in a large Dutch Oven. Then braised in 1-1/2 cups water with salt for 3 hours in the oven at 275 F. Next, add 1-3/4 pound small red potatoes, one pound of carrots, 1 pound onions the size of large radishes, and 2 oz dried shiitake mushrooms are added, along with 1-1/2 cups water and a bit of salt. The covered pot returns to the oven for 2 more hours. At that point everything should be tender. Remove the meat and vegetables and boil the liquids down to 3 cups. Thicken the broth with 2 teaspoons of potato starch dissolved in 2 Tbsp of red wine.

Here is all the meat, with most of the vegetables — wow – that’s a lot of food!

Plated, it looks like this, served with a California Cabernet Sauvignon.

Napped with the thickened stock, this is a wonderful meal.

Since we started with 4.5# of meat, we ended up with lots of meat and vegetables left over. In the next few weeks, you will see how different ways this meal can be used for a Fast Day: repeated as is; as a cold plate supper; as cottage pie. So this might be a great thing to prepare during the holidays, since it provides many subsequent meals.

Slow Days: Pasta DIY

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions: “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?” To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’ This feature will appear sporadically. 

Now for the answers. Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day? Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight. There are many questions asked on the FastDiet Forum which attest to that. Once in a while you can splurge, as long as it isn’t everyday. For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet. As for how we eat, an example follows.

The dough has been mixed

Once a week, we have a meal involving pasta. And, yes, for those of you in the US who are from New England, the day we eat pasta is Wednesday. Many years ago, we bought a pasta machine. We were quite self-sufficient in those days, so making our own noodles seemed just right. It was fun, but then I returned to work and the machine sat in the drawer. Nowadays, it is back to DIY, and with lots of our own eggs, fresh pasta is on the menu again. There are two basic recipes: all-purpose flour + eggs OR semolina flour with water. I decided to combine them: 1 cup semolina flour, 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 two-ounce egg [US Large], and some water. These are combined in a food processor or by hand, adding enough water to make a rough ball of slightly moist dough, like Sugar Cookie Dough.

Kneading and rolling it out is the job of the pasta machine. First the dough goes through the rollers at “1,” which is the widest setting. It is folded in half, and rolled again. Every time the dough goes through, it holds together better and becomes smoother. Then you gradually set the rollers at higher and higher numbers: 1 to 2, 2 to 3. Each time, the dough becomes thinner, longer, and more supple. Cut the dough in pieces cross-wise so that it is easier to handle. Eventually you reach the setting 6. You could stop there or make it really thin at 7. 6 is good for noodles, 7 is better for filled pasta such as ravioli or tortellini.

Now it is time to cut the dough into noodles. You could do it by hand, or by machine. Our machine has two choices: thin like spaghetti, or wider like fettuccini. Working with the smaller dough rectangles, one passes the dough through the cutters. Catch it coming out the other side and hang it up to dry. You can use it fresh, and it is delicious. Cook only 1-2 minutes and bear in mind that 2 oz dry pasta [one serving], is the equivalent of 5 oz fresh pasta. While the water is boiling and the sauce is heating, the pasta is drying slightly, which makes it easier to handle. What I don’t use for today’s meal is dried thoroughly and stored, air-tight, for use another time.

Would I make pasta every week? No, but it is great for special meals. Does pasta make a meal ‘Mediterranean’? Not automatically. How healthy a pasta dish is depends on what is on top of the pasta. Is Pasta a no-no for Fast Day meals? Yes and no. Chicken Tetrazzini, Tortellini with Black Kale, these are some of the Fast meals I’ve posted using pasta as an ingredient. Just remember that a ‘serving’ of dried pasta, of any shape, is 2 ounces. On a Slow Day, knock that down to 1-1 1/2 ounces and you can hedge your bet.

Slow Days: Election Cake

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions: “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?” To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’ This feature will appear sporadically. 

Now for the answers. Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day? Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight. There are many questions asked on the FastDiet Forum which attest to that. Once in a while you can splurge, as long as it isn’t everyday. For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet. As for how we eat, an example follows.

At last it is Presidential Election Day in the United States of America. Or, should I say, the last day to vote in this unusual election season. It used to be that all votes were cast during one day, all around the nation. One day for voting. The counting took longer, depending on how difficult the roads were between a given town and the state capital. That was back in the dirt-roads-and-horseback days. Nowadays, vote counts are sent to state capitals by phone. But Election Day has never been the end of the story — the votes must be ‘certified’ in each state, which can take days if there is a recount. Then it is up to the Electoral College to vote, with their selection of the winner on December 14. That’s a long time from today!

Let’s have some cake today — one with a long history and a tradition of being a ‘good keeper’: Election Cake. In Colonial Days and the early days of the Republic, popular cakes were made with dried fruits. If the fruit or the cake was suffused in ‘strong spirits,’ it would keep for a long time, meaning less baking for the housewife. In Connecticut, there was the tradition of a cake for Election Day. It could be baked days in advance, then put in the picnic basket for the day-long trip to the village center to be served there at lunch. My mother said that the alcohol in the cake was because sale of booze was banned on Election Day. Maybe not, but getting voters drunk was an early form of voter coercion, hence the ban on alcohol sales. Last March, I baked 2 loaves of this cake, using sourdough [since we all have plenty of that these days, right?]. We ate some on New Hampshire’s Primary Day and the other loaf went to the freezer. We had some in September for state primary voting and the remainder this morning, just to remind ourselves that it was Election Day. We voted Absentee and turned in our ballots to the Town Clerk weeks ago. Kudos to Deb and John and the election team in Bennington.

Early Day 1 2 c flour  ½ cup + 2 Tbsp buttermilk  ½ cup sourdough, fed and bubbly 1-2 T water, as neededIn a large bowl combine the flour, buttermilk, and sourdough starter until you get a thick dough.  Add water if necessary. Form the dough into a round ball, place it in a bowl and allow it to rest, covered, for 8-12 hours
Evening Day 1 1 stick butter ½ cup + 2 Tbsp sugar 2 Tbsp molasses 1.5 tsp white wine OR Rum 1 Tbsp brandyIn a medium bowl, beat the butter, sugar, molasses, wine, and brandy together until well combined and fluffy.
1 egg 1.5 tsp cinnamon 1.5 tsp ground coriander ¼ tsp allspice ½ tsp ground nutmegStir in the egg and the spices.
Add the yeast dough to this mixture and beat until the mixture resembles that of a thick cake batter.
½ cup prunes, chopped ½ cup raisins/ cranberries/ cherries/ currents/ apricotsStir in dried fruit. Pour the cake into a greased “bundt pan (you could also use a springform or dutch oven)”. I used small loaf pans = two pans, 8x4x3”
Cover the pans with a clean dish cloth and allow to rise until it is almost doubled in bulk (about 1.5 -2 hours) Preheat your oven to 375F. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.
This is the recipe I used, slightly adapted from the 
Nourished Kitchen.
Here is Fannie Farmer‘s recipe — lots of whiskey! In my handwriting, amounts for smaller batches.

We like to slice it and toast it lightly to serve at breakfast. A nice treat to mark the passing of the political year.

Election Cake served warm with fruit yogurt, bacon, apple cider, and frothy mocha cafe au lait: this is a breakfast to make one optimistic about an election outcome.

Slow Days: The Tale of a Chicken.

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions: “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?” To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’ This feature will appear sporadically. 

Now for the answers. Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day? Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight. There are many questions asked on the FastDiet Forum which attest to that. Once in a while you can splurge, as long as it isn’t everyday. For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet. As for how we eat, an example follows.

When I was growing up, my mother served chicken for dinner every Sunday. It was delicious. When Dear Husband and I moved to the country [our dirt road looks much more ‘suburban’ after 40 years], we decided to raise chickens: for eggs and for meat. Since then, we have always had a supply of chicken: whole roasters and parts. We are very lucky to be so well fed. When our sons were in residence, we would eat chicken every other Sunday: roasted and served with mashed potatoes, gravy, and a side of peas. Classic. And then there were left-overs. Now that the boys are off on their own, a chicken goes a lot farther. Here is the tale of one chicken. [no, we don’t give them names nor are they our pets]

We’ll draw the veil of secrecy between chicken in-the-straw and chicken in the freezer. Dear Husband roasts a darned good chicken, with his herb and spice flavorings, and the carrots and onion in the cavity. Once it has been roasted and carved, one is left with a carcass that still has plenty of meat.

The onions and carrots were roasted inside the chicken.

Savory Roll, a recipe from the Fannie Farmer Cookbook, is a favorite use for cooked chicken. One and a half cups of shredded chicken meat, along with the vegetables, plus some gravy or stock for moistening, some dark leafy greens, chutney, egg, and bread crumbs: all goes into the Food Processor to produce 2 cups of ground filling.

clockwise from left: onion, chicken shreds, egg, spinach, crumbs, carrots, and chutney in center.

A pie crust or biscuit dough is then rolled out, and the filling placed down the middle of the dough, log-shaped. The log of filling is then encased in the dough, sealing the edges.

This roll provided 12 slices.

Baked in a hot oven until the dough is brown and cooked, the Savory Roll is now done. This time, I sliced it and served it like a ‘country pate’, with mustard and side vegetables. When encased in biscuit dough, it can be napped with gravy.

What’s next? Chicken stock [some call it ‘bone broth’] from cooking the carcass in seasoned water until, as Julia Child would say, ‘It has given its all.’ I then pressure can it to store in the pantry until it is time to make soups.

Slow Day: Dutch Babies

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions: “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?” To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’ This feature will appear sporadically. 

Now for the answers. Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day? Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight. There are many questions asked on the FastDiet Forum which attest to that. Once in a while you can splurge, as long as it isn’t everyday. For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet. As for how we eat, an example follows.

Some people call these “German Pancakes” while others call them “Dutch Babies.” Since ‘Dutch’/Deutsch often refers to ‘Germans,’ we can guess that this might be related to the German Pflannkuchen, but the recipe for this breakfast dish seems to have been invented in American West-Coast kitchens in the early 1900s. Several restaurants claim to have been the first to serve it, and it appears without attribution in many cookbooks. We enjoy this on Sundays. And I do mean ENJOY. Our recipe and method are from Marion Cunningham’s The Breakfast Book.

The mise en place above shows how easy this recipe is: 3 eggs, 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 cup milk, 2 Tbsp butter. These were set out on the counter the night before so the eggs and butter could be at room temperature. Heat the oven to 450 and generously butter a 10 or 12″ cast iron skillet or, as we use, two 8″ skillets. Use an egg beater to break up the eggs in a bowl, then add the milk. Add the flour and salt, again deploy the egg beaters. Then mix in the melted butter to make a smooth batter. Pour into the pan/pans and pop into the oven. Bake for 15 minutes for the small pans. For the larger pan, after 15 minutes at 450F, turn heat down to 350F and continue to bake for 10 minutes more.

Great big popover bowls! One for each of us.

Magically, the batter rises up the sides to form a serving bowl of huge proportions! Serve with any fresh fruit in season, or with thawed and drained unsweetened frozen fruit. Maple syrup, lingonberry syrup, or cloudberry syrup are our faves.