Unusual Food Combinations

I took the beautifully brined and herb-rubbed roasted turkey out of the oven and was quite proud of myself as I placed it on a huge oval meat plate that I received as a gift several years ago. As I surrounded the perfectly browned bird with bunches of seedless red grapes and sprigs of rosemary from my garden, I assured myself that it looked just like a picture straight out of a Better Homes and Gardens  magazine. Just then my granddaughter Kayli, an outspoken and wise-for-her-age pre-schooler, came into the kitchen with a big smile on her face and said, “WOW Mamaw.” I was ready to accept the anticipated praise from my little admirer when, instead, she asked, “ Do you have any cottage cheese?” My granddaughter had me just a little bit puzzled. “ Cottage cheese, whatever for?” She answered me quite matter-of-factly. “ Those grapes sure do look good and I love them with cottage cheese.” So much for a picture perfect bird!
Although there were tons and tons of food on the table, my daughter got the pint of cottage cheese out of the refrigerator, spooned some on Kayli’s plate, and the little gal proceeded to plop a handful of grapes smack dab in the middle. It wasn’t a whim. She ate every bite and actually, ended up having a second helping. Weird combination to me, but so is a lot of other things. Like peanut butter and bananas, and we all know whose favorite combo that was. Myself, I prefer a peanut butter and dill pickle sandwich. I have been known to eat this favorite many times in the early morning hours of a sleepless night. Sort of a comfort food, I suppose. My mom likes to eat mustard on her skillet fried potatoes and I have a friend who adds hot sauce to everything he eats, from his breakfast eggs to his dinner steak, eve sloshing a little in all of his salads. He swears hot sauce makes everything taste better. I’ll just have to take his word for it. My stomach forbids to get along with anything hot.
My sister Mary Lou enjoys summer sausage and crackers. Now that, you would have to give me money to eat. And I am talking vacation money. All expenses paid. Twice a year.
Most children have a way of “topping” their mashed potatoes, commonly  with noodles, but I have seen peas, buttered corn, and yes, even sour cream find it’s way to the top. When I am thinking of adding a dollop of sour cream to the top of something, I do not think of mashed potatoes. But then, I put ketchup on everything, even my fried chicken.
A few months ago, due to being a little too busy while out and about, I missed supper. When I got home I was hungry but didn’t want at that hour of the evening to be spending a lot of time in the kitchen with  preparation. After holding the refrigerator door open way too long and not seeing a single thing that interested me, I moved my search to the pantry. There I saw a can of chunky beef soup and a box of instant rice. I put the water on to boil for the rice, put the soup min a pan and was well on my way to a quick and tasty meal. When both items were finished cooking, I spread the rice on the plate and spooned a couple of hefty portions of the soup in the middle. After adding a few saltine crackers on the side of the plate, my meal was complete in less than twenty minutes and it looked pretty darn impressive and tasty. Just yesterday I saw a commercial on television for one of the soup companies. They showed how to add a can of soup on top of a bed of rice for a quick and easy meal. Why did I not see those cameras in my kitchen?
Food was designed for two specific reasons. For nourishment and to make us happy. ( O.K., these are my rules) Food makes me happy. Shopping for it, putting it away, finding new recipes to cook it differently, eating and enjoying it myself, and cooking it for others makes me happy. But you’re still going to have to pay me to eat that summer sausage!
Today I am sharing a recipe with somewhat “odd” ingredients mixed together. The outcome will favorably surprise you.
Tuscan Topping for Chicken
2 cups cooked and drained, great northern beans
1 cup chicken stock
2 green onions finely chopped
8 grape tomatoes
 1 Tbsp . Olive Oil
Thyme, salt & pepper to taste
Empty beans in a skillet and add the green onions ,Olive Oil and just a little of the chicken stock. Sautee for a few minutes just until the onion gets tender. ( about 10 minutes) Add remaining chicken stock, tomatoes, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir well and simmer to desired texture. Spoon over a roasted chicken breast
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