|Ham and Noodle Casserole|
I made a ham and egg noodle casserole for dinner, last night. I guess this is my version of ham tetrazzini (for which, there seems to be as many different recipes as types of pasta and sauces!) I used half a 1 lb. package of egg noodles which I boiled in salted water until cooked. To which I added about a cup, maybe a little less, of previously cooked and frozen ham, which I thawed in the microwave and cut up into small pieces; a handful of frozen green peas; a can of condensed cream of celery soup mixed with a can of water, and some ground black pepper. Mixed it all together in a square Pyrex baking dish and sprinkled a little garlic powder and a little paprika on the top. I didn't add grated cheese to the mixture because my daughter doesn't like cheese that much; however, I had some individually wrapped mozzarella sticks (also known as string cheese) that needed to be used up, so, with her approval, I cut up one stick to lay on top of the casserole. I baked it at 350F for 30 minutes, which turned the soup into a nice sauce, melted the cheese, and browned the tops of the noodles! Daughter and I enjoyed some of it for our dinner and we had the leftovers for our lunch, today. We both added some chili powder to our servings as the paprika didn't really do anything for us - next time, I will leave it out and add chili powder, instead! I will make this again (I have another packet of ham in the freezer). I suppose one could use cream of mushroom soup, too, (or make a white sauce) but, we like the taste of cream of celery. You could add tuna instead of ham or omit it for a vegetarian version, too.
Last night, we went down to 49F and this morning, the temperature inside the house was 60F. Later, however, it warmed up to 68F while the temperature outside was 73F. I am glad the furnace inspector will be here next week!
In the morning, M stopped by to tend to the garden. He watered the fruit trees, pruned the nectarine tree, and sprayed an all natural oil on it to protect it from borers. I had him pick the one and only Fuyu persimmon we had growing on our new tree:
When I bought the Fuyu persimmon tree, earlier this year (one of the new fruit trees we planted this spring), the nursery warned us that it would take about 5 years for it to fruit. So, although there were a few flowers on the tree this spring, we didn't think they would actually set fruit. However, the tree gave us one single fruit, which pleased us greatly since it was unexpected! We picked it, today, and shared it with M. I was going to take a picture of it after I cut it, but, forgot! There was one single seed inside, which I saved to see if it will germinate. It might not bear fruit (the tree I have has been grafted onto root stock), but, it will be fun to see if I can grow a Fuyu persimmon tree! According to what I read online, one has to chill it in the fridge after planting in a germinating mix...not sure how well that will go!
I spent the afternoon reading an e-book I borrowed from the library (reading it on my daughter's iPad).
Later, I finished taking inventory of my pantry and emergency food supplies. I try to keep a fairly well stocked pantry. It is not just due to the pandemic and related shortages; I live in an earthquake prone area and we are always advised to keep a supply of water and food on hand, in preparation for a really big earthquake, if not "The Big One" on the San Andreas fault! At least a three day supply of food and water (minimum of one gallon of water per day per person in the household plus additional for pets); more, if possible, because it might take time for help to arrive and we might not be able to get to grocery stores (which might be damaged, themselves, in the earthquake) due to damaged roads, etc. I still have some gaps in my canned foods (could do with more canned fruits, for example), but, for the most part, I have enough to get by.
I also made a note of the "use by"/"best by" dates on the cans. I am not someone who will throw out cans or boxes a few weeks after they've reached the date of expiry (I remember a time when cans didn't come with such dates on them and we opened and ate the contents without worrying about how long they had been on the shelves!) But, I do try to use up cans that are near or at their use by dates. I have some cans that I bought at the very beginning of the pandemic that need to be used, soon; I will be planning a few meals to use them up in the coming weeks.
In the evening, I chatted on the phone with family and friends, which was nice, cooked dinner, and did the dishes.
In other news, Bun Bun is back in the back yard! Yesterday, he ate the marigold flowers (not sure what else he ate) and some of the cat food! Today, I looked out and there were the three garden cats AND Bun Bun eating the cat food! I tried to take a picture, but, Bun Bun saw me and hopped away! The garden cats seem to have accepted Bun Bun as one of them!
Today, I am grateful for:
- A lovely, chatty email from a long-time friend
- M's help with the garden
- A persimmon from the new tree
- Being able to stock a pantry
- Phone chats with family and friends.
- Being able to stock a pantry
- Phone chats with family and friends.
Today's joyful activity was reading.
Plans for tomorrow include some house cleaning in the morning when my daughter doesn't have any online meetings.
How was your day? What are your plans for tomorrow?
I only discovered persimmons a couple of years ago when I saw them in the supermarket, they're really nice so I buy them when I see them now. Your casserole looks delicious and I've not had celery soup for a good few years and I would make the casserole with mushroom soup which is another favourite of mine. I don't tend to look at the use by dates on cans as they will keep for years. The threat of earthquakes sounds really scary and wise to keep a good stock of food and water. It was a very wet and windy day yesterday but the sun is shining today, hooray.ReplyDelete
There are two kinds of persimmons for sale, here - the Fuyu persimmons, which is what is pictured above, and the Hachiya persimmons. I actually prefer the Hachiya, but, they are very astringent when unripe (which is usually how they are sold for ease of shipping) and don't always ripen to the proper level once picked; when properly ripe, they are very soft and mushy and delicious! The Fuyu, on the other hand, can be eaten even if not quite ripe and is much less astringent.Delete
I think the casserole will be quite tasty with cream of mushroom soup, too. :) Canned goods will keep for a long time, won't they? I've eaten things well past their expiration dates and lived to tell the tale! :D Earthquakes are scary; my next project is to take a look at my non-food earthquake supplies (batteries, an alternate source of cooking fuel, etc.) and see if I have everything I need.
Glad to hear that you are having a sunny day! Yay for the sunshine! :)
We need to rotate the food out of our emergency supplies. We have them all boxed up ready to go in case we need to evacuate. We store them in the basement and they are out of sight and out of mind. Thanks for the reminder that I need to look at them.ReplyDelete
You are welcome! I try to remember to do this twice a year, but, don't always manage to do so!Delete
Your ham and noodle casserole looks so good! Did you save some for me please and what time should I arrive?ReplyDelete
Good luck with getting the persimmon seed to germinate.
I too have been using up some of the tinned goods I bought at the start of our first lockdown so will be looking to check stocks and replace as necessary. I'll feel happier having some in reserve in case the threats of shortages turn out to be true! At least I don't have the added worry of earthquakes to deal with. Do you have to keep other things as well, like batteries, torches, first aid kit and tools?
Thank you, Eileen; unfortunately, we ate all the casserole, but, don't worry, I can always make another one! It doesn't take too long to make! We usually have dinner around 8:30 p.m. I know that's a bit late for you, but, that's because I have tea around 5:30 p.m. (daughter has coffee, then). :)Delete
Thank you! I will have to think hard about if I want to keep pots with soil in my fridge - the way things get pushed and shoved in my fridge, I will probably end up with potting soil all over my food!
Yes, I do keep non-food earthquake supplies, as well - batteries, flashlights (torches), first aid kits, a sturdy pair of shoes near my bed (don't want to cut my feet on broken glass!), an alternate way to cook food (grill & charcoal briquets), trash bags to line the toilet if we can't flush (no water, sewer lines broken, etc.), emergency cash (won't be able to use the ATM or credit cards if the power is out), at least half a tank of gas in the car (gas stations won't operate without electricity), etc. I went through the 1994 Northridge earthquake (magnitude 6.7); I wouldn't want to go through anything stronger than that!
That casserole sounds delicious and looks delicious, too. Yesterday we had an unexpected food delivery - a poor grouse flew into the living room window with a mighty crash, which startled me as I was upstairs and wondered what on earth had happened. Since the bird died, I let it rest on the porch for a while to be sure and then took it inside before a certain dog might find it and cart it home! It is the second time in about 40 years that a grouse has done this. The first time I struggled to prepare it but this time I remembered that I had been told that you stand on the wings and pull gently on the feet. Eventually I had a breast and wings and was able to reduce that to the breast, which I cut from the bones into two and braised with some canned mushrooms, a little onion, and a dash of red wine. DH said it was very good and it was just enough for two oldies as we don't eat huge portions.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Bushlady. Oh, my! I am not sure I would have known what to do with a grouse if one had crashed into my window! Maybe allowed the garden cats to have a feast! I'm glad that you were able to take advantage of your unexpected food delivery! :)Delete
Well I will join in and say thinks for the reminder to go check the dates on can inReplyDelete
I am pretty sure there only persimmons at the u pick place are Fuyu. I might have to add a persimmon tree to the fruit trees I intend to plant. It too 8 years for a pear tree I bought to fruit.
I used to write the expiration dates on the cans before I put them away, but, haven't been doing that, recently. Should probably go back to doing that, again.Delete
A persimmon tree would make a nice addition to your garden, I'm sure. :)
Your dish looks lovely. Simple but tasty.ReplyDelete
You sound so organised with your supplies. My son has an emergency stock of food, but doesn't do too well about rotating or keeping check of dates.
Thank you, Sharon. Well, I try to be organized, but, often, don't feel I am all that organized! At least your son has an emergency stock, even if some items might be out of date! :)Delete
Hi Bless, Your Fuyu persimmon looks lovely. I just picked about 150 Hachiya persimmons off of my tree. It's a standard. I was afraid it was dying, because it didn't give me fruit for years. This year I fed it compost tea and mulched it with straw. It came back like gangbusters! Your casserole sounds yummy.ReplyDelete
Oh, how wonderful to be able to pick so many Hachiya persimmons! Sounds like it really responded well to your care! Now, what do you plan to do with all those persimmons?Delete
That casserole looks yummy. I love egg noodles and cream of celery soup. I'd probably use tuna in place of ham though. We have started stocking up for the winter as well. Especially with the supply chain back up and worker shortages. I know people in CA have to be prepared for earthquakes. My husband's brother lives in Santa Barbara and my husband hopes the big one doesn't ever happen. Hopefully it won't, but I know you need to be prepared just in case. DeniseReplyDelete
Thank you, Denise; I think the casserole will be very nice with tuna! It's good to be stocked up for various emergencies and inclement weather, isn't it? I haven't been up to Santa Barbara, but, I've heard that it is a very nice place! Hope all is well with you, Denise.Delete
Your casserole looks really good. Thank you for explaining to us how you made it.ReplyDelete
I have bookmarked it lol
You are wise to keep your emergency supplies updated. I liked reading through the comments and seeing your emergency supply list. It's a good list.
I keep emergency supplies too. Basics for sure - not anything that probably would help with a long extended outage or huge problem.
But no doubt the things I have "just in case" have helped us get by in the short term.
Just this past summer the power was out and I boiled water outside for my morning tea on a little fold up stove powered by sterno. (Of which I have a case :)
I bought that stove years ago and I picked up a few camping stove pans at yard sales for .25 cents here and there and they have come in handy.
I also bought a portable catering stove that runs with butane fuel that I can use inside. (Although I think I will be nervous the first time I do that. Caterers do it all the time so in an emergency, I will too)
We have an electric stove and I worry about losing power in the winter and not being able to warm up food and beverages.
Thank you, Debra. The casserole is fairly easy to prepare and you can vary the add-ins as you wish. :)Delete
I am always adding to my emergency supplies list. I have been thinking of getting a stove like yours which runs on sterno, but, I'd have to store the sterno inside the house, I think, because the garage gets so hot in the summer that I'd be afraid something might happen to the fuel! Worse comes to worst, I can make myself a little cooking fire - three bricks and firewood; they used to cook on fires like that when I was a child. :)