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Cooking with BGIM

26 Oct

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that despite the fact I rarely talk about cooking on the blog that I actually cook a great deal or rather as time allows. I am not a very crafty person; I can’t sew, knit, crochet or make anything other than meals and kids. Oh, I am rather good at running non-profits and turning them into financially solvent organizations. But how many folks really want to read a blog about how to make a struggling non-profit organization not only financially stable but to see it actually grow? Yeah I thought so.

Anyway in recent weeks I have had several twitter followers ask me for some of my recipes, even real life friends have asked for a few recipes. So as I struggle yet again with direction for this blog, I figured I would institute a new feature called cooking with BGIM. Like many who read my blog, I work outside of the home, so as much as I like to make everything from scratch the reality is that it’s impossible for me to do that every day. However I grew up with Sunday dinners, that one huge meal of the week where my mother cooked the equivalent of a Thanksgiving dinner every Sunday and often we had friends and family over to share the meal with us.

When the Spousal Unit and I moved to Maine, for a brief period of time I attempted to have my own version of the Sunday dinner but as we had no family or friends to invite over when we first moved here, a huge spread for only the three of us (kidlet was not around at that time so it was me, the Spousal Unit and college boy who at that time would have been called only kid) simply made no sense. I attempted to re-start the Sunday dinner tradition when my Mom died but at that point it was simply too painful and until recently Sunday dinner was just like any other night.

However the kidlet is growing up and with my father’s impending move to Maine, Sunday dinners have made a come back. I have very little family and while my son was blessed to have direct connections to my family, the kidlet has none and the act of the Sunday dinner is a way to share one of the many traditions I grew up with her, to connect her with the ancestors so to speak.

So without further adieu here are a couple of items I have made recently. Last night we had lasagna, tossed green salad with local produce and Italian bread and for dessert pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. These cookies were delish though my attempt at using fresh pumpkin was a bust; in the end I used canned pumpkin puree. My fresh pumpkin adventures are another post…let’s just say I applaud folks who take whole pumpkins and turn them into something edible. It’s easier to make bread in my humble opinion than to make a pumpkin edible.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup canned pumpkin

1 cup white sugar (if you decrease this I would not go below ½ cup)

½ cup vegetable oil

1 egg

2 cups all purpose flour (I use King Arthur)

2 tsp baking powder

2tsp cinnamon

½ tsp salt

1tsp baking soda

1tsp milk

1tbsp vanilla

2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F

1. Combine pumpkin, sugar, oil and egg together. In a separate bowl stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

2. Dissolve baking soda w/milk and stir into pumpkin mixture. Now add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix well.

3. Add vanilla and chocolate chips, mix well.

4. Drop by spoonful onto a greased cookie sheet and bake for 10 mins or until lightly brown and firm.

Note: These are soft cookies, also due to a wonky old stove I baked for closer to 15 mins.

 

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

A few Sunday’s ago I made apricot orange pork chops with roasted fingerling potatoes and sautéed collards with mushrooms and onions. This meal sounds a lot fancier than it is as far as prep time in part because the chops are cooked in the Crockpot. A Crockpot is a lazy cook’s best friend, seriously in winter mine is used at least 2-3 times a week.

Anyway here is the pork chop recipe

Apricot Orange Pork Chops

6 chops (any kind will do though the meat when done is falling off the bone so after making this several times I now get boneless chops)

1 cup apricot jam

3tbsp brown sugar

1tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

½ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp ground ginger

¼ tsp ground clove powder

1-11oz can mandarin oranges

Mix all ingredients well in a bowl, put the chops in the Crockpot, pour mixture over chops and cook 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high in the Crockpot. They are done when the meat is fork tender.

Apricot Orange Pork Chops w/Collards and Fingerling Potatoes

Note: Neither of these recipes are my creations, sadly I cannot remember where I got them so can’t give proper credit but did want to let ya’ll know that.

As a cook, who has been cooking a while I will admit I often take recipes and tweak them to my own taste buds but generally the first time out I will follow a recipe as it’s written unless there is an obvious issue. Happy Eating!

Mamahood is the new hustle but where are the sistas?

10 Jan

For the past year or so as I have gotten really into reading blogs, I have noticed this strange phenomenon, average every day women who happen to be mothers who have taken the art of mothering into something blog-worthy yet they also make a few extra bucks via these ventures. Now what I am about to say here is not new since a few months ago a sista did an amazing article for Bitch magazine talking about this exact thing, but this is my spin on it.

Yep, there are all sorts of Mommy bloggers out there as well as Mommy zines, even books about average every day mothering, which is cool since I love seeing what other Mamas are doing to stay sane and keep their wee ones engaged. However I have noticed a small, ok maybe a large problem. Where are the women of color bloggers? Zine? Books? I mean seriously, for every one black woman waxing poetically about the joys of motherhood, knitting, cooking and just living life (like my girl Chi-Chi)there are probably 25 white women doing this. The thing is some of these blogger Mamas is getting paid, but what about the sistas?

Is no one interested in our daily lives?  I admit when I first started blogging I wanted to be a cross between this and this which maybe I am some days but most days, I am just me and I follow no rhyme or rhythym with my blogging, so gone are my dreams of being known as a Mama blogger…instead I am just a sista in Maine which is already pretty strange.

But no, on a serious tip why is it that now that living simply is all the rage we see less representation among people of color, shit in my humble ass opinion many of us perfected the art of living simply, we just didn’t use flowery language to make it sound good. Look, my Mom was a stay at home Mama in the 70’s and 80’s and we were pretty much always broke, shopping at the thrift store and garage sales was a normal part of our lives. Saturday mornings in the summer, my Mama was up early with her trusty shopping cart for us to prowl the neighborhood in search of bargains, back then the shit wasn’t cool and I used to pray none of my friends would see us.

Cooking from scratch? Again, that was the norm in my house. Macaroni and cheese never came out the box, it took hours and was made from scratch with a mix of cheeses. In grammar school one of my favorite things was when I could invite friends over and Mom would make pizza (no Boboli crust for us, all homemade, made by hand) with a side of butter cookies. Good times, man. Yet no one ever gave my Momma a book deal and until recently I never thought much of these things, it was just the way Mama rolled. Shit, my Mom was sewing clothes and re-fashioning her thrifty bargains long before anyone thought it was hip.

No, it hasn’t been until I started reading Mama blogs and seeing how folks elevate this simple living that it hit me that I couldn’t be the only sista who grew up this way and even has a few of these handy talents, yet where is my book deal? If you are a handy sista reading me, where is your book deal?

Look, don’t get me wrong I am not mad that some Mamas are getting their hustle on while raising the kids, times is tough and folks gotta earn a few shekels anyway possible. I just want to know why the powers to be aren’t being more inclusive, really? I would be all over a book written by a woman of color who is a homemaker, and I suspect I am not alone.

I do know from engaging in the Black blogosphere there are sistas who are not only homemakers but even Mamas who are homeschooling like this sista, yet despite the few sistas I read on the regular who are engaging in these things, I still think we are greatly underrepresented.

Anyway maybe I should break out my trusty camera and start snapping photos about our lazy days and convince some publisher that there is a market on Black motherhood. What say you?