"Piehole" in Midwestern means "mouth," as in "Shut your piehole." Preferably we shut it on some tasty home cooking. We love to grow, market, buy, cook, bake and grill so we can feed our faces, chow down, pig out, scarf & whatnot. I'm a born Midwestern home cook posting foods and recipes that show up in front of me, because like all Midwesterners I eat what's put in front of me. Pull up a chair. What can I get you?

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Single Women Want Meat

"Eww!! Meat! It's touching my eggs!" said my friend when her breakfast eggs arrived with a sausage patty she hadn't ordered. I took it and ate it myself, but women aren't supposed to do that. It's fattening. It's fried. Worst of all--ewww--it's meat! (It also abuses small children, and greases the convent staircase!) Women today like "Thai places" and "good salads." Listen: The Piehole is sick of julienned raw carrots and some days I have no interest in veggie burgers. It's practically impolite to eat meat in public anymore.

Even some of the men are that way. On a lunch date I said I grilled my own steaks and maybe I'd grill one for him sometime. The guy said, "I don't eat red meat." Then I mentioned a great glass of wine I'd had the other day. He said, "I don't drink," and began an hour-long whine about his software company. I mentally crossed this pantywaist off my list and ordered a plate of carpaccio and a beer and let him pay for it.

I think peer pressure has a lot to do with eating rabbit food in public and everything else in private, and you know we do, because we're always dieting. I too used to put on a show of being health conscious and weight conscious and avoided hearty meals and then, 90 minutes after my 340-calorie Healthy Choice lunch, I was at the vending machine for a 400-calorie two-pack of PopTarts I hid in my jacket on the way back to my cubicle. One evening after a workout I felt dizzy and unwell. I stopped at the firehouse and let the firemen ambulance me to the hospital. I told the doctor I'd been exercising and felt faint but he found nothing wrong. He asked me, What did you do at the gym? I said, Elliptical, weights, and treadmill. He said, "What did you have for lunch?" I said, "A spinach salad."

He said, "You thought you could work all afternoon and then work out at the gym on a spinach salad?"

So here you see my healthy single-woman lunch: four ounces of grilled flat iron steak and homegrown tomatoes, and I didn't feel hungry again until dinnertime. Avoid between-meal snacking, women and men. Eat a little meat!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Can You Eat Ornamental Kale?

"It's ornamental kale," said the nursery clerk, as I paid for this dressy, ruffly green kale plant. Between choosing a pumpkin or ornamental kale for outdoor decoration, this autumn I got the kale. So pretty. And I also bought three spindly young kale plants for the garden.

Those aren't doing well; one was so buggy I didn't plant it. But the ornamental kale is gorgeous. So I looked it up, and yes, you CAN eat ornamental kale; it is no different from the other kind except maybe it was sprayed with something. So I washed it well (all kale needs thorough washing anyway). Kale lives long into the winter months and it's a superfood I love, especially fixed as

Sauteed Kale in Olive Oil with Breadcrumbs

1 bunch fresh kale leaves
1-1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
red pepper flakes
1/2 cup of plain breadcrumbs (more if desired)

Wash the kale leaves and remove the tough stems. Put them in a hot skillet and let them steam in the water that clings to the leaves. When the leaves begin to stick to the pan, pour in the olive oil and red pepper flakes and stir. Cook until the kale is reduced to the texture you like. Remove from pan to serving dish. Top with crumbs and salt; toss and serve.

Makes a good pasta topper!