Foil Dinner Fabulous

Ingredients: Half a head of cabbage, potatoes, carrots, onion, an apple, pork cutlets (just about any meat works here, from sausage to chicken breast to ground beef), a couple pats of butter and seasonings to taste.  Substitute or add other veggies at will.

Instructions: Shred the cabbage, chunk the potatoes, slice the carrots, and thinly slice the onion an the apple.  Layer on foil (you are making a foil packet with this) you may need to with the cabbage on the bottom, the potatoes and carrots next, the meat in the middle, with the onion and apple on top.  Season liberally as you layer.  If you are adding other veggies, consider if you want them to season the meat, or be seasoned by the meat–if the former, put on top and if the latter, put on bottom.  Close up the foil packet and bake at 375 for a couple of hours.  Open the packet an crank up to “broil” for the last 10 minutes before serving, but be sure to spoon the liquid from the bottom over the top, particularly over the meat.  You could also make a gravy from the liquid if you wanted to.

How good was it? ZOMG. I love foil dinners–everything is so tender and juicy and *mmm*!   Plus there are no pots or pans to wash–how awesome is that?

Old School Dinner Rolls

So…I went looking for a recipe that I could make with what I have in the kitchen (we are out of yeast) and found this absolutely delicious looking recipe.  Unfortunately we don’t have all the ingredients.  But that’s okay, because I found this recipe online from a 1920’s cookbook:

Baking-Powder Rolls

  • 1 pint flour
  • 1 heaping teaspoonful baking powder
  • 1/2 tablespoonful butter
  • 1/2 teaspoonful salt
  • 1/2 pint milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoonful sugar

Instructions: Sift flour, salt, sugar, and powder into a bowl, add the butter and rub it fine with the flour, mix the egg and milk together, pour a little of the egg milk into a cup, add the remaining to the flour, mix all together with a knife into a firm dough, turn it on to a floured board, and work it together to smooth the dough, roll it out 1/4 inch in thickness, then cut it into rounds, brush them over with a little melted butter, fold them over and set them on a buttered tin, brush the rolls over with the egg milk which was set aside, and bake in a quick oven. A good plan is to keep the rolls covered with buttered paper the first 10 minutes while baking.

How good was it? Its quite tasty.  Particularly with “honey sauce” (honey and melted butter with a splash of vanilla and a sprinkle of cinnamon) drizzled over the top. In fact, the kids kept sneaking them off the baking sheet while they were cooling and I’m surprised there were any left to eat with dinner.

The only caveat is that they are more biscuits than rolls.  Also, I’m not sure what the difference in measurement might be between now and 1920, but 2 cups of flour was probably short about a cup of flour–I’m not exactly sure how much I added in the end, since was an eyeball measurement.  And, in case you were wondering about the term, a “quick oven” is about 375-400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Since I baked it with the foil dinner, they baked at 375, though our oven runs a bit hot.  You might also notice that there is no time on the recipe, which is pretty common in old school recipes.  I have no idea how long they cooked for, since I just kept checking them on occasion and took them out when they were a light golden color and done on the inside when I cracked one open.

Making it Magical!

The trick to cooking magic is to marry intent to symbolism.  Its not essential mind you, but it helps things along.  Since many plants and animals often correspond to a number of things, by knowing those correspondences, you can focus on the ones that go together.

For example, from the ingredients I used in our dinner, I can focus on the financial health of our family (I have a job interview Thursday)–prosperity, luck (and changing “luck” if its been bad), “fertility” (which doesn’t have to be about sex), money, wealth, protection (of the family by being financially secure), etc.  Here’s the correspondences from our dinner:

Veggie Correspondences: Cabbage for luck; apple for love, healing, fertility and immortality; carrot for fertility; onion for protection, healing, money, lust and prophecy.

Animal Symbolism: Pig–Prosperity, courage, self-reliance, cunning, and nourishment

Seasonings Correspondences: Basil for protection, love and wealth; red pepper for fidelity, hex-breaking (or ending bad luck), and love; salt for cleansing and wealth/prosperity.

The method of cooking determines the *how* and *when* of magic.  Soups, for example, get lots of focus during the preparation and also intermittently when they are “worked on” (stirring, seasoning, tasting, etc) while a meal in the skillet might get constant focus since its a shorter cook time.  A meal such as this one, which is baked, which gets the most focus put into it during the preparation, is perfect to do as part of a ritual or meditation, as the baking time leaves you ritual time, and by the time the ritual is over, dinner is ready (or has just enough time leftover to let you clean up a bit and make a desert)!