Organic Spinach Ribbons Topped With Smoked Mozzarella

Organic Spinach Ribbons Topped With Smoked Mozzarella

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Us, An Icy Tree Falling On Our Car & Our Comfort Food!

So there's ME   ~ A bubbly, fun-loving tall blonde cook
So there's CHRIS ~ A down-to-earth easy going tall handsome cook
So there's AN ICY TREE ~ 60 years old...covered in ice...fell on our car yesterday
So there's COMFORT FOOD ~ Why do people refer to certain foods as comfort foods? I can assure you, in light of yesterday's "event", I did not think it possible that food would comfort me / us!  I tried!  Chris tried!  We tried!

Yesterday morning was a beautiful morning.  Everything was covered in two inches of white powder.  All of the trees branches looked as though they had been dipped in a gynormous vat of rich white chocolate.  (chocolate bark anyone?!?)  The sky was a gorgeous shade of cerulean blue.  Birds were singing.  Squirrels were jumping  from tree to tree.  I was snuggled in our living room in my favorite Toile covered wingback with THE TODAY SHOW on the television, a warm Pottery Barn quilt covering my legs that were resting on my all time favorite over sized tuffet (a "steal" at an antique store in Little Rock years ago), an impressive cup of freshly ground organic coffee next to me on a glass covered antique burled walnut side table and my laptop resting on my lap. Chris and Molly, our dog, were snuggled on the couch under a goose down comforter.  Molly was snoring.  The sun was shining.

Yesterday was a beautiful morning like the memory of one Christmas getting the Barbie Townhouse, the Barbie Jet, Skipper Barbie, and an entire new evening wardrobe for Barbie.  Unfortunately, that Christmas afternoon I decided to pop Skipper's head off to see if it would float in water and I wasn't able to snap Skipper's head back on.  I spent a portion of that Christmas Day in my room in time-out.  Oh, and yes, Barbie heads float in water.  Don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise.

Yesterday was a beautiful morning ....until 11:45AM

I was walking through the living room and through the dining room.  I was walking through the butler's pantry to get to the kitchen.  All of a sudden I heard it.  It was a sound comparable to a building demolition.  It was a sound I imagine was the sound in "Jack And The Beanstalk"  when Jack grabbed the axe, and after two strikes, sent the Orge falling to the ground where he broke his crown and the beanstalk came toppling after.

About 10 seconds after this sound Matilda, our female orange cat, came running past me in the butler's pantry like a cat running out of a room filled with rocking chairs.  I stood there taking it all in.  I didn't want to move forward.  I didn't want to move backward.  By the way, did you know female orange cats are rare and tend to be a little "crazy?"  I know this because after I rescued Matilda at 8 weeks old and took her to the Vet, the Vet nervously told me so.  I can attest Matilda is a little "crazy."  I'm just goin' with the fact she stares at the wall and meows endlessly and hisses when you pick her up and swats at you when you walk by and then jumps in your lap purring.

So back to me and 10 seconds.  Within 10 seconds I had processed what had happened and I just couldn't move.  Eventually I heard myself yelling, "Chris?  Chris!  Chris?"  Chris didn't reply so I was forced to move.  I walked past our female orange cat Matilda whose eyes were as big as the Star Trek Enterprise and through the dining room to the living room.  And there Chris stood with his back to me staring out one of the tall living room windows.  "Chris?" I said.  No response.  "Chris?" I said again.  No response.  I remember feeling scared.  Scared like when you're young and your parents turn off your night light and you don't want them to because you think there is a scary monster under the bed. Well, there WAS a scary monster under the bed wasn't there?  How dare my Mom falsely label me a Drama Queen at age 5.  That crazy woman.

I felt scared.  "CHRIS!" I said.  Chris turned around and I could tell by the look on his face what had happened was a bad thing.  I knew it was a bad thing like you got an "F" in Math and had to take your report card home to your parents.  I know this feeling first hand because I have gotten an "F" in Math and have had to take that report card home to my parents.  It was a bad thing.  Let's just say Math flash cards became a large, unwanted part of my childhood.  Old Maid, Go Fish and my Jacks with the small red bouncing ball were taken away and replaced with Math flashcards.  It was a bad thing.

I walked forward and stood beside Chris and looked out the window.  It was a bad thing.  What was once a beautiful, magnificent sixty year old Oak tree was no longer.  The ice laden tree had split in half. One half remained standing and the other half was on the ground.  Oh, did I mention Chris had parked the car kinda under this sixty year old Oak tree?  At first I thought, it's okay - the tree is not ON the car.  The tree missed the front veranda of the inn by 1/2 an inch.  I remember exhaling.  I remember thinking... it's okay - we're okay.

NOT SO MUCH.  When the sixty year old oak tree fell under the weight of the ice and split it half the half that fell apparently bounced off the roof of our car and then from the roof of the car landed in the parking lot, blocking the front walk to the inn.  Not realizing this at the time, I said to Chris, "Well, it looks like the tree missed everything but why don't you go out and check."  Chris put on his snow gear and walked outside.  I was looking out the window at Chris' facial expressions like a kid looking out the window Christmas Eve hoping to see Santa flying through the night sky in his beautiful big red sleigh.  I kept watching.  My stomach sank.  I could tell by Chris' expressions it was a bad thing.

Chris came inside, shook the snow of his boots, took off his snow gear and gave me the bad news.  It was a bad thing.  The roof of the car was dented in and was no longer flush with the sunroof. The right rear side of the trunk was dented.  The back rear right tail lights were broken.  Oh, and of course half of a sixty year old tree was laying sideways in our parking lot blocking the front walk to the inn.

Within an hour Chris spoke to an insurance adjuster.  He spoke to the tree service company.  He spoke to the insurance company (again).  Chris was told we'll need to drive to their main office (about 2 hours away) for the damage to be looked at so we can be issued a check.  The tree service company is not working right now because it's too cold.  It's 7 degrees today & will be -5 degrees tonight.  The temps will not be above freezing until Friday ...when there is MORE snow expected!  So, riiiiighttt - we'll just hop in the car and drive right over!

So here we sit! On the bright side, we have power.  We have heat.  We have food.  Ahhhh.....we have food! Once all phone calls were made and the event handled as much as it could be handled, I started cooking!  I started seeking comfort in food.  I started seeking comfort for Chris in food.

Comfort food refers to foods consumed to achieve some level of improved emotional status.  So I started cooking!  I made hummus.  (I love, love, love hummus!)  I made salsa.  I made pan grilled chicken with mashed potatoes and fresh herb pan gravy. I made biscuits to go with the pan grilled chicken with mashed potatoes and fresh herb pan gravy.  I made ham and cheese sandwiches on fresh baked bread with heart of romaine, vine ripened tomatoes, purple onion & homemade fresh garlic mayonnaise with homemade sweet potato french fires dusted with sea salt.  I boiled a whole chicken.   I made chicken noodle soup with extra wide egg noodles and fresh thyme.  I cooked!  I cooked a lot!  Did I find comfort?  Ummm, no.  Did I offer Chris some comfort?  Ummm, no - Chris actually had to take several TUMS.  (lol)

About five o'clock Chris walked in the bedroom and said, "I've been watching The Food Network - how about a homemade cheeseburger Chicago style pizza for dinner?"  I was watching a movie - I pushed pause - I looked at him for a few seconds because nothing was sounding good to me and replied, "Sure, okay."

 So Chris started making a homemade cheeseburger Chicago style pizza for dinner! He made the dough.  He made the fresh herb pizza sauce.  He browned the ground beef.  He sliced the yellow onion to paper thin status on the mandolin  He sprinkled a mound of fresh grated NY super sharp cheddar cheese.  He made homemade pizza!   Within 30 minutes the a-m-a-z-i-n-g aroma of his fresh herb pizza sauce filled the air.  This a-m-a-z-i-n-g aroma tickled my nose and teased my stomach.  This a-m-a-z-i-n-g aroma made me jump out of bed and run into the kitchen like 81 year old Imelda Marcos runs to a Jimmy Choo shoe sale!  My stomach actually began to growl!

At seven o'clock I can honestly say we found comfort food!  We found comfort!  Chris and I have officially decided his homemade cheeseburger Chicago style pizza is OUR comfort food!  It was so good.  The fresh cracked pepper, fresh rosemary and sea salt crust was perfectly seasoned and baked.  The sauce was a party in your mouth.  The amount of paper thin mandolin sliced onion was perfect.  The cheese was perfectly sharp and perfectly melted.  We found comfort!  We found our comfort food!  What's YOUR comfort food?!?

There is a picture of Chris' homemade cheeseburger Chicago style pizza on the right hand side of my Blog page - right below the new Poll, "What Do You Like On Your Pizza?"  Be sure to check them both out and please vote on the new Poll!  What I like on my pizza is pepperoni & mushroom!  I also like spinach and fresh tomato! :)  What Chris likes on his pizza is hamburger.  He also likes a veggie all the way!  :)

Below is Chris' homemade pizza sauce recipe - he just whipped it up!  It's simplistically delicious! I hope, during this horrible "Historic Winter Storm", everyone is safe and warm.  I hope everyone finds comfort.  I hope everyone finds their comfort food!

1 can of whole organic tomatoes
several large pours of extra light olive oil
3 fresh garlic cloves
1 extra small handful of fresh basil
salt (to taste)
pepper (to taste)
1 handful of fresh parsley

Once the oil, garlic, salt and pepper are evenly blended, add the whole organic tomatoes and continue until all ingredients are thoroughly blended.  Taste and if the seasonings need adjusted, do so.  Cook on medium to low heat for 30 minutes.  Let cool to room temperature before you spread on your homemade or store bought pizza crust.  Before he placed his pizza in the oven he sprinkled the top with (more) parsley & basil!  "Enjoy!"

Always "Push The Parsley!"
~ A Girl Cook

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