Comfort foods perfect fit for Nevada Day, Halloween
by Linda Marrone
This past week, there has been more than frost on the old pumpkin – lots of rain and some snow. I’m not complaining, mind you; it’s much easier talking about the weather than politics right now. I enjoy all the weather we have in Nevada, and an early winter would be OK because we really need the snowpack.
It’s also much more agreeable to be inside by the stove staying nice and warm, cooking up some comfort food. This is the time of year when I read my cookbooks like novels every night.
All the holiday magazines are on the shelves at the markets. I love to peruse the pages even if I don’t get to all the projects and recipes of the pages I fold down and tear out. I have stacks of holiday magazines and cookbooks that I can’t part with and I go back and re-read most of them every year. After a year or two they seem new again.
I’m a creature of habit when it comes to cooking. I like to try new recipes, but tend to stick with the tried and true. Charlie at Adele’s asks me all the time how I ever got in the business of food. I wink and say, “Just lucky, I guess.”
Do you ever wonder where a recipe comes from or how it developed? I don’t really develop my recipes; I mostly take a recipe and tweak it a little to suit my taste and make it easy to prepare.
These recipes are similar in that they are both reminiscent of fall and in the comfort-food category. The chili recipe we’ve been using for over 25 years is from Paul Eschew, chef at the Carson Station. He shared his recipe way back in 1978, when we needed one.
Yes, it has beans, but when you’re making chili for 750 people, you need the beans for bulk. Ralph has pared down the recipe so use it as a guideline. Chili and Nevada Day just seem to go together.
The recipe for Apple-Cheddar Squares came my way just recently on Farm Day at Smith & Smith Farms. Norene Silverek had just returned from visiting a friend in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
She says these Maine Apple Squares came from a Vermont mother, given to her New Hampshire daughter and baked for her Nevada house guest – who in turn bakes the recipe with apples from California and adds aged cheddar cheese from Vermont and brings it to Farm Day in Dayton. Now that’s some evolution of a recipe!
On a last note: The pan size and cooking times for the Outrageous Brownies in my last column didn’t make it in the paper so add this: Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees in a greased and floured 18-by-12-inch baking sheet.
Have a fun and safe Nevada Day and Halloween.
Linda Marrone has lived in Carson City since 1973, and with her husband, Ralph, formerly operated Marrone’s Restaurant in Carson City and Somethin’s Cookin’ Catering.