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Feb 18, 2012 09:40 AM

Tell Me About Your Favorite "Square Meal?"

It could be anything, and will probably show a lot of regionality. To my mind, it's usually fairly plain honest food - though I love a good microgreens salad, it doesn't strike me as particularly homey. I'd have a hard time choosing between these two menus:
Meatloaf with real brown gravy and mash, peas with almonds and onions and a green salad with a simple vinaigrette, or:
Roast chicken with pan juices, scalloped potatoes, definitely a green buttered veg., and more salad, homemade Thousand Island dressing.
I don't eat like this too often, but I do love a nice "Square Meal" a few times a month, health be damned.
Either menu has either fudge layer cake or apple pie and vanilla bean ice cream for afters.
Tell me about yours, please?

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  1. Gotta be a beef stew (with dumplings, of course) Or, as you mention regionality, then a Lancashire Hotpot.

    No dessert - there's no great sweet tooth with Mr & Mrs Harters.


    5 Replies
    1. re: Harters

      Harters, soon as I saw the first three letters of L-A-N, I knew this was you. :)
      Cheers. No sweet tooth at all, though? I know you eat a cheese course now and again, but that of course is an entirely different matter. :0

      1. re: mamachef

        Oh, I can fight my way through desserts with the best of 'em. But it's not something I regularly crave. It's fairly rare that we eat one at home and, more often than not, will also pass when we're eating out.

        I put it down to postwar food rationing. Sugar was the last to come off ration in 1954. That meant my mother had had her formative cooking years pretty much without sugar, so it never featured much when I was a youngster (I was born in 1950).

        1. re: Harters

          Makes good sense to me!! Funnily enough, I love dessert at home but almost NEVER have it out and I have no idea why that is.
          Sticky Toffee pudding with custard sauce is what god would make if he were a pastry chef serving his best good friends.

          1. re: mamachef

            Ah, now then. Sticky toffee pudding.

            Generally accepted as having been invented by Francis Coulson, then owner of the Sharrow Bay Hotel in Cumbria (north west England). The hotel is about 2 hours north of me. We were last there in 2010, for a couple of nights, celebrating the start of Mrs H's recovery from a debilitating illness (from which she is still not fully recovered). It was the finest sticky toffee pudding I've ever eaten - rich yet the lightest of sponges.

            A fussy chintzy hotel still - but the view over the lake must be one of the best in England

            1. re: Harters

              I don't have much of a sweet toth,m but if I'm going for it I like it to be sweet. Sticky toffee pudding sounds like the ultimate. Gotta have it one of these days.

    2. Sounds like you're talking a meat and potatoes meal. Mine would be either a pot roast with carrots and mashed potatoes or a roast chicken with roasted vegetables. Now, if it was a splurge, it would be grilled lamb with dauphinoise potatoes and sauteed spinach. No dessert for me either, already enough food.

      4 Replies
      1. re: escondido123

        Well, it can by whatever your interpretation is, be it vegetarian, vegan, omnivore........I bet we'll see a wide variety of answers. But yes, for me it's the holy trinity of meat or poultry, potatoes, and a veg of some kind. And gravy, because I believe it's a food group of its' own. :)
        Yum to all your choices.

        1. re: mamachef

          In that case, it will always be pasta, probably spaghetti with a tomato sauce and maybe meatballs. Butter lettuce salad with prefectly ripe "Bacon" avocado. Piece of dark chocolate for dessert.

          1. re: escondido123

            Is the bacon avocado the best you've found? Bcause my favorite nursery here has both Mexicola and Bacon trees, I'm trying to figure out which one I should get, because I'll get one in the next month.

        2. re: escondido123

          Escondido, +1 on all your choices! I would add roasted turnips and rutabagas with my pot roast tho, and that and the roast chicken would have pan gravy with wine and garlic &herbs. With Momachef that gravy is a food group!

          I would have dessert, but would want someone else to make it for me, but it be homemade; either boysenberry crumble, warm with ginger ice cream; a really excellent dark chocolate cake with ganache icing; or a perfect coffee creme brulee, or Le Regalade's rice pudding with caramel....

        3. Breaded fried chicken with mash potatoes and either collards or green beans. Black coffee with key lime pie for dessert.

          1 Reply
          1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

            It was hard for me to decide between the roast chicken and fried chicken and I'm wavering all over again. Love the pie, too.

          2. Easy.
            My Grandma's standing rib roast with her signature dark, rich pan gravy...mashed potatoes with lots of butter and cream, mashed turnips, rutabagas and carrots, green salad with lots of veggies (all from her garden) and buttermilk dressing. Then, of course, her homemade dinner rolls.
            For dessert her blackberry dumplings, that she'd picked that morning in the woods behind her house...the little tiny ones indigenous to Washington State, with whipped cream.
            With a big pot of coffee.

            3 Replies
            1. re: latindancer

              I love your grandma and boy were YOU lucky. Do you happen to have the dressing recipe or something that approximates it?

              1. re: mamachef

                Do I ever wish I had her recipe(s)...
                She's been gone a long time and all I know is she used lots of garlic, buttermilk, sour cream and whatever else she'd come up with.
                She learned to cook from her mother who had a strong French background in culinary of which was lots of butter and cream on just about everything :).
                My Grandma's written recipes were far and few between. She used her own tastes and knew how to put everything together masterfully and came up with her own ideas on how food should taste. She would pour and stir and hardly ever measure from what I recall. I was just too young (and oblivious to mortality) to stand beside her and measure as she added. She was incredibly gifted in this area. Thanks for asking though ! :). Great post by the way.

              2. re: latindancer

                I want to come to your Grandma's with you for that meal, latindancer. Yum!

              3. Hmmm....if calories were nonexistent I'd have to say a veggie lasagna with zucchini, eggplant, and spinach with lots of mozz and a whole wheat crostini with a tomato and balsamic topping for an app. Gelato with a biscotti and coffee for desert.

                In actuality--steamed veg on wild greens with balsamic dressing. Then seared scallops and more steamed veg. Frozen yogurt and berries for dessert.

                2 Replies
                1. re: chrissy1988

                  Calories are nonexistent if you eat standing up like a Barbarian. :) Nice meals.

                  1. re: mamachef

                    Or with your hands. No calories there.