No-Bread Bane / Bain-Marie Boon

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I dunno how conditions are in your neck of the woods, BUT, the mere sight of the Stateside, broken supply chain’s emptied store shelves is depressing; so much so, that I’ve not been psyching up sufficiently to haul my heinie off to the supermarket. Consequently, since my last store visit (nearly one full month ago), I’ve observed my supply of cracked wheat bread dwindling; from loaves… to slices… to breadcrumbs…

Alas, this early a.m., that presented a problem; seeing how my oatmeal and coffee main menu frequently features a bain-marie (double boiler) warmed over peanut butter and jam sandwich for dessert.

ASIDE #1: If you’ve yet to consume peanuts / peanut based products, DO be cautious. Check this out…

“A peanut allergy is one of the most common food allergies. About 1 in 50 children in the US have a peanut allergy. It is a food allergy that commonly causes anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening symptom of an allergic reaction. There’s no cure for peanut allergies, although many children outgrow them.”

(Ohio’s) Cleveland Clinic • Read Full Article Here

ASIDE #2: The de-linking of our supply chain has also cleared the shelves of creamy peanut butter (especially the stir the oil back in variety); all of which has necessitated my becoming more “adventurous”; i.e, opting to check out the chunky variety (which rarely sells out). In this case, my message to the non-allergic masses: DO be adventurous; in this man’s opinion, there are few culinary pleasures that can top munching into a PB & J sandwich’s delish, warm goobers.

So, with all asides now set aside… here’s how I compensated for my down to bread crumbs, crummy plight.

I began by upping my usual oatmeal serving size from 1 to 1½ cups. While everything cooked up, I located my smallest loaf pan; the actual L x W x D:

  • Centimeters = 11½ x 6½ x 4
  • Inches = 4½ x 2½ x 1½

Once the oatmeal was ready, into the loaf pan I spooned / spread out, evenly, the following ingredients:

  • a bottom 2 cm / ½ in thick oatmeal layer
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp strawberry jam
  • a top 2 cm / ½ in thick oatmeal layer

I placed the goodies loaded loaf pan into the now rinsed clean, reheating bain-marie. In the approximately 15 – 20 minutes it took for me to savor my bowl of oatmeal, the mock PB & J’s peanut butter oil was re-separating and the jam was liquefying; thereby imbuing the surrounding oatmeal.

Obviously there’s also plenty of room for future, ingredient experimentation; e.g.

  • adding a crumbled crackers top layer
  • replacing the jam with pancake syrup
  • including raisins, dates and figs
  • subbing in seasonal fresh fruit
  • sprinkling on spices (e.g. cinnamon)

Who’d have thought it possible that a bain-marie could transform into a stove top bakery?

As for the two cereal layers’ ability to replace the bread slices, the oaty flavor proved vastly superior; so yummy that I’m no longer in any particular hurry to haul my heinie off to the grocery store.

My reinvented PB & J sandwich, summed up more succinctly:

Confection Perfection!

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

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Voilà! EZ as Pie Pie à la Mode

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Yesterday, at daybreak, I found my still lingering in Christmastime mode, sweet tooth (fortunately only figuratively) aching for some sort of fruit pie to side dish my utilitarian, hot cereal and coffee breakfast.

However, with [1] no such confection shelved within my dinky pantry and [2] my NEITHER being keen on leaving my teeth chattering (15º C / 59º F) lair NOR dashing thru the recently fallen (10 cm / 4 in) snow in my Chrysler Motors manufactured (163 horse), key opened “sleigh” (ISO of an open early on Sunday supermarket), I’d need to [3] get creative; and, more to the point, improv. a recipe.

With a jar of strawberry jam, box of saltine crackers and the still bubbling away double boiler all-the-sudden catching my eye; I soon knew exactly what to do.

Upon plating the oatmeal, I quickly rinsed / dried the double boiler and then placed, within, an egg poacher cup’s worth of jam.

Following the approximately ten minutes it took to consume my oatmeal, first, I poured my second cup of coffee and, next, spooned out the jam over a small bowlful of hand-crushed crackers (the makeshift pie crust), topped it all off with a few dollops of vanilla yogurt and, voilà, a tasty, generous serving of hot and cold contrasted…

EZ as Pie Pie à la Mode!

I figure that this would all wind up even tastier atop crushed graham crackers and how, occasionally, I could even sub in other homemade “pie fillings” (e.g. apple sauce sweetened with with brown sugar and sprinkled with cinnamon). Ergo, I’ve just added any of these missing items to my shopping list.

True, I could simply buy real pies, but why?

It’s easy as pie (and more economical, too) to simply DIY-IT!

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

-30-

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Expectations Bar @ Lowest Setting?

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For my midnight repast, scant hours ago, I “auditioned” some new (to me) “cuisine”; i.e., upon emptying one can of Campbells’ Condensed Tomato Soup, approximately one and one half soup cans’ worth of H20 and tossing in 57 grams (2 ounces) of elbow pasta into the shallow top half of a double boiler (which also does double duty as my serving bowl / trough). After 40 minutes of simmering and frequent stirring (to prevent pasta sticking) this concoction wound up pleasantly thickened.

At that juncture everything was dining room table bound; where I pigged out and found this dish to be delish. The next batch I cook up, I plan on seasoning with garlic, basil and black pepper.

Now, just to prove this post has not been a total waste of your time; namely, that this blogger is worth his salt, let’s stir in a heapin’ helpin’ of sodium “fun” facts.

Check out this soup starter. We mustn’t buy into this (or any other) soup can’s label, which attempts to huckster the contents as heart healthy; certainly not with 410 mg of sodium per serving and 2 and one half servings per can. And, admittedly, I did consume the entire can’s worth; that’s 1025mg; nearly one half of the acceptable level! YIKES! Compare / contrast the above data to the RDA enhanced advisory below:

“[Salt-wise] most Americans eat too much of it —and they may not even know it. Americans eat on average about 3,400 mg of sodium per day. However, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg per day—that’s equal to about 1 teaspoon of salt!” Apr 2, 2020

Google Search Results May 7, 2021

And, it’s fair to say that salt addicted citizens are not uniquely American, too.

Anyway, seeing how my supper involved the only over-salted product I consumed during the past 24 hours, I’ll likely survive unscathed.

So, beyond my presentation of heart smart data, what does any of this prove?

Well, this post has been LESS about showcasing my limited abilities as a chef; MORE about pointing out how I’ve become too easy to please; all “courtesy” of the pandemic. Might any of that describe you, too? If so, salt may be the least of our probs, eh?

Perhaps that’s to be expected? When all’s said and done, we discover how many a small-thinker “world leader” along with that mindless microbe have been conspiring to set humanity’s expectations bar to lower than low.

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

-30-

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