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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The First Stamps are Listed in My E-Bay Store Yesterday and an Idea for a Healthy Primarily Vegetable Based Dinner

It has been almost 3 years since I listed anything new in my e-bay store. Needless to say, E-bay has made changes to its listing format, some of which are quite nifty. However, my lotting skills have gone rusty and took me a few hours to figure out my scanner and E-bay's format. Nevertheless I did manage to list the following items:

The first stamp of Canada issued April 27, 1851.
Yours for $480. 

The 1853 printing of the same stamp in brown red. Cheaper at $250. 

The pride of my inventory: the 1851 6d Prince Albert. 
A stunning example and yours for a mere $3,750. 

The 1857 1/2d Rose. 
Used for newspapers. A bit grubby, but scarce and only $210.

A beautiful stampless letter sent from Hamilton, ON to Caledonia ON in 1858.
Fantastic strike of the fancy "3"indicating the postage due from the recipient. 
Yours for $125. 

So Steph and I opted try a primarily vegetarian meal, although not quite vegetarian in the strict sense, but a departure from the meat-starch-vegetable meal:

1. Parslied carrots
2. Warm leeks vinagrette
3. Baked stuffed onions with ground sausage or turkey.

We used ground turkey, as we are attempting to wean ourselves off pork. 

The onions are the most involved dish, so they should be started first. Take four very large yellow or white onions and slit the skin vertically using a paring knife and then peel them. Don't cut off either end though. Then place them in a large pot of boiling water. You can prepare the other ingredients for the other dishes while waiting for the water to boil. 

For the carrots, peel and slice 6 large carrots into rounds and place them in a pot of salted water, bit don't boil them just yet, as they won't take more than 10-15 min. For the seasonings, squeeze 1 lemon wedge into a small dish and set aside. In another small dish combine 1 teaspoon of paprika, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Then chop 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley and set aside. Finally chop 1 large shallot and fry it in 2 tablespoons butter. Once the shallot is soft, set the pan aside, as you will add the cooked carrots later, with all the seasonings. You are then done with the carrots until it is time to boil them. 

For the leeks, take 12 slender leeks, or if if you can't find slender, 6 larger ones will do. Cut off the leaves and the bottons and rinse thoroughly. Slit lengthwise on one side. For the seasonings, combine in a cup 1/2 cup of chicken stock and 1/2 cup of dry red wine. Then in another cup combine 1/4 cup of chicken stock, 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar and a teaspoon of dijon mustard. 

By now the water should be boiling, so you place the onions in, partially cover with a lid and cook for 15 min or until you can just pierce the onion with a sharp knife, but with some resistance. You don't want the onions to fall apart when you try to core them to stuff them. Butter a caserole dish and set aside while you wait for the onions to boil. While you are waiting for the onions to boil, you can cook and season the ground turkey in a large skillet. Once it is done, turn off the heat because you are eventually going to need to fry this with the onion that is scooped out of the onions and other ingredients to make the stuffing. 

Once the onions are done. Run them under cold water to stop the cooking and cool them to the point that you can handle them. When they are cool enough to handle, cut off the top 1/4 and set aside. Then with a sharp knife, make cuts out from the centre that do not go all the way down and stop at the outer third layer. Then turn the onions over and do a curcular cut around the bottom of the root. Then pushing from the root, push out the cut cores. They should pop right out, leaving a cored onion 3 layers thick. Place these in the casserole dish. Preheat the oven to 375F. Then coarsly chop the onion centres and tops with 1 bunch of washed spinach. Heat the ground turkey back up and add the chopped onion and spinach. Cook until everything is soft. Add 1 teaspoon dried sage and salt and pepper to taste. Then add 1/2 cup of heavy cream. When everything is combined, add t tablesppoons breadcrumbs, and then subsequent tablespoons as needed until the mixture holds its shape with a spoon. 

Then take the mixture off the heat and spoon it into the onion cores, spilling it out over the sides. Any extra stuffing can just be placed in the dish at the base of the onions. Then top each onion with sprinkled breadcrumbs and a small dollop of butter. These go in the oven for 20 minutes. 

While you are waiting for the onions, heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in a large skillet until very hot but not smoking. Add the sliced leeks and cook for 10 minutes turning occasionally. When the leeks are soft, add the larger cup of chicken stock and red wine, cover and cook for another 10 min. 

While you are waiting for the leeks to cook, boil the carrots. This should take about 10 min. When they are done drain them well and heat the fried shallot back up and add the carrots along with the seasonings you set aside earlier (salt, pepper, paprika, lemon juice and parsley). When everything is heated through the carrots are done. 

When the leeks are soft, transfer them to a serving platter and cover with tin foil to keep warm. The  add to the sauce in the pan the smaller cup containing the stock-vinegar-mustard mixture and heat through. Then transfer to a sauce boat - this is the vinagrette for the leeks and the other vegetables should you wish to use it. 

The onions should now be done and the entire meal can be served. The whole thing takes an hour or so to prepare, maybe 45 min if you tackle it in te order I have written here. I didn't and it took me over an hour. The most expensive part of the meal is the leeks, which will probably cost close to $10, but the rest of the ingredients should cost no more than $5-6. 


On to the perforated pence issue of 1858 and the first cents issue of 1859-1868 today.

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