Thursday, August 02, 2007

Hot Weather Dinner

Too hot to cook? How about meatloaf or cabbage rolls on the barbecue? Mr. Fixit has done both this summer.

Yesterday I made up a panful of meatloaf mixture--just a regular Betty Crocker Cookbook recipe that we like. (Ground beef, egg, milk, Worcestershire sauce, sage, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and oatmeal for thickening.) Mr. Fixit added some cheese and barbecue sauce to the top, covered the loaf pan with foil, and let it wait in the fridge. Partway through the afternoon, the Apprentice lit the charcoal, and when Mr. Fixit got home soon afterwards he put the meatloaf on a small metal pan (we have several mini cookie sheets that came in now-defunct toaster ovens), and let it cook for an hour and a half over the indirect heat of the coals. He figures that our barbecue gives a steady heat of about 300 degrees, so a meatloaf that usually takes an hour at 350 degrees in the regular oven would take about an hour and a half.

To go with it, we had instant whole-wheat couscous--you put a cupful of grain in a serving bowl, cover with an equal amount of boiling water, and let it sit tightly covered for a few minutes. Fluff with a fork and there you go. (For those in Canada: President's Choice sells whole-wheat couscous.)

I also made a salad that was literally cleaning-out-the-crisper, because our lettuce (like Meredith's) has become uneatable, and we didn't have a whole lot of other fresh things left. So I mixed half a can of lentils (rinsed and drained), half a zucchini cut thin in semi-circles, and several stalks of sliced celery. I stirred the whole thing into our usual bean-salad dressing: 1/4 cup each of oil and vinegar, 2 teaspoons of honey, and some salt and pepper. We like this kind of salad best while the vegetables are still crisp, not limp from the dressing, but suit yourself.

Our dessert was kind of odds and ends: we had lots of clementines, which seemed to go well with the couscous-lentil Middle Eastern thing, and a package of wafer cookies. But anything cold would be good too! Or you could try the microwave cake that I sent to the recipe carnival last week.

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