October 1, 2011

October.....We Welcome Thee

It's October 1st. A new month...another new beginning.

A Maine House Mosaic

I've learned that change happens. It's a waste of time to brood or fret about what used to be and what I could once do. To paraphrase Goldie Hawn, "Today I'm the youngest I will ever be and I had better make the most of it." I am learning to accept myself rather than always thinking I need to be thinner, smarter, or more youthful in appearance. I am learning to love my surroundings. I think that's one of the good things about growing older. You become more tolerant of your own shortcomings and realize it is a waste of precious time to dwell on negative thoughts. I love the change of seasons. Most of all, I love October and all the smells, scents and beautiful sights that greet me each day. I find it comes easier to have a passionate feeling about things.....sighting a young deer in our own private woodlands, gazing at an autumn sunset, listening to the quietness of the neighborhood, watching the precious school children line up for the school bus each weekday morning, or being awakened by the cooing of the doves. Most importantly, my love for my family and friends grows stronger. They add joy to my days. My parents and grandparents and all the ones before them are all a part of me. I see them in my face. Yes, it's October....I am so lucky to have another new beginning.

Winter is right around the corner for us in New England.
 While the glory of Autumn is upon us, we plan to enjoy those
 sunshine days on the deck and fire up the grill.
The Divine Miss M has shared her favorite grilling recipes with us.

Basic Marinade for Chicken or Beef
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup white wine or balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons ground dry mustard
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons ground cloves

Combine all ingredients in a jar or other container that has a lid. Shake well until fully mixed. Pour over meat and cover. Allow to marinade overnight or longer, turning often.

Grilled Flank Steak
1 flank steak (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup red wine
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger root OR 1 teaspoon ground ginger

Trim excess fat from steak; score steak on both sides in 1 1/2 inch squares. Place steak in a large shallow dish or zip-top heavy-duty plastic bag. Combine oil and remaining ingredients in a container and mix well. Pour over steak. Cover or seal; marinate in refrigerator 8 hours, turning occasionally.

Drain steak, reserving marinade. Grill, covered, over medium coals (350 F.) 6 to 8 minutes on each side or to desired degree of doneness, basting twice with marinade. Discard any marinade that remains. To serve, slice steak across the grain into thin slices. Yield: 6 servings. Note: Steak may be grilled ahead of time and served cold.

Grilled Asian Chicken
1/4 cup soy sauce
4 teaspoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons honey
3 slices fresh ginger root
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine the soy sauce, oil, honey, ginger root and garlic. Heat in microwave on medium for 1 minute, then stir. Heat again for 30 seconds. Watch to make sure it does not boil.

Place chicken breasts in a shallow dish. Pour soy sauce mixture over chicken and set aside to marinate for 15 minutes.

Preheat a grill to medium high. Drain marinade from chicken into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes. Set aside for basting.

Lightly oil the grill grate. Cook chicken on the prepared grill 5 to 6 minutes per side, or until juices run clear. Baste frequently with remaining marinade. Chicken will turn a beautiful golden brown. Do not over cook!


Grilled Bratwurst
1 12-ounce can beer
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
Several drops hot pepper sauce
6 bratwurst sausages

Mix beer, brown sugar, soy sauce, mustard, chili powder, garlic and hot pepper sauce in a skillet over medium heat. Add bratwurst and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove bratwurst and grill over medium coals until browned. Return to marinade to keep warm until serving. Excellent served on French rolls with sauerkraut relish.


Grilled Vegetable Packets
2 1/2 pounds new potatoes, thinly sliced
1 large sweet potato, thinly sliced
2 sweet onions, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/2 pound fresh green beans, cut into1-inch pieces
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 sprig fresh thyme
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup olive oil

Preheat grill to high. In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, sweet potato, sweet onions, green beans, rosemary, and thyme. Stir in 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, and pepper to coat. Using 2 to 3 layers of foil, create desired number of foil packets. Brush inside surfaces of packets liberally with remaining olive oil. Distribute vegetable mixture evenly among the packets. Seal tightly. Place packets on the preheated grill. Cook 30 minutes, turning once, or until potatoes are tender.

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