Monday, September 12, 2011

Vacation with the Carnivores

Probably the toughest meal situations I've had to deal with have revolved around family. My parents and siblings are die-hard carnivores, though my sister is much more vegetarian-friendly than the rest. Mom tries to cook for me, but she still thinks roughing it means going without meat in her spaghetti sauce.

So it's up to me. We spend time at their cottage in Ontario. I bring the food and I cook. Not much of a vacation for me, but it's how we manage to eat as a family without forcing tofu on my parents. Here's what I cooked this year:

Progresso soup for the evening we arrived

Mark's Favorite Chili

My Risotto with Smoked Gouda

However, Dad can't eat cheese and doesn't like rice. Plus, I take my ingredients along, so I have to have non-perishable things. You can't take fruits and vegetables across borders, so I do buy those when I get there, but the fewer things I need to buy, the better.

And did I mention they have a great stove, but a hand pump for water? If we want hot water to wash dishes, we haul it across the cabin from the bathroom sink (the only real plumbing is in the bathroom), so we try to keep dishes to a minimum.


Here's what I think I'll take along next time:

Tortilla Pie

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (15 oz)
1 10-oz package frozen corn, thawed (or 1 can)
1 cup mild salsa
2 cups Pepper Jack cheese, grated
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
4 10-inch tortillas

Preheat to 450 F.

Mix all ingredients except tortillas and oil together in a bowl. Heat a skillet to medium-high heat. Brush both sides of a tortilla with a little oil - heat until golden on each side for one minute.

In an oiled casserole dish or baking pan, put one tortilla, then top with some of the filling. Alternate two more layers the same way, ending with a tortilla. Press the top tortilla down gently to meld the layers a bit.

Bake for 12 minutes. Cut into wedges.