I am almost daily uninspired about what to make for supper.
And yes, I say “supper.” Dinner, to my farmer dad, is the meal that happens sometime around noon. Hence, supper.
It is the eternal question.
But I have a few go-to options.
One of them is 4H Special, named such because my mom learned to make it as a little girl in 4H. Also, it has four ingredients, which is why it is one of my go-to uninspired supper options.
The coolest thing about it is that whenever I make it, two of the four ingredients are straight from my parents’ farm. I didn’t realize how rare and cool that is until moving to the suburbs and being exposed to the trendiness of expensive local food, that was, you know, actually farmed by a person the consumer has met. Even the applesauce, which frequently accompanies 4H Special, is from my hometown. We get the apples from Zooks’ Orchard, a Belleville staple, and make a whole bunch of applesauce and freeze it.
I can’t tolerate store-bought applesauce.
This is going to be a seriously expensive problem whenever I move out of easy driving distance of the farm.
4H Special doesn’t really look like much, but it is pretty delicious.
A Vague Recipe:
One pound ground beef
Ziploc bag of frozen (thawed) corn
2-3ish cups of cooked rice
2 cans tomato sauce
Mix it all together and bake at 350 for 40ish plus minutes, or until it looks like you want to eat it.
If I wanted to be really hardcore about it someday, maybe I’ll can my own tomato sauce.
The real creativity about this is the amount of imagination it takes to pretend I’m eating it at home, on the farm, rather than my almost-railroad suburban apartment, surrounded by the living spaces of others. To pretend I’m sitting next to the sliding glass door, my family in front of me, my childhood kitchen behind me, and the fields and the farms and the sunset to my right.