Life on Regal-Hill: Oct. 1, 2008

It was a bit cool here at Regal-Hill this morning. Even though the sun was out it hadn’t warmed up much yet. As I left the house for my morning walk I picked up the mail I had ready to take to the mailbox and as I reached the corner of the house I could hear a fire siren going off. I returned to the house to tell George, who was burning papers in the furnace to warm up the house. He came upstairs and went outside with me to listen. He thought it was either Margaretville or Arkville.
I started down the road before the siren stopped. When the air is just right we can hear the distant siren. By road we are about 15 miles from Margaretville, but by air maybe 10 miles or less.
Anyway, I was glad it stopped blowing as I continued walking and hoped the emergency wasn’t real serious.
I never did hear what the sirens were set off for. I assume it was either an accident or a fire. Since the morning was cool someone may have built a fire that caused a chimney fire. If you haven’t already done so, be sure to have your chimney cleaned before you begin having a fire in your furnace this fall.
Normally we don’t hear sirens here in the country, so it tends to create some excitement when we do and of course I am curious as to what it is and where.
I should have put cauliflower recipes in this column last week. Sorry. Hopefully, you got several heads of cauliflower at the Cauliflower Festival last Saturday and are looking for some new ways to prepare it. Try these and see if you don’t agree.

Garlic Cauliflower Stir-Fry
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 large head cauliflower (about 3 pounds), broken into florets
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1-1/2 teaspoons lemon-pepper seasoning
In a skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add cauliflower and garlic. Sprinkle with parsley and lemon-pepper. Cook and stir for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned and tender.
Yield: 8 servings
2000 Taste of Home Annual Recipes

Cauliflower with Mushroom Almond Sauce
1 large head cauliflower (about 2-1/2 pounds)
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/4 pound fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/3 cup sliced green onions with tops
2 teaspoons chicken broth granules
3/4 cup hot water
1 tablespoon corn starch
1/4 cup cold water
In a saucepan containing 1-in. of water, steam whole cauliflower until tender, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a skillet, melt butter, sauté mushrooms, almonds and onions until mushrooms are tender. Dissolve bouillon in hot water; add to skillet. Dissolve corn starch in cold water; add to skillet. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.
Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Place cauliflower in a large bowl; pour sauce over it and serve immediately.
Yield: 6-8 servings
The Complete Guide to Country Cooking from Taste of Home books