Books, Cooking, ETWYRT, Recipe

Eat This While You Read That: Jerry Boyd


I asked Jerry Boyd to take part in this series because even though I have not (yet! I promise I will, Jerry!) read any of this series, they look like tons of fun. And the First Reader read all of them. It was a little funny – I manage the Kindle library, and I’d get a text saying ‘could you please put another Bob book on my phone?’ 

The latest book in the series
Or start here, with book one!

The First Reader says that the series has been a pleasant read, and he’s been enjoying it. He says it’s not as much 8 separate books as it is one very long serial story, each one carrying on from the other. There’s plenty of action, most of the characters are likable – except for the bad guys of course, who are mostly not likable. Lots of adventure, lots of confident people. The one thing he’ll mention is that there are a lot of characters, and if you aren’t chain-reading the books, you might lose track of who is who. So this is a great series for binge reading! The books are a lot of fun: popcorn books. The latest is Secret Squirrels, but if you haven’t yet had the pleasure, start with Bob’s Saucer Repair. 

Well! With one of them in hand… Jerry threw me a curveball with this recipe. 

You see, I grew up cooking from scratch. That’s not a brag. We were poor. We couldn’t afford convenience foods, and Mom was home with us, plus I was homeschooled, so we had all the time in the world to cook food. I know, on an intellectual level, that for ease and convenience there are a lot of things out there for quick and easy cooking. I’ve even used some of them. But this recipe stumped me a little, so I winged it and did it partly my way! 

Lazy Stroganoff

Frozen beef strips, or frozen meatballs. (Beef strips, about 2 cups, cut into bite-size pieces. Meat balls, 16-20 large, or 20-24 small. Italian, not Swedish, the Swedish have too much flavor on their own.) Cedar’s note: this is where I went astray. I have no idea what frozen beef strips are or where to find them. I had a nice beef knuckle I was breaking down to freeze, I just made strips like I would for my stroganoff. 

Lined up all the stuff!
  • Pasta. (I use a 13.5 ounce box) 
  • ½ to 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 12 oz. jar of beef gravy (could not get this. State of the stores these days! Made do with a packet)
  • 1 10.5 oz. can of cream of mushroom soup
  • ½ envelope of onion soup mix
  • 1 beef bouillon cube, crushed (mixes better that way) (I don’t do bouillon cubes, I used a tsp of my base)
  • 1 ½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp. Liquid Smoke
  • 1-1 ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 1-1 ½ tsp. paprika
  • 1 1/2-2 tsp. ground garlic

Start some water for your pasta. (If you don’t have a favorite method for cooking pasta, you really need to spend more time in the kitchen. If carbs are a problem, Dreamfields is good stuff. Amazon has it if your local places don’t.) (We like to use rotini for this, but use what you like.) Cedar: We like egg noodles. Lots of surface area to hold sauce

I was using fresh meat, because it’s what I had, so I started this before the pasta.

While your water is heating, warm your frozen meat in the microwave, and then combine the gravy and cream of mushroom soup in a skillet over low heat. (Combine. That means no stripes.) Add pepper, paprika, garlic, Worcestershire, Liquid Smoke, and your bouillon cube. Stir that all in, and taste. Remember, sour cream is dairy, and will knock the heat of the dish way down, so you want it pretty spicy at this point. If you don’t think it’s spicy enough, don’t be afraid to go overboard. You can always fix it with a little extra sour cream. (In an extreme case, a spoonful of peanut butter does wonders.) Once you’re satisfied, add your sour cream. Once the stripes are gone, add in your warm meat, and serve over the pasta.

Stroganoff might not look like much, but it’s good!

Cedar: I started the mushrooms (yes, those are my addition. We like them and I had a package that needed using up) and the beef in the pan, sauteing in bacon grease until browned, then proceeded as Jerry directed up until the sour cream. Before adding that, I put a lid on the pan, reduced the heat, and allowed to simmer for 20 minutes. At that point, I added the sour cream and took it off the heat. 

The end result was rich, tasty, comfort food. Jerry’s way is much faster than any of the three variations I know (this is my Dad’s favorite meal, and I make it a lot. I have a recipe from my Great-Grandma Lily for Hamburger Stroganoff I should put on the blog some time). Perfect for an evening when you don’t have the time to fuss in the kitchen! Hopefully you do have time to put your feet up and read Bob’s Saucer Repair, though!

Comfort food for a chilly evening.

For more Eat This While You Read That recipes and books to read while you sit at the dinner table, check out the home page. We are up to 75 with this recipe, and no end in sight. 


6 thoughts on “Eat This While You Read That: Jerry Boyd

  1. “Bob’s Saucer Repair” was in the last selection of TBR&R books I downloaded before the last R was temporarily suspended. It was great fun, with whimsical smoothing out the deadly serious. I look forward to completing the acronym soon.
    And the meal looks great!

  2. Regarding Dreamfields: If you are trying to avoid carbs, you need to read the one star reviews on this product on Amazon. They explain why there was a recent change in packaging, and why all diabetics should avoid this product.

  3. Oh, those books ARE tons of fun! I hadn’t seen that the new one was out. Off to snag it, and interrupt what I was reading!

    And yes, it is one long serial story, though each one is a self-contained portion of the overall. He doesn’t go in for long descriptions of scenery and such, so the pace is Whammo! (Heh, inside joke for the books there),zooming right through from one situation to the next. Fortunately for faster readers, they shouldn’t take more than an hour or two (I’m not that fast), because they’re hard to put down.

    1. Two more things:

      First, I’m surprised it’s not a chili recipe. You’ll understand why if you’ve read any of the books.

      Second, I recently learned a wild lower-carb substitute for pasta, and it would be perfect for this: Peel a rutabaga and cut 1/2″ (or thereabout) slices from it. If you have a mandoline, put in your second-thinnest insert (ideally about as thick as tortilla chips) and slice each piece into thin strips 1/2″ wide. You CAN also use a vegetable peeler to make the strips, but this is a very long and tedious (and slightly dangerous) process, so a mandoline is best. Throw them into boiling water and cook until al dente, which only takes about three minutes. Rutabaga has, to me, a sharp flavor that doesn’t appeal to me all that much, but I have found that sour cream cuts through that and makes it much better suited to my palate.

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