Friday, November 9, 2018

Friday Food: Extra-special Vinegar Everywhere

Why is it extra-special vinegar, you ask? Well, read on to find out!


Short version: Laziness, thy name is Kristin.

Long version: I mixed up leftover chili with leftover rice in a skillet, added cheese, and called that good. Plus some leftover squash for a vegetable.


Short version: Bunless cheeseburgers, fried potatoes, squash, collard greens

Long version: Um. I used some of the fat that rendered off the cheeseburgers to fry the potatoes, which I had cooked earlier in the microwave until they were soft.

I guess that's it. Boy, this is boring. Here, have some pictures.

This is the church we went to Saturday afternoon for Mass.  It was in the middle of nowhere--like, for real--and there were only three other people in the congregation. Pretty, though.

Here the boys are hiding in the back because they don't want to get back in the car to go home.


Short version: Brisket, pasta, roasted beets, sauteed beet greens, squash, baked apples and cream

Long version: Okay, back on track!  Buckle up, because here's where it got really exciting!

I shoved the brisket in the oven first thing in the morning. I didn't have a bottle of barbecue sauce open, so I just put in a sliced onion, a little ketchup, a little mustard, quite a bit of salt, and some extra-special apple cider vinegar. It was extra-special because I made it with apple scraps when I was in the midst of constant apple peeling and coring for drying Mr. Billy's apples.

Speaking of apples, I had about half a dozen of those apples that were looking wrinkly and sad, plus a few random apples the MiL had brought that had little bad spots on them, so I made all those into baked apples that baked along with the brisket.

Because the brisket was in most of the day, I was also able to put in the beets to cook, and another squash. This squash was a variety called Honeynut, developed at Cornell University. The MiL brought it to me. It's very sweet and good.

So for those of you keeping track, I cooked four separate things in the oven during the course of the day. This is why I really need to get another rack for the oven at our new house, which currently only has one. I don't think the bachelor who lived there used the oven much.

I did not burn the brisket. Hooray for setting low standards.

Aaaand, here's a picture of beets, pre-roasting:

Hello, beets.


Short version: Asian pork, stir-fried vegetables, rice, baked apples and cream

Long version: "Asian" is a cop-out generic term for the fact that I marinated the pork hunks in a soy-sauce-based marinade. The marinade also included the extra-special (because I made it, remember) apple cider vinegar, garlic powder, and ground ginger. This time I cooked the pork covered in a 400 degree oven for about two hours, uncovering it for the last twenty minutes or so to allow the liquid to evaporate. It got nice and tender this way.

The vegetables were carrots, bell pepper, onion, and frozen green beans with a sauce consisting of soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, garlic powder (sound familiar so far?), a small amount of peanut butter, and cornstarch. Peanut butter is not strictly necessary in a stir-fry, of course, but just a very little seems to balance all the flavors perfectly.

Rafael stopped by in the morning with a bag of apples he had gotten from someone and had been storing in his basement. They were delicious, but quite soft, so I baked some while the oven was on to cook the pork. They were so sweet, I didn't even add sugar, just cinnamon, a tiny bit of salt, and vinegar. The extra-special apple cider vinegar, of course. Extra-special because I made it. Have I mentioned that yet?


Short version: Venison medallions with garlic butter, fried rice, squash, beets, sauteed mushrooms

Long version: "Medallions" sounds so fancy, doesn't it? What they really were were just steaks that were in odd, small pieces. But I did actually label them "medallions" when I was butchering and freezing Ray's deer leg. I already had my griddle pan out on the stove from making banana pancakes for breakfast and grilled cheese for lunch, so I figured I might as well use it one more time before washing it.

I just seasoned the venison with salt, pepper, and garlic powder, then seared it on the griddle in bacon fat until it was about medium-well done. After I took the meat off, I cooked a little diced onion on the pan, then added some more bacon fat and some leftover rice. Then a little water so I could scrape the bottom of the pan and mix all that flavor in with the rice. Lastly, some frozen peas in there, and that was the fried rice.

I cooked the mushrooms because they were on the brink of no return, and also then I could use up the rest of the onion and the other half of the clove of garlic I put into the butter.

Mushrooms and wild game just go together. So good. Garlic butter is always a good idea with lean meat, as well.


Short version: Pasta with tomato/chicken/cream sauce, bread sticks, peas

Long version: I only had one chicken leg quarter left from the big bag of extra-cheap chicken A. bought awhile ago, so I simmered it in water with aromatics to get it shreddable, and to make stock. The tomato sauce was just drained and crushed whole tomatoes from a can, garlic, basil, and oregano. I added the shredded chicken to that, along with some cream and Parmesan cheese.

I made the bread sticks because I found I had too much bread dough when I was forming loaves for baking earlier in the day. This sometimes happens because I don't measure the water as I'm mixing, so if the dough seems too wet, I add more flour and then end up with more dough than usual.

The bread sticks would have been better if I could have added more salt and garlic powder into the dough, but as it was already made, I just brushed the tops of them with a mixture of butter, salt, and garlic powder. I left them in too long, so they were too crispy. I like soft bread sticks. They were still all eaten, though.

Mondays and Wednesdays are my painting days--while all three boys are at school and Poppy is taking her afternoon nap. Here's the dining room in progress:

New yellow semi-gloss paint on the left; filthy, flat white old paint on the right.

Teaser: I also used the drained tomato juice and some of the chicken stock to make something for the next day's dinner. Stay tuned . . .


Short version: Man Skillet, pinto beans, raw vegetables and ranch dip, apple cake

Long version: I had to take Cubby and Charlie to their first ever 4-H meeting (my first too, incidentally) at 4:15 p.m., so I took out some of A.'s extra-fatty ground beef and told him he was on deck for dinner. He made the Man Skillet again. We didn't have any Velveeta this time, so he had to use sharp cheddar. Not quite as melty, but no one seemed to care.

The pinto beans were what I made the day before with the tomato juice and chicken stock.

The vegetables and dip and cake were leftover from the 4-H meeting. I had volunteered to bring snacks, so I made something healthy and something . . . not as healthy. Although this apple-yogurt cake isn't really too bad, sugar-wise. I didn't have lemon juice, so I used some of my (wait for it . . .) extra-special apple cider vinegar.

You remember I made that myself, right?

Anyway, this is the second time I've made this cake. It's very good, although it's best when it's still a bit warm. It does get kind of soggy as it sits.

Okay, your turn! What'd you eat this week?


Anonymous said...

I surely would not call you lazy, with all the work you have been doing at the new house. Absolutely beautiful church inside & out. Do you think you'll return? With just your family you've doubled the congregation size!
Saturday - sloppy joes with ground turkey, roasted potatoes & butternut squash
Sunday - Aldi's pizza (added pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, spinach), broccoli on the side
Monday - salmon patties, roasted potatoes, vegetables
Tuesday - chicken casserole with cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms, cheese, leftover fritos crumbed on top
Wednesday - chicken thighs on grill, vegetables
Thursday - pork chops on grill, sautéed garlic, onion, peppers, mushrooms, spinach

Gemma's person said...

Did you make that extra special apple cider vinegar YOURSELF.
You are the bomb.
I am sure all who are reading are ready to come over for your feasts.

Cathy R said...

So, I'm curious... where did you get the vinegar?? Hee hee.
You are the most amazing caretaker for your family.

Tara Hogan said...

Never got on the apple cider vinegar bandwagon, but totally cool you made it.

Again in no real order:
Baked spaghetti squash topped with Italian sausage, spaghetti sauce and cheese

Subs from Larry’s subs (our fav). Philly cheesesteak, Italian steak dip, and turkey and provolone. You can try and guess who got what.

Chicken stir fry (and rice) -Gabby’s contribution

Oven Roast with carrots, potatoes (red wine, beef broth and bay leaves)

Bacon wrapped pork, mixed veg and potato wedges.

Friday food trucks! I had “Philly cheesesteak” topped fries, Shannon had a baked potato topped with crab/shrimp/sausage boil, Gabby got Hawaiian chicken and roasted vegetables (and awesome French fries)

Kristin @ Going Country said...

Linda: That church and another old, remote, historic one only have services on the first Saturday of the month, so we'll probably go to one or the other when they do. It's nice to support their upkeep, and also to not have get four little kids to an 8 a.m. Mass on Sunday, which is when our regular church time is.

Gemma's person and Cathy: Thank you for your kind words. Can you tell I was pleased that the vinegar worked this time? A couple of times in the past, it didn't.

Tara: I think the apple cider vinegar bandwagon is mostly regarding its miraculous health benefits. I haven't tried the drinks made from it to treat a cold or whatever. I just made it because it's nice to be able to get something useful out of apple peels I would have just thrown away. Makes all that peeling seem more worthwhile.

Europafox said...

So impressive that you made your own apple cider vinegar - it seems to be a health cure-all - do you just use it for cooking or for medicinal reasons too? Joanne xx