Thursday, November 29, 2018

Friday Food: The Moving Edition, Round Two

Amusingly, the first round of Friday Food: The Moving Edition was posted exactly five months ago on June 29. We need to stop moving now.

All photos in this post are from our road trip to Arizona. Fortuitously, they all feature food.


Short version: Bunless hamburgers, mashed potatoes, green salad

Long version: This is a pretty typical meal for me to make, right? Ah, but I didn't make it. This was our last meal at my parents' house in Arizona, so my mom made it. Thus, it tasted even more delicious. Also, they have a grill. Grilled hamburgers are the best.

Road trip picnic lunch. No one wants to sit down to eat after sitting in the car for five hours.


Short version: Scrambled eggs, tortillas and cheese, green peas

Long version: This is the, "we just got back from a long trip and this is the food that will last in the refrigerator/freezer while we're gone" dinner. It took us almost 14 hours to make the 10-hour drive home from Arizona. We left my parents' house at 4:30 a.m. and arrived at our house at 6:15 p.m. I started dinner immediately upon walking in the door. A. had to finish it because I had to put the hysterical baby to bed.

I've had better days.

The baby in a happier, non-hysterical time.


Short version: Oven-fried pork chops, roasted potatoes, green beans

Long version: The green beans were from a huge bag of fresh ones my mom sent home with me. She said she and my dad would never finish them. I have no such problem. The boys ate theirs raw, as is their preference. I roasted the rest on the pan with the potatoes, with olive oil and garlic. They were delicious.


Short version: Venison with garlic butter, potatoes, green peas

Long version: I used the last roast from Ray's deer leg for this meal. A few hours before dinner, after it was thawed all the way, I dumped some of my apple vinegar, oil, garlic powder, and lots of salt and pepper on it in the bag it was in to marinate. I browned it all over in a hot skillet, cooked some sliced onions in the pan, then added the thinly sliced venison back to the pan to cook a little more. I didn't overcook it this time, and it was quite tender and very good.

The potatoes were red potatoes. I never buy these--we always get russets--but my mother had added them to my pile of things to take home, so I did. I just chunked them up, boiled them until tender, then added lots of butter, salt, and pepper, and a little of the garlic butter I had made for the meat.

We eat a lot of frozen peas during particularly challenging weeks. A week in which we are moving  definitely counts as challenging.


Short version: Meatloaf, baked potatoes, green beans

Long version: Nah.


Short version: Bacon, scrambled eggs, tortillas and cheese, cabbage and onions, apple slices

Long version: You may notice this is the first time I have ever included fruit in our dinner menu. And that is because I don't see the sense in serving any form of sugar--even a natural one--in place of a vegetable.


In my zealous packing of the kitchen, I emptied out the freezer and refrigerator of all vegetables, including the peas I had been planning to make. There was a bag of apples still, though, so that's what we had.

The cabbage was leftover from a couple of days ago, but Jack and I are the only ones who like cooked cabbage.

The boys thought having apples with dinner was very exciting. Cultivating low standards in children is an excellent thing.

Low standards were also the reason they thought these caramel flavored rice snacks I got for the car were the best things ever. They were pretty good, actually.


Short version: I can see into the future . . .

Long version: I'm posting this before we have dinner tonight, because at dinner time we will be moved into our new house*, where there is no internet service yet. But I wouldn't want to leave you without the crucial knowledge of what we ate on Thursday night. That would be cruel.

So! My plan is to not cook, because I know I will be exhausted. I have cheese, salami, crackers, apple slices, grapes, peanut butter, cream cheese, and carrot sticks that will all be presented for the children to make their own plates.

I will also be making them some grapefruit juice with the fresh grapefruits we brought from my brother's backyard tree in Arizona. They can toast to our new house with that. A. and I will be toasting with the extra-large bottle of gin on the liquor cabinet. I already have seltzer in the refrigerator for making my drink, because I may not be able to find the the nail clippers (or anything else), but I know where everything is for my celebratory cocktail.

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

* With horrific amounts of unpacking and organizing to be done, but moved in! Yay! Dealing with two houses is for the birds, man. I will never buy a second home.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Ladies and Gentlemen, We Have A(nother) Walker

Poppy officially started walking yesterday.

She had quite an audience for it, too.

She only took a couple of steps at a time yesterday, but she continued to practice--despite a lot of interference from her brothers--and is now up to ten steps or so. Never have I seen a baby so pleased with herself.

Half-empty houses are excellent for practicing walking. I have no doubt she'll be running in no time. She's got a lot of boys to keep up with, you know.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Some Progress

Our moving week is progressing about as I expected. That is, random and rather chaotic, but steady. We brought another trailer-load of things up to the new house today. I unpacked the kitchen things right away, mostly because I need the paper and boxes to move more kitchen things.

I have a lot of kitchen things. And many of them are very, very heavy. About the only downside to cooking exclusively with cast iron and stainless steel is that they are heavy as hell. I'm used to it when I'm actually cooking, but when I start adding the various pots and pans to boxes and then realize I can't actually lift the box, I can see some of the appeal of lightweight cookware.


I took a moving picture for you.

You're welcome.

You may notice that my "new" kitchen is not exactly state of the art. Here is the story about this kitchen that I tell everyone: When the guy we bought the house from--name of Dale--was showing me around, we walked into this very, ahem, basic kitchen and he said, in his very Western drawl, "Now this kitchen. Ev'ry woman luuuuvs this kitchen." 

And that, Dale, is probably why you are single.

Despite the lack of granite countertops--they're this odd cushiony yellow stuff--and high-end appliances, it's not so bad. Of course, my frame of reference is the 1920s-era kitchen at Blackrock, so this 1970s trailer kitchen seems pretty modern in comparison. It at least had a spot for a dishwasher and enough electricity for it. Positively luxurious.

Also, the dining room has the perfect spot for my lovely liquor cabinet.

A spot under a very bright window that makes it impossible to get a good picture, but you get the idea.

You can see that I don't have a lot of liquor in that liquor cabinet yet, but I do have a bottle of gin big enough that it doesn't fit in any of the spaces under the cabinet. Classy, no?

That bottle is just sitting there in that house, waiting on us to finish our labors and toast the completion of our move with a cocktail.

We're getting there.

A Disproportionately Irritating Thing

We are out of milk. We have been out of milk since we got home from our trip on Saturday night.

Well, that's not strictly true. There was milk in the refrigerator. But it was milk that had been sitting in that refrigerator the entire time we were gone, and so it was no longer fit for consumption. I had meant to stick it in the freezer before we left, but in all the rush to get out the door at 4:30 a.m., I forgot.

This small omission has great consequences out here in Empty America, however.

The tiny general store in the village wasn't open until Sunday morning. And when it did open, the guy was out of milk.

The slightly-less-tiny store twenty miles away isn't open on Sundays.

The next closest grocery store is fifty miles away.

The kids wanted milk to drink. A. and I wanted milk for our coffee. None of us wanted to drive 100 miles round trip to buy milk.

The most annoying part of this is that we stopped no less than seven times on our long and arduous trek home Saturday, and each of those stops was at an establishment that sold milk. I had a cooler in the car. I could have gotten milk at any time we were still in civilization. The last stop was only an hour and a half from home. I could have gotten milk then and not even needed a cooler. But I was so exhausted and mired in my own desperation to just get out of the car that I didn't think of it.

And so, we are out of milk.

A. is going to a city this afternoon to drop off our U-Haul trailer--a story for another time--so he can go to a big* grocery store and get many gallons of milk. And probably a box of dry milk for future milk-less situations.

Until then, it's black coffee with maple syrup for me, and water for the boys.

Amusing update: I'd been telling the boys ever since yesterday that they could have milk at school. Their school provides a free breakfast of cereal and milk every morning. Except this morning? No milk. I had to laugh at that, although it was very disappointing for the children.

* That should probably be in quotes, as it is nowhere near as big as a city supermarket, but it's big to us.