Friday, April 5, 2019

Friday Food: Another Beef-ful Week


Short version: Tuna melt sandwiches, cheese omelets, pinto beans, carrot sticks with ranch dressing

Long version: Sandwiches for kids, omelets for A. and me, slightly spicy pinto beans because the chili powder got away from me, and leftover ranch dressing from the 4-H snacks.


Short version: Bunless cheeseburgers, bread and butter, roasted sweet potatoes/bell pepper/onion, sauteed mushrooms and onions, frozen green beans

Long version: Nah.


Short version: Pot roast thing; pasta with marinara, pot roast, and asadero; frozen peas

Long version: I made the pot roast earlier in the day. At dinner time, I added some of it to the pasta for the kids, plus the leftover marinara sauce from the week before and some grated asadero cheese.

For A. and me, I fried bell pepper and onions and a carrot made into ribbons with the vegetable peeler--I'll call them "coodles," which sounds just as strange as the ubiquitous "zoodles"--then added the shredded pot roast and asadero cheese. This was very tasty, but very heavy. Fried meat and cheese tends to do that.


Short version: Pork chunks, rice, nuked sweet potato, frozen green beans

Long version: The unavoidable pork sirloin steaks are back. Which means it's time to chunk 'em up and fry 'em with salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder. Repetitive, but tasty. And a nice break from beef occasionally.


Short version: Bunless cheeseburgers, garlic bread, green salad

Long version: My lettuce is growing nicely, but there still isn't enough of it to eat yet. I'm hopeful that this will be the last bunch of store lettuce I'll have to buy for some time, though.

Just keep on watering, Poppy.


Short version: Steaks, leftover rice, green salad

Long version: Have I said everything there is to say about steak by now? Possibly. Cooking steak so often that it becomes unremarkable is a good problem to have.


Short version: Tacos (with avocados!), roasted broccoli/bell pepper/onion/sweet potatoes, leftover pinto beans

Long version: The best part of roasted vegetables is how pretty they look raw.

Looks good enough to eat. (Sorry. I had to.)

My parents arrived at 5:30 p.m. after the long drive from Tucson and contributed many avocados to this meal. The kids all ate their tacos with actual tortillas and cheese. The adults all made bowls with the various ingredients, because apparently that's what adults do.

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

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Victory Is Ours

Or rather, victory is A.'s. Over the washing machine, I mean.

A. took the malfunctioning washing machine apart on Friday and saw right away what the problem was: A plastic piece that connects to the transmission was broken. So he ordered a new part on Amazon. It arrived yesterday. He installed it last night, and now the washing machine works.

Ten dollars, one hour, and that clever A. no longer has to do any of this:

Amusing as tub laundering was for the children, A. and I are both pleased to not have to do it anymore.

I must say, by the way, how appreciative I was that the many comments on machine-less washing offered several good tips, which we used (foot agitation, twisting water out on a pole), and not a single person was all, "Just go buy a new machine, you crazy people."

You are obviously all our kind of people. So thank you for that.

But still, even with all the handy tips to make non-machine laundering more efficient, I'm glad to have my washing machine in use again. And I'm really glad I didn't have to spend $600 to avoid tub laundering.

Three cheers for A. and old but fixable* machines.

* I'll spare you my (negative) thoughts on new and unfixable machines. Suffice to say that I will do almost anything to avoid buying a new machine, and both A. and I are very glad that this house came with an old machine that has a heavy metal transmission and easy-to-replace parts.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Shepherd Vibes

First we got a reputation around Blackrock as people who will dispose of unwanted roosters. This reputation was re-established at our home in northern New York, where we once again found ourselves offing extraneous male chickens for neighbors.

And now? That reputation is only growing in our new home.

We have a new short-term resident.

Say hello to Big Boy.

Yesterday A. called the guy we get our milk from to tell him we wouldn't be there today to pick up our usual two gallons because I'm still trying to catch up from the backlog of milk that accumulated during A.'s trip. When A. got off the phone, he informed me that we would shortly be receiving a wether to butcher.

Say what?

A wether is a castrated male sheep. They're castrated to make them easier to handle as they grow, so they can grow to a bigger size before being butchered. It also keeps the meat from getting too strong a taste. The milk people, who already have sheep, had been given three wethers by a woman whose father had always had sheep. He died; she wanted to get rid of the sheep. 

The milk people did not, however, particularly wish to butcher three large sheep. In the course of conversation with the milk lady, I had mentioned that we used to have sheep. And that we butcher our own animals. So I guess we were a logical home for an unwanted meat sheep.

We also suspect they do not wish to eat that much mutton.

Because this dude most definitely ain't no lamb. That's a full-grown sheep. And wether or not, that meat is going to be strong.

I was not enthused about this. I eat lamb, albeit somewhat grudgingly. It's not my favorite, and I have zero interest in eating mutton, which is of course even stronger tasting than lamb. A. said he would probably give most of the meat to some of the older people in the village, many of whom grew up raising and eating sheep.

In the meantime, however, we have a sheep. 

My parents are coming for a short visit on Thursday*. A. very thoughtfully said we could wait to butcher Big Boy until they left. They're not really into the homesteading lifestyle, so I think they'll appreciate that. Also, the weather is going to be too warm to hang the meat for aging until a week from Thursday.

But mostly, the delay means that A. is a shepherd again, if only for a little while. And that makes him very happy indeed.

* They asked what they could pick up for us before they came, no doubt expecting I would ask for something like lettuce or avocados. Instead I asked if they could pick up fifty pounds of feed corn for the sheep. And this is why I have the reputation in my family as the weird one.