Friday, December 20, 2019

Five (and Two Days)

Happy birthday to
easygoing Jack. 

Friday Food: Now with Old, Random Photos of Tiny Children

I did not take a single photo this week. So to keep things interesting while I blather on about food, I pulled some old photos from my Google photos. Please enjoy.


Short version: Tuna salad sandwiches, frozen green beans

Long version: I was all set to make pizza, but then A. decided last-minute to go camp where he and Cubby were hunting for deer the next day, so instead the remaining children and I had tuna salad with the fresh bread I had baked that afternoon.

And yes, the green beans were still frozen. The boys like them that way, and I was eating squash, so I didn't care.


Short version: Pizza, green salad

Long version: This pizza was courtesy of my parents, who brought the mozzarella cheese, as well as fresh basil from my dad's Tucson garden.

I made one cheese pizza and one with onions, mushrooms, and bacon on half. I used the bacon because I forgot to get pepperoni at the store. The bacon was good, though, so I might just use that from now on.

Too bad I oversalted the dough a bit. Boo.

Look! It's baby Poppy!

With crazy hair courtesy of brother Cubby.


Short version: Ribeye steaks, mashed potatoes, squash, raw tomatoes, chocolate pudding

Long version: A. had requested a chocolate roulade--a flourless chocolate cake rolled around whipped cream--for his birthday, but I couldn't get enough heavy cream to make it. I made the pudding instead. It was very good, and held a candle satisfactorily for the birthday wish. Maybe I'll make the roulade for Christmas.

As per the MiL's advice, I was very careful not to taste the pudding as I was making it, and I had no problem getting it thick this time. Lesson learned: No spit in the pudding or it won't thicken.


Short version: A plethora of previously-prepared foods, plus an omelet for A. and frozen green beans

Long version: So many lovely leftovers to choose from on this workday on which I was also battling a cold.

Let's see . . . Charlie and Jack had chicken tacos.

Poppy had a tortilla and cheese.

Cubby had steak and mashed potatoes with cheese.

A. had steak, an omelet with cheese and leftover mushrooms and onions, and tortillas and cheese, and the last of the mashed squash.

I had mashed potatoes with cheese and a separate avocado half just plain with salt. I was planning on having a salad, but it was freezing and I was sick and comfort food won out.

Everyone had green beans. The green beans from our garden are really SO much better than the frozen store ones. This is not news to me, but a good thing to remember when I'm snapping the ends off my millionth green bean in the summer and doubting if it's really worth it.

Look! Tiny Charlie and Cubby!

And some enormous zucchini from our garden on the Canadian border.


Short version: Elk, vegetable soup, garlic bread

Long version: The elk was marinated in olive oil, vinegar, garlic powder, salt, and pepper, then seared on the griddle pan with more garlic powder, pepper, and some paprika.

The soup had onion, celery, carrots, potatoes, cabbage, tomato juice, green peas, and chicken stock in it. I totally forgot to put in garlic, so I shook in garlic powder, which is definitely not as good as fresh garlic.

Jack, Cubby, Lillian, and I had the soup, bread, and some very good extra-sharp cheddar cheese my parents brought us. I love sharp cheddar, and it's hard to get here.

Charlie had the elk, bread, and some still-frozen peas, and A. had everything.

While I was putting the elk on the griddle, Jack came in and said, "Oh no, meat again."

Then Charlie came in and looked in the soup pot and said, "Oh no, not soup."

And that is why we had both. Welcome to life with young children.


Short version: FFA food

Long version: We went to the Future Farmers of America Christmas program at the school. First we watched all three boys perform with their various classes, and then we all ate ham, rice, startlingly sweet green beans with bacon, salad, and lemonade pie.

This was Jack's birthday, but we couldn't do any real celebrating thanks to school and the evening entertainment. I told him we would do whatever he wanted and have his cake and everything on Friday. So that's why I didn't post the traditional birthday picture.

Sure it is. It had nothing to do with the fact that my cell phone permanently lives in the school bus and I was kind of drowning in holiday cheer expectations.

Look! Tiny Jack!

With a giant beer can. Classy.


Short version: Elk, mashed potatoes, salad

Long version: Earlier in the week, while I was silently planning things like teacher gifts and the children's outfits for the school performance and calling our neighbor to see if we could cut a Christmas tree in his canyon and how I could festively wrap the school gift exchange gifts (since I don't buy wrapping paper) and all the other million things that go along with the most wonderful time of the year, I suddenly vocalized my innermost feelings to A. by saying, "You know, this season is a marathon for moms. I mean, maybe there are some dads who help out, but I don't think there are too many dads out there who are making the Christmas magic happen."

To which A. replied, "Well, I wouldn't want to intrude on your purview."


Anyway. The marathon isn't really over with yet, since it's not Christmas yet, but this at least was the day the external obligations ended. They ended with Cubby and Charlie's class parties, to which I contributed brownies and two extra children in the persons of Jack and Poppy.

Then I came home, prepped everything for dinner, and had a Sidecar.

While we were eating, both Cubby and Charlie remarked how particularly good the food was. "Maybe," I suggested, "Because it's not sugar?" They acknowledged the truth of this.

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

Sunday, December 15, 2019

The Woodchuck Man's 39th Year Commences

Today, A. turns 39 years old, and we all know what that means. It means it's time for my own terrible "The Woochuck Man Can" song! Whee!

This is actually the eighth version of this song. I think they get worse every year, but it's the thought that counts, right? Links to all previous versions can be found here.

Okay, you ready? Here we go!

Who can grow garlic
To feed us through the year?

Who can drive the family cross-country, avoiding many tears?

The woodchuck man
The woodchuck man can
The woodchuck man can
'Cause he uses what he has and makes it work for him.

Who can do the laundry
When the washing machine got broke?

Who can take his son out hunting where other men would choke?

The woodchuck man
The woodchuck man can
The woodchuck man can
'Cause he uses what he has and makes it work for him.

Who can rig the rake
To pick up all our crap?

Who can build a double clothesline that makes his wife clap?

The woodchuck man
The woodchuck man can
The woodchuck man can
'Cause he uses what he has and makes it work for him.

Happy birthday to A. Long may you prosper in your woodchuck ways.