Friday, September 11, 2020

Friday Food: Obscene Squash, Abundant Ribs, and Triumphant Watermelon



Short version: Curried chicken and potatoes, frozen green peas

Long version: I had made some curried squash soup earlier in the week with the last of the mashed squash and the chicken stock from poaching chicken. It was tasty soup, but too thin. So I used it as a sauce for chicken pieces and potatoes, instead of eating it as soup.

All I did was brown the chicken, then dump the soup over the pieces in a big skillet, along with some chunks of potato, and cook it covered until everything was done. I stirred in sour cream at the end, too, and the result was very much appreciated by the family.

Even Charlie, who rarely deigns to comment favorably on his food, asked me, "What is this sauce? It's really good."

I win!


Short version: Beef pot roast, pasta, green salad with ranch dressing, custard

Long version: The pot roast cooked in the morning with just some salt and tomatoes, then I pulled it apart at dinner time and heated it up with a cube of garlic scape pesto. Yum.

The children were pleased with the pasta, which was my childhood comfort food of pasta with butter, cream cheese, garlic powder, and pepper. I could eat a whole pot of that by myself. It wouldn't be good for me, but I could do it.

I made the custard only because I had some milk that needed to be used up and the oven was on already for a long time for the beef. I intended to save it for our Sunday dessert, but I decided to be indulgent and let everyone have it after dinner Saturday instead.

Custard is really hard to judge for doneness. At least, it's really hard for me. Especially because I always make a double batch, which does not necessarily translate to double the baking time. I slightly overcooked this one, which results in a bit of separation and makes it not as silky in texture as it should be, but it was still good.


Short version: Pork spareribs, bashed potatoes, mashed squash, green salad with ranch dressing, ice cream sandwiches

Long version: One of the packages of meat A. came home with a couple of months ago contained two entire racks of ribs. It was a LOT of ribs. And it was already frozen, so I couldn't easily separate them. I just chucked the whole thing in the freezer, figuring I'd deal with it later.

Later was Saturday, when I took them out to thaw. A. put a spice rub on them that night and I swathed the pan in aluminum foil and left it in the refrigerator overnight. Then in the morning--at 6 a.m., to be precise--I put them in a 300 degree oven and left them there until they were all the way done, around noon. 

While the oven was on, I also baked some potatoes. Then, at dinner time, I scooped out the now-cold potato from the skins, heated them up, and mashed in some chicken stock that was in the refrigerator, plus butter, milk, and sour cream. You might notice I cleverly called the resulting roughly-mashed potatoes "bashed potatoes." Get it? Baked+mashed? Yeah. 

Also while the oven was on, I put in a squash. A. did his own preemptive harvesting this day, which included all of the squash.

It was, um, a lot of squash.

Toddler for scale.

Perhaps you need a close-up of that yellow squash next to Poppy that looks like it's half her height? Surely, a squash couldn't be that big?

Oh yes, it could. And don't call me Shirley. (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

That, my friends, is how big a calabaza can get if it's assiduously watered. It's a bit obscene. Cooking it should be interesting.

A. had finished the rest of the custard in the morning for breakfast, so I just bought some ice cream sandwiches at the tiny store in the village we always stop in after church. It was hot. I was not into baking.


Short version: Leftover ribs, rice, carrots

Long version: I harvested the carrots during the preemptive harvesting I was doing ahead of our cold snap. It was a pretty small patch in the pasture, but I'm always surprised at how many carrots come out of even a small patch. At least a big grocery store bag's worth.

A. took the kids to a lake about an hour away to fish in the morning. 

They didn't catch any fish, but a good time was had by all nevertheless, because they did get to swim. Hooray for 95 degrees in September. I guess.

I stayed home and harvested tomatoes, carrots, and green beans in anticipation of the cold weather to come.


Short version: Leftover ribs (again), pizza, roasted green beans, roasted tomatoes, leftover mashed squash, triumphant watermelon

Long version: I was baking bread, which means I usually make garlic bread, but I decided to give the kids a break from the never ending ribs and make pizza instead. I had some roasted tomatoes and roasted garlic that I had cooked when the oven was on a few days before to make the pot roast, so I just mashed those together for the pizza sauce. 

It was just a cheese pizza, and only one, but it came out well and was appreciated.

The watermelon was triumphant because it was one that volunteered in the backyard garden near the asparagus bed. It turned out to be a proper big watermelon. 

Watermelon, with photo-bombing bread.

We harvested it so it wouldn't freeze, and it was very, very good. Definitely better than the Moon and Stars watermelons, which never tasted any better than your average store seedless watermelon.

As you know, we have much higher standards for watermelons than that.

Needless to say, we saved the seeds and there will be many more of these mystery melons planted last year. Because anything that has the vigor to grow by itself here is definitely a keeper.


Short version: Quick ground beef tacos, pinto beans

Long version: A work day, which is why I did the quick version of ground beef taco meat. That is, browned ground beef, some already-cooked onion slices I chopped up with kitchen shears, salsa, chili powder, cumin, vinegar, done. And definitely no homemade tortillas on work days.

I had made the pinto beans the day before, when it was cold and cooking a pot of beans on the stove all day made for some welcome warmth. It's been awhile since I've wanted more heat in my kitchen, so that was nice.


Short version: Fried eggs, curried split peas, rice, green salad with ranch dressing

Long version: I used the other jar of too-thin curried squash soup for the split peas. It's nice that three of the four children really like curry, as I also really like curry, but really do not like cooking anything extra if I'm the only one eating it.

The fourth child ate eggs, and everyone was happy.

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


Anonymous said...

Good save with the curried squash soup. Sound's delicious.
That is one big squash.
I'm assuming that the pictures of Poppy are with her new do? It looks adorable.
BLT's, sweet corn, cantaloupe, chocolate chip bar
grilled turkey burgers, potato salad, sauteed zucchini & mushrooms, choc. chip bar
salmon patties, roasted potatoes & mushrooms, tomato, cantaloupe
grilled chicken thighs, sweet corn, broccoli
pizza, broccoli
And for tonight roast beef au jus sandwiches, sweet corn

Kristin @ Going Country said...

Linda: Yup, that's her shorn hairs. The haircut definitely helped, but even more important was my finally putting my foot down and requiring something in her hair to keep it off her face. It took a couple of days of fits, but I kept insisting that it was part of getting dressed and if she didn't have barrettes or a ponytail or SOMETHING, she wasn't getting breakfast until she did. And now it's part of getting dressed and her hair is not in her face all the time HOORAY. Still learning some of this girl stuff. :-)

Anonymous said...

We had a watermelon this weekend — an enormous, nearly-seedless melon that a co-op gave a (single, older) neighbor at an appreciation dinner, and he then gave to us. It made me think of you. It is the meatiest and sweetest watermelon I have ever seen. Also, did I mention enormous? It'll go three meals with the six of us that enjoy it.

The seeded watermelons in our garden mostly turned out about like basketballs and without a lot of flavor. No idea what's up with that. In any case, I thought I'd save some of the seeds from the freebie for next year.


Kristin @ Going Country said...

Hooray for delicious (and free!) watermelon!