Friday, January 10, 2020

Friday Food: Lambs, Ponytails, and Other Frivolity


Short version: Restaurant for me, Daddy food for everyone else

Long version: This was the night I was away at a hotel, where I got a cheeseburger and french fries in the hotel bar. I had that because everything else had chiles in it, and I didn't feel like burning my mouth.

I also had a double gin on the rocks with lime. It was a highly satisfying meal.

A. made a stew with a rabbit he had shot, carrots, cabbage, and a bunch of leftovers from our New Year's Day meal, including rice, pork, black-eyed peas. I was impressed he actually cooked the night I was gone.


Short version: Leftover stew, fried eggs, mashed potatoes, raw radishes and tomatoes

Long version: I tried a bite of the stew while I was heating it up for Jack, Poppy, and A. It was pretty good, actually.

My children have a great love for raw radishes, so I got some for them when I stopped at the grocery store before leaving the city. They were pleased. They probably would have been more pleased by doughnuts or something, but that's not the kind of mom I am. Sorry, kids.

Look! Lambs!

Well, I tried to get a photo of the lambs, but they scurried away as soon as I approached the fence. 


Short version: Chicken-fried elk, leftover mashed potatoes, steamed carrots and broccoli

Long version: Every time I make chicken-fried anything, I am reminded anew of why I really dislike making chicken-fried anything. It makes A. happy, though, and so I occasionally suck it up with the pounding and dredging and grease spatters.


Short version: Bunless cheeseburgers, fried potatoes, sauteed mushrooms and onions, frozen green peas

Long version: Back to school/work. I had boiled the potato chunks the day before, which made this a very quick meal to make after work.


Short version: Barbecue elk, garlic bread, coleslaw

Long version: I cooked the elk chunks pretty plain, with just tomato juice, onion, and salt. Half I mixed with barbecue sauce for dinner this night.

The coleslaw took care of the last quarter of a cabbage that really needed to get out of the refrigerator. Victory. Tasty victory.

Look! Dogs!

Brothers fighting, man. Can't get away from them.


Short version: Elk tacos, leftover coleslaw

Long version: This is what I used the other half of the cooked elk for. I had put in all the spices and everything the night before and just stashed the pot in the refrigerator. Good thing, as we got home almost an hour later than we usually do, so it was not a night to be doing anything requiring time.

Also this day, I got off of work and found that Poppy had demanded A. do her hair in a ponytail. She has not allowed me to so much as put a barrette in her hair in months. But the ponytail is now a requirement. Daddy Magic.

The ponytail in action.


Short version: Restaurant food, pineapple

Long version: The school where I work gave all of the teachers and staff a gift certificate to the restaurant in the village for Christmas. I decided to use it this night, as we had to be in the village anyway. Everyone had either a hot dog or a hamburger and french fries, because that's the sort of gourmet fare you can expect when patronizing a restaurant 60 miles from anywhere.

I didn't even use all of the gift certificate, so I guess there are more hot dogs in our future.

The pineapple was one I bought when I was in the city and that finally got ripe. It wasn't the best pineapple ever, but it wasn't the worst either, and the children were happy. One benefit of living so far from fresh produce is that they get really excited about things like pineapple. Or bananas.

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

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Mom's 29 Hours Out

Yes, yes. It's been a few days since I returned from my brief stay in the outside world, so this is far from timely, but I took pictures that I really feel must be shared.

Try to contain your excitement.


I left the house at 9:10 a.m. on Friday morning, driving off down our dirt road with nothing but a large cup of coffee for company. The coffee was necessary because Poppy woke up before 4 a.m. and I had to drive 90 miles.


Unfortunately, the radio doesn't work at all in the Honda, so I had lots of time to think and talk to myself. It's a pretty straightforward drive, though, and thankfully I didn't encounter any of the snow that was moving around that part of the state.

I had some time before check-in when I arrived in the city, so I went to get my hair cut. It had been, um, six months since my last haircut, so it was very overdue.

That little chore taken care of, I got lost trying to find my way to the historic plaza but did eventually make it to the hotel.

It was a very, very nice hotel. It's an old one, built in the 1800s. Its age means that the proportions of the building are old-fashioned and, thus, very pleasing.

I usually feel claustrophobic in hotels, but it's kind of hard to feel claustrophobic when the hallways are this big.

Maybe a bit of a "Shining" vibe, but pretty!

I was most pleased with my room:

Check out the height of those ceilings. They don't make 'em like that anymore.

There were bookcases full of books all over the hotel, including in my room:

I definitely approve, though I bet housekeeping hates dusting this.

The towels were even folded into decorative flowers.

So was the toilet paper, but I didn't get a picture of that.

All the photos I took were in the hotel, which is appropriate, since I basically didn't leave the hotel the whole time. The only exception was a short exploration of the plaza, during which I went across the street to a real bookstore and got a book for each child.

Otherwise, I stayed in the hotel. I read. I watched movies. I ate dinner in the bar downstairs. I took a bath. I went to bed at 8:30 p.m. (PAAAAARTY!!!) and slept in until 5:30 a.m.*

Yeah, I pretty much did nothing. It was glorious.

By the time I checked out around 10 a.m. the next morning, I felt somewhat prepared to take on the wretched Walmart in this city and then head home to re-enter the maelstrom of my household.

It was exactly what I wanted to do. Happy birthday to me.

* I habitually get up at 4:30 a.m., so yes, this is sleeping in.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

And the Award for Earliest Seed Order Goes To . . .

Not me.

Yesterday when I was playing with Jack and Poppy, Cubby found a Seeds 'n' Such catalog that had recently arrived and informed me that he and Charlie were planning their "dream garden."

I didn't pay too much attention, as I was being smothered in 80 pounds of small children. But then, about fifteen minutes later, Cubby reappeared with his list of seeds and announced that he was ready to place an order. He had added the seeds up already and knew how much it would cost. He told me that since it was his idea, he was going to pay all the dollars for the order, and Charlie was going to pay the cents, plus shipping.

Charlie sure got the better end of that deal.

I showed Cubby how to look up the catalog number for each kind of seed they wanted, where to enter it on the order form, where to put the sub-total and totals, and where to check the tiny box informing Seeds 'n' Such that we do not want them to share our information with other companies "for marketing purposes."



You want to know what they ordered, don't you?

Only three things. They ordered one pack of seeds for a giant cabbage variety, one pack for a variety of sweet corn, and one pack for a variety of watermelon*.  Because they ordered early, they're also getting a free packet of basil seeds and one of tomato seeds. They thought this was a great deal.

I wrote a check for them and collected the cash myself. A. promised he would help them stake out their garden area and spread manure and everything on it, though they were disappointed to learn that they can't actually plant their seeds for quite some time yet.

They found another catalog today and wanted to order more things, but we persuaded them that they had plenty of seeds coming and shouldn't overextend themselves in their first year of real gardening.

That's a common newbie mistake, you know.

Anyway, they're very excited to get their seeds in the mail soon. The next generation of gardeners has discovered the joys of seed ordering.

I'm so proud.

* A seeded variety, of course. My watermelon prejudice has definitely been passed down to my children.