(I know! I changed it AGAIN! That light blue and glaring white background were bugging me. I make no promises I won't change it again, but I think this is better. Feel free to weigh in if you care.)
Short version: Chicken with Finny's sauce, leftover rice, frozen green beans
Long version: This was the night we got home late from the bull butchering. It was 6:53 p.m. when we walked in the door, and of course everyone was starving.
Except for me. Handling hundreds of pounds of fresh raw meat has a dampening effect on my appetite.
No one else seemed to be affected that way, however, so I immediately went into the kitchen to make the fastest dinner I could. Luckily, the meat I had taken out of the freezer earlier to thaw was boneless, skinless chicken thighs my mom had brought us. Those cook relatively quickly, especially because I cut them up into smaller pieces after they had browned in bacon grease. I seasoned them with some random spices after they were in the pan.
Then I dropped the full container of tomato sauce from the top shelf of the refrigerator, creating a tidal wave of sauce that mostly landed on my shoe and the floor. Super.
Luckily, the container landed right side up with some sauce still in it, so I used some of that for the chicken.
Leftover rice, green beans from the freezer, and we were eating by 7:15 p.m. Shockingly late for us, but the best I could do.
Short version: Chicken with peppers and onions, graveyard pasta
Long version: I am not one to do holiday-themed meals, because, as you know, I am not a Fun Mom. My sister, however, IS a Fun Mom, and Halloween is her favorite holiday. When she was here a couple of weeks ago, she brought some black pasta (made of soy, although I don't know why soy is black) so we could make a Halloween dinner.
I'm sure she would have done something more creative with it, most likely involving dry ice and meatballs made into eyeballs or something, but since she left it to me, this is what the kids got:
I called it graveyard pasta with blood (the last of the unspilled Finny's sauce) and alien eyes (peas, obviously).
Sure. Best I could do, Sis.
Anyway, they seemed to appreciate the effort, and they ate it. Along with the last package of chicken thighs that I cooked with an onion and some banana and bell peppers from the garden.
Short version: Pork bites, boiled potatoes, steamed carrots and broccoli
Long version: My mom had brought these pork chops that were seriously at least an inch and a half thick. My sister suggested that they're mostly used for butterflying and stuffing, which is a nice idea, but I just cut them into chunks and fried them in bacon grease with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika.
Not as fancy as stuffed pork chops, but faster and still tasty. Which is pretty much my cooking philosophy in a nutshell.
Break for a photo of a much fancier chef than I am:
Much cuter, too.
Short version: Pork stir-fry, rice
Long version: More of those extra-thick pork chops cut up again, this time for stir-fry. I had actually cleverly cut all the pork up at the same time, and then put some in a container with marinade for the stir-fry the next day. Because stir-fry does not happen on a workday without previously prepped meats and frozen vegetables. Which is what I used for the vegetables, along with some of the leftover steamed carrots and broccoli.
Short version: Bull steaks, mashed potatoes, steamed carrots and broccoli
Long version: And here it is! The first of many, many meals featuring bull beef. For the first time cooking it, I did it as plainly as I could so I could gauge the tenderness and flavor. So I just pulled out a bag labeled "steaks,"* sprinkled them with some steak seasoning, and seared them on a very hot griddle pan in bacon grease.
I was pretty sure tenderness--or lack thereof-- was going to be the main issue, so I cooked them about medium rare, then sliced it thinly. Then I put the pieces back in the pan and added some butter to make a sauce, because it's very lean meat.
The taste was very, very good. Any of the pieces that got even the least bit well done or weren't sliced thin enough were indeed too tough, but I can work around that. It's basically like cooking London broil, which was a cut of meat that always seemed to be on crazy sales when A. and I were first married, and which I cooked a lot. So I feel like I'm on familiar ground here.
Short version: Baked ziti, leftovers
Long version: The day before, I had made two pans of roasted tomatoes and garlic and turned that into Finny's sauce. I had some cooked calabaza hanging out in the refrigerator, so I sneakily threw that into the food processor along with the rest of the sauce ingredients.
While I was at it, I figured I might as well go all out and just make something ahead for the Wednesday Workday dinner. So I boiled some pasta, mixed in the sauce and a LOT of shredded asadero and Parmesan cheese, topped it all with yet more cheese, and stuck it in the refrigerator.
Then, when I got home at 4:30 p.m., all I had to do was put it in a 350-degree oven for about an hour.
A. had leftover steak and mashed potatoes. I should have had some of the leftover steak, too, but instead I had some of the pasta with leftover broccoli and carrots, and I wasn't sorry about it, either. Yum.
Short version: Ground beef tacos, pinto beans
Long version: Just plain ol' ground beef tacos. And not crunchy tacos, either. We can't be fancy all the time.
Okay, your turn! What'd you eat this week?
* Our sorting system when butchering is very minimal. Depending on the size, there are bags of roasts, steaks, stew meat, stir-fry (cut thinner than stew meat), and chili meat (the roughest stuff chopped up). That's it. We are not professionals, obviously.