Friday, February 12, 2021

Friday Food: Birthday Food!


Short version: Cubby's bunless hamburgers, pasta, cucumber slices, mashed squash

Long version: I put Cubby in charge of dinner this night, with the stipulation that it had to be something he could cook himself. I had no interest in shepherding him through some complicated recipe. I told him I had some pre-formed hamburger patties I could take out of the freezer for him, and he agreed that would be good.

He also chose the pasta. He cooked it all himself, although when he was about to start dishing up, I asked him if he had put anything in it, and he looked pretty blank. So I suggested butter, cream cheese, pepper, and garlic powder, which he duly added.

He also sliced up the cucumber, for the grudging vegetable part. I heated up the squash for A. and me.

If I could get this girl to do the dishes for real, I could just take my leisure while the children feed everyone. Someday.


Short version: Pork chops with sauerkraut and onions, roasted potatoes, cucumbers with salt and vinegar, last of the squash

Long version: Pork chops and sauerkraut is definitely one of my favorite meals. Too bad I only have two more jars of sauerkraut left. It's going to be awhile until we have cabbages big enough to make more.


Short version: Creamy green chile hamburger soup, garlic bread, cheese, Miss Georgia's cookies

Long version: Miss Amelia gave us some carrots, celery, and potatoes of advanced age this week, so soup seemed like a good way to use them up in a tasty manner.

She also gave me two more bags of frozen roasted green chiles. She must've given me at least a dozen bags already. I'm not complaining, though.

So! Ground beef, onion, garlic, green chiles, tomato juice, rooster stock from the freezer, carrots, celery, potatoes, some squash that's been sitting in the freezer since two summers ago because it was bland and watery (the kids didn't even know it was in there--ha), and sour cream to finish it off.

It was good. A. proclaimed it, "A powerful soup." I told him it must be the rooster stock. Very nourishing.

Miss Georgia is the other elderly lady who lives in our ghost town. She gave Poppy--Poppy is her particular favorite--two small tins of butter cookies at church, which the children had for their dessert. I was happy not to have to bake anything this Sunday, given the large amount of baking I was gearing up for with a birthday and Valentine's Day in the same week.


Short version: Breakfast sausage patties, leftover pasta, cucumbers with ranch dip

Long version: Just a quick-cooking meal featuring some leftovers. Must be a work day.


Short version: STEAKS!, rice, sauteed green beans, carrot sticks with ranch dip, cucumbers with salt and vinegar

Long version: And why did I put steaks in all caps? Because this is the first time in a loooong time that we have had any. We don't buy steak at the store--what's it at? 12, 13 dollars a pound?--and we long ago used all the steaks from the cow we bought over two years ago.

But we just got another cow from our neighbors, and so, we have steaks again. Wheee! 

Did I maybe go overboard and cook too many of them? Nah.

Six people, six steaks. "A steak for every plate" is our motto.

The kids ate the cucumbers before dinner when all of them were staaaaarviiiiing.

Just following my own advice.


Short version: Leftover steak, scrambled eggs, leftover rice, green salad with ranch dressing, cheeseburgers for dessert

Long version: Okay, yes, I did cook too many steaks. But! That just meant we had some left for this dinner.

Not enough, though, which is why I made the scrambled eggs. And that STILL wasn't enough for A. and Charlie. A. cooked a few of the pre-made hamburger patties from the freezer after dinner because he was still hungry, and then Charlie ate one of those, too.

See? It really wasn't enough steaks.


Short version: Birthday surf 'n' turf, biscuits, salad with ranch dressing, chocolate cheesecake

Long version: Cubby always wants shrimp for his birthday, so A. got a couple of bags of frozen shrimp when he was at the store a few weeks ago. Those I just sauteed in butter and garlic until they were done, then squeezed some lemon juice over the top.

Four of the six members of the family very much enjoyed the shrimp. Last time we had shrimp, it was really only A. and Cubby who were enthused. Poppy and I are the only holdouts.

Cubby also requested meatballs, although he was so stuffed from the treats in his class Valentine's party that he didn't actually eat any of them. I did, though.

He also only ate one biscuit for the same reason, so we had lots left over for breakfast the next day.

Cubby always wants cheesecake for his birthday cake. This year he went back to chocolate. I used this recipe again, but this time I halved it. Good call. Most cheesecakes are way too big for our family. Even with a half recipe, we only ate half of it. It's a very rich recipe.

Also, I had to put so many candles on that cake that I used three matches to light them and burned my finger while doing so. Cubby needs to stop aging now. 

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

Thursday, February 11, 2021


Happy birthday to
the ever-evolving Cubby.*

* Someone commented here once that Cubby is getting too big to be called Cubby anymore. To which I say: I invoke the mother's prerogative to call my giant sons by their baby names for as long as I live. Amen.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

T.T.: Front-load the Vegetation

This is going to be a short one: If you want kids to eat more vegetables, give them the vegetables before their main meal. 

I do this a lot. Cucumbers with salt and vinegar--or just plain spears--whole carrots, frozen peas or green beans, raw snow peas or radishes . . . all of these are very happily consumed by my children in that hour before dinner when I'm trying to cook and they're staaaarving and can't waaaaaait to eat.

Oh, really? You're THAT hungry? Cool. Here's a carrot.

Well, maybe not THIS carrot. That's a little excessive.

I don't bother making it fancy. I don't cut the carrots into sticks or give them dip or anything. Just the raw vegetables.

They still get a vegetable on their plates at dinner, too, but I don't worry about it much if they don't finish that, because I know they already had something vegetal.

If you start this expectation early on that if they're really hungry right before a meal, then all they will get is a vegetable, then they will accept that. At least, that's been my experience.

I think it helps that raw vegetables are almost always more acceptable to children than cooked ones. I do not know why this is, but it is definitely true.

Have a nice Tuesday.

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Snapshots: New Life . . . And One Loss

First, the adorable new life.

Adorable new cabbage seedlings.

Now in their new home. The junk-farmer grow box has been installed in its corner in the kitchen, there to remain until probably about May.

The other babies that are starting to multiply are the lambs. Five more were born over a three-day period. The only single lamb died before we even saw it. But the other four--two more sets of twins--were up and running with no problems. So now we have this scene in the house-adjacent pasture.

The lamb gang. Only one isn't pictured here. There are six total.

And speaking of sheep . . . here we have a very distant shot of the shepherd boys watching over their grazing flock.

A. sets the sheep loose in our ghost town (with our neighbors' permission) to forage for weeds in the abandoned lots. Cubby and Charlie are tasked with watching them to make sure they don't go towards the main road or get too far away.

And there you have it! My life, snapshotted.