Short version: Tuna patties, mashed potatoes, green salad with vinaigrette
Long version: Lenten meals are here again! It's hardly a penance for my kids to eat meatless on Fridays. I mean, what kid wouldn't rather have grilled cheese or tuna patties instead of a chunk of meat for dinner? Particularly the tuna in Cubby's case. That boy does love his fish. Always has.
Short version: Bunless cheeseburgers, bread and butter, steamed carrots and broccoli
Long version: The only thing of note here is that every single one of my children likes cooked broccoli. The only other cooked vegetable I can think of that they all eat without complaint is peas.
We have peas much more frequently than broccoli, though, because peas come in a convenient frozen form. Broccoli we only have right after a trip to the store, which, as you know, is not a frequent occurrence.
I am aware that frozen broccoli is available as well, but I've never had good experiences with it. Maybe I just never prepared it right, though. Do you cook with frozen broccoli? How do you cook it if you do?
Short version: Roasted chicken, garlic bread, frozen peas, fake ice cream
Long version: A simple roast chicken with crusty bread to mop up the juices is a soul-satisfying meal to . . .
Sorry. I seem to have lapsed into Food-Media-speak.
I can't tell you how many rhapsodic Odes To The Roast Chicken I have read over the years. I mean, roasted chicken is good, but I think people get a little carried away with it.
This was just a store chicken. Into the cavity I stuffed a squeezed-out lemon, two cloves of garlic, and the ends from an onion I chopped up and roasted in the chicken juices.
The only one who mopped up the juices was Cubby, who was very disappointed he couldn't have thirds of the chicken (he would probably agree with the food media chicken enthusiasts). I suggested he could use the last pieces of garlic bread to, yes, mop up the juices in the pan.
I make garlic bread as a round loaf, and I keep it pretty soft, so it has lots of soft interior that's good for soaking things up. I don't think standard, very crusty and toasty slices of garlic bread would be so good for that. They're not squishy enough.
But I guess telling people to use "squishy bread" to soak up the juices doesn't sound quite as appetizing as "a crusty loaf." Works better, though.
I had a bag of frozen banana pieces in the freezer, so I used that to make fake ice cream. I also added cocoa powder to it and the kids each got one Oreo, which was all that was left from the package I had bought to make the crust for Cubby's birthday chocolate cheesecake.
They enjoyed the ice cream, but they were REALLY excited by the singular Oreo. Those low standards again.
Short version: Bunless cheeseburgers, bread and butter, green salad with vinaigrette
Long version: But wait. Didn't we just have this night before last? Yes. Did anyone care? No.
I had taken out extra ground beef in anticipation of making either meatloaf or meatballs ahead of time so I could just put them in the oven when I got home from work on Monday. But then we ran out of eggs.
Hamburgers it is! And bread, because I had just made bread the day before.
No one ever complains about hamburgers (I suspect it's the ketchup, which is a rare condiment in our house), and the children certainly never complain about bread with dinner.
Short version: Boneless ram ribs, baked potatoes, steamed broccoli and carrots
Long version: When we butchered the ram in November, A. cut most of the rib meat off the bones. Storing the ribs is a pain because they're too big for the bags we use, so I think maybe he was trying to find a better way to freeze the meat.
I pulled that bag of meat out this day. Ribs are best cooked slow and then crisped up. And sheep ribs are best marinated first.
So I marinated the meat in apple cider vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper for a few hours, then put it in a covered casserole in the oven at 350 degrees for about four hours.
I didn't add any liquid, and although the meat did release some liquid, it sure released a heck of a lot of fat. So the meat ended up basically frying it its own fat much of the time, kind of like carnitas.
I didn't end up crisping it any further because of that frying situation.
The resulting meat was similar to very thick-cut bacon in both texture and appearance. It tasted pretty good, actually, but I figured it might be a bit of a hard sell for the children.
So I let them have some ketchup.
They have ketchup rarely, and it's a handy treat to save for meat that I know they won't be wild about. Dipping almost any meat in ketchup makes it more palatable for them.
And so it proved with this rib meat. Both Poppy and Jack asked for seconds. Of both the meat and the ketchup.
The worst part of cooking sheep meat for me is cleaning up. You see, there tends to be a lot of fat. And it's a hard fat--not soft like chicken or pork fat--so when it cools, it's solid and very hard to clean up. You'd better have a lot of really hot water and dish soap ready for cleaning up a meal like this.
Short version: Green chili and ground beef soup, cheese
Long version: I made this soup the day before with about a pound of the ground beef I had thawed that hadn't been cooked yet, in addition to onion, garlic, celery, carrot, chilis, shredded calabacita, frozen peas, and chicken stock. Plus some sour cream at the end, since the chilis ended up being spicier than I expected. As always.
I had also cooked a few extra baked potatoes the night before so I could chop those up and add them to the children's bowls, to make it more filling for them.
Short version: Pork goulash with carrots, mashed potatoes, Holy's cabbage, custard
Long version: Anyone remember Holy's cabbage? Probably not, so here it is. It had been awhile since I made it, and even longer since I had given any to the children. For some reason, I thought none of them liked it much. Turns out, though, that both Cubby and Jack like it quite a bit. Yay.
Charlie was sick and had a sore throat, so he didn't eat anything but the custard. Which is the whole reason I made it. When children are too sick to eat anything else, they will still eat custard. At least, mine will.
Okay, your turn! What'd you eat this week?