Friday, August 27, 2021

Friday Food: Cafeteria Food


Short version: Leftovers

Long version: Stir-fry for some, chicken taco meat for others. All fed.


Short version: Bull meat, garlic bread, roasted carrots, raw green beans

Long version: Another session of pressure-canning bull meat to get it out of the freezer, another opportunity to pressure-cook more of the same. This time I added some pesto I had made earlier in the day to the meat, along with some asadero cheese.

I already had a pan with butter in it from A. making an omelet earlier in the day, so I figured I might as well throw something in the oven with the bread as it baked. That something being carrots.

In case you didn't know, ponies like carrots, too.

They don't require them to be roasted, either.


Short version: Oven-fried chicken, pasta with pesto, raw cucumbers, steamed green beans, chocolate chip cookies

Long version: Another Sunday, another meat bird down. The kids had said they were getting tired of roasted chicken (?), so I had A. part this one out for me and I used the (GIANT) pieces to make oven-fried chicken. 

First the chicken is marinated in yogurt with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika, then it's shaken to coat it in masa (corn flour) with the same spices, then baked in a buttered pan.

Cubby was SO HAPPY with this. He asked me to make every chicken this way from now on. 

Everyone else was happy with the pasta. Because pasta with pesto made from homegrown basil really can't be improved upon.

Calvin chose the chocolate chip cookies, but only because I didn't have any cream to make his preferred desserts. He allowed as how chocolate chip cookies would be acceptable. They were.

I used the recipe in Cubby's ATK kids' cookbook for the chocolate chip cookies that calls for melting the butter. This is my favorite, because I detest hauling out my mixer and creaming butter and sugar. 

While I was in the kitchen with dirty bowls and pans anyway, I decided to make some more of these "breakfast" cookies for Cubby and Jack to bring to school for their snacks (I use maple syrup, walnuts, peanut butter, Craisins, raisins, and mini chocolate chips). Since I had just made the chocolate chip cookies, I experimented with using the same melted butter method.

I am pleased to say that they were a success, and now I need never cream butter again. Amen. 


Short version: Cafeteria spaghetti and meat sauce, cucumber slices

Long version: One of my duties at the school now is helping the cook clean up after lunch. I told her that if she had any food she was going to throw away, I could bring it home for my children and/or dogs and chickens, and so she gave me the remainder of the spaghetti and meat sauce she was going to toss.

It went to the children this time.

The tomato sauce came out of a can, though, so it needed some doctoring. More salt, garlic powder, and a little vinegar, and it was quite tasty. The kids were excited to get spaghetti, too, which I never buy.


Short version: Leftovers, raw green beans

Long version: The younger kids had leftover bull meat and leftover pasta with pesto. Cubby had leftover chicken and more spaghetti when he got home from football practice.


Short version: Bunless hamburgers, calabacitas and tomatoes, cafeteria green beans, cucumber spears

Long version: Hooray, the calabacitas are coming! Calabacitas are the squash we got seeds for from Rafael. They make both an edible summer squash that's like zucchini--but better--and a hard-skinned winter squash.

I sauteed the calabacitas in some bacon fat with a few tomatoes, and they were delicious.

The green beans were leftovers from the school lunch. I buy the same frozen green beans from Sysco myself, but these I didn't even have to cook. Bonus.


Short version: Chicken salad sandwiches, carrot sticks

Long version: I subbed at the school in the afternoon, so I made the chicken salad in the morning with the last of the leftover oven-fried chicken. A good meal for another hot day.

For Charlie, who does not like chicken salad, I sauteed some of the chicken in olive oil. Then I took some of that chicken and added it to my salad with cucumbers and tomatoes from the garden, plus some feta cheese, to make a very tasty Greek-ish salad.


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

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

T.T.: A Song for Our Times

Due to my freakish ability to remember song lyrics and melodies, I go around with a constant soundtrack of changing songs in my head. Something the other day reminded me of the song "Hands," by Jewel. 

I can't remember exactly when it came out--must've been almost 20 years ago now--but it sure is applicable now. 

You can see the official video here if you want to hear the song, but the lyrics can be read like a poem, as can almost all of Jewel's songs.


If I could tell the world just one thing
It would be that we're all OK
And not to worry 'cause worry is wasteful
And useless in times like these

I won't be made useless
Won't be idle with despair
I'll gather myself around my faith
For light does the darkness most fear

My hands are small, I know
But they're not yours, they are my own
But they're not yours, they are my own
And I am never broken

Poverty stole your golden shoes
It didn't steal your laughter
And heartache came to visit me
But I knew it wasn't ever after

We'll fight, not out of spite
For someone must stand up for what's right
'Cause where there's a man who has no voice
There ours shall go singing

My hands are small I know
But they're not yours, they are my own
But they're not yours, they are my own
And I am never broken

In the end, only kindness matters
In the end, only kindness matters

I will get down on my knees, and I will pray
I will get down on my knees, and I will pray
I will get down on my knees, and I will pray

My hands are small, I know
But they're not yours, they are my own
But they're not yours, they are my own
And I am never broken

My hands are small, I know
But they're not yours, they are my own
But they're not yours, they are my own
And I am never broken
We are never broken

We are God's eyes
God's hands
God's mind
We are God's eyes
God's hands
God's heart
We are God's eyes
We are God's hands
We are God's eyes

Monday, August 23, 2021

Monday Bouquet: Bouquets and Books

I only got a close-up photo of one of last week's arrangements.

I'm sure you are not surprised to see sage and sunflowers yet again.

For the rest of the week, I just had a couple of sunflowers in the Topo Chico bottle. I didn't get a close-up photo of that, but you've seen that before. And I did get a photo of it in action, you might say.

And there they are! On the table with the books I bought the children to celebrate their successful completion of the first week of school.

And just in case you're like me and always want to know what the books are:

Top three for Cubby, Richard Scarry for Poppy, deadly animals for Jack, and the dragon series for Calvin.

I hope you have a lovely Monday, with or without flowers (or books.)

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Snapshots: Come Walk with Me

The dogs are ready . . .

The sun is rising . . .

Let's walk.

There are almost as many spent flowers as blooming ones on the sunflower plants now.

Bill is waiting at the walk-up window when we get back.

Hay to start the day off right.

Then inside to start emptying the dishwasher, making breakfast, and getting on with the day.

And there you have it! My beloved morning walk, snapshotted.