Friday, September 24, 2021

Friday Food: Never Done, Indeed


Short version: Chicken salad sandwiches, cucumbers

Long version: A., Cubby, and Calvin weren't home. Cubby had an away game that was seven hours away (that's crazy even for here), and rather than making him come home on the bus that night and not get home until after midnight, A. decided to go and bring him home, stopping to fish in the mountains on the way home. Calvin wanted to go, too, but it was too much driving for the younger two, so they stayed here with me.

They had the sandwiches, made with the last of the leftover chicken breast from Sunday's giant roasted chicken. 


Short version: Green chile beef stew, garlic bread

Long version: I wasn't sure if the travelers would be returning this night, so I made something that would keep if they got home late. They ended up staying one more night in the mountains, so it was just the three of us for dinner again.

I was very, very tired and not into making dinner by the afternoon, because I spent the entire day in the kitchen dealing with the 30 or so pounds of apples a very kind lady brought us. She has five apple trees, and had heard from one of the teachers at school that we could use them. She dropped them off on Friday, and I spent Saturday making applesauce and canning it. 

I felt like I would never get out of the kitchen.

The title of this book I'm currently reading seemed particularly apropros.


Short version: Beef stir-fry, rice, apple crisp with whipped cream

Long version: The butcher we used this time for the steer we bought from our neighbor was a new place for us, and the first place that ever asked me if I wanted any of the meat cut into stir-fry strips.

Well, YEAH.

I make stir-fry a lot, and if I can get someone else to cut up the meat for me, I am all for it. Especially if I use the bags of frozen stir-fry vegetables--which I usually do nowadays--it makes for a very quick meal.

I didn't make the kids do their bathroom chores this week, so I got to choose the dessert. And I chose apple crisp. I made a big 9x13 one and used up the very last of all those apples. 



Short version: Leftovers

Long version: Work day! Which you could probably tell from the leftoveres.

A., Calvin, and Poppy had leftover roast beef, rice, and cucumbers. Jack, Cubby, and I had the hamburger stew. Everyone had the last of the apple crisp.


Short version: Beef ribs, pasta, raw green beans, calabacitas

Long version: There were several packages of ribs at the top of the freezer, so I pulled those out and cooked them a few hours.

Not long enough. They were still a bit tough, so I pulled the meat off, cut it up smaller, and simmered it for awhile with barbecue sauce to get it a bit more tender.

Egg noodles with just butter, salt, and garlic powder. 

And the zucchini-like calabacitas fried in olive oil with onion, tomatoes, and garlic. I love this. It's one of my favorite things in summer, and I can eat it with just about everything.


Short version: Meatloaf, leftover pasta, frozen green peas

Long version: I mixed and formed the meatloaves in the morning so I could put them in when I got home from work. I made them on the smaller side so they would cook faster, but they still took almost an hour. 

On the upside, I did not have to be frying hamburgers or something during that hour, because the baking meatloaves take no hands-on cooking. Always appreciated after work.


Short version: Leftovers, canned clam chowder

Long version: Cubby had a home football game at 6 p.m., so the rest of us had dinner before we left. A. had the barbecue beef ribs, tomatoes and pickles, and some yogurt. I had leftover meatloaf and coleslaw. The kids had meatloaf, pasta, and coleslaw.

The coleslaw was just a small bowl of this recipe that I made because when I was starting to slice cabbage with the food processor to make sauerkraut, I accidentally put the shredding disc on instead. So I shredded a carrot to go with the accidental shredded cabbage and made some coleslaw.

Cubby had the chowder when he got home. I recently bought a box of six cans of it online for him, because he loves seafood of all kinds, so he's quite happy to eat this soup. And even though it's in a can, it doesn't have any sketchy ingredients. Yay.

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

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

T.T.: Efficient Food Processing

If you've been reading here a long time--a reeeeally long time, like 12 years--you might remember this post about Rita the Puppy and her nighttime potty issue. The MiL was out of town at the time, which is why I was taking care of Rita. And when the MiL got back, she felt so bad about the inconvenience caused by Rita that she bought me a food processor.

I have mentally thanked Rita many times for that food processor over the years.


As much as I appreciate having a food processor when it comes time to shred three gallons of cabbage for sauerkraut or whatever, I do not like hauling the thing out and washing its many pieces. Which is why I make sure that I make the most of it when I do.

I never, ever use the food processor for only one thing. A common sequence for me is making breadcrumbs first, then making pesto, then making a marinara sauce. I don't have to even rinse the food processor out in between, because I don't care if small bits of breadcrumbs are in the pesto, or if the pesto is in the marinara.

When doing this, keep in mind that the purpose is to not have to actually wash it in between uses. So the first use should be for a food that doesn't have fat in it, like shredding vegetables, because then it can just be rinsed out and re-used.

Last time I used the food processor, I first used it to shred cabbage and carrots for coleslaw, then I shredded asadero cheese to freeze. I had had shredding the cheese in the back of my mind for a few days, but I waited until I was using the food processor for something else before doing the cheese.

Coleslaw on the left, cheese on the right. And shreds of each all over the counter, because shredding is messy.

I suppose this sort of goes along with my habit of trying to use dishes more than once to save on having to wash so many. So I guess your takeaway from this can be that I'm always looking for ways to reduce dishes. And that efficiency makes me happy.

Monday, September 20, 2021

Monday Bouquets: The Sunflowers Soldier On

The sunflowers are definitely waning. They're smaller, and most of them are in pretty poor condition from insect damage. But I did find some for this week's table flowers.

One with the inevitable sage.

And one with just sunflowers.

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

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Snapshots: Morning Light and Stacked Animals

You know what the boys really love? When A. goes in to wake them, warbling "Morning Has Broken." He has no ear for music, but he makes up for it with volume and dramatic delivery. 

This is a much more pleasant way to start the day.

Much quieter, too.

I almost always take photos of the the road I walk on as I'm walking away from our house. This is what it looks like when I'm on my way home.

Hello, trusty bus.

The trumpet vines that are choking out my green beans by the front fence are annoying, but they put on a nice display for anyone driving by in the morning.

Unfortunately for them, I value food much more than aesthetics, so next year they will be severely curtailed.

We have a metal bunk bed on our covered porch that was left there by the previous owner. I think his nephews used to sleep out there when they visited, maybe? I don't know. It's ugly and weird and I really want to get it out of the porch. * 

The animals, however, find this bed to be very useful. Odin spends almost all his time either under the bed on the ground, or on the lower bunk. The chickens also find it a very comfortable place to lay their eggs. I came out the other day to find Odin under the bed, one chicken on the lower bunk, and yet another chicken on the top bunk.

It was hard to get a photo that showed all three animals, and the best I got was this one where you can just see Odin's paws underneath and the top-bunk chicken's tail.

It was very amusing to me, in any case. 

And there you have it! My life, snapshotted.

* Yes, we have lived here for three years now. We've had more-pressing concerns when it comes to home improvement.