Friday, November 12, 2021

Friday Food: Unusually Succint


Short version: Bunless cheeseburgers, boiled potatoes, carrot sticks with curry dip

Long version: I made extra of the cheeseburgers and potatoes so A. could take them the next night for his camping night in the mountains on his elk hunt.

He saw six bull elk crashing into each other at the top of the mountain, but no cows (females). His tag was for cows. So no elk this year. He enjoyed the burgers and potatoes, though.


Short version: Personal pizzas, pickled radishes, carrot sticks, green chili hamburger soup

Long version: A. was in the mountains and Cubby was on a school field trip, leaving just me and the younger three children for dinner. I was making bread again, and I had just enough leftover pizza sauce and asadero cheese to make a pizza for each of the three. They were pleased with this. 

I made the soup with the remaining pound or so of ground beef that hadn't been used for the cheeseburgers, as well as the leftover boiled potatoes, a scoop of the squash I had roasted while making bread, and the last of the cream gravy I had brought home from the school cafeteria, plus onion, garlic, green chile, carrots, peas, tomatoes, and two containers of beef stock from the freezer. That's what I ate.

Did I also eat some pizza from the children's "personal" pizzas. Well, yes. I'm not made of stone, you know. They didn't even finish all of it, anyway, so there was enough for them to share with me.


Short version: Beef pot roast with tomatoes and garlic, roasted carrots, rice, frozen green peas

Long version: Chuck roasts make the best pot roasts. Gotta have that fat.

No homemade dessert this week, because I told the kids their two pieces of Halloween candy every night the week before took the place of the Sunday dessert. Then I asked them if they wanted to stop getting the candy every night in exchange for having a homemade dessert the following Sunday. All of them but Poppy did, so I put their candy bags into the general candy bowl (they each got a quart-size zip-top bag that they could fill with their favorite candies and keep separate to choose from). 

The remaining candy in that bowl will go into the freezer next week to be used as bribes for haircuts or for Easter baskets or whatever until next Halloween, at which point whatever remains will be thrown out in anticipation of yet more candy coming in. 

That's my Halloween candy system, in case you were curious.

Random photo break!

This little dump truck is no match for the numerous apricot leaves. It blends nicely, though.


Short version: Leftovers, cafeteria rolls

Long version: Hello, Monday leftovers! Cubby, Jack, and I had the leftover soup. A. had some of that, too, plus some leftover pot roast. 

Calvin and Poppy had pot roast and peas. 

All the children had some of the dinner rolls I brought home from the school lunch leftovers. They were very soft, and quite sweet, so of course they all loved them.


Short version: Shepherd's pie, squash

Long version: Shepherd's pie is one of those things that the children reliably take seconds on, so anytime I want to be sure they'll all eat a reasonable meal, I make it. 

Same squash I had put in the soup on Saturday. It's handy to have in the refrigerator as a ready-to-go vegetable/starch substitute.

I think we need a photo here, yes?

Poppy the Mummy. Amazingly, she actually enjoyed this game.


Short version: Must be leftovers

Long version: Yes, it was a workday, so yes, it was leftovers. Poppy, A., and I had leftover pot roast with squash and carrots. Poppy and A. also had rice.

The rest had leftover shepherd's pie.


Short version: Beef stir-fry, rice, oranges

Long version: I sure love having the already-prepped beef for stir-fry. With a bag of frozen stir-fry vegetables--my last bag, so it's definitely time to re-stock on that--it makes for as close to a fast-food meal as I ever get.

The oranges came from my most recent Sysco order through the school. I've been waiting to order oranges until I thought it was really orange-harvesting time in California. Because an out-of-season orange is a very sad thing.

These were not quite in-season yet. I'll try again next month.

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

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

T.T.: A Pistachio Trick

Last month I bought a four-pound bag of pistachios in the shell. Yes, that is a lot of pistachios, but all of my children love them, so we've eaten them all already.

Pistachios are delicious, but as you're going along happily pulling shells apart and popping the nuts in your mouth, you inevitably come to the dreaded Barely Cracked Pistachio Shell.

Frustrating pistachio on the top, properly cracked pistachio on the bottom.

A pistachio shell that isn't already almost half pulled apart is a real pain to get open. Quite literally a pain, as the prying hurts fingers and can break fingernails.

Luckily, I have a sister who is smarter than a pistachio.

While she was here, she showed my children a trick for opening the frustrating pistachio shells using another half of a shell. I didn't know this trick myself, and I was delighted.

What you do is, you get half a shell from a pistachio you've already eaten and slide the narrow edge of that half-shell into the small gap on the pistachio you want to open.

Half-shell wedged in and ready for action.

Then--and I don't have a picture of this because it's impossible to do one-handed--you twist that wedged-in half shell about a quarter turn. This cracks open that small crack much further, so it can then be opened easily.

So! The next time you encounter a pistachio that is quite literally a tough nut to crack, you know what to do. And so do I, thanks to my clever sister.

Monday, November 8, 2021

Monday Bouquets: The Last Survivors

We have a contender for the longest-lived cut flower:

Carnations in the home stretch.

Those three are the only flowers left from the bunch my sister brought me over two weeks ago. Impressive longevity.

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

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Snapshots: I Fail at Photos Again

I regret to inform you that I did not get a photo of all the children in their Halloween costumes. Again. 

I do have a couple of individual ones. Poppy was Superdancer. She did this costume all by herself, and it included a superhero cape and mask, a tutu, and a tiara. Because that's the sort of thing that makes sense when you have three older brothers and are the sole sister.


Superdancer minus the mask, and plus my mother.

I have one picture of part of Calvin's costume, taken by my sister when she was here. He wanted to be a barrel of toxic waste (yup), so she helped him make a barrel out of cardboard.

The final version included black pants, shirt, and gloves, and little pieces of green paper taped all over him to be the toxic waste.

The only photos I have of Jack the Construction Worker and Cubby the Steel Mill Worker are from the costume contest at the village celebration, and I couldn't figure out how to crop out the other children. So I guess you'll just have to use your imagination on those. There were hard hats and jumpsuits and they were actually really good costumes.

Anyway. Let's see what else we have.

I was greatly amused that this guy showed up in my kitchen on Halloween day.

I'm into natural materials in decorating, but I did remove him eventually.

We only have one tree that makes good leaves in the fall, but that's enough to make a pretty good leaf pile.

Poppy the Squirrel in her leaf nest, stocked with rock-acorns for the winter.

We've changed out the Halloween window decorations (provided by my sister) for the Thanksgiving window decorations (also provided by my sister).

We'll close out with a couple of the obligatory Photos From an Early Morning Walk.

O give me a home where the canines roam . . .

And some dramatic clouds over the rising sun.

And there you have it! My life, snapshotted.