Friday, July 29, 2022

Friday Food: Runny Yogurt for Popsicles


Short version: Barbecue meatballs, bread and butter, raw carrots

Long version: I had actually baked the meatballs the day before, when I had the oven on anyway to make bread. So I just re-heated them in a skillet on the stove and added some barbecue sauce to them.


Short version: Leftover meatloaf or meatballs, rice, curried split peas, apricot popsicles

Long version: I found a container of curried split peas in the freezer that I figured ought to be used up. Three of the four children eat them, so they go pretty fast.

I made the popsicles mostly because my last batch of yogurt turned out too runny. That happens if I don't have the milk warm enough. Runny yogurt is good for smoothies and popsicles, though. To make these popsicles, I just mixed the yogurt with equal parts apricot jam and a very small amount of heavy cream. The result is delicious, and a lot easier than the chocolate pudding pops that require cooking.


Short version: Barbecued pork ribs, rice, green salad with ranch dressing, pots de creme

Long version: A. bought a couple of racks of ribs at the store and cooked one rack this day. That required setting up a grill outside and monitoring them for several hours, so it's not something that happens often. They sure are popular with the children, however.

All that scrap metal the previous owner of our house left behind sure has come in handy.

Since I wasn't cooking the whole dinner, I had lots of time to chop up fresh dill and garlic for the ranch dressing.


Short version: Pot roast with potatoes and carrots, raw snap peas

Long version: I made a chuck roast in the morning with potatoes and carrots, and then just heated it up at dinnertime.

It's the summer kitchen schedule, for sure.

While I had the oven on in the morning, I also cooked a beet from the garden. I couldn't find any aluminum foil, so I improvised with a larger Pyrex inverted over a smaller one to make a covered dish for the beet.

Looks kind of like a glass mushroom.


Short version: Pot roast skillet, apricot popsicles

Long version: I chopped up the rest of the pot roast, carrots, and potatoes and fried that in butter with some leftover rice and frozen peas. Surprisingly tasty.

The popsicles were in honor of our anniversary. Also, it was hot and I had more runny yogurt to use up.


Short version: Egg 'n' things, canned peaches

Long version: I made a big skillet of scrambled eggs. Some of the family had them with the leftover rice and curried split peas. Some had them with tortillas and cheese. A. had his with the leftover pot roast skillet. 

And then everyone had some of the canned peaches the commodities lady had given us. One of the more popular commodities items in our house, for sure.


Short version: Tacos, black beans, etc.

Long version: When A. grilled the pork ribs, he experimented with grilling a couple of pigs' feet, too. They didn't soften enough, though, so he asked me to cook them further in a soup or something. It finally cooled down enough that I could simmer something on the stove for a few hours without turning the kitchen into a sauna. 

So I simmered the pigs' feet in a couple of quarts of rooster stock from the freezer, along with some dried black beans, a bit of leftover onion, and a clove of garlic.

I had also taken out some of A.'s very spicy venison posole that I froze a few months ago, so I added the pigs' feet to that for him.

The kids had the meat in corn tortillas, and the beans if they wanted them. There were chopped lettuce, tomatoes (thanks, garden!) and avocado (thanks, commodities!) as well, but I didn't bother with a separate vegetable.

Oh, and I had the other half of the zucchini bread I made a couple of weeks ago and froze, too, so the kids had that after dinner.

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

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

T.T.: Marriage (Non-) Advice

Today marks 19 years of marriage for A. and me. Since our anniversary happened to fall this year on a Tuesday, I felt it behooved me to make today's tip about how to have a successful marriage.

Look! Here's a photo of A. and I giving advice on our wedding day! 

We went to a Quaker wedding once after we'd been married for six years or so, in which the bride and groom sat in front of all the guests and invited any guest who wished to stand up and give them advice for their married life. Many people stood up and said many things.

And then I stood up and said they shouldn't listen to any of it.

Okay, so I wasn't that rude. What I actually said was this: Marriages are highly individual, because they are a union of two individual people. No one outside that marriage can ever really know what it's like on the inside of that relationship.

There is no universal advice for such a situation. There can't even be a universal agreement on what constitutes a "successful" marriage.

In marriage, as with so much else in life, every person has to figure out what works for him or her. Except in the case of marriage, it also has to work for the spouse.

That's a pretty tall order, and no one should ever expect that to be easy.

Not easy, no. But rewarding and adventurous and lots of other good things. 

So here's to A., 19 years of adventures, and many more to come.

Not taking yourself too seriously might be a useful piece of advice, actually. We started on our wedding day with a Napolean portrait.

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Snapshots: So Long, Lambs

A. brought the four male lambs to the auction a couple of hours away. Our cowboys helped him load them into the cattle trailer.

Okay, so actually the sheepboys loaded them into the Ranger. (That dang-near man-sized child leaning so nonchalantly on the side of the truck is my tiny baby Cubby. Sniff.)

And speaking of that man-child, he and his dad made a forge out of rocks, mud, and a pipe. The pipe is attached to a hairdryer, which heats the forge in the same way hand-operated bellows used to do.

I do not recommend working a forge in full sun when it's 96 degrees out. I mean, unless you enjoy sweating your life away. Cubby seems to.

So far, he's made a flathead screwdriver out of an huge nail and a pair of tongs out of some scrap metal. Next up, a bit for Bill the Pony.

The older boys also made this rather elaborate castle out of mud. It's for their earplugs, naturally.

My garden has entered the domination stage.

These tomatoes are dominating the hollyhocks.

These Romas are trying to dominate A.'s giant climbing tomatoes on the fence.

And the calabaza, as always, is dominating everything.

And last, some walk photos from when I went a different direction.

Another neighboring windmill.

And the old schoolhouse in the first light of day.

There you have it! My life, snapshotted.