Friday, October 21, 2022

Friday Food: A Bit Tardy

Apologies to the two of you who are awake early enough to read this at 4:30 a.m. when it usually posts. I worked more this week, and was very tired last night. My slow brain was convinced last night was Wednesday night, apparently, so I had to write most of this in the morning. But here it is!


Short version: Spaghetti and meatballs, green salad with ranch dressing

Long version: I used the combination of ground beef and bulk sausage again, although slightly less sausage this time. Good meatballs. And a good make-ahead meal to eat early before going to the varsity football game.

Fresh dill and garlic in the ranch dressing, because I still can.


Short version: Pot roast with potatoes, green salad with ranch dressing, rice pudding

Long version: I'm down to the last couple of boxes of beef from the cow we got last year, and what was in those last boxes was mostly big pieces that need to be slow roasted. So that's what I did. 

And of course, if the oven is on half the day anyway, there might as well be some rice pudding baking in there, too. I was smarter this time and made the full triple recipe instead of fooling myself that a double would be enough. The triple one was finished this night, so that was obviously the right call.


Short version: Chicken enchilada casserole, token cake and ice cream

Long version: We got two old hens from our neighbor that weren't laying anymore, and A. butchered them this day. I pressure cooked them and used the meat to make a casserole. My sister was here to help me strip the meat off the carcasses--one of my least-favorite kitchen tasks--so that made it about half as tedious as it usually is.

I had been planning on making tortillas and having soft tacos, but in the end, laziness won out and instead I layered some of the commodities tomato sauce that I had flavored with onion, garlic, cumin, green chile, and chile powder with the meat, corn tortillas, and cheese. It made a very big casserole that was very tasty. Plus, my sister had brought avocados, so we even had guacamole for one of the toppings. Yum.

I had made cupcakes (Grandma Bishop's chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting) for Poppy to bring to school the next day and had enough batter after filling the cupcake papers to make a mini-cake in a two-cup Pyrex. I cut that in quarters and everyone who wanted it had that with a scoop of ice cream from the big tub.

My sister also brought sprinkles with her, per the birthday girl's request, so they were very festive. (The bare cupcakes were for her brothers, who don't really like sprinkles).

The very small class sizes we have are very convenient for things like birthdays. Five cupcakes--Poppy has only four students in her preschool class, plus her teacher--are much more manageable than 25. And it even leaves some left over for her brothers.


Short version: Leftovers

Long version: Mostly the enchilada casserole, although A. also had some soup I had made at his request from the steak bones. I had just simmered them to make a stock and pulled the bits of meat off, then added onion, garlic, potatoes, and pureed squash. It wasn't bad.

There were also leftover cupcakes, which is of course the best leftover.


Short version: Birthday pizza, carrot sticks with ranch dip, cake

Long version: Poppy requested "pizza and carrots" for her birthday dinner. I assumed she did not mean together. So one pizza was cheese, one had bacon and finely sliced onion on it.

I have to admit I was too lazy to go ALL THE WAY out to the garden (fifty steps) to get fresh dill for the ranch dip, so I used the dried. Fresh is better, though.

And the traditional Ugly Cake. This one was a repeat of the chocolate cake/peanut butter frosting, with decoration supervised and somewhat implemented by Poppy.

With more sprinkles. Of course.


Short version: Purpose-cooked leftovers, green salad with ranch dressing

Long version: While I was in the kitchen the day before, I had cooked a package of tenderized bottom round steaks in chopped tomatoes/onion/garlic just to have on hand for dinner after my work day. I also heated up the leftover pizza, so there was a piece of pizza for everyone and some meat, and then salad.

When Cubby got home from football, he had the meat with leftover spaghetti heated in the juices, plus butter and cream cheese to make a sauce for the spaghetti.

And there was a tiny piece of leftover cake for each child. Four days in a row with cake has to be a record.


Short version: Pork and bean tacos, raw green beans

Long version: I subbed at school, so it was another work day for me, but no more leftovers. So when I got home, I opened one of the big cans of commodities ground pork and fried that with some pinto beans I had taken from the freezer, plus onion powder, garlic powder, chile powder, and cumin powder.

All the powders on work days. Because sometimes, chopping onions is just too much effort.

It was good, though. Three children and A. had it in corn tortillas with cheese. Cubby had it with mashed potatoes and cheese when he got home. He doesn't really like the store tortillas.

I had a salad. I think it's going to freeze next week, so I'm still enjoying lettuce while I can.

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

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

T.T.: A Birthday Tip

Before Poppy was born, many people said something along the lines of, "That's going to be the toughest little girl ever." I myself thought she couldn't help but be a tomboy with three rough brothers to follow around all the days of her life.

I should have known by my fourth child that I can never make assumptions. They have this way of turning into people completely independent of my own expectations.

Today, Poppy turns five years old. She loves pink, purple, perfume, sparkles, my high heels, jewelry, and dancing. She also loves fishing, camping, eating fish eyes, and riding the horses.

The best of both worlds. And the best girl I know, for sure.

Happy birthday to my girl. Fly high, always.

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Snapshots: In Which I Redeem Myself

I took lots of pictures this week, in an attempt to make up for my frankly lame posts in the last couple of weeks. Not that all of them are really artistic or awe-inspiring, but then, that's life.

So! First up: I went to put some dishes from baking in the dishwasher and noticed that this spoon I had dropped into water had made a perfect outline on the surface of the water.

And I thought: "Hey! It's just like those barista coffee foam shapes!" Which just shows you how far I live from actual coffeeshops.

Next up: When we have overnight guests, Cubby very kindly gives up his room with the queen-sized bed and moves out for the duration of the visit. This time he asked to have our extra mattress put on the top of Poppy's bunk bed. I was worried that he would roll around too much, being accustomed to a big bed, so I had to put a barrier to make sure he didn't fall out of the bed.

Overkill for a 12-almost-13-year-old? Yes. But then, I am a mother, and will probably do things like this when he is 23 years old.

My sister is the Halloween Queen, and always brings some new Halloween decorations when she comes. She also helps me hang them up.

Like this lit-up spider web that is impossible to keep up, no matter how much tape we use. Looks really cool, though.

I was working at school last week when the school board president (also mayor of the village and hunting guide) asked if I wanted some apples.

As if he needed to ask. Looks like applesauce to me! 

And now, sheep!

They made a rare appearance, so I took a picture of them.

Ms. Amelia called and said her daughter had "some" canning jars she found in the basement of the house she bought. She wanted to know if I wanted them before they were brought to a thrift shop. Sure, I said.

"Some" turned out to be almost 200 jars of assorted sizes. I will not need to buy jars for several years.

And last, I finally actually went on a morning walk!

All things are possible when I don't have to get anyone ready for school.

There you have it! My life, snapshotted.