Thursday, October 27, 2022

Friday Food: The Last Harvest


Short version: Beef, rice, green salad with ranch dressing

Long version: I pressure-canned a bunch of pinto beans in the morning, so I decided to put the pressure canner/cooker to work again before washing it and pressure cooked a lot of beef ribs, ox tail, and soup bones to make stock. And to get those bulky bony things out of the freezer so there's room for the new cow we're getting next month.

I pulled all the meat off those bones and fried some of it in tallow with spices for dinner. 

The rest of dinner was pretty easy, because I had been in the kitchen all day and I was tired.


Short version: Barbecue beef, rice, raw green beans or salad

Long version: We were at our monthly Saturday Mass, which meant we didn't get home until 5 p.m. Dinners are always quick on these days. More of the beef, this time just mixed with barbecue sauce. More rice, with butter. And the children had the raw green beans, while A. and I had salad.


Short version: End-of-garden-season feast, pots de creme

Long version: With the first freeze forecast for Monday, I spent much of the weekend harvesting and dealing with the last of the things from the garden. That included dill, parsley, basil, lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, green beans, beets, carrots, and potatoes.

Not necessarily a lot of all of those things, but something is better than nothing.

I had taken out one of the leg roasts from the last ram we had butchered, too, so it ended up being a meal featuring food we grew ourselves. 

So! Roasted lamb with a yogurt sauce. My children pointed out that I did not "grow" the yogurt sauce and suggested yet again that we should get a milk cow. I told them we grew the garlic in it, and that's about as close as we're going to get on that one.

Also the newly-dug potatoes roasted with the lamb; the last green beans roasted in a separate pan; lettuce, tomatoes, beets, and cucumber from the garden; and the dill and garlic in the ranch dressing for the salad.

I made a dill bouquet to keep it fresh for as long as I can.

I also made pesto from the last tiny leaves of the basil plants, as well as some carrot tops to bulk it up a bit. Some of that went into the tomato sauce I made with roasted the ripe tomatoes--there are lots of green ones in boxes that will ripen slowly--with more garlic and then pureed with the beet greens.

I'm ready for the food preservation season to be over now. Bring on eating season.


Short version: Recombined leftovers, raw kohlrabi

Long version: I had more of the beef that had come off the stock bones, so I chopped that up and fried it with some of the roasted tomato sauce and topped that with shredded mozzarella. 

I had made garlic bread the day before, so there was that, too.

The last kohlrabi of the season. I got four or five from the fall garden. They weren't as big as the ones I grew in the spring, but again, something is better than nothing.


Short version: Dilly beef, bread and butter or rice, green salad with ranch dressing, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

Long version: I took out the last package of stir-fry beef, which I braised with some of the beef stock, a bit of liquid from the refrigerator dill pickles, and a lot of dill from the dill bouquet. I added some sour cream at the end, too.

I made the cookies because the oven was on most of the day anyway to cook one of the biggest of the calabazas A. grew. 

He weighed it. It was thirty pounds. That is, to state the obvious, a LOT of squash.

Eight quart bags of pureed squash, to be precise.

Most went into the freezer, although I kept some in the refrigerator for short-term use.


Short version: Spaghetti and meatballs

Long version: One of my many and varied duties at the school is sitting in the preschool room during naptime so the preschool teacher can have a break. This means that I have 30 minutes in a dark room to do nothing but think and try not to fall asleep myself. I'm sure it will surprise none of you that I often think about dinner.

During this thinking time, I had been planning to make the tuna-melt quesadillas I had mentioned awhile ago, but then I suddenly remembered the extra meatballs I had put in the freezer the last time I made them. And the roasted tomato sauce and pesto in the refrigerator.


So when I got home, I put the frozen meatballs in the oven to bake with the tomato sauce, made some spaghetti that also got some of the tomato sauce, some of the pesto, and butter, and that was dinner.

So easy. I can see why people buy pre-made stuff.

The tomato sauce had beet greens in it, so I decided that was enough vegetable.


Short version: Chili, baked rice pudding

Long version: I had two pint jars of pinto beans that hadn't sealed when I canned beans, the pureed calabaza, and some more tomatoes that had ripened. This, plus two pounds of ground beef and a quart jar of beef stock, became the chili. Oh, and the last of the beet greens that I pureed with the tomatoes so no one could detect them.

I have cracked the code on chili for my family. Everyone eats it and likes it. Hooray.

I was actually cooking a brisket in the oven most of the day (for a later meal), so I made a few other things at the same time, including the rice pudding. My biggest Pyrex had the brisket in it, so I used the 13"x9" Pyrex and made 2.5 times the recipe, using 2.5 quarts of milk, 1/3 cup of rice, and 1/3 cup of sugar. It fit, and was enough for everyone to have seconds. Good to know.

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

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

T.T.: Finncrisps and Cheese

This is going to be kind of short, but I was reminded of and subsequently purchased online a few boxes of Finncrisp sourdough rye crisps recently. And then my sister brought us good sharp cheddar. This is how I was reacquainted with a most delicious combination: melted sharp cheddar* scooped up with rye crisps.

So good.

The rye crisps are also good for scooping up cottage cheese, or just spread with butter, but scooping up good melted cheddar with them is one of the the small pleasures of life I didn't realize I missed until I had it again. 

So if you ever see rye crisps at your grocery store, you might want to try them. Get some good cheddar while you're at it and raise your rye crisp dripping with melted cheese in my direction. Salud!

I don't have a relevant photo for this, so here's another good New Mexico landscape shot for you courtesy of A.

*I just microwave thin slices of cheese in a bowl until melted. I learned of this combination, by the way, from the MiL. Thanks, MiL.

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Snapshots: Taciturn

A. took my sister and three of the children to one of our more spectacular canyons last weekend. He took lots of pictures, which I will present mostly without commentary, except to note how lucky we are to live in a place that looks like this.

Did you know there are beavers in New Mexico? If you didn't, you do now. This is a beaver dam.

Fall color. Who's jealous now, Vermont?

The ruins of an unusually large adobe house. Two stories is rare to see.

Faithful companion Jasper seeking shade.

There you have it! My life, snapshotted.