Friday, December 1, 2023

Friday Food: Turkey and Tortillas


Short version: Leftovers in casserole form

Long version: I don't know if it's because we only got an 18-pound turkey this year instead of 22 pounds ("only," ha), or if everyone just ate more of it, or if it's because we had a guest and I sent leftovers home with him, but we really didn't have a ton of leftovers from Thanksgiving this year.

There were a few cups of dressing, about a cup of mashed potatoes, and some turkey, plus gravy, which I unceremoniously mixed all together with some frozen peas in the casserole dish the dressing was in and baked. That was dinner.

It tasted good, but half the family apparently does not like dressing soft. I don't like it mushy and tend to make it on the crispier side, so they've had no experience with wetter dressing, and they did not like it. Good to know.

There was also a selection of leftover desserts, although since everyone had pie for breakfast, the servings were pretty small. 

This was also the day I put away the Thanksgiving decorations.

So long, Sight-word Turkey. See you next year.


Short version: Elk burgers, oven fries, green salad with vinaigrette, maple snow

Long version: The elk burgers were very well-received. I guess we need to grind more of the elk.

The children collected clean snow in the morning specifically so they could eat it with maple syrup, like Laura does in Little House in the Big Woods, which is our current book for reading aloud at bedtime. Some wanted just the syrup on their snow, some opted to have heavy cream on there, too. All were happy.


Short version: Bull and elk chili, crackers, peanut butter cookies

Long version: I wanted to make cornbread to go with the chili, but I didn't have any yogurt. I use yogurt in place of the large quantity of buttermilk in my cornbread recipe, so . . . crackers instead.

And these peanut butter cookies, with chopped almonds added in.


Short version: Rice+leftovers skillet meal, carrot sticks

Long version: I used a container of turkey and turkey broth that I had meant to put in the freezer to make dinner this night after work. All I did was dump that in a skillet, add rice, and salsa, spices, simmer until the rice was soft, then stir in some grated cheddar cheese.


Short version: Chorizo+egg burritos, grapes

Long version: Unexpected work day thanks to subbing. I took out a bag of elk chorizo to thaw before I left for work. When I got home, I fried the chorizo, scrambled some eggs in the pan with it, and stirred in shredded cheese. Then I went for a run.

When I got home, I found everyone eating burritos with the chorizo and egg mixture in flour tortillas, which was my plan all along. Nice when things work out like that.

The grapes came from the commodities lady. She gave us three bags of red grapes, and miraculously, they were crisp and tasty. The grapes that make it to us out here in the hinterlands tend to be in the soft and wrinkling stage, so it was nice to get some that were in good shape. Also nice because I didn't make a vegetable for this meal.

Let's have a photo here, slightly related to food:

Can you spot the horse in this photo? This is what I see on my laps past our house on my runs: Cora staring at me, willing me with the power of her mind to give her hay.


Short version: Re-combined leftovers

Long version: I got home around 5:30 p.m. with the first communicant to find that eldest son had prepared dinner for his sister and dad using the leftover rice skillet meal. He added some other things to it and served it with corn tortillas. So that's what the kid who came home with me had, too. A. filled in his meal with some canned beef stew from commodities. 

To the rest of the rice mixture, I added the bit of leftover chorizo and eggs, and put that in tortillas for the other two boys.

For myself, I used the last container of turkey and broth to make a soup that also included leftover roasted carrots and onion, leftover mushrooms, and frozen peas. A surprisingly good soup. Good thing I never did get around to freezing all those containers of turkey and broth.


Short version: Various things

Long version: I was at our school's annual holiday craft party with the younger two. We ate the finger foods and snacks there. I must confess to a particular liking for taquitos.

At home, A. made bean and cheese tacos. He fries the tortillas for these, which is something I never do, so it's a fun version of my boring ones. 

And that's the third night in a row that featured tortillas of some kind for dinner.

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

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Some Randomness

I had a plan to post Aunt Belvie's recipe for pickled beets today, but just as I was about to start writing that at 5:30 this morning, I got a call asking if I could substitute for one of the elementary teachers.

So that's what I did instead of sharing Aunt Belvie's pickled beet recipe with all of you today. Not to worry! I will make sure to do it next week, because the world--in the form of the wide web--needs this recipe.

But in the meantime, I'll just write out a few things that come into my head. Because my head is fun sometimes.

Remember how I told you about my online student who joined his English Zoom meeting on the back of a horse while gathering cattle? I had another student this past week who joined for only the last two minutes of his meeting, full of apologies because he was helping his dad move bulls and it took longer than they thought it would. 

That has always been my experience when moving sheep, and they're nowhere near as difficult as bulls, so I could appreciate the situation. I was amused, though.

I'm following one of those Couch to 5K plans that are all over online as a way to motivate me in my return to running. I do much better following a schedule, because then I have no excuses. I run on the days that schedule tells me to run. I chose a plan that has me running on Tuesdays and Thursdays so I could do it when I was home. Except I wasn't home today, and I didn't get home until 4:20 p.m. 

It gets dark about 5 p.m. I had a pot of bread dough overflowing on the counter--another inconvenience to working unexpectedly--and dinner to make for everyone so they could eat before going to judo. 

I was very impressed with myself that I got the dough kneaded, chorizo and eggs for dinner made before I left for my run, and my run done just before it got fully dark.

I don't want to do that again, though, so I really hope I don't have to be at work on Thursday.

Speaking of chorizo and eggs . . . I also added some shredded cheese to that before putting it all in tortillas, and it occurred to me that burrito sure packs a powerful protein punch (alliteration alert!). I should make those more often for my extremely rapidly growing sons.

Okay. I think I'll stop there with this mental meandering. Though I feel I should leave you with a photo.

An early morning run with the dogs.

Catch you on the flip side.

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Snapshots: Light in the Dark

This is the time of year when I feel we need more light indoors. That's why I don't wait until Christmas to put up the lights on the decorative iron thing in between the kitchen and dining areas.

We'll call them winter lights.

Those are the lights the MiL gave me last year when I said the old lights we found here at the house had started to burn out and I couldn't find any replacements that weren't bright white and glaring. She got these at Tractor Supply. They are certainly less glaring than most modern white lights, though not quite as mellow as the old lights. Then again, those old lights probably have some toxic ingredient that is no longer permissible in light manufacturing, so I'm happy with the new ones.

Thanks, MiL.

Of course, we still have our candles on the table.

Before Thanksgiving Day, the candles were complemented by this turkey my mother gave me twenty years ago, plus the pine cone candles my sister brought us.

On Thanksgiving Day, I put new candles on the table, along with a festive arrangement of dried weeds gathered on my morning run.

I took that run before the sun was even up. It was the only way I could get it and a shower done before waking everyone up for church at 8:30 a.m. It was nice, though, because I got to watch the sun rise as I chugged along.

Yesterday we had our first significant snow of the season.

Less than an inch, but exciting nonetheless.

Woodstove season has definitely arrived, which means the top of the stove is now covered in warming clothing in the morning for a toastier dressing experience.

Just make sure the clothes don't touch that stovepipe in the back, unless you want some pyrotechnics to enliven your morning. As I know from personal experience. Sorry about that scorched shirt, son.

Lastly, and speaking of the woodstove, I bought myself an early Christmas present.

Aren't log holders what everyone wants for Christmas?

We had been using one of the old drawers from the boys' bunkbed as a wood box, but it fell apart. I never liked it anyway. It took up too much room and collected dirt and trash from boxes and so forth. This rack looks much better. Handy for hanging damp snow apparel on, too.

There you have it! My life, snapshotted.