Friday, February 2, 2024

Friday Food: A Little Bit of Chicken Fried*


Short version: Leg of lamb, rice, radishes, soup

Long version: I thawed the last of the boned legs of lamb we had done at the proper butcher awhile ago, then marinated it in olive oil, vinegar, garlic powder, and salt. 

To cook it, I just browned it whole in bacon grease on both sides until it had gotten as crusty as it could without burning, then sliced it and briefly heated the pieces in the pan again, adding more salt and garlic powder at that point.

It was a pretty small roast, and would not have been big enough for all six of us to eat it. However, I had also made soup.

I mostly made the soup because I had made lamb broth several days earlier with a couple of lamb shanks, for a child who wasn't feeling well. I needed to use the broth or freeze it. I've been making stew a lot with the elk and ram, so I decided to do something different.

I used one of the two ham bones that had been in the freezer, simmered that in the broth--with onions and garlic added--then pulled off the meat and chopped it. There was about a cup of ham, to which I added the rest of the pinto beans I had cooked last weekend, diced carrots, the last of the pizza sauce, and rice. At the end, I also added a can of green beans we had gotten with commodities.

A good soup. I ate that, A. ate some with his lamb, and the sick child ate some of the broth with rice.


Short version: Soup and bread at home, infinity concessions food at homecoming

Long version: I was with three of the children at homecoming, which is always a very long afternoon and evening. There are three basketball games and the homecoming court coronation. I had one boy playing in one of the games, one girl cheerleading, and one boy on the homecoming court. Due to various circumstances, we ended up rushing out the door to get the basketball player there on time, and I did not have time to get together a bunch of food.

This left me at the mercy of the concession stand. For six hours. With three children.

I must have spent at least $50 for, at various times, two Frito pies, two hamburgers, one hot dog, and assorted chips, candy, and drinks. It was a good reminder that it is totally worth all the somewhat obsessive planning and packing of food that I typically do for outings. 

A. was home with one sick child--luckily, the only child who did not have any part to play in homecoming this year--and they had leftover ham and bean soup and the fresh bread I had made this day.


Short version: Tuna/salmon patties, leftover rice, artichokes, salvaged chocolate pudding

Long version: Two 12-ounce cans of tuna, one 14-ounce can of salmon, because we're starting to get salmon from the excess commodities again.

I bought the artichokes last time I was at the store. Because they had them, and one child really loves artichokes. My mother always made a dipping sauce for them with oil, vinegar, and Worcester sauce, and so I do, too.

Everyone knows the best part of the artichoke is the heart. Somehow, my children assume that they eat the leaves, and then give me the heart for my salad. I think we did this once, and now apparently it's tradition. Kids are funny like that. And I'm not complaining.

The pudding was a classic Kristin Following a Recipe mess-up. I somehow read a quarter cup of cornstarch as three quarters of a cup. You can imagine how thick the resulting pudding was. I realized my mistake when I had to gouge it out of the pot. So I put it back in the pot, added more of everything, heated it again, whisked it vigorously, and called it good.

It was good, actually. And we ended up with like a gallon of pudding, which no one complained about. Given the frequency with which I do something so boneheaded in the kitchen, it's a good thing I have the experience to fix it instead of just giving up on it.

I didn't spill any of it, either. Yay me.


Short version: Tuna-rice skillet, more pudding

Long version: I had some of the uncooked tuna patty mixture left, as well as a lot of rice. So I combined the two, plus already-cooked onion from the refrigerator, mayonnaise, frozen peas, and shredded cheese to make a skillet meal.

I had split the pudding into two containers, saving one for this night.

Sunday pudding on the left, Monday pudding on the right.

It's very nice having chocolate pudding at the end of a long Monday. I recommend it. So do my children.


Short version: Store fried chicken, leftover rice, grape tomatoes, chocolate-chip oatmeal cookie bars

Long version: In a complete departure from our typical meals, we had fried chicken from a grocery store this night. I was in a city to go to the doctor with the child who is soon to have his next foot surgery. We went to the grocery store before we came home, of course, and it was there that I bought the fried chicken, from the deli.

The reason I bought it was because of another child, who went to a Popeye's with A. on one of their adventures and came home raving about the chicken sandwich he had there. It was, I was told, fried chicken, lots of mayonnaise, and dill pickles. I had promised him we would re-create it at home, should we ever have the opportunity.

I don't fry chicken myself if I can avoid it, so I bought the 16-piece chicken offer from the deli, made sure to get dill pickles, and the Popeye's fan was in business. He was SO HAPPY with his sandwich. Sandwiches, in the plural, actually, since he ate two of them.

Everyone else had just the chicken with the leftover rice.

The chicken was not my plan for dinner this night, because I didn't think we'd get home in time for dinner. I had made a spanish tortilla for dinner, but that can sit quite happily in the refrigerator until it's needed.

I screwed up the cookie bars when I added too much of the dry ingredients and not enough butter, so they were kind of dry and crumbly, but no one seemed to have any trouble eating them.


Short version: More chicken sandwiches, lots of leftovers, green salad with vinaigrette, more cookie bars

Long version: Two children had the sandwiches. One had two pieces of plain chicken and some of the leftover tuna-rice skillet. One had a piece of the spanish tortilla. A. had the rest of the tuna-rice skillet and the last piece of leftover lamb. I had a salad with some chicken in it.

This cleaned out many leftovers, which is always satisfying.


Short version: Spanish tortilla

Long version: Only half the family was eating, because two children came down the night before with a nasty stomach flu. Another child was at a basketball game. The remaining family members had the spanish tortilla I had made on Tuesday morning. And . . . that was it. I didn't make a vegetable.

Time for a refrigerator peek!

It's full! Because I went to the store on Tuesday.

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

* It's from a song. Of course. This one.

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Here Come the Lambs!

On Sunday afternoon, one child came bursting into the house with the exciting news that there were lambs in the pasture. And not only lambs, but triplets.

One, two, three, all in a line.

This is the first time in fifteen years of lambing that we have ever had a ewe have triplets. While exciting, we didn't really expect all three to make it. Sheep have a hard time keeping track of and nursing that many lambs, and we don't bottle feed lambs. 

However, as of yesterday night, all three seemed healthy, so maybe they will all make it.

A set of twins was born Sunday night, as well.

Babies everywhere.

They seemed healthy, too. 

Thankfully, we're in a stretch of notably warm weather, which is what we want for lambing. Even a healthy lamb has a hard time if it's 15 degrees with wind, but in this weather, they don't have any trouble.

We're off to a great start so far with the lambing. There are four more older ewes that should lamb in short order, which means there will be lambs popping all over the pasture in a couple of weeks.

Spring is coming, and so are the lambs.

Update: Two of the triplets were dead this morning, for no particular reason except that they apparently didn't follow their mother overnight, and she didn't go find them. So now we have three live lambs. And that's the way it goes.

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Snapshots: All School, All the Time

Since I worked all the days of our four-day school week this week, I spent more time than usual at school. Also, yesterday was homecoming. More school time! I had one cheerleader, one basketball player, and one member of the homecoming court there, all of whom needed special clothing. And all of that required me to be there until the bitter end, after the coronation. Which was after all three basketball games. 

I did not stay for the dance afterwards. It was a community dance, so I could have, but it went from 9 p.m.-midnight, which is way past my bedtime even on days I haven't spent six hours sitting on a hard bleacher with excited children. 

The older two boys wanted to go to the dance. A. had said he would pick them up around 11 p.m., but then he was home sick and already asleep when I got home at 8 p.m. I am still thanking God quite sincerely that my friend with similarly-aged children was going to the dance, drives right past our house on her way home, and offered to bring the boys home after the dance.

Anyway! All this to say that all my photos this week are in and of the school.

Our school is currently under construction, and that means all kinds of inconveniences. So far we have lost Internet, water, and power at various times. One power outage occurred on Monday. We have a generator, but our superintendent asked us to conserve power while it was running, so I turned off the lights in the hallway leading to my kitchen-office.

It actually looked way darker in real life. And somewhat alarming, with the red exit sign glowing at the end.

On Tuesday, I was substituting for our special ed. teacher, who is also the cheer coach. She asked me if I could organize the new cheer uniforms, unwrapping them, sorting them, and putting together bags for each girl using the size chart she gave me.

There are five pieces to each uniform--undershirt, undershorts, overshirt, skirt, and giant hair bow--and thirteen cheerleaders. 

A table full of cheer. (Ha.)

It was surprisingly difficult, but I managed in the end. And I only forgot one girl's undershirt.

On Thursday, I substituted in the phrase-cube classroom. This was my mandate for the day.

Can't make me.

I was definitely not smiling when I saw the instructions for the day's third-grade math lesson on fractions. It involved various sizes of paper, modeling clay, and cups of water, all to be laid out in stations.

Thankfully, the teacher had already cut the paper to size for me, so I just had to organize it all, label it, and lay it out. This took me the entire fifteen minutes of the first recess.

Also thankfully, the other teachers' aide comes in at math time and actually did the lesson with them. It seemed to be just as complicated in the execution as it was in the set-up, but the kids thought it was really fun.

Oh, I do have one non-school photo! Sort of. This is what I was staring at for an hour and a half on my way to the basketball game last Friday.

I did not see a single other vehicle for 62 miles. I did see one coyote and a whole lot of antelope, though.

There you have it! My life, snapshotted.