Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Back To Normal With A Surprise or Two!!

Good news ... little Jimmy (not is real name) is doing just fine and should be home today.  He's had a little fever they wanted totally under control before releasing him.  YAY!!  He's a trooper and doesn't seem to be bothered at all by what happened to him ... we shall see.

Yesterday morning I decided to whip up a nice beef stew for the family.  I've been making stew for 50 years and I've NEVER gotten it right.  Oh the meat gets cooked, but the flavor is somewhere between Elmer's Glue and wet flour.

This time I decided to shake it up a little.  I took the cheaper $4.99 roast and cut it into pieces, doused it with flour and Red River Ranch Seasoning, then browned it in one of my cast iron skillets.  Into the pot it went, along with potatoes, carrots, onions and mushrooms.  A can of cream of mushroom soup, mixed with a can of water and Lawry's stew seasoning got dumped on top.  Notice I remembered the liner!!

Seven hours later ... what a SURPRISE!!  It actually tasted good!  REALLY good!!  For the first time in my 60 year cooking career, I got it right!!  Too bad it's going to someone else's house!!  I took out a small bowl for me and packaged the rest up for transport.  I'm definitely making THIS recipe again!
My plan was to make dutch oven biscuits to go with the stew, but all my recipes called for sourdough starter.  It's easy to get going, but it requires a lot of care and maintenance.  How about buttermilk biscuits?  No buttermilk.  That's easily remedied ... milk and vinegar ... but it was too late.  When I shook the milk container, the inside was a solid mass.  Needless to say, I don't use milk that often.  What I DID have was a small container of half and half.  But not enough flour!!  My planning skills need improvement.

The reason I didn't have enough flour was that I made a double batch of banana bread for the Indio rally.  Surprise!!  I didn't burn it, in spite of my oven with a 50 degree discrepancy.  The bread is now resting comfortably in the freezer.  
Here's a surprise I never thought I'd see on my back patio.  Almonds.  If you always thought birds were bird-brains, here's evidence they are pretty smart.  There are almond orchards all around me, providing dinner for thousands, that is if they can get to the actual meat in the middle.  

Somewhere along the way they discovered if they dropped the hulls and shells on concrete, they might break open.  I have a large concrete patio in back.  Dinner is served!!  The puppies must have scared them off before they got the nut this time.  Jessie's favorite sport is running out the door and chasing the birds, or cats or feathers ... whatever is moving.
The rest of the day I worked on this quilt.  I'm guessing there are about 5,000 pieces to stitch together.  Those white pieces?  There is 5-1/2 yards of material in those stacks!!  This one is going to take awhile!!  Maybe by the time I finish it, I'll have the dutch oven biscuits down pat.  Surely that can't take more than a couple of years!! 
It's Magic Kingdom day again.  That sure seems to come around fast!!  With all the help we have now, I could probably call in sick, but then I'd miss that wonderful hotdog ... and the stomach ache .... and the 3 Tums it takes to sooth the savage stomach.  Why would I want to miss out on THAT??

Halloween is this weekend.  Are you ready???


  1. The nut story reminds me of when I was working. We install a large solar cell electrical system at work. There was a walnut tree on site. The birds would drop the walnuts on a hard surface, well a couple panels took a couple hits over the years and needed replacing lol.

    1. Yikes ... those walnuts are a lot bigger!! Every once in awhile I'll find walnuts, but most often it's almonds. Smart birds!!