O The Humanities!

gchocolate cake

One of the enduring Sabbath traditions around our house (and one of the ongoing reasons for my*ahem* large behind) is some sort of ooey-gooey treat to last the weekend.  I have tried every treat imaginable, from low-carb to store bought to fancy-made.  We always tend to come back to simple pies and cakes.  For this weekend: a German Chocolate cake, square.  Square because my rotten childe borrowed my round pans and has not returned them.  No cake for you!
So, full disclosure: I cheated on the cake and bought a box.  I did substitute the veg oil with coconut oil, to make it a bit better
The frosting I made on the stove.  MMMmmmmm, delicious coconut pecan frosting!
Here is what ya do:
1 cup of coconut milk
1 cup sugar (urgh, yes, I used white sugar,  Beat me, I am eating cake!
3 beaten egg yolks
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/3 cup coconut (I used some really nice dessicated unsweetened coconut)
1 cup chopped crispy pecans and walnuts

Pour the ingredients though the vanilla into a sauce pan, fire up the stove and start heating and mixing.  When well mixed, dump in the coconut and nuts.  Cook for about 10 minutes, or until enough of the liquid has boiled off to make the frosting really really thick.  Take off the heat and cool.  Frost yer cake.  Put in fancy cake plate, balance on the couch for the light and snap a pic. Post it on the Internet (lol Kristi) to make people drool.  Or whatever floats yer boat.

Bought a big bone

That childe of mine and I went to the store last night and bought a Big Bone. A cow’s femur, to be exact.  Bones, yay!  The Old Man promptly sawed it in half per my request so it would both fit in the freezer as well as fit in the stock pot. It will be a big steaming pot of stock this weekend, and then into a big, nourishing pot of soup for the week.  It is SO HARD to find bones in meat here in California, or organ meats that aren’t nasty chicken livers in a plastic tub.  I think it is the growing hispanic population that is bringing the bones back.  A lack of decent bone is probably the reason for the limp spinelessness of the general population in our area, IMHO.

When looking at the Big Bone (ginormous! Huuuge! Holy Cow!) I was instantly reminded of the Near Nude Bourdain pic I posted on a different date.  I think I shall repost Bourdain’s Big Bone in honor of my big Bone.

NSFW Bourdain after the jump

Continue reading Bought a big bone

Movin’ to the country, gonna eat me a lot of peaches

No!  No peaches!  Dang it, they are soo sweet and good.  I have beautiful glistening jars that I canned this year…must…not….eat…

I REALLY need to do something about my carb-loading these days.  I ssit at work in front of a computer monitor and eat Kettle chips and stress out over all the things I need to get done. Oy, what a mess.

So, I am going to get rid of all the bad snax at work and replace them with “good” snax.  Some of it will come from home, some of it will come from the store;)

On my list of snax that will help me dump some of the darned carbs:

hard boiled eggs (oh, how I love thee)

Kimchee and sauerkraut

good Bubbies Kosher dills

cheese

homemade beef jerky

pickled veg from the garden

berries

more cheese

did I mention cheese?

I might grind some wheat this afternoon soak it, and make crackers with coconut oil.   I have that darned recipe around here somewhere; they are carby but  will be better than store-bought chips and go very well with the cheese.  Oh, cheese.  If only I were Shakespeare to write a sonnet about my love for cheese…

POTUS: Peaches

Bad Harvest

I usually love to celebrate the first harvests coming from our yard as it gives me great hope and comfort to be able to provide some of the food our family eats.  This year has not been a comfort, and I can feel my ancestors shivering in sympathy over the harvest so far.  A bad year like this to them meant hungry times by spring.

First, the big freezes: just as all of the trees were blooming our area had an unexpected very late deep freeze.  We lost all of our walnuts, apples, plums, peaches, almonds.  The area that I live in had a near 100% loss of the fruit tree crops.

Second, when I went to a conference in Portland, I left my daughter in charge of my baby plants for transplanting.  Unexpected heat wave, neglectfulness on her part and an accident with a plastic sheet killed 150+ plants.  Ack.  I replanted, but only about 100 plants. I went to a conference in Redding for a few days and when I came back, all dead again. So I only replanted a few things and basically gave up.

This summer, we had something, maybe a skunk, tunnel under the ducks pen and killed the ducks.  The 20  chickens all met up with a predator after being let out one day. A miscommunication (to put it nicely) between the Old Man and I  caused one entire side of the garden to die from the lack of water (all of my zukes, pumpkins, watermelons, peppers, cow peas, pinto beans, various squashes…gone).  I also lost my herb garden.

This is almost more than I can bear, and really getting me down!  I have tomatoes coming off, and bells, and some squash, but not much else.  I have been canning, but by making runs to the fruit/veg stands in the valley to supplement what I have.

A funny thing I noticed about the fruit stands and the farmer’s market: no one has serious quantities to sell for canning, etc any more. I remember when I was a kid buying boxes of produce and putting it up.  Perhaps it is becoming a lost art?  I think that very soon this kind of information will be very valuable, and those that hold it will need to share it as much as possible.

As for the bad harvest: I will purchase what I need this year to carry us over to the next, but wonder: what will happen when I can’t do that anymore?

First Cuppa is the Best, Neh?

I tell ya I loooove coffee.  I am not a complete insufferable coffee snob, like some bloggers out there who feel the compulsion to buy $2000 machines and order green beans on the net and roast them in their oven (or $1000 roasting machine) until first or second crack, but I do like fairly fresh coffee in the bean, usually from Mother Lode Coffee, and grinding it each morning for each cup and running the whole shebang through a french press.  My pref is for light to medium roast coffee, to avoid the “second crack” bitter and burn flavor most prominently featured by large chain coffee vendors.  I loooove Kona coffee, the all time greatest  IMHO, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to find, even in the cheapo “less than 10%” field.Oh well, fresh coffee is still good coffee. Bliss.  I allow myself two of these heavenly beverages in the morning, while i troll the net like a fiend first thing in the AM.

Last night the Old Man and I ate out instead of my cooking pork chops. We were supposed to be celebrating the fact that my funders have finally come through with a contract, but other multiple irritating things happened over the course of the day to both of us and it spoiled the air of quiet triumph I was trying to achieve.  We ate at the Peppery Gar and Brill (yes, that is what they call it, snort.)  It is a fairly good trendy local place.  The meals tend to be about the same quality each time, which is a good but not great quality. I had the Tri-tip Red Chile Wrap and fries (ya, I know, the oils! The carbs!) and the Old Man had the baby back ribs.  We also had an order of onion strings as an appetizer (again with the oils! The carbs!)  Notes on food: Cook your strings longer!  No one likes doughy faux onion rings, darn it!  And what was with the nibs that passed for fries? Not a one longer than an inch, and some of them were darned flakes.  It is not cool to serve up the bottom of the bag like that.  I tried the Old Man’s ribs, and found them passable, but the chipotle sauce reminded me of jazzed up Ketchup.  Notes about the restaurant: abysmally slow.  Very unusual in this Trendoid the Berberian place. The boozed up football crowd was there at the bar, but not a whole lot of them.  Only 4 tables full, and the service was sloooow.  And hey, owner, tell your waitresses to tone down the hostile when given the “I am irritated that I have been waiting for my drink order to be taken for the last 10 minutes look.” When the waitress sauntered by after a 10 minute absence, I gave her the patented withering look.  She got pissed and pissy with me.  Bye bye tip, lady! (the Old Man left her something.  He is not mean like I am.)

At least the beer that I FINALLY got 15 minutes by my watch after we were seated in an incredibly slow restaurant was good.  A “Black and Tan” from draft Guinness and Bass Ale.  Yum!

I have to go walk one of the devil dogs now.

Good calorie counter

I found a good calorie counter back a while ago when I was reading CRON blogs (caloric restriction, optimum nutrition).  It works as well as fit day and no subscription required:

http://spaz.ca/cronometer/

Its open source and very adjustable.  Since I am having trouble getting back on the low-carb wagon, I am logging my food choices in the Cron-o-meter and trying to stay under 2000 calories.  I can hold nicely there without gaining, while I try to slowly go back to reducing carbs.  Oy, tortillas!  Oy, bowls of fruit!

Beer Review

I have had a rare really good day today; went shooting at Thompson’s Meadow this AM with the Old Man and tried out my new Remington 870 Express Security shot gun (20 GA for the lightweight girly that I be.)  Old Man tried out his new Remington 870 Marine Magnum 12 GA and blew some stuff UP!  (Can I hear a BOOM?) We ate good egg salad sammitches on sourdough with Bubbie’s pickles and sauerkraut at creekside while cows moo’ed at us wistfully, wishing that we were the hay truck.  Good times, indeed.

We had awesome burgers for dinner, BTW, with onion buns, 1/3 lb fresh ground hamburger, mushrooms, onions, melted bleu cheese and Dijon mustard/mayo with, you guessed it: BEER!

bluemoonbeer

Blue Moon Beer, to be exact.  (Pardon my typing, if it runs off the edge of the screen. Two beers give me a righteous buzzzzz.) Very smooth, very full.  Tastes reminiscently of apricots and peaches.  It is great with an orange slice.  I first had this beer on a drunken spree in Tahoe with my former friend GF back in Feb.  I really liked it then, but was so buzzed from free alcohol from sitting at the slots at Harrah’s that I could not trust my tongue’s initial impressions.  We got so drunk that day we got lost in the tunnel between Harvey’s and Harrah’s and circled around endlessly, saying “Hey!  Didn’t we JUST see that!” until we realized we were lost.  Good times again.  This beer is very mellow, and goes well with beer and pickles.  The Old Man tried it, and did not make the famous Admiral Ackbar face, so it MUST be good.

Here is the site for it:

http://www.bluemoonbrewingcompany.com Believe me, it’s worth a try!  **hick**.

Now I have to go back to obsessively watching my favorite TEOTWAWKI websites/forums to watch WW III unfold with the Russian/Georgian conflict vs. the US blockade of Iran as the centerpiece.  Good luck and good night!

What’s for dinner this week?

In no particular order:

Lots of pickled veg, fresh from the garden: onion, cukes, peppers, carrots and cabbage (bought those two); sliced marinated tomatoes from the garden, salads with different lettuces and pickled veg (as in lacto fermented).

rib eye steaks with heavy cream and pepper sauce, grilled, with fresh squash and cornmeal fritters (that’s up tonight, I just decided;

a pot of beans that have been sprouted and have a lovely ham hock in ’em, along with hot southern cornbread and cultured butter;

baked chicken drizzled in butter and rosemary from the garden, with the cavity stuffed with onion and sprinkled in sea salt and nice new potatoes and veg again!

pork  chops smothered in a heavy cream/coconut milk based sauce, with mushrooms and onions; mashed potatoes with garlic and cream, more garden veg or salad and “no knead” bread that has soured longer than 24 hours (makes AWESOMe lunch bread with spreads);

“sneaky bastard” meatloaf with hidden organ meats (heart and a touch o’liver) and garlicky mashed potatoes with cream and butter, more veg from the garden;

Sausages galore, grilled with sourdough bread (along with liverwurst and braunschweiger and sauerkraut, yum!);

deep fried squash from the garden with herbs and cornmeal in the batter;

ham and cheese omelets with potato latkes and toast from no-knead bread;

watermelon and cantaloupe by the bowl;

blackberry cobbler, with blackberries straight from the back yard;

a pot roast and veg cooked in the crock pot from the “Full Moon Feast” cookbook recipe, which is one of the best I have ever had;

and finally, copious amounts of beer, which I will review as I go along.

It is going to be a delish week!

Migas for breakfast

Sigh.  Homesick Texan , I love you but my ass is growing from eating too much of your gorgeous recipes.  Sigh again.

The ONLY way I have ever successfully lost weight is with low-carbing. However, I LOATHE the process of low-carbing, as it helps me wack out in my OCD way on every damned thing I put in my mouth, to where I find myself defiantly stuffing tortillas in my mouth while hiding in the back bathroom tub ( a lovely old six-foot long claw foot, I might add).  I have even tried to make peace with calories following “Eat Fat Lose Fat” by Sally and Mary in WAPF style.  But the second anything carby enters my mouth and the Hunger!  I get squirrelly and eat!  Low carbing shuts that off, but makes me crazy in other, not nice ways.  So, fat I am and fat I remain. At least until the next time that Cleochatra inspires me and I get back on the LC wagon. *Snort*

This leads to: Migas for Breakfast!  Here is what Homesick Texan says about it, and a great recipe to boot.  The difference with mine: I fry nice Trader Joe’s fat corn tortillas in butter, and then add the eggs and cheese.  I also drop a bit of sour cream on the top after ensalsaing.  (is that a word?)

I am going to make some RIGHT NOW!