Pear preserves. Breakfast love.

It’s mid-October, though the temperature until today had hovered in the 90s, and is supposed to get back there Saturday, dammit.

Fall is late. Which probably means it’ll snow nine feet this winter.

Which is OK, because living adjacent to an assisted living facility means (a) I rarely lose power, and (b) if and when I do, I’m on a priority circuit to get it restored, and (b) I’ve got a gracious plenty of stuff canned and in the freezer. Hell, I even buy toilet paper and laundry detergent and shampoo at Sams, and order coffee six pounds at a time, so long as I’m not far past a shopping trip, we ain’t gonna run out of groceries and necessities here at Chez Brockwell, no, we ain’t.

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Hey. How y’all?

October 11, 2017

sunday dinner 1008

I hit a weird filter and turned this sepia, or something. It tasted lots better than it looked.

I’ve been in the kitchen. Really, I have. I just haven’t been in the notion to sit down and write about it. And one of the luxuries of no longer being in the writing-for-a-living business is that if I don’t feel like sitting down and putting words together in a row, I don’t have to.

Unless, of course, I figure out some way to make a living off this blog, which I don’t expect to take place.

The flip side of not being around for several days is that I now have several posts I can write, seeing that the Muse seems to be present tonight (it’s astounding what a good Bloody Mary can do for you). I shall try to pound out several of them, and store them and dole them out to my faithful readers (I DO love y’all, I promise, I do) the next time I hit a dry spell.

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Nothing to do with this post, but a food pic I hadn’t posted. Caviar-topped smoked trout deviled eggs.

It’s been too long since I had a kitchen day. Like seriously, big-time too long. And it’s a little bit cool, and while there is work I OUGHT to be doing, it does not have a deadline looming with it, so I can take a day to myself in the kitchen tomorrow.

Because? I doggoned well deserve it.

In all fairness, even though I’ve been working like a madwoman of late, I DID take most of three days off and go to Columbia, MO, to see Emmy Lou Harris and John Prine at a music festival. I do not regret a single second of any of the 10-plus hours I spent in a car to and from. It was an absolutely fantabulous show, and those two are just freakin’ phenomenal.

Yes, I sang along. Yes, I cried when Prine did “Sam Stone.” And cheered myself hoarse.

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Smoke if ya got ’em

September 30, 2017

Yes, honey. Come to Mama.

 

I like my new toy.

You will recall in my last post, or in some recent post, I mentioned having gotten my new Masterbilt smoker. I finally got the damn thing put together, after stripping the threads on the nut and bolt that hold the damper door on, and did the requisite warm-up runs empty.

Then I smoked steelhead trout filets, which were underwhelming. They were just too…fishy. Or I used too much in my deviled eggs (with the caviar I’d ordered from Amazon. Have I said how much I love Amazon? I love Amazon THIS big…).

Not to be defeated, the next project was a sirloin tip roast. And I am happy to report that, although dinner was an hour later than I had planned, that stuff was GOOD, I am here to tell you. Real good. Sweet Baby Jesus good.

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eggbites, plate

Ready to be bagged up for breakfast.

Well, some of it, anyway.

I have bulghur oatmeal bread on its first rise, egg bites in the Instant Pot (and leftovers in the CSO), granola in the oven, and trout filets brining in the fridge. The sirloin tip will move to the freezer to wait his turn, and the bottom round will go in the cure to be corned, since it has to sit for two weeks, anyway.

The trout likely will not get smoked until tomorrow. It may be the bottom round won’t go in the brine until tomorrow. We shall see. Given how I felt yesterday, I’m fairly well amazed I got as much done as I did.

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Kitchen widgetry

September 22, 2017

Kitchen widgetry: Cute little things in which to freeze stock.

Sometimes, you just get all up in your kitchen widgets.

It’s promising to be a kitchen weekend for me. There’s brine cooling for smoked trout filets later on. The Masterbilt smoker is mostly put together.  There’s bread on its second rise in the oven, and  the Instant Pot is busy with beef stew for a friend recovering from surgery. And there’s a cute new little widget, courtesy of Amazon, which I am convinced is a creation of Satan because it’s just Too Damned Easy to spend money. And Jeff Bezos is freakin’ brilliant, for what that’s worth.

Anyway, this little critter is billed as a baby food storage container. It has seven little half-cup wells, and a plastic lid that snaps on the whole thing. I figured it would be quite excellent for freezing small portions of chicken or beef broth, so when I made beef broth a while back, I used these to portion it out. Froze them, and today, I popped them out and threw them in a gallon zip-loc, using three for the beef stew (along with a bottle of Guinness).

Ain’t life grand.

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Well, hello…and a new toy

September 21, 2017

Simple and good.

Tossing my hat gently in the door…Anybody still hanging around here?

I’ve been absent. Semi-off-the-grid. Busy as hell. On the road. And dealing with a minor injury, all of which has conspired to mostly keep me out of the kitchen. I think I’ve cooked twice in the past week, and one of those, I felt puny and didn’t eat much (and it was some of my favorite stuff, too). And I have been in the throes of an insomnia cycle, which plays havoc with both my work AND my cooking, but I think I’m about at the end of that.

And I have a new toy. After wanting one for two years, I have pulled the trigger on a Masterbilt electric smoker. It arrived Tuesday, and I’ve not taken time to pull it out of the box, but Lord willing, I plan to smoke me a big ol’ chicken in it this weekend, and maybe  a piece or two of brisket at the same time. I can always freeze the brisket. Am also contemplating smoking some salmon and some tuna. We shall see. I have just ordered 50 bucks worth of assorted flavors of wood chips, so I should be ready to go.

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