Beautiful dinner for a beautiful spring evening.

We were gifted with just an extraordinarily gorgeous spring day over the weekend.

Brilliant blue sky, a wisp of a cloud here and there, temps in the mid-upper 70s, a light breeze ruffling the air now and again. What a friend used to call “a bluebird day.”

So I did what any good, red-blooded ‘MericanĀ would do on such a day. I cracked open a beer and fired up the grill.

And we had surf and turf for dinner. And it was, if I did cook it myownself, fine.

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Yay! It’s spring!

March 20, 2017

Don’t laugh. It stands up on its own.

And my computer is in the shop. You can get a lot done when you are not working for a living, which I could not because I have not been diligent in backing my stuff up to the cloud, else I could use, after a fashion, this little tablet convertible critter that’s my travel machine.

It would be cool but for this truncated keyboard, which makes typing painfully slow.

But today, while I could not work, I played in the dirt. I built a compost bin out of pallets. I pulled up last year’s tomato vines and the cages. Threw the tomato vines in the compost bin. Dumped in my existing barrel of compost that’s been working all winter.

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It has been a weekend full of cookery.

And basketball. And my Razorbacks, God bless ’em, made a valiant effort against North Carolina, but a couple of bad calls late turned it. Now, as long as Kentucky loses, I don’t care who wins.

Calls for a glass of wine.

I’ll save last night’s dinner, which was a fine, fine thing, for a separate post, but I’ll give you a couple of examples of the best of St. Patrick’s Day and the day after.

There was this:

Classic corned beef dinner. Except it was bottom round roast, and not brisket.

And then there was this:

Even better: corned beef hash the next morning.

Dear Sweet Baby Jesus, help me now. These were GOOD. REAL Good.

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Along for the ride

March 15, 2017

Ready to go for their swim: Corned beef, left, and pork loin.

One of the fine things about cooking sous vide is that you can cook completely unrelated things together-but-separately, encased in their own little plastic vacuum sealed pouches (or zip-lock freezer bags), burbling along in the water.

I did that earlier this week with corned beef and a pork loin, being that they needed to get about the same temp. The corned beef went for a good while longer, but I cooked the pork loin for about 8 hours and then filched it out of the bath. The corned beef went for another 36 hours, roughly. They’re both reposing in the fridge as we speak.

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Brilliance on bread

March 13, 2017

The ultimate meat loaf sandwich. I promise.

I astound myself sometimes at how freakin’ brilliant I can be in the kitchen.

As oppose, y’understand, to how clueless I can be in the kitchen. To my everlasting credit, I have not been shy about sharing my spectacular failures. But this is one of my spectacular successes.

Regular readers may recall my affinity for a meat loaf sandwich. Properly prepared, with lots of Hellman’s mayo, a layer of melty cheese (American slices will suffice, but Brie is much better), and perfectly thin slices of meat loaf, toasted to a turn, there ain’t much that can beat it.

I’ve beaten it.

And how it was, was, like this.

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Feeling all fruity

March 12, 2017

Fresh pineapple in between the yogurt and the granola.

I think it’s my fault it snowed.

Y’see, how it was, was, I was feeling all springy and such, and I indulged in fruit. Lots of fruit the past week or 10 days. Strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, pears, watermelon. I even toyed with the idea of adding some small watermelons and some canteloupes to my garden plan.

And Mother Nature said, “Uh, uh, no you don’t! Don’t you even start thinking about spring and such!” And that bitch dumped four inches of snow on us yesterday afternoon and last night. On the very day, in fact, that I was supposed to go to Lowe’s and pick up my order of bagged compost, fence stuff, and other assorted garden-y things.

Pffth. I just hope it didn’t get the early peaches.

Anyway. I’m enjoying fruit, whatever the weather is. I made yogurt the other day, and granola, and I’ve had that with both pineapple and with strawberries. Good breakfast fare, that; it’ll stay with you for a while.

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"Watermelon," AGC exclaimed in delight when he saw it

“Watermelon,” AGC exclaimed in delight when he saw it

Whew, Lawdy, y’all. I’m TIRED!

I have been in my kitchen All Day Long. Which is a Good Thing, as I have been so busy all week that I’ve barely managed to make a quick meal here and there. So today, I put in a marathon session. I have made a batch of yogurt, a batch of granola, a bowl of chicken salad, a coconut cake, a batch of bread, and a grilled cheese sandwich for AGC 2. I made a brine and put a bottom round roast in to corn, as St. Pat’s is coming up, and now I have a couple of smaller pieces of brisket simmering in Guinness in the slow cooker to shred up tomorrow for sandwiches.

I’m not sure what possessed me, but it’s surely worn me out.

Along the way, I took time to use a kitchen gadget Child A had gotten me last summer for my birthday that I’d never used.

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