Category Archives: Wild Critters
Random wildlife – Ginger checks out a backyard visitor. This was captured by the backyard camera in a happy accident. There is a setting on the camera that allows you to space the time between shots and we have it set for 5 minutes, iirc. That cuts down on the number of pictures it will take if, say, the deer here stays and mills around for a while but it may miss whatever shows up during that hiatus.I mentioned the other day that I bought the ingredients for mojo marinade thinking about doing a pork butt for a more authentic Cubano sandwich. I marinated this one overnight then roasted it low and slow. It was covered for most of the cooking time but I did take the lid off for the last 30 minutes.Here’s the sandwich I had in mind the whole time. It’s basically a layered assembly of Swiss cheese, pickles, ham, and the mojo pork. The bun halves are smeared with mustard, the other components assembled, and cooked in a grill press. These are great tasting sammiches even without the mojo, any roast pork will work fine.Mrs J planted some cucumbers in with some clematis where it climbs up a wired in enclosure down on the south side of the house and the vines are starting to produce. (You can just barely see them in the picture with Ginger and the deer, above.) We had a couple rounds of the classic cucumber, tomato, and onions with vinegar and oil so we used the last half dozen to put together a refrigerator pickle recipe. Can’t wait to try them, we’ll give them a week to come together but I’ll bet they get better after that. Kitteh! This is one of several in a litter at the shelter, I have no more info than that, alas.Mrs J saw a much earlier photo of roast pork and gravy on egg noodles and she remembered that she really liked it and we haven’t had that in a long time and we do have some roast pork and egg noodles, don’t we? She who must be obeyed! The fact that these were slices from the mojo pork butt made no difference. I simmered the slices in chicken stock with onions, colored it with Kitchen Bouquet, added a bit of beef soup flavoring and thickened it with corn starch. Not the ideal gravy but it worked well enough!More random wildlife – a few wild turkeys browsing for insects, I assume. This camera is on the opposite side of the house and is looking North. It doesn’t get nearly as much action as the one overlooking the spot where Mrs J scatters corn and sunflower seeds but we see a fair selection of critters. I understand that they have cameras with wi-fi transmitters built in that can broadcast their captures to a centrally located receiver. Sounds interesting, we gather the memory cards and view the take via a screen in the house. From what I’ve seen the wi-fi range isn’t far enough to be all that useful for us.
This scared looking minipin, Hannah, is a refugee from a breeding program and is gradually learning that not all humans are assholes. She turned up at a shelter in a neighboring town but they had no luck placing her – staff at St Francis said they would try their luck at finding her a home.This mantis was hunting ants on my parsley, I took out the cell phone to see how it would work for macro. This is the best I could do, he was very lively and scurried around trying to avoid the looming rectangle. He’s only an inch long, or so.Mrs J tried several times to get a decent photo of Suzy, this one is as good as any. There was one that would have been really good due to the expression on her face but it was, alas, just too out of focus to use.Steak and fries with garlic green beans. The trick to the beans is to cook them a bit before dumping them into a pan with garlic butter to heat through. Nice thing about it is that you can boil or steam the beans ahead and then finish them quickly when the rest of the dinner is ready. I dug a huge rib eye steak out of the freezer, one that I had the butcher cut off of a rack of them. I couldn’t find a mate to it so I cut it into two steaks and trimmed it up some.Amelia is a Siamese about 1-1/2 years old. Mrs J says she’s a squealer – if a dog or another cat touches her she becomes very vocal.I have a thing about cheese crust pizzas. Thing is I just love them! This one has the meatballs you can see, pepperoni, mushrooms, olives, and onions that you can’t because of the cheese, unless you look really close. I do see an olive or two peeking through.
More fun with the new camera phone. Trying out the slo-mo video capture feature. This one is quarter speed, not sure if that is a fixed setting or whether I can adjust it. Bonus! It uploaded the video to Youtube right from the camera over wifi.
It’s been a week or so since the cicadas emerged from their 17 year dirt nap and they are making up for lost time.I tried a box mix onion ring batter for these and didn’t much like the result although I did manage to choke a few down. The sammich is a turkey salad made with a generous amount of crumbled crispy bacon with celery and sweet relish. Much better than the rings.I posted a photo of this chicken while still on the grill the other day. Here it is plated with the baked beans and a few cold sides.Post needz moar kitteh! I don’t know anything about this one other than it will be available for adoption soon.I don’t have many pictures of Toby that don’t have him giving me a suspicious glare. Look up scaredy-cat in the dictionary and there he is.I don’t make compound butters very often but I really should pick up my game. This one is a dill butter with a drop of lemon juice and a dash of cayenne and it went really well with this lemon butter fish filet.
Thighs are the best part of a chicken. These are bone in and they still have their skins and are perfect for a bbq. Cast iron works great on a grill, these beans will have a smokey flavor because of that chunk of hickory I have in the smokebox over one of the burners.Bonus Butterfly! I just like the look of this one. That’s a Yellow Swallowtail on purple cone flowers.
Cicadas! One of a myriad that appeared overnight. They are kind of pretty, fresh out of their old skins. This one is perched upon a coralbell Mrs J planted last fall after nurturing it all last summer in a container. Not really looking forward to their singing 24/7, talk about the sounds of summer…Once we noticed and started looking we found the empties all over. These things emerge on a cycle, I’m not sure if these are the 13 year or the 17 year models.