Rain was threatening the other day and the hummers were really stoking up. I played around with placing strobes on the ground around the feeders to try to stop the motion of the bird’s wings. I took a few shots but it started to rain so I gathered the strobes up and quit before I could thoroughly try different settings. I posted this at high resolution, click on it and it’ll get really big. I counted about 30 hummers in this shot.Made a pot of chili just for this picture. Turned out to be pretty good chili, I simmered some dried chilis to make a mole and added that to a chorizo/ground beef mixture with a chopped onion and a ton of garlic. I held off putting beans in, adding them later.I think there are beans in the chili on this hotdog we had later in the day. It has minced jalapeno and red serrano peppers with onions and shredded cheeses.Ginger had lots of fun with his new toy. I think every cat in the house took a turn with it, and Katie spent a few minutes chewing it.Mrs J put together a salad, I added the olives and the pickled garlic. It has a vinaigrette dressing of rice vinegar and olive oil with the usual herbs and a bit of Dijon.The habanero bush on the patio was starting to look like the peppers were thick enough on it to break the branches down so I went ahead and gathered all the ripe ones. I have most of these drying to be ground for pizzas and the like. I learned last year not to breath the dust from the processing.We opened the front door and found this stick insect clinging to the glass of the storm door. No idea why he was there, the location pretty much defeats the blending in strategy in avoiding predators. We see these now and again but almost always when they are away from their normal habitat. Makes me wish for a decent macro lens for my camera.
I bought a jar of pickled garlic to round out an online order a while back and liked it well enough to try to duplicate it. I found a recipe for French pickled garlic that was reiterated over scores of web sites so I just picked this one at random to link to here. The jar I bought had a definite yellow tinge to it so I added turmeric to my version. It worked just fine. I have some of mine here with a Cubano sammich prepared in my grill press/panini maker.Mrs J made a little cat toy filled with catnip and polyfill. Ginger was playing with it until I decided to try for an action photo whereupon he ran off and hid under the couch.I found this young hummer going for the red honeysuckle this morning. Most of his pals are hanging out on feeder row:Made a meatloaf yesterday with ground beef and chorizo plus some chopped peppers, onions, eggs and bread crumbs, etc. I was thinking meatloaf sammiches from the get-go.The gravy is from the drippings with Worcestershire, dark soy sauce, and catsup added. I liked the Kaiser rolls well enough to use them with a basic cheeseburger.I made a sauce for it with sauteed mushrooms and garlic in butter and oil. Swiss cheese rounds it out. Grilled sweet corn has become a favorite this summer. Butter and salt and pepper work just fine, sometimes I use Old Bay seasoning instead of the salt and pepper.This one is a simple cold cut sub with ham and cheese and plenty of veggies with a vinaigrette dressing.
One of these days I’ll cook a real deal meal and surprise everyone!
I put a chicken into the electric smoker yesterday afternoon and jolted myself out of bed, just as I was closing my eyes, when I remembered it was still in there. The skin was black and the bird was pretty dry but we salvaged what we could and chopped the meat for sandwiches. A good soaking in bbq sauce heals a lot of dry.Ginger kitteh pesters Toby all the time. Tobe squalls and hisses and smacks him around and retreats to the top of the tree. Toby’s tail is quite an attraction. He lets Ginger get away with stuff that he will not abide from Homer.We often get geese at the front pond. These two showed up today and have been hanging out. We’ve never had any try to nest, the dogs would preclude any attempt at that. I wonder if a raft out in the middle would attract a pair to nest? The back pond is more secluded, we get ducks on it pretty often, there are several Wood Ducks back there now.The males are very colorful, I wish the camera back there was better. The light wasn’t very good, either. The green box holds corn, the little box under it holds a timer and a little spinner motor to spread the corn at set intervals. The raccoons are all over it at night.It has turned off cold again, it will be down into the twenties tonight. Perfect weather for a good Irish stew! I went with this recipe today.Mrs J sat the dogs down in the laundry the other day for a little light clipping. We hang the hair out front in a device that lets the nest builders grab hanks for their constructions.The tree with the yellow flowers is a Cornelian cherry. It’s a neat little tree, puts out loads of red berries in the fall. It’s usually the first thing to flower, beating out the forsythia for that honor.
Pizza! I fiddled with a crust recipe for this one: 2 cups of flour, pinch each of salt and sugar, 1/4 tsp of yeast and about 3/4 cup of water. No stand mixer but I did knead it a bit before placing it into an oiled bowl to proof. I covered it with plastic wrap and left it alone for about six hours. It took that long to double with the tiny amount of yeast. I stretched and pulled on it to reach the edges of my pan. It was pretty good.The kittehs loved the stuffing that came inside this box. Here’s Homer taking his turn.Tonight we had beef enchiladas with Spanish rice and refried beans. I prefer this style of beans to those dishes that no longer contain identifiable beans. I did mash these a little.Post needs moar puppehs! This is a blue heeler mix pup, one of a small litter that came into the shelter the other day. Already adopted, says Mrs J.A cat still at the shelter, as far as I know. Mrs J may have more info.Here’s Ginger, attracted more to the cursor arrow than the deer in the video clip from the backyard camera.
Katie has finally come off the leash for an entire walk. She has been allowed to run a bit with a longish rope attached to her collar and her good behavior persuaded Mrs J to allow it. She sticks pretty close but she does get out of sight with Jack or Annie for short jaunts but, so far anyway, has come running back when called.Little Ginger kitteh has sampled the great outdoors for the first time. He’s cautious but we expect he will be crying to be let out soon enough.Mrs J kept a close eye on him, and tied a string to him to make him easier to catch if he had other thoughts.He was ready to come back in. Outside is big.
The enchiladas first. Pork and Monterey jack with a smear of refried beans inside white corn tortillas. I stirred more cheese into the beans for a side and that worked pretty well, they would make a good dip all by themselves. The sauce came out of a jar, nothing special, the house enchilada sauce from Kroger’s.These were from earlier in the day. Basic grilled burritos with the same pork shoulder I braised yesterday. These had cheddar in them. We were all stir fried out so we went Tex-Mex today.Post needs moar kitteh! Ginger is a tough product tester and not any old cushion will do. Here he tries on a recent project of Mrs J’s.You can’t expect a kitteh to work all day, now. There are kitteh union rules and Toby is the shop steward.
No human was harmed in the production of this photograph. You may think that the nice lady was swarmed by cats determined to wrest from her the can opener she has for the canned kitteh chow. They are aware, however, that thumbs are required and are therefore careful not to use excessive force in their attempts to “persuade” her.Mrs J was heading out to the shelter for her volunteer duty and carried up some finished pet beds and mats she sews and donates to local shelters. They were so colorful I just had to arrange them for a picture. They love her at the local fabric store! Much of the material she uses is donated and she recycles the stuffing from other items.Ginger, the new boy, is fitting in rather well. I hope Homer eases off his less than welcoming behavior. I keep a squirt bottle handy.I made a batch of steak for cheesesteak sammiches yesterday. I think the classic recipe calls for a rib loin to be cooked then sliced thin and topped with cheese and onions or peppers but I always slice the meat thin while it’s still semi frozen and then cook it with onions. I’ve been using flat iron steaks for this and they work great. The sammy above was topped with a white cheddar sauce and the hot Chicago giardiniera I love so much.An alternate method is to layer sliced cheese atop a loaded bun and then put it under the broiler to melt the cheese. That’s how I did these – they are topped with provolone and are fresh from the toaster oven.Here is one of those all dressed and ready to go. I’ve been keeping a dish of olives of various kinds marinating in a garlicy Italian dressing. I love olives.