Tidbits

We are coping with the damp, dark winter days by cooking comfort foods.  Expect soups and sandwiches.  These chili dogs are easy to eat out of hand if you have a damp cloth handy, otherwise a fork is indicated.I think a few of the out-takes from the Picnicking Birds folder are in order.  We have lots of squirrels, plenty of cats, raccoons, dogs, deer, and occasional shots of Mrs J – even a glimpse of me on the mower.  That last category will have to await summer.More of those pancetta tacos.  These are built with a smear of refried beans, crispy pork, queso fresco, a bit of red onion, a nice spoonful of chipotle crema, and a drizzle of my current favorite taco sauce.We have a tenacious grey squirrel that braves the elements and squirrel eaters to nosh on the sunflower seeds he seems to favor.  Gabe has spent many a patient hour sitting at the back door waiting for him.This is the last bowl of the cheddar broccoli soup.  I’ve kicked it up with my own blend of seasonings kept  in an Oxo pepper grinder at the table.  When I see the level of spice getting a bit low I add some more of whatever is close to hand.  As a result the blend is constantly changing but always includes sea salt, several varieties of dried red peppers, and coarsely ground black pepper.  I just added some crushed coriander seeds and Mexican oregano to it and those seem to work well.  I pre-grind most items before adding them, the grinder on the Oxo is not made to reliably handle disparate sizes of feedstock but it does a good jobs of dispensing my mix.This was from last month, we had a bit of snow that didn’t last too long but it did prompt me to go to town to buy some salt for the walk.  Alas, it took a few broken bones to teach us us that lesson in winter preparedness.This chicken was seasoned with a lot of granulated garlic and then roasted beer-butt style in a baking tray with a few potatoes.  Halve the potatoes and place cut side down to bake in the chicken drippings.  We had a little bowl of mac ‘n cheese on the side.  The meal was crying out for some color so I put that parsley garnish down but it looks so sad there.  Should have steamed some broccoli.

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