Blog Needs Moar Kittehs

Remember – kittehs are just ducks with fur.


Duck Sagas: It’s All Fun And Games Until Someone Loses A Beak

Seriously, these guys. I’ve been trying to do some landscaping and whenever I have the shovel out, the dogs have to be inside.  This week, the ducks decided to get in on the act.

Penelope/Pearl is watchful from the patio – this is all new to her. Meanwhile Mabel and Maddie have been here long enough they view me as the not very smart yard help. So they just do as they please. I even started throwing dirt ON them. They just gave me the side-eye.

Ducks. They are just cats with feathers.

Hey and believe it or not, I’m going to be cooking up a storm this weekend. Until then…


Mrs J is headed towards the freezer with a tray of frosted cupcakes.  We’ll let them freeze solid and then bag them for evening snacks while watching TV.Gabe and Homer take five on the lawn.  Homer will be the star of this post by dint of his appearances in several of the photos.I cut some dill for a freezer experiment.  This will be spread on a tray and frozen, like those cupcakes.  I expect it will be good in recipes although not much for a garnish.One of my tuna salad concoctions.  Tuna plays a small part, there are three kinds of cheese, onions, celery, red and green bell peppers, and mayo.  Maybe other stuff!  The bread is store bought sourdough with a very light toast.Homer and Ginger Boy relax on the walk between bouts of hissing and chasing.  Since the kitchen remodel moved a window that used to overlook this scene we have moved the hummingbird feeders around the corner where they are in view out of the window there.  There isn’t much hummer activity presently  but  it will  pick up.A typical summer lunch/dinner.  The slaw is made with one of the copycat KFC recipes that are easy to find online.

Chili Oil

I’ve been watching all those Youtubes of that guy touring Asia as a foodie, going to good places to eat and chowing down.  Always he is daubing on a hot condiment of some sort but he’s never far from a dish of chili oil.  I’ve looked at some recipes and this is a melding of what I saw that I had some of the parts for.  I’m persuaded that every chef or family that makes this stuff as a matter of course has their own recipe.Today, mine starts with 2 heads of garlic, peeled and minced, simmered in a cup of 225° oil for a half hour or so.  While that is going, heat another half cup of  oil in another small saucepan and add star anise, cinnamon sticks, black peppercorns, sichuan peppercorns, and annatto seeds.I put in the annatto seeds because I wanted the color, they are optional.  Heat this at 225° or so for the same half-hour as the garlic.  Don’t burn the garlic!  You want it to be golden.  I hover over mine with a laser guided thermometer gun thing.The three on the left were all grown in containers in the patio garden.  I really wanted to get some of those Sichuan peppercorns in the mix, and those Korean crushed red peppers weren’t doing any good just sitting in that container.  Reminds me, I have a head of Napa cabbage and I’m all out of kimchi.I added 1 cup of a mix of those dried peppers.  Mostly cayenne, some serrano, less habanero than that, and a good representation of the other two.  I strained the solids out of the other batch and stirred the nice red oil into the pan with all the rest.  I heated it for a few more minutes and then let it cool.I just had some on this fried rice with a fried egg.  This stuff is ridiculously good.  I added more as the meal went along.  Get to a spoonful that didn’t have any red oil on it?  Spoon more on! This batch wasn’t that hot, ‘tho I do note that the Sichuan peppercorns did add a little of their famous numbing quality.




BBQ chicken and generic Kroger brand tater tots with beans and slaw.  We roasted the whole chicken but only slathered sauce on half of it.The other half was boned and made into this delicious noodle dish with the gravy made with the drippings and cream.  The peas lend a bit of color but I didn’t want to make it into a pot pie filling looking thing – not that that would be bad!I dug out another portion of the corned beef we made a while back.  Still using the Kroger sauerkraut.  Our own ‘kraut is still aging on the counter with about a week or so to go.  I let it sit at room temp for a month but there isn’t a hard and fast rule on that.  It would probably be fine now, longer than the month would make it a bit more sour.These chives are as pretty as they will get.  I could say the same thing for myself but I’m sure others would object to my framing.I think this is the first batch of buns from the new oven.  It seems to be working well – the convection baking is good enough that the tray didn’t need rotating although I did it anyway.  Old habits and all that.This is one of those buns with the sous vide tenderloin that has been broken up a bit and warmed in brown butter and garlic.  Maybe too much garlic if you can fathom that.  I steam the veggies to just the crisp side of done and then cool them in an ice bath.  All they need then is a quick saute in lemon butter just prior to serving.Another reuben with a side of slaw and, peeking over the top, a wee bit of potato salad.This is another view of a sammich I made and posted last week, It is  an “as eaten” picture with the toppings applied – pickled jalapenos and hot giardiniera.I’ll wrap this up with a “dammit, Homer, get down offa there” picture from a critter cam.

Beef Curry

I bought some coconut curry marinade in jars on a whim last time we were at Kroger’s.  The lid came off one of the jars and most all of it spilled onto the floorboard of my truck.  Thankfully, floor mats contained the spill and saved the carpet.I had no idea what rendang was so I googled it it.  The pinkish orange sauce in the jar looked nothing like any of that so I busied myself with adding stuff to it as it simmered in a sauce pot with cubed beef:  Garlic, ginger, Madras curry powder, garam masala, paprika, a splash of half&half, red pepper flakes, ground black pepper, lime juice, and more water as needed.  Turned out pretty good.  I’m sure I added more stuff than what is listed – it simmered for hours.

Gadget Post – Nikon Coolpix P900

I ordered this thing after we saw the oriole the other day.  I keep a zoom lens on a DSLR that will reach 300mm and that is what I went to when the oriole showed up to sample our grape jelly offering.  This Coolpix will go to 2000mm – equivalent to an 83X monocular.This is the first photo out of it that was taken intentionally, never mind the floor and ceiling shots as I fumbled through the settings for downloading its pics via built in wifi.  I took this shot, hand held, through a double paned window.  It was zoomed to a mere 178mm.
So far I’ve only paired it with a smartphone and a tablet. You have to download an app from Nikon. There is a way to connect it to a PC via 3d party software but I haven’t set that up.
Today it has been sprinkling rain, I set it up on a tripod on the porch but had to bring it in.