The Eskimo viburnum is very near it’s snowy peak and the redbud tree behind it is in full bloom.  My potted herb garden is filling out.  The thyme is weak, it is last year’s planting and I repotted it.  It was very much rootbound so I hacked off a chunk that was showing new green and discarded the remainder.This is the same picture that has been run through the Snapseed editing app on my android phone – the HDR is cranked to the max.Now this is some comfort food!  The pork steaks were browned and then baked in the same pan as the beans.  I cooked the sliced potatoes separately because I was wanting some crunch on them.  Cook them in a little oil and resist turning them to get that nice brown.  You want to use a low flame so the time between crispy brown and burnt black is maximized.I mentioned making up some sauerkraut the other day because I wasn’t a fan of the stuff Kroger sells in jars.  Just add salt to the shredded cabbage.  It helps to weigh the cabbage to get the optimum amount of salt to add.  Two percent is the target so for every 100 grams of cabbage you want 2 grams of salt.  A digital kitchen scale is very handy for this sort of calculation.  I started with 2 large heads of cabbage, each head was enough to fill one of these half gallon  mason jars, and I used roughly 2 tablespoons of kosher salt per jar.
I used a food processor to slice the cabbages and I weighed after shredding. Add the salt and toss in the bowl to get the juices flowing, the salt will draw out some water and this is the brine that you submerge the cabbage under in the jars. Give the salt some time to work, then toss again.  I use airlock types of lids and vents to keep the air out as it ferments.  A glass hockey puck looking thing weighs down the cabbage and keeps it submerged.  Not absolutely needed with the air locks but it keeps the jars looking neat. We used the last of those farmer’s market tomatoes along with sliced fresh mozzarella to make this salad up.  I added a bunch of dill and garlic to some yogurt and added a dollop to the bowl.More comfort food.  I’ve made these before and they are delicious.  Bake some sweet potatoes and load them up with stuff.  Oil and salt the skins and bake at 400° for about an hour.  The skins should easily peel right back.  Mash the insides with a fork and make a well in the center.We added cheese, smoked pork, sour cream mixed with a sweet bbq sauce, bacon, minced jalapenos, and green onions to this one.  Mrs J wanted muenster cheese, all we had was slices from the deli so we used an egg slicer to cut it into the thin strips that are visible hanging out on the left.  The heat from the potato is enough to make it melt into a gooey mess that is appropriate for the dish – the dish  is named  “Hot Mess”, after all. 😜



This is an egg burrito, sorta.  Beat an egg well and then pour it into a skillet and swirl to coat the bottom and let it cook.  I used one like a tortilla to wrap some diced potatoes, cheese, and ham.I added chopped chives to the egg as it set for a little color. That’s a commercial tomato salsa on it.Sammich pr0n.  This is smoked pork warmed up with bbq sauce, all on a Kroger onion roll.  I like dill pickles for it.  Giardiniera would be great on it as well.I really do need to make some more sauerkraut, I’m not happy with the stuff I can get at the store.Ollie and Ginger Boy take an interest whenever Mrs J is making supper for the pups.  Ollie really likes the braunschweiger.  The dogs get a custom blend:  dry kibble with chicken rice, the liver sausage is to hide medicine.  Allergy pills, mostly.It’s bean salad time again!  I always feel so healthy eating it but I overcome that with the baked beans and potato salad.  We get a lot of miles out of a whole roasted chicken.  I bone the remaining carcass and separate the fat from the juices in the roasting pan.  Use the fat to make a roux, add the cooking juices and more broth to make a gravy, boil some rice or egg noodles and there’s another meal. I like to roast chicken thighs with potatoes layered in the bottom of the pan to cook in the fat and juices.  I season the thighs with garlic powder, salt, and pepper.Sloppy joes are good any time.  I may have kept the beans on the heat a tad too long but they are still good.  A might crusty in places.I have the makings for a nice slaw salted down in this big bowl.  I’ll let the cabbage and pepper rings sweat down for an hour before rinsing them off and adding my vinaigrette dressing.

Corned Beef Hash

We brought the corned beef up from the basement fridge, trimmed most of the fat, and sliced and diced until the slab was properly dealt with.  We froze most of it but kept out a nice pile of diced meat.I diced a few potatoes, a big sweet onion, and cooked away until the potatoes took on some color.  Added the beef and some chopped chives and warmed everything through.We always fry up a couple of eggs to top the hash.  Delicious!

Smoked Pork Shoulder

We left this in a 250° smoker with peach wood chips and it got plenty of smoke.  I brought it into the oven to finish at 350°, the photo is of it as it came out.  I set the oven probe to 190° and it worked like a charm.  The oven doesn’t shut down but it does beep like a tot with a new horn on his tricycle.Pulled the bone and chopped the meat before portioning it into plastic containers for freezing.Naturally, we kept some out for immediate use.  I like giardiniera on mine, along with a sauce of some sort.  The potato salad is a basic egg mustard recipe.  I’ll keep making this style until MrsJ mentions that she might just be wore out on it.  My chives are coming up from last year’s potting so there are chopped chives in this batch.We left some herbs out to overwinter, wondering if any would survive, the tyme is coming back but the parsley, sage, rosemary, and oregano seem to be gone.

Soup ‘n Sammy ‘n Stuff

 I wanted pasta yesterday so I went to make a meat sauce.  I opened a quart jar of what might have been tomato sauce – the lid wasn’t marked but it was either tomato soup or plain tomato sauce.  It turned out to be soup so it was put aside and I opened another jar.  My meat sauce used Italian sausage and hamburger with all the usual extras:  Lots of onions, a big sweet onion, a medium sized yellow onion, various dried herbs, onion and garlic granules, plus salt and pepper to taste. Used some of it for the spaghetti and made a lasagna with all but a dab of the remainder.I’d druther it were grilled cheese but we had a last bit of tuna salad we needed to finish.  I make my tomato soup with cloves and allspice and Chinese five spice along with grated carrot and onion so the flavor profile is not suited for an Italian style pasta dish but the half cup of my pasta sauce that was leftover worked great in the soup.  I will probably make a full-on tomato soup with a good bit of Italian sausage in it one of these days because I think that will work.


It’s soup season.  This one is a navy bean soup with cured ham and cute cornbread muffins.  I didn’t do a soak because these beans are small and are good (not old) beans.  Just add water to cover by 2 or 3 inches, add chopped onions, black pepper, your ham, and a couple of bay leaves.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for a few hours.  Toward the end you can add veggies like carrots and celery if you wish.These are the last of the peppers.  The plants were productive pretty much all summer.  I almost snapped a pic of the plants after they were hit by a hard frost but I decided it would be just too sad looking..This was very good but I doesn’t look right.  It’s a roux-thickened, garlic lemon cream sauce over shrimp and angel hair pasta.  I added dried basil and parsley flakes to the sauce as it heated.  Make the roux and stir in heavy cream,  grated Parmesan, the zest and juice of a lemon, season with salt and pepper.
I can never get angel hair pasta to work for me and I tell myself that spaghetti is fine for these things after every disappointment but I forget after a while.
Huevos rancheros is just a killer meal any time of the day.I looked at the pics I took of this rueben after I ate it. One was too blurry to use and this one is not very good.Here’s what those beef odds and ends turned into after a couple of hours. I pulled the meat off the bones and strained the broth. Not sure where I’ll go from here.  Veggie beef and barley?Another bowl of chicken noodle soup. Fettuccine noodles in this one.Here’s a golden oldie. Homer is receiving illustrated instructions on how to use a scratching post.