Category Archives: What’s 4 Dinner Solutions

Blueberry Garden

We’ve been looking at renovating this spot for a while now.  We put it in with a field stone and rubble stone border, using what material came to hand from nearby.  It encompasses the power pole and its guy wire, we put it in when we were mowing with a tractor mounted finish mower and it was tough to maneuver the ungainly thing under that taut guy.  The zero turn mowers these days handle such tasks with aplomb.Railroad ties are not the best option but they are relatively cheap and easy to place.  Before placing the fabric we tilled the dirt and added many bags of organic material, and scattered some granules of something to lower the pH for the blueberries.They make big staples to hold the fabric in place, a few of the creek rocks from the old edge helped out.We had a couple of stout lads to do the hard work.  I was worn out just watching them.MrsJ helped out with the watching part.  We decided to go with pine needles to cover the fabric, the pine trees in the background shed plenty enough for this small area.Not quit finished – the stakes are holding the ties in alignment until I can get to the hardware store for an auger bit to drill them so I can drive pieces of 1/2″ rebar through and into the ground.  About 2 per tie should be enough to keep them in place if I should accidentally nudge them with the mower.  Going to be much easier to weed wack than the stone edge, too.


Dinner Menu: Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork, Pineapple Slaw and Lemon Tarts

Had company over on Friday and went all out on the menu

On the board:

  1. Pulled BBQ Pork Sandwiches
  2. Pineapple Slaw
  3. Waffle Fries w/special sauce (recipe here)
  4. Spinach Salad
  5. Lemon Tarts

Pulled BBQ Pork

I used the electric pressure cooker for this and it was great. I marinated the pork in apple cider vinegar and adobo seasoning overnight. I browned it in the pressure cooker, than cooked on high for 45 minutes, using the liquid from the marinade and enough water to come up to about 1/2 of the pork loin.

Once it was finished, I released the pressure, shredded the pork, added about 1/2 cup of Baby Rays Sweet and Spicy BBQ sauce and turned on the slow-cooker feature and let it sit uncovered for 2 hours until company arrived.

If you don’t have time for the slow-cooker, turn up the heat and let the liquid reduce by half before adding BBQ sauce.

Serve on toasted rolls with Pineapple Slaw 

Pineapple Slaw (pictured above)

I saw a similar recipe when looking for cooking times for the pork. And it was a great addition to the pulled pork sandwiches.

  • 2 cups shredded cabbage (I used green, but you can use red or a Napa)
  • 2 cups fresh pineapple, crushed
  • 1/2 apple, shredded
  • 4 green onions chopped (including greens)
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro (opt)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • salt, pepper and sugar to taste

Mix all ingredients together and let set for at least 2 hours for flavors to meld.

Lemon Tarts

When I was in Paris I was on the hunt for tarts – specifically lemon tarts and strawberry tarts. Strawberries were out of season, so I had to settle for raspberry. The lemon were by far my favorite. They had a shortbread tart (the raspberry ones were pastry) that worked well with the tart lemon filling.

Lemon cream filling

  • 2 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Combine the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, water, lemon juice, lemon zest and butter in the top of a double boiler set over, but not touching, boiling water. Cook, stirring, until thick and creamy, about 5 or 6 minutes.  Cool thoroughly before putting tarts together.

Okay, so all the recipes for lemon filling wanted a double-boiler.  I started with one, but after 5 minutes of stirring and not thickening, I changed over to a saucepan and whisked it for 5 minutes while it boiled and thickened and had no issues with it burning or sticking.  High altitude may have been the reason for my original troubles.  Water boils at a lower temperature here, so the double boiler may not have offered enough heat to thicken the sauce.

Shortbread Tart

  • 1 cup butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 ½ cups flour

baking sheet

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Stir in flour and mix well, then knead for 3-5 minutes until dough forms a ball.

Press dough into mini-tart pans. Prick each with a fork . Bake for 15-20 minutes at 300°  Cool thoroughly before assembling tart.

To assemble – add lemon filling to each cooled tart. Top with whipped cream and serve with crushed raspberries.

This made a lot of tarts, so I refrigerated half of everything and I’ll be making more for dinner guests later this week.


Picnicking Birds

Lunch Time

Silly Scout Being Silly

She’s entered her silly phase. She has learned “feet check” very quickly, making rainy days like today much easier. She also rings the bell both inside and out to come and go – Bixby refuses to ring the outside bell. Now if I could just convince her that ringing the bell does NOT mean I’m gonna jump immediately. (How many times can one puppy ring a bell in the 3 minutes it takes me to actually stop what I’m doing and let her out…let me count the ways).

That ear. I’ve been trying for a while to get a photo of her unruly ear, but she’s always on the move, so it’s been difficult. I was working at the patio table,  which I have blocked off, otherwise I’d never get anything done. Here she is doing her best, “why can’t I sit by you”.

Unruly ears last such a short time, I really enjoy it. I have a whole slew of Bixby ears (here’s one). They generally settle down by about 6-7 months. I miss those ears.


Picnicking Birds

Seen on the Internets

Sammich Pr0n



It’s a pulled pork sammich with a load of slaw.  I may call it a “Shaggy Dog”.  I added a bunch of hot sauce in lieu of my regular BBQ sauce.  I think it worked pretty well.I was all set, I thought, to assemble a classic porchetta but when I looked for the pork tenderloin to wrap inside the pork belly I came up short:I went ahead with it, anyway.  It’s a bit more pancetta-ish.  It crisps up nicely in the frying pan.  There’s a load of fennel and garlic for the seasonings.  It cooked in a convection oven set at 450 for 20 minutes and then turned down to 250 to finish.  I didn’t time it but it was in there a couple of additional hours.  You want to reach an internal temp of 140 or so.We have been  making a series of visits to a doctor in a town north of us a ways, it’s about an hour trip each way.  We try to time the appointments so that Mrs J walks out of the office just in time for lunch.  We are both fans of a Chinese buffet next to a big Kroger store about five minutes away from the Dr’s office.They have the usual stuff you expect to see in such places.  Today I saw something different that called for a trial run:They billed this thing as a Chinese Taco.  I had to bring one back to the table.I’m pretty sure the meat is pork, and there are minced peppers and onions in it, along with cheese.  The filling was OK – it would have been good in an egg roll or dumpling but the shell was an unfortunate choice.  It didn’t seem to be a tortilla, nor was it an egg roll wrap.  I suspect it might be made from dumpling dough.

Take Three, They’re Small