Tidbits

Mrs J says these are the last of the tomatoes by which she means these are the last she is going to pick.  They have pulled out of their doldrums and have really come on.  Might have been the heat.I skinned them all, crushed them, added green peppers and onions, and boiled them down just a little…ending up with 15-1/2 quarts total in quart and pint jars.  Took the best part of a day – peeling the skins was the hardest part.  It didn’t take all that long to cook them, nothing like as long as it takes to cook the juice down when making soup.  It did take three pressure cooker loads to finish them, with the ramp up to pressure and the cool-down included it took over an hour per load.I hoisted down the big enameled cast iron pot from its usual spot atop one of the cabinets for cabbage and sausages.  (And carrots, potatoes, and onions.)Made enough for lunch the next day.  The sausages were particularly good – some were ordered up from Louisiana through the Cajun Grocer, and there were a couple left over from the package that I broke open for breakfast the other day.Sous vide is the killer app for steaks.  These were cooked to 138 degrees for half the day and were as tender as you would expect.Chili dogs!  Yay!  I keep cans of chili in the cupboard for those days when I’m just about covered up with other chores (canning tomatoes).I’ll wind up this one with Gabe keeping watch over the back yard.  There is often something to bark at and he doesn’t want to miss out.  Homer is keeping him company though his vigil.

Chili

20161015_1710571600x1200I like chili with beans and tomatoes.  Deal with it.  LOL  And I like to dress it up with cheese and pickled peppers or whatever else I have laying around.  The temps dipped a bit last week and I thought “At Last!” but it looks like my Fall celebration will be ruined with a return to temps in the 80s.  I will console myself with a couple of chili dogs:20161016_1138181600x1200I almost always buy a bunch of green onions and nearly always they grow too old to use before I can get around to them so I used the occasion to chop the white ends for a garnish.  I still have fresh jalapenos!  They are on the small skinny side this late in the season.  I’m thinking about bringing them in to winter under grow lights.

Tidbits

DSC_9577 [1600x1060]Mmm… posole with a few garnishes with quesadillas.  The dish is similar in spirit to the classic tomato soup/grilled cheese combo.  I made a huge batch of posole a few months ago and pressure canned several quarts of it to put back for quick dinners.  I think there are six quarts left.  The quesadillas are beef, cheese, and bean.DSC01284 [1600x1060]Mrs J spotted Miss Bea  down in the yard trying to decide if the deer was a threat.  She decided the answer was no and proceeded to ignore it.  She treats me the exact same way.DSC_9564 [1600x1060]We had chili one day this week,  I used some ground beef and threw in some chorizo meatloaf that didn’t quite work out the way I had hoped and had frozen.  Worked better as chili than as a meatloaf.DSC_9567 (1600x1060)There was enough chili left over to make a few chili dogs.  These are garnished with chopped pickled jalapeno, fresh onions, and shredded cheese.  The dogs are actually smoked sausages that claim to incorporate Vidalia onions in the recipe.  I didn’t notice any particular onion-y taste but the natural casings did have a nice snap to them.DSC01348 [1600x1060]This little pup took a few seconds off from the towel fight to pose for a picture.  All the new arrivals get a flea bath whether they like it or not.DSC_9556 (1600x1060)Hard to beat a nice steak.  I boiled the potatoes first and then squashed them a bit before frying them in duck fat and olive oil.  Tasty little things with kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper!  The veggies were stir fried in a little stock with a dab of soy, and a spoon of chili garlic paste.DSC01310 [1600x1060]One more puppeh!  I think he likes her!DSC_9560 (1600x1060)I’ll wind this up with an enchilada platter.  These are beef, bean, and cheese rolled in corn tortillas and are baked with a roasted red pepper sauce.  The corn salad with black beans was pretty good, it has chopped celery, onions, red and green peppers, garlic, and is dressed with a seasoned rice vinegar/garlic oil vinaigrette.

Tidbits

DSC_4791Rain 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.DSC_8841 (1600x1060)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.DSC_8846 (1600x1060)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.DSC_4801 (1600x1060)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.DSC_8836 (1600x1060)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.DSC_8828 (1600x1060)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.DSC_4804 (1600x1060)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.

Tidbits

DSC_7081 (1600x1060)Here’s some Irish stew for you.  Lamb braised in dark beer and beef broth with carrots and potatoes.  Awesome and simple if you have a few hours to spare, most of that is simmering the lamb.IMG_3060 (1600x1200)And a kitteh.  I don’t have any info on this one other than it can be your kitteh if you act fast.IMG_3045 (1600x1200)Same deal for these two.  Pretty sure the “kitler” marked fellow has been there for a while.  St Francis.DSC_7080 (1600x1060)Gyros are always fun.  I could eat tzatziki on saltines and count that a feast.  I made this batch with a honey flavored yogurt.  I did it before by accident and we liked it so well we did it on purpose this time.DSC_7084 (1600x1060)I made chorizo chili today because a cold front was supposed to drop the temps and chili just sounded good.  Mrs J mentioned that she saw some hot dogs in the freezer while prospecting the other day and chili dogs sounded better than plain chili.  Hard to argue with her logic.

Last of the peppers

All the pepper plants were looking a bit puny so I gathered everything in today. I used a few on a chili cheese dog I made for lunch:Mmm… tasty!  I used the Italian sausage I made the other day.  I’m not a huge fan of the paprika and cayenne so I left those out, and added more red pepper flakes and garlic.  Next batch will get even more garlic.  I am well pleased with the peppers I pickled a while back so I did the same to the rest of the haul today:I had several of those red and green bell peppers that were pretty small so I thought I would just do them in the same brine.  I poke holes in the peppers so the brine can seep into them and so I need to top the brine off for a day or so.  These will go downstairs in our refrigerator there.  They’ll be ready to eat in a few weeks but they will be in there a while longer than that – I am working on the prior batches still.And, just because I can, here’s a puppeh!  Mrs J says it is a wiener dog mix.  She said the shelter has some pit bull x Brittany pups in.  I hope she gets some pics!