Bitsy is a fan of boxes but she deemed this one too small.It’s really too soon for B(E)LTs but I was in a hurry and they make quick lunches. I made do with a Kroger tomato. They can leave the vine on, connecting a half dozen tomatoes, and call them vine ripened but that doesn’t lean for a minute that they taste good.We have puppies too! A trio of picnic side salads. A bog standard potato salad on the left, a copy-cat slaw on the right, and a mish mash of a bean salad in the middle. My usual recipe calls for chick peas but I was out of them and subbed in great northern and black beans. I though it needed more color so I sent Mrs J to the freezer for corn. She said it was white corn but it might do, so we tossed those in as well. It didn’t hurt it.Beans! I made a double batch because I figure we are heading into peak container garden planting season and they would go well with the other stuff. Kittehs! A brand new batch.A sloppy dog, now with extra slop.
That cauliflower soup was really bland. Even Mrs J said it was too bland. Bland even with sour cream and cheese. I fix! I fix by dumping half the remaining soup and adding 2 potatoes boiled in chicken stock. These I blended in thoroughly with a stick blender. Then I added crisp bacon crumbles. This one didn’t need sour cream but I did go with the Creole seasoning again because I like that stuff.
I say it’s an old picnic table because it is old, for a picnic table. I made that thing in a flurry of busy about 30 years ago and it’s been sitting out in the weather since then. I’m kind of amazed that it has held up as well as it has. I did replace one of the seat boards when we moved it a bit closer to the house a few weeks ago.
Mrs J is from a small town a stone throw from the Mighty Mississippi and she grew up eating fish from those waters. She won’t go long without demanding fried fish for dinner. These are cod fillets instead of catfish but she was satisfied nonetheless. The tartar sauce has a ton of dill in it.Someone found this old dog astray down by the county line and brought it in to St Francis. Poor dog looks to be half starved. I’m sure the good folks at the shelter will have him bulked up faster than you can say Chris Christie.I took this one of Toby and Bea a few years ago and ran across it while browsing through my archives. The original was in color but I’ve run it through an editing program to convert it to B&W and added some film grain with an appropriate filter. I like it better this way.Moar sammich! I always make what looks like way too much salad garnish for these things but I manage to eat it all – I keep adding back what falls off so every bite has plenty of crunch.Kittehs! Mrs J says she is just the sweetest little thing. They’ve named her Socks. She’s about eight weeks old. She likes to reach out and pat you with her cute little paw. Peeking out from atop the other shoulder of the volunteer is a little gray and white boy kitteh, Fraggle. He’s a tad younger that Socks.It’s always a good day for posole, the traditional pork and hominy stew. This is the red version, a green version with pork or chicken is also common.This little calico is named Lizzie. She’s ten weeks old. Mrs J doesn’t have any info on the other kitty. They are snuggled together in one of the kitteh beds she makes.Mmm… smoked pork sammy with slaw and a generous pour of a local BBQ sauce hat has gained some fame.
Mmm… chili! I’m convinced this is the only way to prepare chili: Chop up a beef roast, add pork, onions, chili powder, garlic, soy sauce, rice vinegar, onion powder, garlic powder, chili sauce, brown sugar, black pepper, anchovy paste, fish sauce, salt, and whatever else that looks appropriate because I’m sure my list isn’t exhaustive. Let all that marinate over night and cook it with more onions and chopped peppers before adding beans and more of whatever it needs in the way of chili powders and garlic. This batch has minced bell peppers and a couple of jalapenos and is relatively mild. Serranos or habaneros will up the heat to suit a more jaded palate.It’s hard to beat a decent ribeye. Easy to cook and easy to eat. We’ve taken to roasting potato halves cut side down with olive oil and kosher salt.Here’s Homer! He thinks he’s a dog. Yet to catch a mole but not for lack of effort. I have to say, we have plenty of moles for everyone to chase. Jack is a champion mole catcher and Annie lends a hand. I just wish they would fill the holes back up.Usually I make chili mac with plain boiled pasta but this time I ladled the chili over mac ‘n cheese. I like these new dishes.Mrs J has just organized a dog walk and the crew charges out into the yard, eager to see what’s new. First stop is always the spot where she dumps corn and sunflower seeds – there are always new scents to savor.I’m going to throw this up again, just because. The shutter has tripped for some reason during that period where the light is low enough that the camera sensor has switched to night IR mode but there is still plenty to illuminate the whole scene.Burritos! These are filled with roast pork, refried beans, and cheddar cheese. We like burritos, they make an easy meal out of leftovers of all kinds – just about anything you can wrap a tortilla around.
We were making a fast pass through the farmer’s market but these were worth slowing down for a quick pic, a nice pair of standard poodles that the handler had under good control. They were listening closely to her commands and obeying them without fuss.This array of mushrooms caught my eye, those closest are oyster mushrooms, I think those at the far end are Shiitakes, and a Google search leads me to believe that those in the middle are pink oysters.Our main aim was to bring out some nice tomatoes and cucumbers for the summer salad that we’ve become addicted to. I just put this one together with seasoned rice vinegar for a dressing. We really like the flavor it adds. These will be much better tomorrow and even better the next day.I brought home a few zucchinis and some yellow squash, thinking they would be tasty with a quick saute and a drizzle of balsamic glaze. Google tells me that shaved squash is a thing – who knew? These have a dressing of 3 tablespoons each of olive oil and fresh lemon juice, a couple of crushed cloves of garlic, and a little chopped mint, chives, and parsley. Salt the shaved veggies down and let them rest for a while, then rinse the salt off, drain on paper towels, and add the dressing. A brief nibble told me that they were tasty enough to be worth the effort. I imagine they, too, will be better on the morrow.Pizza! This one has Andouille, hot coppa, pepperoni, olives, dried tomatoes, and onion jam.More kittehs! Here are three litter mates, five months old and ready for adoption. The one in the middle is a runt from another litter that is finally gaining some weight after a shaky start.Don’t start nothing and nothing will get started.Not much chance of these two starting any trouble, at least until after nap time.
This scared looking minipin, Hannah, is a refugee from a breeding program and is gradually learning that not all humans are assholes. She turned up at a shelter in a neighboring town but they had no luck placing her – staff at St Francis said they would try their luck at finding her a home.This mantis was hunting ants on my parsley, I took out the cell phone to see how it would work for macro. This is the best I could do, he was very lively and scurried around trying to avoid the looming rectangle. He’s only an inch long, or so.Mrs J tried several times to get a decent photo of Suzy, this one is as good as any. There was one that would have been really good due to the expression on her face but it was, alas, just too out of focus to use.Steak and fries with garlic green beans. The trick to the beans is to cook them a bit before dumping them into a pan with garlic butter to heat through. Nice thing about it is that you can boil or steam the beans ahead and then finish them quickly when the rest of the dinner is ready. I dug a huge rib eye steak out of the freezer, one that I had the butcher cut off of a rack of them. I couldn’t find a mate to it so I cut it into two steaks and trimmed it up some.Amelia is a Siamese about 1-1/2 years old. Mrs J says she’s a squealer – if a dog or another cat touches her she becomes very vocal.I have a thing about cheese crust pizzas. Thing is I just love them! This one has the meatballs you can see, pepperoni, mushrooms, olives, and onions that you can’t because of the cheese, unless you look really close. I do see an olive or two peeking through.