Ginger has fit right in with the rest of the crew. Homer still tries to assert himself over him but they rarely get into anything serious. The hummers are hitting the feeders heavily now, and will continue to do so through August. We have five feeders up and refill them nearly everyday.
Moar Gumbo! This one is shrimp and crab, with the last of the dark meat turkey. When folks ask for recipes I usually point them to NOLA Cuisine. That is for chicken and andouille but there are links there for his Cajun/Creole recipe page. I would encourage y’all to go there.Mrs J brought some small pet beds up from her sewing room for a quick wash and fluffing in the dryer, they will go with her to the shelter when she pulls her next shift. The top one is called a “cuddle cup” and the other two are “pumpkin” beds. Patterns are available online.Chicken biscuits! These are from a recipe in the food section of the NY Times. The biscuit recipe seems familiar:
- 3 cups/450 grams all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons/37 grams baking powder
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 7 tablespoons/100 grams cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 ½ cups/360 milliliters whole milk
Bake in a 425 oven until they brown on the top, it took about 17 minutes in my convection oven. They do puff up quite a bit, I cut 8 biscuits from the dough, each 3-1/2″.I could have gotten 10 or more by rolling the dough a tad thinner, the ones I made by rerolling the scraps were especially thick and nearly toppled themselves in the oven.There was a bit of dough left over even after rolling out the scraps from cutting out the biscuits. I like to make cinnamon rolls from that. Just roll the dough fairly thin, brush with melted butter, and cover with a thick coat of cinnamon sugar. Roll into a long tube and slice that into little wheels, drizzle with more butter, and bake them along with the biscuits.Kroger offers these telera slider rolls as a “take-and-bake” item – they are sold par-baked and just need a finish. They are a smaller version of these rolls. The crispy crust holds them together very well when making sammiches that are very juicy, like sloppy joes or Italian beef. Of course, they are good for little cheeseburgers, too.Moar kitteh! Ollie likes ice cream. We all like ice scream.
The camera we have overlooking a bird feeder on the picnic table always returns lots of photos, most of them are unexceptional but every now and again we see something of note. Ginger Boy is often close by – wondering where all the birds have gone. I was struck by the juxtaposition of these photos and decided to share.
It’s just like crockpot Italian beef, only faster. I’m liking my Instapot cooker more and more. It’s the only way I make stock these days – just pile in the bones and odds and ends of celery and carrots and what-not with water and give it an hour on the timer and you’re golden.
Anyway back to the beef – sear a good chunk of that on sale chuck or what have you, cover it with some of your stock, add a couple of coarsely chopped onions, a handful of garlic, Italian seasonings (basil, thyme, oregano, parsley), and a jar of pickled pepperoncini. The peppers are not as important as the juice. You can add some red pepper flake to spice it up. I set the timer for 75 minutes – it was easily shreddable when done,I baked some rolls to go with the beef. I’ve been using the reliable KA bun recipe for several years now. My hamburger buns usually turn out better looking than these hoagie type rolls but I’m working on that.Bonus Bea pic!
This poor thing was brought in with two broken legs, the one appears to be less of a problem than the other, going strictly by the casts. I have no other info but he is in good hands at St Francis.Made some mayo from scratch. The other day I roasted a bunch of garlic cloves in olive oil and used a 1/4 c of that oil in this. The recipe for the basic mayo is easy – put an egg with 1/4 c oil in the bowl of a processor, add a pinch of salt and 1/4 tsp of dry mustard and give it a spin. Start drizzling in more oil until you’ve used about a cup, total, or until it gets to the consistency you are going for. I added canola oil for the drizzle. This turned out very garlicky.I used it on this sammich – very good! I assembled it after the photo, and went sans lettuce. That’s more of my maple pepper bacon. Yum!Now here comes Bitsy, slowly, a step at a time. Head on a swivel, looking for threats. She finally made it all of the way in. Yay!This was Taco Tuesday for us. I’m torn between piling on the goodies or going sparingly with them for a better picture. These white corn tortillas are smeared with refried beans, layered with smoked pork, cheddar, shredded cabbage, and pico de gallo.This looks like a short loaf of banana bread but it’s actually made with figs. We had a fairly good batch we weren’t quite sure what to do with.I quartered them and stuck them in the dehydrator overnight – too long, alas. They were barely pliable and too tough. We dropped them into a stout blender and whirled them with water to break them up. The result looked much like bananas that had been pureed so they went into a banana bread recipe.This is one of those soups that come from what I think of as a “bottomless” soup pot – I keep adding to it as we eat out of it. Those diced potatoes were not in there yesterday and I added more carrots. The beef will get scarce after a few iterations, but right now there’s still plenty.I’ll wind this up with another shelter kitteh. This one looks like our own Ginger Boy.
Here’s half of the kitteh crew, the youngest half. They’ve arranged themselves on the tree by order of seniority – Bitsy on top, Ginger Boy, and Ollie, the newest addition.I tried a couple of those refrigerated pizza crusts that come rolled up in parchment paper. I figured they couldn’t be too bad. I figured wrong. Those roasted garlic cloves were very good – cooked at 400 for 45 minutes or so.I peeked into the oven after 14 minutes and saw that the crust edge had little or no color so I gave them a few minutes more. That was a bad call. The edge was hard and tough, the rest was just tough. I have a tube of pizza dough that they package like the biscuits that you rap on the counter edge to pop open. I’ll give that a go but my hopes for it are limited.It’s getting to be soup weather – the temps are below 90 and that is what we call fall weather these days. I made a potato soup – boil some ham hocks in chicken stock with onions for an hour or two then add chopped potatoes and continue to simmer until they are soft enough to run a stick blender. Take out the ham and set aside to cool, run the blender, then pick the meat off the hock and return to the soup. I added a splash of half and half and melted in a handful of shredded cheddar but that’s optional.I still had a package of sour mustard greens that were an ingredient in this dish – pork belly with mustard greens. I thawed some of the pork belly I had saved from our last trip to our supplier to use in this and I have the rest of it curing for homemade bacon. Still have a few days left before that will be ready.I thawed a brick of the last batch of red beans and made a new batch of rice to go with it. I can see why Louis Armstrong often signed letters “Red Beans and Rice-ly Yours”. Tsk tsk, I see Homer has been out frog hunting again. He’d best hope he doesn’t step in a snapping turtle’s open maw.