Good Help Is Hard To Find


DSC_0892 (1600x1060)I’ve mentioned the turkey we cooked the other day.  We really didn’t have any particular aim for the meat so I had a big ziplock bag full in the fridge waiting for me to do something.  Turkey salad sounded like a good way to move some of that along.  I have fun putting these salads together, chicken and turkey are pretty much interchangeable.  This one has a dressing of sour cream and mayo, in a 1:1 ratio.  I like to add cheese to mine and I usually have partial bags of shredded cheese laying about.  This one got a little cheddar and Monterey jack, and a substantial amount of Parmesan.  I can recommend Parmesan as being a particularly good addition after tasting this batch.  Also mixed in – pickle relish, chopped celery, a smallish Vidalia onion, a half cup or so of red bell pepper, a few minced cloves of garlic, and a tablespoon of well chopped fresh parsley.PICT1237 (1600x1060)More wildlife!  Not all that random, Mrs J adds corn and sunflower seeds to that pile daily and the local deer know to stop by.IMG_20150901_113041165 (1600x1200)Mrs J discovered a coupon app from her favorite store, she exercises it weekly.  DSC_0889 (1600x1060)Pork chops cooked in mushroom soup for a fantastic gravy and one of my all time favorite comfort foods.  I nearly ruined the box mix rice, it was all set to go in the rice cooker when I grabbed the rice vinegar bottle instead of the olive oil and gave it a good dose.  I dumped it out through a sieve and added it back to the cooker with fresh water.  It came out fine!arrgh!...I can't look (3) (1600x1060)Here’s an oldie but goody of Toby. Caption contest!DSC_0846 (1600x1060)I’m getting better at shaping the buns.  I’ve standardized on 8 buns per recipe, they make fair sized buns, not too big or too small.DSC02803 (1600x1200)I had to ask Mrs J how this momma-to-be cat got so dirty but she assures me that it’s natural coloration.DSC02796 (1600x1200)Here’s a handsome boy!  Ringo has some pretty blue eyes, he’s five months old and is ready to go out the door.  Hurry, he won’t be waiting long!

Homemade Buns

DSC_9769 (1600x1060)Mrs J wanted sloppy joes for lunch but a quick look found us lacking buns that would work.  I did a search for quick burger buns and this one jumped up.  The recipe calls for a ton of yeast because it isn’t given much time to work, just a 10 minute rest after they are shaped and placed on a baking tray.  My oven may be running a tad hot ever since I fiddled with the adjustment slider on the underside of the temperature dial.  It had been a bit cooler than the setting indicated and I may have overshot.  At any rate, with the temps set to 425 per the recipe they were looking like this at 9 minutes in so I pulled them.DSC_9771 (1600x1060)They felt a wee bit heavy and they were fairly dense but worked very well for the task.  I think the next batch will get a little more time for a rise and a cooler oven, say at the 375 setting.  The sloppy joe has a slice of muenster cheese, placed while still in the pan and then covered while it melted down into the beef.  The beef recipe was my usual – sweat down onions and bell peppers, add garlic, toss in the beef to brown while dipping out grease and then adding bbq sauce, catsup, brown sugar, dry mustard, and whatever else catches my eye.  I thickened this batch with cornstarch dissolved in stock but that is optional. DSC01484 (1600x1200)Bonus pet blankets and beds!  Mrs J has been busy as a beaver.

Blog needs moar kitteh!

Bitsy wasted no time climbing into the new fish thing that Mrs J has been sewing and resewing for a while now.  It’s been a learning experience and she has plans for another of them but with modifications.She found the pattern for this on eBay, it’s out of print but comes up occasionally.  It’s a Simplicity cat bed pattern – #9004.

Mmm… you want steak

The local grocery had these flat iron steaks on sale the other day so I grabbed a couple.  They are not a new cut of beef, exactly, but over the last few years they have managed to gain the attention of foodies.  I wasn’t sure quite how to fix it so I fell back on the old faithful method of rubbing in cracked black peppercorns and then grilling for 5 or 6 minutes per side.  Seemed to work just fine, tasted good and was pretty tender.

I’ve mentioned before that Mrs J sews pet beds and such like and donates them to the shelter where she volunteers.  She has help – Homer supervises her closely.No, he isn’t napping on the job!  He is just squinting to see better.  Bitsy is the product tester.  She is very rigorous and attentive to detail.Note the “tomato” pin cushion in the plastic box behind her.  Bitsy is quite fond of pulling the pins and hiding them about.  Good thing it isn’t a grenade!

Sewing circles

Lazy day today.  No real effort to cook anything even half way special.  Mrs J has been sewing kitty beds and taking them to the shelter for the critters there.  Not just kitty beds, but they seem to be the recent focus.  They look pretty good, I think.  Bitsy likes to help out with testing.  She is in the middle of a rigorous examination right now and will let us know what she thinks in a little while.  Like the title suggests, she’s sewing circles.

Proof of Life

Some of you may doubt the existence of a certain “Mrs J”.  Herein I offer proof that she is not only alive and kicking, she has use of her arms and legs.  Here she displays a doggie blanket she made just this morning from a hank of hair and lump of bone. [Fleece and flannel-Eds.]

And the start of a chicken something or another: