How is it that I have so many leftovers? We picked up this jumbo Butterball the day before Thanksgiving where they were on sale for cheap because they were frozen solid. There was no way these would thaw in time to cook for the holiday meal and they needed the freezer space. Twenty one pounder!This is a real cutie!Same kitteh in another pose.Here’s a nice pair, I think this is a good shot of them.This one is a real stunner – those eyes!I bought a big tin of crab meat the other day, I had a choice of either lump or claw meat. I wanted whichever had the largest pieces, I chose the lump on a guess. It wasn’t a small as I’ve seen crab in a can but I will go the claw meat if I ever make the choice again. Anyway I made crab cakes because it has been forever since I ate the last one. Not bad – I used a recipe from the NY Times, cut down to make 3 cakes. That’s a creamy horseradish sauce on top of this one.Homer would rather be a dog. He rests for a spell with Gabe by the back door, filling him in on how bad those other kittehs treat him.
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.
This is one of the Texas hurricane rescues, she was brought back in an effort to save her and her litter. She is heartworm positive with some other maladies and her prognosis is uncertain. She and her puppies would already have been put down had she stayed.Mmm… red beans and rice. TaMara mentioned the dish in one of her posts and it reminded me that we haven’t had any lately. This one was cooked with a ham hock. I added the andouille late because it will get tough if it simmers a long time.Here’s a kitteh! Not a hurricane rescue, he is a local kitty boy.Our fig trees/bushes exploded this year. We put rooted cuttings in the ground spring of ’16 and reaped a scant harvest but this year we should do better.There are a lot of figs coming on and they are getting to a size they couldn’t match last year.This one-eyed kitteh has been adopted since the photo was taken. I don’t have any more info than that.Cheesesteak! This was tasty – I did the flat iron steak sous vide, it was in the water bath 6 hours @140 degrees. For service, it was sliced and added to a pan of caramelized onions and tossed to mix and rewarm then covered with a nice cheese sauce of American and cheddar.Tommy is a tuxedo kitteh born in March this year. He’s a good kitteh, Brent.
Like I said, the killer app for steaks is sous vide. These spent the afternoon at 136°F. A quick sear then a rest while a pan sauce was made from the bag liquids, butter, wine, and soy sauce. That was a big rib steak, even I didn’t eat the whole thing.A veggie beef soup follows leftover steak at our house. A smoked pork sammich turned the soup into a real meal.Kitteh! The kittens were recipients of a round of claw clipping, they were a bit disturbed and needed a firm grasp to hold them for the task.I told Mrs J to mention that too firm a grasp causes their little kitteh eyes to bug out.
Teeny weenies! Hash browns and eggs! Mmm… breakfast for dinner.Mrs J spends most of her volunteer time in the kitteh house but she does catch the occasional pupper. This little girl came in when her owner passed. She’s heartworm positive but is expected to be fine.Fried fish for the win! I made a tartar sauce with fresh dill, lemon juice, lemon zest, minced dill pickles, and mayo.I’ll finish with an adult cat. No info at all on this one but Mrs J days she’s very friendly. She’s been at the shelter for a week or so.
Worm sign! Mrs J drew my attention to this Swallowtail caterpillar on one of the parsleys, it appeared suddenly and was gone the next day. Moar kittehs! Mrs J brought back several good pics of the current kitteh crop at the shelter from her last volunteer stint.We decided it was time for another smoked pork shoulder. This one spent the day with peach chips smoldering under it, then it finished in the oven.I made a batch of buns for it, I think I’ll do some tacos later.A couple of times a year I’ll trundle the mower down to the back pond to knock the weeds and grass down. The pond is murky from recent rains, it will clear up over the summer. We have it stocked with bass, redear and bluegill.We both favor these BLTs and are satisfied to make them for either lunch or dinner.Moar kittehs! As TaMara once quipped, “it looks like the kitty printer is running low on toner”!
Whoo Boy! We got some rain last night, the thunder seemed constant all night long. Bitsy just crawled out from underneath the sofa a few minutes ago.Here’s Gabe and Homer Kitteh messing about by the pond a couple of days ago. It’s been down a little all winter long, several inches below the overflow pipe. I haven’t looked this morning yet but it has to be up close, now.I’ve found that using a can of refried beans in my chili recipe really adds some body to it. I used refried black beans in this but the regular refries from pinto beans should work fine.I’ve been making gravy from the chicken fat captured when I roast a chicken beer-butt style:I pour off the fat (and the water I’ve added to the pan) and refrigerate it to make separating the fat easy. Make a roux of the fat and flour then add stock to make gravy. You can also add milk to make it creamy but I don’t except when making it for a pot pie. We eat half the chicken the first go, then bone the rest for later. The carcass goes into the pressure cooker to make a stock, takes an hour at pressure rather than all day on the stove-top.Kittehs! There are a couple of brand new momma cats at the shelter, they were brought in pregnant. The shelter will eventually spay her but the kittehs have to be weaned first. Mrs J says 6 to 8 weeks is normal.Rib steaks! Sous vide is the killer app for steaks. These spend the afternoon at 138 degrees in their vacuum sealed bags. Kroger sells whole slabs of these, I slice and bag them with salt and pepper and then freeze. They go right into the hot bath frozen.Another batch of cuties! Mrs J says they had to open the overflow kitten room because they have too many right now for the dedicated kitteh nursery.
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.