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.
Here’s a photo from the archives. I like the symmetry.Kroger had a sale on strip steaks. They needed some trimming but were still a pretty good value. I did this sous vide, setting the water bath to 130 degrees for a couple of hours. They finished in a smoking hot cast iron skillet in olive oil and butter, deglazed with white wine and chives for a simple pan sauce.Sloppy joes for lunch the other day. This one has American cheese and a few dill pickles. The potato salad looks like it has the traditional dusting of paprika but it’s really Creole seasoning. It adds a bit of a tang to it.BBQ chicken! I’ve taken to cooking these leg quarters in the toaster oven using the slo-cook setting. I did this on the high setting for two hours, no particular reason to choose that time – it’s the default for the high setting. Set it to low and the default is four hours.I snapped this one of Bitsy lounging atop the sofa, prompted by the play of sunlight through the slots of the vertical blinds. It seemed like a candidate for the Prisma treatment:
Hot dogs! I’m not sure how long these buns have been offered but I’m liking the slit on top rather than on the side. These are Pepperidge Farms brand.I’ll wrap up with some soup. This one uses the broccoli left over from that steak dinner, a bit of smoked pork, rice, and three kinds of cheese in chicken stock and milk.
Easy when you use puff pastry sheets. We had some leftover apple pieces so we added some dried blueberries, cranberries, and a few raisins to them and thawed two sheets of pastry dough. Each sheet makes 4, just quarter the sheets and fold two opposite corners together over 2 tablespoons of filling and seal the edges with a fork.Cut slits to let the steam escape. You can brush on egg wash, milk, or cream to help the turnovers brown, or just brush on some of the liquids from the apples – the juices were sugar rich and cinnamon flavored. We sprinkled them with more sugar and baked them in a 350 convection oven for 12 minutes then checked, these needed 8 more minutes.Here are a couple more kittehs. I’ve used this photo before. I love the wide eyed stare at the camera, not even a hint of fear – just interest.
We had enough chicken and sauce left over from those sour cream enchiladas for another go. The side dish is a black bean and corn salad with onions, peppers, and diced celery in a cumin vinaigrette.Here’s that chihuahua mix before she got after the chicken in that bag before her. Cute as a button!Roast/BBQ chicken quarter with rosemary garlic potato wedges and an ear of grilled corn. The local Kroger has been offering seasoned leg quarters off and on for a while now and pricing them decently. I generally buy some to cook right away and extra to freeze for later.This is Spots, we’ve put up her picture here before – she’s about 2 years old and is a sweetheart. Mrs J reminds me that St Francis has lowered their adoption fees during “Happy Cat Month” to $25 and that includes vaccinations, chipping, and spaying/neutering. They also test for FeLV/FIV.That new toaster oven has slo-cook settings that work pretty much like on a dedicated crock-pot style cooker. I have it set on low, it is showing the default time setting of 6 hours. I had a brisket in the smoker overnight and I’m finishing it here. It’s wrapped in foil inside the pan.Moar Gabe! Here he is, studiously ignoring Bea Kitteh. We’ve since ripped out everything in the garden except for the figs. Still waiting for them to ripen. Here’s Bea again, luxuriating in catnip that Mrs J was cleaning up in the front from under the little dogwood tree.I’ll wind this up with this sammich. It has deli sliced ham, roast chicken, and cheddar under all that salad. That green salad in the back is one of Kroger’s frequent forays into artisinal salads, this one is predominately kale and was pretty bad. Baby spinach maybe would work but the kale really needed cooking.