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Monday Musings: 11.30.2009 November 30, 2009

Posted by Toy Lady in Musings, random stuff.
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I trust everyone survived the Thanksgiving holiday in one piece.  Because of those crazy bus and train schedules, Tuesday morning, I drove to The Place to bring Surly Boy home for the long weekend.  I left the house at 8-ish, retrieved the boy, and we were home by 11:30.

Peeps was so thoughtful, though, to offer to take the return trip.  Regardless of who’s driving, though, it’s an awful lot of car time.

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So my Thanksgiving food assignment was “pie.”  I decided to have a little fun with it.  In addition to your basic apple pie (with a cheddar cheese crust) and, of course, concord grape pie (which I’ll tell you all about later this week), I went with a repeat of the peanut butter pie I tested earlier, as well as a chocolate custard pie.

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Of course, since both custard pies were covered with meringues, I needed a quick, easy way to tell which was which. . .  can you guess which pie was decorated with the little dog bones?

Sometimes it’s such fun to just amuse myself. . .

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I’ve never been one for Black Friday shopping.

Let me put that a little differently.  There is NOTHING I need so badly that I’m willing to get up in the middle of the night, stand in line outside a store in the cold and the dark, and brave the pushing, shoving crowds just to save a couple of bucks on a gift for someone who probably doesn’t need or appreciate it anyway.  I’m just saying.

This year, though, I made an exception.  Peeps and I moseyed out to a butcher shop round about 7:30 or so, stood in line for about an hour, and walked out with a standing rib roast for Christmas dinner with the family, several rib-eye steaks, and a whole strip loin.

OK, so maybe there are a few things worth standing in line for on Black Friday.

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Since we scored so much meat Friday, and since we literally had no room in the freezer for any of it, it’s now time to make some stock.  When we have stock bones, we like to just shove them in the freezer, since we prefer to do the stock in the colder weather.  That way we can cook the stock all day, strain it, and stick it on the deck to chill overnight, then finish reducing it and pressure can it the following day.

Fortunately, although our days have been unseasonably mild lately, the nights have been frost-on-the-pumpkins cold.  So Friday and Saturday saw us make a big batch of beef stock from the various smoked bones stashed in the freezer over the summer.

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And once again, it’s time for the weekly menu plan.  Since we traveled to the parents’ house for Thanksgiving, we don’t have the fabulous leftovers that nearly everyone else in the world has. . . except a bit of leftover grape pie.  So anyway, we’re starting our week turkey-free!

Monday –  Since Peeps is bound to be beyond exhausted after his marathon drive Sunday, we’re going to keep it simple – I put together a nice beef & barley soup using the rest of the beef stock that didn’t make it to the canner.

Tuesday –  We ended up not having the corned beef that we’d planned last week – given the choice between corned beef and cabbage or grilled ribeye steaks, surprisingly, the steaks were the unanimous favorite!  So. . . corned beef this week!

Wednesday – Swim class!  We’ll be doing a crock pot dish – since we’re doing soup Monday, I’m going to put together a kind of Tex-Mex chicken-salsa-beans-corn thing.  In fact, that’s actually pretty much all there is to it, just serve over rice.  Simple, healthy and delicious – how can we go wrong?

Thursday – We’ll be doing parmesan-crusted pork chops, an old favorite around here.  Seasoned and breaded with parmesan cheese (duh), lemon and panko bread crumbs – I’ll tell you all about it later on.  We’d also planned on baked potatoes and Swiss chard with the chops, but I’ve ended up with a bunch of peeled and cut sweet potatoes in the fridge, so we may do something with those instead of the potato.

Friday – And, of course, it’s pizza night.  We mixed it up a bit last week and had calzones, which, while just as delicious, aren’t quite as good left over for breakfast as pizza is.  I’m just sayin’.

Be sure to click on over to The Organizing Junkie’s Monday Menu Plan post for loads and loads of other ideas.

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