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Monday Musings: 01.31.2011 January 31, 2011

Posted by Toy Lady in random stuff.
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PhotobucketThis was a market week (yay!) and I did very well, if I do say so myself – both turnip greens (which we’ve never had) and collards, potatoes, sweet potatoes, several (7) grapefruits (I love grapefruit!), wee little heads of cabbage, parsnips (we LOVE parsnips!). . . and I got lima beans, too!  The vendor’s mom shelled and froze them, so they’re all ready to cook.  I’ve never had non-canned lima beans, and I’m actually looking forward to it!

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That kitty has GOT to stop leaving her stuff out at night.

Three mornings in the past week, I’ve had to rescue her toys from the dog’s mouth – her plush mousy bird (with catnip stuffing) that’s now empty of catnip and dog slobbery, her birdy-fish, with, um, slobbered feathers, and a jingle-bell octopus (that now has no head).

The sad thing is that now that the toys smell like dog, she wants no part of them anymore.

*sigh*  Kids.

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I noticed, while walking the dog the other day, that someone (I am assuming it’s kids, but who knows) is building in igloo.

Yes, it’s that cold, and yes we have that much snow.

But an igloo!  How cool!

And I wonder when they’ll finish it?

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And once again, it’s time for the weekly menu plan. It’s been a cold winter so far, and there are no signs of its letting up.  So what does that mean?  Comfort food, that’s what it means!  Food that’s warm and comforting – and healthy.

Monday – We made sausage this weekend (which we’ll tell you all about later on), so it only makes sense to enjoy some of our sausage right away.  Peeps is going to do a seat-of-the-pants sausage dish Monday which should include all of the basic food groups, including “vegetable”  – Monday is his day off, so he’ll have time to think about it.

Tuesday – I’m going to break out the lima beans I picked up at the market for a fish with lima beans recipe – we’ll use tilapia instead of cod and add some lemon, and it should be good.   Right?

Wednesday – We don’t have swim class this week, so instead of soup, we’re doing stew.  A stew I made up.  I had some sweet potatoes that needed to be used up, and we had a bunch of gravy from pot roast in the freezer, so . . . stew!

Thursday – I had bought a good sized pork shoulder, and while we used about half of it for sausage, the other half, we braised, along with some beans.  There’s something about slow-cooked pork in the middle of winter that just says “it’ll be okay,” you know?   The component parts are currently “resting” in the fridge – we’ll skim the fat off (of course!) put the parts together along with some sauteed greens from my trip to the market.  Is it Thursday yet?

Friday – And it’s pizza night!  I am loving my pizza with some ricotta, herbs, and olive oil, along with a reasonable amount of mozzarella.  The herbs are from the garden, and they just taste better, that’s all.

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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Comments

1. Kia @ A View From Here - January 31, 2011

Hehe your post gave me a chuckle this morning 😉 It’s so good to see that I’m not the only one with strange hybrid kitty toys – ours also have such odd creatures as birdy-mice!
When our kitty toys get a bit yuck I pop each one in a sock and into the washing machine on a delicate cycle without detergent. Once they are dry I spray them with a catnip spray and kitties love them again.

That’s a great idea – after all, a quick run through the washer won’t hurt them any more than the 10 minutes or so they’ve already spent in the dog’s mouth, will it! 😆

One of the first toys we got for the kitty was this little black and white mouse thing with a huge feathery tail – she LOVED that mousy bird. So much so that she, on her own, eventually destroyed each of the two or three that came in the package. Every now and then, I stumble across some pathetic wooden bead-looking thing with a bit of black and white faux fur still clinging to it – and she goes after it and rips it apart a little more. Sadly, I’ve never been able to find EXACTLY the same toy since – and she can tell they’re not the “right” mousy-birds. 😥

2. Bee - January 31, 2011

What a nice post this Monday; sure made me laugh out loud and nod my head. Ah, the kitty toys…poor kitty, toys covered with dog slobber! I wouldn’t touch them either, if I were her, but then, I would have hid them, too. Miss Kitty needs to learn that skill set.

Your Market photo looks amazing!!! I’m a freak for veggies, especially PARSNIPS!!! I can’t get enough of them! Do either of you bake, in particular pies? I have the most stunning parsnip pie recipe that I’d love to see you make, enjoy and possibly promote. If you’re leary, think CARROT cake and PUMPKIN pie, just things we’re used to eating, nowadays.

By the way, that igloo, if it’s the same one, was featured on The Weather Channel and is being built by an older, middle aged lady! I remember is specifically because she stopped with that one block on top; it was on yesterday’s Weather Channel.

GREAT post! Keep up the positive ones; they help me get a good vibe in the the morning. 🙂

Thanks, Bee!

I love our public market – it’s one of the country’s oldest continuously operating farmers’ markets. 🙂 I go every two weeks and stock up on produce, freshly-roasted coffee, and whatever else I find that strikes my fancy (like pork belly for bacon!).

I don’t think that’s the same igloo as what was featured on the Weather Channel – I saw this video and that’s definitely not the same place – and I’m pretty sure it’s the same house that had the snowmen last year that so freaked out the dog! 😆

Toy Lady - January 31, 2011

Oh, and I forgot, Bee – I would LOVE to try your prized parsnip pie! (Look! Alliteration!) We don’t do a lot of desserts (one of us doesn’t need the additions to her thighs 😕 ) but. . . parsnips are VEGETABLES! That wouldn’t really count as a dessert anyway (no more than the sweet potato pie I made a while back did, anyway).

I picked up some miniature tart pans a while ago with the intention of making several small pies/tarts that could be frozen and enjoyed in moderation. . . this might be perfect for that, no?

3. Pary Moppins - January 31, 2011

You’re going to love turnip greens if you like collards. I don’t know if you are able to get mustard greens where you are, but if you mix in a mess of those with a mess of the turnip greens it sweetens the whole pot up. Then have some cornbread and beans with them….mmmmmm…..Talk about comfort food. 🙂

Yeah, we like collards – and mustard greens. I haven’t seen any at the market in a while, though. The texture seems to be very much like that of mustard greens – I’m planning to cook them basically the same way, I guess. You know, I was raised in the midwest – we didn’t have greens back then. I did not know what we were missing. . .

4. judy - January 31, 2011

Great post today and I smiled too. Enjoy all that yummy sounding food! 🙂

Thanks, Jude. 😀

5. Bee - January 31, 2011

Hey ToyLady! Where the heck are you, dear??? People are posting like mad HERE, we need your comments, please! LOL

Holy cow! 🙂 Here I am.

They’re forecasting nasty weather here later this week, and I’ve been trying to make sure, if I end up with a snow day, the world won’t end! Though, really, after almost 15 years, we’ve had exactly ONE snow day. . . and now that I’m driving The Tank, well. . . but hope does spring eternal. 🙂

6. CrystalC2B - January 31, 2011

Oh! All that snow! Comfort food is definitely in order.

This is another reminder that I can’t wait for summer! Our farmer’s market just happens to coincide with grocery day and I can’t wait to get all our produce fresh from local farms.

I love dealing directly with the farmers, don’t you?

7. Bee - January 31, 2011

Hey, ToyLady!!!! Glad to see you here and your wee tart pans are flawless for the parsnip pies! I met you at old zaar; are you still there or at Kitten’s? I want to send the recipe to you via email rather than posting it on this board. If you are only at food.com, send me a PM with your email address to The Swedish Chef and then I’ll send you the recipe. It really is extraordinary; like nothing you’ve had before or since! I never tell people what it is, initially, because most folks are so food prejudice. My own Gran would NEVER eat pizza, because in her time, it was called “pizza PIE” and she couldn’t/wouldn’t eat a pie not made from fruit or sweetness. LOL

I’m heading to the grocery to get things before the blizzard strikes; I’ll look for your response when I get back in an hour or so. Glad to hear that you might give this a go!

I’ve got the recipe, Bee – thanks! I will definitely give this a try, sooner rather than later, I think. 🙂

And I know what you mean about food prejudices – a lot of people are like that – if they think it’s “weird” they’re not willing to even consider it. Makes me nuts sometimes!

8. Bee - January 31, 2011

Hold up! I didn’t realize that I had made the recipe public, so things got waaaaay easier! Here is the link to the recipe at food.com: http://www.food.com/recipe/parsnip-maple-pie-with-pecan-crust-396741 . The directions are for a standard pie but I just end up making it for tarts; I divide the crust by the amount of tart pans I plan on using. The tart size I use is 4.5 inches across the top; 3 inches at the bottom. It holds 1 cup of fluid. The pie is similar in texture to a pumpkin pie. Hope you have mace or can borrow some, nutmeg doesn’t substitute well, at all. If you try it, I’d love to know what you think of it! It’s incredible with a rich, hearty meal. 🙂 Thanks for expressing interest, ToyLady! Keep up the good writing as I so do love reading your blog.

I think my tart pans must be shallower than yours – I haven’t used them yet, so I’ll have to measure their volume. And as for mace – I know I had some, but whether I still have it or not is another question. I’ll check, and if not, I’ll stop and pick some up – we have an awesome shop not too far from me that carries virtually every spice I could ask for (grains of paradise, za’atar, you name it!) as well as various grains, flours – I always get myself in trouble when I stop there (and I love it!)

9. anne - January 31, 2011

I envy you and your market! I want! We ate kale tonight for the first time. I’m not thrilled with the recipe I chose, so we’ll keep after it. DH doesn’t much like mustard greens, so we haven’t tried the others. I’ll also look into parsnips, I think we tried them awhile back, but apparently they didn’t make much of an impression.

Anne, come on up, and I’ll take you to the market! 😀 As to kale – try kale crack – tear it up, toss with some olive oil, a WEE TINY LITTLE bit of salt and some black pepper, spread it out on a sheet pan and roast it in a hot oven until it’s crispy. Better than popcorn! Healthier than potato chips! More addictive than, well, crack! The first time I made that, I was fighting The Boy off for the crumbs in the bottom of the bowl. It was crazy.

10. Bee - February 1, 2011

anne: regarding parsnips, you need to buy young, small, fresh ones! In Chicago, because of the Northern European culture, our Jewel Food stores go through about 100 pounds of parsnips…per week! There’s even been times I’ve gone in for them and they’ve been sold out! Who knew! Then, there’s other stores that are carrying them as a courtesy; to whom, I don’t know as they are large, gnarled beasts that are more woody than flavourful. Ideally, they should be NO BIGGER than a standard carrot, with a slight wider top than a carrot. Those are flavourful, tender and sweet. Old ones are just nasty pieces of business. If you can find a store that carries a bunch of them in a one pound plastic bag, that’s what I buy. Mmmmmm….so good!

We have a more Italian population around here, and when we do see parsnips in the supermarket, they’re crazy expensive. I love getting them at the public market – and I’m paying like a buck for a basket of them. I could probably order some through Peeps’s boss, but I don’t think I need QUITE that many – he gets them in 50-pound sacks. . .

11. Bee - April 1, 2011

Did you ever try that parsnip pie? I was deleting old subscriptions to your threads and found this one. Just curious.

Toy Lady - April 3, 2011

Bee, I’m sorry to report that I haven’t. 😳

I had parsnips in the fridge, and I knew I was saving them for “something”. . . and I was sure I’d remember soon what it was, so we didn’t use them for anything else. And then, we had an extra pie crust from something else, and I knew I wanted a single crust for. . . “something” but I’d be darned if I could remember what. So after it sat in the fridge for several days, I gave up and made the empanadas, even though I knew that wasn’t right.

And on the few occasions I managed to put the parsnips and pie crust together in my (obviously feeble) mind, I decided to do it while I was on vacation – vacation being the perperfect time for pie-baking, no?

Yeah. Except that when you try to cram a week’s worth of work into 3 days of vacation, well, the last thing you want to do is bake. ~sigh~

I will make it, though – and I’ll be sure to let you know when I do.

12. Bee - April 3, 2011

No problem, Sweetie. I’ve been there too, with recipes I crave to make but I just can’t seem to get them to the table! LOL It took me 4 months to make a particular muffin recipe requiring a single orange; I can’t tell you HOW many oranges I bought, and ate, but didn’t seem to be able to make those stupid muffins! I ultimately DID do it…I guess the timing was just right. Thanks for the update and I hope you and Peep feel better; seems that life is getting you guys down so Think Spring!

Aw, thanks Bee! I suddenly realized that it’s APRIL and I haven’t even given my garden more than a passing thought. . . now that the snow is FINALLY gone (hopefully for good for a while!), I’ve got some scurrying to do there. 🙂


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