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Monday Musings: 01 14 2013 Edition January 14, 2013

Posted by Toy Lady in Cooking, Eating Down the Fridge, meal plan monday, random stuff, Stupor Kitty.
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Another market week, another pile of produce!  (Pay no attention to those mini cheesecakes – I have no idea how they got there!)

You know, I started out with a very short list – carrots, celery, snow peas, leeks.   And I even forgot the leeks!

But one thing I’ve learned at the Public Market is to jump on a good deal when you see it, because it won’t be there next time.  Which is why I bought 3 avocados (for a buck), two freakishly huge sweet potatoes (a buck again) and even a bag of Meyer lemons (yet another dollar).

So. . . since I’ve never actually used Meyer lemons, I’ll be looking for cool, exciting things to do with them this week!
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Last week we roasted a chicken, which was, as usual, very good.  One of the best things about roast chicken, though, is chicken salad sandwiches, am I right?

However, to make chicken salad, you need mayonise, and I haven’t actually bought mayonnaise in, well, a long time. But as much as I love my homemade mayo (I scoff at Hellman’s now!),I do have to plan ahead a bit- so the other day, I pulled an egg out of the fridge so it would be room-temperature that afternoon.  And, just in case I forgot, I asked Peeps to remind me.

We communicate like this you see:  I wrote “for mayo” on the egg and set it on top of the coffee canister.  He came home from work, saw my notated egg, and probably shook his head.  Maybe he even rolled his eyes.

Then, when I got home, he said “did you seriously WRITE on an EGG?” thus reminding me to make mayonnaise.

See how that worked out?

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Remember all that snow we had last week? What was it, about 3 feet of the stuff?

Yeah, that’s all gone now.  This weekend, the temperatures were, I kid you not, near 70.  In January.  In Rochester.

The perfect time to get out to my garden!  See, kale is what they call a “hardy” green – it can withstand a little cold and snow.  Or even, apparently, a LOT of cold and snow!

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(For what it’s worth, just a couple of days ago, all those plants were buried – I couldn’t even see where they were, let alone pick anything!)

So I went out and picked my kale and stuffed it into a 5-gallon bucket.  And piled it onto the bucket.

I guess I probably should have taken care of this last fall, but in the fall, there’s so much other stuff to take care of, and the idea of leaving something in the garden to come back to in January, well, how could I not?

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I know we’ve been working on emptying the freezer – and really, we are!

However, our local butcher shop had whole rib loins on sale for, well, a really, really good price – with complimentary cutting.  Since we’ve been eating mostly out of the freezer, we’ve been squirreling away part of the grocery money for large-ish meat purchases.  And hey, look, 18 very nice inch-thick ribeye steaks in the freezer for. . . just under $3 each.

Well, okay, 16 in the freezer and two for dinner this weekend.  Hey, it’s 70 degrees out – who wouldn’t fire up the grill?

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Um yeah, that was a lot of kale, wasn’t it?  I almost want to think I need more bowls, but I’d need more counter, too, and that’s not going to happen any time soon!

I spent the better part of Sunday afternoon cleaning kale and, well, that was about it.

Then Peeps helped me blanch it and pack it up into little  packets to go in the freezer.

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What started out as 5-gallons PLUS of fresh kale?

8 eight-ounce packages. Plus enough for a batch of soup this week, and about 6 ounces that wouldn’t fit in the bag.

Maybe I’ll try a kale omelet for breakfast this week.
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So the cat has this Pavlovian thing going on – Peeps has the coffeemaker set to turn on and brew coffee about 20 minutes before we get up, or, for us, that would be 3:40 in the morning.

And when our alarm goes off, he gets up and feeds the cat, then pours coffee.

The cat has learned, of course, that when the coffee maker starts, she’s going to get be fed soon.

Every morning starts like this:

The coffeemaker starts brewing at 3:40.  The cat says, “OH I AM SO STARVING” and she  comes upstairs to tell Peeps.

The DOG, meanwhile, who DOESN’T get fed right away, doesn’t want to hear it, and, when the cat comes upstairs with her Starving Kitty Act, he’ll move himself out to the hallway, effectively chasing her back downstairs.

Where she continues her piteous carrying on until Jarly will get BACK up, come into the bedroom, walk over to Peeps, and BARK! in his face to wake him up, whereupon Peeps gets up, goes downstairs, and feeds the cat — all before the alarm even goes off.

This weekend, Peeps had the bright idea to NOT set the timer on the coffeemaker.  If the coffee didn’t start at 3:40, maybe the cat wouldn’t come upstairs at 3:41, and maybe the dog wouldn’t BARK him out of bed at 3:45.

Heh.  We slept until 5:30!

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And once again, it’s time for the weekly menu plan.  The tell us that January will, in fact, be back this week, so we’ve planned our meals accordingly.  Additionally, we’re always trying to cook and eat as much from the freezer (and the garden!) as we can, and, of course, keep as it healthy and budget-friendly as possible.

Monday – We absolutely love this slow-roasted pork shoulder – and it makes a TON, which means leftovers for lunches, for something next week, and maybe even a bit in the freezer!  We’ve got plenty of carrots and some parsnips that need to be used, so, rather than roast the carrots as directed, I’m going to do these roasted root vegetables – getting a head start on my Meyer lemon usage!

Tuesday – I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it or not, but we’ve got plenty of kale at the moment.  It seemed silly to just freeze it all without using some of it, so I thought a nice kale soup would be perfect.  I’ll add some chick peas, I think, and maybe I’ll even get home early enough to do some naan.

Wednesday – While I was digging chicken stock makings out of the freezer last weekend, I found a lonely container of Peeps’s Cincinnati chili.  We figured it would be very nice as the winter weather starts coming back.

Thursday – Quite a while ago, I received  in a Cuisine at Home e-newsletter this recipe for Chinese chicken & corn soup.  We made it once and really enjoyed it, and, since we had the better part of a leftover roasted chicken handy, as well as everything else (except snow peas, which I picked up at the market), we’re looking forward to revisiting that soup this week.

Friday – Gosh,pizza night makes life easier!  It’s the end of the week, and the last thing we want to do is THINK about what we’re going to do for dinner!  Peeps’s pizza rivals anything we can easily get in this area, which makes it even better.

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. Kimberly - January 14, 2013

Our kale is in the same state and we live in the city near Irondequoit. I went back and checked it out– we actually have lettuce growing still and scallions, too. So weird!

May I recommend an idea for the meyer lemons? Preserved lemons! Adds a lot of depth to dishes.

Toy Lady - January 14, 2013

Some of my garlic is up, too! Not sure what to think about that. . .

And I was thinking of preserved lemons, and I may do that. I tend to want to “save” them – but I’m thinking I could probably do a couple, huh? 😀

2. Laurie - January 14, 2013

Our cat does a similar thing. When she hears the bathroom water running, she becomes “the cat that never gets fed”.

Toy Lady - January 14, 2013

She used to get up in the bed and paw at our faces – at least having the dog in the room put a stop to THAT! 😆

3. erinbranscom - January 14, 2013

Your kale soup sounds amazing! 🙂 Erin

Toy Lady - January 14, 2013

Aw, thanks, Erin. I’ve got high hopes for it!

4. Lablasco - January 14, 2013

You made me laugh SOOO loud! Thank you for brightening my day,

Toy Lady - January 14, 2013

Why thank you for visiting! I hope you’ll stop by and comment often!

5. judy norton - January 15, 2013

Your kale looks overwhelming but you got control of it nicely! The pet story is hilarious. One of my cats does the “I am starving” routine while the other just does the in my face routine. I can’t believe your weather. It is 9 degrees here right now with a layer of snow that make the roads treacherous. Many closings and/or late starts here. We don’t do snow well here so it is a cluster fluck when it does happen. The menu is super for the week. Enjoy.

Toy Lady - January 15, 2013

9 degrees is just too cold!

I almost think it’s worst to NOT have snow often – because when you do, nobody knows what to do about it. Of course, that’s not much different than the first snow of the season here – you would think these Northeasterners had never SEEN snow, let alone driven it it! 🙄

6. sjbraun - January 15, 2013

I love how you “rescued” the kale in Jan. 🙂 I’ve had some (that my mom brought from the garden) once, and I can attest it did take quite a while to clean all those grooves. Very neat how it cooked down to a very manageable size, and you know it’s so healthy. Again, I want to live near your market! Such neat stuff. We had a similar weather pattern last week. Freakish!

Toy Lady - January 15, 2013

You know, my original intention, last fall, was to be able to, any time I felt like fresh kale, to be able to just toddle out to the garden and pick it! I guess I forgot that that wouldn’t be terribly practical when there are a couple of feet of snow covering it! 😆

And it looks like January’s back, huh? We went from nearly 70 one day to barely 30 the next. Still – January’s half over! 😀

7. Fresh from the Garden « Dark Side of the Fridge - January 24, 2013

[…] how, a couple of weeks ago, we were enjoying some unseasonably balmy weather, so I went out and finished harvesting my […]


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