Home > cooking, dogs, gardening > more blessed then lucky

more blessed then lucky

I have to say I kind of love the three day weekend. Its closer to the 14 hour work week I dream of. Hosting a party yesterday really made it seem like another Saturday and so today feels like a Sunday, minus the morning paper. Its cooling off and still breezy. My one regret from the party was that it was to windy for a fire. But the sun is shining so it seems more brisk then cold. I spent some time outside puttering in the yard. I planted the last of my discount tulips. I put them near the house by the rain barrel at the West end in the back where its sunny. One of the secrets of winter gardening is work in the sun and I was low and out of the wind.

I also tried to rake. I finished the last little bit of the front yesterday but it was way too windy. The fence row was in the sun and out of the wind so I cleared that out. The compost could use the green from all the ivy I pulled out. If I get anymore gumption I’ll try something in doors. Like re-caulking the bath tub. I am listening to some music, my Wangbuckler stuff. Its kind of charming, if I do say so myself. John Fenn is really awesome. I need to contact him and see if he is going to put that stuff online so I can link it here. Its strange listening to yourself, oddly compelling.

For having a dinner party not a lot of mess to clean up and the house is pretty clean. Been sprawling into the empty bedrooms. Why not? At some point I guess I’ll have to reshuffle someday but my as well use the space. The party was pretty fun, good conversation. People came in little waves so we all got to eat around the table but in shifts. Everything came out pretty well.

I made pulled pork. I’d gotten a pork roast from the Coopers at the last Columbia market and I used a cup of market salsa, a cup of Sticky Pig barbecue sauce, green pepper, 2 red onions (Monroe market), stick of celery, lot of garlic (some from Monroe), tsp cumin seed, tsp coriander seed, tbsp chili powder and tbsp paprika so I had a nice local content and it was tasty. Cooked it until it fell off the bone, pulled it removed fat and bone and let it cook another hour or three depending on when you came to the party. I through the bone out back and Fido got to it first and ate it. I was kind of proud of him keeping it from Olive and have a lot of faith in both of them (2 dogs/1 bone can be serious trouble).

I’ve probably mentioned my family always ate pork on New Years so you root ahead. If you eat chicken you’ll scratch and beef leaves you standing chewing your cud. My sister made fish I saw so she could swim ahead. Healthier if not luckier then the other white meat. I also made black eyed pea/potato salad as I think black eyed peas on New Years is a southern thing. They’re not my favorite bean and hard to make good vegetarian so I didn’t try and used this recipe adapted for chick peas I saw in the paper. I peeled some and chopped potatoes (Yukon golds and a couple Russets [best thing I could find at Mosers which is not where you want to buy potatoes]) and boiled them til almost soft drained and let cool. Earlier I had cooked my black eyed peas with a little salt, dash of cayenne & turmeric just to boost the flavor a bit. Then I mixed that with 1/2 cup or so chopped parsley out of the garden, the juice and grated peal of a large lemon, also had cooked maybe 4 tbsps garlic in 3 tbsps olive oil and cooked on lowest heat for 6 minutes with my garlic pieces pretty big and added some freshly ground pepper. Not to shabby if I do say so myself and healthier then the usual, although I may add Miracle Whip to the leftovers.

My other dish was noodles which Asians eat on the lunar new year for luck but 1/1 is close enough. I called it savory peach and cashew noodles but it should be called noodle dumb ass. Harry always called made up stuff from what you have on hand “dumb ass”. I actually like to cook this way, brings out my creativity. I made a sauce out most a pint of peach butter (a butter has more fruit then sugar, unlike jams and jellies, healthier and almost as yummy but doesn’t keep like jelly so I was eager to use it), with Braggs, fried carrot, shallots, green pepper, 5 dried Thai chili peppers, and a chipotle bullion cube. I thickened it with the last of Kevin’s Thanksgiving rue and added a good splash of sesame oil at the end. I mixed it with 1/2 egg noodles and 1/2 whole wheat egg noodles because Mosers didn’t have Asian noodles. Oh yeah and some canned cashews, they were in their too.

The eggnog was special. I started with 11 Lacunae eggs (the shells are a pastel green, very distinctive) one was cracked and with a raw egg dish you’re already risking salmonella so I set aside which allowed me to show it off. I whisked the yolks and then slowly added 1 1/2 cups sugar. Mixed in a quart of milk and a quart of heavy whipping cream as well as 2 cups Wild Turkey, 1/2 cup of spiced rum, 2 cups E&J brandy, mixed that up and put it in a giant pitcher. After dinner I beat the egg whites until they were half way to custard and mixed that in best I could in my now two pitchers (I need an enormous bowl to make a full recipe, next year I’ll do a half batch). Then I beat another 1/2 quart of heavy whipping cream until it was most of the way to whipped cream and mixed that up. Fresh grated nutmeg for a topper and delicious. Not the heaviest nog I’d ever had but for carrying all that liquor it was pretty thick.

2012 is off to a pretty good start though to be honest I feel more blessed then lucky.

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