What?


I stopped by the grocery store in a rush a few days ago to pick up a few necessities. You know, eggs, bread, milk, the usual stuff.

This morning, I finished the last of the milk (the milk I already had) and reached in the fridge for the new milk, ripped the top off, and poured it right into the almost-full glass I already had.

Before I go any further with this narrative let me just say that I LOVE milk. A day without milk is like a day without sunshine in my book (sorry orange juice marketers) and breakfast without milk just isn’t right. It would be like crackers without cheese, a movie without popcorn, CSNY without Y. (It’s been years and I’m still not over that one.)

I digress.

Next, I took a big gulp of my beloved milk and what to my wondering taste buds did appear?

BUTTERMILK.

I HATE buttermilk! Except in biscuits, of course. And, ranch dressing.

So, to the twit that stuck a jug of buttermilk in with the sweet acidophilus …

Bad move.

Very bad move.

On the brighter side, breakfast with Dr. Pepper ain’t too shabby.

But, what the heck am I going to do with a gallon of buttermilk?

 

Easy Peasy Beef Stew


We all have certain things that make us feel cared for, comforted. For many it’s certain foods that evoke happy memories of home and family. Which, when it comes right down to it, is what comfort food is all about isn’t it?

I know I do,  and I suspect that most of us probably do, have more than one comfort food. My comfort foods include my mom’s chicken pot pie, warm biscuits, spaghetti with meat sauce, pot roast, beef stew, and coconut pie. My mom’s coconut pie is a slice of heaven on earth, but that’s a story for another day.

I asked her once where she got her recipe for beef stew and she said she made it up. I think I was about 10 at the time and didn’t know it was even possible to make up a recipe. (I thought they had to come from a book that some kind of professional recipe-maker wrote.) I’ve learned since that most recipes are made up by moms.

Where was I? Oh, yeah …

It wasn’t until years later that I learned that, for most people, beef stew has a brown sauce. Mama’s beef stew has a red sauce. Think that sounds funny? Don’t laugh until you’ve tried it.

Here’s the recipe …

Beef_Stew_2Ingredients:

1 Pound of beef, cut into one inch chunks
2-3 Potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
5-6 Carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1 Small can of early green peas
1 Small can of tomato sauce
1 Small onion, diced
1 Tbsp Olive oil
1 Tbsp instant granule beef bullion
1/4 Tsp garlic salt (or, salt to taste)
6 Cups water

Directions:

Pour olive oil into a dutch oven. Add beef chunks, diced onions, salt, and beef bullion granules. Brown beef and onions over medium-high heat, stirring frequently to brown evenly. Add water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat after 5 minutes and cover.

Simmer for 1 to 1.5 hours (until beef is fully cooked, tender but not falling apart). Add carrots, potatoes, and tomato sauce. Continue to simmer until veggies are tender (usually about an hour). Add peas and let simmer for about 15 minutes.

Serve with a salad and hot crusty rolls. (Apple sauce is a good side dish, too.)

Now, doesn’t that sound delicious?

My first baby …


… watermelon!

See it? Over there, on the right?

It’s about 4 inches long. So cool! Like all proud moms, I’ll keep you updated on its progress. There are two more of them, but they’re not as big yet. One is only about as long as my little finger.

Squash update!

I’ve picked about a dozen so far and there are at least that many more on the vine. I just love squash.

Gardening is such a joy. If you haven’t given it a try then you’re just missing out on a rewarding experience.

This is my garden. It is very small.

Oh heck, who am I kidding, it’s tiny! But, it’s all mine and I like it.

Actually, I have another flower bed on the opposite side of the patio, next to my townhouse, that had Impatiens in it. But, the gutters are stopped up and I’m having a bit of trouble getting the condo board to send someone over to clean them out.

I keep getting the run-around about hail damage insurance claims and not enough units need their gutters cleaned out to make it worth it to hire someone to clean mine. In the meantime, my little flower bed of Impatiens that, in May, looked like this, →

now looks like this.  ↓

So sad. (Yes, I know my landscape lighting needs an update. In time, folks, In time.) Anyhoo, back to my gardening epistle.

I grew up on a farm where gardening was a requirement. I hated it! There really aren’t words for how much I hated working in a garden back then.

In all fairness, let’s put that in context. I was 10 through 17 years old, stuck out in the middle of nowhere with a quarter-acre garden and only my mom, my brother, and my sister and I to manage it. Do you have any idea what a quarter-acre garden looks like? It’s huge and way too much work for one grown up and three kids.

What were they (my parents) thinking? Okay, so my father would plow it in the spring, but then, it was up to us to plant and weed, and hoe, and water, and hoe some more. Exhausting work and for what? Okra? Lima beans? Spinach? Yuck. It was all food that I mostly couldn’t stand to eat back then. (Yep, I was an idiot but I still don’t like spinach, if it’s cooked. There’s a whole other story about me and spinach but let’s save that for another time.)

The point …

Gardening is an acquired taste. Not everyone likes to spend time digging in the dirt but, for those of us who do, it is a very rewarding experience.

A few more pics of my tiny garden …

Until next time, happy summer everybody!

Psst, one of these days, I’ll learn how to crop pictures evenly, but don’t hold your breath waiting for me to get around to it. 🙂