Thursday, August 28, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
Anyway, once at the playground, Landon was very cautious about the bridge because it moved a little. He's excited about the slides though.
I am under a heavy load at work this week, so I'm going to set up auto posting, and it will be boring. You've been warned.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Or you're changing out the faucets in the bathroom and you think, "If only I had someone who was totally interested in seeing what I was doing and could lay on top of my side, while I try to uncomfortably stuff myself in the under sink cabinet?" Landon's got your back there too.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Maybe it's genetic.
* SEARCH stands for something which essentially means gifted and talented. And if I learned anything in that not for a grade, one whole day a week, classroom, it's that memorization is a low end skill on the thinking spectrum and is basically worthless, you're better off if you just know how to look stuff up.
And what do you know - I looked up what SEARCH stands for: Seeking Excellence through Ability, Responsibility, Creativity, and Honor. They done did learned me sumthin.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
We'll be sticking to the grain-fed.
Monday, August 18, 2008
# of people I called when one particular plumbing issue was going to cause us to call a plumber: 3
# of hours we had the water turned off at our house due to the plumbing issue: 2
# of people who made an aside comment which led us in the right direction towards actually fixing the problem: 1
# of times I thanked God that I had put out a bowl of water to thaw my fingers while skewering chicken, because once the water was off, my cleaning of hands capability rested solely in the hands of baby wipes: 4,582
# of Things I took pictures of to make a good weekend post: 3
# of cameras sitting on my breakfast table instead of in the bag where they belong: 1
# of older pictures you will have to settle for: 1
Thursday, August 14, 2008
I submitted this post to the Farmer's Market Report hosted here.
Clinton and I have been looking for a good farmers market for a few months now. Our first trek was to a very yuppie one which seemed more about soap and artisan bread and goat cheese than it was about vegetables - in fact I don't recall seeing any vegetables at all the time we went. It was like watching rich people pretend to be hippies, because they think it’s the “in” thing to do. Needless to say, that wasn’t what I wanted.
On Sunday afternoon we went to another disappointing farmers market. I want a farmers market to have a bazillion different veggies, fresh greens, generally look like the produce section in my grocery store without all the fluorescent lights. I did buy a couple zucchini, but I was hoping for more than that. Not more zucchini, there were plenty more of those, but more options.
Sadly, this one only had 6 booths. 2 had vegetables, but not many. Apparently this soap thing is big and salsas and jellies and pretty much anything non-vegetable. The first booth had grass fed beef. (And the zucchini and watermelon and local honey (although if it was local to his farm, that’s not local to where we were or where we live)). Now, as you will recall, we debated the grass-fed vs. grain-fed when we were shopping for our side of beef. We ultimately landed on grain-fed – mostly because the meat market we found only had grain-fed.
One of the benefits of speaking to the people who actually raise the animals that you eat? Their knowledge is something to be tapped into. At the very least, you can then go home and google it and see if they’re full of it or not.
In speaking with him, we learned a lot. Grass fed beef has significantly less fat, so you cook it to about 45° less than you would grain fed to get the same finish – which translates to roughly about ¾ of the time – and also instead of watching the clock, you need to watch the meat.
And a light bulb turned on above my head.
For the sides of beef we have bought, the difference between what we bought the first time around and what we bought the second time around is that the first time was prime, and this time was choice. Choice meat has less fat than prime. But we have been cooking this meat for the same amount of time that we did the prime meat, I think we stumbled on our problem with the new meat – here’s to happy eating the rest of that cow. I hope.
We did buy one grass-fed steak. It is a 1lb rib steak (that’s a rib-eye with bone attached). It was 16 freaking dollars. And it had better dance, and dance well. It has to serve as dinner AND entertainment. I don’t want the So You Think You Can Dance rejects. I want the winner. For serious. (I’ll let you know when we actually cook it. I did find a farm online that would sell me a grass-fed side of beef for roughly $4/lb – so if it does dance, at least I can buy it cheaper.)
But also when talking to him, he tried to sell me on their ground beef (HAHAHAHA have you seen my freezer? I do not need any more ground beef, thankyouverymuch), saying something to the effect that they don’t mix cows when grinding beef. All of the beef in any given package is from the same cow. And that somehow makes it better. He didn’t elaborate.
But the idea alone kind of puzzles me because cow is cow, and beef is beef, no? I mean, especially in the same herd. Theoretically they eat the same stuff, have the same general genetics. This is neither here nor there, because all the ground beef in each package in my freezer is from the same cow too. It’s just not a hoity toity grass fed cow.
When I brought up my confusion to Clint, he said:
“If someone cooked you, and then they cooked me, don’t you think we’d have different flavors?”
Gratuitous Kid Picture:
Why yes, that is a clown nose on his ear. The only place he was willing to wear it.
Scarlett finally figures out the best way to cool off in the pool:
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Oh, and a housekeeping note. Did you know that they have like 236 different squashes on the left end of the produce section? And if I continue on my quest to go left to right, we will be eating squash for 2 months before getting to anything else? So, scratch that. I’m going to meander. I’m going to aim for 1 new thing every other week, and some oldies but goodies during the times between.
Last night I made fried shrimp, which meant it was a perfect time to bust out with other deep fried yumminess. Our kitchen still stinks from the oil this morning, so I'm kind of glad I got all the frying out in one meal. But dang, that was a lot of fried food at once.
Trial #2 Vidalia Onions
Clinton wanted to try onion rings made with Vidalia onions.
Cast of Characters:
Just follow the directions on the box. Except the box says slice onions to ¼” thick and I went a tiny bit smaller with mine.
(That big circle in the middle is a slice of zucchini, not an onion)
C – Vidalia onions are good.
K – I think we finally found our onion ring batter mix. They’re just seasoned enough, and the onion adds a hint of sweetness.
Landon liked the onion rings at first, but once the novelty was over, he just played with them.
Trial #3 & #4 Zucchini & Garlic
Clinton said his boss made a zucchini bread at work and that he didn’t care for it, so that’s out. The pioneer woman saved my day. Actually some tattooed pastor guy that she had put a recipe up did. Garlic is kind of a fringe veggie in here, so I’m knocking it off the list.
Zucchini cakes. No, not like cup cakes, but like crab cakes, but with zucchini instead of crab, not in addition to the crab, which actually doesn’t sound half bad, but I didn’t have any crab, so it’s plain zucchini cakes.
I bought these zucchini from the farmers market we went to on Sunday.
Anyway, the recipe is here.
Cast of Characters (not pictured, 3 eggs):
Everything grated, squeezed, minced, and combined:
(See the half cake there? Yeah, Clinton ate a half of one and snuck it on to my plate.)
They are fantastic, maybe a bit much garlic - but the "recipe" didn't have real amounts for the zucchini, I mean he said his zucchini was giant or large or something, so I used 1 1/2 normal sized ones, and then followed the rest of his "about" measurements and needed 3 eggs instead of 2 to make it do what he said it should do, I thought that there wouldn't be enough garlic as a result and added a 4th clove, maybe I had too much garlic in there.
K – I really like them a lot, but dang that was a lot of frying.
C – No. Just no. It had kind of a funny zing.
K – For the record I may have put too much garlic in, I used like 4 cloves.
C – Still. No.
K - Did you try them with ketchup?
C - Yes. And still no.
Landon took his little piece and immediately handed it back to me. Wouldn't even taste it.
A picture of a heart attack waiting to happen:
Please ignore the falling off the shrimp breading. In an attempt to not burn the zucchini cakes and the onion rings I kept the oil a little too low, temp wise, and all my breading fell off my shrimp when I got around to frying them. And I didn't figure out the problem until after dinner.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
When I got home, I stepped into the garage to drop off a bag of coke cans from my office. I smelled what I thought was paint thinner. So I asked him if he painted something in the garage. Nope. He had smelled it, but said he didn't know what it was.
We were grilling ribs from Michoacana for dinner, so Clint loaded up the BBQ pit with charcoal. Only to discover that I had bought regular charcoal instead of matchlight. And we had no lighter fluid. We tried all kinds of stuff to get the fire going. Nothing doing.
I went to pick up Landon, and borrow some lighter fluid. By the time I got back the fire was going fine. We ate. We swam.
We went to bed. And I smelled the same smell in the house.
It was almost midnight, when Clint said "Do you want me to investigate?"
Apparently his project truck had been leaking gasoline. It was coming out of a hose dripping on the floor of the garage, streaming down towards the garage door and pooling in the low spot where the garage door meets the concrete across the entire width of the garage door. Less than 10 feet from where we used the blow torch to try and light our BBQ pit.
Thursday, August 07, 2008
Our A/C is being worked on. Again. I think when we had the drains re-routed a while back, the guy who did it didn't do the angle right or something. It keeps clogging now.
Clint is at home due to the A/C thingy, but he woke up early enough to do everything I normally do to get ready for work, except wake the baby and get dressed. Including getting me my normal breakfast from Chick-Fil-A. The girl who normally serves me gave him a funny look and asked if it was for him. He said "No, it's for my wife." She said "I thought so, tell her I said 'Hi.'"
I don't have anything else of note, so here are a few things I read/saw in the past week or so that made me laugh, cry, wonder and boil.
Jesus on a dog butt!
Feral Girl is found living in unfathomable conditions. She was rescued. She has since been adopted by a loving family, who kind of treats their son like a red headed step-child now, because she needs so much attention.
Montauk Monster washed ashore. What the hell is it?
Woman fights off lion during donkey ride. (No, Nonsoccermom, not your kind of donkey - a REAL donkey) This story was on the news this morning, but they kept saying she was on a bike ride. Was the donkey named Bike?
GWB goes to China. Arrives with a soap box under his arm, fresh from having insulted his hosts.
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
I am working from home today. We actually dodged the bullet on Edouard as far as wind is concerned, but the resulting rain...well...one of the ramps from one highway to another on my way home is down for construction, which means I have to take surface streets. Surface streets that flood if enough people spit in the street, so I didn't really want to chance it after 8 to 12 hours of rain. I could have gotten to work, but I absolutely did not want to get stuck there.
I suck at documenting experiments. I have no pictures of what the finished product looked like, I'm going to get better at this I swear.
Also major props to Clinton who tried this thing with me. And he didn't complain, although he did mention the need for the props.
Chayote. This was the first thing on the left hand side of my Kroger’s produce section when I originally came up with this weird plan. It’s a catalyst of sorts. Of course, now they moved over and there are some other strange little squash guys, but never you mind. Chayote is #1 in this here produce section.
I bought 2, and was kind of surprised when the check out lady knew what they were.
I may or may not be responsible for the eyeballs. I admit nothing!
My research told me that I would be able to eat them raw on a salad or cooked – specifically boiled – with any kind of sauce my little heart desired. So first I cut them up and Clinton and I each tried a piece raw.
C – You first.
K – I don't think I want this on my salad, it has a familiar flavor, I can't quite place it.
C – Yeah, I don’t know what that flavor is.
K – It’s kind of soapy.
C – What’s with the aftertaste? Now I know why they look like they have bitter beer face.
I dropped the remaining pieces in salted boiling water. The internet said to boil them for 45 minutes, but it also didn’t say to cut them up so small, so I just waited until they were tender.
I topped half with an alfredo sauce (in which I forgot to add garlic, so it was a little bland) and half with plain butter.
K – It tastes like…um…nothing? I mean, the butter one tastes like butter.
C – That’s weird.
K – This is kind of anti-climatic.
C – If I wanted to eat butter, I’d have just eaten a pat of butter.
K – I guess if you had a sauce you REALLY love, you could put it on it.
C – It's not even a good kind of tasteless, like a joke.
Post experiment, my mother chimes in that they’re used in Mexican cooking a lot and I should look in a Mexican cookbook or something. Hector says they’re a filler used in Fideo soup. Neither of these people offered this information before hand.
At any rate. It’s a filler, much like potato, except like no flavor, so kind of weird. I will probably not be buying them again. I kind of like my food to have a flavor.
Monday, August 04, 2008
Yesterday you turned 22 months old.
This month you’ve seen more family than I thought was humanly possible in such a short amount of time. Every weekend included extended family in some form or fashion and we didn’t even go to everything we should have. We missed out on Zoey’s birthday party – but we’ll make it next year. You ate up every bit of the extra attention, but it made for a pretty stressful home life, so we’re going to try and take it down a notch for a while.
We had some napping issues this month, mainly because of all the travel and extra excitement, you were totally unwilling to go down at normal times and ended up staying up way past my bedtime. And then of course you woke up at your normal butt crack of dawn, so there was no relief there either.
You’ve begun actually watching TV. As in, if you like what’s on, we cannot get your attention. (I think it’s genetic, I won’t tell you who it came from, but let’s just say it rhymes with Paddy.) I can see that we may be setting limits on TV in the near future, but for now, at least I can turn the TV to Sprout and walk away to make dinner and I don’t have to have someone tugging on my back pockets while I do it.
You are still helpful as ever, doing what we ask of you most of the time. Given specific direction, you can retrieve needed items, throw away trash, and close doors. You just need to be a little taller and then you can get mama a coke.
You have developed an interest in the potty. You like flushing it. You like dipping your hands in it, and I think you may be scooping up water to drink. Which, eeeeew, Stop that! Anyway, you wanted to sit on it, so I bought a potty seat that fits it. And even though you aren’t doing anything productive in the potty, you do like sitting there. Whether naked or clothed. It’s great place to park you after we get out of the pool before the water is warm enough in the shower, so it works pretty well. I am not under any kind of delusion that this is the beginning of potty training, because I’m pretty sure you’re not ready for that yet anyway, but it’s nice to have another parking place for you.
When we went to see your older cousins in a play this weekend, you were pretty well behaved, considering. You were impressed with the lights and sounds, and once a stranger sat down next to us, you were nice and quiet and stopped trying to find exactly the best position on the steps, and decided it would be ok to sit on my lap. Of your older cousins, I think you have the biggest bond with Joshua. He always makes a point of saying hello to you and getting a hug. He was not very receptive of your kiss, but one day (hopefully in the distant future) he'll have a little kid and he'll understand.
While we were waiting for the older cousins to get dressed to leave, we played on the stage for a while, you tried to get Zoey to come to you by patting your leg, the way you call Scarlett. When she wouldn’t come, we suggested holding her hand. So you took her hand and darted across the stage. She could barely keep up, and you had to be reminded to slow down. A LOT.
You’ve somehow decided that you don’t like your sandals anymore, you like your tennis shoes the best, so you wear them 99% of the time. I was pretty surprised at how the laces are not any worse in terms of re-trying every 5 minutes than the Velcro was. Actually, it’s better, because we double knot them, you only occasionally are able to get them untied, and normally it’s during a car ride.
All in all it’s been a pretty decent month with you. You’re talking a good bit more and we understand you more and more (or we’re pretending to know what you said because it vaguely sounds like that, pot-A-toe, po-TAH-toe.)