geese_poop_lake_1It’s already Sunday night, which is both sad and good. It was a great weekend, and it’d be nice to have it go another day or two.

Saturday, I got up early (because I was done sleeping, even though I tried) and balanced my checkbook over fresh coffee, before anyone else was awake. Great stacks of pancakes with freshly made apple compote followed – better than anything they could dish out at IHOP or the Methodist pancake breakfast. From there it was cleaning and fixing up bits of the house, trimming a sticky door and making some progress on a ceiling patch, a bit of yardly work, and a trip to (as Jeff Kay calls it) this exclusive club where we shop. I don’t think I’ve ever been in that place without it costing over $100. We got a bunch done with our day, but it didn’t seem all that busy – all at a liesurely ‘feel like it’ pace.

We had the last of the Omaha Steaks gift box for dinner – burgers over charcoal, with a packet of potatoes and onions and Momma Tiff’s Corn Casserole. OMG it was good. If you ask nicely, I bet she’ll share the recipe.

Neither of us go in for the big to-do of Valentime’s Day, and we each got what we wanted out of yesterday: A day at home doing whatever we wanted. And nobody got killed by a USB dongle-goblin.

Speakinna charcoal, I made these killer fire starters a couple weeks ago. I think I got this recipe from my dad, but I don’t recall him ever having them – he just told me the idea. Take a fiberboard egg carton (18 or 24 egg size), a block of paraffin, and a few cups of sawdust. Melt the paraffin (put the wax in a coffee can, and put the can in a shallow pan of near-boiling water for about 10 minutes), stir in sawdust until it’s a thick paste, and scoop into the egg carton. Cover the top with dry sawdust and pat down.  When they cool, you break one ‘egg’ off, light a bit of the carton, and it’ll blaze long enough to start any firepit, fireplace, or charcoal chimney. No lighter fluid, newspaper, or kindling to mess with. Sure, you can buy firestarters, but why?

Today I got to play with the band, which is always fun. These folks are some of the best musicians I’ve ever played with (which is saying something), and they all have a good sense of humor. I got a bug to make spaghetti for lunch, so that’s what I set out to do. However, I just HAD to make Tiny House Bolognese sauce, which takes about 40 minutes to cook and 2 hours to simmer. So we had sushi and PB&J for lunch while the sauce cooked.

After a brief nap, it was still a beautiful and cool afternoon with some time to kill, so we went out tennising. And duck feeding. A whole sack of wild critter food and another sack of old bread were sacrificed to a very well-fed flock of waterfowl. This time the seagulls didn’t even come around, I think because they were too full to fly. Everyone and their half-brother was at that park today, as evidenced by a) the number of people there, b) the full parking lot, and c) the overstuffed trash cans which contained hundreds of bread and popcorn bags. Each of us got to touch the inside of a goose’s beak via hand-feeding.

ATC* has decided it’s time to quit typing and start petting. He’s sitting on my mouse. So bye.

*Albert The Cat

Tiny House Bolognese
This is a very thick & rich meat sauce that will make your house smell good for 2 days. Well worth the effort!
Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • 3 Tbs butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, shredded
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • ½ lb ground beef
  • ½ lb Italian sausage
  • 1 ½ cups dry white wine (red works too)
  • ½ cup half-and-half
  • Oregano, nutmeg, salt & pepper
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1-2 cups diced tomatoes

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil and butter together. Sautee onion over medium-high heat until it is a light golden color.
  2. Add carrot and celery and continue sautéing until they begin to change color.
  3. Add meat, breaking it up as you stir. Add salt and pepper. Cook until well-browned and slightly crispy.
  4. Slowly add wine and cook until it is evaporated.
  5. Add cream and 1/8 tsp nutmeg and cook until most of the cream is evaporated – about 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add tomatoes and stir in 1 tbsp oregano. Cook until tomatoes start to bubble, and turn heat to low. Cover and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  7. Serve over spaghetti or noodles of choice.
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