Food and Dining

Leftover Orange Chicken

Tuesday 09/20: Orange Chicken over Faux Fried Rice. We generally plan our weekend dinners such that there will be some left over that we can have for lunch on weekdays. Today we had this nice chicken and faux rice from Saturday’s dinner.

Happy Thanksgiving 2021

“Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the LORD is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.” —Psalm 100:4-5

Thanksgiving 2021

Well, here we are once again entering the Holiday season with the first big eating day upon us. Verna and I will be celebrating with a fairly standard Thanksgiving Dinner consisting of (subject to last-minute changes): Smoked Turkey Breast with Cranberry Sauce, Collard Greens, Andouille and Cornbread Stuffing, and Mashed Fauxtatoes.

The Fauxtatoes are actually Mashed Cauliflower and the Cornbread, similarly, is a Keto Diet friendly mix of low carb items. The Cranberry Sauce is sugar free (mostly) and the gravy is made with almond flour and low carb ingredients. All of this while keeping an eye on the sodium content. Nonetheless, our experience is that Thanksgiving Dinner will be just as delicious as anybody could want.

We hope that you all will have a very Happy Thanksgiving Day! Now, excuse me – I have to get the turkey breast ready for the smoker.

Beltane – A Celtic Cross-Quarter

beltane.pngThis 5th of May, 2021, Verna and I have decided to skip the traditional “Cinco de Mayo” and celebrate “Beltane” instead. The Cross-Quarter day (midway between the spring equinox and the summer solstice) of Beltane, an ancient Celtic day of importance, occurs on May 5th this year according to the “Grand Octal Clock” which can be seen at the Archaeoastronomy.com website.

So, to celebrate the Celtic First Day of the Summer Season, we will be preparing a traditional Irish dinner of Corned Beef and Cabbage along with some boiled vegetables. I know, we just had that on March 17th for St. Patrick’s Day, but we like to have this meal more than once a year.

I discussed our Irish Ancestry in a post on St. Patrick’s Day last year. I also have English, Welsh, Scottish and some other mixed Northern European heritage along with a couple of Italians and one Choctaw great6th grandmother. Doing the math, that Indian ancestor qualifies me for Native American heritage benefits four times greater than Senator Elizabeth “Fauxcahontas” Warren. Of course, I wouldn’t do that – I’m not a Democrat.

So, since neither Verna nor I have any Hispanic Genealogy, we will probably be more inclined to celebrate Beltane than Cinco de Mayo in the future on May the 5th. That being said, we will still, of course, indulge in Tex/Mex Cuisine from time to time.

Happy (Insert Your Preferred 3/5 Celebration Here) to you!

Easter Sunday 2021

cross.jpgToday we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We will be conducting an in-home Easter service wherein Communion will be taken in remembrance of the Lord’s sacrifice on the cross.

Image at right borrowed from the Patriot Post‘s “Resurrection Day Meditations” webpage. Click on the image to visit.

Later, we will have a Sunday feast consisting of smoked turkey breast with trimmings similar to, but not exactly like, Thanksgiving Dinner. I will be multi-tasking in the morning between conducting services and attending to the smoker. Damsel will similarly be engaged in preparation of the sides for our glorious feast. We’ve done smoked turkey on several occasions and they always turn out very good.

We wish everyone a very Happy Easter Day and hope that you enjoy the celebration as we shall be doing.

Weekend Cooking

Grilling with InsetsLike most weekends, this one featured some delicious food. Yesterday, we were treated to Chicken Jalapeño Popper Casserole and today we had Grilled Beef Tenderloin (Filet Mignon) Steaks with “Broc’n’Mock” (Mac’n’Cheese without the mac) and Bacon Collard Greens.

Image: I’m at the grill on a 70° Wickenburg day with insets showing steaks and one of the dinner plates. Click on the image to enlarge.

We generally have Keto-friendly fare with an eye on low sodium content. This weekend we might have had more cheese than necessary, but there was plenty of green and white veggies to compensate. You will seldom see us with no (or too few) vegetables or salad and that’s a good thing.

We have yet to finalize next weekend’s menu (Valentine’s weekend) but you can almost always see what we’re thinking on the Food Blog. I’m sure Verna and I will come up with something wonderful.

Independence Day July 4, 2020

Flag Waving Wickenburg

Happy Independence Day from the little flag-waving town of Wickenburg, AZ!

Our local American Legion Post religiously plants flags all over town on every holiday as seen in the background image above. That image was taken (credit Verna) along the main part of Wickenburg Way (a.k.a. US 60) in the old historical part of town. I added the greeting with a graphics utility I use from time to time.

To celebrate the holiday, Verna prepared Star Spangled Chili for dinner yesterday. The dish included a medium-hot chili base with lean ground beef, sliced Hebrew National kosher franks and chopped beef tenderloin chunks garnished with avocado, sour cream and an olive. It was pretty awesome.

The beef tenderloin chunks were leftover meat from a whole tenderloin I butchered myself. Once you separate the “chain” and the “wing” from the main tenderloin, I set those aside to be chopped into the aforementioned chunks.

I cut the rest of the main tenderloin into steaks, a couple of small roasts (Chateaubriand) and tenderloin medallions or small steaks. There is a bit of fat and silver skin that goes to waste, but most of the meat gets used in some form or another. Considering that butcher shop tenderloin steaks (Filet Mignon) are upwards of $20 per pound, butchering our own saves us a considerable amount of cash.

There are a couple of pretty good videos on You Tube (here and here) that guide you through the process of butchering a whole beef tenderloin.

In the meantime, despite all the COVID-19 and BLM/ANTIFA chaos, we’re having a nice holiday weekend here in our little piece of the good old USA and hope that everyone else will be able to enjoy it like we are doing. Happy Birthday America – may she keep on going strong!