Well, tonight is the night for working outside! But, there's also dinner to consider... So, after stopping at CVS for my last prescription, I got home and immediately cut a large sweet onion into half inch slices and put the best rings in buttermilk. Then, I went out in the back.
I moved all the furniture (except for one chair, a table and the chiminea) to Jake's patio, drained the last three hoses and coiled them up and made a pile of everything. I went up into the attic and got the tarp, covered everything and then secured it with a clothesline through the tarp's grommets. I would have taken my usual picture, but it was too dark by the time I finished.
So, I got back inside, cleaned up and changed. I had an idea for Thursday night's dinner that I will need to prep tonight as well (so I can use the slow cooker, you see). I want to make something I'm calling Rustic Beef Stew (and I am making this one up, no recipe). So, I peeled the two rutabagas and then cut them into nice size chunks (no 1-inch cubes in my Rustic Stew, lol!). Then I peeled and sliced up two big parsnips. Next came five redskin potatoes (skin on), quartered and two medium yellow onions, cut in wedges.
I took two pounds of stewing beef I'd thawed the night before, dredged each piece in seasoned flour and seared them in hot oil in my big cast iron frying pan. When I had them all done, I deglazed the pan with 1 1/2 cups of dry red wine and dumped that in the slow cooker. I added two cups of beef stock, two tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, a couple bay leaves, and two crushed cloves of garlic and then put in the veggies and the meat and added fresh ground pepper. I mixed it all up, and then went out and got a sprig of Rosemary, some fresh thyme and oregano and threw that on top. The inner part of the slow cooker then went into the fridge for the night.
Now for tonight's dinner (it's getting late and I'm getting hungry!). I used my knife to finely chop what was left of that sweet onion (to top my Coney dogs). I put oil in the Dutch oven and heated it to 350 degrees F. I took each onion ring, shook off the buttermilk, dredged it first in regular flour and then in a beer batter (see Comments below) and tossed them in the oil. I watched them closely and when they were golden brown, I took them out with a slotted spoon put them on a rack over paper towels and immediately hit them with salt and grated parmesan cheese.
Once I was done with them, they went into the oven on warm and I grilled the hotdogs (the kind with skins) on the grille pan. I cheated and heated up a can of Hormel chili (no beans). I assembled two Coney dogs, grabbed a handful of onion rings and ate my dinner watching TV.
The phone rang and the caller ID said "Payphone." Huh? So I answered it and it was Luanne, calling from a payphone at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. If you remember, that's how she decided to celebrate turning 50 this year, by riding from the top to the bottom of the Grand Canyon on a mule. Sadie, after some initial skepticism, decided to join her.
She said her mule stumbled and fell to its knees early in the trip down, so it was a bit more exciting that she was hoping for. She said her legs hurt from squeezing the mule's sides and that Sadie's legs hurt because the stirrups were adjusted wrong. I don't remember if she said it was a five-mile or five-hour trip. But, they made it and were celebrating their victory. I congratulated her and we hung up, before I thought to ask, "How do you get back up?" Another mule ride, or is it like canoeing, where you go down the river and they drive you back. I wonder...
Turned off the lights and went to sleep at 10:30.