Saturday, September 28, 2013

Finally Friday

Friday reminded me that even perfect Fall weather can get boring, LOL!

I filled up my gas tank at lunch. Gasoline prices are still going down. Regular gas at the station I went to was only $3.32 a gallon! It does seem a bit funny when you stop and think that it wasn’t that long ago we were afraid gas prices “might” hit $3.00 a gallon.

Sidebar: I heard on the news this morning that the lowest gas prices in the whole US can be found in South Carolina!

After work, I changed clothes and went out back. I watered all the grass seed that felt like it needed it. Then I went out front and hooked up the big electric leaf blower to a 100-foot cord. I blew off the porch and then tackled the driveway. Unfortunately, this was a bit more difficult than usual, as the wind was blowing from the southeast. Since I was blowing them (or trying to blow them) out to the road (east) and then over to the vacant lot (south), that was a problem! I finally got it done, although I must admit a lot ended up on my lawn or rolling down the road instead of in the vacant lot.

I was back inside about 7:00 p.m. and went to assemble the barometer. I got it all together (no problem) and went to fill it. You have to fill it with a syringe, BTW. But, when I went to mix up some colored water, I couldn’t find my food coloring! Now, I may let the house get messy when focusing on a project, but ever since I reorganized them, my cupboards are always pristine! The only thing I can think of is I threw the little bottles of food coloring out (I did have some) when I went through the reorganization. Dammit!

I put food coloring on the shopping list and then started dinner. For some weird reason, I wanted to make Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy.

My side dish was going to be rutabagas (I've been craving them). So, I peeled it, cut the ball into one-inch slices and cut the slices into one-inch cubes. The cubes went into salted water and, after boiling, left to simmer for about 45 minutes.

Next, I started my prep work. First, I minced two cloves of garlic. Then I grated about 1/3 cup of an onion. Note: if you tear up when chopping an onion, you should try grating one! Half-blinded, I combined one-half of the grated onion with a pound of ground chuck, the garlic, a pinch of salt and some fresh ground black pepper. I shaped the mixture into four 1/2-inch thick patties.

I heated my 12-inch non-stick skillet to medium high, added the patties and cooked them about three minutes on each sides until browned. Then I removed them and set them aside.

I turned the heat down a bit, melted a tablespoon of butter in the pan and eight ounces of cremini mushrooms. They were supposed to be quartered, but Kroger’s didn’t have whole ones, just sliced. I sauteed them for about four minutes. Then I stirred in 1/3 cup of dry red wine and the remaining grated onion. I let that cook another two minutes.

I combined 1 1/4 cups of beef stock with a tablespoon of A/P flour and whisked the hell out of it. I added that to the pan and brought it to a boil. I let that go, stirring constantly, about five minutes until the gravy thickened. Then I reintroduced the patties and a teaspoon of red wine vinegar. I cooked that for two more minutes.

I drained the rutabagas and plated some, topped with butter and salt, along with a patty covered in the mushroom gravy.

It was delicious! But, I wouldn’t want to lie to you, so just to make sure, I had a second helping. Yep! Delicious!

On the downside, I spent a good half hour cleaning up all the little prep bowls, box grater, skillet and so on that I dirtied up making this “delicious” creation.

I watched a little TV, but went to bed before 10:00 p.m.