Monday, September 16, 2013

Rainy Days and Sundays...

I woke up a little late on Sunday. I processed the photos from yesterday and finished the Blog entry while having my first cup of coffee. I had a second while I did the Sunday morning chores. Finally, I attacked the mess in the kitchen and then ran the dishwasher.

It was after 11:00 a.m. before I finally was shaved, showered, dressed and left the house for the Feed Store. This time I bought two bales of straw (at a outrageous price I might add! What ever happened to straw selling for a buck a bale?) They jammed them both in the truck and I had to tie it down.

I stopped at Westborn on the way back. I had forgotten goat cheese. I also stopped at O’Reilly’s and bought some bug and tar spray (to try and get the road grime off the bike. I was going to get engine degreaser, but you have to put that on a warm engine.) I also bought some Sea Foam Spray Cleaner and Lube. Jyl recommended it for cleaning the wheels (she used it on their car). Since it’s made for cleaning carburetor throttle bodies, I’m a little skeptical but, hey, I’ll try anything. Note to prospective buyers: Sticker shock!!! One can costs like $14.00 US!

Back home around noon, I took the two bales of straw out to the shed. It has been overcast and cool (still only 61 degrees F.) with a 70% chance of rain and I didn’t want it to get wet.

I took the rest of the stuff inside and then decided to blow out all the straw in the trunk with the leaf blower. DUMB MISTAKE!!! Some blew out, but most went all over the rest of the trunk and into the car (I have fold-down rear seats, you see).

Disgusted, I hopped in the car and took a quick trip to the quarter car wash. That didn’t work so good, either. The thin nozzle of the vacuum hose kept jamming up with straw. I gave up and went back home when my 75 cents worth of vacuum-time ran out.

I started making the Captaink secret recipe clam chowder soup. Maybe I can get that right! :( I peeled two pounds of Idaho potatoes and then cut them into 1/2 -cubes. Then I diced a large Vidalia onion. Fortunately, some of my prep work will also be used for my Sunday supper. Then came the celery, and so on. The rest I’ll leave to your imagination…

This is a time-consuming recipe, BTW. I finally finished at 2:30 p.m. I shut off the soup to let it cool and went out to the garage.

Dividing my time between re-reading (I looked all this up last week) and wrenching, I successfully got off the front wheel, the top fork yoke and the front forks.

Sidebar: When they tell you to “make arrangements to catch the uncaged ball bearings as they drop free” they are NOT kidding!

Then I removed the rear wheel (mostly so the motorcycle lift would stop tilting backwards). It looked much simpler, and it was, once I realized I had to remove the rear brake torque stay bar. (Duh)

I figured that was a good place to stop. It was a little after 4:00 p.m. I retrieved the 24-volt battery from the charger, and inserted it in the line trimmer. Then I went out and knocked down all the tall grass in the front lawn. It looked much, much better.

Back inside, I used my garage wet/dry vac to clean all the cat hair off the three walk-off rugs downstairs. Then I took it in the garage and got the rest of the straw out of the car. It was lightly raining, BTW. Not good! I need it to really rain, so I can start seeding the ground in the back yard (the dirt is as hard as concrete, at present).

Back inside, I changed clothes and started the last load of weekend laundry. Then I put the clam chowder into containers and put the Dutch oven in the sink to soak. I unloaded the dishwasher and put the bowls  and utensils used for the clam chowder in it.

Then I watered the container plants outside in the still light rain. Where the hell is this rain??? When I was out back, I cut some rosemary, sage and thyme for tonight’s dinner. I planned on making meatloaf with oven-roasted beets.

Back inside, I chopped up the sage and rosemary and stripped the thyme off its stems. Those went into a little prep bowl, about 1/3 each.

Next, I put two eggs into a bowl. I beat those and then added 3/4 cup of milk, 1 cup of dried bread crumbs, 1/2 cup of chopped onion, a pinch of salt and some fresh ground black pepper. I added three pinches of the herb mix and 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce, along with a heaping teaspoon of prepared horseradish and a heaping teaspoon of dried mustard.

When I had it all mixed together, I added 1 1/2 pounds of ground chuck. Using rubber gloves, I squished it all together. When it was fully incorporated, I took it out and shaped it into a 4 x 8 inch loaf in my 9x11-inch cake pan.

I whisked up one cup of ketchup with 3/4-cup of packed brown sugar and a couple of splashes of more Worcestershire sauce. I poured about half of that on top the meat loaf.

Then I made an aluminum foil packet. I cut off the tops and roots of the four beets and stuck them in the pouch. I topped them with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and added another big pinch of my herb mix. I also put in some Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper and 3 cloves of peeled garlic. I folded the packet up to seal it and set it in a 8x8 baking dish.

When the oven I had set for 350 degrees F. was preheated, I stuck in the meatloaf and the beets, and then set the timer for 65 minutes.

I cleaned up the mess and stuck the bowls and utensils into the dishwasher. I went in to update the Blog entry and then hung up my shirts and pants.

When the timer went off, I took the meatloaf out and let it rest for 10 minutes. That gave me enough time to take care of two things. I microwaved 1/2 of a leftover baked potato and took the beets out of their pouch to cool a bit.

Using rubber gloves, I slid the skin off the beets when I could handle them (well, just barely. I couldn't hold the hot little buggers with my hands, so I stuck a fork in them). I quartered them and added a splash of balsamic vinegar and two round of goat cheese to their bowl. I left the goat cheese melt a bit while I added some butter and sour cream to the top of the potato. I cut two pieces of meatloaf and added them to the plate. I drizzled a little of the leftover topping on the meatloaf, took a photo for you and then ate dinner.

Excellent! The meatloaf was moist and flavorful. The only downside was the sweetness of the glaze (that was a bit much). The balsamic vinegar and goat cheese added a whole different dimension to the beets and even the leftover potato was good.

Sidebar: Of course, it was late (after 8:00 p.m.) and all I had to eat today was a taste-test bowl of clam chowder. So, this could have been my tummy talking, rather than my taste buds.

I left the messes to soak so I could watch Breaking Bad. Then I watched Mountain Man and finally went to bed at 11:00 p.m. The messes stayed soaking…


  1. Beets sound interesting...I will have to try that. I would enjoy the glaze!
    p.s. Good luck getting that damn bike back together! I hope your leaving a bread crumb trail by each part!

  2. The beets were pretty good. I couldn't decide if I like them better than just boiled with butter and salt or not, though.

    I like your idea of the bread crumbs, but am afraid the squirrels would just eat them. I do have several parts books, but do think it will eventually become a problem as you suggest. :(