Monday, March 10, 2014

Sunday, Sunday

I had set the alarm Saturday night so I could try and get used to waking up an hour earlier. I hate Daylight Savings Time as it usually takes me a week or so, both spring and fall, to get back in the groove.  So, I was up, it was dark and I wasn’t happy!

I got a cup of coffee and watched the morning news. I got another cup of coffee and watched more news.

Finally, I got started on the Sunday morning chores. I finished those and decided to shave and shower. I got dressed and went downstairs to fix the leaky shower. First thing I did was to cover the drain, just in case I dropped anything (lessons learned, my friend, lessons learned). Then I pulled out the rubber seals and the old springs. I tried to follow directions and put in the new springs and then the rubber seals, but the springs just kept falling out. So I ended up putting the seals on the springs and shoving them in tight. The rubber helped to hold the springs in, then.

I washed the crud (soap and/or water deposits) off all the other pieces and then reassembled the control, hand-tight. I turned it to the “on” position and went in the laundry area to turn the water back on. I let the water run for about five minutes (to let any deposits flush out) while I tightened everything and then turned the control to off. The water stopped!!!

I took the tools out to the garage and put my shower chair back in the shower. Now I have my handicap shower back!!! It was just after 11:00 a.m.

I decided I was hungry, so I made brunch. I cut the other half of the baked potato into thick slices and fried them in butter. Then I made a three-egg omelet, using more of the leftover ham chunks from the gumbo. I topped the omelet with American cheese (more for its melting ability than taste). Brunch was excellent!

I was lying on the bed, watching the Red Wings game when I remembered the thermostat clock. So, I got up and reset that (otherwise, it would drop down and heat back up at the wrong times).

Since I was up anyway, I scrubbed the main bathroom tub out with a brush and some cleanser. I let that set for a while and got back to cobweb patrol. You see, when I had to use the propane heater back when the furnace was broken, it created soot. Unfortunately, it settled on the ceilings of the kitchen and the downstairs, as well as anywhere there was a cobweb. So, I have been using the vacuum cleaner with its extension and sucking up all the cobwebs I can find. Today, I concentrated on the downstairs.

The kitchen is next. When I finish with that, I fear I am going to have to wash both the downstairs and kitchen ceiling and walls. Sigh…

After we lost the hockey game, I started prepping for dinner. I minced two shallots, and cleaned then halved 1 1/2 pounds of Brussels sprouts. I minced about a teaspoon of garlic.

I chopped three strips of thick bacon and sautéed it until crisp. I pulled the bacon out and put in on a paper towel to drain. I left the grease in the pan.

Finally, I cut up a pound of sirloin steak into 3/4 inch cubes. I left that in a bowl on the counter to come[JG1]  up to room temperature.

Then I went back in to watch some more TV (I didn’t want to start dinner until 5:00 p.m. or so).

Sidebar: I spent a lot of time at the kitchen window and saw plenty of birds eating on the ground. But I still have yet to see one fly into the cage to the feeder. I may have solved the squirrel problem, but I fear I scared the birds away.

At 5:00 p.m., I started my Sunday supper. In case you were wondering, I was making Steak Tips with Peppered Mushroom Gravy. The side dish will be an old favorite of mine that Carla used to make: Brussels sprouts with Bacon.

Now, of course, I made these (and some wide egg noodles) all at the same time. But, for clarity’s sake, I will describe making one, then the other.

For the steak tips, I took my 10-inch non-stick skillet and sprayed it with canola oil. I heated it over medium-high. I added the steak I had cubed and sautéed that for about five minutes, browning it on all sides. Then I took it out of the skillet, put it in a bowl and covered it.

I melted two tablespoons of butter in the same skillet, again over medium-high heat. I added two tablespoons of shallots and eight ounces of pre-sliced baby bella mushrooms. I sautéed that for four minutes. Then I added a teaspoon of minced garlic and sautéed that for 30 seconds. I stirred in a tablespoon of soy sauce.

I sprinkled three tablespoons of flour on top the mushrooms and cooked that for one minute, stirring constantly. Then I gradually added 1 1/2 cups of beef broth (still stirring constantly). I added fresh ground black pepper, a pinch of Kosher salt and three fresh thyme sprigs. I brought it to a boil and cooked it for another two minutes until it thickened. Then I returned the beef to the pan and cooked it another minute or two until thoroughly heated. I discarded the thyme sprigs and served it over the wide egg noodles that I had cooked and drained.

For the Brussels sprouts with bacon, you will remember that I already crisped up the bacon and let it cool. I added a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil to the bacon grease and heated the skillet on medium high.

I added the rest of the shallots to the skillet and sautéed them for a couple of minutes. Then I added the Brussels sprouts and tossed them around to coat them with oil. I seasoned them with salt and pepper and sautéed them about three minutes, until they began to soften.

I added a cup of chicken stock and brought it to a bubble. Then I covered the skillet and reduced the heat to medium low. I cooked those 10 minutes or so, until they were tender. I plated them with a slotted spoon and sprinkled the cooked bacon bits on top.

Dinner was fantastic! Seriously, fantastic!

This time I had enough to fill the dishwasher, so after dinner I did. I hand washed the two non-stick skillets and the Wusthof knife, of course.

About 7:00 p.m., I no longer felt stuffed, so I fixed one of the strawberry shortcakes for dessert. It was good, but I must admit I missed the whipped cream. 

I watched a movie until 10:30 p.m. and then went to bed.

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