Monday, August 25, 2014

Sunday Morning, Coming Down…

I woke up at 5:30 a.m. on Sunday. I got a cup of coffee and read until 6:00 a.m. When the news came on, I found I wouldn’t be testing the bike glasses today. Today is the annual “Cruise Hines Park” Nobody is allowed on Hines Drive (from Outer Drive in Dearborn to Ann Arbor Trail in Plymouth) except for classic cars.  They expect 30,000 of them today from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

I froze the lunch meat yesterday, except for three slices of deli ham. So, I prepped the yellow onions I would need later for dinner. I sautéed a handful of diced onion in butter along with the ham I diced. Then I added three eggs I whisked with a splash of heavy cream. When the middle was set, I added two slices of American cheese (more for the easy melting than taste). I popped an English muffin in the toaster. I plated the omlet and the muffin and had a great breakfast!

I cleaned up the kitchen and ran the dishwasher. Then I did the usual Sunday morning chores: wind the clock, water the indoor plant and refill my new medicine box (Carla bought me a better one when I was down there). I watched the NBC news until 10:00 p.m., then I shaved and showered. I was going to go to Home Depot (I forgot that yesterday) but I decided I had enough things to do around the house without killing the grass in my driveway.

So, I started the weekend wash. Oh, I forgot to tell you, I turned my hot water heater down to the “recommended” temperature. I am tired of getting these letters from DTE telling me I used more electric/gas than 65% of my neighbors. So, now I have to get used to adjusting the shower, and sink faucets.

When the washer was done, I threw that load in the dryer and put the bedding in the washer.

My friend B___ called around noon and we chatted for a while.

I pulled the truck outside, took the black walnut log and cut it square. Then I cut two rings out of it. I cut off the bottom of one ring so it was about the same size as the other ring. Then I adjusted the compound miter saw to 30 degrees and cut a very little notch into the whole ring.

I used Elmer’s carpenter’s glue and a clamp to join the two (I was afraid to nail or screw it, thinking the wood might split). I’ll let it dry a couple of days and then rub it with tung oil. I don’t want to ruin the look of the black walnut. This will become my stand for my challenge coin.

I went out back and thinned the radishes.

Back inside, I hung up my shirts and pants when the dryer buzzed.

I went out back and refilled the squirrel feeder. Then I opened the shed and got out the lawn tractor.  I drove it up to the garage and then (after opening it) drove it inside.

I removed the one remaining blade and then sharpened the two new ones. I think I’ve said this before, but the new blades are covered with paint and thick plastic so they are NOT sharp. I used my Dumore with a stone and then trimmed the rough edges with a bastard file. I love that name: bastard file!

Then I began the laborious task of leveling the deck. By the time I got that done, it was too late to start another project. So I put the tractor in the shed, pulled the truck inside and buttoned everything up for the night.

Inside, I made dinner. This dinner came about after a discussion I had with Carla in the grocery store. She asked if I ever used soup (like cream of chicken) in a dish. I said the only soup I use is cream of mushroom in tuna and peas. That got me thinking. Is there a way to amp up tuna and peas? So, I searched. I couldn’t find any recipe for just tuna and peas, but I found a Tuna noodle casserole recipe from Sunny Anderson that sounded interesting.

So, I preheated the oven to 375 degrees F. and buttered my 9x13 glass ovenproof dish.

I cooked a 12-ounce bag of egg noodles in salted boiling water until al dente, about eight minutes. I drained then and immediately put the noodles in a large bowl filled with ice water to stop the cooking. Once cooled, I drained them again and then poured the pasta into a large bowl with one pound of drained, flaked tuna (in oil), 10 ounces of thawed frozen peas, 1 ½ cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese and 1 ½ cups of shredded Irish cheddar (I had to shred that myself). I tossed it to combine.

In my skillet, I heated two tablespoons of butter and one tablespoon of olive oil. I added 1 ½ cups of diced onions and one teaspoon fresh thyme. I seasoned that with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and cooked them on medium heat until the onions were tender and translucent, about five minutes. I added eight ounces of sliced crimini mushrooms, seasoned them with salt and cooked gently until tender and darkened, about five minutes more. I added in four teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce and one tablespoon of horseradish, and then I sprinkled two tablespoons of A/P flour over the entire pan. I stirred that to help the flour soak into the vegetables and cooked a minute more to lose the flour taste.

I raised the heat to medium-high and added 1 ½ cups of chicken stock. I cooked that until slightly thickened, about five minutes, and then slowly stirred in two cups of heavy cream. I let that simmer until the cream was thickened slightly, about one minutes more. I taste-tested it and seasoned with a little more salt. I poured the mushroom sauce over the prepared noodles in the large bowl and quickly stirred everything to combine. Then I immediately poured  the bowl into the prepared dish.

Next I made the topping. In a small bowl, I combined three cups of Panko breadcrumbs and three tablespoons of olive oil. I seasoned that with a sprinkle of salt and a grind or two of pepper. I stirred that until the crumbs soaked up the oil evenly. I sprinkled the breadcrumb mixture evenly over the top of the dish and placed it, uncovered, in the oven. I baked it until the sides were bubbly and the top was golden brown, about 35 minutes. Then I let it rest five minutes before serving.

It took a while and I had dirty dishes everywhere, but it was worth it! Excellent!

I cleaned up the kitchen and then watched mountain Man (commercials and all). I went to bed when it was finished.

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