Archive for the ‘Food & Dining’ Category

St. Patrick’s Day 2022

Thursday, March 17th, 2022

Cheers and Happy St Patrick’s Day! Damsel and I enjoyed traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner and a nice Irish Cocktail this afternoon.

It’s a spring-like day with high of 78 and forecast low of 51 overnight. We’re having a little wind out of the west with peak gusts up to 20 mph and mostly 5-10 mph in between gusts. There is no precipitation forecast until maybe a trace next week. This is normally a pretty dry time of year. In the past 30 years it rained 5 out of 30 times on this date.

Technically, Equinox hasn’t come yet (still 3 days off) but according to the solar ephemeris, our days are now showing over 12 hours of sun above the horizon. Sunrise is at 06:38, transit is at 12:39 and sundown is at 18:40 for our long/lat. That’s just a shade over 12 hours.

A word about progress of restoring our Stars and Stripes Theme: Shamefully, I haven’t done much to troubleshoot the theme other than to remove some offensive code that needs to be overhauled for the functions removed. Life gets in the way, and we seem to gravitate to doing chores around the house and RV rather than work on the blog themes. Maybe over the summer we can get some things done with the old theme restoration – if we’re not on the road, that is.

Imbolc Cross-Quarter Feast

Friday, February 4th, 2022

Imbolc, also called Saint Brigid’s Day, is a Gaelic traditional festival. It marks the beginning of spring, and for Christians it is the feast day of Saint Brigid. It is held in early February, which is about halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox (i.e. Cross-Quarter Day). Our ancestors (both of us) are western Europeans, many of whom were Celtic, Scotts or Irish. Thus, we are going to celebrate by having a traditional (in America) Irish Dinner Weekend feast. Our timing is a little late since the actual Imbolc occurrence is on the 3rd of February, but we don’t mind holding off the feast until the weekend.

The planned faire includes Corned Beef Brisket (flat cut) with boiled veggies of the low-carb varieties (cabbage, turnips, squash and a carrot or two). Both of us have to watch the carbs and I have to watch the sodium although this meal is borderline low-sodium-friendly with the cured beef brisket and horseradish cream sauce.

Damsel will use the leftover corned beef, along with sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and a special sauce go into a casserole the next day that has all the flavors of a Reuben Sandwich but without the bread. Recipe here. We’re in for a feasting weekend for sure.

Disclaimer: Our celebration of pagan holidays in no way implies that we are of those sects that originated them, but rather we are indeed Christians who celebrate some of the traditions of our ancestors. Observation of Cross-quarters is merely an extension of seasonal events observed by most societies (equinoxes, solstices).

Happy Thanksgiving 2021

Thursday, November 25th, 2021

“Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the LORD is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.” —Psalm 100:4-5

Thanksgiving 2021

Well, here we are once again entering the Holiday season with the first big eating day upon us. Damsel and I will be celebrating with a fairly standard Thanksgiving Dinner consisting of (subject to last-minute changes): Smoked Turkey Breast with Cranberry Sauce, Collard Greens, Andouille and Cornbread Stuffing, and Mashed Fauxtatoes.

The Fauxtatoes are actually Mashed Cauliflower and the Cornbread, similarly, is a Keto Diet friendly mix of low carb items. The Cranberry Sauce is sugar free (mostly) and the gravy is made with almond flour and low carb ingredients. All of this while keeping an eye on the sodium content. Nonetheless, our experience is that Thanksgiving Dinner will be just as delicious as anybody could want.

We hope that you all will have a very Happy Thanksgiving Day! Now, excuse me – I have to get the turkey breast ready for the smoker.

Easter Sunday 2021

Sunday, April 4th, 2021

cross.jpgToday we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We will be conducting an in-home Easter service wherein Communion will be taken in remembrance of the Lord’s sacrifice on the cross.

Image at right borrowed from the Patriot Post‘s “Resurrection Day Meditations” webpage. Click on the image to visit.

Later, we will have a Sunday feast consisting of smoked turkey breast with trimmings similar to, but not exactly like, Thanksgiving Dinner. I will be multi-tasking in the morning between conducting services and attending to the smoker. Damsel will similarly be engaged in preparation of the sides for our glorious feast. We’ve done smoked turkey on several occasions and they always turn out very good.

We wish everyone a very Happy Easter Day and hope that you enjoy the celebration as we shall be doing.

Thanksgiving Day 2020

Thursday, November 26th, 2020

Smoked Turkey BreastDamsel and I wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving. We plan to celebrate with a feast consisting of Smoked Turkey Breast with Gravy, Cornbread Dressing, Cranberry Sauce, Brussels Sprouts, Green Bean Casserole and Pumpkin Parfait Dessert. A feast indeed.

Image: Smoked and Sliced Turkey Breast. Click on the image to enlarge.

The image is from our 2018 Thanksgiving Dinner. We expect the same results today.

Since we are both on low carbohydrate and low-sodium diets, the dishes mentioned above are prepared using reduced salt and Keto® friendly ingredients. The turkey breasts are commercially-available such as Jennie-O™ or Butterball™ brands. They come frozen in a pop-in-the-oven plastic bag. We open the bag and discard the accompanying gravy packet. We rinse off all the coatings on the breast and soak in clear water to remove the brine. After applying our own poultry seasonings, we pop it into the smoker and set it to cook slowly over the next few hours.

As I write this, I can smell the smoker doing its thing out on the patio just behind the office where I sit. We are looking forward to today’s feasting. We will be thanking the Lord and asking Him to bless the feast, our country and all those celebrating this day of thanks. We wish all of you a festive and Happy Thanksgiving Day!

Happy 4th of July!

Saturday, July 4th, 2020

Town Flags

Happy Independence Day from the little flag-waving town of Wickenburg, AZ!

Our local American Legion Post religiously plants flags all over town on every holiday as seen in the background image above. That image was taken (credit Damsel) along the main part of Wickenburg Way (a.k.a. US 60) in the old historical part of town. I added the greeting with a graphics utility I use from time to time.

To celebrate the holiday, Damsel prepared Star Spangled Chili for dinner yesterday. The dish included a medium-hot chili base with lean ground beef, sliced Hebrew National kosher franks and chopped beef tenderloin chunks garnished with avocado, sour cream and an olive. It was pretty awesome.

The beef tenderloin chunks were leftover meat from a whole tenderloin I butchered myself. Once you separate the “chain” and the “wing” from the main tenderloin, I set those aside to be chopped into the aforementioned chunks.

I cut the rest of the main tenderloin into steaks, a couple of small roasts (Chateaubriand) and tenderloin medallions or small steaks. There is a bit of fat and silver skin that goes to waste, but most of the meat gets used in some form or another. Considering that butcher shop tenderloin steaks (Filet Mignon) are upwards of $20 per pound, butchering our own saves us a considerable amount of cash.

There are a couple of pretty good videos on You Tube (here and here) that guide you through the process of butchering a whole beef tenderloin.

In the meantime, despite all the COVID-19 and BLM/ANTIFA chaos, we’re having a nice holiday weekend here in our little piece of the good old USA and hope that everyone else will be able to enjoy it like we are doing. Happy Birthday America – may she keep on going strong!

St. Patrick’s Day 2020

Tuesday, March 17th, 2020

St. Patrick’s Day 2020

We don’t have much in the way of shamrocks or clover in these parts, so I posted a photo of something green that might be seen in Arizona.

I still have a lot of Ancestry/Genealogy work to do to establish our roots, but I now know with reasonable confidence that I had an ancestor born in County Mayo, Ireland in 1717. It is unknown if Irish ancestor “John” came to America, bit the line of descendants from him in my lineage all were born in Monongalia (now Marion) County, West Virginia.

After John (1717), came William (1751), then Francis (1776), then “Squire Billy” (1796), then Enos (1833), then James (1866) and finally My Dad’s Mom, Mary (1891). My Dad broke the West Virginia chain by being born in Los Angeles, CA in 1914.

I’m sure there are more Irish ancestors in other branches of the tree, but having the one confirmed Irish Great(6) Grandfather ancestor entitles me to the festivities and celebrations and traditional eating/drinking (but not TOO much) on this day as a descendant son of the Emerald Isles.

Damsel’s lineage is replete with Irish ancestors, so no need to go into whether she comes by her Irishness honestly. Besides, one of Damsel’s sisters is an expert at the genealogy stuff and has on numerous occasions rattled off a substantial listing of their Irish ancestors. They definitely qualify as celebrants of St. Patrick’s Day festivities and food.

Here in our little desert conclave, our festivities will be mild compared to what other celebrants are doing on this day. We will be having traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage with Boiled Fauxtatoes (turnips make a good low-carb potato substitute) served with horseradish sauce (for the meat) and vinegar (for the cabbage). Dessert will be a small Irish cocktail.