02 June 2010

On Dinner, Cattle, and Floors

I know. Odd combination. We'll start with Dinner, since it's the first thing that happened.

Last week I pulled out a recipe for Spicy Hot Chinese Chicken. (I only call it that because I can't spell Szechuan with any sort of positiveness that it's correct.) I had the intent of making my SHCC last THURSDAY, and gathered all the ingredients. It was in the middle of cooking rice in my electrical skillet - definitely NOT something I would recommend because it turns it into Uncle Ben's dried rice; but something we were doing because I didn't want to build a fire in the wood cookstove. I was being lazy. ANYWAY... back to the dinner. Right in the middle of this, A decided that he was in the mood for Bejing Beef from Panda Express. So the Spicy Hot Chinese Chicken went back in the pantry, and out came the Bejing Beef.

The NEXT day, we had Spicy Hot Chinese Chicken. It was divine. The flavor was well worth the wait. If only I could feel my tongue. I will definitely make this again, however, because I have small children and a sensitive tongue, I will reduce the amount of red pepper flakes that I put in. Try it as you desire - make it as hot as you want. It's worth it, and truly tastes as if you've been out to dinner without leaving the house.

The recipe comes from my dear friend, Heather, who ALSO reduces the amount of red pepper. I should have talked to her before making the dinner.

Super Spicy Hot Chinese Chicken
6 chicken breasts, cubed
3 T cornstarch
6 tsp. sugar
6 T soy sauce
3 tsp. white vinegar
1/3 c. oil
1 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 bunch green onions, sliced thinly
1 1/2 T fresh minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp. fresh orange zest

In a large bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients and allow to marinate. (15
minutes or so ought to do it.) Heat oil in cast iron skillet (you really can use
whatever pan you want, I use cast iron because that's ALL I use. I like it a
lot.) and add red pepper. THEN, add chicken mixture. Cook over high heat until
chicken is cooked through. Add remainder of ingredients and cook for 1-2
minutes. Serve over rice. Serves 6. It's worth it.

Now. Cattle. What was lost, is now found. And has celebrated its final day as a living, breathing, bovine. Because we don't know what caused the bovinus in the freezerus' to jump the fence, they have been turned into Hamburger. Literally. That and roasts. Some steaks, but not many. I think they're probably wondering how this all happened. Seriously. One minute they're eating grass in a nice pasture; the next, they're wandering 1.5 miles from home, and shortly after that little jaunt, they find themselves staring death in the face. And oh, what deliciousness they are going to be. A and I decided that it was too much a liability issue for us to keep them around. We can't take the risk of having them get out again, and if they were to damage someone else's property... NOT WORTH IT. Let this be a lesson to all the other cattle that may end up at our house. Don't jump the fence, or you'll end up in the freezer.

Floors. Several months ago we decided that we were tired of the way our floors looked. They were far too dirty and since they were raw wood, I couldn't scrub them. A did some work for a friend of his who is a floor re-finisher, and traded having our floors re-finished. They're currently being sanded and finished. I'll post a photo as soon as they're done. Let's just say... I DO sweep my floors on a regular basis. It just didn't look like it when they applied the sander. Nothing like bringing out your "I'm a terrible housekeeper" thoughts like having your floors sanded down to fresh wood! Since we're not at home right now, I'll have to get back to you later with more updates.

Until then, Keep the Faith. Hold to the Rod. Choose the Right. Primary Answers.

01 June 2010

Dancing with Cattle

When I was a young girl - I don't know how old I was, I was just a lot younger than I am now, we used to have Friday Night Movies at our house. This was combined with Friday Night Date Night, in that we had tiers of movies that we were allowed to watch. The first was ALWAYS a cartoon. Everyone could watch that. The second was known as "THE BIG KID'S MOVIE". You had to be a certain age to watch that one. The third was the movie that only Mom and Dad got to watch. In their bedroom. With the door shut. And no interruptions. It wasn't a terrible movie, just one that the much younger people in the house weren't allowed to watch. Pretty sure none of us wanted to watch those movies anyway. They always seemed to be things like "Masterpiece Theater" or something equally boring to a young person.

But I digress. Really I brought up movie night because we had an incident at our house today that reminded me of movie night. One movie that we watched when I was a youngster was an old Groucho Marx movie. The scene was a party. and Groucho was dancing with Greta. He said to her, "I could dance with you 'til the cows come home... On second thought, I'd rather dance with the cows and wait for you to come home!" It was funny then.

Not so funny tonight when A comes into the house and announces to me that "Our cows are gone." I thought he was kidding. He wasn't. They jumped the fence, and we don't know where they are. You'd think that bovines of considerable girth would be easy to find. They're not. We're hoping someone turns them in. Kind of like lost and found, only not.

The girls are distraut. L is going to be COMPLETELY dismayed and upset (after asking about baby first thing in the morning, he looks for the cows. He likes cows.). We're maintaining faith that they come home in the morning. Sort of like cats. Or dogs. Only bigger.

I'll keep you posted on cattle.

And just so you know... dinner was hot. More on that later. Now, it's way after my bedtime, I still have a television to take apart (we're having our floors re-finished... I'll post photos on that later), and I'm tired. And I think C may wake up from her total comfortable state in a short while, and she'll want me. It's nice to be wanted.