Tuesday, April 24, 2007

5 Questions

Mle aka Pantalonesdelfuego posted five questions from Abby and invited others to be questioned and in turn invite questions back.
So she sent me her list of questions and here are my answers.

1. What do you like best about yourself?
That's a tough one. My nerdiness I think. I love learning and reading and all that trivia fun stuff. (I kick ASS in most trivia games. People usually don't like playing against me.) I'm very proud of the fact that I can read anywhere. I carry reading material wherever I go. It's really who I am and I really like being a nerd.

2. If you could go anywhere in the world, all expenses paid, where would you go and why?
Australia. I've always wanted to go and all expenses paid would make it all the better. The boy and I have talked and talked about it, and if the plumeria thing ever gets going it could even be a business trip. But Australia is the dream trip right now.

3. Are you more likely to vote for a candidate becauseof party affiliation or because of the candidate's stand on particular issues (and why)?
Issues are always first and foremost. They are what's important. I don't care whether they are Democrat or Republican, thought I tend to vote Democrat mostly because I agree with them a bit more but party affiliation really shouldn't matter. Voting usually comes down to who I dislike the least anyway.

4. If you could have dinner with any historical figure, living or dead, who would it be and what wouldyou ask him/her?
It would be my two favorite authors, Laura Ingalls Wilder and LM Mongomery. I know, I'm such a freakin' book nerd. But that's always been my answer. I have no idea exactly what we'd talk about, but I'd even be happy just to sit and listen. I don't have a set of questions to ask as I can never think of good ones. Conversation would just flow.

5. What's your favorite TV show?
Well, it's not on tv anymore but it's Alias. I have never loved a show more. I was devastated when it was cancelled but understood that it had run it's course and was really dying/dead. But sigh. It was so fantastic while it lasted. And Jennifer Garner and Michael Vartan are soooo hot. Period. And I miss Agent Sean.

Ok, so if anyone wants me to ask some rather lame questions, (I suck at question asking but I'll try) let me know and all that.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Pork and Birds

It was a good weekend for food. It was not a good weekend for birds. But first the food part.
Since The Boy is now working Sundays and has Friday and Saturday off, we are now doing Saturday Dinners instead of Sunday. Plus we usually feeding some of the boy’s male friends, as sadly, it’s one of the best meals they get all week.
I decided on a Greekish theme for this weekend, so I marinated a pork loin in a yogurt mixture and served it with olive oil and rosemary potatoes, and a vaguely greek salad.
Recipe for pork loin:
1 pork loin, defrosted and butterflied. To butterfly- slice down the middle lengthwise, only going about halfway into the loin. Then carefully slice the sides to open up. Take a meat cleaver and pound the hell out of it to flatten it out enough to stuff it.
2/3 of a large container of yogurt
½ cucumber, peeled
4 cloves garlic
½ lemon, juiced
greek seasoning (I had this in my cabinet so if you don’t salt and pepper will work.)
fresh dill
roasted red peppers* (optional but they really added a nice flavor)

Puree the above in your food processor or blender.
Place the pork loin in the marinade and let sit for at least 6 hours, if not more.

½ of a large red onion
feta cheese
1 tomato
red wine vinegar

Dice the above ingredients and douse in the vinegar. Let sit for at least ½ an hour.

When ready to cook, pre heat your oven to 350.
Take the pork loin out and lay flat on the cutting board. Place the mixture on the pork and roll. You can seal with toothpicks or use twine to hold it together. I recommend twine as toothpicks can be hazardous to eat with. (I couldn’t find my twine so I used the toothpicks and well, that was not so fun.)
Spray your pan with non-stick spray or a thin coating of olive oil.
Place the loin in the pan and cover the top with leftover marinade.
Bake for about an hour, 30 minutes per pound, or until pork hits 145. Take out of the oven and let rest for 10 minutes. The carryover heat will cook the pork further.
Slice and eat.

You can take the leftover marinade and bring it to just under a boil and let cook for a few minutes. This can be used as a sauce for the pork if desired. The cooking kills of any harmful pork juices left in there and it doesn’t change the flavor at all, just the color.

This was totally something I just threw together but the flavors worked well. There weren’t any leftovers either. So it was good for pork.

As for the birds, well, for one of them it was not a good Saturday evening/Sunday morning. We let the girls out to run on the weekend nights. They don’t go very far, in fact they rarely, if ever leave the yard. Gabby is a hunter, something even the neighbor has noticed, and Punk is a lounger and sometimes stalker. But they love to chase bugs and things around the yard.
Earlier this week, Gabby had brought in the head of a lizard that they had apparently been torturing for days. That was lovely. Sunday morning it got even better. I came downstairs only to discover a dead bird on the rug in the kitchen and some bloodstains around it. There was no blood trail from the door, so I can only assume that the final kill occurred inside. It was definitely dead though.
I ran upstairs to let the boy know and his reaction was “Is it all in one piece?” “Yes.” “Easy clean up then.” And with that he went back to sleep. So I had the fun job of picking up the bird and disposing of it and then cleaning up the blood and feathers.
We still don’t know who did it, as neither one claimed it nor did they come looking for validation, but I suspect Gabby. They did bring it inside though.
Ah well. That’s the price you pay for having cats and letting them outside, especially with Gabby, master tree climber and carrier of things in her mouth.

UPDATE: Bird #2 today was in the hallway to our guest bedroom. This one was lying there with guts exposed and feathers all over the guest bedroom. Sigh. It was disgusting. I have a feeling that I may come home to a LIVE bird one day. They do seem to have been alive when they come inside.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Cat on a (Hot Tin) Roof

Yes, that is a cat on my roof. That’s Pumpkin actually. I apologize for the darkness of the photos as it was dusk and the night camera thing wasn’t working well yet. But Pumpkin climbed onto the roof Saturday night while we were outside grilling some ribs. I think she got confidence from the fact that we were both outside with the girls, especially as they were both pretty bold that night.
The girls had been running around the yard and enjoying themselves, as they love to do at night. Gabby had wandered through a hole in the chain-link fence and into our neighbors yard, the forbidden territory as they have 2 dogs. She couldn’t remember where the hole was though and nearly got stuck coming back over. Hopefully this won’t happen when the dogs are out in the yard but as she loves to antagonize the dogs from the other side of the fence, who knows. She’s trouble, that one.

Pumpkin, on the other hand, decided to climb the fence. There is a tree next to it and she hopped into the tree and the next thing we knew, she was climbing the branches and had stepped onto the roof. She was strutting her stuff along the ridgepole and walked over to the flat part of the roof, where she plopped down and rested for a bit. She was up there for at least 20 minutes. Then she decided to come down, which was a slow process. She almost didn’t want to try it, so we think this was her first time. She tried 3 times before she got the confidence to come down. We were also giving her a bit of encouragement which may have helped. She was extremely cautious and you could hear her claws sticking in the shingles, but she made it down in one piece, and then came running over to us for love and validation. I have a feeling this won’t be the last time that she does this. Gabby was watching closely and worrying (as evidenced by her semi-panicky meows) but wasn’t up to trying it herself.

As for our dinner, well the ribs were FABULOUS. We had a rack of baby back pork ribs and I gave them a dry rub of chili powder, paprika, cayenne, brown sugar, Tony Chacherie’s Cajun seasoning, garlic powder, and fresh ground black pepper. We let that cook for 1.5 hours, occasionally turning and pouring beer over it. We then glazed it with Stubb’s BBQ sauce, which is actually rather good. Not too sweet, with a really nice tartness. That cooked for another 1.5 hours. We served it with corn, ranch style beans, and baked potatoes. There were no complaints.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Two Years

Our friend’s kid turned 2 yesterday. It’s weird to think that he’s already 2. It doesn’t seem as if it was that long ago. 2 years ago I broke my rib and we were living in La Vernia and getting ready to move to Austin. Strange how time moves like that.

We’ve been getting the “so when are you two going to have kids?” thing all weekend. First it was the boy’s dad asking him. Then his mom asking me, then we got it from his aunt and grandmother. (It was a family thing in Louisiana, and there were lots of other cousins with their kids.) At least we’re on the same page as to someday, if it happens, but definitely not now. We’d be ok if it does happen sooner than later, but we would like to feel a little more financially secure, even though you never really are.

Then, while we had dropped by our friend’s house to give the little boy birthday wishes, the kid’s grandparents asked us the question. We just can’t avoid it lately. But maybe this will get the boy thinking about some other question he needs to get around to asking. (I know it’s going to happen, and I’m pretty sure I know how/where he wants to do it, but I’m not sure when/if we’re going to get to Europe any time soon. He does keep talking about flying there for a weekend but it’s hard to justify spending $1000 for a weekend when we’re still dealing with house fun. And that’s just plane tix. But maybe he’ll do it one day. If we win big at the casino next month…)

All this kid talk gets us to talking about it as usual. It’s nice how we can talk about it and joke about it and know that we area truly on the same page about everything. I mean we even had a conversation about breastfeeding. Well, at least we agree on the important stuff. You can’t agree on everything.