Ready, Set, Go!

And here we are, smack dab at the beginning of a new year. Are you ready to make the most of it? Well, I’m sure going to try!
New Year’s Eve was quiet, and for us, that’s a good thing. There was plenty going on in town, but we just had no desire to go freeze our fannies off in 9 degree weather, only to worry about the drunk drivers on our way home. Nope, television entertainment in front of a nice warm fire was all we needed. I did try a new snack recipe, Cheesy Thumbprint Appetizers with Hot Pepper Jelly. This is another of those recipes that I’m not sure where it came from, but I’ll keep it.

Our New Year’s Day dinner was the traditional, well, almost. In the South, that dinner follows a set menu. One must serve pork, because hogs always root forward, black eyed peas, for good luck, fortune, and money in coins, and greens, for more good fortune and folded money. Michael doesn’t care for traditional greens like collards, so I substitute cabbage. That’s green, right? Well, we’re still financially solvent, so I guess cabbage counts.

The pork was another story.  I though I was so smart when I pulled what I assumed was a trimmed pork tenderloin out of the freezer to cook for New Years dinners’ Braised Pork Tenderloin with Mushroom Pan Sauce. The tenderloin was trimmed alright, but what I failed to notice was that it was also seasoned with Rib Rub for the grill. Whoops! We grill outside most all winter long, but not when the high temp for the day is 25°.  Mushrooms and rib rub aren’t the best of friends either,  so I just skipped the mushrooms and continued with the braise.  It was delicious.  I’ll make that mistake again sometime soon.

I have set a goal to try a new recipe or ingredient each “Try Me Tuesday”.  This week it was Slow Cooker Creamy Lentil Soup. That one did double duty since “Meatless Monday” wasn’t at all meatless this week. The jury is out on that soup recipe. I enjoyed it the first day, and Michael put his game face on, but unlike most soups this one wasn’t better the second day. Something, maybe the pureed chickpeas, turn gritty. The texture of the second day soup was just not good. So, unless I can find a way to reduce the quantity to one meal, I won’t be making it again.

Take a look at how cold it’s been here in North Alabama! That’s the frozen fountain in our little backyard fish pond. It has NEVER frozen like this before. I have no idea how our koi are doing. When we built the pond it was recommended that you have a minimum depth of 18 inches to keep fish. That we have, but will it be enough? I guess we’ll find out.

Be thankful for what life gives you.

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