At noon, it was 60 degrees F. and sunny. I used that opportunity to clean out the mudroom and do some laundry. By 3 PM it was 34 degrees F. and we are going to 15 overnight with an ice storm on the way.
I'm using the next few snowed-in days to get lesson plans in order, cull some baby books and toys for charity, and experiment with sausage making. Yeah, you heard that correctly-the vegetarian is making venison sausage because I have a freezer full of dead deer. We've been offered the use of a smoker, but as I'm still waiting on curing salt, I thought I'd make some fresh sausages first-to see if the grinder (antique hand grinder, that is) will do the trick. It has a long, Pennsylvania Dutch heritage, so it only seems right to use it for sausages. Seriously, my freezer is so damned full of dead deer we had to tape the sides closed with duct tape in case it came open and a ten pound bag of frozen chunks came tumbling out. That would be an interesting way to break a foot, I guess. Very Midwestern.
In other non-vegetarian cooking, I had a package of chicken thighs in the deep freeze (Mr. ETB likes them) that I used every part of. The bones went in stock, which I cooked to a gelled glaze reduction. The meat became chicken and dumplings for Mr. ETB's lunches. The skins were rendered and I ended up with half a cup of fat, plus the cracklings which I promptly tossed in the garbage (thank goodness Mr. ETB was at work as I cooked this or he and the old poodle would have been snacking away on them). The dog was not pleased with this decision, but he did get some meat in his bowl. Anyway, the house smells like my grandmother's apartment, but without the lingering scent of mothballs and pickled herring. I guess we can't have everything.
So hey, is anyone else making a cheese ball/log for New Year's? I have some toasted sourdough breadcrumbs to replace the nuts in the coating, and now all I need do is choose between capers, and pimentos. No, you really can't have both, but I'm leaning toward the pimentos because they seem more festive. I like a festive cheese ball/log at New Year's-it just sets the tone for the upcoming year. Sometimes I like a swig of Cold Duck, but if you don't have little wax-coated Dixie cups to serve it in, then screw-it. I should look through the cabinets-I'll bet I have both.
And that's pretty much it. We made it through the holidays, and the new semester begins soon. Here's wishing everyone a a Happy Cheese Ball/Log and New Year!
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I'm watching a Three Stooges marathon, and in one movie I see an alternate use for that hand-crank meat grinder: drop bullets into it and it'll be a nifty tommy-gun.
Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk!
I was a bit worried I might come across some stray lead shot in the meat (that can happen) but so-far, so good.
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