All I have time for today is to share a recipe, since it’s one packed-full-o-stuff day today. I don’t even have a photo to share of this porky/beefy noodle dish, because we ate it all. Even Lee, who “doesn’t really care for pasta.” Who doesn’t like pasta? (Rhetorical question.)
I had a leftover hunk of pork loin and wanted to be sure to use it, so last night I sauteed a big onion along with that pork loin and two thick slices of ham, all cut into cubes. I used olive oil and a bit of lemon olive oil. Then, I added two cups of beef broth, (and I know this sounds weird) a few leftover potatoes that were just cooked in butter and garlic, and a can of butter beans. These were the giant seasoned ones, which imparted a smoky flavor. I added a teaspoon of lemon juice to add some flavor.
The key to all this is that I mashed up the beans and taters so it didn’t look like it was full of vegetables, and the sauce thickened a bit. I then dumped a package of rigatoni in there, turned down the heat, and simmered it covered until the pasta was cooked.
I opened the lid to see some brownish noodles that didn’t look spectacular at all. However, when we went to eating it, all we did was say how good it was. All the seasonings from the leftovers melded together into a huge dish of deliciousness. Now at least I know how to satisfy two hungry men, one of which just got his appetite back.
I said I’d make it again, but we all laughed, since I’ll never be able to exactly reproduce that again. However, the mashed up beans and potatoes as thickeners is something I’ll use again. You know, sometimes I try to make fancy food and it’s just okay. Throwing leftovers into a pot ends up spectacular!
All the new chickens are currently okay. Blanca, in particular, seems a bit traumatized by her new surroundings, as well as the heat. She and Babette stay in the cool shelter a lot. But, she seems better today.
The little hens have a lot of shade and fresh water, so they should be fine.
Billie Idyl is by far the smallest. I should probably have asked Gene to pick out the largest of the Brabanters. I noticed yesterday morning that the others had been pecking on her, as chickens naturally do (source of the term pecking order). Billie’s tail area was bloody, which worried me.
I wondered if I should separate her in the original chicken house, like I did the chicks. But, clearly that wouldn’t fix the problem. Maybe a deterrent would be better.
So, the nephew looked up what could stop hens from pecking and found a recipe or two. We combined two of them and mixed this:
Lemon essential oil
Apple cider vinegar
Small amount of Dawn detergent (in lieu of blue food coloring, which we didn’t have)
We think the blue was so you could tell where you applied it. But Dawn might help clean the wounds. We put it all in a cool old oil dispenser he’d found in an antique shop.
The resulting product was just right for spraying. Now, cornering Billie to spray her butt was no easy task, so the stuff got in a few other spots, but did hit her injured areas. We were worried it would attract ants or bees, but apparently the lemon oil repelled them. Whew.
Today, there is no sign of new pecking or injury. There are no ants on her, either. Billie is running around eating, drinking, and scratching most cheerfully. Hooray for the chicken butt medicine.
I’m trying really hard not to get immersed in the news, so I’m filling my mind with more important things, like, um, good nutrition! Yes! I try to cook a meal for Anita at least once a week, since she’s not a “cooker.” Last night I found some non-wheat pasta with quinoa, corn, and chickpea flour. I cooked it. I combined an organic tomato sauce with black beans and some kind of re-constituted Chinese mushrooms (labeled “fungus” on the package).
Does that sound weird? Yes. But it was good. The pasta does not pass for beautiful semolina pasta, but it has a reasonable texture and should make my triglycerides happy.
One of our readers asked for the recipe for the one-pot whole grain dish I made last night. It’s based on a package Anita bought at Central Market in Austin.
Hooray. You can get it on Amazon. Farro is a type of whole grain dried wheat. It is apparently a much healthier option than rice. It’s also really tasty.
So, I made the recipe on the package (above) but added a can of white beans with the liquid. That added a hearty flavor. I also added a cup of carrots that were in the fridge. That added more nutrition and color. I added a little freeze dried onion and fancy pepper from Penzey’s. You could use red pepper or anything a little spicy. (If I had it, I would have used diced onion.)
The bean liquid added to the water in the instructions was enough to make the liquid cook down in just a couple minutes more than in the instructions.
It was so good, and we had leftovers. I enjoy taking interesting things Anita finds at the hipster store and making them MINE.
There. I posted a recipe. By the way, one of our new succulents bloomed.