Tuesday, December 18, 2007

muddy holidays

The weather has been really warm lately--yesterday Grant was able to do the afternoon watering with the hose, so I didn't have to fill the buckets and haul them out. Every few waterings we have to dump out the dregs that are still left in the bottom of the bucket and get completely fresh water in there. Somehow in a way that is not readily apparent our goats are able to poop into the water bucket that is outside the pen, and whenever that happens we have to get all new water. John did a full cleaning of both the goats' and the chickens' water containers last Saturday, because they were starting to look a little manky. I don't worry as much about the chickens, because they will often choose to drink out of a puddle of rainwater and urine rather than their clean water bucket, so it's clearly not listed too high on their rider. The goats, however, will refuse to drink water that has so much as a leaf of alfalfa in it, which I don't get--isn't that kind of getting a twofer? Can't they think of it as Instant Breakfast?

Last night I put cinnamon in the chili I made for dinner, even though I feel that overuse of cinnamon is a hallmark of a weak/inexperienced cook. I also think it can be very effective in nontraditional usage situations, but it depends what the cinnamon is complementing or contrasting. If you toss some cinnamon into a crappy recipe, it's just going to taste like crap with cinnamon in it--and even worse than before, because now there's a jarring taste that calls attention to itself. But when you want a sweet, smoky heat that's a little more complex than just hot sauce, cinnamon is a worthy contender. Hopefully my use of it was acceptable--I thought it was pretty good. Not like my kids cared--they don't like chili yet, and they were all hopped up on goofballs because we made gingerbread houses at my mom's house. Speaking of which, I have to admire their restraint--they haven't made very many gingerbread houses, so they should still be very much in the throes of plastering candy on every surface.

Is that a chocolate Santa with candy presents I see?

No, I haven't been eating any candy. Why do you ask?

It would be super sad if this toy truck drove into the house and wrecked it, and then I had to eat it.

I have no idea what to cook for dinner tonight. I've made a conscious effort not eat out as much as I did last year during Voicemalecember. Too costly, too big of portions, too much of a hassle with my four heavenly angel children. I've got tomorrow taken care of--I'm going to try a roasted version of boiled dinner with kielbasa, rutabagas, parsnips and brussels sprouts. Tonight might be a PBJ night, which will make my kids happy. I've got two half-eaten loaves of bread from yesterday that need to be dealt with, anyway. I've made it through I think 2 or 3 of our buckets of food storage wheat--a wheat grinder makes a huge difference. Also we're almost done with the 25 lb. bag of oatmeal we got from Honeyville Grain. I put it in just about everything for a while; biscuits, bread, meat loaf, rolls, cookies . . . oatmeal . . . I was just afraid it would go rancid before we got through it all. Now I'm thinking I'll go buy another one, because it was so good in all those things.