For my regular visitors, if you find that this blog hasn't been updating much lately, chances are pretty good I've been spending my writing energy on my companion blog. Feel free to pop over to Moving On, and see what else has been going on.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The joys of winter...

What fun it is!

We cooked up our tourtierre filling last night. It went really well, though next year, I'm going to have to invest in a large stock pot or something similar. The 12 pounds of meat just fit in my roaster, making it pretty difficult to stir, not to mention work with on one element.

I had plenty of help, as well. Eldest had met up with a friend downtown, but it was so cold, they ended up coming here. I was on the way out to do the last big grocery shopping before Christmas, so I picked them up at the train station so they wouldn't have to walk or bus the rest of the way. I intended to just drop them off at home, fill the gas tank, then go shopping when I jokingly asked if they wanted to come along. They decided to come with me! That worked our rather well.

Oh, it was quite nice to fill that tank from about 1/8th to full for only $31. The last time I had to fill that tank when it was that empty, it cost me almost $60.

The girls were a great help at the grocery store, and carried most of the bags in for me, too. Then, when it came time to actually cook the tourtierre filling, and had 3 extra sets of hands to make short work of thing. I got Youngest peeling garlic cloves for me - in the living room, since there was no space in the kitchen. Eldest's friend measured out the salt and spices for me while Eldest prepped the food processor and started peeling onions. Meanwhile, I was unwrapping packages of meat and mixing them up in the roaster. That grossed everyone out. LOL

Youngest chopped up the garlic cloves for me, too. We've got a handy little chopper for that. By the time Eldest finished peeling the onions, she was weeping from the fumes, so we kicked her out of the kitchen to deal with that while her friend quartered them for me and I pulsed the pieces in the processor. I love kitchen appliences! Can you imagine having to finely chop a bag of onions manually?

When the cooking was done and the meat was cooled down a bit, I covered it with a layer of foil, popped the lid on the roaster and we set it out onto the balcony for the night.

Problems started this morning, when my husband couldn't open the inside sliding door. Water had pooled in the tracks and frozen overnight. We ended up having to use a hair drier - and a towel to sop all the water up - to be able to open the door. It took something like half an hour before we could get the meat back inside! Unfortunately, it's going to happen again. Things get pretty humid in here, and the baseboard heaters are under all the windows. There's going to be constant melt and freeze all winter. Last year, we only had to thaw things about a couple of times. We'll see how it turns out this year.

The frosty meat is a bit of a chuckle. It isn't actually frozen solid, though the outer edges are pretty close. We'll start making the pastry in the afternoon. It should be workable by then.

We're really looking forward to trying our first tourtierre tonight. We've never had boar meat before. I wonder how much it'll change the flavour?

Friday, December 19, 2008

I love my kids

Things have been pretty busy lately - what else is new? - as we slowly get ourselves ready for Christmas on top of everything else. Today was one of those days were I really appreciated having older kids. We ended up meeting my husband for lunch today, then after a brief stop at home, I left the girls to themselves while I ran out to do some errands. I had only one thing I needed them to do while I was gone. Cruel parent that I am, I told them this was a good time to watch the library videos, since they have to be returned soon. Eldest found a list of the top 50 distopian movies of all time, and she's wanting to see as many of them as she can. She found quite a few in the library and put them on hold, ending up with 5 of them at once - with 3 more waiting to be picked up tomorrow. The problem is, we don't watch tv much at all, even with the girls having a working dvd player of their own again, so the movies have been just sitting around.

I ended up being gone long enough that Dh and I met up after he finished work so I could give him a ride home. It's been another foul weather day, so I don't mind saving him a ride on the bus if I can. As we were on the way home, we decided to pick the girls up and got for a fast food supper, since my being out all day meant no supper ready. I did think that the girls might have made something, but figured they wouldn't mind eating out even if they did.

Which means the girls had several hours on their own to watch the library movies and do whatever else they wanted. So what did they do?

They cleaned the apartment.

I walked into a living room that was all tidied up - library books organized into piles instead of spread out all over the place (which reminds me - I haven't posted the library list. We didn't take out anything new last week, except for Eldest's movies; we just renewed everything we could). Youngest even vacuumed up the little bits of carpet tufts the cats have been working loose from their scratching post. They even made the table all pretty with Christmas candles and decorations. Then there's the kitchen. Wow, did they do a good job there! Everything looks so great. They even prepped the recycling, so all we need to do is take it downstairs.

Ah, those irresponsible teens and tweens. Can't depend on them for anything. LOL

I love my kids!

So it's been a pretty productive day all around, though it had it's odd spots (I'll be writing that story here, after I'm finished with this post). Among my errands, I found a butcher I could order our tourtierre meat from. The game portion is going to be wild boar! We're pretty excited to try that. I have to admit, I was *really* tempted to try Musk Ox. Just because it was there. I mean, how often do you see Musk Ox? They also had ostrich, elk, venison and some uncommon cuts of more common meats. I'm going to like this place! Our order will be ready Saturday morning, and we'll be cooking the meats that afternoon so that we can make the tourtierre themselves on Sunday. There's just a few spices and stuff that I'll need to pick up before then.

The girls are helping me work out a menu for our Wigilia on Christmas Eve. Eldest wants to make a salad. She's been doing that quite a bit lately, but she wants to experiment and make something more substantial - and protein filled. She's thinking seafood. Youngest is thinking deserts. She's suggesting something cheese cakey. If that's what we go with, I'm cheating and buying one, since I don't have my supplies for that and am not willing to buy another spring form pan right now. That and we'll have enough to do with the rest of the meal. :-D Dh wants me to make something with lentils; the Herbed Barley with Pancetta might fit the bill, though I'll make something else the girls, too. Eldest doesn't like barley or lentils, and Youngest likes barely, but not lentils. :-/ Meal decisions can be pretty difficult sometimes. *L*

Well, time to go do a bit more writing before I head to bed. Tomorrow is another day of running around.