Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Three Beautiful Things 08/31/20: Bacon, Steak Soup and Salad, Family Dinner BONUS A Limerick by Stu

1. Ed and Don both brought breakfast meat to the Sunday breakfast we fellas enjoyed yesterday and they left the surplus meat with me. I decided to cook all of it this morning. I can heat up the sausage links in the mornings this week and I fried all the bacon and decided it would be a delicious ingredient in a salad for family dinner tonight -- and add some crunch to the salad's texture.

2. Figuring it would be a hot day, I had a cold meal originally planned for tonight's family dinner, but this morning I saw that the temperature would be cooler today and that we might have to eat indoors, not on the deck.

So I changed plans. A small pack of bottom sirloin steaks have been in the freezer for quite a while and I decided I'd make steak soup. I thawed the steak pieces, cubed them, browned them, and then sprinkled the browned pieces with flour, paprika, salt, and pepper. I made broth out of bouillon paste, added some water to it, and poured it over the meat and tossed in chopped onions, diced tomatoes, some Worcestershire sauce, and seasonings. This simmered for about an hour and then I added in the carrots, celery, potatoes, mushrooms, tomato paste, and brown sugar. I brought it to a boil and it simmered for the next couple of hours or so before we had dinner.

I also hard boiled eggs to put on the top of a green salad with the bacon pieces I fried in the morning. I made a salad dressing out of walnut oil, raspberry balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and seasonings. Looking back, I wish I had added in some Dijon mustard.

I bought brownie cookies for dessert and planned on serving them with vanilla ice cream.

3. As the day developed, the rain showers disappeared. The sun peeked out. The temperature was comfortable.

So, we ate on the deck. Everett stayed home and Debbie is in Valley Cottage, NY, so Christy, Carol, Paul, and I sat around the table.

I filled a few small bowls with bread and butter pickles, pickled asparagus, and pickled green tomatoes, and put out some cheese slices with saltine crackers and pieces of Ciabatta bread and butter. I put them on the card table.  I mixed Carol, Paul, and Christy each a cocktail and put out a bottle of red and one of white wine. After munching on some appetizers and enjoying a drink, we all dove into the salad and soon I brought out bowls of soup.

Our conversation veered all over the place. For a while, we talked about how the local school district is serving students as school gets underway. I kind of blanked out on the details--I wish them all the best, but even the thought of teaching during the pandemic makes me shudder. Paul retired last spring and he expressed profound relief that he's not teaching this fall. I thought for an instant about all the conversations that must be going on at LCC about instruction and suddenly had a deep sense of peace come over me because I, too, am retired and don't have to negotiate all the difficulties of being a teacher this fall.

A limerick by Stu:

Sunnyside, Silver King and Pinehurst’.
Canyon and Elk Creek were widely disbursed.
Wardner and Lincoln were cool,
As was George Washington School.
Add St. Rita’s, what school was your first?

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