Facing My Demons and Other Completely Random Crap

My husband, being my biggest supporter and guide, has informed me that it is time to face my demons. By that he means only one thing: LIVER. I hate liver. Never touch the stuff. I pretty much steer clear of organ meats altogether. This is a long seated fear. When we were kids, my mom used to serve us liver and onions for dinner. My memory says that it was “all the time,” while she insists that it was “rarely.” Either way, I hated it then and have chosen to avoid it as an adult. But now that I am cooking so much, my husband says it is time to step up to plate – literally. So, last week, while at the Market, I went to the butcher and bought a single serving of calf’s liver. This was 3.5 ounces, vacuum packed and frozen. I was ecstatic! I was proud of myself for simply having made the purchase, but also happy that it was frozen, which bought me some time. Sadly, the piece was so small and sliced so thin that it was nearly defrosted by the time I got home. I placed it in the fridge thinking I would get to it “tomorrow.” I literally took it out and looked at it every day for nearly a week. Finally, it was time to pay the piper: I had to cook the liver. I found a recipe online from the BBC for Calf’s Liver Pate. I really struggled. The texture of the meat was so mushy that it made me gag. I was doing fine once I got it going on the stove, but up to that point, I had to walk away several times. At the end, I asked my husband “Now what?” He said, “Have you tasted it yet?” with that little tilt of his head that said he knew I hadn’t. I was forced to taste it for seasoning. I actually lived through it. Go figure. Once I had adjusted the seasonings (I added more Worcestershire sauce), I was at a loss for what to do with it. I decided to place the whole lot onto a sheet of plastic wrap and roll it tightly like a sausage. I twisted off the ends and tied them tightly. I placed it in the fridge to set up. Today, I made myself a “braunschweiger”-like sandwich. It wasn’t bad, but I still hope I don’t have to do this again. Can we officially say I have been exorcised??

Besides all the cooking I do, I have managed just enough time to fit in some completely random crap. I have been trying to work in the yard this week while the weather has been so nice. Seventy+ degrees in Seattle in November is a real treat. I have updated my header photo with a new one of the winter garden. I am toying with the idea of updating it monthly to reflect what is going on in my lovely garden. Right now I have a few things that will winter over, plus the onions and garlic I have planted. I also just pulled the last of my 1st batch of beets, so I likely will can them sometime next week. I compost a ton, so moving my piles around this week was a good thing. I have a whole lot of good dirt to work with next spring and a good start on some new piles with all the leaves from the big trees. I love my dirt!

Since we are still VERY much on a budget these days, I am still making what I can myself. The urban homesteader that I have become enjoys this part. This week I made facial moisturizer, deodorant and body crème. If you want the recipes, let me know and I will send them to you. They look really lovely in my little jars. I think I will invest in some really cool ones, if I keep this up. In addition to the beauty products, I also have some sewing to get started. I have cut out more PJ’s for the kids and just need to get to the machine. I think I will add a serger to my wish list. I have a running list of things that I think I want to buy. I just add the links or whatever to the list and occasionally I go through it and delete stuff. It is interesting to see what I thought I had to have at various times. Good thing I have never been an impulse shopper!

I have been accused of being a liar. The “liar, liar, pants on fire” kind of liar. It all started years ago when we moved to our current house. There is a driving range that we infrequently drive past on one of our alternate routes to downtown. Each time we go past, I tell the kids that it is where they keep the dinosaurs. You know, why else would they have a 100’ tall fence?? Anyway, the heavily wooded area across the street is where the actual golf course is, but I swear to you, you NEVER see anyone, on the course or at the range. I claimed the littering of golf balls were eggs and that we needed to keep an eye on the woods in case the dinos started chasing us. This worked for a very long time. Even after my oldest figured it out, he played along. Recently though, my youngest boy spotted a cart full of golfers crossing over to the course and figured it all out. I told him that they were crazy and likely to be in big trouble with the dinosaurs. Haven’t they seen Jurasic Park?! Anyway, the gig is up. Bummer. I liked the idea of it all.

By the way, my mom’s name is Barbara. Most people call her Bobbie. Sometimes us kids call her Babs. Anyway, she is responsible for the recipe box that I share with you all here. Thanks Mom!

Back to cooking: I tried another hollandaise sauce recipe this week. This time from Pioneer Woman. It ROCKS! So far, the best one I have tried. We really liked it and it came together quickly, which made it even better. The one from Cooking School Secrets was more lemony than this version. Anyway, we really liked it. I served it over BBQ’d salmon with tarragon. It was de-lish!

This week, during my many donut trials and tribulations, I cracked this one egg lengthwise. I have never seen anything like this, so I had to take a picture of it. Sure I am a dork, but this is cool.

This weekend I will be trying to locate my holiday decorations and put together my Thanksgiving Day menu, plus the usual menu for next week. Good times!

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