Sunday, December 29, 2019

Beef Stew and Hiking

Last week felt like it went on forever.  Probably due to the traffic and craziness that abounds this time of year, and we were just wishing for it to be over.  Yes, I know those are the words of a total grinch.  However, the commercialization that has taken over Christmas annoys me some.  Anyway, last Thursday, Jim broke a tooth.  It's not a tiny little chip, it's 25% of his back lower molar.  Happy Holidays to you!  He sees the dentist bright and early Monday morning.  They don't have the 3D milling machines that make the crown while you wait, so it will be a two visit process.

It was cold, we decided to make beef stew (which messes up just about everything in the kitchen).  We bought the pre-cut stew meat, and we are done with that.  The many small pieces provide too much surface area for flour, and require too many browning steps.  Next time we're buying the meat whole and cubing it ourselves.  We did learn something new; how to peel pearl onions.  Cut the root tip off, boil the onions for two minutes, submerse in an ice bath and then squeeze them.  The interior of the onion will come shooting out.  It's actually fun.

Did you know red wine comes in a can now?  We bought this Pinot Noir for the deglazing of the pan.  Drinking red wine from a can strikes me as somewhat weird. On the right we have my 8.25 ounce chicken stock with no salt added.  I have to get them from Amazon, since they only sell the big boxes locally, but they're good.  Since discovering Kitchen Basics I have not made stock since.  Wait, two times for stuffing, I made it then.  But anyway, for those who don't like to boil bones and stuff, this is a good alternative.

Yesterday was really windy and cold, highs in the upper 40s.  We bundled up and went for a restorative walk in the desert.

It was nice for awhile, then it hailed on us, and we went home.

Today there was zero air movement, sunny with highs in the upper 40s.  It's difficult to dress for.  The jackets came off.  We were slightly chilly without them.  We're going to have to think about our clothing choices, it all depends on wind speed and how much cloud cover there is. Tomorrow will be in the low 60s as will the rest of the week.  It could even be shorts weather.

Here is Jim on a new to us trail.  It plunges from the Krein trail down to the rocky segment of Sarasota.  I'm not sure I would call it enjoyable given the steepness and the loose rocks.

Looking back up the hill at the trail.

Other than this paltry offering of food and hikes, I have nothing much to offer!


  1. Wine in a can? That's weird! I use kitchen basics too. It's SO much easier than all those bones and greasy mess you have to clean up. I bet your stew was delicious. I'm not liking the weather any more than you are. It's cold, rainy and even MORE cold. I'm hoping it clears up before I get there!!

  2. the two little freezes notwithstanding, our winter has been pretty mild so far. the two coldest months are still ahead though. and yeah, I thought wine in a box was weird but in a can?

  3. Can-o-wine is a new one on me too. Interesting! However, I do enjoy boxed wines. Some of them are quite good and easier to deal with in the fridge than bottles. They haven't really become a thing in Mexico yet, and bottles make the trash so heavy (not recyclable here).

  4. In a little town in SW WI, where their politics are liberal, I picked up a can of Underwood wine. There were shelf after shelf of crazy names and contents. My sister lives on Underwood Drive in her town here in Ohio.
    Does Jim have some sort of a temp on that tooth? I could not have born it so long, without. My dentist had that automatic milling machine last time. What a surprise.

  5. Beautiful trail photos! I have never heard of wine in a can, but why not? Sorry to hear about Jim's tooth. That's gotta be a drag.