January 28th, 2008

Baking

The state of the chili; a brief recap of the weekend

The chili is currently a mildly spicy beef stew. I've got it cooking again, with the addition of fresh beefsteak and roma tomatoes, the canned chilis, a green pepper, one of the Ancient Sweet peppers, and an orange. I decided there wasn't enough tomato, so I added a can of diced Rotel. So far, ingredients I need to add to the Ingredient picture are: Rotel Tomatoes, Roasted Garlic and Diet Dr. Pepper.

The chili cook-off is this coming Friday. I originally thought it was another week off, but there should be time to sufficiently infuse all the flavors into the beef. The beef itself has fallen into very tin shreds that permeate the thick mixture. Enough, so that I couldn't remove the fat layer before I started heating it again -- to much of the beef was stuck in it. Instead, I'm using the ladle to dip out broth a bowl at a time, which should yield about a 1/4 cup of grease per bowl. Of course, I'll be adding the de-fatted broth back into the chili.

As for the chili cookoff...

If you are local to the Lexington, KY area, I would love it if you would join me at The Mat this Friday for our Chili Cook-Off and Open Meeting! Enjoy great food (not just chili) and hang out with us as we launch the 12 steps of recovery with step 1. Don’t miss this night where we all meet together in one big room and share from our own experiences about the freedom we’ve found from the places that keep us stuck in life. This is the perfect opportunity to check out what the MAT is all about! For detailed information about the various Mat groups, visit the website. The Annual Chili Cook Off and Open Meeting is on Friday, Feb 1 from 6-8pm

So. How did I spend my weekend? Friday, I took Tigger to school, came home to pick up a fresh-baked (gotta love Timed-Bake) breakfast casserole and a batch of brownies for Life Group, then went to Life Group. Before I picked up Tigger from school, I made another batch of brownies, cooked up the sausage and hashbrowns for another two casseroles, and assembled one, ready to refrigerate. I discovered that I was mistaken about what kind of disposable pans I had on hand, so I poured the first batch into a cake pan, and filled almost two dozen cupcake cups with the remainder. After school I ended up napping, and woke up Just In Time for the Mat. After the Mat, I assembled the other breakfast casserole, baked another batch of brownies, and put together the crockpot lasagne.

I spent most of Saturday at EJHS for the speech tournament. My food was a hit in the Judge's Lounge; my lasagne disappeared and the crockpot was used to heat Taco Soup, and I got to bring home some of that. I judged in four rounds: Impromp, Exptemp, HI and finals for OO. HI is Humorous Interpretation and OO is Original Oratory. So basically, I sat through three rounds of speech making and one round of pure entertainment. HI was the hardest to judge, because it was too much fun. The speeches were the easiest for me, because I could take notes on the content, and easily make remarks about organization, etc. Critter timed for me for the first two rounds, so I wouldn't have to be distracted, worrying about giving timing signals.

After the tournament, I moved my laptop to the bedroom, took a bubble bath to the audiobook I'm currently "reading," and then caught up on LJ in bed before I slept.

Sunday morning, I went to V2 at Quest, then took care of kids in 2nd street. After church, I came home, worked on the chili some, then hung out with spydielives, roina_arwen and knightaudit. Spydie got here first, so we mostly chatted until Ro showed up, then we played a couple of rounds of Loaded Questions, and then we played Dicecapades. That was lots and lots of fun, with much silliness and even some physical activity. When Knight got here, it was time for Spydie to get back to Par, but we managed to convince Flar to join us, and all six of us played Dicecapades. It was a fun evening. Lots of silliness around. It turns out that Tigger can stand on one leg almost indefinitely, and I have learned that Beyonce has a last name. Don't know if Knowles will stick in my memory, mind you.

Got to sleep late again last night. I was going to try to grade myself on bedtime, but I've lost track of which days I stayed up too late while Flar was gone. At any rate, I'm getting to sleep much earlier than I used to.

Today is cleaning day, so I can't sit in here ignoring all those dishes any longer. I fled the kitchen after I managed to confine all the mess to the right of the sink. It's piled kind of high. I've also sorted all the laundry, and found a load in the washer. Sigh. There's too much to finish in one day, but I'll make a dent in it.
bundled up, walkabout, snow

My monday

Early to rise ➠ early to bed. At least, that's the relation that works for me. I remembered to set the alarm early enough to make pancakes for Tigger this morning; tomorrow morning, I need to get up a little more quickly after the alarm sounds - waffles take longer.

I'm trying a new strategy: Go to bed BEFORE bedtime, but bring the laptop. Post, THEN open windows to read.

Today I sorted dirty clothes, put away clean towels, ran four loads of laundry, cleaned the kitchen table, cleared the counters to the left of the sink, re-organized the dishes so they won't be so imposing when I start washing up tomorrow, straightened the family room (after Hazel vacuumed the bits she could get through), and then ran five errands on the way to picking up Timothy. I stopped long enough for breakfast and lunch, and one reading break in between.

It seems I have survived another round of LJ Idol. The new topic is my Most Annoying Personality Trait. As I didn't get it written today, I'll let some ideas stew around in my head, and but no doubt get it written before the list of infamy is posted Friday morning.

Flar and Critter and I went to see The Bucket List with Ro and Knight tonight. I laughed and cried. It was a wonderful movie, worthy of all the positive reviews you could heap on it. Or, maybe I'm just easy. Go see it. Tell me what you think.

I've been taking grease out of the chili using the ladle, a soup bowl, and the fridge. By serendipity, Tigger showed me the easiest way to remove the solid fat from the chilled broth. He poked a couple of holes in it, to see what it was, and it gave me the idea to simply pour the broth out of the bowl through the hole in the fat, then free the edges of the fat and take it out of the bowl in the one piece. Cool.

Tomorrow I start adding spice to the chili.

For now, I get to read a bit.