Split Pea Soup

We love split pea soup and technically, it isn’t on the diet because of the peas but . . I made it anyway.  There was still one ham left in the freezer from last year’s pig we bought so I cooked it earlier this week. I didn’t want to have ham for the rest of the week so I cut all the meat of the bone, froze the bone, froze part of the meat and used the rest to make a big pot of split pea soup.

Split Peas

Split Peas

Three pounds of split peas is about as much as this pot will hold once the soup is made.

Split Pea Soup

Split Pea Soup

Seven quarts of split pea soup with  ham and carrots. That’s something we will both look forward to having!

 

Cooking at Home

You’ve heard me say it before but I’d rather have bread and water at home than go out to eat. First, eating out is outrageously expensive. Second, when Vince gets home from work, I enjoy sitting and spending time with him during dinner. With the chores we have to do around here, once he gets home from work, does the chores and whatever else has to be done, we don’t get enough time to talk. When we’re in a restaurant, I feel like we have to be so guarded in what we say because we don’t know the people around us and . . well, we’re just careful what we talk about when we’re in public. Last, the food at home is ALWAYS better than what we get out.

I do enjoy eating sushi out because I can’t get the ingredients to make that at home. We’ve been eating out too much lately because we’ve been in town so much in the evenings that it’s just hard to do everything we have to do out and get back in time to eat at a decent hour so we’ll do a but of shopping, eat, and finish up the shopping but . . it’s gotten old and I’m ready to be eating at home instead of eating out.

We’ve had a huge “thing” hanging over our heads . . one of those things that you really must make the right decision and it could have positive or negative repercussions or many years and we finally got that behind us. Then yesterday after the solar panel guys left, Vince said “Let’s go to Brady and get fried oysters.” It’s about an hour down there and I hadn’t planned on doing that but knew he wanted to unwind a little so we went. On the way home, Vince said “It’s too bad you can’t fry oysters at home because I really like fried oysters.”  Huh?  I can fry oysters at home and I make darned good fried oysters!

A year or so ago, Vince bought a “Fry Daddy”. I can’t remember why he bought it but I remember being in Wal-Mart saying “NO! Don’t buy it! I don’t fry anything!” Poor Fry Daddy . . still sitting in the shop in a box. I told Vince that we could buy oysters and put the Fry Daddy on the front porch and I would fry them up this weekend.

At lunch today . . yes, we had errands to run and ended up eating lunch out. I told Vince “Let’s run by Kroger and get some oysters.”

Dinner for the Week

Dinner for the Week

Looks like we were hungry for seafood. Lobster. Salmon. Oysters. And . . two steaks looking like they landed in the wrong cart.

Best of all was this . .

Crawfish

Crawfish

Normally we have to order crawfish on Monday, Kroger places their order on Wednesday and the crawfish arrive on Friday. The friendly meat guy told Vince “I have an extra sack of crawfish!” What a bonanza!  We weren’t expecting that but yes, sir . . we’ll take them!

I figure we’ll have crawfish tonight, and then peel the leftover tails and I’ll get probably 5 bags of tails for the freezer so the crawfish counts as 6 meals. That means we got 10 really, really good meals worth of meat and the cost comes to an average of about $12/meal. It’s more than a lot of things like chicken or ground beef but where could you get a meal of boiled crawfish, or lobster or fried oysters for two for $12? And . . we get to eat it at home!

With the veggies in the freezer or canned from last year’s garden, and with lettuce in the garden now, the cost of the meat is about all the cost we have.

 

Venison Jerky

The venison jerky is made. By the time Vince trimmed up all the meat, I ground the meat and weighed it and bagged it up,  Saturday was pretty much gone and it was too late to start the dehydrating so we stuck it all in the fridge and got started on seasoning and extruding the jerky this morning.

Vince Making Jerky

Vince Making Jerky

And a little dog is always right under our feet when there’s food involved!  You never know with someone might drop a little morsel.

Speck

Speck

Last year Vince bought the Weston Original Jerky Gun and this was the first time he used it and he was impressed. It was easy to use, easy to clean and the jerky made from ground meat was delicious and easier to eat than traditional sliced meat jerky.

Dehydrator

Dehydrator

By the time he was done, we had used all but two of the shelves in the dehydrator. I love the Excalibur Dehydrator and I think I’m going to go ahead and order a second one because in the summer, I need two of them running. I kept thinking I wasn’t going to order a second one because at least nine months out of the year, it sits on the shelf but last year, I dehydrated so many tomatoes for making tomato powder to add to gravy and soup; I dehydrated a ton of jalapeno peppers for jalapeno powder. I dehydrated okra that we’ve used for snacking and for soups. I’ve dehydrated onions and probably this week will dehydrate a bunch of chopped green onions. We looked at the Cabela’s dehydrator online today but I think we’re going to go with the Excalibur again.

Jerky

Jerky

We made four different flavors of jerky and I think we liked the hot & spicy one the best. From 10 pounds of meat, we ended up with between 4 and 5 pounds of jerky. There’s still a good bit of venison in the freezer so very soon, we’ll be making more jerky using this method.

Chicken Broth

It’s time to pick up our pig from the butcher so I had to clean out and defrost the freezer yesterday.  There were two tough old roosters in the freezer that I had planned to use for making broth. I was tempted to toss them out. It seems I’ve been in the kitchen, with the canner, too much this week. But then I remembered all the weird ingredients in storebought broth so I got the canner out and cooked the two tough old birds.

Chicken Broth

Chicken Broth

Seven quarts of rich chicken broth, with just a little bit of chicken (I saved some of the white meat) and none of the weird ingredients.