Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday Chores

This morning found us in the woods at Ritter Farm, walking and taking in the crisp, cool air.  We were having so much fun, we decided to do the double-loop woods trail...about an hour-and-a-half adventure.  Trooper had a spring in her step, common for this time of year as she loves the cool weather...and good to see, as she's not exactly a spring chicken anymore (which, I guess, means we aren't either).  The walk was followed by scratch-made blueberry buttermilk pancakes.  An idyllic Sunday morning.

This afternoon found us in the yard, me turning and composting the garden and Terry chopping wood.  We anticipated raking, as I mentioned yesterday, but the wind has been blowing so hard, the leaves have all but disappeared -- either blown into the woods, or the neighbors' yards (you're welcome!).  Works for us...we've got plenty of other things to do.

OK, so I only got half the garden turned.  My back must live to see another day -- I've learned how to pace myself.  See the greens in there?  We've still got carrots we need to use before they freeze.  T suggested carrot cake...might be worth a try!
My bucket of goodies -- carrots, the last of the leeks and the thyme I need to strip off the stalks and dry.  Smells soooooo good!
Terry moved the stand for the wood to more level ground and split all that, the old-fashioned way!  Almost ready for w.w.w.w.w.winter...//

What's For Dinner Tonight?
As promised, in honor of my dad's birthday yesterday, I made his Beef Stroganoff.  When I asked if I could share the recipe, he said, "Of course!  It's so good, everyone should know!"  My thoughts exactly.

Papa Bud's Beef Stroganoff
1 large onion, diced
1 pkg. button mushrooms, sliced
1 lb. stew meat
1 can cream of mushroom soup*
16 oz. sour cream
red wine
worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. olive oil

Melt butter with olive oil over medium heat, add onion and mushrooms and saute.  Turn the heat to high and add stew meat to quickly brown.  Add wine, to taste -- at least 1/2 cup...more for a saucier sauce (or more to drink for a saucier cook!).  Add worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper...also to taste.  Reduce heat, add sour cream and cream of mushroom soup.  Simmer 'til you can't stand it any longer (at least an hour, all afternoon is even better).

*A word about cream of mushroom soup (and endless supplies of sour cream)...
Growing up in Minnesota, I am the product of a Hot Dish culture.  As cream of mushroom soup is a hot dish staple, any nostalgic recipe I share will have it included.  I have tried to alter these favorite childhood dishes to something a little more healthful, but I admit defeat -- there is really no satisfactory way to do it (if anyone has ideas I haven't tried, I'm all ears.)  

Instead, I try to embrace the culture from which I come, while abiding by my Eating Philosophy numbers one through four: 
1 - enjoy whatever foods you love
2 - all things in moderation
3 - long walks are your metabolism's best friend
4 - don't mess with a good thing

A meal like this practically defines the season for me.  Thanks, Dad!

And now, for the Vikings game!  Could we possibly make it 2 and 4?????  At least we have the fire to keep our spirits up if the Vikes fail to deliver...

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