Saturday, November 29, 2008

Interesting Google Results.

Every now and then, I google myself. Who doesn't? One needs to know these types of things. So tonight, I googled Kitchens Are Monkey Business. Imagine my surprise upon finding myself on a "Pleasure Gratification" site. Lots of Kama going on here:


Kāma (Skt., Pali; Devanagari: काम) is pleasure, sensual gratification, sexual fulfillment, pleasure of the senses, desire, eros, the aesthetic enjoyment of life in Sanskrit. In Hinduism, kāma is regarded as one of the four goals of life (purusharthas): the others are worldly status (artha), duty (dharma) and inner freedom (moksha).[1] Kama-deva is the personification of this, a god equivalent to the Greek Eros and the Roman Cupid. Kama-rupa is a subtle body or aura composed of desire, while Kama-loka is the realm this inhabits, particularly in the afterlife.

Then, naturally, I turned to the Kama Sutra:

An ancient text on human sexual behavior written by Vatsyayana in about the 4th century AD. Kama means sexuality and Sutra means thread. I really don't know how Kitchens Are Monkey Business got to this loftiness, but I kind of like it. I almost feel a bit naughty.

Mr. & Mrs. Hawthorne Make Venison Sausage.

A friend of ours called Thanksgiving night. He'd been deer hunting earlier and had a hind quarter for us. Thank you, Brian.
We wanted to make sausage out of some of the meat and I came up with a combination of seasonings for the sausage. Mr. Hawthorne came up with the proportions after my approval. Here's our basic recipe: 2 parts salt 2 parts pepper 1/2 part smoked paprika 1/2 part ginger 1 part onion powder 1/2 part granulated garlic 1/2 part hot paprika 1/4 part coriander 1/2 part cayenne pepper 1/2 part Adobo seasoning (The Sandy-Math here is making me slightly light-headed.)
Oops. Forgot 3 parts sage.
We mortared and pestled it.
Here's a diagram of the section of meat we have: part of the loin, then the rump, round, and shank.
Compare to above drawing.
Mr. Hawthorne started cutting the first part of meat away from the hip bone.
Cutting through the other side.
Almost done.
You can see the ball joint here.
Here's the leg bone, with the other pieces of meat to the side. And I'm saving the bone for venison stock.
Here's the loin, getting ready to be wrapped up and frozen. In addition to this cut, I have 4 other cuts wrapped and awaiting the freezer. Note: This is not the tenderloin, also known as back strap. That's still in the fridge downstairs, waiting to be dealt with tomorrow.
And here's our bowl full of deer meat chunks.
An important part of sausage is the fat. We went out and found some extra fatty bacon today at Food Lion, and added 1/2 pound of bacon in with the deer meat.
Two pounds Country Style Pork Ribs went in.
First, a few drops of Stubbs Liquid Hickory Smoke over top the meat.
Then Mr. Hawthorne started grinding. The lighter meat is the bacon.
I added in some more Hickory Smoke.
And my seasoning mix.
Mr. Hawthorne mixed by hand.
Then we pattied up a bit of the sausage and cooked it to taste for possible seasoning adjustments.
It's looking quite good and smelling heavenly.
Taste test. It needs more seasoning. I sprinkled some extra seasoning on top of the cooked sausage and it was quite good. But we decided to tweak the seasoning ingredients. We added in: 2 parts red pepper flakes, 1 part black pepper 1 part salt. We added more seasoning to the meat and ran it through the grinder for a second time. Fried up more patties and taste-tested again. Our sausage is delicious. Added the rest of the seasoning. Ran it through the grinder for a third time. I would say I had about 1 1/2 cups of seasoning total. 1/2 pound of fatty bacon. 2 pounds of Country Style Pork Ribs. And maybe 8 pounds of deer meat. So there you have your proportions. And our sausage is kick-ass.
Rolled the sausages in logs, wrapped, and froze.

A Houseful Of Dogs - Both Two-Legged And Four-Legged.

I offer you a few pictures just so you can get a feel for the Hawthorne Household.
Here's Daughter Hawthorne. She has worked on the computer from morning until 3 AM, working on graduate school assignments. Assignments like "Beginning Professional Development Statement" and "Self Assessment of Cultural Framework and Competence" and "Assessment of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Children." I can barely understand the titles, but I guess that's why I pay the big bucks for her edumacation.
She finally sacked out with Giada on the floor.
Here's Bo Bo on my big, cushy chair, apparently making himself very comfortable.
And another picture of my quickly drying out, under-appreciated turkey pumpkin carving. I thought somebody would be impressed with this, but, alas, no one was. And I spent several hours carving this thing, damn it. But hey, I did it just for me, and I'm happy, so there. It was worth it.
Bo Bo and Giada have exhausted themselves after a very busy day. They like to sleep next to each other, touching.
Now, THAT's cute.
Youngest Hawthorne with Giada.
Then all the homies came over. (The Hawthorne Boys are in the back.) Brycer Sweetness in the green and Cory in the yellow in the forefront.
Then the Hoodies go on when I start taking pics. You'd think they are all on the cops' short list. I guess Cory has nothing to hide.
This is Dixie, waiting patiently, intently staring at a piece of ham on a yellow plate. Willing it. Willing it.
What, you ask, is she waiting for? She knows if she stays in this position long enough, that little piece of ham on the yellow plate will magically jump into her mouth. Dixie ain't stupid. You know what? She's right. That piece of ham did finally jump into her mouth.

A Day In The Life Of Rosie.

It was Friday - the day after Thanksgiving. And for the first day in a really really long long long long looooooong time, I didn't do any cooking. Unless you call toasting some rolls, or making turkey sandwiches, or nuking stuff cooking. I was doing my best just trying to chill, but things weren't working too well for me in that department. Both boys went out to play with their little friends, so I got to baby sit Beau. Daughter Hawthorne had homework the entire weekend, so she was working on that. And poor little Giada was bored, plus she's a little ADD to boot. So, Bo-Bo and Giada start roughhousing in the house. (Would it be called roughhousing if the dogs were outside?) Now, BoBo, is an American Bull dog and weighs a 100 or so pounds and is still a puppy. Giada is a lab/shepherd mix and is about 50-60 pounds, and still a puppy. And Dixie is a 10-year old cantankerous Chesapeake Bay Retriever at 70 pounds who isn't going to take any crap off these young whippersnappers. Dixie is growling at the puppies and baring her teeth every time they run by her and is not having fun at all. Every now and then, Giada lets out a shrill yelp even when she's lying down on her pillow. It can be quite startling to me, since I don't care for sudden outbursts like this, although I should be used to them by now, since Daughter Hawthorne does this all the time and the dog probably got it from her. Finally, the dryer buzzer goes off for the sixth time this morning. (Apparently the children don't know how to operate the washers and dryers at their respective homes.) I ask Daughter Hawthorne to take a break from her studies and go take care of the laundry. She jumps up, runs across the room, and up the steps. Bo Bo sees nothing but a moving target and immediately lumbers after her. You can actually feel the floor shaking. Picture a bull in a china shop and you would have a good idea of what I have going on here. When she's halfway up the steps, Beau, chasing after her, jumps onto the couch, which is in front of the railings, his weight causing the couch to slide back about 2 feet, slamming it into the wall. I actually thought he was going to try and climb the railings. I don't want to think what might have happened had Beau actually caught Daughter Hawthorne. I put the puppies out on the deck for a while so they can calm down, but I think the cold air just invigorated them, since they're now running back and forth, knocking over my pots of dirt, then they start play fighting, standing up on their hind legs like bears, chewing on each others faces. Then they started whining to come back inside. They calm down for a little bit, but it's not long before they start back up. Now, the other week or so, I started trying to organize my recipes. I have a big wooden box with different color-coded notebooks and my recipes all in plastic protective sleeves. I had pulled a few of the notebooks out the other day so I could consult for Thanksgiving, and the notebooks were lying on the living room floor. During the puppies' raucous playtime, they stomped on the notebooks left on the floor, the recipes flew out, the sleeves are flying everywhere, and the puppies are slipping and sliding on the plastic sleeves, and now my neatly organized recipe files are not so neat and organized anymore. Having had enough of this, I decide to be a good Nana and take the puppies for a walk down the street. I have both puppies on a leash, and Dixie on no leash since she's well-behaved and minds me. I get aways down the road when I see Middle Hawthorne driving home. He stops to chat with BoBo, and Giada is getting all excited. She's on a long leash and is trotting and prancing all around while I'm chatting with Middle Hawthorne, then suddenly I hear a yelp from Dixie, I look down, and see she's lying on the ground on her side, all four legs lashed together. Giada had hog-tied her with her leash and no cowboy at any rodeo could have done a better job. And it takes me quite some time to release Dixie from her bondage. Middle Hawthorne then zooms off and Bo Bo wants to run after his Daddy. He takes off like a bat out of hell and damn near rips my arm out of the socket. This dog is strong as an ox and he's pulling and pulling to run after Middle Hawthorne. I finally had to let go. Had I not let go, I would have been dragged on my face down the street, eating gravel the entire way. I had no idea that 100-pound dog could haul ass like he did. Now, with Beau 1/4 mile down the road, Giada is acting all crazy. I figure if I just let her go, she'll run on home after Beau. Well, halfway there, she gets distracted (ADD, remember?) by Andy, the 120 pound yellow lab that's tied to the PURPLE jeep in his driveway. She goes over to meet Andy and play and jump all over him and I think I saw the jeep move when Andy pulled on his leash to go after Giada. I finally get Giada back on her leash and look for Dixie. There's a car coming up the street and I'm a bit worried. Also I'm worried about you-know-who next door, cause he's just waiting for a chance to bust me and three dogs running amok down the street would be the perfect opportunity since there are leash laws in this community. Dixie sees the car and thinks it's somebody she knows, so she just follows it into a neighbor's driveway. And I have to go collect her. We finally make it home. And I'm never taking all three dogs for a walk again.

Friday, November 28, 2008

More Of Turkey Day Meal.

The day before Thanksgiving I started on the dough for my potato rolls. And here they are, ready to go into a 350 degree oven for about 8-10 minutes.
I like the extra touch of sweetness and color added by the sweet potato. Looking forward to ham sandwiches with these.
Next, I steamed some green beans until crispy/tender.
And I wanted an onion topping for the beans. I'd seen Alton on Food Network make this one and it looked pretty good. Just slice some onions and toss with flour, panko breadcrumbs, and salt and pepper.
Spread out on an oiled baking pan then put in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes, tossing frequently, until nicely browned.
OK, so everything I make doesn't always turn out exactly like I want it too. Apparently I didn't toss frequently enough. These turned out a bit overdone, but they were still good. Next up, my giblet gravy.
Liver on the left, gizzard on the right. I always trim off that tough silverskin on the gizzard. Then chop into small pieces.
We really like livers, so I bought extra chicken livers for the gravy.
Thinly slice some shrooms.
Saute the mushrooms in a little butter.
Add in the parts and saute until nicely browned.
Next I added about 1/4 cup of flour, cooked it for a couple of minutes, then added in some of the pan drippings and some chicken stock.
I always like to add in a bit of sherry to my gravies because I love the extra flavor it adds. And here, I'm adding some of my veal stock, which makes it thick, rich, 'n delishush.
Apparently some unknown person(s) got into my pumpkin pie last night and made a small dent. Daughter Hawthorne whipped the cream for me (with a little sugar and some vanilla) and is decorating the pie. No Kewl Whup or zip-lock bags with the tip cut off for me.
Ta daaaa.
And it's turkey time and the vultures are circling.
Here's my plate: From top left continuing clockwise, my stuffing, sweet potato casserole, corn pudding, potato roll with butter, green beans with breaded onion rings, turkey with giblet gravy, cranberry/pomegranate relish, and my favorite- the gateau of crepes. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.