(Belated) Dark Days: Weeks Two, Three and Four

Things always get crazy around the holidays. December 2011 has been crazier than usual for a bunch of reasons, including changing jobs, CRFM special permit hearings and our furnace dying. Oh, and flying squirrels in our roof. Really. Apparently they are native to our area – not tropical. Who knew? Initially we thought they were chipmunks, until Jon chased one up the stairs one night only to have it sail over his shoulder. If they were just looking for a warm place to stay, that would be one thing, but chewing in the ceiling over my bedroom at 3am? Let’s just say if our sleepless nights aren’t over, I may reconsider my stance on firearms in the home.

Through it all, we’ve been able to squeeze in at least one SOLE meal per week, but unable to squeeze in time to blog about it. Typical. Anyway, here is a brief recap:

Week Two: Braised Shortribs with Mashed Potatoes. Our go-to braise for shortribs and brisket. It’s low dairy and really satisfying without being overly rich. Easy to adapt in the crockpot for weekdays, too.

Week Three: Breakfast for Dinner. Local eggs, thick cut applewood smoked bacon, and Dragon’s Blood Elixir Chipotle Hot Sauce. I don’t know why, but when all else fails, I default to eggs. Something about that almost-orange yolk mixed with DBE Chipotle is unreal. I am not ashamed to say I end up going full-on scarpetta – all but licking my plate clean.

Week Four: Potato Leek Soup. The last of the CSA potatoes and 18th Century’s leeks cooked in homemade chicken stock. Season well with salt and pepper, and blended with an immersion blender. I like mine still a little chunky – not all the way smooth – it keeps it interesting. No butter or cream – easy on my stomach and never better than when topped with some aged cheddar and local bacon.

The weather is (finally!) getting cold here – I think Mother Nature finally figured out its December – so I suspect the next couple of weeks will continue to be hearty soup/stew fare. I need (knead?) to get on more bread as well – thanks for the prodding Michael and Joel. I was fortunate to get both a pasta machine and ravioli mold for Christmas, so homemade pasta is also on the list.

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9 Responses to (Belated) Dark Days: Weeks Two, Three and Four

  1. Visualizing the adjectives used when that squirrel took off over Jons’ shoulder 😉 Feeling the urge for bread as well…

  2. Cynthia says:

    I am doing Dark Days, too, Which group are you in?

  3. Pingback: Dark Days Challenge recap: Week 5 (EAST Group) « Not Dabbling In Normal

  4. Cindy says:

    Some of my relatives used to keep bee bee guns handy solely for squirrel management. I used to think it was cruel. But now that I’m a homeowner I understand.

    Not so cold today. I’m hoping the weather in 2012 is relatively mild. 2011 packed enough of a punch, non?

    • Kate @ Snowflake Kitchen says:

      I’m done with weather, but at the same time anxious for snow. It’s January, its supposed to be snowy – the bulbs are totally confused. It worries me.

  5. Very cool. I had to take a dark day hiatus when travelling, but I’m excited to be home soon and return to my kitchen. Nothing like a New Year to amp up the enthusiasm for cooking! Happy New Year. 🙂

  6. Margo says:

    your soup looks great.

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