Friday, November 30, 2007 in food

Slow cooked barbeque pork riblets

You will need:

– any sized package of meat bits. Ribs, boneless ribs, riblets, stewing cubes, heck – even chicken pieces. I usually have a “club pack” package. Maybe 1,5 kgs? (3-5 pounds) although this works with smaller quantities.
– a pan big enough to hold it and some extra (like a roaster or a dutch oven or a huge casserole dish)

Toss the meat in the pan. That’s pretty much it because I am too lazy for pre-browning and all the fat will be rendered off later anyway.

I don’t even defrost the meat.

Mix together:
1 cup ketchup
1 cup water
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar

Pour all over the meat. I then add about a cup of water to the measuring cup and swirl it around to clean it out, then I dump that water in too. Chop up an onion if you like and add that. You can quarter it if you still want to see pieces of onion. If you chop up the onion, the pieces will pretty much disappear. Cover the dish. Foil works real well and you don’t need to wash it later. Toss it in the oven at 275-300 degrees for 3 hours.

Check on it, give it a stir and add a bit more water if it needs it. If it’s still watery, take heart – we’re tossing it back in there for another hour. The meat is definitely cooked, but we want it to fall apart. This is a good time to drain off the fat. I just tip the pan a bit and pour it out the corner into a used can or the measuring cup. (Not like I save it, but I cool off the fat then scrape it into the garbage.)

After a half-hour check on it again. Things should look pretty sticky. Add a bit of water if you want it saucy. If you don’t care, leave it. At the 4 hour mark, check again. Looks good? Dinner is served. 😀 I usually leave it till it gets a little crispy round the edges.

I serve this with boiled and mashed potatoes with nothing else added to them, as they will soak up the sauce. I normally don’t pay too much attention to the time, I just put it in the oven when we’re done with lunch and check on it before I do the potatoes for supper.

You could probably toss this in the crock pot on high all day. I dunno, I have no luck with crock pots.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 in I Forgot To Pick A Category

Things you could have overheard if you were here

Emma and I were watching an animated movie.

Me: “Awwww, is this the part where they fall in love?”

Emma: “What? Fall in love? The only thing they have in common is bumping in to one another.”

***

At the supper table one evening, we were discussing our upcoming anniversary of the day we met.

Me: “All this time and I haven’t tried to kill you yet.”

Ron: “Except for that time with the frying pan…”

Me: “Look, how many times do I have to tell you? I was NOT trying to kill you. I was only trying to hurt you.”

Ron: “You broke a cast iron frying pan.”

Me: “Because it hit the floor not you. I changed my trajectory at the last minute.” Pause. “You’re never gonna let me forget that, are you?”

***

Ron, pulling out wires: “Oh no they didn’t..” Pulls more… “OH YES THEY DID.”

***

After getting groceries:

Meaghan: “Mom, you have to try these grapes, they are so good.”

Sarah: “Yeah, they’re crunchy!”

Me, skeptical: “Crunchy grapes? Did they get frozen on the way home?”

Sarha: “Just try it.”

Meaghan: “Yeah, you gotta try it.”

I warily pop a grape in my mouth and crunch down on it. My eyes roll back in my head. Sarah hits the ground laughing. All I can say is, “Mmmmm… ohmigawd…. nom nom nom…”

Meaghan: “Told ya they were good.”

Saturday, November 24, 2007 in country living, renovations

Busy Saturday

We got up and it was *cold*. It’s snowing, the wind is coming in off the lake, and while it is amazingly picturesque out there, you’d freeze your nose off in no time. So while we are filling the pellet stove and keeping the house warm, we also are working on fixing some issues at HSJ. Then, realizing the daylight hours are limited and we’ve got a pile of computer work, we deferred that until late so we could follow the wiring in our house.

We’ve narrowed it down and found a section of old wires. Problem is, we have to tear up floors to get to it to see if there are obvious issues. But we are finding nice floors under there. Not stellar, but bare unfinished WIDE plank floring. Ron and I take the tag-team approach when we’re not both directly involed in what’s going on – one of us takes a break while the other pulls nails or screws, someone spends a few minutes with Emma while the other check on supper slow-cooking away.

The snow falls, the wind blows, the fire warms. Loads to do, but it’s *fun* work and highly interesting. Meanwhile, I write really great entires in my head. We need a cameraman.

I’m being hauled away again.

Edit: under a floorboard, there was a hollow spot in the original floor. To level it out, someone stuffed in a folded up piece of junk mail. From 1918.

For supper we’re havign slow-cooked bbq boneless pork riblets & mashed potatoes, so the day has had very many high points.

Friday, November 23, 2007 in the world is crazy

Worst service ever

We stopped in to the grocery store on Wednesday afternoon, because I realized I wouldn’t have time to do it on Thursday. Everythign was great until we got to the checkout. The clerk was in the worst mood ever and appeared to be having the worst day of her life on top of that.

She sighed dramatically at our cloth bags. She ignored Emma, then pushed her away. She tossed stuff in our bags indesciminately – cans on top of bread for starters. She was flying by extremely fast to the point I was going, “um.. hey.. can… I.. ahh.. ” Then whenever she got to something heavy, she’d make a huge show over how heavy it was and groan and moan over it.

Honestly, I would have offered to do it, but she wouldn’t let me! At one point, she called the supervisor over to have a quick chat, and Sarah was in front of me and couldn’t hear it all, but she said it was full of attitude. She wizzed us through faster than I’ve ever been through a checkout before, and the only thing she said was “haveanicedaythankyou” in a voice that sound like she was going to expire any second.

We were so shocked and bewildered we just took our groceries and went home, discussing it all the way. When I pulled in to the yard, I realized I had absolutely no memory of putting the groceries in the car. There was a split second of panic at the idea of driving all the way back until Meaghan said she put them in the trunk. If I had to have driven back, I certainly would have gone to the desk and said something.

It was really weird.

Thursday, November 22, 2007 in I Forgot To Pick A Category

A fun day today

We woke up to some heavy wet snow today. At least we’re cozy in here. Also, I’m working on homeschooljournal.net, so that site will be done probably for a large chunk of the day. I’m going slow and taking my time so I do it right and don’t forget anything. 😀

At some point, I may have to restart the server that all my sites are on, so if you get to the blog at some point and things are wonky, likely I already know. I’m going to try and just do this work, and not surf my regular sites all at once, unless I’m waiting for something.

Step one is backups. Do you know how large a database gets when it has over 3,000 tables? Yeah, I’m gonna spend a lot of time backing things up.

Since most of my traffic is American, you should all be off eating turkey or watching footbal games or something, right?

To the rest of the world, happy Thursday! The week is almost done!

I may update later if i have the urge to chat.

Later: So I got everything backed up and set up a 16 database install. All the data will be spread over that. It makes it easier for me to maintain and gives everyone breathing room. I did hit a snag, but once I iron that out, I just have to test things in the backend and see if anything gets added to my list.

Then:
– go over bug lists, fix what I can right now
– double check support emails
make sure support forum & sitewide tags work
– tweaks to footer
– set up premium blogs
(yeah, I said PREMIUM, dude)
– set up global theme options and userthemes as premium features
add new premium plugins and widgets
– change some standard themes to premium ones
– make list of users to move to premium status (most of ’em. yeah really.)
change new blog signup procedure deferred
– add feature list to main blog, get old pages off draft and back into menu
– troubleshoot support videos
– test and retest
– make server file edits
– verify everything works as it should, reopen site.
– Announce new features and explain premium status, which is not pay-based.

Then I hope that everything runs smoothly for a while and I can take a break from the site for a bit and work on something else. 😀 I have a couple-dozen projects waiting in the wings.

Much later: I hate typos. And I made a lot of ’em.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007 in I Forgot To Pick A Category

Why am I up and dressed?

This morning I got up with Ron and went to work with him so I could have the car. Why? We’re going to the library y’all! For a field trip!

It is a testament to how much we love books, given all three kids were willing, nay, anxious to get up on some sort of scheduled time that is earlier than usual. Maybe, at least if they felt like it that day.

(We do sometimes get up early. We just don’t get started until… later.)

Anyway, the library we are going to is one of three within driving distance that we haven’t visited yet. Also, someone is giving some sort of talk on something. I dunno. We don’t really care, IT’S THE LIBRARY!

So Ron and I were in the car on the way to work, with substantially less banter than usual, because hey – we just got up. I looked over at him in his winter hat he finally dug out, and his newly shorn hair, and his growing goatee. “Hey, you look just like that guy on MythBusters.”  He grinned a little.

“Oh! I could be the other guy! You know, the one who cracks bad jokes and hurts himself? Can you get me the shirt that says ‘I Do All My Own Stunts’? We could be like them, except HouseBusters!”

We seriously need a video camera following us around. (And then edited by us before uploading and broadcast, duh.)

Gotta be there in an hour and Emma is still sleping. Boy, she’s not gonna be happy come mid-afternoon. It’s a 20 minute drive or so. Think I need more caffiene?