It is a busy morning getting hubby off to work, my daughter off to school, and myself off to work as well. So this means making breakfast for every one, making lunch for my daughter and I (where hubby works they serve lunch), so I thought to insure a relaxing evening (which I will definitely need) I’ll just get dinner going too.
All I do is throw in about 6 cut up carrots and 5 potatoes in chunks, and two nice pieces of chuck eye into the crock pot. I add some minced garlic, some dehydrated onions, cut up sprigs of chives, salt, pepper, about a teaspoon of Italian seasoning and a whole can of beer. It feels kind of weird cracking open a beer at 8:00 a.m. then going off to work in a church, but hey! I throw the can in the recycling bin, put the lid on the pot, turn it to LOW, pet the kitty good bye and take off in my trusty old ’78 Ford pick-up
Working at a church is one of the most exciting and enjoyable jobs I’ve ever had. You wouldn’t think it could be but there are many facets involved in running a church. The team of wonderful people I work with help manage these facets with knowledge, kindness, patience, and love…and I love and trust each of them beyond measure. I’m one of two secretaries at our church and Friday is the busiest day dealing with some of those facets plus making sure the Sunday bulletin and all of its information for the service are put together with several hundred copies printed before 10:00 a.m.
With its dozens of ministries and hundreds of people who turn to the church for help and answers, I never know what to expect when I answer the phone. Often it’s just a member needing to know another member’s phone number, or what time the such and such meeting is, but sometimes it is a person who needs someone to pray with or a person who needs help with a personal problem. There are even some times when it gets weird. Angry and desperate people can be very unpredictable but even those people need a place to turn. A church is a good place.
There is a graveyard adjacent to the church with graves from as far back as 1843 and occasionally I get a call from someone looking for an ancestor to fill in their genealogical gaps. This is my favorite part of the job. Since our church is 170 years old there is a lot of exciting history to which I have access allowing me to answer some of those questions or at least guide people to a place they can get more information. Church records are a great source for birth names and dates, marriages and deaths of whole families. It is very satisfying work exploring the old files and helping locate someone’s relatives from the 1800’s
So, after a long day of connecting people, meeting deadlines, dotting I’s and crossing T’s, I’m so glad I decided to make dinner before I left the house. When I come home, hubby and daughter are waiting for me with the table already set. All we need to do is thank our dear Lord for what he provides and tuck on in to a bowl of delicious stew. The meat and vegetables are so tender, it only takes a spoon to cut everything up, and of course drink the tasty broth. On a cool October evening this ready made meal does a great job warming us all up inside and out. Now we’re ready to relax and watch the Cardinals play some NLCS baseball.
For my 200th post I wanted to prepare something special. Special Suppers often center around a juicy steak. I found two strip steaks on sale at the store along with some leeks and nice big russet potatoes. So meat, a green vegetable, and starch…what a perfect combination. In less than thirty minutes we were dining on the most sumptuous meal.
I started by throwing the potatoes in the microwave. I knew that in about twelve minutes they would be done…they were pretty large. With those going I cut one of the leeks in half, washed the grit from between each leaf, and sliced them into quarter inch slices…maybe a little thinner. I put them in a bowl and sprinkled steak seasoning on them, parmesan cheese, about 1/3 cup flour, a heaping tablespoon of corn meal, (masa) and a dash or two of salt . I added a good splash of water and mixed everything up until the leek slices were well separated and coated in a nice batter. I set this aside and attended to the steaks.
All I needed to do with them was to season them with a steak seasoning blend, throw them on a hot grill, and watch them sizzle. After about three minutes I gave them a quarter turn to make those lovely cross-hatched grill marks. I turned them over after a total of about four and a half minutes. The other side got the same exact treatment. When the potatoes were done, the steaks were nearly there as well. I got out the instant read thermometer and checked for a temp of 145°…the steak mid-rare. They needed to rest a while to insure that they would be tender and juicy in the end. I shut off the flame, covered them in foil, and let them rest right on the grill.
While the steaks rested I went back to my bowl of leeks in batter. With the tongs I grabbed a good lump and placed them in a hot skillet with about a tablespoon of olive oil. When the edges began to brown, I carefully flipped them over to brown the other side. It worked! They stayed together in one cute little leek patty.
I must give credit to a fellow foodie blogger by the name Frugal Feeding for these leek patties. I’ve enjoyed this gentleman’s clever and very economical recipes for over a year. When I checked to see what he was cooking up today I found a gorgeous Indian inspired onion dish called bhajis. Nick, of Frugal Feeding made these with red and white onions and with a mixture of Indian spices and graham flour. I did experiment with Nick’s recipe for lunch and it was so good! With my bunch, I need to start out mildly before springing such grown up flavors upon them, so I decided to try this less exciting version for our supper…baby steps. They will be trying bhajis before long. This evening, these leek patties were good, and a good start on getting my family to expand their horizons culturally…and believe me, serving leeks is a stretch. The poor girl at the market was struggling with how to charge me because she had never heard of such a vegetable. What a bubble in which we live…I wish to pop it!
I assembled our plates. Julia and I split one steak and one of the big potatoes, and Jeff got a steak all to himself as well as a potato. He’s been working these double shifts lately and needs to fuel up a bit more than we ladies. Julia tried the leek patty but still found it a bit much on the onion, so I helped her finish. Jeff loved them as well as the steak and he showed promise that bhajis might just be on the “I’ll give it a try” list. My big kids would try anything but these two come from different genes…there are limits. I’ve learned after 200 posts that springing new things on them can more easily be done when a special dinner like this is involved.