What’s for supper? Vol. 83: It will loop around eventually

This week, we had one very fine meal to look forward to (pork banh mi). Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to make it. Here is what we had instead:

Aldi pizzas

On Saturday, we woke up early to go run two miles, and then . . .
I’ll just wait here while you check whose blog you’re reading. Still me.
We ran, I say, then we drove into the city to buy my new vehicle which is not a rusty white van,

ate some gyros,

went to confession finally,

drove home, and then Benny lost a tooth,

and then I did the grocery shopping.


Hamburgers and chips

Mr. Husband held down the fort all day while I drove to visit my parents. My mother is confused about many things, but still clear on the merits of ice cream.

We ate steak tips with mushrooms on egg noodles (the other half of an enormous recipe I made last month in the slow cooker. It fell apart a little when defrosted, but it was still tasty and tender).


Pork chops, baked potatoes, cole slaw

Salt, pepper, meat, and heat. We had so many places to be, it was a miracle we ate while it was still technically Monday.


Greek salad and chicken

Tuesday was a good day for a make-ahead meal, as there was yet another evening concert. I liked the singing. Well, most of it. That one kid who always beatboxes is really begging for the hook, but otherwise, they sang well.

But my friends, there were seven songs, and then a nine-hour interlude for awards for “most improved alto in the women’s jazz ensemble . . . most improved alto in the presumably more elite women’s jazz ensemble . . . most outstanding alto appearing in the greatest number of jazz ensembles . . . ” and then everyone had to stagger across the stage in their ludicrous cork-heeled shoon and give the choir director another hug because they humorously forgot to give her a hug the first time, and as I sat there being proud and supportive, a tiny, agonized voice at the base of my skull kept whispering directly into the bruised void of my psyche, “It says here there are still eight more songs to go . . . ”

Well, my friends, the final song was “Imagine,” by John Lennon . . . with hand motions. A tear blinded my ee, and I may or may not have been the one softly calling, “Booo-urns” while I applauded. And I think that was pretty restrained, considering this ill deed done to me.

Oh crap, this is a food blog. Well, we had “Greek” salad. Lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese, hard boiled eggs, black olives, and cold chicken.

I used the Instant Pot (affiliate link) to make hard boiled eggs. If you eat a lot of hard boiled eggs, the IP is super. It steams them, and the shells slide off very easily.

I make salad with cold chicken a lot in the summer. Normally I marinate the chicken and then throw it under the broiler, but this time I tried out the Instant Pot “poultry” button.

In the pot, I put about seven boneless chicken breasts, some white wine, a lot of lemon juice, a splash of water, a little olive oil, and kosher salt, pepper, olive oil, paprika, dried basil, and several cloves of minced garlic, and mixed it all up. The liquid came about halfway up the chicken.

Instant Pot recipes can be misleading, because they will say “cook on high pressure for six minutes,” but that’s just how long it’s actually cooking. The six minutes doesn’t include how long it takes for the IP to come up to pressure and how long it takes to release the pressure, but your life is certainly still ticking by during that time.

Kind of, she remarked bitterly, like those NFP booklets that promise, “Oh, you’ll only have to abstain for six days a month!” because they are using some kind of voodoo calculations based on the Aztec calendar, non-typical circadian rhythms, people who are only in the same bed together twice a year anyway, so everything more than that counts as bonus, right? And plus they are lying. See? It only takes six minutes!

Not wishing to be part of the problem, I put the chicken and liquid into the pot at 10:25 a.m. and pressed the poultry button, and it was completely ready to come out of the pot at 10:54 a.m. Less than half an hour start to finish. That includes adding an extra minute because sometimes being open to life means being careful your kitchen doesn’t kitchen asplode right now, and you think God feels the same way.

So, Instant Pot chicken is good. It comes out moist, and the flavor permeated the meat. I don’t think it’s faster than the oven broiler method; but the pot is easier to clean than a broiler pan. More importantly, the IP doesn’t heat up the kitchen, so it’s a good choice for summer cooking.



Bagel, fried egg, cheese, and sausage sandwiches

We went running again on Wednesday. It was an evening run, and I’ve been harassing my husband for weeks to try a new route; so we started out on our same path, which is about 75% flat

but then took a right instead of looping around. He kept saying it would loop eventually, and I kept thinking, “When does the looping happen?”; but on the other hand, we were now running downhill, and I didn’t want to stop.

So we ended up . . . somewhere. I don’t know. We ran and ran and only stopped when some guy with a teardrop tattoo on his eye wanted to know where Mountain View Road was. I helpfully pointed out where the frigging mountain was, anyway. The reason I knew where the mountain was, was that we’d been running straight up it for a good twenty minutes.

After that, I found that I was unable to stop thinking about how old I am; so we walked. Then we ran for a while. Then we walked some more. Then we got to a muddy patch and figured as long as we were clearly going to break our ankles, we might as well cut through the woods and save time. Discussed bear avoidance strategies for a while. Swallowed a bug. Came across a sign that said “ARE YOU FRIENDS? FAMILY? DELIVERY? IF NOT THEN THIS IS PRIVATE PROPERTY SO DON’T.” Walked some more, a little faster.

Then, guess what? It looped around!


Hot dogs, donuts, Doritos

I don’t even want to talk about it. There was a school play right before supper. It was raining. The baby sobbed every time her sister went off stage. There was a Holy Day of Obligation right after supper and only one adult, and you don’t want to know how hard I had to squeeze the bulletin to give up the information about when and where Mass would be. There was one point during all the to and fro where the kids were all starving, so I got donuts. Heard from the back of the car, “Can I have your donut?”

I said, “No, I already gave mine to the baby,” and then I looked in the rear view mirror and realized that she wasn’t talking to me. She was talking to her sister on the phone. Her sister who is currently in California. And then they sang, “Go Make a Difference!”


Quesadillas; red beans and rice

Quesadillas with havarti, to be exact. It was on sale. If you know havarti doesn’t work for quesadillas, you need to keep it to yourself.

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18 thoughts on “What’s for supper? Vol. 83: It will loop around eventually”

  1. Your car is gorgeoussssss!! What a thrilling transition, and funny that that beast is truly “downsizing”. 🙂

  2. I heart you for saying “shoon,” which is a great word and ought to be used more often. And for the squirrel confession picture. And because I need to start running and you’re reminding me that I need to do this.
    I plan to do my pot roast hat trick this weekend and will post about it next week.

  3. What! No comments about the running? Simcha is running and no one cares? I don’t approve. She has either has gone over to the dark bourgeoisie side (accompanied by people who go to the gym daily) or someone has kidnapped her and hacked into her blog. Whoever you are, if you are trying to make me feel guilty, it is not working. My husband helps me stay guilt-free by commenting, “There goes some more people, torturing themselves!” every time he sees runners. And I’ve seen women with my cup size running and I know it is not a pretty sight. Even if you get to wear stylish workout clothes, I am not jealous. If God had meant middle-aged women to run, he would have given us replaceable knees.

  4. Congratulations on the new car! Long may she ride!

    I was thinking of you yesterday at Mass. I was remembering how difficult Holy Days typically are for you. Said a little prayer that your day went smoothly.

    1. I forgot to add that I have ny times crossword and sudoku puzzles on my phone for any portion of a school production where my kid is not being showcased. Some might find it rude but I find it’s the best way to avoid the near occasion of the sins of rage and mean thoughts. I’m not joking either.

  5. There is so much information here my head is asploding.
    I started reading it at Peet’s coffee, and the pictures compelled me to order the kale, Gorgonzola and chimichurri wrap against my will. What I really wanted was the bacon and cheddar sandwich but you health-food-feta-salad guilted me into it. I hadn’t gotten to the donuts and Doritos part yet.

    Your car is majestic and Batmanesque. Congratulations. (How much is gas in N.H.???) They punish us with extra taxes in CA because we don’t like oil spills, and make the gas companies suffer. We figured out that leasing a car is cheaper than paying for the gas on my Lincoln, which mostly just sits in our driveway as a Home Depot truck and beach locker/jalopy. Our son Max crashed it sort of, so the bumper has a hole in it. The old girl looks like she’s missing a front tooth now. All that’s missing is a “Make ‘Murica Great Again” sticker on her hind quarters.

    Where’s your daughter in CA? Scoping out college? North? South? I recommend the North if she’s looking at colleges. I just sent my husband this listing as a possible commuter house for him so I can trade off with him for conjugal visits. It would be great for NFP, if we used it. I said “we could fix it up to be really cute!” https://www.trulia.com/property/3270939441-123-William-Ave-Larkspur-CA-94939. He’s moving to San Francisco on Monday and is renting an apt. with a woman who has rent control. I don’t think St. Josemaria would approve of this arrangement, but he never had to survive in CA.

    1. 800 grand for a shack??!! That hurts my head. You need to move to the east coast. Our houses are expensive, but for 800 grand I promise you can live a lot better than the hobos.

      1. You know what Eileen? We did this thing that we’ve never done before. My husband would say: “will you live in—-?” It was a strange exercise, because really, I haven’t been to a lot of places in the U.S. My husband has been to almost every state from the days when he did sales, so I was all like, “Let go and let God!” But it was somewhat disingenuous. It was kind of like a fool’s game of blind man’s bluff. I’d nod and cringe. There were a few places I said “no” outright to –Like Orlando (I really, really dislike Disneyland and swamps), some places in Texas, AZ, po-dunk U.S.A….but really, it wasn’t based on rational arguments, just a vague uninformed, fear. Most of all, I’m afraid of moving away from my adult children, whom I’m afraid we’d never see, and traumatizing our little guys by ripping them from good friends. So *Yes*, he applied to a couple of jobs in NY, Boston and yep, Philly. It terrified me a little bit, but I wanted God to have his say, and I didn’t want to think that I’d limited His ability to speak to us about what we *really* needed beyond my fears. I can only hope that the job he landed was the fruit of lots and lots of prayers. Maybe I’m *supposed* to live in crazy Marin, because I love those neurotic freaks (for the most part, –even though they’re very snowflakeish and suffer from road rage. I can thank them for unbrainwashing my former self that believed in Reaganomics!) It really is beautiful there. The climate is perfect and the air smells like heaven (it flows off of the Pacific and filters through the redwood forest). It’s a melting pot of the entire world. People are highly intelligent and tend to be artsy. I appreciate it when it borders on odd-ball. It produces people like Robin Williams and George Lucas. Tons of people live in former crap shacks, but they fix ’em up and are proud of living small. McMansions are scoffed at. The little downtown of Larkspur and Mill Valley have more intimacy than anywhere in coastal SoCal. The city is minutes away, you can commute by ferry with the GG bridge to your right,Napa is just up the 101, the Pacific is just over the mountain (you can run there on the Dipsea trail through Muir Woods), and bucolic West Marin is gorgeous for day tripping (amazing food, forest, and coastline).

        The underbelly? –It’s there–drugs, alcohol, divorce, idiot teens that play the “Skittles game” because their parents ignore them, agnosticism with a garnish of spirituality… And we will probs die poor…

        Cordelia we love your neck of the woods–I have read a few articles about how shady investors have ruined it for locals that have been there for generations. At least they are clamping down on that–unlike S.F. and the entire Bay area, that investors have had a field day with. If you look at a Zillow or Trulia map of S.F., you will find that many of the houses have a blue dot over them–this simply means for the most part that they are shadow inventory from the crash. The banks that were baled out by the gov’t evicted
        the thousands that lost their jobs and turned their windfall into a side business of becoming landlords– to the working serfs who will go in on a house and pay $1500 p/p for a single room, w/shared bathroom. Everyone made this big joke about a Twitter exec. who anonymously claimed that he was poor at 166k., lamenting that he lives in a 3k dollar “shit house”, and can’t afford to buy a house. They thought that this was funny, because clearly the guy was an entitled snowflake. I didn’t think it was funny at all. His wife doesn’t work, and they have three kids in expensive private schools(easily 30k a head, and not tax deductible). Public education in the city is pretty much crap, and you also might get shot in the wrong neighborhood. To top it all off, the poor guy doesn’t have a mortgage interest deduction. So he gets reamed in taxes–Et voila! He’s poor. (105k in the city is officially considered “low income” for a family of four btw.)

      2. p.s. I thought I’d find “the skittles game” on the internet, but it must be too new–my 17 y.o. was visiting his Mill Valley friends and they told him that kids in Marin throw parties where they bring the drugs they steal from their parents’ medicine cabinets, or what they buy on the street. Everyone throws them in a pot. They mix them up, close their eyes and pick one. 🙁

    2. Hey, you could move in next door to us; 4 bedrooms and should be listing this weekend for about 250-300k. Granted, we have no beaches within, well, anywhere… and, well as we get along in the combox, I always fear you’d detest me irl, but at least it’s a big house for cheap compared to your area! 🙂

      1. Anna, how could I *ever* not like someone who celebrates “annual Talk Like a Pirate Day” and named her son Ronan (who runs with horses). Good Lord.

        I gave God room to move me next to you, in a big house!!!!

        1. lol, you crack me up! 🙂 And if you were next door, you’d totally be invited to TLAPD!
          My sil is from CA (Sacramento area) and she has adjusted to Nebraska life quite well; I think she’s more acclimated to winter than I am and I haven’t lived in the South since I was 8. So maybe you wouldn’t hate it here. But maybe you’d be like my sil’s sisters who were/are working in the Chicago area and hate cold and lack of scenery more than anything. One has already moved back to CA and the other would like to if jobs work out.

          1. Anna,
            Isn’t it weird when you realize that you have absolutely no concept of how life is in____? My husband loved Boise, hated Utah, loved Canada in all forms…? His visits to NY were tainted by heat and garbage strikes. He fell in love with Central Park and some bedroom community of NJ that has a name that escapes him. What do you do with that? My brother in law seems so elated to be out of D.C. after a decade. My second oldest loved the Ann Arbor Michigan area when he did an internship last year. He literally called me weeping over fire flies. He swam in the Great Lakes and called me in utter delight.
            None of us understand Dallas.
            I’m a homebody. My husband is begging me to go to a wedding in Spain as an official rep of the family, and I’m afraid to get on a plane by myself.

        2. Your last comment doesn’t have a reply button under it, so back to this one… That’s funny about Boise vs. Utah; in my head, Idaho and Utah would be fairly similar, culture-wise. And your family stories are always so wild that I have a hard time fitting your husband and Boise into the same mental picture *at all.* 😀 A sil of mine recently visited Utah and said she thought there must be some secrecy clause the Mormons have to keep the place under wraps; she thought it was the most beautiful place she’d ever seen, and she lives in Colorado.
          I have hippy relatives in Ann Arbor (and that’s where a lot of my parents’ college stories are from), so that’s how I think of that city: a hippy enclave. I think we only visited there once.
          I’d jump at the chance to visit Spain, myself (though I wouldn’t want to do it alone either). I’d love to see Sagrada Familia. We had, for a few days last summer, an au pair-in-training (she needed hours with infants as the family she was with was expecting and so she came to hang out with my twins) from Spain. She told us all sorts of things about the art and culture; unlike many people who live in major cultural areas, she had actually paid attention to the museums and such and could tell us about all the art. I know native Romans who’ve never been to the Vatican museums… I just can’t even.

          1. Where to begin???
            Yes, the Boise approval left me unable to process the information, but at the end of the day he’s just a moderately simple guy who loves what is beautiful. Nova Scotia also moves him. When his DNA tests from Ancestry came back revealing that he was British AND Irish we had a huge laugh, because that explained his deep affinity for the pubs there and the Celtic music. His Iberian ancestry is from Northern Spain where they have bag pipes too, so go figure. –But he’s also almost everything else on the planet except for Pacific Islander, and even at that, when Hawaii was one of his sales territories the Hawaiians honestly thought he was part Hawaiian.

            My daughter is dating a German right now. She was telling me about how he does all of these things with his German club. He does German this–German friends that –German German. It’s sort of exclusive. I sighed and apologized for making her such a hybrid. She raged about hanging out with her Latin friends and feeling different from them. Her best friend is this drop dead gorgeous Puerto Rican NY transplant from a tiny village called Agua Dia where *my* (non Latin) mother was born on the beach to two adventurous rebels from Ohio, but transplants from other places and countries. (What a tiny world it actually is!)

            Sigh. I prefer to think it’s a beautiful tapestry instead of a hot mess.

            P.S. My son Blaise has been living in Rome for almost five months and hasn’t visited the Vatican yet. I signed up for Instagram just to spy on him but he’s too busy to post anything, much less tell his mother his summer plans. I’m just going to shut up about it because I’ve already asked him to go see my man Francis. He did tell me that he ducks in to churches to pray so I can’t argue.

            –I really, really want to see the Sagrada Familia too! My husband insists that the outside was built to resemble a child’s sandcastle. He built one on the beach for me with dripping wet sand to prove it. –And then told me that when kids in South America build sandcastles with that technique they call them “de Churrias” (or something like that) which also is the same word for diarrhea.
            It’s all so very confusing.

    3. “See businesses, schools, and crimes near this home.” My favourite part of the ad. I hope you’re getting some very attractive local crimes for that money, Anna Lisa. Prices look about the same as my neck of the woods…which is to say, heinous. Coastal southern British Columbia is the California of Canada.

      A delightful post, Simcha.

  6. With my wife working evenings I now do most of the cooking. All of these look great. I wish our girls would eat half of this stuff. For example our 12 year old developed an aversion to hamburger. None of them like beans, mushrooms and most vegetables. But I get bored easy with food and I like about anything. So always looking for tips here and there. BTW, Aldis pizza is some of our favorite, only the boxes are almost too big for the fridge.

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