What’s for supper? Vol. 135: Booooo!

This week’s menu is brought to you by inappropriate guilt. Actual temperature: 96 degrees with 94% humidity. Real feel: I’m a failure as a human being because I turned on the air conditioner.

Here’s what we ate this week:

SATURDAY
Hamburgers, chips, ice cream sundaes

Can you imagine a world without hamburgers? I can’t.

SUNDAY
Carnitas; berries and cream

I took a nice, fatty pork shoulder and put it in the crock pot (actually two crock pots) with some Narragansett bear and some cans of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, and then we went to the beach. Several hours later, the meat was nice and tender.

I pulled off the fat, shredded it, and spread it in a shallow pan along with most of the peppers, and put it under the broiler for a few minutes until it was slightly browned and crisp.

Then we served it on tortillas with fresh lime juice, pepper jack cheese, and sour cream.

I was very happy with the flavor of the meat. Some parts of it soaked up more heat than others, so it was exciting to eat. I’m now motivated to start adding more things to these lovely carnitas. What do you like on yours? Beans? Rice? Lettuce or something? Help the yankee out.

Dessert was supposed to be fruit cobbler or crisp, but it was so dangedly hot, I couldn’t bring myself to turn on the oven; so we just had strawberries and blueberries with fresh whipped cream. No complaints.

MONDAY
Citrus salad with chicken and almonds

A new meal, a new meal! Refreshing but substantial, and the flavors combined much better than I expected.

It was again far too hot and steamy to even look at the oven, so I cooked the chicken breasts in the Instant Pot with about 3/4 cup of lime juice and a heavy sprinkling of chili lime powder. I set it to manual for seven minutes, did a quick release, then let the chicken cool and cut it into cubes.

So we had mixed greens, chicken, tangerine segments, feta cheese, toasted almonds, diced red onion, and very thin cucumber slices.

(Okay, I turned on the oven for eight minutes to toast the almonds.) Someone has stolen the post thingy for my food processor, but it turns out you can slice cukes pretty easily on the wide part of a manual grater. I meant to make a honey lime dressing, but couldn’t find the honey; so I just squeezed fresh lime juice onto my salad, and it was very good.

Next time I make this salad, I will try grapefruit. I looked up directions for peeling the tangerines so they don’t have a membrane, but I honestly don’t own a sharp enough knife, and also am not raising any kids who refuse to eat membranes. Harumph!

TUESDAY
BLTs

It was Lucy’s turn to plan and make dinner. Normally BLTs is a birthday-level treat meal, but I’m trying not to quash anybody, so I agreed to her plan and bought five pounds of bacon. She laid them out in two giant pans and put them in a 400 oven for about twelve minutes. They were overlapping each other a bit, and some came out overdone and some underdone, but most if it turned out well and it was SO much easier than frying it in a pan.

My father used to have a BLT for lunch every day. When noon approached, my mother would set a place for him at the old maple kitchen table we inherited from my grandmother. I remember hearing the tea kettle start to sing as the bacon hissed and popped in the old iron frying pan, and my mother would slice off a wedge of lemon for my father’s tea. She’d slit the center of the wedge to make it easier to squeeze, and deftly flick the seeds out into the sink with the tip of a knife. Then my father would arrive, and he’d have a quiet, leisurely meal while reading the daily paper before heading back to work for the afternoon.

From my mother’s example, I learned that when you grow up, people will make you BLTs. And here I am!

WEDNESDAY
Hot dogs, corn on the cob, ice cream

Normally, we have a giant family cookout and firework extravaganza for our giant family on the 4th of July, but several people couldn’t make it, so we moved the party to the weekend.  Seeing as the country really needs more of an intervention than a birthday party, I’m okay with missing the 4th. Boo.

We ate our hotdogs and drove to the beach in the next town, where the local boating club generously hosts a firework show over the lake from a raft. Smiling old men hand out sparklers to the children as the sun sinks below the water, the rich and the poor mingle in peace, and it’s a lovely time.

Except I guess they got sick of the riffraff this year, and we had to go sit in a cemetery across the street. Oh well! Fireworks is fireworks. Corrie booed, because she is a terrible person. Who boos fireworks? Boooo!

THURSDAY
Honey garlic chicken thighs with broccoli and potato

I planned this one actual-cooking meal for the end of the week, knowing it would be cooler. Well, it wasn’t all that freaking cool. And we were out of garlic, of all things. And half the chicken had gone bad! Boooooooo!

Still, it’s a good recipe, a true one-pan recipe, and pretty simple. You make a simple sauce, cut up potatoes and broccoli, put the potatoes and chicken in a pan, spread sauce on the chicken, cook for a while, and then add broccoli toward the end.

It’s a sweet, pleasant sauce, and tastes wonderful with the broccoli. A fine dish if you’re not dripping with sweat and angry about rotten chicken and lost garlic. I really can’t fault Damn Delicious for any of that. The recipe actually calls for chicken breast, but thighs with skin are much better.

FRIDAY
English muffin pizzas

Guess what? It finally rained, and then it went right back to being horribly hot and muggy again. I reserve the right to be cranky, eat too much sour cream, boo fireworks, or whatever works. Boooooooooooooooooooooo!

14 thoughts on “What’s for supper? Vol. 135: Booooo!”

  1. You need to give yourself more credit and be easier on yourself. Me–only 2 kinds of basic meals with this weather, either IP or grill. You are way above the norm. I make carnitas (in the IP) an I have NEVER (even in winter) gone beyond considering turning on the oven to crisp them up. The side dish is normally some white rice and some black beans. You are awesome, week after week. No promises–but maybe in the winter I will be inspired enough to crisp up those carnitas. I have cooked Korean beef though from your inspiration (though, in honesty, just using Aldi bottled sauce).

  2. AC?
    You pagan.
    It’s 10 p.m. and 97 degrees here. It was 73 here yesterday.

    I went to the beach today, and went out on my paddle board for four hours. Everyone was shocked. There was consternation. It wasn’t like me. I also wore a tiny bikini. And swam with dolphins (I did!)

    OK, I wore a tank over my bikini the whole time, and walked around in it for hours after I got home.

    Told them to reheat their own darn food.

  3. Did you know you can toast nuts (and coconut) in the microwave? Just put them in a bowl or on a plate, and microwave at 20-30 second intervals, stirring in between, until they’re toasty enough. I was so skeptical when I heard this, but it actually works!

  4. Saturday: Was my sister’s graduation party, so we had…*deep breath* mostaccioli, lemon chicken, bread, Caesar salad, broccoli salad, fruit salad, chips, punch, cake, and ice cream
    Sunday: Party leftovers
    Monday: Party leftovers
    Tuesday: Bratwurst/hot dogs, pasta salad, fries. For whatever reason, the next town over does their fireworks on the 3rd, and we always attend that show. I did spy a few strays out my bedroom window on the actual 4th.
    Wednesday: We had burgers and corn on the cob for lunch and not everyone was home in the evening, so dinner was more low-key. Those of us who were available sat around the table with cheese, crackers, sliced summer sausage, chips, guacamole, hummus, fruit, and baby carrots and watched True Grit.
    Thursday: Caprese sausages (these we got from Costco. As the name implies, they’ve got basil and tomato and mozzarella in ’em.), pasta salad, peas
    Friday: More leftovers

  5. We usually add either sautéed onions and peppers or roasted red peppers to carnitas, along with guacamole and salsa. I’m going to try that one-pan chicken dish — looks good!

  6. Oh Lordy, our central AC has been terminal now since LAST SUMMER, and we are relying on portable AC units to cool the bedrooms. So my husband, my clever, wonderful husband, set up a little outside kitchen for us. I can plug in the crockpot, I can use a hot plate out there, and a toaster. It is SO NICE to be able to agree with my son that yes, fried eggs would be a nice breakfast, without dreading using the stove and building up more heat in the house. Our kitchen is on the top floor, too.

    So we were able to have beef stew on Sunday–recipe from Damn Delicious. Very good.

    Monday it was stinking hot. We had leftovers and what I call “Clean Out The Fridge Before I Try to Jam More Food In There” for dinner.

    Tuesday, it again was so stinking hot that I just picked up deli chicken at the store and grabbed some already shucked corn (my shame knows no bounds) to wrap in foil and chuck in the crockpot outside for 3 hours on High. Turns out very tasty and tender. We had watermelon too.

    Wednesday was also stinking hot, and I again used the Amazing Outdoor CrockPot (TM) to make taco meat with chicken, and I cooked rice in the rice cooker outside and we had a wonderful Mexican feast on America’s Birthday. Ole! That night we ate Klondike bars and popcorn while watching Independence Day, because we are Communists who hate fireworks. Also it was stinking hot.

    Thursday we went for a run at our gym, it was still hot inside but at least the sun was not beating down on us like the unblinking Eye of Sauron, and we treated the kids to Chik Fil A and decided to have leftovers for dinner.

    Tonight it will only (ONLY!) be in the 80s with low humidity, so I may just boil some pasta–wait for it–INDOORS. I’m living the dream.

    Saturday is pizzas, and Sunday my very picky eater is celebrating his birthday, and he says he just wants a hot dog and baby carrots and potato chips and birthday cake—I think we will do a bunch of dogs in the crockpot and put out a Hot Dogs of Many Nations bar, inspired by this here very blog I love so much.

    1. I should have mentioned we rent, otherwise we definitely would replace the 22 year old unit. Luckily our landlord has finally seen the light, for he is really a kindly man, and we’re supposed to get a new unit next week. Hallelujah!

    2. I have lived in Texas all my life, and I have a special place in my heart for Willis Carrier, who invented the first electrical air conditioning unite in 1902. What an unsung hero of the twentieth century!

  7. I’m right there with you booing the weather. I seasoned every meal I ate this week with the sweat dripping down my face in our tropical kitchen. Gross.

    I like to make Mexican slaw for carnitas. It’s thinly sliced cabbage, finely diced shallots or onion, crushed garlic, vinegar, cumin, and salt. The earlier in the day you make it, the better it tastes. I like it better than lettuce. More flavor.

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