Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Slightly Less Than a Shit-Ton of Meat

Saturday was an exciting day in the Oscarson household.  Saturday was... wait for it...


Yay!  My shiny new chest freezer has arrived.  Better yet, I think it spent the night on the truck, so it was almost all the way cold when it got delivered.

Now, I didn't know it was going to be pre-cooled, but fortunately when you live in WI in December, your backyard is a freezer too.  (This is not fair.  It has been unseasonably warm.  I do love me some global warming just a little.  But there was a high of only 20 this past Saturday).  Which means that I could go to the farmer's market and buy meat, not knowing exactly when the freezer would be delivered (between 11 and 2) or how long it would take it to chill. 

And so buy meat I did.  What I would have called a shit-ton of meat.  I bought chicken, and a turkey, and pork, and beef, and lamb!  Yes, the lamb people were at the farmer's market, and I stocked up! 

And as I handed over all my money I thought "well, that is sure a shit-ton of meat."

And as I hauled the bags to my car I thought, "boy, a shit-ton of meat sure is heavy!"

And as I piled it on the kitchen table to take a picture and brag to my husband about what all I got, we both were convinced that we had a shit-ton of meat on our hands.

And then the freezer came.
Now, I do not have great spacial reasoning skills, as proven by the fact that the freezer did not really fit in the space I prepared for it.  And, sure, I know chest freezers are big, but I thought I bought a fairly small one.  7 cubic feet is, after all, not that much.  Heck, most of the Energy Star chest freezers I looked at were 15-25 cubic feet.

So, you can imagine my surprise when my supposed shit-ton of meat turned promptly into almost nothing when placed at the bottom of an empty chest freezer:
Where did all my shit-ton of meat go?  Did the meat gnomes steal it?
I did clean out my regular freezer - which was so full it didn't want to stay closed - and I got the chest freezer to a more respectable level of fullness:

Still, though.  A lot of empty space in there.  Might be time to get some bulk beef.  I'm thinking a 1/4 beef should do...

And what's for dinner?  Meat, of course!  Boring, I know, but nothing makes me happier than a baked chicken.  I cheated just a little and got a lemon, and I blended together olive oil, garlic, oregano (the indoor oregano is doing GREAT!  You can't kill that stuff even if you let a cat sleep in the middle of the pot!), and lemon zest, and then rubbed that all over the outside of a butterflied chicken.  I served this with cheddar ranch broccoli and cauliflower. 

The broccoli was definitely an exercise in frustration.  It was something I knew should exist.  We had a large amount of ranch dressing in the refrigerator which was going to go bad before we could eat it.  Parents make their kids eat broccoli, and parents use ranch dressing to make kids eat vegetables, so cheddar ranch broccoli should be a thing.  But it's not.  Why?  I don't know.  I scoured the internet for something that wasn't a gross sounding egg bake casserole (there's a lot of this recipe floating around out there) and finally found a cheddar broccoli that used a roue base.  I figure, add some ranch into the roue, and there you go!

No.  Too much flour, the cheese melted and turned into an oily mess.  It was awful.  I'm not sure what I did wrong.  So I ended up just taking the broccoli and cooking it on its own, tossing it in some ranch dressing, and letting some cheddar cheese melt on top.

And do you know what?  It was delicious.  Fatty, unhealthy, not even good for you anymore vegetable delicious.

Exactly what my little heart wants sometimes.

And Sunday for dinner, I baked up a spaghetti squash.  Spaghetti is by far my favorite squash.  Like many of your winter squashes, it keeps well in a cool dark place, so I bought a lot at the last outdoor farmer's market of the season, and have them sitting in my basement waiting for me to eat all winter!  I have seen microwave directions for making spaghetti squash, but I prefer the traditional method.  Cut the squash in half the long way and scoop out the seeds (which I saved, and have soaking in salt water as we speak, ready to bake up.)  Drizzle some olive oil over the squash, and season with salt and pepper.  Bake, cut side down, in a 350 degree oven, until the outside of the squash can be pierced easily with a fork.

Once the squash is done, allow it to cool, and then scrape out the inside with a fork, going with the grain of the squash (side to side).  It will flake out in strings, like spaghetti.

You can then treat this exactly like you would pasta for a low carb equivalent... because... if you know anything about me... I try to be low carb...

Wait... that's not right...

Anyway, I tossed mine with some pesto, and some of the leftover chicken from Saturday night.  It was good!!

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