Saturday, April 04, 2009

A Satisfying Saturday

Okay, enough with the eggs for breakfast every morning. Today I headed to Key Foods and picked up some oatmeal and raisins. Then I popped in to the fruit and vegetable store next door and picked up about half a pound of dried bananas. The oatmeal was $1.29 for one pound two ounces, the raisins were $1.69 for 15 ounces and the dried bananas were $.74 for about half a pound.

Breakfast Stuff


I measured out a cup of the oatmeal (I have the feeling I bought a month's worth) and an appropriate amount of the raisins and dried bananas.

This Looks About Right


And for those of you who might think that Bar Man can't cook, just look at this. And I did it without any help from the Mysterious Chinese Woman.

Look Everyone, I Boiled Water


The oatmeal is the instant kind and cooks in just over a minute once you throw it into the water THAT I BOILED ALL BY MYSELF!!! I also threw in the raisins and dried bananas.

Looks Yummy


When it was finished I had a big, and filling, bowl of, well, oatmeal, raisins, and bananas, no longer so dried.

A Healthy And Hearty Breakfast


It was very satisfying and, the Mysterious Chinese Woman will love to hear this, I may start having oatmeal for breakfast more often. Not that thin, prison gruel stuff that she seems to favor, but a manly thick and chewy concoction like I made.

For lunch I had, drum roll please, a peanut butter and banana sandwich.

The Obligatory Picture


I figured I would take a break from my rice and beans for dinner so I decided to make myself some pasta. I also figured it was about time for me to do something with my acorn squash before it just sat around and became inedible.

Dinner Fixings


I always like to prepare my misa-mess or whatever you call it. You know, getting everything ready before you start to cook. This involved chopping the garlic and onion and cubing a decent amount of the pork shoulder.

My Misa-Mess


The first step was to separate out the little chunks of just the pork fat and then crisp that up with about a teaspoon of olive oil.

Crisping The Fat


After the fat was all crisped up, and a bit of the fat was rendered out adding to the olive oil, I threw in the onions and garlic with some salt and pepper.

Everything All Thrown In


Now, while the onions and garlic were slowing turning translucent, I prepared the squash. First, I simply cut it in half and scooped out all of the seeds and stuff.

Easy Enough


Then I just placed them face down on in a baking pan with about a quarter of an inch of water in the bottom. Well, where else would the water be? Floating on top, somehow?

Oven Ready


Then I just popped them into the oven at 350 F where they would spend the next 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, I was stirring the onion, garlic, pork fat mixture until everything looked right. The onion and garlic translucent and soft and the pork fat already nicely crisped up.

Ready For The Next Step


The next step was to simply throw the pork on top and turn the heat down very low. The pork was already cooked so I just wanted to heat it up a bit.

Like A Politician, No Cutting Out The Pork


Now, and here was the tricky part, I had to open up the can of tomatoes and measure out one cup.

My Final Ingredient


Again, I saved the remaining tomato sauce for future use.

Enough For Something Else


Meanwhile, the spaghetti sauce was coming along nicely.

Just About Ready


Having mastered the art of boiling water I advanced my skills by adding a pinch of salt and a bit of olive oil and boiling a larger quantity. I am getting really good at this. Once the water hit a rolling, or is that roiling, boil I put in about a third of a box of the pasta.

Pasta In A Pot


While the pasta was cooking, about 7 minutes, I took the squash out of the oven and flipped them over to check them out.

My Flipped Over Squash


It looked like it was done so I scooped out one half.

My Scooped Out Squash


When the pasta was done I strained it, put it into a bowl, and then poured the sauce (gravy for all you Italians) over it.

The Finished Product


And, the final plating with the squash, restaurant worthy.

Looks Good Enough To Eat


As usual, I made more than I could eat, so I saved about a third of the pasta and sauce and will probably have that for either lunch or dinner on Monday. I also had half of an acorn squash left over so I stuck that in the refrigerator too.

Tomorrow I am heading to my sister-in-law's for my niece's eighth birthday party. This means I will only have breakfast at home and, for reasons beyond my control, take a half day hiatus from my experiment. I promise, though, I won't just load up on calories. I think you can see that I haven't actually been starving myself so far.

Monday I will have to use some more of the pork and then, depending upon how much is left, either freeze the rest or make a stock out it. I will make stock though, you can't just waste that bone. I probably should have saved the bones from the two chicken legs and thighs that I ate but I kind of forgot. I won't make that mistake with the five I have left though. I will save them and freeze them and then, when I have all the bones, make some chicken stock.