JUNE 2, 2012–SHEPHERD’S PIE, MEXICAN RICE, AND TWICE-BAKED NEW POTATOES
June 2, 2012
It was Saturday. Another busy Saturday with three soccer games, two baseball games, and company arriving. It was also a wonderful June day with just the right amount of sunshine, a random breeze now and then, and heat–not smoking hot–just warm and perfect. One of those “rare days in June”–someone should write a poem about that.
Here is the schedule. Eloise = 10:35 soccer. Scout = 10:45 soccer. LBG (Little Big Guy) = 1:15 soccer. LBG = 2:30 baseball. Company scheduled to arrive = 4:00ish. LBG = baseball 7:30.
So let’s start.
Let’s start with sweet rolls and coffee. I hope that I served everyone some protein to go along with these carbs, but I don’t remember. Actually, maybe the reason I don’t remember is because I skipped the scrambled eggs for the kiddos and just grabbed two sweet rolls for the Mommi.
So we headed to the first game (Eloise’s) which was her last game of the season.
She was thrilled to have her second medal to hang up in her room. It is hard being child #3 and waiting for all the “good things” to happen.
Although The Hunni had headed over to Scout’s game earlier, I just caught the last quarter. We were not only saying good-bye to her team mates, but also to her coach as Scout is moving to a travel team. We can’t say enough nice things about her coach, and really appreciate all the hours he put into both her team and LBG’s.
Little Man enjoys being outside. He doesn’t know that there are other ways to spend Saturdays. He is child #4 and never gets asked if he would like to adapt–he just does. And because of this forced adapting, he is well . . .quite adaptable with his nap schedule, meal schedule, bed time, etc. . . I hate to thing how I would raise a child #10. Would I even remember to change his/her diaper??? A couple of year back, when Scout was in figure skating, I would visit with another mom who had immigrated from China. She barely spoke English, but we smiled and bowed a lot to each other during the Winter Skating Session. Now I had two girls on the ice, and a babe in arms, and a boy who spent the hour wandering around the arena wishing that his mother would give him quarters so that he could play the video games. The Chinese mom thought that I only had two children, one on the ice and the babe in arms. One day she saw all four of my kiddos together and she was shocked. “Four child?!!! Four child??!!!” she asked. “Yes, I have four kids,” I responded. She then stared. Then she told me a joke. This was the most English she had spoken to me to date. “In China,” she began, “we say. . .Child #1 is [raised] like porcelain. Child #2 is wood. And Child #3 like a pig!” Then she laughed and laughed and I joined in. Not only had she told a joke in English, it was a funny one.
Now Child #1, and Child #2, and Child #3, and Child #4, and Daddi #1, and the #1 Mommi were all very hungry as it was around 1:45. I had thought ahead, and put Pioneer Woman’s SHEPHERD’S PIE (pg. 168) in the oven on low. I had doubled the BEEF STEW, and frozen the extra. This morning, I made mashed potatoes and thawed the Beef Stew. About 30 minutes later (potatoes cooked 20 minutes during breakfast), I was able to make Ree’s SHEPHERD’S PIE.
We gulped it down as Child #1 was already at his baseball game warming up. We had bought him a Chicken Sandwich off the Dollar Menu at McDonald’s on the way over. It wasn’t much to go on, but he can’t eat much before a game anyway. Now after the game. . .that is a different story.
I used to bring a bag of toys for Child #3 and Child #4 to play with during Child #1’s games, but they never played with the toys I brought. There was another mom who brought toys that were much more fun.
She brought Action Figures, and Dora the Explorer Backyard Exploration toys, Lego!!!, markers and coloring books, and so many other cool toys. Now I would bring a jump rope, a ball, and maybe a truck. I am not the Cool Mom that is willing to bring Lego. The Very Cool Mom was also very generous and let my kiddos play with everything–every game. After this game, we brought Very Cool Mom’s baseball son back home with us.
My plan had been to just eat SHEPHERD’S PIE again, but I looked at the SHEPHERD’S PIE, and decided that I had better serve Baseball Friend something different. I had a little bit of time before the next baseball game at 7:30, so I made DOUBLE-STUFFED NEW POTATOES (pg. 212) and BBQ Chicken Legs (a PW blog recipe.)
As you can see from the photo, I didn’t use new potatoes (red-skinned). I didn’t have any new potatoes on hand. How-so-ever, I did have some small Yukon Gold’s. Normally, Double-Stuffed Potatoes take a long time to make as you have to wait about an hour for the potatoes to cook. But, because the Yukon Gold’s were smaller, they only took about 20 – 25 minutes. And here is a tip. Potatoes can bake at a very high temperature. In fact, they are “fluffier” when baked about 400°.
In the same oven, I started cooking some chicken legs. The chicken legs needed a few more minutes of cooking, so I took the Yukon Gold’s out and stuffed them.
Now the chicken legs were fully cooked, so I took them out of the oven when I put the Yukon Gold’s back in.
The chicken legs were roasted without BBQ sauce, but they are finished by being dunked in the BBQ sauce warming on the stove, then put them back in the oven to form a BBQ glaze.
DOUBLE-STUFFED NEW POTATOES and BBQ Chicken Legs complement each other–both in flavour and the whole cooking arrangement. Both can also be made up ahead of time, and just reheated in the same oven when you are ready.
We ate a little early (5:30ish), and our company had not yet arrived. It is a good thing because between the two baseball boys and The Daddi, there were no BBQ Chicken Legs or DOUBLE-STUFFED NEW POTATOES left. I love the feeling of having filled my family and guests.
Our guests arrived while we were at the baseball game and helped themselves to SHEPHERD’S PIE. I was so glad they made themselves at home.
After the baseball game and kiddo’s showers, I made up some MEXICAN RICE (pg. 173).
Tomorrow would be Sunday, and Sunday can get busy quickly. Besides, my brother and his family were coming for two nights, and we were having some missionaries from Africa over for dinner. They were going to show slides (okay–a power point presentation) from their recent trip to the Neighbourhood Sunday School Kids. Add in our current guests, and I was expecting 17 people for Sunday Dinner. Now our house is too small to handle that many people, so I was planning on having a Mexican Meal. Everyone could assemble their plate in the kitchen, then find a spot to sit and eat–inside and out. Earlier in the week, I had made WHITE CHICKEN ENCHILADAS and frozen them. I also had frozen some beef from the CARNITAS PIZZA recipe. Add some diced tomatoes, shredded cheese, open a can of salsa and a jar of sour cream, and I could have Sunday Dinner ready in short order.
That was the plan.
The plan worked so well, that I served the exact same meal again on Monday. You can do that to your brother.
We love them lots.
We always have fun when they come.
We love them from their heads. . .
. . .down to their piggy toes.
COMMENTS: The SHEPHERD’S PIE is an easy make ahead if you have left over Beef Stew. The DOUBLE-STUFFED NEW POTATOES didn’t take as long as the regular Idaho baked potatoes to make. I wondered if the Yukon Gold’s would be a little “gluey” being baked, but they were fine. Idaho (russets) are fluffier, but both would work in this recipe. The MEXICAN RICE is a great accompaniment to any Mexican meal. It also reheats easily. I didn’t use Rotel as recommended in the recipe, but rather the El Pato Mexican sauce that Ree uses in so many of her recipes.
All three recipes will be added to our regular repertoire as they are hearty, kid friendly, and easy to prepare.
P.S. My nephew had broken his leg, so he was in a wheel chair.
Something about the mini wheelchair and the imp inside the wheel chair reminded me of Curious George in his wheel chair–from when he goes to the hospital and “borrows” a wheelchair.
Our library recently had an exhibit called, “Saving Curious George” H.A. Rey had to escape France during World War II. The book The Journey that Saved Curious George tells the fascinating story. Highly recommended.
You can order it by clicking on the blue link, or borrow it from your library.