Monday, September 24, 2007

Tails and Tales

The Wild Child and the Drooling Dog have come to visit. That's Rocky, aka the Drooling Dog, up there. The Wild Child says he's my grand-dog. Hummm.

Our two cats are terrorized. They run away and Rocky gallops after them. He spends time intently surveying the tops of book cases looking for cats. The Wild Child tells me his eyesight's not the best, which was obvious when he thought a ceramic rabbit that sits on the livingroom floor was one of the cats until he could get a few good, deep sniffs.

When I got home from work tonight, the older cat greeted me in the front yard. Well, "greeted" isn't exactly the right word. She WAS out there and moved to the center of the yard when I pulled in the driveway, but after that, she just glared at me for allowing this invasion to take place. Rocky's been out in the backyard, and since that's the route of choice for the younger cat, we haven't seen hide nor hair of her. The Wild Child goes back to Tahoe on Wednesday, so we expect the cats will be throwing her and the Drooling Dog a going away party--after they've gone away!

Okay, now about that soup. You all have to understand first off that I'm not real experienced at beef soup. Chicken soup of any kind, yes. But beef? Not so much. So when I was at the grocery store, I picked up a package of beef bones for flavor and was staring at the rest of the cuts of beef when the butcher asked me if I was finding everything I needed.

You all have to understand second off that I'm not really one to ask for assistance much. There's just no way I would have asked the butcher's advice if he hadn't been standing there, asking if he could help. So I said, "What beef do you have on sale or at a decent price that would be good for soup? I have these beef bones, but I need some meat." So the butcher pulls out a package of oxtail bones or some such and said they would be excellent. I dubiously eyed the package, which pretty much looked like more beef bones to me but with a little more meat on them, and asked the butcher if there was enough meat on those things. "Oh, yes," he said, so into my cart the package went.

Now you all know I mentioned having this soup in the crockpot yesterday, so I'll fast forward this tale to around 7 p.m. last night when I pulled all the bones out of the crockpot to separate out the meat. Nope, no meat really. I had to cut through a bunch of gristly, tendony stuff on the oxtail bones to get to tiny bits of stringy, tough meat, and after working on that for about a half hour, I tossed them all in the garbage and ran back to the store for some tri-tip steaks that were on sale 30% off. I think you'll understand that dinner last night was scrambled eggs and English muffins while the soup simmered away another couple hours.

I wonder, now, if that really WAS a butcher or whether some random guy just felt like putting on a white apron and hanging around the meat case, 'cause this guy sure didn't know what the heck he was talking about! And this, of course, is one of the reasons I tend to not ask for assistance a whole lot.

The soup, you'll be happy to hear, was wonderful even if it was a day late. No, I didn't get a photo and I don't really have a recipe exactly, except that I took THIS recipe and pretty much followed the basic directions except I added the veggies in THIS recipe as well. I also added about a tablespoon of minced garlic at the browning-the-meat (or bones!) stage where the first recipe says to add garlic salt. I also had some liquid concentrated beef bouillon and added a bit of that (maybe a couple tablespoons?) as well as about a 1/4 cup of red wine toward the end of cooking. Or what I FIRST thought was going to be the end of cooking. And some salt, garlic salt, and pepper to taste later on.

And it's a good thing that soup turned out well in the end, because I think we'll be eating it most of the week! At least there will be more time for quilting if I don't have to cook. That providing my husband and Wild Child stay out of trouble. Just as I was writing this post, they managed to lock themselves in the house and can't open the door to the garage. When I last checked, they were taking the knob and locking mechanism apart. I've heard a few bangs from from that direction too. At least we have plenty of duct tape now.

LATER ADDITION: Now we have no door knob on the door from the kitchen to the garage. Yes, that's right. My lawn is dead, the produce bin in the refrigerator is mended with duct tape, and the door knob is completely off the door. Which, by the way, means there's no real barrier between the Drooling Dog and the old cat. Unless I duct tape it shut. But the good news is that no, we have no Buick up on blocks on the dead front lawn--yet. And no, we do not have Christmas lights still up on the house. And before you ask, yes, we do have indoor plumbing. Last I checked, it was still working too. Please e-mail me for my address if you wish to send a check or money order for any and all repairs, or if you have a handyman or gardener you can spare for a little while. Thank you for your concern.


Patti said...

Why don't you just leave them all alone and come visit me while I'm laid up? We could have some great conversations, a lot of laughs, and when you went home they'd be gone. Of course your house might not be standing any longer, but that's a risk you'd have to take.

I'm sure the soup was marvelous - tri-tip steaks! That's expensive soup! For future reference I don't use bones at all. I just get 2-3 pounds of good looking stew meat. We don't care for stew but stew meat makes a great, flavorful soup.

Sharon said...

I'm with Ms. Patty, just use stew meat and leave out the bone. Now if it was ham and beans I say go for the bone but not beef. Yea I know me the one who uses a package pie crust for my pies. LOL!!! And about hubby and the Wild Child. Why don't you lock them and the droolling dog out of the HOUSE!!! Then you can have the soup all to yourself and get some sewing done.

atet said...

Hehehehe -- ok, I'm laughing a whole lot here. Here's to cats getting their territory back, a hunky handyman showing up to do work for free, and no more duct tape repairs for awhile!

Eileen said...

OH, Kim, you sure can get someone awake in the morning. What was wrong with fingind a key to open the garage door? To easy?

At ;east the soup was good and hopefully you got a little time to quilt last night.

Darlene said...

Here's my plan - wrap your hubby, the Wild Child and the drooling dog together in duct tape and leave them outside. Now, you and the cats can enjoy solitude and good soup.


Yvonne said...

LOLOL....I like Darlene's idea!!! Thanks again for the morning chuckle. :)

Linda said...

Yup I'm with Darlene, sounds like a good plan, and like Yvonne thanks for the laugh. It sounds like an episode from one of those cartoons.

Kairle said...

You've already got the duct tape, but do you have some plastic in case your car windo gets shot out? Send your cats my best wishes. If they need a vacation they can come visit Mia and Shadow. lol!

Laurie Ann said...

Ah, Drooling Dog looks like a big sweetie! He's waiting for a kiss on those kissable lips! :) You know you wanna!!!

Thimbleanna said...

Thank you, thank you for posting the soup recipe. I don't usually use bones in beef soups either, but I'll bet they add some great flavor. I'm always looking for crock pot recipes so dinner will be easy when I get home from work. I'm so trying this when it gets cold here. Good luck with the managerie!

Vicky said...

Okay, I am ROFLOLg. It's always a joy to catch up on your blogs! That pup is adorable .... okay, I'm a dog person! You can send him over here. Daisy needs company!

Sharon said...

Ok, so I see that Vicky has offered to take the drooling dog but not offering to help out with the old shack that is falling down around you. LOL!!!!! I have a handyman but your not getting your hands on him.

Holly said...

I love your poochie,

what I face.

and you must know by now how I loves to share my recipes!

good job.

soup is going to be in our next blogable feast, so join us, won't you?


To Be Continued... said...

hello,,first time to read your blog. i live in alaska, my name is sheena,,have a blog called,,To Be Continued.... your soup sounded good,,just wanted to say, we eat oxtails in our spagetti sauce,,wonderful, start sauce, cook about 2 hrs and then put oxtails in and cook 2 more hrs or so. they get real tender and serve them on top of your served up plate, the meat comes out easy and is really delicious, tastes like prime rib, yummy. i am new blogging, don't have much posted. family member of deargina,,,hope this helpful.