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.