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Cooking dads family food fun Life parents Uncategorized writing

Gather

Batman says:

Hi, y’all! Been a minute since I wrote anything at all, and I figure I better say something before I forget how to do this. Peach is forever wanting to gather with family and have a bonfire and cook a big meal for everyone. Me, I’m a hermit. As much as I love Peach’s cooking, and as much as I love family and friends, I’m a hermit. Peach in her patient ways, always drags the cave man out into the light from time to time and when she does and I stop grumblin’, I always end up having a really fun time.

Someone once said, “to truly be happy, a person must make others happy“ (if no one said it I’ll claim it) although I don’t believe that’s the case, I will say making others genuinely smile, does make me happy. I have been blessed with the most beautiful and perfect partner to stumble through life with, and in doing so have been blessed with awesome children, and grandchildren. But more than that, Peach’s family add an awesome blessing into the mix. Always up for a bonfire, or a day at the range, never without smiles and good cheer, they are like my own kin. We have been able to spend a bit more time with some of them now that I’m fully retired, before, being a Police Officer I missed gatherings and opportunities to spend time, now I am able to and we do.

Raised by two great parents my two of my nieces (you know who you are) are growing too fast into wonderful young ladies, one with two incredible talents (that I know of) one is as an artist at which she is very good at, and the other writing, a talent rivaling many a starving book writers, she will, if she keeps at it, publish a best seller before she’s 20. The other, quieter and more a thinker (just based on my observations) I have been told is an excellent cook, creating dishes that are both pleasing to the palette but also creations that are wondrous to look at, this talent does not surprise me as I know she is also a skillful artist (although I have to pry to get a look at her work, I can be annoying at times yes it’s true) her art belies her age, and like her sister with writing, if she keeps at it will make her mark in Culinary Arts or any other field she chooses (not to forget they are both really good shots and seem to enjoy range time). The reason I mention these young ladies is because the more we visit the more I see their talent and come to appreciate how they mirror their parents in the fact that they love family and I pray they keep at it and shine. At our outings or bonfires I like to think everyone has a good time and can’t wait to do it again, I know I can’t.

Gatherings with family like this are something I hope all get a chance to do (if we’re having one you’re welcome to join the family) as I know the conversation that happens while sitting around the fire with the dark crowding in all around, and the trees seemingly stretching their limbs towards the fire to warm, is conversation that’s good for the soul. Thought provoking and sometimes funny, the conversation is for all ages, as we believe that everyone has something to share. Being retired, I am catching up for the first couple months, on things I need to get a handle on. After that, Peach and I are going to take our famous driving trips and see what we find. There are plans to stay in cabins (I’m all in long as there’s a creek or pond I can sit by and fish in), in parts of the country where it’s more “country”, near places where we can take hikes or walks and /or bike rides. The plans include times with family doing the same things and having the same style conversations around fires at night, until we are no longer able.

As I age, I reflect as I’m sure everyone does, on missed opportunities to tell people what they mean to you, and how you cherish their friendship and company. I tend to turn friends into family and to me there are no more important people than family. I want my children to succeed in all walks of life and they are well on the right path to do so. I want for Peach’s family the same, as to me they are my family also and there is nothing on the earth I would not do to see them succeed or come to their aid.

I think the point of this inane babble (anyone get the reference?) is to explain that despite all my life liking to be a hermit, there is nothing on the planet that would keep me from helping family, and now days, “gathering” to just be together.

“Yes Peach I did light the bonfire

Categories
birthday children Cooking Delicious family Fatherhood fishing food grandchildren grilling kids Love outdoors Uncategorized

Birthday

Batman Says:

It creeps up on us once a year without fail, and suddenly “BAM” you’re a whole year older. It’s inevitable, it happens to us all and there is no way of stopping it.

When I was a kid, I like most of us, never worried about age or growing old, I played hard, ran the woods and fields, fished, hunted, trapped and just basically did kid stuff until ma or pa called me home. Every birthday that came when I was young was celebrated with my family, we were not “well off” but mom and dad always made it special and surrounded by my brothers and sister I don’t see how it could have been any better.

The years progress and we get older and have to stop doing “kid” stuff and “act our age” so to speak (something I struggle with having a professional small boy mentality), but I believe we all maintain, somewhere deep inside buried under years of stress and strife, piled upon us by work and trying to make a living, a piece of that “kid”. It’s this small piece that shows up at times to play jokes, laugh at inappropriate times and generally helps to keep us sane in a world that is drifting rudderless nowadays (squirrel).

So, as I look back, I see numerous things from my childhood that have been erased by my getting older and I would like them back at some point in time. Without these childhood things and mentalities we become drab boring adults just muddling our way through life, where’s the fun in that?

This year on my birthday I was again surrounded by family, not mom who is off with my sister in Pensacola, not Dad who is in heaven looking down shaking his head at my nonsense, but family none the less, my boys and their families and Peach’s brother and his family. I cannot see how it could be a better birthday than the way it was (‘cept maybe minus the yellow flies, deer flies some call ‘em) we cooked on the grill, played badminton and horse shoes, goofed, talked and caught up. Peach and I have awesome families and kids and grandkids and they all come together to help us old farts remember when we were kids and not to take life too seriously.

Birthdays, long as we’re here, we will have them, they are celebrations that we should embrace and enjoy. Surround yourself with family, be thankful for having them, do not take life too serious, play a game, laugh, and most of all love, and I think you will enjoy each one more than the last one.

Nothin better than your banana puddin’ for my birthday, Peach

Categories
Cooking Delicious food grilling spicy Uncategorized

Grilled Pork Cutlets

Batman says:

Made up a new dish recently and to my great surprise and pleasure it came out pretty tasty.

So here’s what I did:

3-4 pork cutlets 3/4″ thick

Konriko Creole Seasoning

Red Cayenne Pepper

Garlic Salt

Local Honey

Liberally coat one side of the room temp cutlets with red pepper, garlic salt and creole seasoning and pat into the meat. Turn the cutlets over and repeat.

Place on a hot grill and cook until the grill side is starting to turn colors (about a minute to two minutes) and then turn over.

Coat the partially cooked side with honey and then heat until internal temperature is 160. Turn over, coat that side with honey and cook another 30-45 seconds or until temp is 163-65.

Remove and let rest for 3-5 minutes for juices to set, and consume.

Give it a try, you can do this in an oven, too I just happened to think of it while cleaning the grill.

“Sweet and spicy like you Peach 😬

Categories
chili cold weather Cooking food Uncategorized

Chili..did I do this already??

Batman Says:

Ask Peach how much I dislike cold weather, she will roll her eyes and expound on the subject. The only benefit I see to cold weather is Chili, that’s right, food.

Chili for us is a staple food but to be honest it was for years an occasional cold weather food, that was until I developed Batman’s “World Famous Chili” at that point it became a “anytime we want” food. Oh I hear the naysayers “world famous my tuckus” (that’s polite for the north end of a southbound animal). Well I’m here to tell ya, just cause you ain’t heered or tasted it, don’t mean it ain’t world famous someplace!

There are a bazillion of chili recipes out there so I’m not divulging mine, but I will tell ya it has meat, beans, maters (thems tomato’s), salt pepper onions and a bit of this and that, slow cooked in a cast iron (Lodge) pot and left alone until you can’t stand it and gotta sample. We have used hamburger, turkey, and stew meats, venison and all wind up making your tongue want to do a dance inside your mouth and whistle Dixie upon tasting them. Some people make chili without beans, why I am not sure, but they swear it’s really good, I’m gonna “give it a miss” thank you, without beans, it’s just tomato coated meat. But as someone said someplace, sometime ago “each their own” I guess that goes for chili also. Something about the smell of chili slowly bubbling away on the stove, and the aroma slowly winding its way into every room of the house, transports my tired old self back to younger times and I really like that feeling. Good Food really is good for the soul at times.

Anywho, I’m gettin a bowl, and settling down to eat, y’all try and stay warm out there, and if you smell chili, stop on in and have a cup or bowl.

We got any of those saltines Peach, and where’s my blanket?”

Categories
Cooking health hunting Law Enforcement Life photography Uncategorized writing

Things to Do

Batman Says:

So, here we are again headed towards a new year and all that it holds in promise. If all goes well (welp, cross that off, when has all gone well ever?) this time next year I will have less than a month left to work at a job that has encompassed 27 years of my life. Peach and I will be moving on to different things and honestly I’m ok with that. I have enjoyed this career and will think fondly about it after i’m gone, but only for a few weeks, then it goes in the “bucket” and off we go to do stuff.

I have been pondering ideas around in my mind as what to do with the time I will have. First time must be spent repairing and replacing all the little things around the place that I have let slip with the “I’ll do it later” tag on it. That honestly is not a lot of things but it is a few and should keep me busy for a couple weeks, then what? Peach has informed me numerous times that she will not be giving up her job so I will have to find interesting things to do to occupy my alone time, I will probably do a bit more fishing, I used to enjoy that and my kids called me the fish whisperer as a joke. Run the trap lines with a bit more interest, something I kinda got out of the habit of doing that I really enjoy the challenge of. Exploring new spots in which to hunt is also an option, can’t ever have too many spots to sit and surprise a wary buck. I won’t be going off taking photographs by my lonesome, as that is something Peach and I do together. I may write more, get in the habit of posting small little blurbs as to what my daily plan is and what I did the day prior, basically a record for my family to see and laugh at when I’m no longer here (you’re not that lucky Peach, it’s gonna be a long time still). Peach got me started with this blogging stuff and I don’t always hold up my end and write posts like I should. But, I won’t have the “work” excuse anymore. I have made myself a promise that I would try and write a book of stories, as mentioned in a previous post “writing interesting things” (it was I think) and putting it out there to see if there are any “old country boys and girls” like me out there that might find it humorous to buy a copy and laugh at my “out of the wrong time period” sense of humor and right and wrong. We are gonna give it a couple months to see how things settle down in the Country before we start travelling around, not in the mood for people to freak out if I’m not wearing a mask on the side of the road changing a flat tire for some lady who is helpless roadside (yes it could be a guy too, don’t get all indignant, told you I was from the wrong time period). Once we start traveling, I hope to post interesting tidbits along the way that others who are traveling around may find useful, even if it is a “do not do this or that” mistake we made that saves someone an issue. I know Peach will be posting all kinds of good things as we travel I am even gonna get her a new faster computer to use to do so (no excuses now, Peach). Been rummaging around through stuff on the internet (what a fresh h*** of grossness and stupidity you can find if you’re not careful what you search for) reading about people making money doing blog posts, that is novel. Not sure I got what it takes to do that but if someone wants me to write a blog post for their business or about a product that I am familiar with, and they want a down to earth honest opinion on, and they are going to pay me for it, then I’m your huckleberry (y’all point them my direction will ya?).

Some of you all will remember Peach and I teach firearms usage and gun safety, we have done this for a while now and its a satisfying pastime, plus brings in a little extra income. We plan to do this even after retirement as we have found that it is something people want and need. As an NRA instructor I have 3 certifications: Certified Home Firearm Safety, Personal Protection in the Home, and Basic Pistol, all of these are important to some folks, and its something we are happy to provide. The cool thing about being an NRA instructor is no matter where in the United States we are, we can sit down and give a class to anyone that wants it, provided we have the necessary safety precautions in place, and in some instances a range to shoot. Another side project I recently took an interest in to perhaps provide a bit of extra income if we need, but more to keep me active and out of the refrigerator (have I mentioned Peach is an EXCELLENT cook?) is becoming a “Home Inspector”, there seems to be a place for me as one, and it is something I could do when I wanted and not do when I was busy with other important matters (like fishing, hunting, napping is very important to me, also), it would require I attended classes either in person or online, and pass several tests (if you knew me you would know how much I dislike tests of any kind), but I think I could manage to do well enough to get licensed in the State to do it. I think I would be good at it as I have knowledge already from life experience and I have a willingness and want to help people. The biggest issue facing Peach and I as with most retirees is health insurance, but with Peach’s smarts and us listening to each others ideas, I believe we have a plan that will let us do what we want when we want without to much hassle.

It would appear from all the ideas about extra income that we are going to be working just as much as we do now, but that’s not the case, all these ideas are what float around in the mind of Batman when he has to much time on his hands. Y’all keep checkin back in, if for no other reason, you can see what scatterbrained ideas I come up with next.

“Now I get to enjoy some of your awesome chili huh, Peach?”

Categories
Cooking food gravy kitchen Life Uncategorized

Couple Recipes

Batman says:

Been tinkerin in the kitchen recently and figured I’d share what I have come up with, pull up a knife and fork and give it a try, I do not think you will be too disappointed.

Peach and I try and eat healthy, I know “fried” is a supposed unhealthy way to cook, but we like it, if you don’t, try the next one 😬

Fried Pork Cutlets

4 Cutlets

Salt

Pepper

Red Pepper

Creole seasoning

Egg wash

Panco bread crumbs

Skillet

Oil

Gravy

1/2 Tbsp butter

1/2 Tbsp flour

1/2 cup milk

salt

Pepper

Put cutlet in egg wash

Put in bread crumbs

Salt and pepper again one side

Put in 1/4 inch oil in skillet salted side down

Salt, pepper other side

Cook till 159-160 deg temp

Rest on plate let carry over cook rest of way

Gravy

Melt butter

Add flour,

mix

Add milk

Cook till gravy thickens

Put over cutlets and munch

Nice glass of Yellow tail “Big Bold Red” wine goes good with it.

Ok, so the next will be fried too..*shrug*

Chicken Fried Steak

4 cube steaks (about 1/3 lb each)

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp fresh ground black pepper, divided

1 tsp kosher salt or sea salt, divided

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 cups milk/or cream

2 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

In a shallow bowl, whisk together flour, one teaspoon black pepper, one teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, baking soda, and baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper. Set aside.

In a separate shallow bowl, whisk together milk/ or cream, and eggs. Set aside.

Pat cube steaks dry with a paper towel, removing as much moisture as possible. Season with one teaspoon of salt and one teaspoon of pepper. Let sit for 5 minutes and pat dry again with paper towel

Dredge the cube steaks in the flour mixture, shaking off excess, then dredge in the milk/or cream-egg mixture, letting excess drip off, and then once again in the flour mixture, shaking off excess. 

Place breaded cube steaks on a sheet pan or metal rack and press any of the remaining flour mixture into the cube steaks making sure that the entire steak is completely coated. Let sit for 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 225 to 250 F.

Meanwhile, heat vegetable oil in a heavy skillet or large cast iron skillet over medium high heat. How much oil you need depends on the size of your skillet. You want it to be about 1/4-inch deep. We aren’t deep frying the steaks, just shallow frying. 

Test the oil by dropping a bit of the breading into in. The oil should sizzle and bubble around the breading. Look for the oil to be glistening but not smoking – about 320-340 degrees F. Now we’re ready to fry.

Place two steaks into the pan at a time and fry for 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Do not flip more than once or the breading will fall off. Do not fry more than two steaks or the pan will be too crowded and the breading will fall off. 

Remove steaks from pan and drain on paper towels. Place in preheated oven to stay warm till the gravy (use same from above recipe if you want) is done.

Serve and consume with vigor

These are my own making, bits and pieces are taken from other recipes I have seen or heard, but I add things and make them my own. Which by the way, I hope you all do and make them “your” own, as we all like tinkering and coming up with good stuff to share.

Thanks Peach for the grilled cheese and tomato soup, you know it’s my favorite”