Sunday, September 22, 2013

Tie me to the Zip Line and Start the Bacon Frying - It's Sunday!

BACON.  Because I can.

But first, a little Range construction  A zip line was needed off the back porch  so that Barkley could go out without a leash when the weather turns nasty. Sure he'll mind a redhead standing on the porch in her jammies yelling at him to get inside (who wouldn't) but friends sometimes take care of him, and I want him to be able to get in and out easily. He got a line set up off the front porch after I blew out my knee, but something for the back was needed, the steps there too narrow and steep for anyone wanting to deal with him in inclement weather.
  • Mr. B. engineered a similar zip line for Barkley at the house he shares with Midwest Chick, so the idea is not an original one, but it worked.  Especially after he learned not to get himself wrapped around a tree.
But one was needed here, for not everyone is up for the leash and the "Nantucket Sleigh Ride" on a slippery driveway with a dog that has to go "NOW!"

 First, a check for the right height before securing the slide hook completely.

Then it's attached to a very large tree on the other side of the driveway and a couple test runs were made before securing anything on either end permanently. Coming down the steps, the line clears both rail and shrubs and he has to make a hard right turn at the bottom, so he can't build up enough speed to hurt himself if he comes to a sudden stop.  There is a bungee on the end for extra cushioning. just in case.
He can sniff and do his business on both sides of the driveway (which is long enough anyone would have time to call him in before a visitors car approached) AND he can see what's going on in the garage.
You think I haven't noticed that I can't reach bacon OR power tools on this thing.

Then, it was time for breakfast.  What can I say. Silver Dollar (well, more like sand dollar) sized pancakes and Amish Bacon.

Then time to "Putter". As happens around here, strange things show up at the Range via Craigslist, many of which are "free to a good evil laboratory". This is a Silvertone circa late 1930's. (Sears and Roebuck, back when they built good stuff and not crap designed by a Kardashian).
 The autopsy is done, now we'll work on probable cause.
Dammit Jim - I'm a Doctor Not a Radio Repairman!

Hey, it was free, maybe Roberta X will want to give it a good home, but it was too cool to pass up.

Then, in the afternoon it was a trip with Partner in Grime to an old Mill in Illinois which is now a museum, where I got some stone ground grains, a demonstration of weaving (the kind that doesn't involve Irish Whiskey and an automobile) and a lot of hiking around the area.
More another day but it was very interesting and educational.

Pretty soon, the sun was starting to get low in the sky and the stomach was growling. Tired and a little dusty from tromping around the museum and park trails, we needed something easy.  But after a big breakfast, I was also wanting something fairly light and healthy.  Cheap is also good (you know, in case I find something on Craigslist that people actually want money for to take off their hands).
Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken. Saute 2 Tablespoons of jarred minced garlic in a good splash of olive oil  on medium heat until softened, remove from heat and  add 5 Tablespoons of brown sugar and a few shakes of crushed red pepper and stir until the sugar melts. Spoon on chicken (makes enough for 2-4 big pieces).  Sprinkle with cracked black pepper and salt and bake 20 to 30 minutes at 450 F. (these bone- in pieces took 30)
Chicken leg and thigh quarters that I got for $2 for a four pack were incredibly juicy and the glaze was amazing, hot and sweet and caramelized onto the skin. Cooking at the high temperature is the trick.

Quick, a close up while the light is still decent.  Yumm.

Partner in Grime gave it a big thumbs up.  The whole meal, including seasoned brown rice and steamed broccoli, made enough to serve four people for less than $2 a serving, even including the two buck chuck style wine.

Easy and cheap, always handy to have in the recipe collection.
Mom, the zip line is great but I'm ignoring you til you build me a Slide-inator to get into the neighbor's pool.