New Years Day Dinner and This -n- That

New Years Day Dinner :

In my area, the traditional New Years dinner is pork, kielbasa, sauerkraut and mashed potatoes. Usually I’ll cook the kielbasa and kraut together but this year I decided to do it all separately, since with seven little kids coming, there are sure to be one or two that won’t want the sauerkraut.

For the pork I chose tenderloin. Is tenderloin the most frugal cut of pork ? It depends on how you look at it. It’s a bit more than the roasts that were on sale but it is extremely tender, and falls apart after slow cooking. I purchased two packages, which would be four tenderloin, and that cost me approximately $5.00 more than a roast or two.

Dinner will be mid-day so I cooked the pork yesterday. I caramelized an onion in a bit of butter, seasoned the tenderloin with pepper and Emeril’s Original Essence, ( so good with pork ) and then layered the meat with the onions and some cut-up apples. This cooked all day on low, and at the end of the day I poured off some juice, froze it for pork gravy down the line, and put the crockpot container into the fridge. I’ll warm it up before dinner. Today I  just have to cook some kielbasa, sauerkraut, and peel and mash a bazillion potatoes :)  Other people are bringing appetizers and a salad.

I baked a big pan of brownies and made a fruit cobbler..I’d purchased the brownie mix on sale awhile ago, and had some frozen blueberries and peaches on hand, so dessert was a no-brainer in regards to trying to save a little money.  I baked the cobbler in the old pan inherited from my grandmother..I love to use it for things like this and sheet cakes.

cooking new years eve collage

For some reason, I’d never made fruit cobblers until the last few years. Now they are my go-to for quick and reasonably nutritious, cost-effective desserts. If you don’t have a recipe for one, you can find mine HERE.

Taste-Testers:

Even though they’d be back the next day, I had some taste-testers over here for an hour or two on New Years Eve.  Brent and Kate were over for a visit and some tea ( and she wanted a tea-PARTY so I dragged out my china, fancy sugar dish, a teapot, the whole bit ) and cobbler. Kate and I explained to Brent that he had to stop SLURPING his tea and hold out his pinky and say La-Di-Da when drinking it. He found this to be hilarious! :)

No Fancy China Today:

Thanksgiving and Christmas had the fancy china and glassware and silver out. Not today…today it is paper plates, plastic forks, and there will be so many mashed potatoes that I’ll probably just leave them in the big stainless steel pot that they are cooked and mixed in. I think this is my favorite meal of the year, not only because I love sauerkraut with my mashed potatoes but because after Thanksgiving and Christmas and all of the work involved, it is an easy, relaxed meal and get-together.

Hawks in the Back Yard:

When the cold and snow returned, I was surprised on two different days to see two different hawks outside, perched on my back fence.  One was rather small and flew away the minute that I opened the door to get a better look. I assumed that he was a juvenile something-or-other hawk. The other one was much larger and flew away too, but they were not the red-shouldered hawk that I saw awhile back  ( HERE ) . Well, they were after my birds at the feeders…I guess that this is becoming a known location in hawk world. I wish that I could feed them something else..I don’t want them to be hungry but I don’t want them getting my birds, either!

Tearing Strips and the Cat:

I am periodically working on a rag rug, and my cat was in her glory when it was time to tear some strips again.  I had forgotten that I had a good amount left of this sheet that I could use. The minute that I brought it out she appeared from nowhere and decided to play.

Kanga and tearing fabric

So here she is shedding on the fabric and when I finally finish the rug a dog will end up laying on it and shedding some more : )

Well it’s time to get out the new desk calender for 2014 / Happy New Year :)

 You might also enjoy : Tuesday treasures: the little titmice  or Sunday Sewing: end of 2013 or Goldfinches

Sharing with Nancy at A Rural Journal for Random Five Friday

Also : 1840 Farm