March 5th, 2019 — Mid Winter Break

Mid-Winter Break

I’m late posting this week because I was on vacation.  Twenty four hours of no frozen water buckets, icy walking, hay hauling or winter drama.  I look forward to it every year.

In a series of events our tax person is now in Mt. Pleasant which is about 2 hours from us.   Which is fine by us since Mt. Pleasant is also home to a casino that features packages with a deluxe room, a gas credit card, money to eat on and money to gamble with.

We get a Monday appointment with Lynn and head up to the casino on Sunday afternoon and spend the evening with no worries beyond what will be featured on the buffet and will my favorite shot machine still be around.

We return to reality on Monday when we hear our total indebtedness to the government or the extent of our jackpot of a refund.  

Then it’s on to Clare where we stock up on our year’s fencing supplies at Nevill Supply.  We’ve been doing business with Don for something over 20 years and we always pick up our conversations where we left off the year before.  This year’s haul was 2 fence posts that weigh in the neighborhood of 160 pounds each, we’ll hang gates on those and 2 rolls of high-tensile fencing for the field next to the house.  It’s first on the fencing list for this year.

While we were in Clare we stopped by The Whitehouse for a burger for lunch.  The Whitehouse has been open for 85 years, the cook has been there 48 of them and our waitress is a relative newcomer at 38.  She greeted up with “where are you from?” And surprisingly had never heard of Homer. We were lucky to grab a spot, it’s a cozy little place with only 6 booths and people kept coming in trying to score one of the elusive seats.

We got home after dark with chores to do, empty wood baskets to fill for the woodstove and a kitty happy to see us.

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day

Lamb Stew

1 Lamb shank

4 potatoes, peeled and diced

4 carrots, peeled and diced

3 cloves garlic, peeled and diced

1 small onion, peeled and diced

¼ cup dried parsley

1 teaspoon mint

½ teaspoon dried rosemary

2 tablespoons raspberry balsamic vinegar (store was out, I’m using pomegranate)

2 tablespoons raspberry jelly (or jam, preserves, or any red flavor)

Brown the lamb shank in olive oil in a dutch oven or stock pot.  Add onions, then garlic, not too long for the garlic, if you burn it your dinner will be ruined and you have to pitch it all.

Add water to cover shank and the rest of the ingredients and cover loosely to simmer until the meat is falling off the bone.  Serve with Irish Soda bread.

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