UPDATE: My Hosting company changed its setup so it no longer can handle blogs. I'm moving the hosting and in the process of reinstalling the old files. I'll probably be moving to true blogging software too.

Don't give up on us. We got some neat recipes coming along with extreme right wing opinions...

Be back soon.


10 April 2007

Waikiki Beach, Honolulu: After 10 years of making trips out here for business, I finally got to the beach. Photos will follow. Best part: calling someone in Colorado and telling him I was eating fresh fish in the surf at Waikiki...The only downside is I haven't managed to connect with Tom's class brother, Ricky, this trip.

UPDATE: Pictures finally added, looking down from my hotel balcony at sunrise and from the seawall on Waikiki Beach about 5 pm respectively.

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8 April 2007



Let no one be fearful of death, for the death of the Savior has set us free . . .

O Death, where is thy sting?

O Hades, where is Thy victory?

Christ is Risen and Thou art overthrown.

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25 March 2007

Culinary Assault Team: Long story, which I am not going to explain today, but the folks who cook at BBQ we go to each year were debating a mascot and these were sent in:


The bear will be painted and added to Audie's cartoons in the next week or so, then the frog's eye and the parrot wind in the pot should be more visible. We'd use the full color version. The second is from Dr. Drew -who they let teach and treat children. Scary huh? Just think that man is allowed near your children...

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19 March 2007

Reading this week: Texas has a fairly large Indian population in the DFW area. This means not only a ton of restaurants and groceries but even a temple complex and visible holiday celebration. I think I blogged last year on attending a Festival of Lights and seeing a young woman do traditional dances and then explain them with a NE Texas twang. Friday, under local authors at Hastings, I found "Tandoori Texan Tales" by Raj Dore, a transplanted Texan from India. Connie had to drag me home from the first story, so I got the book. It's a great read, covering stuff that is both specific to India, like the Partition* and stuff that is general to the human condition. It's a hard book to put down.

*Yep, the religion of peace and non-believers again. Funny how that seems to come up all over the place.

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16 March 2007

Happy St. Pancake Day: We made crepes and put little toy bulldozers on them. We served them flat with melted butter.

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28 February 2007

A chemist in deep bluegrass: Arrrrgh. We did breaks today. My fingers are so sore I am typing his one handed and my head hurts like a liberal arts major in a tensor calculus class. The morning was pretty good learning to work on playing as a group and actually a lot of fun. I got to do some tremolo which I like and can do well, but then we got to unwrapping the chords. Bluegrass is mainly a ear tradition and it puts a lot of emphasis on learning the song as it is played and sung, and then working back to the melody from the sung part and the chords. The latter was definitely not my strong point. I did manage to get thru the day without actually screaming.... 

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27 February 2007

A Chemist in the Bluegrass: After working for an hour on the DMA book and then dropping the pup at school, I headed over to Faith Harvest Church in Argyle, where the Dr. Banjo's Bluegrass Jam Camp is going to be for the next three days. Now, I play at playing the mandolin and the zouk for just under 2 years now but my music is normally done by myself in hotel rooms or the study when no one is around. It was, to say the least, an interesting experience (kind of the way being play with by a polar bear or an orca would be.) We quickly learned that despite any other skills of heart and hand I have, music ain't part of the package. All this stuff about being in tune, in time, and in place...well, sadly this ain't like the chemical triangle where you get two. That said it was a lot of fun playing with people and being expected to sing along (especially since they don't let me sing at prayers at home.).

Now if I can open my left hand and use my fingers tomorrow, that will be a miracle.

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24 February 2007

Green Chili Stew: Connie made this a couple times this winter, until we ran out of roasted green chilis. It may be the best green chili stew I've ever had and it gets made in a slow-cooker. You'll need 15 green chilis. These need to be roasted over a open flame (we use a gas grill but I've used a propane torch with a wide tip) until the skins blacken and bubble. Stick the roasted chilis into a paper bag, close, and let cool.  When they are cool, remove the skin, the seeds and veins, and store. We normally roast several pound in August and freeze enough for the year. When I was younger, a buddy and I used to drive to Las Cruces in New Mexico, buy a couple fifty pound sacks, drive them home and spend the next week roasting them. The smell of them

1 tsp oil (I use duck fat or lard but don't tell)

1 large onion, chopped

2 pounds lean pork, venison, or lamb, as 1" cube

3 Tbsp flour

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp cumin

3 cloves garlic

1 tsp chipolte

15 roasted green chili, chopped

1 tsp salt

1.5 cups chicken or pork stock

Heat the oil until shimmering and then add the onions. Cook until tender. Roll the meat in the flour and add to pan. Cook until browned. Dump the cooked meat and everything into the slow-cooker and stir well. Cook on low heat for 4-5 hours. Taste and adjust the heat with chipoltle powder. You can also hot sauce. If you want a thicker stew, add 1 Tbsp cornstarch in 2 tablespoon hot water. Otherwise, serve with a large dollop of sour cream in the middle.

Best for breakfast the next day with fry bread.

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People need to read more Kipling: Stuff like When the Fear Came, the Truce of the Bear, or MacDonough's Song. Hell, just remember the old saw about Leopard and spots or scorpions and their nature. The Democrats were going to respect and support the troops, civil liberties and free speech, cut pork, not be corrupt, and had learned the lesson on guns. Yep, Blue Dogs are different, especially on guns. Just like this....

And I hear there are some pro-life democrats. Where do they keep them?

UPDATE: A commentator caught me and kept me honest. I have no clue why I originally typed Heart of Darkness by Conrad? It's a good story but I favor Kipling more than Conrad.  No clue what I was thinking. I also got MacDonough spelt wrong too. I'm blaming the bourbon...  Thanks, Steve.

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23 February 20077

Blog Of The Day Awards Winner

Thanks to folks at World Famous Recipes who nominated me for the Theme-less Carnival. How cool is that?

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Us evil Christianists...We won't keep politics and religion separate. Just like this fellow here.

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Very evil and just for Doc: This is got to be the most amazing thing I've eaten in a long time - the recipe comes from the book Charcuterie and is from Le Pichet in Seattle, where I had it. Deep-fried Pork Belly Confit. Absolutely amazing. I got 6 pounds of pork belly on order for when Lent is over.

First we cure the belly in:

2 Tbsp ground black pepper

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp cloves

1/4 tsp allspice

3 bay leaves crumbles

10 sprigs fresh thyme

2 oz kosher salt

2 oz pink salt (Cure #1)

White Wine

Cut the belly into 1" by 3" pieces, toss the belly in a plastic bag with the cure mixture, and put in glass container. Cover with white wine. Let cure for 24-36 hours. 

Remove the pork and pat dry. Place in an oven proof container and cover with molten duck fat. Heat on the stove to a simmer and then cook for 3 hours in a 250F oven. After cooking, refrigerate overnight.

Remove from frig and take the meat from fat and wipe off excess. Let sit until room temperature and then deep-fry in either duck fat or canola oil at 375 until crispy and hot, about 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels and eat. Le Pichet serves it over chilled roasted beets with a drizzling of a cilantro sauce.

You know the goddess is headed out of town tomorrow...

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18 February 2007

Cheese Fare Sunday: Forgiveness Sunday

Great Lent Begins

"Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner."

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Carnival of Recipes: The Theme-less Edition

Shawn Lea asked if anyone could cover this weekend, and I made the mistake of volunteering without checking all the calendar. So no theme this time, no poetry, and no amusing stories. Just the recipes and dang if we didn't get about thirty of them this week. I am now sure God hates me.  So anyway, here we go:

From our lovely and talented coordinator, Shawn Lea, we have a white bean and turkey chili. Looks like I'd better buy two bottles of bean-o. While you are visiting Everything and Nothing, look at the spice lab. Nice idea but this mad scientist can't cook with just 7 spices.

From Bunny!, a recipe from the delightful Annamaria for cream of parsnip and potato soup. Looks like a great first course for one of these cold winter nights we seeing this year down here in Texas.

Michelle of Slow Cooker Recipes sends us Black Bean Soup. Looks yummy. I'll have to buy some bean-o.

From World Famous Recipes, Bill sends us one for a Thai Chicken Soup. He takes a different approach than I do and uses coconut essence and evaporated milk...Interesting.

Bill at Diabetic Recipes has an interesting looking recipe for a curried peanut soup.  It not only looks tasty and healthy but also is quick to make up.

My school cafeteria never had dishes like this and it was catholic too. Maureen at Trinity Prep School sends us the best cheese soup recipe. My youngest is already begging to try it.

Veggie Soup for the Soul - not another of those silly self-help books but a nice soup recipe from the folks at Disease Proof

Got to thaw some stock or soup?  Me-ander recommends the old fashioned way. (I've a micro-nuker myself)

From KeeWee's Corner of Western Washington comes a recipe for Southwestern Eggrolls with creamy enchilada dipping sauce. Hmmm. I normally avoid stuff that says Mexican, BBQ, or Southwestern when north of the Red River, but I think I'd try these.

Hmmm. I'm not sure if these are desserts or what. From Christmas Recipes, we have one for Banana Spring Rolls.

From Free Recipes online, we get a recipe for Diabetic Whole Wheat Apple Pancakes.  Low carbohydrates but really tasty looking.

Lionel of Lookin at Cookin sends us a recipe for thyme infused winter vegetables. It looks like a good alternative to my approach of rolling them in the drippings from a roast and cooking. Or duck fat. This however is actually Lenten and we'll have to try it as the Great Lent starts today.

Me-ander of the same named blog says she finally did it right. Apparently she learned to make rice from her daughter and finally made a batch that meets her child's approval.

A quick post from Martin Lindeskog reminds us its a new paprika season.

Speaking of spice, how about some spicy red beans to go with that rice above. Kathee from Slow Cooker recipes has a nice recipe. I'm glad I'm buying that bean-o.

A whole post dedicated on what to do with cabbage? No really. Melanie of Bean-Spouts has a lot lot of ideas for it in more ways with cabbage and to get kids to eat it. Some of these look really good...<sigh> looks like 3 bottles of that stuff.

From the Deputy Head Mistress of Heart Keeper's Common Room, we have a post on rainbow salad for winter. I've been eating salad for breakfast based on a running coach's advice and this looks like one to try. Especially with the mint.


Annamaria of Bunny sends us a recipe for seared chicken with a creamy mushroom and goat cheese sauce.   I know this woman and did she invite me? No. Did she send samples? Nope. Some people....

Larry of Public Secrets makes saurkraut, which is dang cool. I especially like the red cabbage based stuff you find in the Texas hillcountry so I'll have to give this a try. My grandmother would make this with caraway seeds but mother never did and I never learned. There's a recipe for pork chops buried in there so don't miss it.

It's cold down here so how about a chicken sausage onion pasta bake? Q from Akumakann Recipes sends us one that looks like just the thing for a below freezing evening.

Bill from RecipeRecipes sends us Spaghetti with Shrimp recipe. Another quick but tasty meal.

Now I never know Oscar from the Muppets was a chef, but Kathee sends us a link to Festive Chicken Oscar at Chicken Recipes. Looks good but I still don't get why its named after a muppet.

Lamb Chops with Balsamic Reduction sounds like a keeper. Another recipe from Bill at Famous Recipes that looks really good. Of course, if you read this blog, you'll know lamb is a preferred meat around this place.

Thelly at Chicken Recipes sends us a link to a recipe for a nice stir-fry. Cashew Chicken Stir-fry looks like another quick and tasty recipe.

Remember the time when real men didn't eat quiche? Sadly I do and I never understood it. Especially when you look at Start Cooking's recipe for Quiche with Ham and Cheese. Kathy's submission may be the first cooking video in the carnival.

Elisson, a regular contributor, got the meat cravings and shares a recipe for braised short ribs of beef and sides in his post entitled Valentinius: Ave Carne. Boy they look good. (First week of the fast and yes, the carvings are hitting.)

Cehwiedel from Kneadle Work submits a post on Beef with Cocoa Gravy (aka mole). Looks like a good slow-cooker recipe.

From In the Headlights, Riannan sends us a recipe for my favorite dessert, flan. Hers is a cinnamon flan and it looks lovely. I guess that diet can weight until tomorrow. After all, as it is Cheesefare, I can eat this today.

KeeWee of KeeWee's Corner also sent us a dessert this week and, wow, does it look impressive. While it seems pretty easy to make, pavlova sure would impress me as a treat. I'm not sure if this ran last week, but it looks good enough I'll run it anyway.

Maureene from My Writings and Musings sends in a recipe for a nice simple white cake. Since she, like me, is Eastern Orthodox and starts Great Lent today this will be her last chance to enjoy this dessert for a bit.

Arvind of Arvind Devalia's sends in something I think is a dessert. It sounds tasty anyway, and while he calls it a high energy food, I can't see it as gorp or a protein bar. Amenana is also called the food of the gods. Not quite ambrosia but close...

Mama Squirrel of Dewey's Treehouse sends us a post on an oddly versatile dessert: either a Valentine Treat or April Fool's Joke, It's a pizza cake!

That's it for this week. Next week we are visiting Slow Cooker Recipes.  Check the blog carnival for details. Thanks, Miss Shawn, for letting me play. I'm off to catch my flight now.

UPDATE: Randy reminds me that despite the saying there is excellent BBQ in Oklahoma as well ass good Tex Mex. Okay, so I was being a bit Texas-centric. However, I still won't eat the stuff north of Kansas City and the Mason-Dixon line.

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14 February 2007

Seattle: It's been hectic up here. Larry and I closed out a lot of open issues and hopefully laid some ground for my replacement too. I got the chance to do some visiting last night with an e-list friend, Aaron, last night and got my photo taken standing in the Pacific eating sushi for my buddy in Boulder. Aaron and his lovely wife were wonderful people. Aaron is active duty and had some great stories to swap. Hopefully our paths will cross again.

Larry and I had lunch at Le Pichet on 1st Street in Seattle the night before and it was amazing as always. The fried pork belly confit is unbelievably good, the sample plate of sausage, pates, and terrines was amazing, and I would sell my kids for the lamb-garlic sausage. Add that to Duke's Chowder tonight and I think I am gonna need some new jeans.

Lunch today was just fried chicken with Wendell, also know as Mr. Northwest Leather Sir. That's a long story and a great one. It was interesting to see the Microsoft campus and the site where offering are left to the great god Bill. Wendell was kind enough to offer me a couple hundred pounds of green pine for turning but it didn't fix into my luggage allowance, sadly.

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7 February 2007

Rural Oklahoma: I spent the day with Carl driving around east of Oklahoma City, working thru Stillwater, where we had lunch at Bad Brad's BBQ, and to Tulsa. I forget both how lovely eastern Oklahoma is and how pretty the girls are. There is just enough snow on the ground to remind you its winter. I could easily settle here, well, assuming I could find work since retirement isn't going to be an option for my generation.

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3 February 2007

State at Austin: We drove down to State in the third snowstorm Denton County had this winter. We got out  just in time because  the schools shut down the next day due to the weather.  Noah did the teenager thing and hung with his team the whole time, while the goddess, Ben and I hit Amy's, Book People, Marco Polo (Malay Chinese), Ironworks, and Mama Mam's (Thai).  Sadly both he and Nolan DQ-ed in their heats, Noah in the trials and Nolan in the finals. We got back tonight with a very tired teenager and a sick preteen.


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1 February 2007

Off to State: Noah's school had a pep rally for the swimmers today. It's kinda amazing that his team has only 10 members and 8 of them won places in TAPPS finals. It was a lot of fun, but even the seniors looks so young. We drive down tonight. The goddess and Ben to watch, me to work at a few accounts in the area. Unlike for the rally, this time I'll remember the camera.

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28 January 2007

Hmmm, foretelling perhaps:  From Chesterton's The Queen of Seven Swords - probably his least know works. It's pretty hard to find a copy. The one copy I know of was stolen from the Wesleyan library years ago. I've got a photocopy and my memory, but anyway I believe the ending of St. James of Spain goes:

Lady, if our own gold rotten what no man's iron could rend

Bronzed gold, dark wine of the dust, if we stiffened and stood at the end

A gilded skeleton army brittle and browned in the sun

Forget not what all have forgotten; this field was won.


Anyway this and this (follow the link thru the Instapundit site) made the first verse of the above stanza come to mind. Sometimes you can rot what can't be cut.

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Busy weekend: Yesterday, while I judged at Liberty's Junior High science fair, the goddess shuttled the boys between swim practice for Noah and basketball for Ben. We then tried to get the chores done before the evening stuff started. Last night we first attended Troop 140's Court of Honor where Noah received his Life Scout, a couple of required  merit badges, and his Alpha Omega award - the first Orthodox religious award given in his troop and his district.

We then attended Ben's bridging from Webelos into Boy Scout, where Ben received his Chi Rho Award (first in that pack)


his Arrow of Light award,

and then bridged over to Troop 140. The scoutmaster, Mr. Hayes, with Mr. Preston and Noah received Ben into Troop 140.  I thought that was so cool as I didn't get to do that for Keith.

Troop 140's OA group did the ceremony.   (I do need to get Jonathon to talk to them about the Delaware...)

Then this morning at church, Fr. Basil called the boys up to be recognized for the awards there too. So just a shing yi class this afternoon and then I can actually have some time to play in the shop on my projects.

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27 January 2007

Thanks to Mike and Jonathon:  Ben is bridging tonight into Boy Scouts and, like for his brother, I made a war arrow for him the old way. Mike sent me stone and willow, Jonathon lent me sinew, and I used feathers from a turkey I killed a few years back. So thanks, gentlemen (or maybe kin in Jonathon's case). I shot it a couple of times with a light old flat-bow I have to make sure it flew true (stayed in a pie tin at 20 yards), because after all it should be a real arrow...

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Swimming: It's official - Noah made state in both medley relay (butterfly) and 100 yard breast. Whoooo-rah!

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26 January 2007

Flowers in the winter: My little girl, Michelle, sent the goddess a bucket of flower bulbs for Christmas and we have been growing them in the kitchen. So what's that old ballad about when flowers bloom in the heart of winter? Anyway these are now blooming in our sunroom..


Olympus E500, detached flash, 35 mm Marco lens.

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Too much travel: Well, closing out the old job and moving into my new position is turning into a bundle of fun. It looks like I will be on the road every week for the next 6 weeks as I try and clean up my current position enough to move on to the new one, where I will be the global DMA god. Less travel long-term but short term is going to be a bear <he he>. Anyway, its started already and never mind blogging or mandoling, finding time to write and sleep has become an issue.

But my latest batch of jow from Bruce's recipe is done. So not everything is dark.

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19 January 2007

Home again: Finally back in Texas, and guess what its as cold as NE was. At least, Texas is currently snow free unlike Shelton.

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11 January 2007

Connecticut Nights: I'm up at our corporate HQ working on a new product introduction and been swamped so far. Hopefully I'll be able to shoot down to the city on the weekend or Monday night and see Uncle James, my shing yi teacher's class brother, although my legs are no way ready for a class. We've been so busy on stuff that both the mandolin and the book are slipping behind. Hopefully on the weekend I can catch up.

And yes, I am posting this in the middle of the night. Leg pain is keeping me up again, but I appear to be healing if slower than I like.

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7 January 2007

A new look: I decided to change this a bit as someone up North keeps telling me how light colors on a dark background is very un-cool. So we'll try this for a bit. I'm redoing the blog roll and getting rid of places I never go so that should be up in a bit. Its part of the changes going on in my work and hobbies this year. Blogging is going to be light for the next quarter but I'll still post some recipes and some pictures of the kids.

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Dinner Recipes: I got so busy with the therapy sessions, the following nap, and the work on the release of our new DMA that I never did get these posted. On New Year's Day we did a fairly traditional meal of stuffed mushrooms, roast beef, roast vegatables, and Yorkshire Pudding. I found out the goddess loves Yorkshire pudding. Who would have guessed? Ben however was quite disappointed as "those are biscuits, not pudding!"

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms:

3 5-6" Portobello mushrooms

1 cup olive oil with 2 tbsp garlic and 2 tbsp lemon juice added

1 pound venison breakfast sauage

2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

4 Tbsp butter

1 cup dried breadcrumbs (I used an commercial Italian flavored)

Scoop the center stem and the gills out of the mushrooms* and rub them in the olive oil. Add the remaining oil to a plastic bag and let the 'shrooms sit for 1-3 hours. Preheat an oven to 450. Wrap the mushrooms up in an Aluminum foil envolope and cook in the oven for 12-15 minutes until soft. Meanwhile, cook the sausage in a frying pan and pour off the grease. Add 1.5 cups of cheese and 1/2 a cup of breadcrumbs and mix well. Open foil and remove 'shrooms. Change oven setting to broil. Fill with cooked sausage mix and then top with remaining cheese and breadcrumbs. Cook under the broiler until topping is browned. Serves 2 people per mushroom as an appetizer.

I used this evil looking thing to the right. It's a carver's hook knife, used for making wooden spoons, etc and mine has been adopted by the kitchen because it scoops out the center of things like no one's business. You can get them here.

Prime Rib Roast Beef:

4 pound bone in Prime Rib Roast

1 Tbsp tomato paste

4 pounds uncooked bones (preferably beef but lamp or pork are okay)

3 large onions, cut into 1-2" thick slices

3 Tbsp olive oil

kosher salt to taste

2 Tbsp black pepper

Let roast warm to room temperature for at least 2 hours. Cut roast free of bones if not already done. Heat the oil in a skillet, salt and pepper the meat, and then brown the ends of the roast as well as the sides not off the bone until a dark brown. Retie the meat to the bones and put into a roasting pan sitting on top the onion slices. Rub the tomato paste on the bones and stack around the beef. Place in a oven preheated to 450 F and let sit 5 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 275 F and cook 1 hour. Check internal temperature to estimate remaining cooking time. It should be about 85 F. If it is, return to oven and cook 1.5 to 2 hours longer. Internal temperature should be about 135. Cook another 10 minutes while you start the pudding. Remove from the oven, collect fat from roasting pan and let rest under a foil tent until the puddings are in the last ten minutes. . Carve then.

Roast Vegetables:

6 large potatoes, cut into 1" pieces, unpeeled

1 pound baby potatoes

1 head garlic, unpeel

4 sticks of celery

1/2 cup olive oil

Toss vegetables in the olive oil and put in the bottom of the pan that the roast was in. Put into a 450 F oven and let cook for 20 minutes. Remove and drizzle remaining beef fat over the vegetables, flipping and turning them as you do. Return to oven and cook until fork tender, about another 15 minutes. These should be done right after the puddings. Toss into a serving bowl, sprinkle with fresh rosemary and serve.

Yorkshire Pudding

3 whole eggs

1.5 cups whole milk

1.5 cups unbleached flour

3/4 tsp salt

3 Tbsp beef fat

Beat eggs and milk together until smooth. Whisk flour and salt together and add to eggs.Beat until everything is just mixed and smooth. Cover and let sit for 1-3 hours.

Remove beef fat from roasting pan. Beat 1 Tbsp fat into batter. Divide remaining fat into 12 muffin pan cups. Heat pan with fat at 450 F for 3 minutes. Add batter quickly to cups and return to 450 F oven. Cook 20 minutes and lower temperature to 350 and continue for another 10-15. Remove from oven and quickly pierce each pudding with a skewer to release the steam. Remove from pans and serve immediately.

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