Thursday, October 13, 2016

The First Meal Cooked in our New Home

Let me tell you guys, this moving stuff is Hard Work!!!  It has been a looooong week of 12+ hour days and we are exhausted.

Yesterdays I was unpacking even more boxes (only 748 more to go) and Frank was hooking up the washer and dryer.  He called to me and asked if I had a minute.  I went to see what he needed and he held me close and we danced.

It was the first time in a week that we had stopped to breathe for just a moment.  It was the first contact we have had that didn't have to do with moving or cleaning or smiling at each other in passing.  Conversation has been limited to what we need to do, where we need to put things, what we need to fix, what we need to buy, who is waiting for the deliveries and who is running to the store.

You may have noticed that there was no Weekly Menu posted for last week.  It has been crazy here. Often our first meal has been at 2 or 3 in the afternoon when one of us brought home carryout that we picked up while running errands.  Dinner on Monday night didn't happen until 11:30 when we heated up some chili that our daughter, Amy, had brought out on Sunday for lunch during the move.

Each day has been carryout, sandwiches or restaurants but thankfully we are slowing down a bit.  All the essentials are in the house and put away.  We can now start going through the tons of boxes in the outbuilding at a more leisurely pace and breathe a little.

Yesterday, determined not to eat another meal out, I opened the freezer and pulled out the first package of meat I found, venison stew meat.  I plopped it in the sink to thaw and began unpacking.

When the hunger pangs struck I realized that, after pulling the venison out, I had not given another thought to dinner.  I went into the fridge and pantry to see what I had.  I pulled out an onion and some bell peppers.  I always have Gourmet Garden Herb Pastes in the refrigerator so I pulled out the chunky garlic and basil.  I grabbed a can of diced tomatoes, a can of Gumbo soup and some Orecchiette pasta and got to work.

I sauteed the onion, garlic and peppers in a little bit of olive oil.  

I added the venison that I had cut into bite sized pieces and seasoned with salt and pepper.

When the meat was browned, I added the tomatoes, soup, basil and pasta.

I let it simmer away until the pasta was tender and the liquid was absorbed.

Poured a nice bottle of Bordeaux to go with it.

We toasted our new home and all the hard work that we have been doing and dug in.  I don't know if it was because we were starving or if it was really that good but man, did we enjoy that meal!  Frank said "This is really good".  I thanked him and said I needed to come up with a name for it.  Frank suggested "Harold".  He is a funny, funny guy.  I decided on Venison Gumbo Goulash.  I hope you enjoy it.

I will be posting photos of the new home in the days to come.  I know that this is going to be a happy home for us.  The dogs are adjusted and relaxed.  We actually got to sit for a moment last night to watch Blindspot.  Do you watch that show?  We enjoy it.

The chickens have not made the move yet.  They are getting a new house too.  It arrived yesterday so Frank will get it assembled in the next day or two and we will move them over.  The kids that are living in our old house are taking good care of them for me and their folks have agreed to allow them to order up their own laying hens in the Spring.

Venison Gumbo Goulash

2 t. olive oil
1/2 small onion, diced
1 t. garlic paste (or one clove garlic, minced)
4 mini or 1 large sweet bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 lb venison stew meat cut into bite size pieces (can substitute beef stewing meat)
salt and pepper to taste
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (10 1/2 oz) can gumbo soup
2 t. basil paste or fresh basil, roughly chopped
6 oz. orecchiette pasta or pasta of choice
freshly grated parmesan cheese, if desired

Heat oil in large skillet over med high heat.  Add the onion, garlic and peppers.  Cook and stir until they begin to soften.  Season the meat with salt and pepper.  Add it to the skillet and sear until browned on both sides.  Add the tomatoes with their juices, the can of soup and the basil.  Stir, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.  Add the pasta and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes until pasta is al dente and the liquid is absorbed. Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan, if desired. Print Recipe


  1. Wonderful dinner for your first in the new house!!

    1. Thanks Paula, it was just nice to relax and enjoy a quiet night together.


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