7 Quick Takes (#19)

7 quick takes sm1 Your 7 Quick Takes Toolkit!

1) 6 more weeks of winter?  

That's quite alright with us!!  We are loving the weather!!!


2) Leo is really getting into Hide'n'Seek.  He begs Dad to play with him every day.  And Elena has it ALL figured out!


3) I BRAVELY decided to bite the bullet and use the beef tallow I rendered.

I made sure Jason was 3 towns away, safely breathing in the polluted air of the city, while I popped open a tiny jar of this...uh...beefy schmutz.

I thought hash browns would be a delicious way to inaugurate the tallow.

But after 10 minutes of stirring and stirring, I ended up with this: some starchy potato balls and a brown pot...

I just can't win with this stuff!!  But the upside is that the flavor was good.  The smell was unnappealing again, but mild.  And my friend over at City Wife, Country Life solved my problem with the tallow by letting me know why it smelled so bad:

  • Okay I did it.  Finally...And the smell was so bad we nearly died.  My husband gagged more than once.  Did yours smell bad?  I will say that when I made beef broth from the bones of this same cow, the smell wasn't that good either.  We were really surprised it didn't smell good!  So I'm wondering if it was the particular cow fat we used or if we were just not ready for that smell to take over our house!  Now I am too scared to open one of the jars and heat up the oil.  Is that smell going to come back when the fat is heated up again???
  • Grass-fed beef, right? Here's the deal (which I suppose I should've mentioned in the post, hehehehe), grass-fed beef fat, even on the cuts of meat, is often (nay, usually?) nastybecause the butchers don't hang it long enough. Most grain-fed beef you buy in the store is aged for three weeks or so which makes the fat taste a lot better, but usually small grass-fed operations don't spring for that kind of hang time at the butcher's, resulting in nasty fat.

    Rest assured, the fat isn't rancid (well, I guess I can't give you a 100% guarantee of that, but I'd bet $$ on it), it's just not been hung long enough. Here's the other deal: it WILL smell nasty again when you cook with it, but it won't taste bad on the fried food.
    Mind you, I don't use tallow to fry delicate foods (like fried shrimp) but I fry chicken fried steak in it, fried chicken and french fries. Once the frying smell subsides (which it does, with candles, hehehe), it's really a delicious meal.

    If you ever venture to try this again, try to find a farmer who hangs his beef for at least two but preferably three+ weeks :).


4) I am 38 weeks and 5 days along.  I am struggling with insomnia and a whole lot of hip pain but I feel like I am finally ready for some good and strong contractions!  I cooked 4 lbs of ground meat, a whole chicken and a chuck roast and bagged individual portions for quick meals after the baby comes.  Heating up some water and making rice or pasta and steaming a vegetable will be so simple with the meat portion taken care of.  In the hopes that this baby will make a timely arrival, I am dubbing next week "Birth Story Week."  I haven't yet shared my birth stories on my blog and I know most of us moms are birth story junkies.  So, expect three birth stories (there's the optimism!) to come next week :) 

Leo - born at 40 weeks & 4 days
Elena - born at 40 weeks and 2 days

5) All day every day:


6) Conversations with the kids

Elena: Mama - You nant some Poop?  Mmmmmm...so wicious poop!!

Me: Leo, I am so proud of you for going to sleep and staying in your bed.  You know who else is so proud of you?  Jesus!
Leo: Uh, Jesus died in the church.
(Leo's first catechetical lesson was a fail...)


7) There is so much to say about the Susan G. Komen drama and the birth control mandate for Catholic organizations by the Obama administration.  Instead of stepping onto a soapbox, I'll just leave you with some links:

"I cannot even believe the news I just read. Did you hear? The Obama administration just issued a press release stating that, beginning in 2013, all Hindu organizations will be required to purchase shares of beef for all of their employees as part of an employee benefit package."

"In case there are any doubts as to my claim, I will give it to you straight: I hold that you are prohibiting the free practice of Catholicism in this country, and that you are thus, categorically speaking, a tyrant."

“To force American citizens to choose between violating their consciences and forgoing their health care is literally unconscionable. It is as much an attack on access to health care as on religious freedom. Historically, this represents a challenge and a compromise of our religious liberty.”

"So to break it down even further, Susan G. Komen for the Cure only spends a possible 53% of it’s research funding for a cure, or — about 11% of total revenue. Donate a dollar “for the cure?” Only about a dime of that will go toward research that might actually be designed to cure cancer, through allopathic medicine that is driven by the pharmaceutical system."

"So in effect Susan G. Komen for the Cure is helping to sell deep fried fast food and in so doing, helping to fuel unhealthy diets and obesity across America, an odd plan given that diet and obesity certainly impact on both the incidence and recurrence of breast cancer."

Okay - I don't like to politicize this blog so this will be the end of it, but I will end with something my friend Elizabeth wrote perfectly on a Facebook debate:

An organization that does 9,999 things right and good for people but does 1 thing truly evil (killing people) is an organization that should not be supported. For instance, if you lived in the 1930's and 1940's would you support the Nazi party with your personal funds? After all, they provided a welfare system for the poor, campaigned against smoking, and advocated for animal rights -- http://listverse.com/2011/01/31/top-10-things-the-nazis-got-right/ These are good things indeed. After all, the government should help the poor, say that smoking is bad for you, and promote proper treatment of animals. But hold on a second, they tortured, killed, and almost eradicated a populous within their borders during Hitlers regime. That changes the tune quite a bit, I'd say. So the question is, how many good things can a nation/organization/person do to cancel out the worst possible evil? I say zero. If I go and kill my husband in cold blood I should still go to jail even though I am also the best mom in the world.


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