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My Love Affair

As you all know, we are busy preparing to hit the road south in our RV. I only learned today we are leaving Sunday. I thought we were leaving Monday. No one (i.e. DT) tells me anything. Now I am super-crushed for time and am worried how I will fit-in my Lunch With Pam and a pedicure into my busy schedule this week. (Oh! The Pressure!) My Driver has now taken on the additional role of My Running Coach and allowed me an "easy" day, after my 4.25 miler yesterday - only two miles today. Seriously, at this point, it is hardly worth getting dressed and lacing up the NIKEs to run only two miles... but I am following his program. Dutiful Wife. My Coach is giving me the Day Off tomorrow and I am so excited. This is especially convenient because tomorrow I have Lunch With Pam!

In other news around Taylor Manor - our beautiful early Spring is gone. We had a freeze overnight. Skunks (it is critter mating season) were busy behind our house last night stinking up the joint. It rained all day. Ordinary February has returned. The Lovely Lisa spent her weekend in Merced with our California family and is now back in El Lay. My Dad has driven his motorhome to Yuma. Dad is beginning his adjustment to traveling solo after nearly 60 years with a co-pilot. Send your good thoughts to My Dear Dad, Sweet Readers.

Now on to my Love Affair. I have not run off with George Clooney. Jimmy Buffett and I are not crusing the Caribbean on his sailboat. I have not jetted-off to Jamaica with Usain Bolt.

I am in love with my vacuum sealer. 

George, Jimmy and Usain pale in comparison to my vacuum sealer. Mere mortals.

We went to our local New Seasons Market today to load-up for our upcoming RV road trip. As you know all too well, I am particularly picky about the meat we consume, so this afternoon we chose natural, free-range, organic, whatever... beef, lamb and chicken for our little trip. New York steaks, beef stew meat, lamb chops, Mediterranean Lamb Loaf, Chicken breasts, Whole Chicken Legs (with thigh), turkey-sage breakfast sausage... just a few choice items to enjoy while we are on the road. Our butcher asked where we were off to this time.

We answered: South.

He sighed.

But how does a Modern Girl take all of this animal flesh conveniently in a small RV freezer? Well, she compresses it in her Foodsaver vacuum sealer, of course!

Here are two grass-fed, organic, hormone-free, antibiotic-free, massaged by virgins, New York steaks - before vacuum sealing. I use the label from the butcher and stick it on the plastic bag. Easy.

And here we have the same steaks, compressed, air-tight, vacuum-sealed and ready for the RV freezer. Greatest thing about preparing foods in the vacuum-sealer? They thaw in virtually moments in a sink filled with water. Minutes instead of hours! You can also add a marinade or fresh herbs to the meat before vacuum-sealing for even more convenient future cooking.

This is one pound of Turkey-Sage Breakfast Sausage. Flattened to nearly nothing - it travels well in the RV freezer.

That chore finished, it was time for dinner. I needed to caramelize red onions. Luckily I am good at multi-tasking, as it apparently is suddenly National Martini Day! (Just kidding.)

GO DUCKS!

I wish.

Today, I really cheated at dinner and purchased a package of prepared Wild Mushroom Agnolotti from Buitoni. This product totally breaks all my rules of dining - but the listed ingredients only contain a few that are usually off-limit. (The Buitoni Mushroom Agnolotti have been heavily advertised in every food magazine this month.) The mushroom-stuffed pockets were surprisingly delicious too. 

I caramelized red onions and garlic and then added sliced crimini mushrooms, fresh thyme, kosher salt and freshly-cracked black pepper. After everything was browned and savory, I deglazed the pan with a little white wine. The mushroom combination was added to a plate with the boiled pasta packets and garnished with a bit of fresh thyme and grated parmesan. Pretty and delicious.

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