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So this is what I did with my snow day:  The radio went off about eight.  I woke long enough to hear that my school is closed, turned the thing off and went back to sleep.  A while later I got up.  Coffee.  Breakfast.  Then I went down to the fridge in the basement, where I happened to have a bunch of beef shanks and soup bones.  (I picked them up at DLM Saturday on my way to my belly dancing/cooking lesson with The Lady Mayoress.  That may sound like I made it up, but I swear it’s the exact truth.)  I’ve been waiting for a chance to Do Something with them, but had been losing hope.  Cooking beef shanks takes time, and I wasn’t spending that much time at home unless I was sleeping.  I try hard not to cook while I sleep.  It leads to Bad Things.  Anyway, I digress…

First I put the beef shanks and bones in a hot oven for a couple of hours.  About halfway through when I turned them, I scooped the marrow out of the bones and had it on toast for lunch (mmmm…. beefy goodness!  Not suggested for persons with cardiac problems.)  After they’d gotten all brown and lovely and filled the house with good smells, I took them out.  I cut the meat off the bones and put it in a casserole dish with thyme, garlic, bay leaves, and peppercorns.  I put the bones in a big soup pot and set it aside.  Then I got rid of the grease, and deglazed the bottom of the roasting pan with red wine, scraping up every bit of the good stuff on the bottom.  I poured that over the meat in the casserole dish, added a can of tomatoes, and popped it back into the oven (on a lower heat) to get tender and soft and falling-apart in flavorful shreds.  Then I put onion, celery, a little thyme, bay leaves and peppercorn in the soup pot with the bones, filled it with water until the bones were covered, and set it over a slow fire on the stove.  The soup pot is still bubbling and simmering as I type, little by little turning into what will (perhaps by tomorrow morning) be meat glaze (or demi glace, if you want to be French about it), one of the richest tasting meat products ever known to man.

The meat in the oven came out about an hour and a half ago.  The Kiddo, my roommate, and I ate it for dinner, along with potatoes, mashed turnips (I like turnips), the juices the meat cooked in (what little hadn’t been absorbed by the meat), pickled beets, and orange wedges.  Oh, it was a good dinner.  The meat was everything I could have hoped for – so tender we cut it with table knives, so full of flavor you didn’t need gravy.  It takes seven hours’ cooking to make it that way, but it’s worth every second.  There’s lots of leftovers too.  I’m thinking that I’m gonna have a pot roast sandwich for lunch tomorrow.

I did a few other little things too, some laundry, some room tidying.  I looked at my homework, but I can’t say that I actually did much.  I did copy out the passage from the Bible that’s going to be the hinge in my paper on modesty & beauty, transitioning between the two discussions.  It’s a good passage, praising a good wife’s beauty, comparing it to the radiance from the candles that stand at the sides of the Arc of the Covenant in the Temple.  It’s like a woman’s beauty is something holy, something that belongs to God.  I like that.  I’ll write more about it later.

And that’s what I did with my snow day.

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