Slow Food….Pot Roast

Yesterday, I made pot roast in The Original Slow Cooker…Crock Pot. Carlos bought this for us 2 years ago.  Unfortunately, I don’t use it that often maybe 4 or 5 times a year.  The recipe booklet it came with is limited so I need to explore some others.  That may be why I don’t use it that often because other than the limited recipes, the pot is AWESOME.  Using a crock pot is sooo easy.  Just throw everything in, set it to low, let it cook for 8-10 hours, and you’re done!  If that’s too much time, you can blast it on high for 4-6 hours!

This recipe is taken directly from the booklet.  I modified it a bit because my kids don’t like the potatoes cooked this way and would prefer them mashed!  I need to clarify that: Max loves them and Little a not so much!

So here goes:

2-4 pound beef chuck roast

1/2 cup flour

salt and pepper

3 carrots, sliced

3 potatoes, quartered (I left this out and saved them for mashed potatoes)

3 onions, sliced

2 stalks celery, sliced

1 cup mushrooms (I omitted this…kids hate mushrooms..I kinda do)

1 cup beef broth (I didn’t have any so I used chicken broth)

This part is so cool because it’s SO FAST and SOOOO EASY…I love fast and easy! lol

1.  Coat roast with the flour, salt and pepper.  Sear roast in a pan on the stove.  They say this is optional, but I do this to seal in the flavors and make the meat moist! This is funny! I cooked bacon this morning and left some of the grease in the pan, hoping it will make the meat more flavorful :^)

2.  Place all veggies in the crock, except the mushrooms.  Add the roast and spread the mushrooms on top. Pour in broth.

3.  Cover and cook on Low for 10-12 hours or on High for 6-8 hours, or until tender.

There aren’t a lot of scraps for the Red Wigglers, but they’ll be happy with the carrot peels!

Dinner for the family and of course, the red wigglers!!!

Tonight, as a request from the family, I made a favorite dish.

Sausage, peppers, onions and garlic on a loaf of fresh bread with melted cheddar cheese is a very filling, non diet type meal, but oh man is it tasty!

While I was washing the peppers, I thought about writing this blog to show the scraps that would be fed to the worms.
As I am typing this, I have to avoid looking at the picture because I am so full and the sight of the sausage is making my stomach turn. I am not much of a sausage eater and decided a few recipes ago to change from pork to turkey. In this dish, you really can’t taste the difference. I think the veggies mask the flavor.
So after all of the slicing and dicing, this is what is left for the red wigglers. There is the onion’s top and bottom and a bit of its outer layer. Although many vermicomposters say to avoid onions, I have found that maybe one onion a week is not so bad.
There is also the center and top stem of the peppers. When it’s time for me to dump them into the worm bin, I will make sure to get rid of the seeds. Not that the seeds will harm the worms, they won’t eat them and will be left behind in the compost.
I thought it would be cool to share the final, yummy dish. The picture looks odd to me!! Not too appealing, maybe because I ate so much of it and I am full!!
On a side note, not worm related, I grew up eating this awesome sandwich at Italian Feasts on Long Island many, many years ago. So many memories come rushing back each time I start cooking!
Till next time, Happy Wormin’

Mysterious Veggie/Fruit plant growing in my garden!

Does anyone know what this is? It looks really healthy and thriving in my veggie garden. I didn’t intentionally plant this. There must have been a seed in my worm castings when I added the amendment to the soil.

I am not sure if I should let it continue or pull it. It reminds me of some sort of squash because there are yellow flowers underneath these massive leaves but nothing else seems to be growing?
If you are out there and reading this could you help me? hmmmmm
Happy Wormin’

Shredded Newspaper

Composting with Red Wigglers requires bedding material. There needs to be a mixture of green and brown waste. The green waste would be considered the veggie and fruits scraps and the brown waste would be the shredded newspaper/peat moss combination. In the past, I have been using a 50/50 combination for the bedding. This season I’ve changed the ratio to 75% newspaper and 25% peat moss. I want to mix it up a bit.

Making sure I do not have a lot of colored paper or the slick advertisements, I start the shredding process. Some vermicomposters like to use a paper shredder. I prefer to use my hands. Shredding the paper is very relaxing. I find myself day dreaming and traveling off to some tropical island. Any way! I wanted to share my new bedding material with you. I will keep you updated on the process and report if I made any changes.
Happy wormin’

Layering with newspaper

After browsing through my worm photos, I found this shot of me with my Super Composting Red Wigglers!

Boy, I have missed them during these cold winter days. I am feeding them, but not moving the bedding around too much as to not blast them with cold air. I am also not selling them until the weather warms up, probably March? I will keep the worm community posted!
Any way, back to the “Layering”. Sorry, I got off topic. A common thing lately! Geez… So, when I feed the worms the various, yummy kitchen scraps from the day/week, I throw the waste on the top of the bedding then sprinkle a little bedding on top. Then I finally cover the bedding/waste mixture with wet newspaper.
The newspaper blanket, I believe, blocks out the light so the worms with come to the top to feed. Knowing that red wigglers are surface dwellers, I think this helps them feel more comfortable. When they are relaxed and less stressed, I think they will eat more and will have less indigestion.
I love these red wigglers and what they do for the planet! So I want to give them the best eating experience. LOL!!!