Friday, October 31, 2014

Meal No. 1123: Hamburger Supreme for the Crews

I had a few days off this week, and there are two crews working full time while I'm home: Ricky and Nubee Sneed and Brandon Rogers from Clemmons Flooring, LLC, and the Mearns brothers from Estate Plaster, Inc. I had a hankering to put a lunch on the table for them and yesterday at mid-day I made a recipe-and-a-half of the Glynn Johnson casserole that we call Hamburger Supreme. We dug it.

Today at mid-day, the Clemmons Flooring guys insisted on bringing the lunch. Brandon had made smoked pork ribs and chops, and Nubee brought slaw and broccoli and rice casserole. They had enough to also include the Mearns brothers from the plaster restoration team. We feasted on this good Friday.

"Hamburger Supreme," from the late Mrs. John T. (Glynn) Johnson of Buies Creek, North Carolina, via Janice Jones Bodenhamer.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Meal No. 1122: Pork Medallions with Dijon Mushroom Sauce

This meal from last night is a faithful trooper on the list of Roediger House regulars: pork medallions in a dijon mushroom sauce. Usually canned mushrooms are the easy reach on this, but I went ahead and sautéed fresh mushrooms along with minced shallots. Jasmine rice and lima beans were decent sides but I always wish I'd made more goop when this dish finds its way to the plates.

"Pork Medallions with Dijon Mushroom Sauce," by Frank Hollands of Minnesota. From Pillsbury Classic Cookbooks' A Taste of the BAKE-OFF Issue from March 2001, p. 40-41.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Meal No. 1121: Grilled Veal Chops

For what is likely to have been the last pretty day of fall, with unseasonably warm temps and light breezes, I just wanted to grill out last night. The veal chops were on sale and looked good, and with homemade mashed potatoes and perfectly-cooked asparagus, this was quite the feast for a Tuesday evening.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Meal No. 1120: Penne alla Vodka

Last night's dinner was decided rather late, without a trip to the grocery, which left me with limited choices based on what I had on hand that wouldn't take too long. I was reminded of a pasta dish that I had made only a couple of times, the last of which was nearly four years ago. It fit the bill and left me satisfied and with the pasta sleepies.

Ladies and gentlemen: I give you penne alla vodka, Roediger House style:

"Perfecting Penne alla Vodka," by Rebecca Hays. In Cook's Illustrated, Number Eighty-Three, November & December 2006, p. 10.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Meal No. 1119: Juicy Burgers on the Grill

It's Monday and a day off for me, which means I got to be at home all day while the Roediger House was hosting two crews: Clemmons Flooring, LLC, and Estate Plaster, Inc. It's also a phenomenally gorgeous October day with bright sunshine, light breezes, and warm temps. All that adds up to an absolute necessity that burgers be grilled and that the guys all sit down for a bit and share a meal. There were still some of those good dulce de leche cheesecake bars on hand for dessert. It all seemed to go over reasonably well.

"Grilled Juicy Burgers," from Pillsbury Classic Cookbooks recipe magazine.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Meal No. 1118: Lamb Meatloaf

Seven good folks around the table last night celebrated a birthday, feasting on a menu of lamb and multi-mushroom meatloaf, slow cooker sweet potato casserole, layered green bean casserole, and dulce de leche cheesecake bars.

Mighty good, that.

"Lamb and Multi-Mushroom Meat Loaf" (p. 150), in Tupelo Honey Cafe: Spirited Recipes from Asheville's New South Kitchen, by Elizabeth Sims with Chef Brian Sonoskus. Kansas City: Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC, 2011.

"Sauce Poivrade alla Marsala or Madeira," from More Than Gourmet.

"Layered Green Bean Casserole," from my sister Allison in Rossville, Indiana.

"Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping," from Southern Living Slow-Cooker Cookbook. Birmingham, AL: Oxmoor House (2006), p. 234-235.

"Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars," by Cindy Mushet. In Bon Appétit, June 2010, p. 96.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Meal No. 1116: Patty Melts

I've been gone since Sunday, which itself was a tough day because of having to clear out the disaster that was my study. Coming in from a full and long and good week of work with Virginia Beach City Public Schools, I was ready to get back into my kitchen, even if it meant serving dinner as late as 9:30 at night.

It couldn't be too complicated, and patty melts just sounded right to me.

Classic Burger Sauce
from Cook's Illustrated, July-August 2008, p. 11.
4 T mayonnaise
2 T ketchup
1 tsp sweet pickle relish
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Refinishing the Upstairs Bedroom Floors

Ricky and Nubee Sneed of Clemmons Flooring, LLC, have been tackling flooring, mantles, wainscoting, and trim in the house on and off for the last few months. You've had a chance to spot their handiwork in the following previous posts:

The Fantastification of the Front Doors
Floor Refinishing: The Upstairs Hallway
Refinishing the Master Bedroom Floors

That's not all they've done at this point, and there's more for me to post to the blog in the future. Today's entry will catch you up on the rest of the upstairs floor refinishing.

The Wyeth Bedroom

After plaster restoration and before floor sanding and refinishing.

Ricky and Nubee Sneed doing the initial sanding.

I wish you could smell how amazing this was.

Putting down the primer coat.

The finished product sure is pretty.

The Dali Bedroom

Before plaster restoration and before floor refinishing.

Close-up of Dali bedroom floor.
First sanding of the Dali bedroom floor.

First sanding of the Dali bedroom floor.

The mark of an errant ember or coal shard from long ago that, fortunately, did not burn down his beautiful house.

The finished product in the Dali bedroom.

The Van Gogh Bedroom

After plaster restoration and before floor refinishing.
The perimeter has to be hand-sanded.

Ricky and Nubee trying out different shades of stain to match newer replacement planking (on the right) with older boards.

Applying the primer coat.
The gorgeous finished product.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Back in the Master Bedroom!

It's been over six weeks that I've been out of the master bedroom, and this past Saturday I finally got to move back into it.

During that time, a couple of very important things have happened. One was the plaster restoration and repair, which I blogged about back in mid-September. That took almost two weeks. The other was the sanding and refinishing of the bedroom floor, which was blogged about this week. The process took only about three days, but then the floors needed a three-week cure time before rugs could be put down. In the meantime, the bedroom has been temporarily set up first in the North Parlour (also, previously blogged about), and in the dining room:

I had bought a couple of oriental rugs two or three years ago at the Belk tent sale, and one of these was for the bedroom. I never even untied it because I knew the bedroom was eventually going to be renovated and restored and painted and all. It's in place now:

Another step that was necessary was to get the bed frame (that I obtained with the rest of my bedroom suite from eBay a decade ago) reworked for it to serve a California King-sized mattress. Mr. Kent Grubbs of Grubbs Woodworks took that on for me and I was able to pick it up a week ago. Part of this past Saturday was spent assembling it:

The mattress set arrived late Saturday afternoon and I'd already bought bed linens on a good sale at JC Penny a few weeks ago, and here's the finished look:

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Refinishing the Master Bedroom Floors

This is what the master bedroom floor looked like back in the middle of September:

On the righthand side of this photo, near the small rectangle for the supplemental HVAC return, and in front of the bathroom door at the right, is where there was a terrible patch of chewed up floor. (I blogged about this, as well as the way that floor is built, back in 2010.) There were also some dark stains, like the one you can see in the upper left off the front corner of the fireplace hearth tile.

The last week of September, Ricky and Nubee Sneed of Clemmons Flooring, LLC, tackled this job and made these floors beautiful again:

The end of the three-week curing period came over the weekend, which means I got to move back into this bedroom at long last. More about that tomorrow.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Disaster That Is My Study

For 11 years now, I've had designs on the northeast front corner room upstairs to someday become my study. Ever since I moved into the Roediger House, though, it has been a storage and junk room. No small number of boxes (dated 1987, after I graduated from college, or 1996, when I left my job as a middle school teacher to begin PhD studies at the University of Virginia) had moved from one place to another place to another place, without ever being unpacked. Some of those boxes were moved from my faculty apartment at Wake Forest University and deposited in this room upstairs when I bought the Roediger House in 2003.

When I left my position at WFU to become a full-time educational consultant, I had to put all my accumulated files and books somewhere, and that also all went into my study. Here's what it looked like this past Saturday:

Philip Lamachio of Estate Plaster is ready to put the Mearns brothers onto this, once they finish the last rooms downstairs. And I want Ricky and Nubee Sneed of Clemmons Flooring LLC to also get going on these floors and the mantle in there. So I had to get all this cleared out this past weekend before hitting the road for Virginia Beach for a week of work. I did it, but it wasn't easy:

It had to go somewhere so, even though I just got the Van Gogh guest room replastered and the floors and mantles refinished, it's now had to become a new and every-bit-as-disastrous storeroom:

Moving all that stuff did allow me to stumble across a number of things that had been tucked away, including a stack of undeliverable returned mail that I'd sent out to former 7th grade students at the time of their high school graduations. Fortunately, a number of those folks are now on Facebook so I ought to be able to track down addresses so I can send those out again! That oughta be a blast from the past, since it includes an essay about the importance of education that they wrote for me as one of their first 7th grade assignments.

Oh, and I also found this article from the Sanford Herald, published October 10, 1975:

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Meal No. 1115: Brendan's Moroccan Bistro Chicken

Last night's meal for a small gathering of folks was meant to be a one-bowl meal, because we'd talked about maybe watching a movie while we ate. We didn't do a movie after all, and instead ate at the kitchen table, where the fellowship was good. For our Saturday night supper, I returned to a recipe from former student Brendan Shanley, which I just call Brendan's Moroccan Bistro Chicken, whether he likes that name or not. It's delicious over quinoa.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Meal No 1114: Penne Pasta with Tomato-Gorgonzola Sauce

Last night's simple dinner was a fast favorite of the house:

"Tomato-Gorgonzola Sauce with Pasta Shells," from Cuisine at Home, October 2007 (clipping).

Friday, October 17, 2014

Meal No. 1113: Simple Beef Chili with Beans

It was nice to have a weekday at home, after four days of work up in Frederick and Shenandoah Counties in Virginia. I decided to throw on a pot of chili for a mid-day meal for me and the guys from Estate Plaster, Inc., who are doing such a fantastic job on the plaster restoration and repair of all the rooms and hallways of the original part of the house.

Alongside, the really tasty and moist honey wheat cornbread from a recipe shared with me by friend and former Wake Forest colleague Linda Dunlap.

"Simple Beef Chili with Kidney Beans," from Cook's Illustrated, Number Sixty-One [March-April 2003], p. 10-11.

"Granny Wilson's Cornbread," shared by Linda B. Dunlap in 2006.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Meal No. 1112: Poached Salmon

It was a good week of work this week, split between Frederick and Shenandoah Counties in Virginia. When I drove in tonight, I stopped off at Walkertown and grabbed some grub at the Lowe's Foods there. I didn't plate dinner until about 9:45 pm, but it was well worth the wait: poached salmon filet with chilled rosemary dijon cream sauce, quinoa, and baby Brussels sprouts. It was washed down with a cold Bell's Best Brown Ale. Life's pretty darned good here at the Roediger House.

"Poached Salmon," in The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook, compiled and edited by Julie Fisher Gunter. Birmingham, AL: Oxmoor House (1999), p. 216.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Departure Face, Featuring Cyprus

Cyprus certainly knows how to issue a stern look of disapproval when I'm packing to head out of town.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Needs in a Pod

With the floor refinishing and the plaster restoration going on simultaneously, I was reminded that this great big old house is really only so big. Clearing out the entire upstairs for the floors to be sanded and refinished, except for the disaster I call my study, plus selected rooms in turn to undergo plaster restoration, necessitated a little extra storage:

I've now moved into a second month with this onsite, and I'm thinking I might not be done with it for a bit longer.

But great progress is being made, my friends, and the house is looking fantastic.