When the sky gets to looking like this, it makes me happy if I’ve chosen a quick-to-make dinner. It makes my hands all sweaty and I get all stressy if I’ve opted for the longer route to supper.
Rancher and Uncle Fritz tend to plan their hay making activities around the forecasts, and I’ve kind of taken to watching them for my own reference in gauging how likely there is to be a power outage during dinner preparation. If a nasty system is coming up from the Tri-Cities or somewhere, I’m going the 30-minute route. Danger is not my middle name.
Take a few weeks ago. All I was trying to do was go out and look for deer (I like big bucks and I cannot lie), so rancher and I took off to a spot above the alfalfa field to see what we could see. Rancher proceeded to text back and forth with his best friend who is a wheat farmer who lives and farms about five miles west of the ranch as a crow flies (as a car drives is another story), and all of a sudden Rancher indicated we were not in a favorable location for what he expected to hit us momentarily. So, we sped back to the house.
This is an opportune time to introduce you to another ranchy blogger I’ve been meaning to tell you about, Cheri over at the My Ranch Life blog. Cheri captures her ranch life out here in the Channeled Scablands near us through incredible pictures and entertaining stories and shares them on her blog. Read just one post, and the other thing that will jump out at you is her passion for ranching – her love for the life just oozes from every post. Read her. Follow her. Get to know her. You’ll be glad you did. What does this have to do with the storm? Well, they got hit with the same one, and she got some awesome photos (see above), and summarized what happened next with the title of her post: Holy Dust Storm.
So what is one to do when a wall of dust is barreling at you? Close the doors and windows (don’t forget the cars and trucks!). Then, get to finishing the dinner before the wind that carried all the dust your way takes the power on your stove top away! Miraculously, our power just flickered and went down briefly, but I stand by the strategy of short cook-time meals when the weather is looking ominous.
Here’s the part of the post that is going to blow your mind: I made a recipe using every, and only the ingredients listed. For once, Yoda did not apply. This recipe has a lot going for it. It took full advantage of the fresh garden items I’d just scored, namely a bunch of basil from Nana’s (Rancher’s grandma who is our next door neighbor) garden and tomatoes from a farm stand. It only calls for eight ingredients – including salt and pepper.
The verdict: Fresh. Flavorful. Satisfying, but light at the same time. I am so glad I didn’t add an onion or some other compatible ingredient I had laying around. And there is more where this came from. I have a few of these 30 Meals in 30 Minutes or Less booklets laying around. Leave a comment below if you could use one and I’ll send it your way!
Fresh Tomato, Beef & Bowtie Pasta
Total Recipe Time: 25 minutes
- Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add Ground Beef and garlic; cook 8 to 10 minutes, breaking into 3/4-inch crumbles and stirring occasionally. Pour off drippings.
- Stir in tomatoes, salt and pepper; cook over medium heat 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add pasta and basil; toss. Sprinkle with cheese.
Cook’s Tip: Cooking times are for fresh or thoroughly thawed Ground Beef. Ground Beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F. Color is not a reliable indicator of Ground Beef doneness.