Monday, February 22, 2010

Never a Dull Moment

It's always something around here! On Thursday, I got in my van to pick Buddy up from school. And the key wouldn't turn AT ALL. I tried everything I could think of to get the ignition to turn over and nothing worked. I called the Evil Twin to pick up Buddy and I called AAA to take a look at my van.

They ended up towing it (dragging it onto the lift, because I couldn't move it out of Park and the front tires wouldn't move).

I was hopeful that I would get it back on Friday. The ignition thingy needs to be replaced. I got a call late on Friday saying they had the part, but weren't able to get to it, so they'd call on Monday when it was ready. At least I'll get it back at some point today.

Buddy walked home on Friday after school. It's only .7 of a mile and many kids on our street walk home. I guess he'll be hoofing it today, unless I get my van back sooner.

It stinks not having a vehicle, but we had the Evil Twin's Buick. He calls it his PawPaw car. It's a 2003 with about 29K miles on it. We inherited it after my mom passed away. It's nice, fully loaded. My dad was an old dude who loved his Buicks.

The Evil Twin took me grocery shopping on Saturday, so we're good for the week. Although it does seem strange to not be gearing up for a grocery run on Monday.

And, in other news, we had Pepper Steak in the crock pot yesterday. I will leave you with the recipe and then I'll put it on my recipe blog later. (I think I'm about a week behind on updating that). I still feel under the weather, tired, blah. My right lung hurts like someone is jabbing me with an ice pick every time I inhale. I *always* end up with pleurisy when the congestion moves to my chest.

Pepper Steak
1 1/2 to 2 lbs. beef round steak
2 tbsp cooking oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1 can (16 oz) tomatoes with liquid, cut up
2 large green peppers, cut into strips
1/2 cold water
1 tbsp cornstarch.

Cut beef into 3 in. x 1 in. strips, brown in oil in skillet. Transfer to slow cooker. Combine the next 7 ingredients, pour over beef. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours or until meat is tender. Add tomatoes and green pepper - cook on low for 1 hour longer. Combine the cold water and cornstarch to make a paste, stir into slow cooker and cook on high until thickened. Serve over noodles or rice.

This one has a few more steps than usual, but it is NOT hard by any stretch. This is my  mom's recipe and I follow it to the letter and serve it with rice. As you can tell, it's been loved on a lot! I think I need to transfer it to a card. I remember writing this down while on the phone with mom, so it's messy, but I can read it.

I'm working on a way to do her Swiss Steak recipe in the crock pot. That's the Evil Twin's favorite. Buddy pronounced the pepper steak to be his all time favorite crock pot recipe yet! High praise coming from a 12 year old!


  1. I really hope your garage isn't playing you on this one. You probably already know this, but if you park with your wheels cranked in some way that your vehicle doesn't like, it jams up your steering column, which leaves your ignition also jammed up. You just gotta crank your steering wheel hard in the same direction your tires are pointing, and voila, turn the key.
    But your mechanic wouldn't trick you on that, would he?

    Recipe sounds good !

  2. I think I'll try that recipe. I've never made that and I'm so sick of what's on our usual rotation for dinners. My husband isn't too adventurous w/food and would eat the same stuff over and over, but I like to mix it up.

  3. I hate having my car in the shop. The idea that I can't just hop in it and go somewhere drives me crazy. Same thing happens when it snows.

  4. I had no car for almost 2 weeks right after Christmas, all because they were waiting on a part. Talk about annoying. Not that I needed it much, but just not being able to go if I wanted to... That recipe sounds great, where is your recipe blog? Am I just being blonde and missing it? :)

  5. Didn't have a car for 2 months - bad, really bad.

  6. Didn't have a car for 2 months - bad, really bad.

  7. Sounds good, I'll take some! Hope the car comes home soon. Being stranded sucks!

  8. But do you know how to cook country ribs with a dry garlic rub on them? Becuase thats what I bought at the grocery store yesterday and I have no friggin clue how to make them!

    Hope the car comes back to you soon!

  9. I hate not having a vehicle because of repairs! I hope you get it back today!

    Hugs - Tiffany

  10. Powdergirl - No. I tried the wheel trick,the Evil Twin tried and the AAA guy tried. It wasn't in a locked position, it just wouldn't turn. Bleh!

    3M - Let me know if you like it.

    Jay - that's me too! I'm starting to get a bit twitchy.

    JB - The recipe blog is at:

    Crazy Mom - I can't imagine 2 months! I'm nuts over a couple of days! LOL.

    Ron - It does suck! I've been willing the phone to ring ALL day!

    Vinomom - the only thing I know about ribs is to cook them on low heat for a long time. Low and slow. I know, not much help, am I?

    Tiff - I hope so too! It's driving me batty!!

  11. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...Pepper Steak....keypad wet with drool....

    I know a lot about cars.

    They have a steering wheel and foot pedals and four tyres. You put fuel in they go.

    After that it's all a mystery...

  12. You need a backup car for just these occasions...something over the top sounds good I think! Maybe a 1971 dodge van, or an old Cadillac, etc

  13. I once had a beat up older than dirt Chevy stolen....I had to put a coffee can under an oil leak and would just put the same oil back in before driving off. when it was stolen for its new tires I cried for days. It is a weird feeling not having wheels.

  14. Hey, at least you are smart enough to write down the name of the recipe on the paper with the ingredients. Sometimes I find recipes I've written down, and look at the ingredients thinking, "what in the HELL is this called??".

  15. Hitting the steering wheel with my shoe and cursing really loud usually works for me. Of course it doesn't unstick the ignition but it does help with the darn stress in knowing that you are going to be late and your day has just been put in the "bad day" column for this week.

  16. I hate the feeling of being trapped in the house without a car. I am also still trying to figure out how you manage to survive with doing the supermarket only once a week. I am there every few days since I started cooking every night. I don't trust fish or meat to hang out in my fridge for more than a day or so, so I end up visiting to market or the butcher a few times all the time.

  17. Both mine and the hubs vehicles need to go in the shop right now. Luckily its not something that keeps them from running.

  18. So sorry you are still feeling bad! That thing has just taken a hold of you and hasn't let go!

    Get some rest...

  19. Hope the Mom mobile is back home in one piece! BTW- The Husband will love this recipe. I will have to try it this week!

  20. That happened to me last winter, but it turned out that it just got too cold. When it warmed up a little, presto!

    The pepper steak sounds delicious.

  21. Powdergirl is right. Sometimes when you pull the emergency brake on before putting the car in park, that happens. It happened to me, and I didn't need an ignition - so I hope they aren't just telling you that.
    I tried turning the wheel several times and finally it gave way and I could turn the key again.

  22. A friend of mine got married in Myrtle Beach this past October and we drove down so I could shoot the wedding. About 3 hours before the ceremony, we went to get a bite to eat but when we got to the restaurant my ignition wouldn't shut off. We could not turn the key no matter how hard we tried. We called a tow truck and they had to tow it while it was still running. The closest Saturn dealer is in Wilmington, NC, 70 MILES AWAY. The insurance company would only give us a rental in Wilmington, like that would do us any good while we were stranded in Myrtle Beach. We had to rent a car and drive to Wilmington, get my car, then drive back to Myrtle Beach to return the car, it would have been an extra $150 to return it in Wilmington. Luckily my car is still under warranty so the repairs were free, but we still paid over $100 for a rental car that we had for less than 4 hours and two extra nights in a hotel. I can think of worse places to be stranded though.