Thursday, April 23, 2015

Push that Mortgage, Baby!!!

So here's the deal. I'm down to $3828 on my mortgage and had an idea. I called the bank that holds the mortgage with this question: "Right now, you've got about $1200 in escrow for this year. After May and June payments--assuming I can make them (please universe, let that happen)--you will have about $1800 in my escrow account. If I pay the principal down to just below what my escrow is, can that escrow be applied to my loan to finish paying it off?"
    The banker, speaking to me from Bangladesh, asked a supervisor and came back with a "Yes, you can be doing that. So long as your escrow is at least one dollar larger than what you owe, that will be fine."
    Which means if I can make two payments at the rate I've been paying, about $600 monthly in additional principal, I might just be free of the whole mortgage by June 1. Plus, turns out my home insurance has been pre-paid through the end of the year. I'll never get rid of the taxes and insurance, but I am starting to get excited about having this stone of a mortgage off my neck. That would be excellent!
    Oh, and since I had to see the doc about my leg this morning, I decided to get my shopping out of the way after the appointment. I wasn't really thinking I needed to cook much tonight, what with the fantastic meat loaf we've got left over, but then I saw sheep breast. It's a cut that looks suspiciously like ribs with a layer of fat left on them, but it is a cut I've never seen in a store before. And a 2.5 pound slab cost $4.91, so I couldn't really go wrong--except for killing the sheep, of course.
    I washed it and cut celery stalks to make a rack for the meat to sit on, then looked up cooking times: Appears to be about 2 hours at 300 degrees, then 20 minutes at 450 to brown the fat side. Cool. I've got a meeting this afternoon in Fort Worth and can put it in at maybe 280 degrees just before I leave and it should be near perfect by the time I return.
    For cooking, I sauteed garlic, onions, diced yellow and red peppers, and tomatoes in olive oil, then mixed that with sea salt, cracked black pepper, a bit of hot curry and some fantastic cumin. When it looked/tasted right, I rubbed both sides of the breast with it--sort of smearing the mix all over it--then put it on the celery stalk rack (celery as a bed to cook on keeps meat moist and lends a bit of a sweet flavor) and covered the baking dish with silver foil.
    It's ready to go whenever I leave. If it sucks, the dogs will have a great treat. If it's great, Madeleina and I will have a great treat. Somebody's gonna be happy. I see that as a win-win. Have a great meal tonight, everyone!

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