Sunday, November 8, 2009
I then sterilize some quart jars and two pint jars and stuff the kraut into them. Seal with ball lids/rings and into the BWB for 20 minutes. Now they sit, like silent soldiers, on my counter telling me....you did this. But, and the big but is this.....from two massive heads of cabbage and a month and a half of waiting, I acquire only four quarts and one pint of sauerkraut. Was it worth it? I'll let you know.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
We are finally coming out from under it all. November is the month of the All Souls Novena......we remember those we lost and celebrate those who we still have. We thank God that He is good all the time. He brought us to October and He brought us thru it. As a parting shot, October bombed my washing machine....it gave up the ghost (should I add it to the Novena? -wink,wink). It owed us nothing as we only had it 13 years, but we could do without having to outlay another $500 on top of paying $500 to get one car ready for winter and inspected, and $500 to fix yet another car because it started to slowly fall apart on us....nothing like $1500 of unforseen expenses with the holidays coming up....BUT, as I said, God is Good...All the time....ALL the time God is Good. Cars, washers and the like are inanimate objects, not worth losing sleep over as they can be replaced.
Now, November calls. I have drapes to hang, a house to clean for the holidays and finally that damnable sauerkraut to get out of the bucket? Any takers for some?
Sunday, October 25, 2009
"Intellectual men who quickly wolf down whatever nourishment is necessary for their bodies with a kind of disdain, may be very rational and have a noble intelligence, but they are not men of taste."Sainte-Beuve, Charles Augustin (1804-1869) French historian
Friday, October 23, 2009
I will post more about what else is going on (new grandbaby and all).....but to keep you rolling...I 'baked' 3 rather large pumpkins. Made enough pumpkin stuff to bake umpteen pies. Found a seriously good, but rather easy recipe on Allrecipes.......
A box of spice cake mix
2 cups pumpkin
3/4 cup water.
Mix together, bake in muffin tins. Yummy. Too easy to be that good.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Yesterday wasn't one of the best. I got another notice from Unemployment. My former employer contested my unemployment, I had a hearing in August, and since no one from the company showed up, the judge made a determination in my favor. They appeal led saying it was unfair (unfair that they actually had to show up) and to reschedule. The state agreed to let them state their side, but it would be tinged with the fact that they blew off the former meeting and allow me to question their motives. I am confident that it will still go my way, but I have to take time out and run 20 miles out of my way for a 10-15 minute hearing. That, and it falls right in the middle of the one time during the week I usually go to a Ladies Bible Study...any other day of the week I am at home trying to ignore the dishes, laundry and dust bunnies. Thursdays I go out. It is scheduled for Thursday. Since I was bummed, I do what I usually do when I'm out of sorts....I cook. Dinner was as follows:
Bacon wrapped pork chops, rubbed with a dry rub (salt, black pepper, gran. garlic, cumin, chili powder and paprika - there IS measurements in the recipe, but I just eyeball it, this way if you want more garlic -you make yourself happy, etc.) and broil until done (I used 175 internal temp as done). I served Spanish rice and corn with this.....Made enough for dinner and Joe's lunch today (I always make a platter of food for him to take to work the next day). I thought there would be chops left for my lunch or the kids after school, but I was WRONG. I left them out to cool while I went to a meeting last night and asked Joshua to put them up for me. He did.....nom, nom, nom.....when I came in I asked where the chops were....He burped.
Baby boy is front and central lately. We are having all sorts of issues with his school and I am back and forth with them. It all sounds petty taken individually, but when you add up what is going on, I am a raw nerve. Yesterday I had to go to school to find out WHY he owed lunch money. His school uses a debit system. You put money on the account, they swipe their ID card and the lunch is debited to his account. Last school year, he had THREE ID cards stolen from him. Rather than being concerned that there was a thief in their midst, the school was more concerned with me paying $5 a pop to get him a new card. When school started this year, I just gave him cash for lunch each day, no need to use the card. Finally, they gave the kids the new IDs for this year. I give him enough money for a week's worth of lunch in the form of a check (yes, people still write checks) to put on his account. He deposits it and is told he has $6 available to him. How? He hasn't used the account, it should not be in the negative. When they checked the records, his card has been swiped a number of times up to that date. Gee, I wonder who was swiping his card, since he was paying cash for his lunch and didn't even have a card....In order to get to the cafeteria, I have to run the gauntlet of getting thru the office. Now at this school, you get buzzed in, must report to the office, turn in keys and ID to get a visitors pass and must detail where exactly you are going in the school.....I go in, plop down my keys and ask do I have to check my guns, knives, heavy artillery and pike poles as well. I think they know me by now and get 'no, just your keys will suffice'. I go to the cafeteria, find out that they will monitor his card 'usage' and I will continue to send cash with him daily, hopefully they will catch the culprit. The office, however, still feels it is Joshua's fault for LETTING someone steal his card. Oh well.....
Momma is bummed again. So, tonight is whole roasted, seasoned chicken, mashed potatoes and a green veg. I may even make 'nanner bread (yea, I'm that mad). Hopefully, the machinations I have working in the background regarding Joshua's school experience will come to fruition and I can go back to cooking for love and not out of frustration.......as his appetite has been compromised and I eat out of aggravation. Not helping my waist line or his well being.
Off to the stove.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
Tuesday would have been my mother-in-law's birthday, she's been gone four years now. Called my father in law and talked to him for almost two hours. Over the weekend, we had visited the Shrine of Our Lady of Czechtochowa in Doylestown, PA for the Polish Festival. While there, we picked up a Mass card in Mom's memory. Tuesday was a sad day for Dad and the rest of us....Mom loved any reason to celebrate. Little hard to do it without her.
Wednesday, though, was the day the crap hit the fan. I get a call from Joe's sister-in-law telling me his brother was just admitted to the hospital with a heart attack. No waiting around. After the kids were out the door, I follow and head down to Philly to sit with his wife. The same day, father-in-law had an appointment with HIS cardiologist to see why he was having problems and may need additional surgery to correct a problem arising from earlier surgery. Hubby has doctor's appointment in early evening, and I tell him NO MATTER WHAT they want to do to him, after seeing his younger brother laid out like a carp waiting for additional surgery, he had best do it.......Then we find out that the menfolk's niece and granddaughter's fiance also ended up having emergency surgery on Wednesday for an appendectomy. Wednesday was a not so very good day to say the least.
Thursday was spent checking in on ALL the patients. Oh, and I paid the monthly bills - OUCH! But the bright side is that all the bills are paid :).
Friday, Rich's wife, Deb, asked if I could come down and wait with her during Rich's surgery. On Wednesday, they corrected the blockage that caused the heart attack, but on Friday they were going to correct the other blockages they found on Wednesday. To say we were a bundle of nerves is an understatement. What is refreshing, and I feel silly saying it this way, is to see how twitchy Deb was waiting for word from the surgeon. Things are said day in and day out that after so many years of day to day 'just getting by' that marriage becomes stale and middle aged couples just go thru the paces as 'love is best left to the young'. She was paler than he was and took it harder, knowing that with Rich always being the joker, she would bear the brunt of looking after him, making sure he took his meds, ate right, etc. To see her shed a tear when they took him out for surgery and to step out of the room so he wouldn't see her tear up when he came back okay only reinforced the ideal that 'love is ageless and timeless'....he had the heart attack but she is the one who had her heart ripped out of her chest. After being a witness to all of this, I defy anyone to say that these two are sticking it out for the kids, or are just going thru the motions. She loves him. No doubt. And will till the day he dies, or she kills him for not following the doctors orders!
Saturday stated looking up, I scored a 25# case of cukes, two massive cabbages and two huge cauliflowers for pickling. Although Coopersburg Community Day was a waste, it was a beautiful day or at least it was until I got the mail.......Southern Lehigh High School wanted me to know they considered Josh truant from school for going to the doctor and would record it in his records as such! GRRRR. Ask me again why I hate this school district.
Today is Monday, the beginning of the new week. Let's hope it proves better...It can't get no worse!
Monday, September 14, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
3/4 lb. andouille sausage
1 Tbsp. butter
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 med. onion, chopped
1 med. green bell pepper, chopped
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp file powder (says optional, but I can't imagine jambalaya without it)
1 bay leaf
1 cup rice
14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes
2 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 lbs. smoked chicken breast, chopped into large dice
Slice sausage into discs about 1/2" thick. Saute in a 5-qt dutch oven or
wide stockpot over med. heat until lightly browned. Revove with slotted
spoon to small bowl. keep rendered fat in pan. Melt the butter and add
garlic, green pepper, celery and onion. Saute until soft. Salt and pepper
to taste. Add thyme, basil, file, and rice to vegetables and saute for
approx. 2 min. more. Add bay leaf. Add tomatoes and stock. Bring to a
boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until rice is tender and liquid
is about absorbed, about 20-25 minutes, stirring 2-3 times. Add chicken,
stir gently until chicken is thoroughly warmed. Add cooked saugsage and stir
gently to rewarm. Remove bay leaf. Use salt, pepper and hot sauce of
choice to taste. Serve hot. Serves 6.
This is the original recipe. I double it and add a small bag of cocktail (71-90) shrimp to it with the chicken. It is really good, and warming.
Will type more when my fingers thaw. Just can't wait for winter, can you?
Later in the day:
Made the jambalaya, nom nom nom. I did however make a change. Instead of using the smoked chicken breast (only place I can find it is Allentown Farmers Market at beaucoup bucks) which comes with skin and bone still intact, I purchased 2 lbs. of smoked turkey lunchmeat and diced it up. No waste such as with the bones and skin. It was thick, warm and just hit the spot. Try it.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Last Friday we went to the Allentown Fair. We took the Mighty Matt and did it up right.
I wanted to see what happened with all the entries I made. Admittedly I registered far more than I actually entered, knowing that I wouldn't get all of it done in time, but I would rather register and not take in than finish the lot but not have registered them for competition.
I ended up actually taking pear butter, plum jam, peach jam, kiwi daiquiri jam, garlic dills and my friend Barb's Bread and Butter pickles (for the canning section) and zucchini bread, cottage cheese dill bread, and brownies for the baked goods. I got fourth place for the butter, third for the kiwi, second for the dills and third for the brownies and second for the dill bread. When I went to see the display, I found out that the pickle jars weren't even opened. I asked and was told 'oh, we just look at them, and if they look pretty, we vote for them'....I made Barb's pickles that have won the state fair for her SEVEN times and they DIDN'T EVEN TASTE THEM!!!!!!!I was robbed. I found out that they did the same thing to the baked goods, since 'most of the judges are older and have allergy/nut issues'....Here's a hint people.....get a better group of judges. Then I had to listen to the lady drone on about how they can't get any 'new blood' to put entries in the fair......while I am looking around and notice that EVERY blue ribbon on the canning competition had one thing in common, the same woman's name....Patricia XYZ. I feel that I was, as well as most of the others who submitted items, cheated out of a fair fair competition. I have a suggestion for them. Our local tech school has a really good culinary arts program, why not encourage them, via extra credit, to put things in competition (they already do VICA competitions) and maybe utilize them as judges? I intend to contact the Agricultural Department for Lehigh County and air my grievances, but I feel they will fall on deaf ears, since most of the winners are 'friends of friends, or cousins, of people on the board'.
Another thing that bothered me, and maybe I am over reacting to this, is the lack of security. My son is a coin collector. He loves money, all types, denominations, etc. Recently he is collecting British pennies and ha'pennies. He entered in the coin collection area a collection of ha'pennies dating from 1900 to 1967 (the last year they were issued). When I dropped them off, I was told they would be put under lock and key and kept in a display case out of reach. They were during the fair, but when I went to pick them up, the display was wide open, and no one was in sight. I had to get someone to retrieve the person in charge of that display. I told him I could very easily have just 'taken my collection' and he never would have known, and why was I told that it would be under lock and key when I dropped it off. He stated that 'it was locked up' during the fair. I'm thinking if someone had a bent to steal this, they should plan to come on the day you pick up your stuff, walk in, and walk out with it and no one would be the wiser until the rightful owner came to get it and found it missing. I really don't think I will have him enter anything else as I can't guarantee it will be returned that and I think he was really upset as 'yet again' this year, one of his collections he built from squat to put in the fair, was beaten out by the same 50-states Quarter book (the books that were sold in Walmart) that didn't have all the 50 states in it (even tho they are all out now)....but as the guy said when I picked it up...'oh, you made a yellow ribbon, that blue one was won by Ethel-over-there's grandson, he's thirty and lives with his moma, shame he ain't married, but we're hoping'......Should I say I rolled out of there, cranked the radio really loud in my husband's little Hyundai (made it shake) and screamed!!!!!
Bless my husband's little pointed head, however, he took individual jars of jam and pickles to work, told them they were award winning and have at them.....to see them sucked up like no tomorrow and want more. When I dejectedly told him "I" didn't win anything on them, he said well 'someone did'...and just enjoy the adulation. Now he wants me to get another box of kirbies and make more as they want more and more and more......I guess he figured my ego needed a little stroking.
Now on to other things. School started back yesterday. Jill in the 8th grade and Josh in the 11th. Things are off to an unusual start, so we'll wait and see what happens. We just started school and already we are working towards the weekend. This weekend there is a Polish Festival at The Shrine of Our Lady of Czechtochowa in Doylestown. No competitions to fret over there, just a good time. We're going to try to go and maybe, just maybe, Mighty Matt might want to go too!
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Greek Quinoa Salad
Recipe Feedback: User Rating 5 out of 5
By Jolinda Hackett, About.com
Greek quinoa salad recipe with traditional Mediterranean ingredients including feta cheese, kalamata olives and fresh herbs. You could easily make this vegetarian quinoa salad recipe vegan by omitting the feta cheese or using a vegan soy substitute.
3-4 cups water or vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups quinoa, uncooked
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (you may use any flavor you prefer)
2 cloves garlic, minced
juice from one lemon
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup kalamata olives, sliced if desired
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 red onion, diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2 cup chopped artichoke hearts (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
In a medium-large saucepan, cook the quinoa in vegetable broth for 15-20 minutes, until tender, stirring occasionally. Allow to cool.
In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil.
Gently toss the quinoa together with the remaining ingredients, except feta. Pour the olive oil mixture over the quinoa.
Add more salt and pepper to taste and gently stir in the feta cheese.
You may also add any additional vegetables that you like, such as lightly steamed broccoli, snap peas or diced bell pepper.
Calories: 399; Calories from Fat: 163
% Daily Value:
Total Fat: 18.1g 28%
Saturated Fat: 4.7g 23%
Cholesterol: 17mg 6%
Sodium: 225mg 9%
Total Carbohydrates: 46.7g 16%
Dietary Fiber: 5.6g 22%
Vitamin A 18%, Vitamin C 24%, Calcium 15%, Iron 20%
We went to the Fair on Friday. I am still paying for being upright and mobile for 9 hours straight (did YOU ever try to get a 5 year old boy to 'sit and rest a minute'?). School starts here on Tuesday, so I will definitely make time to update this blog. Until then, good eating, bon appetite and ya'll come back to the table now, y'a hear.......
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Then we sent Baby Gurl back to college. Jamie ended her freshman year with a 3.77 GPA and 36 credits completed, so she returned as a second semester Sophomore. She was a bit apprehesive, but looking forward to it......Once you leave home and are on yourown, it's hard to come back to being another kid in rotation, so she was glad to go back and not to be rude, but we were glad to see her go back.....pecking orders change and once you taste independence it's hard to go back...We love her and want to see her grow up, but her being an adult and us being parents of an adult...well, there are still some rough edges that have to be filed off. We're working on it.....
While we were getting her 'stuff' for college, we got 'stuff' for Mighty Matt too....Yes, my baby gurl was going back to college and my favoritist eldest grandbaby starts Kindergarten this year! We bought him school stuff, and Aunt Jamie got him his Lightening McQueen back pack, so he's styling and profiling....As soon as I get a picture from his mom of him heading off to school, I'll post.....I couldn't be prouder of my baby.
Now for the Fair. As I have posted earlier in other venues, I am addicted to submitting stuff for judging in the Allentown Fair. This year, I made bread and butter pickles, garlic dill pickles, plum jam, peach jam, kiwi jam, pear butter, banana coffee cake, zucchini bread, brownies, and cottage cheese dill bread. I entered some other objects that didn't quite make it there as well. I ran out of time (to tell the truth, I should have started earlier) and one of my jellies , the Mountain Dew Jelly, didn't gel...so I didn't get in all I wanted to, but that's the way the cookie (which I didn't make this year) crumbles.
I mentioned the church picnic earlier. There is a meeting tonight, in fact, to discuss and rehash what went wrong and what went right. I'll keep you posted as I have defininte ideas of what shouldn't be repeated EVER again.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Will post more about the wedding, the picnic, the birthdays and everything else in between later.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Now, on to brighter topics. I NEVER found the original recipe for PIP, but remember this chant people, Google is your friend. I typed in ingredients and came up with 3 or 4 similar recipes. I mishmoshed them together and came out with something, that may not have been recognizable, but was hoovered up by the masses....In the picture of the PIP offerings, it is the bright orangy/yellow rectangle to the left (to those of you whose goodies weren't included, maybe next blog pic will have yours - don't bunch your knickers). Instead of rice crispys, I cut up a watermelon we had that needed to be eaten, so all was good.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Also, I can now finally finish the wedding present for Wesley and Rochelle.
Being the uniquely odd person I am, I try to make gifts 'personable' as well as practical. When Wes' sister, Erica, got married four years ago, I made a similar present to represent what their live together should mean.
Before I go much longer, let me explain, Wes is the same age as my eldest son and the first person to show up on our doorstep when we first moved here 12 years ago. Wes, then 12, welcomed us with open arms (and a little thankful I think that he was no longer the youngest kid on the road). He is a delightful human being and cannot at any time be considered an average individual.....not only does he march to the beat of his own drummer, but often is the case he wrote the music for the whole drum section. Wes fell in love with Roshelle at his telling, 8 years ago. He always carried a torch for this darling child, even while he was in college and she was finishing high school and then college. They met at church and I believe that Wes never really 'courted' anyone else. He prayed for a perfect mate and to most of us who have seen them together, believe that God answered his prayers. For this couple, a gift card from Target just isn't what you give them for a wedding present.
Now, back to the present. I crochet, or at least attempt to, so I decided to make them an afghan. Erica, Wes' sister, got one entitled (or at least the pattern was) Christmas Snow....since they are planning to become missionaries I wanted it represent the Birth of Christ, and the newness of His life together with the newness of their union. For Wes, who is more of an evangelist, I saw the perfect pattern.....Dogwood. To those who do not know the story of the dogwood blossom, the flower is supposed to represent the Cross of Christ, with the four points, blood stained on the ends and a crown of thorns in the middle. To this, I add a package I made up using a quote from my favorite movie of all times "It's a Wonderful Life". In the movie, when the Bailey Building and Loan helps the Martini family finally afford their new home, Mary Bailey makes a presentation of three items: bread so they will never know hunger, salt so they will all have spice in their life, and wine so they will always have joy. To this I add mustard seeds to indicate their faith (made all you who haven't looked in your Bible in a while go look up the passage this relates to, didn't I? ) as well as two wine glasses. I have to finish putting it together and ask Wes' mom when does she think I can catch him somewhere (anywhere?) before the big day. I hope he likes it and knows how much love and appreciation for him as a human being went into this.
Maybe they will be at PIP, who knows. Anyway, have a blessed Wednesday. And pray for Thursday. It doesn't look too good from where I sit. More later.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
And by the way, since there must be some indication of cheese and ooziness in this blog......the cheese didn't ooze from the poppers, but Carlos quite literally oozed home. I was told he still was full on Sunday! I take that to mean I did good.
Note: please pardon the placement and mismash of how the pictures are posted, I'm just getting the hang of this blog thingy.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Bought four tubs for ice to put drinks in....only bought 20 cases of soda, one case of beer, one case of wine coolers, three case of water and a whole bunch of food (I haven't gotten that far enough in my plans to have actually bought it yet - gotta clean out the fridge to make room).
Dinner tonight, sausage and peppers. Big whoop of a recipe, parboil hot and mild sausage links, plop in crock pot, cover with sliced bell peppers and onions and let go....eat from rolls. I plan on dinner on the fly tonight as I have to go to Bethlehem to take Joshua to scouts......I know, I hate going there, but poor, poor, pitiful hubby doesn't feel well (can't you see the pity I feel 'oozing' from me?)......Oh well, I'll leave him in charge of getting the girls motivated to help me get ready.......that should fix his red wagon. Enough for now........maybe tomorrow.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Tonight, however, is our church's program Prayer in the Park. Instead of the usual Wednesday night prayer meetings held my the majority of all Protestant churches, ours opts for a covered dish dinner at the local park followed by corporate prayer (if you don't know what corporate prayer is, well, you just haven't been to church lately, now, have you?). My family is on the rotation for setting this up this week. Couple that with my other duties I have assumed, it will be busy.
Our church provides meals for those who are ill, shut in or otherwise in need of temporary assistance with preparing meals. The lady who normally does this is on a much needed vacation, so I was asked to help her by rounding up the posse of cooks and deliverers for the next two weeks. Easier said than done. One, however, has been a true joy. She is, to say the least, the heart of the church. At approximately 96 years young, there are very few people, old, new or in-between that Mildred doesn't know or at least prays for on a daily basis. She is slowly winding down and is currently in need of assistance. But to offer to help her is met with 'what can I do for you?'. She always has a good thing to say to you or about you, is always happy even knowing her time remaining with us is short. You know she is truly happy about getting to meet the Savior she has been praising all of her life, but you can't help but feel sad that this tiny spark of vitality will soon no longer be with us. Is it selfish to wish we could hold her close and tell Death not to take her from us? Probably. But knowing her deep and abiding faith, you KNOW Death will not have the final laugh, there will be no victory for the grave. The old, tired body she now occupies will be replaced when she is taken into the presence of her Master and I know she, of all people, will be met with 'well done, good and faithful servant'.. Enough here, the keys on the computer are starting to dampen, must be a leak in the ceiling (don't get me started on leaks).
Back to PIP, as Prayer in the Park is referred to. Last week I made up little disposable soup cups to take to Mildred. As with most covered dish dinners, there are tons of this and a little of that, all mingled on long tables waiting for the convergence of the hordes. I took the little cups and put a little of this in one and a little of another in another cup. Not that I thought I was doing anything spectacular, just giving a little taste to someone who has been eating like a sparrow. All this week, every time I run into someone from the church, I have heard about these cups, how much she liked them. I stopped by her house and she actually had them washed and wanted me to re-use them this week!!!!! She has been a real boost to my spirits this week, while I have been trying to buoy hers.....
I have to get on with the trapping of life and stop typing and actually get up and get things done. So this ends, at least for now, the most recent of my ......you know....cheese.