Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pickle Day

Today is the day.......cauliflower, sauerkraut and kosher dills.....MAYBE i'll see you on the other side.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Last Week Is Ovah......Yee Haw

Last week started out on a down note and only got worse. Monday, Josh was snuffing and shorting and coughing and wanted to see the doctor. No probs, make the appointment, call the school to check him out, take him to doctor and get a prescription for his sinusitis and note for school. Problem arises when his sister loses the note from the doctor, so I send a 'mom note.' Problem solved, so I thought.

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

Newest Educator at My Daughter's College

a href="http://icanhascheezburger.com/2009/09/09/funny-pictures-sister-mary-catnip/">funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures>



Just had to put this in!!!!! Too cute.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday

It's cold. I'm cold. I need to do something, but can't get motivated to move from under a blanket and sweatshirt. Started laundry and looked up a recipe. Jambalaya sounds good to me. How's by you? I found this in the local paper and adapted it to include all the meat choices shrimp, sausage and chicken......

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

I'm Finally Able to Tell the Fair Tale.......


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

The Sunday Before Labor Day....

I need to update everyone on what has transpired, but now is not the time. What I will do is give you a recipe for something I didn't think anyone would eat, but man was it good.

Greek Quinoa Salad

Recipe Feedback: User Rating 5 out of 5
(3 reviews)
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.
Ingredients:
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
Preparation:
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.

Nutritional data:
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%
Sugars: 3.0g
Protein: 12.6g
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

The First of Freaking September

Where did August go? A lot happened during August. Some good, some bad....for the good:


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Earlier I posted about Wes and Roshelle getting married. Not to go into background details (see earlier post if you want them) but it was a beautiful unique affair. It was held at Lock Ridge Foundry in Albertis, PA...this is a park centered around the ruins of an old iron foundry. With the crumbling walls and flying arches it gave a whole gothic appearance to the whole thing.....think of all those gothic romance novels you read in high school and you got the ambiance. Now, as in MOST weddings, the groom comes in and waits for the bride, well, guess again......No groomsmen came in, just these well dressed guys picking up their instruments (drumsticks, guitars, harmonics, handbells) and the groom sits down at the electric piano and they start jammin....I mean really jammin.....and in comes the bride. Seems he wrote that music for her.....it was wonderful...the whole day was a blast, from catered Mexican food afterwards to having an ice cream truck drive up and treat all the guest to a soft cone......even the groom's dog-brother was in attendance (his brother has the most beautiful dog ever, and I'm not a dog person who was better behaved than most of the teenagers). Congrats, Wes and Roshelle! It was an honor to be invited.







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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.












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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.