Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Festivities Have Begun!

I hadn't planned to buy eggnog today. I was getting some
half and half to put in mashed potatoes, but there it was. It called to me.
It said, "You know you love me. Please take me home."

Get out the nutmeg again. Grate some into the glass.
Smell it. It's a religious experience.

Some people add rum. Hmm. A splash? Maybe, but nahhh.

Mmmm. Yeahhhh.
And  A Charlie Brown Christmas  just came on.
So I guess the Christmas holiday has begun.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Mmm, Rosemary Chicken & Baked Apples

     Now that my husband is back home, I have to cook again & I'm buying more groceries. I was watching a cooking show on PBS's Create. Got me wanting a roasted chicken with potatoes.

     I am a fan of brining chicken and turkey. It moistens the meat and helps withdraw the blood. For chicken, I just use salt, but for a Thanksgiving turkey I like to use salt and a combination of bay leaves and other herbs and soak for several hours. There are many brining recipes on the internet.

     After patting the bird dry, I slip my hand under the skin and loosen the connective tissues. Then I mixed butter, olive oil, minced garlic, and herbs. I used rosemary and oregano this time, but you can use any kind you like. Take plenty of the paste and spread it under the skin of the legs, breast, etc. Rub some all over the outside too.

     Cut the potatoes in bite size pieces and put on the bottom of a 9X13 baking dish. Stir around some olive oil. Place the chicken on top of the potatoes and bake at 350 for 1 1/2 hours. The juices from the chicken will flavor the potatoes. So good!

     Someone made rolls for me the other day. Went great with this. Heh, I ate two while making dinner.

Grean beans went well with this.
 Yes, it was as good as it looks.

      I had some apples hanging around. Since I couldn't use the oven because the chicken was in it, I remembered I had this OLD microwave cookbook.

     I remembered there was a baked apple recipe in it. Haha, turns out it's on the kid recipe page, where kids could use the microwave to cook for themselves. I didn't use the ingredients in the recipe, other than the apples. I just needed the cooking settings/times.
     I cut the cores out of the apples, but left the bottom in tact. I wanted to use more than red hot candies. I mixed together  LOTS of brown sugar, butter, chopped pecans, ground cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. and stuff it in the the apples. I am not a fan of mega amounts of nutmeg. I like just a hint of the flavor. Cover with waxed paper and microwave on high for 3 minutes. Check the apples for tenderness. I needed to microwave for 3 more minutes.
Oooo, here we go.

     Just a little nutmeg side note: Of course you can buy ground nutmeg in spice jars at the grocery store, but I like to grind/grate mine as I use it. Have you seen these nutmeg "kits"? The whole nutmegs come in a jar with a little grater. I've had mine for years, I mean YEARS, and just replace the nutmegs as needed. These kits can be found in cooking stores. I don't think I've seen them sold in grocery stores, but maybe I just haven't paid much attention. (Not an uncommon thing.)

Oooo, Look at that! Which one will I choose?

   Yep. It had to be you. Wonderful You. It HAD to be YOU!

I added a little whipped topping, and whoa! Waaayyy too good. This is a fast and fabulous recipe.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

You Ask "Where've You Been?" I've Been Under God's Care.

I haven't posted in a long time. Where have I been? It's been the longest, toughest 4 months of my life. Thank God, it's been the shortest 4 months of my husband's life. He doesn't remember much. Our lives took a twist on July 26 when my husband had an ATV accident. I was going to say our lives were changed, but thought that sounded too dramatic. However, it HAS been the most dramatic 4 months of our lives. I kept thinking my head would shrink with all the crying, but it didn't. Where doesn't all that liquid (and snot, haha) come from?

I hope to write our story one day. It's too long to write in this blog. Maybe I should have written it as a blog when it all happened. Didn't think anyone would really care or want to take the time to read it all.

The whole thing can be summed up as, There Are No Coincidences. God was with us each step of the way. I won't kid you, some days were very dark. But the way that the beginning days fell together were no coincidences.  Each bad turn had a purpose and brought lessons of faith that I still don't understand. Even the funny things that happened weren't coincidences. I think those were God's way to lighten the load. Thanks, Bob, for the laughs.

I will be forever grateful to my daughters and my son-in-law. Emily had to see to her dad on this awful day. And, you see, it was also her birthday. She had some really scary things to deal with. Maggie, she was my rock. We were out of state when my husband had his accident. She kept it together while I fell apart. Jim REALLY stepped up to the plate, taking over the running of the farm so the girls and I could spend our time at the hospital. The drought we had this summer had many farmers selling their cattle. The grass in the fields died.  Farmers were running out of hay. Wells and ponds were running dry. Thanks to Jim we didn't have to sell any cattle. He managed the fields so there was fresh grass for the cows to eat and we didn't have to feed our winter hay reserve. He was very protective of me. I can't thank him enough. And then there's my grandson, Huck. He absolutely saved me. The first 2 weeks were the hardest and to have a 6 month old baby to rock and sing to sleep helped to calm my soul.

My family, friends and co-workers provided meals and emergency funds to help pay for gas so I could go to the hospital everyday, which got quite expensive. They visited with me at the hospital and MANY times took me out for lunch or dinner. My friend Kathy was at the hospital so many times I can't count. My sisters came from out of state to be with me and one even went with Maggie to help her with her move to Boston.

I've met A LOT of medical personal. I mean A LOT. David was in 3 facilities, one of them twice. There were only a few times I had to be a big girl and state that things weren't right, but for the most part the medical staff were VERY supportive and thoughtful of me.

My husband has been home since the end of October, which is another miracle from God's hands. We aren't finished with this yet. There will be more twists, turns, bumps and dips, BUT God has brought us through a GIANT mess and there's no reason He will not continue to do so. There's faith again.

So now, hopefully, I can get back to writing what I know best: This and That.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Brown & Turquoise Is Coming Along

     I can't even remember now when I started this quilt, two years ago? Maybe. It was a quilt guild education class project that was started but then put away when something more pressing came along.

     I'm going to have to leave it a square. I keep adding rows, but I just can't leave it uneven, so then I have to add to the sides. Should the light stripe come to a point at the edges or the dark stripe pointing at the edges? Should the dark turquoise squares be around the outside edges? Right now, yes.

     For now I have to stop and put it aside again. I am down to only 4 dark prints left. It's going to get too repetitive (boring) if I don't get some more. I hope JoAnn's still has some of them. I think I saw one on their website. I don't need much. I only have one more to add on one side and two more to add on the opposite side. Then I think I will stop with the piecing and see about a border. It may not need one. What do you think? Just a binding?

     I can see this as a table cloth or a nap size quilt. I really like the colors. I've thought about giving it to my bestest friend (since 5th grade) who lives in California. It would match her living room/dining room. If it will be used for a table cloth, it needs a light batting. I like to use cotton flannel. It gives the quilt a nice light padding. If it's to be used for taking a nap, the flannel will still give warmth in the mild California climate. I like to use flannel that has not been pre-washed. After the quilt is finished, I drop it in the washing machine set on warm wash and put it in the drier. When it comes out the flannel has shrunk a little, giving the quilt top and back a crinkled, aged look.

P.S. Turns out I started this last summer and blogged about it here. Cool, I'm not so far behind after all.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

It's Somehow So Wrong To Be This Happy

     Is it wrong to be so happy that ants are dying? Somehow I'm so happy right now. Ants have decided that our living room and downstairs bathroom are the hip places to be. Party on?
I think not.

     I know, it's HOT and DRY outside. Everyone is looking for a cool place to be.


     I truly feel bad there is suffering all around. But I say, if you're not helping to pay the rent, GET OUT OR DIE!

     I'm not a cruel person. I just think a person shouldn't have ants running up their leg when they're sitting on the potty. Or tickling their arms when they're relaxing in the recliner. It's very distracting from watching Law and Order: Special Victim's Unit. You'll want to make them the victims. Okay, I've had enough!

     While out on errands today, I bought a little bottle of Terro.

Just a little dab will do ya'.

In the bathroom.

     The bait was gone approximately an hour after putting it on the floor, so I put out some more. Oops, it spilled on the floor! They don't mind.

Look at them belly up to the bar.

Look, they're circling the wagons.

     They ate this so fast I put out another one. That black spot is not a wooly caterpillar. They attacked this in 5 minutes. Poor starving babies! So glad I could feed the masses.
In the living room

     It's crazy; a feeding frenzy. I had to put out a third little square of bait. A much larger puddle of bait. I mean corn syrup, yeah, corn syrup.

     Well, it's been two hours since their last feeding. You know how babies are; gotta be fed every two hours.

     Ah, ah, ah, ah. Stayin' alive, stayin' alive.