Friday, December 26, 2008

where did the time go?

It is so hard to believe this is my son's 3rd Christmas, he is such a toddler, no more baby :( , has to "do it all by myself" as he likes to say.....this is the first gift giving experience where he actually opened gifts himself and went from zero to overload in about 1 gift, when we told him he needed to stop playing with it to open the next gift he had a tantrum, we had to hide the item from him and then he kept asking for it, it was a tool kit, and he is obsessed with tools and how things work, so we also did not start with the right gift, he has had two bad nights of sleep, not that any are great, but christmas eve he slept a broken 6 hours and then christmas night was a broken 3 hours....culminating with a bath at 5am after vomiting and then he was up playing and vomiting until 10am when he napped for about 3 hours, just now got him to fall asleep and i looked at him sleeping with naked feet, because he is hot, no temp , just bodily warm to the touch, his feet are HUGE they look like little boy feet gone are those baby feet, where did they go? how does it happen so fast you just turn around and suddenly they are almost 3 years old and slowly needing you less each day....i miss the baby and watch in wonder as this little boy shows us the man he is becoming.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

No doubt we are having a white christmas, it has been snowing and snowing and snowing, supposed to get a foot christmas eve, but then again it was not supposed to start snowing until 6pm, rather it started at son asked me where the sun was! Wishing you and yours a safe and warm holiday spent with those you love!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

stressful business

I feel an urgency these past two days, so much to do, while we got our tree, it was very dry and needs lots of water, so we have been giving it as much as it will take, so far about 4 liters....we have yet to hand lights or decorations on it, hopefully later today, but I need to make 2 batches of dog treats, one of delcos, then hang some ceiling tiles, move a hanging lamp upstairs and a floor lamp downstairs, the hanging lamp is an antique and cannot be stored in any position other than hung or it will stress the glass......and I am so stressed to find all my hidden surprises for the family and wrap them then put them under the decorated tree......just feels like there is not enough time, since we are both working this week and have a charity dinner tuesday night and then christmas celebrations with my family christmas eve, this all needs to be done before tuesday night! not to mention the normal 3 meals a day, laundry, baths and keeping it sll together, oh and i still have some dvds to make as well!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

we finally got our tree

I have been accused of many thing and one of them validly, I am a control freak, I have this order of things in my head that must happen, sometimes I express it verbally, sometimes not, after more than one bickering match, I finally let my husband in on some part of my christmas secret code, my christmas cards must be done first, and i prefer they mail on the 10th, I was late this year, then I bake or make items as gifts, some flop so we have to eat them, sad us, lol, then at some point around the 15th i like to get a tree, preferably tall and skinny or at least not 85 foot in diameter at the bottom, then after the tree is trimmed, i wrap presents since I now have somewhere to put them, why wrap them just to hide them in a closet or pile them in an unused room? We got our tree, it will be decorated today and i can then wrap and artfully place the gifts, which are not going to fit where they need to as it is, we have gotten a small tree and put it on our hearth, so there is limited space in which to place the gifts, so I am having to move some hearth items to the laundry room, mostly......thankfully the tree will only be up about a week, so less mess we can hope!

Monday, December 15, 2008

snow snow snow and boys

I have icicles hanging off the roof, the deck, the truck, heck even me, it is bitterly cold, that dry cold that makes your lungs hurt to breathe.....what we got today was all powder...pure perfect powder flakes that keep coming even now but not as large and heavy, we live in the mountains in a neighborhood where most of the homes sit empty as 2nd or vacation homes for bay area residents, some homes are vacation rentals and I think in this housing glut some are being rented yearround to the young 20ish kids that snowboard and seem to be mostly guys, well the house beyond a vacant wooded lot from us just rented last week to 4 of them, i think the home is maybe 1000 square foot, so yesterday when the snow began to fall they put a ramp, my husband said a half pipe and let the snow cover it and then today they spent the better part of the day, 5-6 hours, shoveling snow into a full on half pipe, now they have a subaru with a tow rope and a snowboard connected guy that gets towed up the street then back down at about 40 mph then the snowboarder lets go and goes up the ramp and back down, but to me it looks like they are trying to get air.......they groom the slope and have industrial lights out to light it, just wild! my fear is I have a son, how long until I am worried about him and his hijinks?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

my mind lets go a thousand things....

like dates of wars and deaths of kings, yet remembers.....this very bower..... THE world is too much with us; late and soon, Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers: Little we see in Nature that is ours; We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon! The Sea that bares her bosom to the moon; The winds that will be howling at all hours, And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers; For this, for everything, we are out of tune; It moves us not.--Great God! I'd rather be A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn; 10 So might I, standing on this pleasant lea, Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn; Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea; Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn. 1806. why are wordsworth's words stuck in my head today???? Could the hub ub over the holidays and the purchases made be driving me to remember that once during the Romantic Age some fine scholarly men, and women, less famous, thought their society had run amuck......well here I am saying society has run amuck!!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

moon photography

For whatever reason, I had a nutty time, while doing dishes I spotted the clouds breaking over the trees and an almost full moon emerging, the urge hit me to try to play with the settings on the camera and capture this oak moon, this bitter cold, huge moon of december......having battled the camera last sunday and then again today with the effect being NO photos of my son with santa, I was in for it.....first trip out front the camera will not leave aperture mode, becomes frozen and even after turning it off and on again no photo taking ability, yet the battery reads full.....decided to swap out the batteries........I came into the house a partial icicle to discover that the spare batteries were not where they should the camera bag, remembering my issues last sunday, I looked in my purse.....not there......then tore through the diaper bag, the back of the truck, a toy box, a bin of rubber stamping batteries, in my utter annoyance my husband offers to help look, he begins tearing apart things, so then my son thinking it is fun, dumps all his toys from the toy box.....I ask my husband to go through my purse.......after his 2nd try he finds them and i have a small purse but he always jokes it is like mary poppins carpet bag cause it looks small but i manage to pull things out of it all the time that should not fit! Batteries changed i reset the camera to night landscape mode and clicked about 30 photos from the front yard......of course i had to wait a few times for the clouds to thin out, then hubby tried from the backyard but our motion lights made lighting an issue......I thought some turned out best and surprisingly the best mood shots were the ones with clouds glowing pink!

a white christmas is probable

winter feels like it has set in, that full moon beckoned us to look to the sky, it was a huge moon a few nights ago, making me unable to sleep but with more energy than usual, and now, we cannot see the sky for the clouds and snow falling, windy last night, forcing us to bring in our holiday decor, and now just icy crunching and cold darkness that makes you colder for noticing that you cannot see the mountains.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

christmas cards

sorry but this year they feel like work, just no fun, i have about 6 left to make, I am so tired my eyes hurt......just hands all inky and dirty, so many margins left uneven and bad trimming on the wallets, I find it obvious that I am not into the greeting of the season this year, usually I feel the love for each person as I make them, so each one is always unique and like a little gift to that family friend, but not this year, just wham bam get the stamp on it and send it, sorry all! they are all unique, imperfect in their own way this year!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

the tenth of december

my cards are not done, 7 ready to go 2 in the 80 percent range, another 60ish to make.....and just basic double faced taping photos of son to green pre-folded cards and then rubber stamping a few things on the paper, not much effort this year, sorry all.......i will finish them this week but worry our friend overseas will get them late......bear photo in the paper this week was taken on our street, the bear looks very large and was climbing down a tree a few blocks away, so much for them being in least i do not have to make a card for them! off to try to sleep!

photo tag

this is my 4th photo in my 4th file, emerson's 1st santa picture at mom's old work, the elf is mom's old boss, kathy we love her! I cannot get the linky thing to work, so this is a tag from my life in germany....4th photo 4 file

My life in Germany: Random Facts Tag - thanks Crystal!

My life in Germany: Random Facts Tag - thanks Crystal! Random Facts Tag Here are the rules: 1) Link to the person who tagged you (check out her beautiful belly!) 2) Post the rules on your blog (copy and paste 1-6) 3) Write 6 random things about yourself 4) Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them 5) Let each person know they have been tagged and leave a comment on their blog 6) Let the tagger know when your entry is up. So here goes: 1) I love the smell of coffee, but do not drink it 2) I am not in the mood for holiday cheer 3) I am currently baking a berry galette 4) I cannot find any red pens in the house for my christmas card creation 5) I stub or hurt my toes at least once a day 6) we are watching the bbc news on bbc america right now

Saturday, December 6, 2008

just cannot get in the mood

I seem to be languishing in some form of denial , I mean Christmas is less than 20 days away and I cannot get one christmas card made, addressed or even thought about, it seems like the older I get the sooner the season seems to be marketed, and when i saw christmas goods on the shelves before back to school this year, that meant august! it just made me ignore it all the more, maybe next weekend i will put up a tree and getting out some of our decor might boost me, but somehow I need to get these cards made and mailed before the 10th, I had some wallet sized pics printed, so might just tape them to some holidayesque paper and call it good! here is hoping the funk lifts and i get some cheer!

Friday, December 5, 2008

eating pecans at 4am

what is wrong with me? I slept precisely 7 hours and 6 minutes, cannot sleep, just tossing and turning and uninspired to make the christmas cards that i try to send by the 10th of december, i even had my son color the background paper, but no themes are coming no sentiments to share, just a big blank! I was craving strawberries, out of season, so i mixed some strawberry preserves into some plain yogurt and after eating about 8 ounces was still hungry saw the jar of pecans in the fridge and ate about 3 handfuls, and i still feel hungry! I decided to clean the stove in hopes of my cooking adventure today, it makes it easier to have an empty sink and clean stove like a new pallate that i will mess up soon enough! thankfully boys still asleep, i miss our dog, she went to the grandparents for a visit, they decided to keep her an extra night, she would be up with me laying on my feet while i type. It is now 530 am and i am on my second cup of tea, thinking i might just send photo cards, but cannot even fill out the greeting in the online card customizer, ugh but i do want to make ginger ale/beer today my bug is ready to go! and cornbread and beans, but i did not soak them overnight, will try the quick soak cook method......and i am craving lemon cream pie, so i will attempt some kind of lemon curd from the lemons i have and hope it is enough for a pie.....and am also craving delco cookies or rugalah or whatever that fab kosher bakery called them, the cream cheese based cookie/pastry wrapped around a fruity filling.....every time i make them i eat more dough raw than i eat cooked......but they make nice fancy presents, who do i want to give some to though? me me me!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I love apple!

Ok, I freely admit I doubted we would have our laptop back before christmas, it just flat out died on the wednesday before thanksgiving, hubby arranged for it to be picked up under warranty, i wondered what week the empty box to put it in would show up, to my surprise it was the friday after thanksgiving, and we were home! we packed it and called fedex for the pickup, they picked it up before 3pm that same day! The repair location in Texas got it monday am and reshipped it repaired that same day, we got it tuesday before noon, so literally under a week with a and it works like a charm and we lost no date or picture or videos!!! thank heaven for that, we need to back it up properly now! Thank you gods of the orchard for your whiz bang service!

Friday, November 28, 2008

the no spend weekend

We are bucking the trend, no purchases to be made between wednesday the night before thanksgiving and the monday after thanksgiving.......i refuse to participate in the madness of black friday, rather prefer to plan and spend my money when i see fit, not in a reaction to some hocker's ads for a sale to beat all sales, it just is stupid, the amount of ads and special sections of the paper that marks us as a consumer of corporate driven desires......just wish our laptop was working, we are avoiding the apple store for the repair since it is our spend nothing weekend....happy thanksgiving and enjoy your family and friends rather than marking the holiday with the excuse to open your wallets for stuff to wrap to give to people that don't need it next month!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

the wheel goes round

I am lucky enough to have a dad with a workshop, many tools and abilities to make things from wood or metal, I asked him to make our son a steering wheel for Christmas, he did and gave it as just an everyday kind of present to my son, who loves it, here he is driving while riding in the car seat...... driving in carit is made of pine and sealed with salad oil a non-toxic coating in case anyone wants to put it in their mouth......just so fun to have something made by grampa!

Friday, November 21, 2008

santa sighting

An early santa arrival, gorgeous santa and mrs claus were in reno, nevada on the night we met gramma for her birthday dinner, so we stopped by to say HI and see the fireworks, both scared my son to the point of clinging to me during the fireworks, hiding his head under his hood then I wanted a picture of him with santa, so gramma got to hold the clinging little boy while he screamed and squirmed away from the strange man in the red robe, santa tried to discuss toys and trucks and mrs claus gave him candy, all to no avail, I found it quite appropriate that santa was seated in front of an ATM machine and while taking this and several other bad pictures of my son with santa I missed the chocolate bar distributing hot cocoa via a back pack spicot, it was cool tried to get a picture of it but failed there too!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

my oven runneth over

I was a crazed cooking machine on Friday, I had intentions of making a pot of beans, cornbread and crash hot potatoes, kind of a once a week normal lunch around here, but with the holidays coming up, I wanted to test a few gingerbread recipes as before noon I had made 2 loaves of gingerbread, pot of beans(from dried), homemade cornbread in an iron skillet, roasted crash hot potatoes and brussel sprouts while feeding a toddler 2 mini meals, one of yogurt, blueberries and homemade granola, the other of mini tangerines, grapes and I also changed two beds of linens, washed all of them, hung them out on the line to dry, sunny here had to take advantage of it, and did one load of regular laundry, lucky me though hubby came home for lunch and decided to take the rest of the afternoon off so we could enjoy the lovely sunny day together, the testing of gingerbread was cut short, i had one more recipe i was wanting to try. The first gingerbread was Laura Ingall's recipe from Little House on the Prarie fame, primay ingredient molasses, I did her recipe with eggs, although she did it without with just as much success and her daughter liked it iced with chocolate frosting, no frosting here, the second recipe I did was orange extract infused, no eggs, no molasses, I used ginger juice rather than ground ginger from a jar......i preferred the latter , hubby preferred the first, I need to do the buttermilk recipe just to get a feel for how i can concoct the perfect gingerbread for our altitude and tastebuds, a friend joked with me hey they sell a mix in a box that is pretty good, lol, my current passion is from scratch everything, so I know what it in my food and there is no process or oil or gas going into transporting my pre-portioned chemical confection in a hermetically sealed carboard printed package with plastic guts that spill altered dust into a bowl into which i simply add oil,water,eggs,milk, butter some little bit of "normal" food and whammo I get instant dough..........I would rather just go to the local bakery, not the chain store one, the locally owned hands worked the dough, french owners that speak with such a heavy accent I struggle to understand, and spend the 12 bucks they would charge for a loaf of gingerbread, they are very very expensive! But first I will try to make my own!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

how to use a stale loaf of bread

I had this lovely artisan loaf of bread that just never got sliced with our salad the other night, or our for our lunches, I could not throw it away and had been wanting to make either bread salad or soup for about a year, never finding the right recipe or having the right ingredients on hand, it never happened during the summer and today's dreary overcast cold day felt like soup weather, last week i had made shrimp stock by boiling the shrimp shells and vegi ends i had laying about, so i wanted to use that today with the bread, fearful of the fishy taste i found this recipe and decided the abundant garlic should balance with the fishyness of the homemade stock.....super easy recipe, all ingredients on hand and very economical to boot! even weirder it made so much soup we have enough left for 3 more bowls later this is very garlicky which i love! and now I feel great for having given my abandoned bread somewhere to shine!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A world of hope

I received the following text in an email from a friend of the writer's family, and in reading it aloud to my husband I cried and stumbled to read the words, my spirit felt full and touched with the community this woman experienced, hoping it is all understandable since I cut and pasted it here....
Today I have had to travel from the island of Borneo...from SABAH and the town
of Kota Kinabalu. Then to Kuala Lumpur where I had a 5 hour lay over and
finally arriving very late at night in Bangkok. The election has already
Today, in honor of the election, I am wearing an Obama '08 button on my
lapel. If the treatment and reaction throughout my day is any indication of
what our world might become....I am overwhelmed with optimism. First, every
single place I went, someone noticed the button and called out, "OBAMA!".
There were international administrators from across the region at the hotel.
Many of them nodded and smiled, and even the non-Americans who reacted with
huge enthusiasm.
One man from Australia stopped me to talk politics for 10 minutes. The crew
working behind the
desk all gave a thumbs up...the taxi driver did not charge me for taking me
to the airport.
I must explain that, once at the airport, I am one of very few Americans
among Asians from all over this region. I might possibly be the only blond in
either airport I have been in so far today, and won't see many if any
Americans until Bangkok. I do not speak the language...thank goodness they
speak English.
Upon seeing my button, everyone, without exception, smiles. I have received
preferential treatment all day long. They didn't make me pay extra for a heavy
bag, they treated me in short, like royalty. The stewardess told the pilot,
who stood up in the cock pit to give me a thumbs up. Even the immigration
official barely looked at my passport. He was much more interested in knowing
an Obama supporter and what I thought would happen today.
When I was buying dinner at a very American McDonalds (the only place to get
something to eat), the entire crew behind the counter (not one American) came
to say kind words to me. The man who exchanged my money asked how I could do
anything so far away from the USA. I told him, with some amount of pride,
that I had voted by absentee ballot. He took my hand and said, "thank you so
much for voting for Mr. Obama." There were actual tears in his eyes.
While waiting at the airport in Kota Kinabalu and girl about 9 years old saw my button. She smiled broadly. I said hello and she asked if I wanted Obama to win because she did and her whole family did and that that morning they said a prayer that he would. I told her that I thought Barack would like that a girl all the way in Kota Kinabalu said a prayer for him. She asked could I tell him that they were praying for him and I said I would send an email to his headquarters. She was so excited that she ran to tell her parents. Her father came over and asked me if I knew Obama. I told him I had seen him speak, but never met him. He said that his whole community was praying for Obama and that he appreciated that I would write an email to tell him. He took my hand and said, we are praying for all of the American people too. This was the second stranger to take my hand today. It was my turn to have tears in my eyes, because this man, who I didn't know, was completely sincere. I thanked him. He said, "all of us, you understand?" I said, "All of us together." We parted...smiling!
I write this as I sit in the airport at Kuala Lumpur waiting for hours for the plane. The women who guard the doors have on muslim headdresses , orange pants outfits and lime green jerseys. They are shy and reserved, yet they give me the thumbs up, and quietly whisper, "Obama" as I walk by. There are Thai and Chinese, and Indonesians and Indians surrounding me...The languages, dress, foods are all interesting. And sitting right next to me is a Buddhist monk, in just his orangish/yellow robes and shaved head. He smiles broadly when I look at him. He says frankly, "I like Obama."

Friday, November 7, 2008

olives, green please!

I love olives, always have preferred the green variety, not a fan of pimientos, granted I buy black olives and eat them too. Last week when making tamales, I needed to buy some olives, we were out had been for awhile, my normal selection of mezzetta garlic olives was not on the shelf at the market, so I saw some green medium olives in cans on the bottom shelf, there was even a store brand version, but the name brand version was on sale and cheaper, so i got one can, pitted medium Lindsay green ripe olives for $ 1.25 for the whole dr wt 6oz can(170g) the can was similar to all the other labels, until I put it in my cart, making sure that this can was lindsay from California, and yep product of USA Corning, CA to be precise.....then I noticed the ingredients, ripe olive, water and sea salt.....that is it, hmmm I thought these have no crap in them, they are local and cheap, they will be fine for tamales, but never thought twice about how they would taste, right out of the morning, pop the top drain them in a strainer and tasted one, OMG they are perfect in buttery and smooth, they are the best tasting olive I have ever had, and they are already pitted, i admit to eating a few more but most of the can went into the trip to grocery store, the shelf was empty :( sad me! then yesterday, there they were on the bottom shelf, not on sale, but still not as expensive as my normal garlic olives, so i bought 3 cans ($2.50 a can this time).....this morning I was craving them, opened the can and proceeded to eat all but 2 on can mention that they may not be the prettiest olives sometimes a dark spot here or there, they were even better than I remembered! Warning, if you like green olives buy extra since they will vanish before you know it! I try to avoid canned goods, but this is local and I am making an exception and next time they are on sale I am buying every can I see!

just beachy sandwiches!

I failed to get photographs of the sandwiches we brought home from Beach Hut Deli the other night after work, but they were very BIG and full of local ingredients with enough creativity to make you rethink the word "Sandwich" here is a link to the menu offerings We will be trying to duplicate some of the interesting mixes at home, and will go and eat there sometime when we need a beach fix, the inside was very surfer dud cool, loud reggae music playing, surf boards for booth tables, lots of big screen tvs, 6 beers on tap, a pool table and some video games....kind of like the pizza places of my youth with sandwiches instead of pies, there were some other patrons eating and this one sandwich was either meatball or bbq just yummy smelling and super messy but i would try that in house, not something to take home.........the inside was very clean, the area of sandwich making looked highly effecient and the beer on tap kegs were cooled in the same cooler that i saaw huge boxes of tomatoes and sodas in, i liked the simple streamlined idea, conserved cords and unfortunately they do have a pepsi fountain, so my tea wishes will have to supplemented by the starbucks 2 doors away!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


We voted this afternoon, in the lack of sunny day, cold winter like weather, no lines at our polling place, but also no voting machines, just paper ballots, pens and poll workers. Our voting venue changed this year, not to my liking, this new location had no privacy booths or sense of your vote counting, it just felt like paper was being put in boxes to be maybe counted later, i much preferred the voting machines in nevada, when i lived there, no human error could make your ballot vanish!

bear highway

we always suspected that our property bordered the bears path through our neighborhood, but the overnight snow confirms our suspicions, snow lets footprints be seen! there were lots of bear tracks and one set of human, thank you campaigner that left the flyer on our door before 7am! My funny husband joked that the bears were just looking for their polling location!

perfect chocolate chip cookies!

It must have been an alignment of the planets, or humidity helped, since we had a storm on the way in, but my oven and I made perfect chocolate chip cookies on Monday, they were yummy and luckily a small batch! recipe is super simple, from , preheat oven to 375ยบ, sift 1st 3 ingredients together in small bowl, set aside, then cream butter, add sugars, eggs, vanilla, then flour mixture by hand and chips and nuts, i did a no nut version, bake 10 minutes, after making them whatever size you like, i did some 1 tablespoon size and one tray the biggest dipper i had that made 3" diameter on cookie sheet 2 minutes then transfer to cooling rack, and let cookie sheet cool before reloading with dough, ps the raw dough was the BEST...yummy!
  • 2 1/4 cup(s) unsifted flour
  • 1 teaspoon(s) baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup(s) (2 sticks) butter
  • 3/4 cup(s) sugar
  • 3/4 cup(s) packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoon(s) vanilla
  • 1 cup(s) semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup walnuts or pecans (optional)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

my 1st attempt at tamales

I made a small batch of about 10 smallish tamales with leftover chicken cut off the carcass, grated cheese and 30 green olives cut in 1/2...i used 1 tablespoon chicken and 1 tablespoon cheese per tamale, with 4-6 olive halves, next time I will put more filling, just wanted to follow the recipe i had I heated the broth in a saucepan with the cumin, then added it to the cornmeal baking powder and salt, mixing it by hand to insure there were no lumps, i blended the shortening with an electric mixer to kind of whip it up and then added the cornmeal/broth mixture in 3 increments, finishing by smushing in by hand to insure even distribution, it was pretty easy.......I had corn husks, fresh from shucking corn yesterday, i put them in boiling water in a rectangular pan to make sure they were pliable, and let them sit to cool in the water in the pan for about 30 minutes, i made square tamales by folding one husk in each direction around the filling mentioned above, I first tried to steam them above my rice in the rice cooker, but they were not getting enough heat, so i put them in an electric vegi steamer alone for an hour with a damp rag on top of them, and they were perfectly cooked in that hour!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tuesday cook fest

Whatever got into me , it is a good thing that my last batch of corn is now cooked, cooled and de-cobbed in the freezer, no more green husks getting drier by the day in the fridge! I roasted 3 squash and crash hotted 8 red potatoes while baking 2 sweet and one russet that were on the end of fresh, everything is done and all i need to finish is decided what to combine for dinner and washing up the dishes......I also made this quickie chocolate milk recipe from the pioneer at left, 1 cup of whipping cream and 4oz of semi sweet chocolate melted together on the stove and then bottled for the fridge and added to plain milk as desire for chocolate milk mounts, my son woke up this morning begging for it, have no clue why we very rarely make chocolate milk, he must have dremt about it! Tomorrow is tamale wednesday, will post recipe and pictures if they turn out! hoping they are not another flop from my skills!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Scheels on a Saturday in October

OK, let me first remind all I am not a huge sports fanatic, granted I love my Tony Stewart of the Nascar circuit, and all things autoracing, Fishing is fun, swimming is fun.....this store was a destination for us on this glorious Saturday of blue skies, we trekked to the Sparks Marina in Sparks, Nevada with the intention of seeing the indoor ferris wheel, the Aquariums, the fudge factory all for free........we ended up spending WAY more time than I ever would have thought possible in an enjoyable natural history museum in the retail mega store, there were some anamatronic displays of presidents, a 3 car nascar simulator, a shooting range, a pitching mound, a Terry Redlin art gallery, elevators, salt water aquarium AND a freshwater aquarium bridge, mounted big game in the gun museum, basketball court, rock climbing wall, full sized airplane hanging over the 8 kagillion fishing rods for sale, a hat department of enormous proportions, the largest ferris wheel, operating indoors from the UK a kids shoe dept with a climbing tunnel that snaked overhead like a habitrail for toddlers, complete with about 15 kids gleefully playing while their parents shopped below! So many fabulous artistic bronze statues and art of every kind to bedazzle your eyes, overwhelming and stunning at the same time! We took tons of pictures all with my cameraphone, just in amazement, we even ran into friend of my hubby's from our hometown, this is the DESTINATION, a 248,000 square foot, 2 story department store for every sport on earth, I mean every one, we saw a section of dog toys and gear! EVERYTHING from shuffleboard to snowboarding, windsurfers in the 4k price range on display, ATV's and their accessories are UPSTAIRS! completely a mind blowing experience, here is a link to the store specs, I am too tired to type! oh and the snack/deli/restaurant thing that we did not buy a single thing from, not even a drink! has such menu offerings as bison burgers, elk meatball sandwiches and venison stew and i am sure there were fish offerings, but i did not see them, i am curious if these wild food sounding offerings come pre packed and frozen and are just reheated in this airport like snack bar setting.

Friday, October 24, 2008

beans beans more beans please!

Just having consumed more than my share, I am in love with this pot of beans, the secret seems to be adding an onion, simply skinned and sliced in half, that miraculously vanishes into the beans.......that is the only difference between this batch and the last and the end result was fantastic! I assumed I would have large chunks of onion to fish out, but nope they melted into the pinto beans! in case anyone wants it here is the recipe: 1 16oz bag of dried pinto beans (soaked in 8 cups of water and left overnight in the fridge covered) 1 medium white onion 2 bay leaves 1 ham hock 1/2 t sea salt 1/2 t pepper water 2 cloves of garlic Rinse beans after soaking them overnight and discard bean water, I used it to water plants outside, put beans in large stockpot with ham hock and cover with fresh water so that there is about 2 inches of water above the bean line, put on stove on medium high heat, cut onion in half and remove skin and ends, add to beans with bay leaves and garlic, cover pot and let cook about 2 hours, stirring occassionally, about 1/2 hour before serving add salt and pepper and when your beans look like the picture they are done, test a bean and make sure it is tender enough to your liking, this pot cooked in about 3 hours total. The surprise for me is that the onion simply vanished into the beans, melted right into the gravy of the pot, i was quite surprised! Remove Bay leaves, scoop and serve, i topped with raw onion slices and sour cream and cornbread....but if you overcook them you can then have homemade refried beans for burritos, I have done that before, and they taste great in flour tortillas!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

what is wrong with me wednesday!

Decided to roast pumpkin and sweet mama squashes and make a rice/corn/zucchini filling, of course all to freeze since it suddenly does not sound good to eat, ugh what is wrong with me?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Random Facts Tag

My life in Germany: Random Facts Meme lets see if i did this correctly....hmmm I wanted to link to her blog since I am doing her 6 things about me.......and I am supposed to tag people, I have no clue how to do that either, so here stands my reply Here are six random facts about me:
  1. 1) My mom lied about my age to get me into kindergarten earlier, partly to save on day care costs, partly to get me in school, the cutoff month was october and my birthday is in January, so for the first few years of school I thought my birthday was in October......created havoc later since I was not driving until my senior year of high school and not allowed to do much outside of the house until I was issues!
  2. 2) I have a strong and abiding fear of monkeys, from that wizard of oz flying monkeys scene, I had horrid nightmares after seeing it, had to be sent to therapy in like 2nd grade from night terrors, still have bad nightmares and try to avoid all monkeys to this day!
  3. 3) I have a horrid temper, I blame hormones, but I seem to snap with fire breathing out of my mouth when perturbed in a certain poor family! hubby asked me a simple question last week and I about exploded that the smell of his chips were going to make me puke!
  4. 4) It drives me crazy when my son puts food in his open cup and or his hand, it also drives me crazy to step on toys in the dark of night that have been left out, but the first sends me screaming into his face, trying to get him to understand that the drink is not to be messed with!
  5. 5) My skin is scaly like a snake from the dry lack of humidity air, I hate the feel of lotion, so I am shriveling too fast!
  6. 6) I drive too fast, have traffic tickets to prove it.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

a full week of bears

We had heard about the mama bear that birthed two cubs on our street this year, my hubby had seen them one day on the way to work going through a neighbor's trash....with smallish schoolkids walking to school right past them, frightening! Then coming home last night we saw people on a deck oogling something, and I knew "BEAR" sighting, so I asked hubby to turn down the street, not ours, about two blocks north of ours, and there was the mama and her two adorable cubs making dinner of trash bags full, which is odd, since this was the day after trash with the salmon eating bear last sunday and these three and the stock market being a bear, it is a week of bears, now as I type this I hear the sounds outside that might lead to the dog barking that signals BEAR, and now i have the fear in me of having to rush to close the dog door and keep our dog in, bear out, it just never ends!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Bear dining al fresco

Let me just say, I never thought I would get good photos of a real , live wild bear....more or less of one fishing with its mouth from taylor creek and catch not just one but two salmon, the bottom photo shows the fish in his mouth...........I am a lousy photographer and was soooooo excited to see the bear not run when all of us viewers started snapping photos.............and loudly talking, I had a fear of a charging bear so I was never quiet in my conversation, nor did I enter the water or get any closer to this bear, he did walk in the water about 20 foot closer to me than when he hopped off the log, but it was mostly in calm walking manner, then the bear just refocused on the fish and ate one while watching the rest scurry, and after the bear caught the second he kept it in his mouth and wandered off into the tall grass, enough for me, we moved along!

Monday, September 29, 2008

potatoes......wet, cooling and fried

ok, this is really an excuse to play with the camera my fil gave me, picture on the left is the boiling spuds with settings in aperture, then the draining cooling potatoes are similar settings in the p mode, and finally frying potatoes at the bottom with higher action in the s mode....ok hungry again!

who knew it could do that?

My son was given this great lap desk, customized for him by a crafty uppercase living rep friend, and today i spied him doing not crayon drawings or letters to his fans, but driving it as if it were a car, and then lounging in it like it was a couch.... why do we buy him toys, he has more fun using non-toys in toylike ways it seems!!!! And not to be outdone, yesterday at work he performed imagination in a box....he said he was driving the tractor trailer and in his trailer were toys, when I tried to give him his drink, he requested i hand it through the window.......he is a crack UP! He had toys to play with and preferred to pretend to drive the truck, complete with sounds and steering movements!!! Later he used it to hide in and make a treehouse, no pic of that!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

this means my son is a genius , RIGHT?????

My son is not a great eater, never has been, we spend more time cleaning the high chair than he spends eating in it.......for whatever reason, his preemieness, small stomach, gag reflex, gas issues, the planets not being aligned........he does not eat things all other children on this planet beg for......mac n cheese, fries, popsicles.....he does eat with some zeal, diced tomatoes, avocadoes, strawberries, cheese, so with shock and absolute delight we are suddenly watching this miniature toddler pick up a half of a sandwich and bite it, this photo shows all he had eaten of a peanut butter and strawberry slices sandwich, when he decided his lego skills could be used to plant the pretzels in this nice sticky base.......he later picked the remains of the sandwich up by the pretzel sticks and ate a few bites more.......I am so proud of him ...the next day he ate the better part of a cheeseburger without throwing it up! OMG meat intake, we were sure he was never going to eat meat! tonight he took his sandwich apart and ate the spinach leaves, then the leaves of mortadella, he said they were leaves so i let him think that, then he ate the leaves of cheese, no bread taken in tonight, but the bulk of almost 1/2 a sandwich guts were eaten leaf by leaf, then he begged for pickles and ate two spears, so cute he eats them like a watermelon slice! I was shocked when he asked me for a grilled cheese sandwich this week, at like 3pm, he never asks for food, we just plop him in the high chair for 3 meals and 2 snacks a day and watch him throw most food at the dog to eat! we try to engage him to talk about food, help me prepare meals, shop for food, he just never seemed to have any appetite, but now he is beginning to show signs of wanting to eat, HOORAY! here is hoping we are on our way to breaking that elusive 23 pound mark!!! (he is 2 1/2 years old wearing 12month clothes!)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Fish Story

Here to the right is the manmade pond known as Sawmill Pond, probably because it is on Sawmill Road, just at the intersection of Lake Tahoe Blvd, about 1 mile west of South Tahoe High, or 2 miles west of the intersection of Hwy 89 and Hwy 50 (called the Y) here in south lake tahoe, ca......and for those of you that have been to our house, this is within walking distance of our house, should you be willing to walk about 3 miles one way on paved streets with no sidewalks! This is a dedicated, stocked pond maintained by eldorado county fish and game, it was most recently stocked about 2 weeks before this photo was taken, mostly brook and rainbow farmed trout........this is not the prettiest of ponds but the biggest PLUS is there is a parking lot, paved with bathrooms, granted no running water, but thankfully there should you need them! The pond is adjacent to an off road route for vehicles, nice trails for horses and a plethoria of geocaching sites......but the real draw is that this pond is dedicated for young fisherpeople, you have to be under 14 to stick your line in the water, granted most have adults there to help string the bait, and touch the fish should one become attached to their was a fairly busy sunday when we were there on the 17th of august, i counted at least 21 poles in use and with the added non-fishing kidlets and parents that meant there had to be upwards of 40 people there......some picnicked on the nice sturdy tables in the shade, some chased dragonflies in the grassy sunny area off the road, some like my friend, Burnie, who was up visiting us and her favorite Lake Tahoe, were using the abundant wilderness as photography objects, as evidenced by her over 100 shots fired that day in that location, many many are pure art, with her new 2 week old canon rebel xsi, she may have to switch careers and become a paid photographer, the shots on this blog are hers, except the bottom 3, jason with his fish, the fish on the paper towel and the bad shot of flaky fish are mine with my cameraphone...can you tell? OK.... so having set the stage for the story of the FISH....Jason, burnie's eldest child, was aided by his dad in the powerbaiting of his hook and the containment of his catch, and we were most grateful for steve's maintaining the fish on the stringer and gutting it in our kitchen, so we will know how to do it next time ourselves we hope!, Jason was weary from the heat and lack of action when his line got a tug, and he reeled in this gorgeous, 2 1/2 pound rainbow trout! I immediately said we want that one, ok to my husband's horror I screamed....and said it was an eater and in a lesson in eating local, decided this would become a blog right then, the progress from hook to plate chronicled in photos and thought about by me before I ate a bite, and savored the yummyness that is trout, my favorite fish, well i love all fish, but i do really like trout, and sea bass, and halibut and tuna...and all the others! So having continued fishing with sadly no more to add to the stringer, Jason's 1st catch was his only on this day! We returned home for the excellent gutting by Steve and this quick snap before it was into the fridge with mr. trout.......soon to be cooked by Scott on the BBQ after being filleted by Scott and having lime slices, garlic, onions and butter added to the inside before the foil packet was is a bad pic of the moist, white meat of the trout on my plate before I devoured it.....very unfishy in taste and moist and flaky, just the way a cooked rainbow trout should be!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

memories steeped in food

How many afternoons I sat at my Grandmother's dining table doing homework after school? K-6, 5 days a week, about 1200....and not once did I get up to see how she cooked her dinner, or gathered the ingredients from her garden, I had no interest, I was that peanut butter and jelly only kid, I usually complained when she served fish my grandfather had caught or game he had shot, many times I lectured my grandfather on his barbarian practice of shooting animals, when they had perfectly plastic wrapped meat at the market. They were of the generation that grew up during the depression, grandma's family moved to northern Arizona when that area was a frontier, they lived in a small shack, and when my great grandfather was unable to work in the mines any longer, they opened their kitchen to offer meager meals to fellow miners in an attempt to keep the roof over them, they had family in the area that were ranchers and grew what they could in the arid soil, learned much from the native americans in crop production and cooking techniques. My grandfather was forever changed by the leaving of Oklahoma during the dust bowl era and depression survival meant entering the armed forces for him. These life changing experiences made them hoarders of food, they had more canned goods than most supermarkets, large bags of rice, beans, sugar, coffee were stashed in closets, I played market as a kid with an abundance of canned and shelf stable foods in the laundry room.....they grew anything they could in the garden, had a compost heap in 1972 in Southern California and fed a full table of 8 every night of the week........yet i never once watched or helped or was asked to help grandma prepare a meal, how did she make her cornbread? what was her secret ingredient in hominy? did she make her own tortillas for enchiladas? I have her recipes but not that visual memory of her frying potatoes or making tamales........yesterday was my first attempt to make a pot of beans, the simple staple of my youth was never a written recipe, so i relied on the pioneer woman, link at left and also made her recipe for cornbread, and my fried potatoes....all together they comprise what I call Oklahoma supper, my grandfather often told the story of growing up and being lucky to get a spoonful of beans, the next time I make them I will try to add more flavor, these were pretty tame, but a good starting point! The cornbread was divine, almost custardy in the middle cooked in cast iron of course! We enjoyed it too much, left no room for dessert! not always a bad thing!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

i just love these 3 pics i took today!

I really love the vibrancy of these peppers so happy! Then there is the stark contrast of the sand as seen through the water of Lake Tahoe, with the one lone dark orange rock... and of course my adorable son against the grandeur that is the vista of looking from south shore towards north shore