Thursday, November 27, 2008

Making pie crusts

For some reason or other my husband bought some frozen pie crusts back when they were on sale and as I was preparing to make my pie crusts for our Thanksgiving pies, he wanted to know why I was not using those frozen pie crusts stored in the extra freezer in the garage. Considering how I have been making my own pie crusts for some time now all I could do was look at him. Some things will always remain a mystery to me.The pumpkin pie recipe along with the coconut custard were lying on the counter and it was time to teach the girls the art of pie crust making.

Simple as pie!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Unto the least of these.....

"Jesus loves me this I know..." These precious words were song by a few gathered to bring His love and grace to a few disabled adults in a care home.

"Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."


Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Saturday in November

Cold temperatures have set in around here for the time being. The colorful array of leaves have disappeared from the tree's branches leaving them bare, but far from empty. As Charlotte observed last week, " I can see so many bird nests in the trees!" The blaring sound of leaf blowers can be heard at all times throughout the day. I drink in the flavor of November. Even the name of the month, NO-VEM-BER, has a musical lilt to it. The distinct smells in the air and the manner in which the light creatively filters through on all objects, still or stationary, makes me sigh.

Today was a day for cold weather things. A trip to the yarn shop with my sweet husband. Who I might add patiently waited while I had a skein of this yarn hand rolled into a ball by the shop owner's mother no less. She was visiting her daughter from the state of New York and since I was the designated yarn holder, we were able to carry on a delightful conversation.

Chili was made and set in the crock pot before venturing out; so comforting for supper with added condiments of cheese and sour cream. Another favorite soup was also made this afternoon, Corn Chowder. I will give the recipe because it is fresh on my mind now. It is one of the soups, like chili, with a recipe which seems to be just thrown together without need of specific recipe

Corn Chowder

Saute 1 cup onions in 2 teaspoons of butter until tender, about 3-4 minutes.
Add 3 cups of corn. ( I use fresh corn I have frozen and thawed beforehand)
2 cups of potatoes, cut into cubes
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
Add 1 cup sour cream and 1 cup milk. This is where you may adjust for personal taste depending on whether you like it thick or thin.
If you like you might think about adding a little shredded cheddar cheese before serving.

Served in a pottery bowl steaming with corn bread muffins make a wonderful meal for a cold evening at home.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Maid Service

Cleaning. I really do like to clean house. It is not just the end result that I love so much, but the process as well. For me it is a part of homemaking that I readily embrace. However, there have been times in my life for various reasons that I have hired someone to clean my house for me.

Oh..... on those days I would glide into a spotlessly clean house and I must confess it would give me a fantastic dust bunnies, no grime, mopped floors, shiny services, everything in its place. Yet by the next morning I realized that I had spent quite a bit of money for something that was already beginning to look rather shabby. So it turned out to be an extremely expensive and short-lived "high".

And wasn't that a part of my job description anyway? My husband worked hard enabling me to stay home and not be concerned about working outside the home to contribute to the family's income. My portion was vital and consequently important.

But lately I must find the time needed to invest in a job well done. A "lick and a promise" only goes so far. I have barely been able to manage a lick, much less a promise. New direction was the call of the day.

I started with my bedroom and bathroom. The day's agenda was to concentrate totally on cleaning these two rooms, but clean them thoroughly. I started in the bathroom and by late afternoon I had completed my goals and finished the bedroom, which even included washing the ceiling fan. In between I managed schooling and laundry, straightened other rooms of the house, and among other things.. delved out more winter clothes as well as putting up those last remaining warm weather clothes....I stopped to observe Charlottes' tent, took a wintry walk around the block,and instructed Rose in cutting out a skirt pattern. I was then motivated to continue on with the vacuuming of other rooms.

Tonight I am tired, but satisfied. I shall glide into my squeaky clean bathroom and rest peacefully in my spotless bedroom. After all,the maid sleeps here!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Seeing is believing

Upon acquiring Mr. Putter, a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Tasha Tudor books took on an entirely new meaning. We began truly seeing the many corgis in the pages of her books. Laughter and pure delight escaped us as we realized how well she depicted a favorite resting pose of this breed. Here is living proof. Corgis do indeed sleep in this position!

So cold and windy today. There is a call of frost tonight, therefore I expect all my remaining flowers to meet their end by dawn's early light tomorrow. I bundled up and took Mr. Putter for his daily walk. As I came up the driveway I could not resist picking the last spray of mums to bring inside and pluck into a vase. I shall remember the fading beauty of autumn as the winter's chill begins.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Riding Aside

Following along with November Saturdays and horses, today was the sidesaddle demo and tea. I am very satisfied that Rose is taking an interest in riding aside. It is classically graceful, ladylike, and elegant. Today's demo showed various forms of riding, the clothing, and the saddle types.
Now remember this was also a "tea"; a far cry from the one we attended at the fancy hotel, as this one was in a barn. Styrofoam cups with hot water and tea bag, black currant, worked for me.

A table was set with cucumbers sandwiches, that were excellent I might inject, sweet breads of carrot and zucchini, along a crisp ginger snap cookie.

The author of this book spoke about the history of sidesaddle riding and relayed a wealth of information on the basics of riding aside. And lucky Rose was the door prize winner of her book which will be moved to the top of our reading pile.I am hooked!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Yuletide Yo-Yos

Several years ago I was invited to join fifteen ladies in an annual ornament exchange. Since there happen to be some very creative women in the group, I have been a beneficiary to some absolutely outstanding ornaments that are treasures to be pulled out each year and hung on my tree.
Every year when the activity level in my family picks up speed, I find myself wondering how I will ever get my ornaments done. Fifteen ornaments seem disturbingly daunting. But thanks to an old age art and this tutorial I was able to whip up some lovely ornaments in no time at all. The fabrics came from here and the buttons were gathered from the trusty button box inherited from my maternal grandmother.

The girls and I enjoyed them so much we are planning to get some Christmas fabric and make them to grace our packages.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Horse Shows

For the past two Saturday mornings Rose and I have started out early in order for her to test her interest in the world of horse competition. One was a 4-H event while the other was held at an horse farm about an hours drive away.Nervousness made the events serious, but a relaxed pose should come with experience I assume.
But winning a blue ribbon for showmanship brought plenty of smiles.

The most fun was the 4-H costume event. In keeping with a patriotic theme since we have been heavy in studying Early American History lately, Rose chose to dress as Betsy Ross and ride sidesaddle. Her instructor has a sidesaddle and was more than happy to give Rose a lesson in this old-fashioned ladies style of riding. Actually we will be attending a sidesaddle demo and tea this Saturday afternoon. I am looking forward to it.
Even Riley must get into proper attire with a braided tail of red, white and blue ribbons.

An end never looked so good!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Fried Green Tomatoes

It is a fact. Summer tomatoes are probably one of my favorite foods. I can take a fresh, red vine-picked tomato and bite into it it just like I would an apple. Nothing tastes so much like summer, and the tomatoes found in the store in the winter can never compare with homegrown ones.

I would consider it offensive to disallow the ripening of tomatoes on the vine during the warm weather. Silently I suppress any thoughts of the tantalizing fruit in another highly favored form. Yet before the first frost, I can hardly wait until the last of the tomatoes are plucked green and firm from the overgrown plants. They are immediately bought into the house and battered and fried without any qualms whatsoever. After all one can not cook fried green tomatoes without frying them. However, I do use olive oil.

Served along with the evening's meal these tangy delicacies are meant to be a side dish. But to me they are the main course.

But then they are also the appetizer because I have never been able to resist eating some before they are arranged on the platter and set on the the middle of the table. Like I said, the main course.

I do believe it is a good thing to have my computer back and running sufficiently once again. After all was said and done, everything had to be erased and reprogrammed ( but only after trying so many other things first). My virus protection had expired unbeknownst to me and Internet Explorer was having a big party. So now I have been given strict orders and" ground rules"...his words not mine. There are some glitches yet to be worked out in several areas and many places I can not visit until I find out how to access them properly and cleanly. And I do not like how my picture shows up on the comments I send! Sometimes I feel as if I am using an entirely different program altogether.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Hotel Tea

A windy Tuesday afternoon in autumn is perfect for taking tea in a fanciful hotel.
The miniature roses caught the mood for daintiness and girly things. The afternoon sun warmed us inside and out as the day had turned rather brisk for this time of year.
The food was brought out and set before us on tiers and each plate was passed. Absolutely no one forsook anything offered.
The girls languishing after imbibing pots of tea with sugar cubes. The treats of chicken salad, roasted pepper, and cucumber (of course) sandwiches, crisp cheese wafers, shortbread, fruit, apple cinnamon scones with Devonshire cream and jam, and a delectable chocolate truffle had long since been eaten and the plates cleared by our gracious server. Minutes turned into hours and no one desired to leave .
Giggling and grinning, the little girls delighted in the huge revolving door. I must admit I was watching the fingers!

This was a first time tea event for my girls at this particular hotel, and one that I know they will remember.

It has been a favored afternoon tea spot for my friends and me through the years as we have met and caught up with the happenings of our lives and enjoyed the sweet comfort of friendship shared. May my daughters too know such things.

reading and knitting with "small things"

I was pleased to discover Ginny had brought back her knitting and reading yarn along, because frankly I do find myself enjoying  the ...