Saturday, January 30, 2016

Yellow is the Color Today

A morning person, I am. After lunch, I have no ambition to do anything physical at all anymore. 

This morning, when I was searching for some cheese sticks to have one for my breakfast, I came across a dozen eggs that I had been saving back on the shelf to hard boil for salad. Whoops! They are a bit old, I think about 2 weeks, but I boiled them anyway. At least they were easy to peel. 

Since the sun is shining strong, and the ice fishermen were all out there, a surge of desire for deviled eggs struck me, so…..


If you want to know why there are two empty spaces in the container, it is because I had an egg for breakfast instead of a cheese stick. 

Click here for older blog about my deviled eggs.



Friday, January 29, 2016

Over the Hill

...but still standing!  As of today I have made a total of 1111 photomanipulation "creations" since 2008 and that doesn't count the ones I didn't keep! I do not have any programs or applications other than the ones that came with my computer, but do use the free ones on the internet. 

It is very relaxing to make these but I could not really tell or show you how because I jump from one to the other and back again. 

Here the three I made today from some of my older photos. 
"Eight"
"Mailbox"
"Vacant"
For better visual details, click on an image.

Sharing

Venison is very tasty and we love it. My brother just passed through with a couple of pieces for us as he just picked up his order from the processor.  We really appreciate receiving this treat as the Mister no longer hunts. 

From the menu showing Deer processing:

•Venison Bacon  $4.00/LB   1/2 venison & 1/2 pork.

Brother brought one piece, smoked and packaged incased. We sliced with electric knife and stored stacked in large container. Can warm or eat as is, cold.
•Venison Smoked Chipped Hindquarter  $17.00 leg.

Brother brought one package, 16 thin slices.
Can warm or eat as is, cold. He told us it tastes exactly like tender corned beef. (it does!)
Believe it - we already had tastes. 



Northeast PA's Custom Butcher Shop since the 1920's. Serving farmers, hunters and families throughout NEPA, the Endless Mountains Region of Pennsylvania and the Southern Tier of New York for four generations, Stepniak Beef offers professional butchering services with exceptional personalized service.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Hinky Camera

At 7am I looked out on the frozen lake as I was pouring my coffee and saw FIVE adult deer wandering around out there right in the middle.  Grabbed the camera, held it to the marvelous sight and tried to focus. WELL! The camera kept blurring, unblurring continually and the micro icon appeared. I then zoomed on the deer and the camera showed nothing but blur. 


Meanwhile, the deer just meandered up the bank and over the road and down to deerland while I was still trying to get a picture. I shut down the camera, turned it on again, tried again - same results. In frustration I just pushed the button down and took a picture. The resulting shot is below. Camera sure was smart. Knew I liked critters of all kinds! It worked really hard to please me. Yeah....
It was trapped between the outside window and the inside window and is still there, but has moved around.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Waffling Here

Several times a year we have waffles for supper. I remember how difficult it was for my mother to make up the batter, folding in egg whites and being very careful with the process. We often had them for Sunday night supper and hers never stuck. They were always a treat. I'm sorry I didn't keep her old appliance. The wire was badly frayed.
I remember one exactly like this!
And I remember when this one was the NEW one!

Through the years I have tossed out several waffle makers in my frustration, because no matter what I did, the waffles always stuck. Not on the one I use now - not with this mix. I'm not sure now if it was the appliance or mix, but I KNOW I can depend on these to be perfect every time! Krusteaz waffles cook up crisp and golden on the outside, tender and moist on the inside.

When I first found and used this product, I was in 7th heaven. They come out great and are light and crispy and the best part is that they don't stick in the waffle maker.
However, I'm fussy. Surprise?  Well, I don't want drips on the countertop so I put newspaper under the appliance and the large pitcher in which I prepare the mix. I don't want the waffle to overflow the grids and the first one is always my "tester." From then on they are perfectly square and cooked to be the best ever. There is no light that goes out or comes on when they are ready to take out, there is no timer installed, I do not oil or grease the grids. It is really easy to make and results are very tasty. They are ready when the steam stops rising. Just a few minutes.
AND they are more square and "waffle shapely" when the last of the batter has been poured.  No messes!
Please click on image to view image larger.


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Contained - MORE

Who would believe that so many of us "out there" have at least one of the old Tupperware products and still use them? It seems I have started something. There are many who follow my stories but only reply privately so I know - I really do know how we love our Tupperware!

I may have stirred up memories that were lying dormant because many of you also have funny and/or interesting stories to tell.

The thing about mine, is that I found it to still have $ worth and is still being sold, both at yard sales and online - especially e-Bay.

I picked out a couple of them to show you what I mean. You will need to click on the image to view it larger to see the price better. Hold on to your hats.
I have 2 sets and they are CLEAN!
I have 10 of these WITH lids!

The link below will also give you a better idea.
Tupperware online site
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
According to Kristian McManus, owner of a vintage-Tupperware online resource, these vintage plastics have become collectible because most baby-boomer collectors are nostalgic for their family's old Tupperware. Every piece is clearly marked. The most common color is crystal, or white. Pink is hard to find because it faded over time. Pieces in demand include a complete set of nesting bowls from the 1940s to the 1960s as well as 1960s sculptural salt and pepper shakers.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am not a baby boomer as I was not born 1946-1964 BUT I am nostalgic!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Contained

My introduction to Tupperware happened in 1953. Two girlfriends and I decided to take a car trip to St. Petersburg, Florida where one of them had an aunt who was open to having “we three” stay with her. She had no idea what she was going to experience when three 17 year olds went carousing around and beaching. Oh no, but that is another story.

We took turns driving my 1940 Ford and shared expenses by each contributing to a can on the dashboard to pay for gasoline, burgers, and soda. When the can ran dry, we all put in another equal deposit and that’s how it went. I cannot, for the life of me, remember if we stayed overnight anywhere on the way, but don’t think we did. 

The dear aunt fed us when we were there as her guests and all of her serving pieces were the new plastic Tupperware. We ate from the dishes, bowls, and used the cups. I remember her service consisted of all pastel colors of yellow, green, blue, peach, pink and clear. It was strange but exciting because she told us we were “testers” and she would receive a reward if we would each write a story about how nice it was to eat and drink from this flexible product. I remember that it smelled ‘funny.’

After my marriage in 1955 I hosted and attended many of the parties and accumulated a grand amount of the pieces. Even today I still use some of the old items. I have and still use several of the storage containers, the salt and pepper shakers, butter dish, measuring pitchers, funnels, lettuce keeper, colanders, hamburger press and freezer storage, little lidded midget cups, and more. The very large 26 cup bowls, (I remember having three!) were used to feed my horses their grain in the pasture. They lasted for a long time. 

Today, I looked at my “Apple Green Servaliers” and  wondered what vintage they were. After research, I have found that they were the hit of the 70’s. It was and still is the wonderful snap of those one touch servalier lids that has resulted my continual use of these.

Do you use Tupperware? Believe it or not, it still has value as "vintage!" 
The color is "Apple Green" not Avocado
Each is holding something;  sugar, flour, and more.
Please click image to view larger

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Ummmmm.....

What else can I get into?

I make a batch of this every year. It is sooo delicious I could top ice cream with it! REALLY! I'm talking about "my" Louisiana Bar-B-Que sauce.  I have written about this before, but you MUST try it - at least once in your life. There are ELEVEN ingredients in it. There is a story behind it as well.
This recipe came to me from a long time girlfriend in 1960. Her mother had traveled to Louisiana with some ladies and they ate in a high class restaurant. The sauce on the meat was so delicious, she asked to see the chef. She convinced him to sell his recipe to her, because he wouldn't tell it. She told my girlfriend that she paid a lot for it and had to promise that she wouldn't give it to anyone else. Well...she did; she gave it to her daughter and her daughter then gave it to me. Because I believe in sharing and have made no promise, I have passed it on to many others to enjoy. 


LOUISIANA BAR-B-Que SAUCE         

1/2 Cup (1 stick) BUTTER
4 whole garlic cloves, peeled
1 1/2 Cups dark brown sugar (packed)
2 tsp. celery seed
2/3 Cups lemon juice (from real lemons)
3 Tblsp. apple cider vinegar
1/3 Cup French’s (or other good quality) horseradish mustard
1/3 Cup Worcestershire sauce
2—4 tsp. Tabasco sauce (I only add 1 - we don't like hot)
1-14 oz. bottle Heinz catsup
1/3 Cup Heinz chili sauce

In heavy pot, melt butter, add garlic cloves & brown lightly.

Add all of the rest and simmer at least 45 minutes. (I simmer very low for about an hour.) 

• Pour into qt. jar and age in refrigerator at least a week before using.

Keep refrigerated.
Will last several months.
Click on image to be delighted with its distinctive aroma. 
Let me know what YOU think after trying it, OK?

It is especially delicious on chicken and ribs, topped on meatloaf, and can be used as a hot dip for anything. I have even marinated chicken tenders in it and then baked them in the oven. Personally we like to dip finger foods and then fingers!

The key to making this is to use a very heavy pot. • Then it can be funneled into several small jars when hot and saved in the refrigerator. This is what I do. 

Friday, January 22, 2016

John Deere Rode the Road

Cold here this AM and the snow blower won’t start.The Mister was getting it ready to work it IF we get enough. DARN! Always SOMETHING! He says the starter is shot; got that going but then another switch failed. He started it up about a month ago and it worked fine. He is always prepared and has serviced it completely on a very regular basis all of its life to date. 

Decisions, decisions, determination....well, we need new one! He went to town and made deal for a smaller one but not too costly with trade in. John Deere is 29 years old! I found the original sales slip. He has been GOOD and dependable all these years. He still has value for someone looking for used. Dealer can fix it at business place. WE paid $1,100 for him in 1987 but got 29 years of hard work so it has cost $38 a year!!  We only spent ever spent $149.95 in 2005 to have an electric start up kit installed.

In came Orange Husqvarna. Some things can be replaced, some not. 
Out with the old John Deere

Ready and waiting...

Heat Wave

8AM Friday, January 22, 2016. It's about time!



Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Last Ride Was Today

For 16 years he has traveled with us back and forth three times a year to our beach place in SC.

For 16 years he has been a joy and a trial, a guardian and an active companion.

For 16 years we have done our best to give him good care and love. He gave more than he got.

Today it was time...you don't need to know details, just to know it was HARD!
He left his 2nd breakfast and treat uneaten, but the first was consumed eagerly.
His empty pillow says it all.

OLD PAL

His heart still beats
He breathes and eats
His sound and sight are gone
His nose works well
Detecting smell
His legs still move, are sound

But!
A snarl comes forth when awakened
His disorientation has blossomed
He has forgotten where to do his job
Untrained - deranged - undone - sob

It may be time……..


January 1, 2016 GMR

"Euthanasia is the most loving gift for a dog that is suffering, has lost his quality of life and has no chance of improvement."

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

I Just Can't...

...stay out of the kitchen, that is. Maybe it's my last hurrah, you think? At my age it really isn't easy to bake or cook meals. Not at all. The good thing about it though, is that my mind is on the project at hand and not on my aches and pains. Granted, I have to sit down and rest between each operation as I go along, but I get the fine results I look for by creating something both aromatic and tasty. To heck with calories. We both crave YUM!

Today it is "plain" vanilla pound cake, made in the pretty shape formed by my good bundt pan. The pan is quite heavy as is the glass bowl that held the batter. Some day I'm gonna weigh them just to see how strong I really am!

The aroma is delightful and enticing, but the beauty of the project as it progresses is the best part. The end result is my reward after challenge.
Fresh out of the Oven
Cooled and Glazed
 Cookie Crumbs Sprinkled on Top
This is my Piece
I did save one for you! 
Don't forget to click on image to take a bite!
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Rich Vanilla Pound Cake

1 package yellow cake mix (I use Duncan Hines )
1 package (4 serving size) vanilla INSTANT pudding mix
4 eggs
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 cup oil (I use Wesson Canola)

Preheat oven to 350°
Grease and flour 10 inch Bundt pan (or tube pan)

Combine the cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, water and oil in bowl. Beat at medium speed with electric mixer for 2 minutes.

Pour into pan. Bake at 350° for 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick in center comes out clean.

Cool in pan for 25 minutes.

Invert onto serving plate. 

Cool completely before pouring glaze.

(We like canned peaches poured over this cake!)

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Willie Made Me Cry

Last night, as I watched him be honored by friends and peers during the hour and half television broadcast, there were several times my eyes watered and I dabbed at the overflow that ran down my cheeks. This is because I love Willie. I have loved him since first watching and hearing him sing on the Grand Ole Opry in 1965. His sweet inner passion, expressed with the gritty voice got to me. I don't call myself a fan. I just love Willie. Always have.

The PBS show I watched was the 2015 Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. He even has a new record, titled "Summertime: Willie Sings Gershwin." I already have pre-ordered this album which will come out in February. He has the honor of being the first country artist to be awarded this prize. That in itself, tells me that I was right so many years ago, when I promoted him to my friends, who, by the way didn't agree at all with my view, and I have been able to think through these years, "I told you so!" That's over 50 years of loving Willie - through his and my thick and thin years. I read somewhere that he has written more than 2,500 songs and released about 300 albums, so I guess I did pick a winner.

Willie sat in the balcony with his wife holding his hand during most of the show, which featured others singing his music. His long braids, a bit mussy, hung over his chest as he nodded, acknowledged the renditions and the performers. He looked a bit tired and frail and his expressions seemed to be somewhat strained, but he is, after all 82. Well he bounced back when his turn to perform rose.  To top the night off, he strode strongly across the stage, carrying Trigger, his much-loved and beat up guitar, to sing to me. His two sons were part of his finale, playing and singing along side. Yep! My blue eyes were crying then!

This photo is from the site below.


I first came across the announcement for this show here:
click here

Friday, January 15, 2016

Off Course

Did you ever have a day when nothing went right? Everything takes a left turn? Well, yesterday was THE day for me. Nothing terrible, thank goodness, just time consuming and nerve trying.

As most of you know we don't have a washer or a drier here and there is absolutely no room for either. It's really OK because there is a laundromat right at the edge of town, about 4 miles away. I go there when the old wicker hamper is full. At this time of year it is not as often as the occurrence of  trips in the summer. As a "frequent flier" I know this place very well for over 20 years and have my favorite washers and driers. Usually I like the 'big boys' but the amount of laundry this time didn't warrant their use or cost. Silly me, but that's how I am.

There were two new washers installed recently and they were the agitating type. I, personally believe that these clean clothes much better than the front door washers. Besides, I can fill one, add my bleach to the water, agitate it a little and then put my whites in. You cannot do that with a front loading machine.

I proceeded to do just that as there was one of the new ones free and then I put the dark things in a front-loader right next to the new agitating washer.

Time went by. The white laundry was in the drier and the darks were spinning. I noticed the spin was slow and water was seeping out under the door! No one else was in there, so I just waited for the machine to stop.

When it did, I could see through the window that water was still flowing into the washer and seeping out the bottom. The door would not open! My clothes were trapped and in a washer that was at the end of the cycle and the water was beginning to flood the place! The second time I tried to open it, it did - and water gushed out all over my feet and legs and was still coming in from the top.

For a long time, I have been carrying the business card of the owner, who also has an office above the laundromat in the upper level of the building which is accessible from the street front. He sometimes is there. I activitated my cell phone and.....TA DA! The battery was dead!

(I very rarely use it and never even thought to check if it was charged.) So I put on my coat and trudged up the parking lot, around to the top and knocked on the office door. WOW was I out of breath! The ground was snow and ice covered and the distance seemed to be a mile. He answered, and we went back down and around to the laundromat entrance, he holding on to my arm and moving slowly.

I sat exhausted, and watched him climb up on top of the line of washers, (which are along a wall)  remove a long panel and scoot along on his belly to find a shut off valve for that particular machine. Apparently the input water valve stuck to only that machine. He then climbed down, took my laundry out and transferred it to a big boy and ran it through the entire 40 minute cycle. While I folded my white laundry, he mopped and cleaned up the floor. The Mister came to pick me up after the usual length of time and I was nowhere near being ready to leave. He is my taxi and basket carrier in the winter months for the laundry duty.

My feet were cold! and wet! and I was very glad to get out of there.

AND.....When putting the linens away, I discovered THERE IS A MOUSE IN MY HOUSE! (I know, because he left a calling card in my linen closet.)


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Kitchen Help

Awwww......Ain't he sweet!
Once in a while my kitchen help shows up, especially when he has enjoyed a meal. He thinks this one was a lot of trouble for me. It wasn't! (Don't tell!)
Click on image to view larger
I first thawed out a 32 oz. container of frozen turkey broth that our daughter made and gave to us. I then turned the heat  to very low under the large 5 cup kettle and added 3 cups of elicoidali pasta. This is a medium sized tube pasta similar to rigatoni. The pasta simmered for several hours until all of the turkey broth was absorbed. 

I then added half a bag of frozen chopped green peppers and onions, along with a can of drained black beans, and a small jar of Prego Chunky Garden Combo Sauce. This simmered for about 2 hours and I then added half a bag of pre-cooked Jimmy Dean Hearty Turkey Sausage Crumbles. The kettle was really full!


It was all then poured into a foil-lined baking dish and I covered the top with shredded Mozzarella cheese and baked it for an hour at 350°.
Not hard at all to make and there is enough left over for two more meals! It was very tasty!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Challenging

All day yesterday I experienced a physical phenomena that I have had a couple of times in the past few years. I was so convinced that something outside the cabin was causing it that I insisted the Mister go out and inspect the area all around. Nope! It wasn’t the sewer pump. Nope! It wasn’t the freezer in the carport that had tilted and was leaning on the logs. Nope! there wasn’t construction in the nearby area. Nope! The automatic generator wasn’t the cause. Nope! The well and water pump were quiet. Nope! There wasn’t any type of aircraft above.  It was coming from myself! Nope! I wasn’t going to la la land yet. I was just vibrating and hearing a steady low-tone hum which was coming from the floor under me right up and through the top of my head. WHOA! No matter what I did it wouldn’t stop. ALL DAY LONG!

Today I know it was my inner mind creating. It was trying to squeeze out the conglomeration of deeply embedded thoughts about something I had considered doing and then didn’t do anything about it. Today the vibration and hums have totally disappeared. The cause has been appeased.


On January 1 of this year, a very talented sea glass jeweler, with whom I have had the personal pleasure of meeting and sharing, had posted a challenge on her website. I have been following her growth since meeting her in SC in 2010. The challenge sounded like something I might like to try. 

Since I don't think anyone who reads this blog and contest will be entering, I submit to you mine.

First the pebbles dumped from the pot and spread out on the table with the 6 pieces of sea glass laid on top:
Then I layered my dog fennel photograph on top:

My Challenge Description:
After reading the poem, I continuously thought about my beach pebble collection and my 6 remaining pieces of sea glass hidden away in a trinket box.  Then the older photo I took several years ago of the wild and beautiful dog fennel, invaded my thoughts and demanded inclusion of rebirth and growth and future. Somehow my fingers found their way into this “Future Grains of Sand” photo manipulation. The pebbles have been resting in an old enamel potty and needed to be revived. My glass is the colors of peace. The architecture of body and mind, hand and eye all became creative fire. 
Click on image to feel my rebirth inspiration
Link to Challenge

"CONTEST TERMS: By entering in the Carter Sea Glass Design Challenge, I have read and understand the rules stated. I have used genuine sea glass or sea pottery in my creation. I have at least one physical piece of sea glass or sea pottery included in my artwork. I am only entering one submission with one image. I am the sole artist of the submitted artwork and it does not include any trademarked or copyrighted content not owned by myself. I grant Made By Meg permission to use the information and media I submit through this form."

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Friday, January 8, 2016

Sit Down Cook

This sit down cook is finally finished with apples. I had saved six to dehydrate and be able to make a pie with them in a month or so. Instead, it seemed to be easier to just make the pie today and then freeze it.
Well…..what can I say! It smelled so wonderful we dug right into it at lunchtime for dessert. 

No matter how you look at it, it is GOOD!
CLICK on IMAGE to get a better view
I call me the sit down cook because it seems lately that I do almost all of my kitchen work sitting at the table. I do a little, then sit down. REPEAT and REPEAT!  I do get a considerable amount of walking done, going back and forth! Then there is lunch, dinner, dishes, and all the rest of housekeeping. 

This is not complaining. This is life in my world of aging. I'm one of the lucky ones and I like it here.