Sunday, December 29, 2019

Still at it...

There is not much to do when it is pouring rain and looking nasty outside. BUT! I can always cook and bake, instead of sitting in front of the computer or reading, or dusting, heaven forbid! It's called kitchen exercise. Bend, reach, stir, wash get the picture.

Today I baked a very large meatloaf, using more of the ground chuck that I won this autumn. You just can't beat homegrown, homeground beef for tasty meals.
As I dug out my ancient electric knife and seal-a-meal appliance I am always so pleased to have them fully operative and the best thing is that the cords are L O N G!
The oven is doing its job now with Perdue boneless, skinless chicken breasts - more than we can eat for one meal so some will be sealed, marked with date and frozen. Would you believe that sometimes I don't bake? Guess I'm part squirrel, packing food away for another day, but it makes sense to always have something on hand - strawberry shortcake for dessert tonight. Ha Ha! Thawed them out a day ago. 

You'd think I would gain weight, but actually I've lost 40 lbs. this year. I eat anything and everything I want but in much smaller portions. That must be my key. I do not diet! 3.25 lbs. every month isn't too bad! A secret: I never drink water. I get enough from coffee, tea, cider, juice, soups, milk, to keep hydrated. Never have been a water drinker. 

Enough rambling now. Talk at ya and write later when the mood strikes. 

Scullery Work

It seems as if I spend a great amount of time in the kitchen area of this old cabin. I sure do wish that there was a real walk-in pantry here where I could access my pots, pans, kettles, roasters, nut choppers, baking pans and dishes, storage containers, and all of the small electric appliances that I use on a regular basis. Wouldn't that be nice? There is EVERYTHING here to cook, bake or roast anything! We have food choppers, slicers, a food mill, bowls, graters, scales, strainers, colanders, BUT most is stored under the L-shaped counter deep in the cupboards. Yes, lots of space there;  hard to access most of it but at least I know what is there and where it is.

Then, it also would be a wonderful thing if baking supplies, canned goods, boxes, bottles, packages, and all other food items could be handy and not scattered here and there in cupboards, on shelves and counters. It's not that I don't know what is there, it is that it is sometimes not organized as I would like and not visually open.

Am I complaining? Yep!  Will it change? Nope! I don't even miss having an electric dishwasher. Had one for over 25 years with large family. The the best of all thing is that there is a huge old porcelain sink with drainboard and I would never have a double small basin variety. Never! How would I wash the large old bowls and kettles?  Nope! The under sink cupboard holds dozens of cleaners and polishes, cutting boards and large jugs of ammonia, bleach, vinegar.

Yes, dozens of utility implements hang on the log walls in the area. How handy is that? There are many taking residence on the vintage towel rack on the wall as well.

Come on over, and I'll show you how to manage my scullery!

By the way, the stovetop burners are covered with common and often used cookware and the interior of the oven is a good storage area for baking sheets and pizza pans!

In the past couple of days I have juiced over a dozen oranges, chopped and bagged two pounds of walnuts, roasted a pork roast for dinner and shredded the remainder for BBQ. As I write there is a 3 lb. beef meatloaf in the oven with wonderful aroma permeating the entire cabin.

No wonder I'm called a "foodie!" Now what to do with these Christmas apples? 

Friday, December 27, 2019

Thank You Cards and Others

Or notes - which ever you choose, you really need to send them. That is because it is nice to know that a gift, large or small, is appreciated.

I just sent one to our son and his partner who brought us lots of nice fruits, walnuts and a ham. They only visit once in a while as it is a bit of a travel to get here and we really love their gifts.

I sent one to dear friends in HI for their extraordinary gift of a frozen complete seafood dinner. That was such a nice surprise and the thought that went into choosing just the right selection was on point.

We received a couple from others. That feels so warm and nice. We also love when nieces and nephews send photos in their Holiday cards. That doesn't mean that grandchildren photos aren't sent too! They are.

A note in a holiday card from a childhood and horse loving friend brought me to tears as it arrived so late. I was starting to have anxiety and was greatly relieved when the card came, to know she was still out there, caring for seven horses at age 83. She says it's what keeps her going! Wow!

Face to face thank-you expressions are nice and notes are too!

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Couldn't Stay Away!

I miss putting down my thoughts, ideas, words where I can go back easily and review them once in awhile so here I am again. It's Christmas Eve 2019. The old ceramic tree (1972) is decorated and the home-made crystal ornaments that my brother created hang in the windows. The family nearest, all have colds, so we will be staying home. Cards have been exchanged. We like quiet times now.

I want to tell you about a couple of small gifts I had made from my photography efforts. One was a 5"x 5" glass tile of our great grandson twins in the stroller. They are 10 mos. old. The tile is nice. I don't like the glare of the glass, though.
          The other has a story and here it is:
This artistic wall tile started out with a maple leaf-shaped bottle that I picked up at “Big Al’s” yard sale when I was riding the golf car taking pictures in the Heart Lake area. I brought it home, cleaned it out with buckshot and later that year gave it to my brother, Paul. He has made maple syrup for many years and the bottle seemed a suitable gift. Wouldn’t you know, he surprised me with re-gifting it back for my birthday that year filled with the wonderful light amber sweet syrup. Before using the contents, I placed it on the countertop in front of the kitchen window to enjoy the sparkling dark honey yellow colors. After I saw the resulting image, I just had to do more with it. I cropped out the background, found one that suited my eyes better, added maple leaves in the foreground and had a creative rendition made into an 8"x 8" photo wall tile. It is a photo placed on a foam backing with a beveled edge and came with self-adhesive magnets included for super easy hanging and repositioning. This is a Christmas gift for a grandson and his partner for their home. It really came out great.

Merry Christmas to all!

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

#1500 - 9*11

I'm going out with a bang. The terrible bang of 911. Not funny! 
No fireworks display as I had planned. A painful sadness to remember that day has set in and will never leave. It was a terrible day for so many and we don't ever forget the loss and pain this event caused.
Last word:
Take a look at the world around you and think on it.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

#1499 Almost at the End

Just some thoughts that keep popping into my mind. 


Be kind!

Respect and cherish Nature!

Remember your roots and never forget where you came from.

Form more connections - always.

Treasure your connections - they matter!

Sunday, September 8, 2019

#1498 Eighty-four

I never let anyone tell me, "Age is just a number." It is NOT! It is a goal! Today is is 84.

The Mister woke up this morning and was at the table drinking his coffee when I came into the room and greeted him with "Happy Birthday!" Now I'm not sure if he really forgot or not, but he said he did! My usual question is "What did your sugar level test?" We both keep track of that. 

Please forgive me for not having his hunting, and police days images scanned. Shoulda - Coulda - I have a large collection of those including many of his racing photos in hands-on albums along with many certificates of commendation and news articles. 
And yes, there are a large number of all kinds of fish photos but it would be overkill! (I think these are in the order of his age.)

please click on an image to view larger!

Saturday, September 7, 2019

#1497 Autumn is on the Horizon

The trees and grass are still green, but other signs forecast that summer is starting to terminate.
The Sedum are in full bloom, turning bright pink and falling over.
Soon the porch swing will be covered and the boat taken down.
The spread of the stems reveals spider nests.
Portulaca grew way too tall due to the wetness this year and is finished pushing out the pretty multicolored blossoms.
You can see the true color pink in the porch shadow.
A closer look is nicer.
The fern did well with the wetness but is turning brown now.
No more hummingbirds have been seen for three days. The pine cone wreath needs to be refurbished as the other birds have plucked it for nest materials early in the spring.
Beauty at its best.
The pollinators are hard at work.
I see many doing the job and that is a very good thing.
Henry stands proud but his contents are drooping and falling off more than usual.
I'm going to slice off a couple of leaves and try to root them for next year. It might work. I'll talk them into it!
James stands undressed waiting for his preservation treatment.
Please click on image to view larger

Friday, September 6, 2019

#1496 My Current Reading List

I'm a reader. I love to read, especially mysteries. "Whodunits" are my favorites. I do not like mushy romances, horror, spy, biographies or history books. BUT I have made exceptions in the past due to recommendations. (Some novels are "OK.")

I just thought I would share the list I'm working on, as they are all recommendations. I do not usually give my reviews. I rarely read reviews either but form my own opinions. Just because a book is on the New York Times Best Seller List doesn't mean I will like it - at all!

Skimming a book isn't my style. I read every word right to the end even if I don't really care for the book. AND... if I find a misspelled word I mark it with a circle and with glee, go on! Misspelled words jump out at me - REALLY. One of my personal pet peeves is misspelled words. The next is the changing of words such as vegetables into veggies. I hate the use of "so fun" as it is constantly used now. I was taught that fun is a noun not an adjective. "So" is a lot of things, including an adverb. "So" as an adverb goes well with the determiner like "much." I was a good student in English class. Oh well... Lecture over.

This is the list...
****  = read already

  1. Glovemaker by Ann Weisgarber
  2. The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter by Hazel Gaynor
  3. Queen Bee by Dorothea Benton Frank (reading now)
  4. The Diary of Mattie Spenser by Sandra Dallas
  5. Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
  6. Nightwoods by Charles Frazier
  7. Flight 232 by Laurence Gonzales
  8. The Once in every Life by Laurence Gonzales
  9. Great Alone by Laurence Gonzales
  10. Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
  11. The Twelve-mile Straight by Eleanor Henderson
  12. Clay’s Quilt by Silas House
  13. Black River by S.M. Hulse
  14. The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain ****
  15. Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain
  16. The Stolen Marriage by Diane Chamberlain
  17. The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain
  18. The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes by Diane Chamberlain
  19. The Stranger Inside by Laura Benedict ****
  20. Bliss House by Laura Benedict
  21. See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt ****
  22. McNally’s Caper by Lawrence Sanders ****
  23. Educated by Tara Westover ****
  24. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

P.S. My e-mail user name used to be "bookworm" before I had to change it to "nookworm." I think I remember that was because I changed servers, and there were other bookworms but I'm not sure. Anyway I like "nookworm" and also have "crannynanny" as another.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Almost at the end of the Roll

After reading so many of other's blogs, especially one in particular, I have decided to just read them and no longer write in this manner of expressing thoughts, other daily activities, and recipes and uploading images here. I'm at #1495 and when my number reaches 1500 I shall stop this activity. I'm even bored with myself. 

I will write memories, current happenings and about other things in separate documents not to be published online.

I've been thinking about this for a while and have made my final decision. I'm quite sure the world will go on very well without my posts. I've always written without caring one bit about responses as it feels good to "get it out." I hope you understand, and if you don't, you don't.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

For the Love of Garlic

A friend brought garlic yesterday from his garden. They are very large and already cured well. 

From the cured garlic heads I tore them apart to have 23 large cloves. After giving them a twenty minute freeze on a cookie sheet, I then double bagged them for the deep freeze and their life expectancy is about a year. By freezing them individually, they won’t stick together when I want to use one or two. The deep freezer in the carport doesn’t cycle like the kitchen refrigerator freezer section does so they will always remain completely frozen.
He also brought five that need to cure. They hang in the dark, dry “Fibber McGee’s Closet” until thoroughly cured. It is well ventilated to do the job.
please click on image to view larger

~~~~~ Recipe - Garlic Butter~~~~~~

Use this garlic butter to make garlic bread, melt over steamed vegetables or make a quick pasta side dish.
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley or 2 Tbsp. dried parsley
  • 2 Tbsp. minced shallot or onion or 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.
  2. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Still At It

... baking, cooking, you know! Along with the fantastic tomatoes our daughter brings to us, she also shared a hambone from a ham she recently baked for her family.  Of course when she brought some slices as well, we gobbled them like we never had home-cured ham, but they are all gone!  Her neighbor gave her some of his pork after it was smoked and ready to distribute. We have never tasted such delicious ham as this. Isn't it nice how sharing can be such a treat? It's a way of life around here.

Last night we had a bowlful for dinner and the containers shown are left-overs to be frozen and shared too! (There is nothing in this soup except for some chopped onions and dried split peas cooked for 4 hours after the bone broth was cooked and strained for the first 8 hours.)
please click on image to view larger
What?? You say you don't care for split pea soup? All the more for me.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

The Gift

YAY! Today our daughter brought us a large Oxheart tomato from her garden. I have written about these many times before. I save the seeds, she and her sister in NJ plant and tend to these beauties every year. This year she is having a terrible time with the deer gobbling them up right in her front yard as they ripen. There WILL be a fence next year. Did I say they are meaty and VERY low acid and wonderful?
please click on image for the deliciousness to appear