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!