Monday, June 29, 2009

Mags is MIA

Maggy wanted me to let everyone know she will be MIA for a few days. The Boy is still having health issues and has to do a hospital stay to fix it. Nothing life threatening but he does need the medical intervention. She will update herself when she can.

Happiness thy name is Nursery!

So we have all the blinds and fans up and were able to get to Squeaks room. She has been sleeping in her playpen in our room since we moved in and before that in her crib in our room. My MIL had our 3rd room so we needed her with us, plus she was still pretty new. Anyway now she has her own room. I have been nervous about moving her but boy was it wonderful. Last night I put her down in her room at 7:30 and she slept until 12:30, nursed and slept again until 4 when she was ready to come sleep with me. It was bliss. She had been waking every few hours and when Hubs leaves for work super early she was wide awake for that making me have very little sleep. She slept so great. I think she missed her bed. When we put her in it after we had put it together she giggled and wiggled and scooted all over. I am a very happy Mama today!

Feeling a bit down

So the family and I went to Utah to visit our family. Went to Emergency essentials and saw some things you would only find in Utah (blogging about that, probably be up tomorrow). We spent a few days and got horribly sunburned but what is really bothering me is that we left our kids with the grandparents. Seriously, even the dog is depressed. It was a quite drive back home and an even quieter evening. Neither of us had any idea we would feel this way. We were getting excited thinking of all the things we could get done while they were visiting the grandparents, now we are just going ot hurry up and get it all done so we can go back and pick them up!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Latenight Key Lime Pie

A friend and I had a movie marathon last night, and about 2130 I had a sudden craving for Key Lime Pie. Well, Brigid at Home on the Range posted a blog awhile back that had an old-fashioned Key Lime and the idea stuck in my head. Last night I saw the graham crackers in my cabinet, my mind clicked, and thus a Key Lime Pie was born.

I didn't actually have a glass pie pan, so I had to go to the store, and on a whim also grabbed a couple more cans of milk. (I also ended up being suckered into making apple fritters for an old friend sometime in the next week, but that's another story) My friend made the graham cracker crust, and I went to work on the filling. I followed the Nelly and Joe's recipe, because you don't go screwing around with a good thing.

I ended up having to double the filling. Not sure why, but I put the filling in the shell and went "That looks odd. And really, really.... low". Since I doubled it, I added a couple extra minutes to the cooking time, and it worked out beautifully. I had some heavy cream left over from the vanilla cupcakes, so I made my own shipped cream instead of using cool whip or doing a meringue (not to mention I forgot and dumped the egg whites down the drain).

Friday, June 26, 2009

The awesome Shark steam mop!

Our new house has oodles of tile. Pretty much the entire first floor is tile. So to clean the floor I bought a Shark. (With a nudge from Gracie.) I am so happy with it. With Squeak about to crawl having the floor be sanitized was important and add the shine benefit and it is a win win and well worth the $75 I paid at our local Lowe's store. It is so easy to use too and I was able to get all the bottom floor done in about an hour!! I totally recommend it!

Friday Funny

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Want to help the economy? Don't work.

Now, I might be totally off on this thought, but it's something that has been swirling around my head for awhile. I have several friends who are out looking for jobs, but don't have much experience and are being beat out of minimum wage job by people who have been forced to seriously downgrade their skills. I have one friend who just lost a receptionist-type position to a women who had been a lawyer's clerk/personal secretary for more then a decade.

I'm starting to wonder how much the two-job lifestyle is hurting our country. And I don't mean in the 'traditional roles' versus 'modern roles' way. I'm not arguing about people spending time with their kids, or volunteering at charities or anything like that. I'm speaking strictly financially. People have access to lots of credit, and therefore purchase lots of stuff they can't afford. Then both parties are up to the hilt in debt, and the family cannot afford to NOT have both parents work. But now you add extra costs to the situation. You are now buying 2 lunches, filling 2 cars with gas, paying the daycare of the younger kids, and all sorts of other expenses. Both parents are busy and the amount of fast food and eating out skyrockets. Instead of helping your finances, you might actually be hurting them. In my job previous to this one, I figured out (as I was quitting) that between gas, food and daycare I was actually losing about $75 a month from working, and that doesn't even include all the pizza and take-out we ate because I was too tired to cook a real meal.

It makes me wonder how many families would actually benefit from one or the other parent quitting their job. Things like health insurance and such make it a bit more complicated, but the theory is the same. It's cheaper to cook from scratch, or even semi-homemade then to eat out. 1 tank of gas is obviously cheaper then two. No daycare/babysitter also saves a heap of cash. Not to mention, if a large chunk of the general public did this, there would be a HUGE letup of pressure on the job market.

I'd like to know what everyone else thinks on this. I know it's not realistic, but I'm wondering if anyone has had a similar experience to this, or thinks I'm just bat shit crazy.

Who is Mousavi?

This is a short video (part 3 of 3 of a mini-documentary) about Mousavi, the Iranian presidential canidate. Not a whole lot of comment of me, just something I thought was interesting.

My new favorite teething treat!

So Squeak is approaching the 6 month mark. She has been eating baby food for a while now. She loves peas and carrots the best! She has a snack food called Mum-mums that are like rice crackers that she is also pretty fond of. We are now fully into teething. She gets the fever, the crying that only being held fixes, the swollen gums. Poor thing is miserable. I have people tell me ice cubes work, or jerky, or a wet washcloth or a host of other things. I have discovered though that Squeak loves frozen Apple slices. Now it can be a little messy as they thaw but man do they quiet her down and help her poor mouth feel better!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Quote of the Day

"I should have known when you walked into my life with that big bag of crazy that whatever you had in that bag I shouldn't be apart of!"

-Jason on True Blood

Open mouth, insert Fritter

I had an insane sweet tooth craving last night. I really wanted donuts, but I don't have a deep fryer and all the recipes I found for baked donuts just sounded... Blah. Thought about beignets, but again no deep fryer. I finally found a recipe for fritters and went a-ha!

I diced up a cameo apple I had in the fridge, whipped together the fritters (I added both cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg). I didn't have any powdered sugar, but I made a light glaze with apple cider and sugar. I had a one (or two) while they were still hot and saved the rest for breakfast this morning. They were amazing both ways!

The beauty of front loaders!!

So we are in our new house! YAY!!! We had to buy appliances, blinds, and fans in order to get through life and the heat!! I have to admit my favorite purchase is my new washing machine / dryer set. They are front loaders by samsung and soooo awesome. Quiet, fast, easy to use, and great on power usage!! I got my washer yesterday so immediatly put the set to use with all the laundry that has piled up. I breezed through 5 loads in just a couple hours. So much nicer than using the community laundry room at our old apartment!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Good Intentions Sometimes Go Awry

Yesterday my inital plan was to stay in bed. All day. The Boy didn't like this plan, and literally handed me clothes and told me to get dressed. Plan B was to do some sort of cooking/canning. I wanted to make French Dip Sandwiches, and I've been wanting to make Au Jus for sometime. But for Au Jus you need beef stock. And if I'm going to have beef stock around, I might as well make it myself.

I hit up Stewart's and got a bag of frozen beef bones (swear to goodness, it's huge. Probably 10 lbs.) and also a lb of stew meat (I figured some for the beef stock for flavor, the rest in... stew?) and a butterflied chicken breast (I wanted chicken strips for dinner since the Beef stock was going to take 8 hours or so).

On my way home, I was kindly reminder of a previous engagement I had made. So I was forced to scratch the beef stock until later that night. I figured I wouldn't be able to give it a full 8 hour cook, but at least 6 or so. Instead, I ended up taking the Boy to the hospital (he's fine) and we didn't finish up there until 0500. We finally got home about 0615, and I slept on and off for most of the morning.

Hopefully I will be able to whip something up tonight and pump it out. Not sure if I'll can it tonight, but we'll see.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Quote of the Day

Mom to Son: "Drink your milk"
Son: "It's lumpy!"
Mom: (in a harsh tone) "Then chew it!"

-Malcolm in the Middle

This definitely sounds like something that would be said over breakfast in my house

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Tear Gas and Twitter: Update

So following the Iran's Highest Leaders proclamation that the vote was "fair" and that "no one could fake 11 million votes", he promised the protesters that if they continued there would be consequences.

And wow, have their been consequences.

Protesters are getting word out through Twitter, Facebook, iReport and YouTube. A video of a young girl, whom unconfirmed reports are calling Neda (her name means 'the voice') who at 16 years of age, was attending a peaceful protest with her father. She was shot in the heart by the paramilitary police (whom I believe are civilians, like a sort-of militia maybe?) and her final moments were caught on tape and posted on several social sites. It's some of the first footage the confirms what thousand have been saying is happening.

Her death is being re-played worldwide, and maybe people are finally snapping into understanding what is happening. This kind of footage the Ahmadinejad Regime cannot brush under the carpet.

Happy Father's Day!

Yes, today is the day! Happy Father's Day to those who are so inclined! My Dad is out of town, but I'm taking the Boy to the Air Show, so I hope you guys are doing fun things too!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Who Doesn't Love Cupcakes!

I had a good amount of leftover strawberry filling from the chocolate cake, and I couldn't in good conscience let it go to waste. So what do you do what extra strawberries just sitting around? Why make vanilla cupcakes with strawberry whipped cream frosting of course!

The batter is almost satin-like in texture, it's just so smooth. I add a bit of lemon zest to most of my vanilla recipes, it adds a hint of freshness and light taste, so the vanilla is more refreshing and less overpowering. I use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to fill the cups about 3/4 of the way full, and bake for about 20 mins. If you under-cook or under-fill them, they will fall when they cool.

Once I frost any cupcakes, I keep them refrigerated because no one likes melted whip cream frosting. I also keep any extra frosting in the fridge, and just frost them as needed.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Friday Funny

Tear Gas and Twitter: What's happening in Iran?

I've been following the situation in Iran, although not as closely as I should be. I'm amazed by the tenacity of the Iranian people, and their willingness to truly fight for what they believe in. I really don't doubt that the elections were rigged in some way. Obviously I'm not Iranian, so I don't know for sure. And since communications have been virtually cut off, not much is known about what for sure is happening on the inside.

One thing that has been amazing to me is the impact that social sites like Twitter and Facebook have had. 70% of Iranians are under the age of thirty and as TOR mentioned this morning (on twitter, ironic?) Iran has more per capita bloggers then any other country. Since the elections, mobile and text communications have reportedly been intermittent across the country (coincidence?) and Internet speeds have also reportedly been slow.

CNN has posted a few great articles on the subject, here and here. Also here is another amazing article written about the protests and violent suppression surrounding them. One blogger risked the censor that has in place for reporters to get out this story, which was very moving to me.

A friend made a comment on Twitter that I posted earlier as the quote of the day. Which if you didn't see it read, "Can't get Iran protesters outta my head. Risking arrest, ruin, beating & death for personal freedoms & democracy. Puts shit in perspective". And it's so true. Here I am whining about how gas went up 10 cents. I wish I could really put into words how I really feel.

I hope these protests change Iran, hell I hope they change the world.

Pioneer preps part 5

These are just pretty. They are a permanent part of the pioneer museum we have here locally. I have seen many sunsets as beautiful as these. I am just glad I have the time to sit out on the front porch and enjoy them.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Project ADD update

Yeah Ryan, I liked the term and stole it. I finally finished a project. Done. Complete. This afghan is for a nephews wedding and I have it done 2 weeks in advance. Now I am starting on another one that is for another nephews wedding and I am hoping to have it done by the end of the week. It is a fairly easy pattern and working up quickly.
Unfortunately I also volunteered to do two more of these for a benefit auction. Luckily, they are patient and know it may take a while to get them done. Once these are done, I am going to make Maggy's dishclothes and work on the bags before moving on to the dog sweaters. We sold a few a week ago and I need to replace them so I can keep ahead of the demand. Going to be a busy summer but as of now I am not overwhelmed so everything is good.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Quote of the Day

"Can't get Iran protesters outta my head. Risking arrest, ruin, beating & death for personal freedoms & democracy. Puts shit in perspective."
-friend via Twitter

The names Cake... Chocolate Cake.

A friends birthday was on Sunday, and somehow me making a cake was brought into play. I had a half flat of strawberries left over from Jam-a-Thon, so adding those somehow was for sure in the cards. My first offering was a white cream cake (which I'll still probably make this week sometime), but we settled on a dark chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and strawberry filling.

I found recipes for both the cake and frosting pretty fast, but had a much tougher time finding a good recipe for the filling. I had in my head exactly what I wanted and I just couldn't find it. I wanted a clear glaze to spread over sliced berries, but found this recipe and decided to settle for it (*note, I used the second recipe*).

I ended up baking it at my wonderful sister's place and it went pretty well. I made both the filling and butter cream before hand because I wanted to make sure that both set right. It's a good thing I did, because the filling set like crap (half because the directions are crap and half because I was too impatient to go "wait, that doesn't look right"). If you do finding yourself using this recipe, be sure to cook the mixture AFTER you add the corn starch and sugar. Some people may find that a 'duh' thing. I didn't. And I ended up having to re-heat a fairly cold mixture to try and get it to gel at all. The butter cream turned out perfect (I made a half-portion extra since I wasn't doing a sheet cake). The taste was spot on, although I think I would have liked a richer chocolate color.

The cake was very simple and cooked great. We let it cool, then slice each layer in half (the more filling the better I say). I used a piping bag with a large round tip to ring the edges of each layer so the filling didn't squeeze out. I then added the slice berries and topped it with the jam-like filling (place on next layer and repeat).

The cake turned out beautiful!

Pioneer preps part 4 hides and leather

Tanning hides and making leather is something I would love to learn. I hate being cold and hides and fur are wonderful ways to keep warm. Can you just see my family running around in buckskin, mountain man style? *sigh* Yeah, me too. I would still like to learn how to do it with basic ingredients like salt rather than some obscure chemical. I am going to work on that and tan the first coyote hide we get. Will let you know if and when it ever happens.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Quote of the Day

"You know it was a good wrestling practice when even Mom has to wash the blood off"

-Gracie via phone, whose boys are in wrestling camp this week

Jam-A-Thon Part 1

We have a local strawberry farm that is a-maz-ing. It seems like summer doesn't start until they open for the season. Saturday morning, and old friend (we'll call her... Tessa) who I've been planning to do some canning which called and asked if I wanted to grab some strawberries and have a jamming day. I agreed, and Project Jam-A-Thon began.

I picked up the berries, and overestimated as usual, so I ended up buying 2 flat of strawberries. Which if you aren't familiar, is a whole lot of strawberries. I figure it's about 25 pounds altogether. We then realized I only had 12 pint jars on hand, and put in a call to Tessa's mom who said we'd need at least 24 jars to finish the job.

Got the extra jars and some more pectin and went to work. And let me tell you, canning with two people is so much easier. We finished 2 batches, and Tessa had to split, so I finished off as much as I could alone. I ended up using all the jars and still having a half flat of strawberries. We also tried a Strawberry Vanilla recipe I found in my Ball Preserving Book, so that should be interesting.

Topsey turvey update

So it turns out the problem with my smaller tomato wasn't too much water. The wind had broken the stem. The sponge hadn't been correctly put in and I think that is why it happened. I bought a new plant to replace it. This one had two stems just in case one broke again, lol. A few days later, one of them did so it was a good thing. Both plants are doing well and growing like crazy. My one tomato is growing big and I cannot wait untill I can turn it into an amazing BLT. The big plant has been covered in blossoms for the last three weeks or so and I think it is going to be quite the producer. Just in case anyone wanted to know, the big plant is a Celebrity, the one that broke and died was an Early Girl and the new one is a Jet Star.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Lazy Monday

Hanging out today at home, so I don't have real internet access (short of my cell phone). The Boy and I had a good weekend, an old friend of mine and I made an insane amount of strawberry jam, and I also made a from scratch dark chocolate cake with fresh strawberry filling for another friends birthday. I will get up pictures ASAP but today I'm being lazy.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Middle of the night realization.

So if you have read my last few posts you know I am with my parents in the SW desert country. My 'rents are living in a very very well off community. Gated and small. Seeing a limo pass by has become pretty normal, lol. Well my little brood is all in one room. Bug on the floor, Squeak in her cribby, and Hubs and I in the bed. It is sweltering here, was still above 80 after 10 last night. So middle of the night I had woken to feed Squeak. It is about 4 AM. Laying there dozing while I nurse I hear a crash. The parents are out of town so it wasn't them and my first thought was "Crap I left my gun in my car." Luckily it was Bug tripping over the car seat rather than an intruder but it did make me dang glad Hubs was here. Also reminded me that we really will need to have a weapon handy at our home. While it is still a very nice neighborhood it is not gated and that makes us targets.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Uh, seriously?

There was a huge traffic accident in the area Tuesday. Traffic was backed up 10+ miles for hours. A friend was trying to go to class by taking the main freeway, and it took him 4.5 hours to complete about a 20 mile loop (which only got him about 6 miles on the freeway, and 15 or so back on back roads). I initially heard "drunk driver hit a car carrying two pregnant women" and I was so angry. Turns out, the SUV (an Expedition) was actually carrying 9 people. 1 man, 2 pregnant women and a whole herd of kids. 2 of the kids and one of the women were ejected from the car, because none of them had on seatbelts or were in car seats.


How irresponsible can you be?! I can't imagine not having the Boy in a car seat, and especially NOT in a seatbelt at the least. If you don't have enough room, take two cars. I don't see how this is complicated. I feel terrible for those kids, but those parents should be ashamed of themselves. I hope to goodness Child Protective Services is all over this. Thank God that none of those children were killed.

The evils of Bank Owned buying!

So I am here in the desert staying with my 'rents and driving them nuts I am sure. Hubs is working the work, kids are playing the play and my time is spent on using my mean voice on anyone having anything to do with the house. We love the house we found. It has lots of space for our extended brood. It is a blank slate for us to paint and build and enhance. We signed papers last Tuesday. Yup! Great news right? WRONG!! The owner is a bank and well bankers can be very money grubbing, picky, bratty, bastards. I should have keys to my house. After all we are paying for the utilities, we have the loan, we have movers coming BUT the bank is throwing a fit over a couple hundred dollars holding up my keys and them receiving a big fat check. Makes absolutely no sense to me. My advice is totally go for bank owned as you can pay pennies on the dollar but be prepared for a longer than expected buying process. It will be really sad when all the bad karma comes to bite the bankers on the butt. OH WAIT that is already happening, muuuahahahaha.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Melissa Huckaby and other CNN news!

So the evil cow plead not guilty. Seriously? I guess the evidence against her seems so small as to be easily overcome? I wish I had her lawyer!! At least a trial ups the death penalty possibilities. I am so sick of hearing about hurt kids and the killers not getting punished enough.

This is sooooo cool and something I can totally get behind. Those dumb containers ought to be used for something and this is a fabulous solution! Plus any uplifting news is always a fabulous event!

Now we see a republican risk taker? Good for him!! I love seeing political big guys show some humanity. Kinda awesome so see a former leader of the free world rolling his sleeves up and having some fun!

Friday Funny

Thursday, June 11, 2009

When it's your time,

It's your time. Woman misses doomed flight only to die in a car wreck. Guess you just can't avoid fate.

I'd Appreciate If You Didn't Grab My Asp

TOR posted a link to Women of Caliber a while back and I started browsing it because, well, as a single mom being prepared to defend yourself and your family is NEVER a bad thing. It's written by women self-defense instructors, so I knew it wasn't just someone blowing smoke.

It should be mentioned (I'm not sure that I've really blogged about it) TOR and Ryan the 3L have both been bugging me about being more prepared for home defense. And although something happening to the Boy is my biggest reason to have a home firearm, it's also my biggest concern about having one. He is horribly curious, and is also a ninja. There is not a way for me to safety store a loaded weapon in my home, short of in one of those safes that only open for your fingerprint (and I don't have that kind of $$$ just hanging around). We (the Ryan's and I, as well as others) have been considering and weighing options for more then a year, but I just haven't found one I can with good conscience settle on yet. Now, back to the subject.

I was browsing Women of Caliber and saw an article called Don't You Dare Touch My Asp. Considering my hesitation about getting a firearm, I can't believe I'd never thought of one. Now, I've never personally owned an Asp. A friend of ours had one growing up (which tells you a bit about how we all grew up), so I've seen it used and I would feel comfortable wielding one. They are very simple, but when used correctly can inflict a lot of damage. And as Kellene pointed out in her article, even if you can't manage to telescope the baton out, having a 6 inch- 2 lb hunk of steel in your hands is going to give any hits you get in quite a bit more impact.

I consulted TOR, and I think he generally agrees with me that an asp could be a solution for me considering my circumstances (although I'll let him speak for himself on the one). Hopefully this weekend I'll be able to look around some in town and see if I can't find one at a decent price. My dad (who used to be in law enforcement) also agreed to do lend me his melon for practicing on. No, I don't plan to actually hit him, but we are going to do some scenario type stuff. Practice makes perfect, and I'd rather not freeze up should I need to use the asp to defend myself.

Thanks Dick

Cheney admits there was never any evidence tying Iraq and 9/11

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Unabomber should have no say!

I am sitting in the 'rents office doing my news wanderings and find a story that is a blast from horrendous crimes past. Ted Kaczynski is fighting the release of his personal effects to auction. Frankly I don't see how he has any rights let alone a right to privacy. Sure I find it a little morbid that people want to buy his things but as the money goes to his victims I say go for it. When you become a notorious criminal and get caught everything you have should go to the people hurt! Then add the vengence of taking away the offenders privacy and I see a win-win.

Quote of the Day

"Consumer credit is not the economies life blood, it's the cancer"

-Peter Schiff, author of Crash Proof, on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese (with bacon!)

This. Was. Amazing.

The recipe looked a bit daunting, but honestly it wasn't that bad as long as you prepped and didn't try to do things half way through. Also, I'm insane about what ingredients I use. The recipe called for whole cream, but the store didn't have any so I had to settle for half and half. But I only use Tillamook sweet cream butter. Period, end of story. If you can't get it in your area, well I'll pray for you. I also generally only use Tillamook Cheese, preferably sharp cheddar.

As I said before, this recipe psyched me out a bit. Not to mention it's from the 1920's and they had a different view then on what was 'easy' cooking. But I made sure to have everything measured out and ready before I started, and it was actually a breeze.

The result was amazingly creamy, but not too rich. I added some ground mustard to the flour mix and a clove of minced garlic to the melted butter, but otherwise followed it to the tee. I added some bacon (because bacon makes everything better!) but forgot to add before throwing it in the oven, so I just plopped it on top, no harm no foul.

This macaroni is really really worth the extra effort, and it fills a 9x13 pan so it'll be good for either a large group, or I'd suggest cutting it down a bit. The Boy and I both ate a fair share, and I gave a large bowl to David and May also.

I'll throw the recipe up in the comments!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Creating a musical soul.

So for a while now I have known it was time to get Bug into activities. She is 7 and really needs things to broaden her horizons. (And get her out of my hair!) I have thought some sort of music class would do her good. I played the flute and violin for a long while and I loved it. If I still had my flute I think I would play still. So a boon of this whole move thing is that we will be closer to my piano playing step-mama. She is amazing. Her fingers can fly over those keys in record time. She has offered to teach Bug how to play and I jumped at the chance. Piano can lead to many other instruments with ease and is such a wonderful skill to have. I find music to be immensely relaxing and am looking forward to seeing how well Bug does with the discovery of music.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

tick bite

Butch was bitten by a tick a few minutes ago. We removed the tick. But now we need to know what to watch for. I am finding a lot of conflicting information (damn internet!). Does anyone know a RELIABLE site that will give me real, accurate information? Or I would totally settle for someone with medical knowledge who can tell me what to look for. Thanks a ton.

Sick today

I was going to do an elaborate blog continuing the pioneer preps theme but I woke up SICK. Now I have been battling severe allergies for the last 2 weeks or so but this is different. I swear if I have the swine flu I am going to be VERY UPSET. (I don't believe I have the swine flu, but its hard to convey sarcasm online). So I filled our pellet stove and I think I am going to spend the day curled up in a chair watching the rain. Stay safe and healthy everyone.

Lemon Bars

Now I'm not a big lemon custard/curd girl because I'm not a huge tart person. But a friend of mine made lemon bars for the Memorial Day BBQ, and I've been craving them insanely ever since. I was stumbling around the other day and came across Bumbleberry Cakes and was drooling pretty much instantly. And lo and behold, a lemon bar recipe!

I tried to stick to the recipe, I really did. But I accidentally (wear to God) added about 1 1/3 cups of white sugar to the "dough". It didn't seem to affect it too much, but it did seem to make it a bit more of a crumble and less of a dough. However, I liked it and no one else has complained.

Submitted by: Elaine, modified by GOURMETMOMMY (and screwed up by me)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter or margarine, softened
1 cup white sugar (this is the part I mussed up so totally optional)

6 eggs

1 3/4 cups white sugar
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup lemon juice

1/3 cup confectioners' sugar for decoration

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.

2. Combine the flour, 2/3 cup confectioners' sugar, 1 cup white sugar and butter. Pat dough into prepared pan.

3. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until slightly golden. While the crust is baking, whisk together eggs, white sugar, flour, and lemon juice until frothy. Add 3 drops yellow food coloring. Pour this lemon mixture over the hot crust.

4. Return to the preheated oven for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, or until light golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Dust the top with confectioners' sugar. Cut into squares.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

preps are a lot easier now

Can you imagine having to pack everything you would need for several months into a wagon like this one? How would you balance your food needs with your tools, clothes, personal possesions and everything else you might need? Would you pack light on the food and hope you could hunt and forage what you need? Would you lighten up on the tools and hope nothing went wrong? Would you leave behind your possesions and completely start over? What would be essential to you? your children?

I would like to think that I would only pack essentials, but I know that if there were room, I have a lot of sentimental things I would really like to take. Luckily supplies are usually in packages that don't take up as much room now. Take the gun powder for example. Several cases of bullets would take up way less space than one of those barrels of gun powder. Pots and pans will usually stack fairly well. I would want a sewing kit with several different kinds of patches. Water would be a problem in our area but I think we could cut down on storing water by having a nice water filter to make water we find along the way safe to drink.
Flour and sugar and other dry goods can now be stored in containers that fit better in small spaces and can also be much more waterproof than those sacks. Instead of packing corn, you could take cornmeal which would take up less space and actually leave you with more food. Quilts and blankets would be a must and still take up just as much room. Clothing would also be a problem. I am a bit spoiled and could wear clothes for days on end without washing them, but I really wouldn't want to have to.

Tools are much more compact and effeciant than they used to be. A screwdriver and a hammer and ax or hand saw would probably be suffecient to fix most things. A gun cleaning kit would be nice. If you can't shoot your gun, you can't get fresh meat. I have a spinning wheel that is small and compact and I would like to take that if the SHTF.

This picture I just had to add because I don't think I have ever seen 50 lbs of lard at one time. I don't imagine that barrel would be pleasant to be around in 100 degree weather. I am so grateful that I didn't have to travel the way the pioneers did. Even if our family ended up walking across the desert, things would still be much easier than it was then. Or would it? Have we as a society become spoiled enough that it would actually be harder? What do you think?

Friday, June 5, 2009

Quote of the Day

"Bitch, eat a cheeseburger and shut up"


I went to the local butcher who raises their own beef, pork and chickens. A women and her college-aged daughter came in and stood next to me. The daughter begins to make gagging noises and talk loudly about how meat was murder and the place smelled like blood and terror. I finally mentioned casually that these cows were raised on grass, and allowed to age naturally without hormones, and were probably about the happiest cows around. She disagreed, and we went back and forth for a bit before I lost my temper, resulting in the above comment.

Friday Funny

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Good vibes/prayer/thoughts Request

I don't normally ask for things like this because I generally find them silly, but (our neighbor) May's little nephew broke his leg today. He was trying to climb on his dad's motorcycle, and it collapsed unto him. He's in surgery at the moment, and just a tiny little two year old. Please send good thoughts his way.

Pie Crust!

So I was raised by a grandmother who did everything from scratch. To me store bought pie crust is sacrilege. I mean there is no way to buy a frozen crust and have it be all soft and flaky. I am also a fan of lattice topped pie. I love rolling and cutting and weaving the tops to make a wonderful lattice and then sprinkling with cinnamon and sugar. I found a wonderful pie crust recipie in my betty crocker cook book and I have never had a bad crust. Once we are settled I will make a pie to demonstrait the beauty that is from scratch.

TSA Agent Say What?

As I mentioned earlier this week, my mom and I did a whirlwind trip to Northern California this weekend. We flew, because a 75 min flight sounded a lot better then a 16 hour drive. We got up at the crack of dawn, drove to the airport (about 2 hours) and got there about 8:30 am. I was tired as all get out, hadn't had coffee (my mom is a non-habitual tea drinker, so the need for coffee in the morning is not on her radar) and had already had two calls from my dad (who was watching the boy).

We checked in, and worked our way to the security area, which as always was packed. They had two agents standing and reminding people to take off their shoes, have out any electronics, yata yata. One new twist was they asked that people remove any toiletries (which were require to be in plastic baggies) and place them directly in the bins. I remove my toothpaste and brush, and am trying to juggle my carry-on, purse, shoes, camera, cell phone, my mom's GPS and the plastic baggy with my toothpaste and brush.

I get a tap on the shoulder and turn around. A TSA agent (who 15 seconds previously was chatting on his cell phone, and obviously not about anything involving the airport) pokes at my hands and says "You can't take that". Now, I'm holding quite a few things and frankly I'm not sure what he's talking about. I asked what he means, he scowls then rolls his eyes and says "that toothpaste".

I must have had an odd look on my face (what wrong with my damn toothpaste?) and he says slowly "Its. Too. Big." I look at it and say "It's a toothpaste bottle". He says "It's 4.6 ounces, you can't carry more then 3.4". Now I'm not sure what traveling god decided on 3.4 ounces as the magical non-endangering number, but right that second I hoped they were burning in hell. I set down all of my things, and pointedly hold out the baggy between us, open the bag and remove the offender. I walk to the garbage can (still holding it at arms length) and throw it away. Walk back and seal my plastic baggy. "Better?" I say. The agent glares at me and walks away. And behind me, the ocean of people begin to clap.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Oh the fun of pre-school years

So the Boy slipped and hit his face on a window seal, in the process putting all his front teeth through his lip. There was so much blood my initial thought was that he bit through his tongue. He's asleep now but his lip is swollen to high heaven.

Any tips or tricks to help with the swelling/pain tomorrow?

Quote of the Day

"You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life."

-Winston Churchill

Canning is Cool

Or at least it took an article from the New York Post for my sister to decide I hadn't completely lost my marbles.

beautiful guns

These were just too cool not to share. I never did see any information on the hand gun. They guy who owned it was talking to someone else and I didn't get to ask questions. He said it wasn't a very old gun, it just looked like one. All of the silver on this is inlayed. Beautiful gun with amazing craftsmanship. They have nothing whatso ever to do with preps or survival, they were just something cool I saw at our pioneer festival and I wanted to share.

This rifle is a gun I would love to own someday. Not for any practical reason (obviously) just because it is so pretty. I know, its a girl thing. All of the silver was inlayed and the design on the stock is wire inlay. Coolest gun I have ever seen. Prettiest gun I have ever seen. I could get excited about guns if they all looked like this one! Here is one more.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Returned for a Quick Trip

I just got back from a on the fly trip to Northern California to my mom. It was pretty much a whirlwind, but we managed to see some family (including an adorable niece I had yet to see) and even squeezed in a couple hours in the Bay Area.

Today I'm playing catch up, but I plan on posting quite a bit more this week. In the gauntlet is attempt #1 at Spaghetti Sauce (I'm doing Attempt #2 tonight or tomorrow), canning said sauce, whipping up some buffalo meatballs, hopefully canning (and maybe pickling) some asparagus and anything else I can think of.

Strawberry season is coming any day, and a Jam-A-Thon is in the works. Hopefully I'll be canning quite a bit as the newest veggies and fruits came in over the next several weeks.

Oxen, pioneer preps part 2

We got to see and pet a pair of oxen last weekend at our local pioneer festival. These things are HUGE! This particular animal was 6 feet tall at the shoulder. They were used to pull wagons in the pioneer days because they were stronger and more surefooted than horses. They were slower than horses but were more palatible if food got scarce. As far as using oxen nowdays, I think there are other animals that are much much more practical. Horses are more common but would still need hay to eat. In my opinion the goat is the perfect survival animal. They can be trained to pull a cart with minimal training. The nannies give a very rich milk that can be used for cheese and butter. They often give birth to twins, making herd building fairly quick. They can be used for meat and their hide can be made into leather. They can also eat almost anything! They could easily survive on brush or wild growing vegitation. I have also heard that in the case of nuclear fallout, goat milk will be the only foodnot contaminated. If anyone has any more info on that, I would love to know if it is true.

Monday, June 1, 2009

prepardness pioneer style

We took the kids to a pioneer style festival this last weekend. They got to see Oxen (huge!), they got to watch a blacksmith working to build a wooden bucket, they got to see tanned animal hides, play with pioneer toys, make butter and lot more. Hubby was way more interested than any of us expected. He really got into all of thee technical stuff like how to build his own bow and shelter building with sagebrush, ect. It was a lot of fun. I am going to break up the different parts of this festival into several blog posts, just because mylife is crazy and I doubt I will have much to blog about any time soon.