Monday, June 29, 2009
Saturday, June 27, 2009
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
Thursday, June 25, 2009
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.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
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!
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
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
Sunday, June 21, 2009
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.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
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
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.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
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!
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
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.
Monday, June 15, 2009
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
Saturday, June 13, 2009
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.
Friday, June 12, 2009
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!
Thursday, June 11, 2009
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.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
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
Sunday, June 7, 2009
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.
BAKE SALE LEMON BARS
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)
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
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
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.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
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.
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
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?
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
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.
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
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.