Saturday, November 13, 2010

This -n- That

Sooooo . . . . I have been away forever! Just busy, that is all. Now things are slowing up a bit and I can get back to regular blogging. Just wanted to blog about a few things that I am thankful for.

* A warm house.

* A warm house that is now refinanced, saving us almost $74,000 in interest - more than the price of the house.

* A warm house that will be paid off in 15 years, not 30.

* The beautiful autumn palette of colors . . . creams, yellows, oranges, browns, reds, burgundy, black, green.

* My parents - we went on a road trip today and had such a good time.

* A doctor who listens to me.

* A hardworking husband who is working hard to install our new shower downstairs.

* A really good ham sandwich at one of the Mennonite stores today - freshly cut ham, swiss cheese, fresh homemade oatmeal bread, pickles, mustard and onion. Wowsa - it was great!

* Finding bargains.

* Fresh hot popcorn with butter and a cold Dr. Pepper.

* Kitty kisses.

* Living in a land of freedom.

* The men and women who have sacrificed so we can have that freedom.

* Rain to settle the dust.

* Pumpkin Whoopie Pies.

* A real bargain on 820 count Egyptian Cotton sheets - like sleeping on silk!

* Homemade challah.

Until next time, my friends. Love you all much!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

I Remember

I remember where I was 10 years ago today . . . . about an hour from now . . .

I was at work. It had started out as a normal day and then the secretary said something about the Twin Towers. We went across the hall to the doctor's lounge and watched the footage. I remember the sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach as the smoke towered up. Then, while we were watching live footage, the second plane crashed. The television reporter and everyone else in the room with me was talking about air traffic controller mistakes, which is what it was originally thought to be.

I turned to the other girls and said - oh, girls, this is not just an air traffic controller mistake. That just doesn't happen - not with a building that big. Mark my words, girls, this is a terrorist act . . . . and the man behind it is Osama Bin Laden. Those words had to come from the Lord. There is no other way. I had heard of Osama Bin Laden - vaguely. But I don't watch the news and I had no real thought of him before I spoke. The words just came out.

I remember the hurt I felt for those people, the outrage I felt that such a thing had happened.

I know that America has not had to deal with the kind of terrorism that many other countries have. We don't have daily bombings everywhere and we can generally walk the streets without having to worry about snipers. We have been fortunate that way.

I remember the outrage I felt as an American, even being so far removed from what happened. But burning the Quran isn't going to bring those people back. It will not reverse any of the damage that was done that day. All it will do is incite other terrorists and hate crimes. No, I do not think that they should be allowed to build a mosque at the proposed site. Both actions will cause further tensions in this world that is already riddled with them. But two wrongs don't make one right.

Let's remember our brave heros and mourn our dead from that fateful day - not commit further terroristic acts.

Sorry if this offends anyone, but this is my blog and this is how I feel.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Glorious Fall Day

Hello everyone! It is an absolutely be-yoo-ti-ful day here in Missouri. Fall is finally starting to peek its head around the corner. We have had a bright, sunny day with bright blue sky and warm temperatures. These kind of days could just last forever, as far as I am concerned. I had a great day (even tho my hay fever is in full swing) just out and about. I mailed a package at the post office, stopped in and paid the water bill, did a bit of grocery shopping, got breakfast from Wendy's (bacon panini, seasoned red potatoes and iced coffee - YUM)and have just been lazing around home, doing a bit here and there. Then my parents came over with my niece who is up visiting from South Carolina. We ordered pizza for lunch and had such a good visit. DS and his girlfriend, Liz came thru on their way down to visit Liz's parents. Such a great change from the hectic work week. Only thing is, I do have to work tomorrow and Sunday - blah. Then I am off Monday and Tuesday. Oh, well, it pays the bills I guess.

Thought you all might like to see a few pictures from our sister's tea last weekend. I say sister's tea - it is actually my mom and her sisters. Alas, I have none.

This is a picture of my Mom's oldest living sister, Colleen. It was her house that we were at for the tea party. She polishs rocks and makes jewelry, etc. out of them. My mom is leaning over her shoulder.

This is my aunt Marilyn, the next oldest. She does house cleaning, etc. She is an ordained minister - Methodist, I think.

This is my aunt Naomi. She has a twin sister, Ramona, who lives in Nebraska and so was not at the tea party. Naomi is an LPN at a local hospital.

This is my aunt Charlene. She is a widow and works as a janitor at a local school.

This is my aunt Loqueeta. She and her husband farm-sit year-round for a jet-set couple.

This is a picture of all of them together. They really have a strong resemblance, don't you think?

We have a lot of fun, they gab and gab and gab. Well, me and my cousins do as well.

Thought you might want to know what I whipped up to take!

Ham Salad

I am very bad about measuring anything, but here goes. This turned out very moreish.

1 lb sliced ham
1 hard boiled egg
2 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, cubed
1 large or two small stalks celery - chopped
1 tablespoon (more to taste) chopped white onion

1 tablespoon honey
2-3 tablespoons Dijon mustard (I used the country style with the seeds)
1-3 to 1/2 cup mayonnaise
2-3 tablespoons pickle relish
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste

In a small bowl, mix dressing ingredients. Throw everything else in the food processor and process until finely chopped. You can make this as chunky or smooth as you like. Pour dressing over top and mix well. Serve with crackers, like Ritz. I used the buttery garlic club crackers - oh yeah!

Hope everyone is having a fantastic week.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Late Summer Busyness

Hello everyone! Sorry that it took me so long to get back, but we have been soooo busy! Had company from Oklahoma, Honey's daughter and her children, then Honey turned the big 5-0. We got a new (to us) car and gave our old(er) one to his daughter.

A picture of our *new* car.

Work has been crazy, our newest girl quit (thankfully, she just was not happy) and so with all of that (and just normal, everyday life) I have not been able to post. I do believe, now that things are settling down, that I can post more regularly. I am determined to do so.

The weather is slowly, oh-so-slowly, (definitely turtle-like) turning to fall. We had several weeks of such high temperatures, 100+ every day. I do not tolerate heat very well, I do better in cooler temperatures, so I am so grateful. I would love to have my windows open, only thing is ragweed season is upon us. *Do pray for me in that regard, won't you?* My doctor will just want to give me a steroid shot - no thanks. I am praying for an early frost. But the skies have been getting bluer - have you ever noticed that in summer they have the look of an old, washed out pair of jeans? In fall, they slowly turn more azure overhead, with a blending to lighter blue at the horizon. We are having cooler temperatures and the locusts sing with all their might, a buzzing drone signaling the end of summer.

Personally, I am ready for crisp fall leaves, pumpkins and all the other accouterments of fall.

Poor kitty - he wants outside with me.

Books on the piano.

My newest fleece tie blanket. Red and white stars on one side, navy on the other. These blankets are sooooo warm and they wash so well. They take about 3 hours to make. Easy peasy!

A picture a dear uncle painted for me that hangs in my office.

Art. I found these at a flea market for $1.

Honey's daughter, Kelilah and her sons, Dillon - green shirt and Austin - gray.

Hot and sweaty Grandpa with hot and sweaty grandsons. Our backyard sits right against a soccer field and they were out playing soccer. You can see some of the bleachers in the background. The dividing line is where the grass looks different.

Grandpa and Austin.

Dillon licking chocolate frosting off of the mixer beater.

I do hope that each and every one of you are well and winding up your summer with fun. I am looking forward to going to the local orchard and getting some apples and just taking long walks in the crisp fall air.

I am off today with Mama to her oldest sister's house for a tea party. Better get cracking on making some goodies!

Sunday, July 25, 2010


My friend Rosie did a traditions post, so I thought I would follow suit. Now that I am older and my son is grown, we don't do some of the things that we did when he was little. When (if) I have grandchildren, I am sure that will change!

We have always been a close family. My Dad was in the military, got out when I was about 5, so we moved a lot. I was born in Germany and, until I was 5, we never lived close to any of my grandparents. In fact, I did not meet any of them until I was 3. Living away from extended family, we kind of started our own family traditions to celebrate holidays. From age 5 to 11, we lived near my Dad's parents, so we celebrated holidays with them. From 11 on, we lived near my Mom's parents. Now, my mom was 1 of 14 children, so holidays at their house was usually out, especially in the winter, too many people to fit in the house. We settled for a family reunion once a year. So, back to holidays with just our family. We usually ended up having some friends around as well. Then when I got married and was out on my own, I started some traditions of my own.

Holidays at our house has always meant fun, laughter and lots and lots of great food. My mom is a great cook and cooking is my passion. There are still some things that she makes that are just better tho! Nowadays, with my brothers married and have families/children/grandchildren of their own, about the only holiday that we ALL get together for is Thanksgiving. My mom likes to do it at her house. We still get together for other holidays, just not all of us.

New Years Eve/New Year's Day
New Year's Eve, we have a smorgasbord. Usually all kinds of snacks: fresh veggie tray, chips and dip, maybe pizza, cold boiled shrimp, bbq meatballs, sandwiches, cookies, fudge. I like to stay up to see the New Year in, but my parents don't like to drive that late. We play games - scattergories, catch phrase, taboo, etc. Sometimes we will watch a movie, Dad likes documentaries. On New Year's day, some of us will get together and have a meal. It is traditional to have some kind of greens (cooked with onion and bacon, served with a bit of vinegar) and black-eyed peas. We usually have cornbread, fried potatoes and maybe pork roast with this as well. Sometimes on New Year's Eve, our church will have a watch night service and we take snacks, play games, etc. Some times we have a foot washing as well.

For Valentines, my Honey usually gets me the most beautiful card and roses. Sometimes I cook a special dinner, maybe ribeye steak and sometimes we go out - usually for steak. I usually make cupcakes to take to work. When my son was little, I would make a heart-shaped homemade pizza and we always had special valentine candy and cupcakes for him to take to school.

St. Patrick's Day
Being Irish on my Dad's side, we have a lot of fun with St. Paddy's. We all wear green - you will get pinched around our house if you don't. As for dinner, either traditional Corned Beef or sometimes Reubens. Colcannon is a must, as is Irish Soda bread. I adore Celtic music, so we have plenty to choose from.

For Easter, we used to have egg hunts when my son was little. I don't color eggs any more now. We do, however, have a big ham dinner. We get our ham from Burger's Smokehouse in California, about 100 miles from here. Wowsa, it is good. AuGratin potatoes - which my son thought were old rotten potatoes when he was little. Homemade rolls and butter, usually asparagus and a good salad. Then for dessert, either cheesecake or carrot cake. When I was little, Mom would make a Rabbit cake. We of course go to church.

Independence Day
We usually have a big BBQ with friends and family. Hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, corn on the cob, baked beans, cold sweet tea and watermelon for dessert. One of my niece's birthday is the 4th, so if she is around, we celebrate that as well! Sometimes it can really be hot here in Missouri at this time of year, so a lot depends on the weather. We have Olde Glory Days uptown on the square. It is kind of like a fair - rides for the kiddies, food booths, crafts, etc. The museum gives free tours, they have an art show, a quilt show, singing, etc. On Saturday they have a parade. I like to go up and get a funnel cake and maybe a fresh limeade. When my son was little, I would buy some firecrackers. Now that he is grown, we just watch the big ones that the City does.

This is our big family get-together. Usually everyone is there. We eat at Mom's house. Honey and I usually go over early to help Mom and get the tables set up. Mom and I share the food prep, so I will make my things the day before usually and just bring them and heat them up if need be. We usually take family pictures at Thanksgiving. A tradition for me and my son was to go home and read in the afternoon, eat a turkey sandwich and pumpkin pie for dessert. Our menu usually consists of: Turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, sweet potatoes, homemade rolls with butter, green beans, corn, pumpkin pie, cherry pie, pecan pie. We usually throw in a few extras that vary from year to year. My oldest niece makes some sort of fruit salad. My SIL Jill makes deviled eggs. Last year I made escalloped onions - yummie! Mom sometimes makes creamed corn and oysters, which I think is just gross. My Dad likes it. We have homemade pickles and cranberry sauce as well.

Christmas is where the traditions got a little varied. On Christmas eve, I would let my son open one gift. Then on Christmas morning, we have a big breakfast, usually omelets and cinnamon rolls with juice, after opening the rest of the presents. We still have a big breakfast, Mom usually brings the cinnamon rolls - hers taste much better, I think! When I was growing up, Mom was allergic to real trees, so we always had artificial. We have just a small one and I decorate with ornaments I have kept for years. I would like to have a little fresh greenery, but I am afraid the kittie would not leave it alone. We like to do homemade gifts, Mom makes a fabulous chocolate chip cookie mix. Last year I did the pickles I posted about. We have a traditional dinner, usually roast beef with all the trimmings. When my son was little, I would buy up snack foods - pizza, chips, etc. that we liked and, instead of a big family get together, he and I would have breakfast, open presents and then just snack for the rest of the day. We would stay in our pajamas, maybe watch a movie or listen to a book on tape, read or whatever. I have always enjoyed making cookie and candy trays to send to his teachers and to give to all of our friends and family.

I am the only daughter, so I do Mother's Day and Father's Day and I do birthdays for my Honey, my son and Mom and Dad. I usually ask the person we are celebrating for what they would like and then fix it. Mom likes sub sandwiches or maybe pizza. Dad likes roast beef or meatloaf. Honey likes chicken fried steak. My son likes pizza, but this year he requested Cherry-Glazed Ham.

For Memorial Day and Labor day, we usually just barbecue. The last weekend in September, weather permitting, we have a family reunion on Mom's side. There are a lot of us - well over 100. We either bring pot luck or have a weenie roast. I like to make a big crockpot of nacho dip, that goes over well with the kids.

I hope you have enjoyed hearing about our traditions. I would love to hear about some of yours. I promise I will be getting some pictures up soon, I just now got the camera back!

Friday, July 16, 2010


Here are some random thoughts on how God has blessed me over the past days . . . .

1. Seeing a faun, about the size of a large dog, still had it's spots. It walked across the road in front of us while we were coming home after eating breakfast out last Saturday. So beautiful.

2. Getting blue and green ceramic tile for our bathroom floors. They had a great sale and just the colors I wanted - we were able to get enough to do upstairs in blue and downstairs in green. It will be a while before we have time to do it, but when we do, the materials are at hand. We happened to have the finances and it was a great deal. Jehovah Jireh, my provider.

3. The violent storm that came thru last Sunday did not damage any more than what it did. Some houses actually had trees fall on them - we had 90 mile per hour straight line winds and some tornadic activity. All we had was the top out of one of our maples twisted off and deposited in the back yard. Well, that and other numerous smaller limbs and leaves EVERYWHERE. Jehovah Nissi, my protector.

4. For a good working relationship with our head surgeon. I had a small medical problem come up and when I called his office to see if I could get in, they were so nice, got me in immediately, even though I was a work-in. He was really good about it and said no charge.

5. For the medication that my Mom is taking helping her. She has recently been diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia, which is a very, very painful condition of the nerves in the face. She is quite sensitive to medications and we were not sure if the medication the neurologist gave her would give her too many side effects or not. Thankfully, it works fine. Actually, prayer is what works, the medication just helps. Jehovah Rapha, my healer.

6. For a situation at work resolving. Prayer made the difference in this instance as well.

7. Ripe tomatoes right off the vine!! Plus I had enough to share at work. Last night we had bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches. Yummie!

8. Our car is ready! We recently purchased a new (to us) car, but it had to have a few very minor things fixed. They called yesterday and it is done. Honey and his uncle are going tonight to pick it up. We got a really good deal on it. Now, we can bless his daughter with our current car, which is still a great car.

9. That I did not kill my cat. Our cat is diabetic and is on insulin twice a day. He is really good about taking his shots, does not fuss at all. I usually use 0.5 cc syringes, which are marked in 1 unit increments. My dad gives me all of the syringes, he gets them free. Well, this last batch he gave me are 1 cc syringes, they are marked in 2 unit increments. I DID NOT NOTICE THAT RIGHT AWAY!!! So for a couple of days, I gave my cat twice the normal amount of insulin. Could have killed him, if their blood sugar goes too low, they can go into a coma, just like a human. I wondered why his appetite was off.

10. That my friend, Ruth, linked my blog to hers. She is so sweet!

So that my friends are just some of the blessings I am sharing with you this fine day.

Don't be shy, post me a line and let me know how I am doing.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Hello out there in Blogland!

I really should apologize for my long, long hiatus - but I don't think I will. I have been so busy living life that my journaling was set aside for a time. I think that there are sometimes in life that some things become "less important" to us. Not that my blog is not important, I just refocused for a while.

My dear mother-in-love has been visiting us from St. Louis. We have had such a good time - Went on a museum tour, the local carnival, out to eat, for drives and walks. Good times.

God has been so good to us. We have purchased a new car. Well, not brand new, but new to us. Honey's younger daughter is in need of good transportation and so we will be giving her our current car. It is still a good car and will last for a good while longer. Through God's grace and Honey's relentless pursuit, we found a really, really good deal. We will go pick it up next week or so.

I have thoroughly enjoyed yesterday and today - no set schedule, just the natural rhythm of things. Time spent cleaning, visiting, cooking, resting - very enjoyable. Peaceful. Time spent with family. Comfortable time. Loving time.

As I had to work on the 4th, we had our holiday dinner last night. We had:
Brisket, cooked in the slow cooker until it was just falling apart - served with BBQ sauce on the side.
Fresh sliced tomatoes, the first we have had this year, sprinkled with sea salt and fresh ground pepper.
Potato salad, my Mom's is the very best I think.
Corn on the cob, oh-so-sweet and dripping with butter.
Baked beans, cooked slow in the oven with onion and little bits of smoked brisket.
Fresh cucumbers and Vidalia onion in Vinegar, so refreshing.
Fresh Bing cherries and cantaloupe.
Pickled baby beets, jewel-toned and sweet-sour.
Cheese cubes - Colby and pepper jack.
Coleslaw with vinaigrette dressing.
Deviled eggs, my SIL's specialty.
Watermelon, juicy and sweet.
Iced tea, liquid amber coolness, sweet and fresh.
No bake cookies - just the perfect ending, crumbly chocolatey goodness.

Sorry for no pictures, DS has my camera just at the moment.

I am going to leave you with my recipe for:

Cucumbers and Onions in Vinegar
Fresh cucumbers - I bought small ones at farmer's market
Vidalia onion - I bought a 10 pound bag from the Shriners when they had a sale **
Apple Cider Vinegar
Fresh ground pepper

Scrub your cucumbers well. I used regular Kirby cucumbers, the kind used for pickling, the ones with the bumps. Just slice off either end. A good way to check them to make sure they are not bitter - stick your tongue on the cut end. You will be able to tell if they are bitter, I guarantee! Anyway, slice your cucumbers fairly thin. You can do this with cucumbers from the store, just peel them first.

Slice your Vidalia onion thinly. I used about half an onion to 4 smallish cucumbers, use more or less to your taste. My cucumbers were probably 5-6 inches in length, maybe 1-2 in around?

Put cucumbers and onions in a bowl.

In the bottom of your liquid measuring cup, mix together about 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and about 1-1/2 tablespoons sugar - more or less of these to taste. Then for the amounts listed above, I used 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup water. Mix until salt and sugar are both dissolved. Pour over the cucumbers and onion. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper. Refrigerate and let flavors mingle, preferrably for a couple of days.

These are so refreshing in the summer. Low cal. Fat free. I like to put them on some bread and butter and make a sandwich - great at tea time.

**Tip for storing onions: I leave mine in the mesh bag and store them on the floor of my basement or garage, out of the light. They stay fresh a long time that way.

Well, I must be up and about, living and loving. Much love to you all - Raquel

Monday, March 1, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY . . . March 01, 2010

Outside my window... gray skies, nothin' but gray skies - quite cool here this week

I am thinking... of how glad I am that spring is coming!

I am thankful for...a day off to do as I please

From the learning rooms...beginning piano lessons

From the kitchen... chocolate chip cinnamon rolls, marmelade rolls, 15-bean soup and cornbread

I am wearing... black knit skirt, socks and tennies, t-shirt and gray hoodie

I am creating... a clean storage room

I am going... to Ladies' Retreat in April

I am reading...Borrower of the Night by Elizabeth Peters

I am hoping... to get everything done today!

I am hearing...the fan on my little ceramic heater givin' me some love!

Around the house...clean bathroom, sweep and mop kitchen

One of my favorite things... is my new hours at work - 7 AM to 3:30 PM!

A few plans for the rest of the week: Not a lot as I will be working and training - it really drains me

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

Homemade candied rose petals - I can't wait for my roses to start blooming again!

Hot Turkey and Mushroom Subs

These are a quick fix and my guys just love them. They are patterned after a "Dive" sub.

Turkey lunchmeat - I prefer the oven-roasted variety for this
Sub buns - I use uncut ones
Fresh mushrooms
Seasoning to taste - I use Morton's Nature's Seasoning
Sharp Cheddar cheese
Heavy cream

Cut a v in the top of the sub buns, then pinch insides out, leaving about a 1/2 inch shell. Lay turkey in bun. Saute mushrooms in butter - however many you want - and season to taste. Spoon on top of turkey. In a small saucepan, cube about 3 oz. of cheese and then pour over top about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of cream. Heat gently and stir until cheese is melted. Pour cheese sauce over mushrooms. Put "lids" back on top of buns and wrap in foil. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes. Enjoy!

You can add whatever else you like, but my guys prefer these as is. In place of cheese sauce, I suppose you could use turkey gravy - mmmmmm!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY... Monday, January 25, 2010

Outside my window... Still inky black, up early today

I am thinking... of how I really enjoyed my weekend, even tho I had to work

I am thankful for... My job, even if it does drive me bonkers most days

I am wearing... pink bunny pajamas and a sweater - it's gotten COLD outside

I am remembering... such sweet kisses from my little Gwennie pig

I am going... to be staying home today until my Honey gets home this evening - then to Wal-Mart for a few things and out to eat

I am currently reading... A Sherlock Holmes story

I am hoping... to watch the rest of Return to Cranford today

On my mind... organizing everything around here

Noticing that... I have been really lax in keeping this blog up!

From the kitchen... Leek and Potato Soup, lemon pie. Later on in the week - Green Chili Beef Burritos, chicken tetrazzini, teriyaki pork tenderloin

Around the house... sweep and mop - again! Otherwise, organizing my cabinets

One of my favorite things . . . food magazines! I am hopelessly addicted!

From my picture journal...

It's CAT TV! Honey put up a bird-squirrel feeder just outside the living room window. Constant, non-stop entertainment for the kittie!

got daybook?

Chicken Tetrazzini

1 (16 ounce) package thin spaghetti (I like to use cavatappi)
1/3 cup butter
1 large onion, chopped
1-2 tablespoon fresh minced garlic
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms (or use 1-2 cans sliced drained mushrooms)
1/4 cup whipping cream
3 cups chopped cooked chicken or cooked turkey
1 (10 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 (10 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 (10 ounce) can condensed cream of celery soup, undiluted
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese, divided
1 cup frozen peas
fresh ground black pepper (to taste)

Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 13 x 9-inch casserole dish (or a large oval casserole dish). Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling water until al dente (do not overcook the pasta, leave semi-firm as it will cook more in the oven) drain, then transfer to a large bowl. Add in whipping cream and all three canned soups, cooked chicken or turkey, sour cream, Parmesan cheese, 1-1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese and frozen peas, toss well to combine. In a large skillet melt butter; add in the mushrooms and saute until done. To the skillet with the mushrooms, add in onions and garlic; sauté until onions are soft; add to the soup mixture. Mix all ingredients together until well combined. Season with seasoned salt and pepper (I use Morton's Nature's Seasoning). Transfer to prepared baking dish. Cover with foil and bake about 30-35 minutes (or until hot and bubbly); uncover and sprinkle with about 1 cup grated cheddar cheese, return to oven and bake until cheese is melted (about 5-8 minutes).

I also top this with some french fried onions. Sliced almonds are a very welcome addition as well. You can use whatever cheese you like. This makes quite a large dish, will serve 8.

Recipe originally from Kittencal on Recipezaar. I modified just a tidge.

Well, Honey is off to work now, time for me to get busy doing all the myriad of little things that need doing. Wishing you all a warm and productive day!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY(January 19, 2010)... Pretend its Monday

Outside my window... Gray skies and clouds - supposed to start raining later this evening. I can sure tell, my feet and hands are aching - I have early arthritis

I am thinking... of how lovely it will be when Spring arrives

I am thankful for...the day off today. It is now Friday!

From the kitchen... Roast Chicken, potatoes, broccoli and cheese, wheat rolls

I am wearing... jammies!

I am creating... a tax return!

I am going... to hopefully take my little great-niece to McDonald's for lunch later today

I am reading... 14,000 things to be happy about

I am hoping... that my dear SIL has a speedy recovery from back surgery

I am hearing...the quiet hum of the 'puter

Around the house...sweep and mop, vacuum, straighten up kitchen cabinets

One of my favorite things... sending something to someone - "just because"

A few plans for the rest of the week: Well, off today, work the weekend, off Monday

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

A little gray squirrel we have - not sure if you can tell, but his ears are white!

And now for those pickles I was telling you about!

Jane Maynard Pickles

Hot, sweet, dilly, garlicky and incredibly crisp - oh Mamma!

My boss brought some of these to work and I fell in absolute love with them! Everyone who tries them likes them - if you like sweet pickles that is!

Our local coffeeshop serves a similar pickle with their lunch sandwiches - they are sooo good. I asked them how they made theirs and it involved a 5-gallon bucket of pickles! While not up to making THAT many at a time, I do the following recipe by the 2 quart, 1 pint jars.

Anyway, these are a cinch to make and very, very tasty - by themselves, on a relish tray, on sandwiches . . . . I am looking to try some in potato salad later this year.

First, take a jar of pickles. The amounts I am going to give you are for a gallon jar of pickles. You want whole dills. I use Vlasic, they have them in the bulk foods section at our local Wal-Mart. The jars I get are just over half a gallon. (I am going to post the amounts I use for the 2 quart,1 pint jars below.)

Drain off the juice, reserving 1-2/3 cups of the juice. Remove pickles from the jar and slice into 1/4 inch slices. Or spears. Or cubes. Or however you like them. Put the reserved juice back in the jar. Add 6 cloves of garlic, chopped, 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes, 2 teaspoons hot sauce (I use Tabasco) and 7 cups of sugar. Stir it vigorously. Yes, it will be a sludge. It should look like the picture below.

Now, take the sliced pickles and put them back in the jar, mushing them down a bit as you go. Yes, they will all fit. Yes, they will fill the jar. First time I thought - no way those sliced pickles are going to take as much room as the whole ones. Silly me. Then when putting them in the jar I thought - oh dear, are they all going to fit? Silly me again! Here are my sliced pickles.

Now, put the lid on the jar and roll it around. I just rolled it around on my lap until the sugar was good and dissolved. Otherwise, and this is what the original recipe says to do, lay the jar on its side on the cabinet and roll it occasionally until the sugar is dissolved. I will tell you if you decide to do this - get your hubby to tighten the lid, because mine leaked a bit. I made several jars of these for Christmas presents - my total cost was around $5 a jar.

You need to let these season for at least 2 weeks before eating.

They are edible after 1 week, but oh, so much better after 2. Just let the jar sit on the counter and stir every once in a while. If you are making them to give away, you better make 2 jars - one for you and one for who you are giving them to. Just telling you - they are that good, you will want them all for yourself.

Amounts for the smaller jars:

juice - 3/4 plus 1/3 cup
garlic - 4 cloves
red pepper flakes - 1/2 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon
Tabasco - 1-1/4 teaspoons
sugar - 4-1/4 plus 1/8 cup

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Monday, January 4, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY... January 04, 2010

Outside my window... cold, cold, cold with fresh snow - so pretty

I am thinking... of how I dread work today

I am thankful for... a wonderful husband who is so patient with me

I am wearing... Jammies - gotta get ready for work tho

I am remembering... of how gorgeous it was watching it snow yesterday - so peaceful

I am going... to nip by Aldi's later and pick up some staples - milk, bread, eggs

I am currently reading... 14,000 things to be happy about

I am hoping... that my SIL's back surgery goes well today

On my mind... just realized today is my MIL's B-day and we forgot!

Noticing that... deliberately living simple is so much easier!

From the kitchen... soft tacos and yellow rice

Around the house... Not a lot, do need to sweep, mop and vacuum

One of my favorite things . . . putting up and taking down the Christmas Tree

From my picture journal... be posting this later, Must hurry off to work

Also I will be posting a recipe - and pictures - for the most beautiful pickles you have ever eaten!

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