Sunday, August 31, 2008

At the Boy's Ranch....

Today we have been having a little fun at our Aunt L. and Uncle H's house. That's him leading Diva Dressage Rider around the yard on a reluctant steed. My little Knight rode too, but the memory card was not in the camera when I took his picture, so guess we will have to depend on Grandma to send us one of that.

Ya just gotta love the dress and sunglasses. She has a big pink hair bow too, but it is under the helmet, which is fashionably askew. Those of you who are horse folk ...take a lookie at that saddle. That is a $800.00 saddle on a $80 horse! It is a practically new aussie endurance saddle.

So, after taking our ride, then having a delicious supper of taco salad and burritos, we all hauled down the driveway to the pool...........Gaga bought some worms at the gas station, so we will be going fishing in the morning. Hopefully, we will at least get a minnow sized something! I have never been in a gas station that had worms right there on the counter next to the fried chicken and candy bars, but guess if your desperate for worms or chicken, you aren't terribly bothered by the company they keep.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

People are already starting to evacuate from the coast into this area. I swear, had I been living down there I would have either not gone back, or just bought an RV to live in so I could just drive it off and still be at "home".

NOW I remember........

Now I remember why I haven't made any jam, jelly, preserves or put up any vegetables in a couple of years.
Let me illustrate using a mathematical equation:
10 lbs pears + 9 cups of sugar + 4 lemons+ 12 jars = 3 pints of pear preserves.

Doesn't seem to be really balanced, huh? I guess it would be a frugal thing to do if you already had the jars and the fruit grew in your yard, but that ain't the case here. Oh well....I did it so my kid could see where stuff like that comes from, and I remember my grandmother making it. Funny the things you remember because she has been gone since 1973 and I remember seeing the lemon slices in the jar when it was sitting on her counter.
There was only one casualty in the whole preserve making process ( which took all afternoon) - the head part of my melon baller broke off. I was using it to core the pears because it makes a nice round hole. I guess the things were a little on the hard side. Now I'll have to find another one somewhere, or just buy an apple corer, which is what I use it for anyway. Not much melon around here.

Now that I have 9 extra jars, maybe I'll make some apple butter. I figure about 30 lbs of apples might fill them up!

Farmer's Market - Saturday

I am so thankful that we are closed one Saturday a month. So many things happen on Saturday morning that those of us who have to be at work just miss out on. We made a tremendous haul of tomatoes ( green and red), turnip greens ( child wanted them- she is strange), squash, peas, and a BUNCH of pears. I have already sorted and cleaned the greens and popped them in a pot to cook for supper. The peas are called "Wild Goose" and look interesting. They are purple and green spotted, but I figure they will lose that when cooked. We are gonna have those tonight too.

That handsome baby is probably going to have to come live with us because his mom won't feed him anything but watermelon in one of those mesh paci things. Can't you see how skinny and wasted he is. I heard him tell Girlie that he really wanted some ribs to gnaw on. Poor thing.

Now off to make some pear preserves. But first, one last picture........ I even do it at home , y'all.
How sad is that?

On today's agenda.....

The girlie baby and I are meeting my nurse and her boy baby at the Farmer's market this morning as soon as my shirt gets out of the dryer. I got a big wad of small bills, so we should come back loaded with fresh stuff to cook up. I hear they have fresh roasted coffee beans there too, so we may be highly caffeinated as well!

Later today, I hope to have a few minutes to scan in some old pictures I found. Some of them are really cool, and some of you reading this thing might even be in them!


Friday, August 29, 2008

Finally! I got him!

"Manduca quinquemaculata." That is the real name of the booger -head who has been eating my two remaining tomato plants. Just when I thought the bush plants were making a comeback-
TA DA! Here this guy is trying to take them down. He looks like a dragon or some kind of sea monster. He wasn't really happy when I broke off the little stem he was on and sprayed him with hairspray ( no more bug spray - I used it all on spiders) and then lobbed him over the back fence. I don't know if that will kill him, but it made me feel better.

There will probably be 20 more tomorrow, but at least I got this one!

I made up a new pie last night and I just got home from work and tried some. It was so good that I had to come right here and get the "how to" down before I forget it all. ( over 40 people have that problem at times, ya know) I was thinking about making a lemon version of PW's chocolate mousse pie, but I only had one stick of butter, no lemons and no shortening for the crust. I did have some leftover key lime juice, so I decided to experiment with that.

So, here is what I did.


3 eggs

1 stick of butter

1 - 8 oz block of cream cheese

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup splenda

1/2 cup key lime juice

1 graham cracker crust

In stand mixer bowl, whip together softened cream cheese and butter. Dribble in the lime juice, whip well for a few minutes, scraping down the sides a couple of times. Add sugar and splenda and continue beating for about 3 minutes until blended. Add eggs one at a time, mixing for about 4 minutes in between.

Now, at this point this did NOT look like PW's chocolate filling. It was way too jiggly and loose, so I decided to cook it. I poured it into the crust until quite full, then put it in a 350 oven for what I intended to be maybe 10 minutes. Twenty minutes later when I took it out ( I forgot it while I was folding clothes) , it was a nice goldy color and really puffy. It fell a lot as it cooled, but was still sticky in the middle. I expected it would be a dismal failure ( right in line with my jello cookies), but I stuck it in the fridge anyway.

Today when I was on the way home I thought about it and decided that if my glucose was less than 85 I would try a little piece. It was 77, so I cut myself a little wedge of the pie and enjoyed the heck out of it. The texture was a lot like cheesecake, but not nearly so rich.

I don't know if using all splenda and no sugar would make it come out the same, but I bet you could reduce the carbs even more by making the crust out of sugar free vanilla wafers, or just lay the cookies in the bottom of a pie plate, then rim the pan with them after pouring the filling in. That would eliminate whatever sugar and fat might be in the crust.

Anyway, one of y'all needs to try it and see if the results are repeatable. The true test will come when I get a kid or Big Daddy to try it. I won't tell them it is "low sugar" so as not to slant their opinion.

I bet it would be really good with some pumpkin!!!!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Thursday am

Just a few pictures from this morning.....we had to make a birthday card for our teacher- 15 minutes before the bus came. I don't know why no one alerted me to the fact that it was teacher's birthday and that we needed to make a card, not to mention that we needed to get a Starbuck's card ( or similar) as a gift. Oh well..........

Bob was observing from on high . He is a big lug-head, but you can bet that wherever his girl is, he is close by. Gotta love him for that if for nothing else.

After the little punksters got on the bus, I went vet visiting. Now I am back home and have had a little sandwich and am trying to decide whether to just start another load of laundry and the dishwasher then take a nap, OR to go out and start weeding the flower bed. ( you know that the flower bed is going to lose. I should just call it the "weed bed")

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I ' don't think I could EVER eat this!

Ok, you all know that I love some bacon, but this is just SO not right. It is chocolate dipped bacon strips. I get the chocolate/salty thing, but I just don't get the pig part. Sounds gross, but I bet it is incredibly delicious. Guess I'll never know cause I am not going to make it and I probably won't get to the candy shop in New York where this came from.

It looks like doo-doo. Ya think?

Wednesday night - 8:30 pm

This morning was a great morning......the kids were dressed like little Catholic school kids in school uniforms. Our schools don't require uniforms, but when Girlie saw that scooter skirt at the store it was a "gotta have." I think it is so easy to dress them alike in matching color shirts. I wish that we did have to have uniforms because it would eliminate the choices that we have to make every morning. They are so dang cute that it doesn't matter what they wear!

Whew! What a day. We had a trying day at work, so I came home and had an hour of quiet time while everyone else was at church. I got a chocolate pie made and a banana bread in the oven before they got home. I owe a little treat to the guys over at Southwind, so I'll take this stuff over there if it doesn't get raided before tomorrow.

Monday, August 25, 2008

I found out:

Marlboro man' name is Ladd.
The punks are : Alex, Paige, Bryce and Todd.
The whole bunch of them are gazillionaries ( sold some piece of their ranch for $20,000,000).

This is what I think.......if she is still fussing about doing laundry it is her own fault cause she could SURE hire someone to come do it! I know I would!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

"Cook Yer Own" Breakfast

Today someone wanted to cook their own breakfast. OK by me.
French Toast was on the menu.

Apprentice cookers have to do their stuff one piece at a time. More than one thing happening at the same time takes too much coordinated thinking.

My intention was to take a picture of the finished product and a picture of it being eaten, but before I could change the camera batteries and get over to the table, it was already half gone!!!!

It was a lovely presentation of thick sliced, whole wheat french toast with caramel-pecan sauce and whipper cream. I assume it was good because she ate all she had and then Daddy ate his without taking a breath. The boy ate cold pizza.....he is such a kid!

Goodbye Surfer, Hello G.I. Joe!

The boy child of this family was sorely in need of a haircut. He actually WANTED it cut because he was having to COMB it in the morning before school. Boy no like fix hair when sleepy.

Here is the finished result of about 10 minutes with the dog clippers. It is a little tight on the sides, but as fast as his hair grows, it won't be noticable by the end of the week. I sure hated to buzz off the blonde tips. They were so pretty.

He is handsome no matter how his hair is, but a military "high and tight" is what he likes best!

Anadama Bread

This is actually a Yankee recipe, but I have made it a few times and I figure it is one we can keep in the file since it does turn out good every time. I do recommend that you cut it in thickish slices and toast it, then put REAL butter and a glob of fruit preserves on it. Back when I could eat such things, I put apricot jam or orance marmalade on it. I bet pear preserves would be good too.
I am not usually one to make bread if there is a bakery one to buy, but in these parts, no one makes this one. Not even Fresh Market. Or La Patisserie- of course, they are really French, so they wouldn't make it anyway.

Anadama Bread

1/2 cup water
1/4 cup cornmeal
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup molasses
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 teaspoon salt

Place 1/2 cup water and cornmeal in a small saucepan.
Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
Cook until mixture thickens; about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in the butter or margarine and molasses.
Let cool to lukewarm.
In a small mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water.
Let sit until creamy; about 10 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooled cornmeal mixture with the yeast mixture; stir until well blended.
Add 2 cups of the flour and the salt; mix well.
Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition.
When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
Lightly oil a large mixing bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and put in a warm place to rise until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and form into a loaf.
Place the loaf in a lightly greased 9x5 inch loaf pan. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes.
Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for about 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. (How will you know if it is hollow unless you dump it, then tap it? )

Sunday morning - early

With cream, definately. And about 3 packs of splenda. Even then, it still ain't a Starbuck's Skinny Vanilla Latte.

As usual, the one day that I can sleep late, the dogs needed to get up at 5:30 am, so here we are, still drinking coffee at 8:15 . I know, the time stamp says 9:15, but I can't get the clock to stay set on this computer. I tried setting it back 2 hours, so that when it jumped ahead a hour it would be the correct time, but it figured out my game and still went back to an hour ahead of what is the correct time. Now it is off by a hour and 3 minutes. I gave up.

We are going to play hookey this morning from church. Big Daddy had already made arrangements for someone to teach his class so that he could go shop for the Wii for Christmas. Supposedly ( reported by an inside source) there will be a truck load of them at Circuit City at 10:00. The kids have had a very busy weekend and were really strung out on pizza and ice cream two nights in a row, so I am letting them just sleep til they wake up. Then I'll make them some French toast and let them sugar out on syrup. Actually, they were gone to sleep over at their friend's house Friday night and it was way too quiet here without them, so if they sleep late and get up happy, I get some good Mama time with them. Animal Planet is having a big expo thing at the Agricenter from 12:00 to 5, and we may try to go to that, but it looks like it may start raining on us soon, so might not.

I ought to go weed out that flower bed. I 'll think about it while I finish this coffee.....hahahaha!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

PW's Chocolate Pie

( If you are diabetic, take a pill or a shot now before you even LOOK at this pie.

I made Ree's Chocolate Pie this afternoon, and I think it may be the best I have ever made. I have NEVER made one that could actually be cut with a knife and removed from the pan without it oozing all over the place. It is really sort of a mousse, not the kind with the cooked custard filling. You do definately have to have a stand mixer to do it , because it whips for 20 minutes and I think you would burn up a little hand mixer running it that long.

Just look at the height of that mousse and the sharpness of the "cut". Ok, the crust pulled away a little, but it was a store bought crust because I didn't have any shortening and I had the crust in the freezer. The whipped cream was from a can , too. If I was making this for a dinner where I knew it would all get eaten at one time, I'd probably make real whipped cream.

Too bad I can't eat it. If YOU are one of those people who CAN eat this stuff....I would recommend making this one. You will be a hero.

Look at this Doc

One of these PRECIOUS things came in to the clinic on Friday ( we took pictures- should be on website when it is up and running) and we are now trying to talk Doc into getting one. The way I see it, we all want one, so if HE gets one, it is just like we get one too.

Sweet as Pie

After we got home from Angel Food, Porkchop and I made a chocolate mousse pie - the real kind. Girlie was pitching a hissy fit about getting to crack eggs for it, so she was remanded to her room during the prolonged mixing of the filling. I got the recipe off PW ( again) and made it just as she said, but of course, it didn't look as thick as hers, so I added some whipper cream and it turned out better.

I had no problem finding a "helper" to clean up the extra mousse. She looks good with a moustache, huh?

Paula Deen's Squash Casserole

6 cups large diced yellow squash and zucchini
Vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup crushed butter crackers (recommended: Ritz)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Saute the squash in a little vegetable oil over medium-low heat until it has completely broken down, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Line a colander with a clean tea towel.
Place the cooked squash in the lined colander.
Squeeze excess moisture from the squash. Set aside.
In a medium size skillet, saute the onion in butter for 5 minutes.
Remove from pan and mix all together except cracker crumbs.
Pour mixture into a buttered casserole dish and top with cracker crumbs.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
I am thinking that my Girlie will like this one a lot...gonna make it for her tonight and we will just have a veggie fest!

Not What I expected....

We just got back from Tunica and Paula Deen's restaurant and I have to say that it was not exactly what I was expecting. I am not sure what I thought it would be like, but it certainly didn't WOW us like we thought it would. The place was done up like the outside of her house with clap board and windows and the dining rooms were supposed to be like the rooms in the house. I hope her house is a little bit fancier than the buffet!

The food was good, but I didn't think it was anything out of the ordinary. Now, ordinary for this part of the country is fried chicken, catfish, okra, tomatoes 8 ways, and any kind of pig meat you can think of. Paula had all of that, plus a lot more. It was all stuff that I wouldn't need a recipe to make.( Thank you Mama and Mamaw) I tried a bite of quite a few things and I think my favorite of the evening was squash casserole. It reminded me of these squash patties that My grandmother ( Mamaw) made out of leftover yellow squash, egg, flour, onion, and milk. ( See.....don't need a recipe)
I think that the place will do fine down there, but I doubt we will go again any time soon. Probably it would do a door-bustin' business if it were somewhere that cornbread is not on the table at every meal. Maybe New York or LA where there are a lot of dis-placed Southerners hankering for some home style food they recognize.
They did have some decent FGT's , but I had to get some of the prime rib sauce to put on them - they didn't have no WOW!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Last Thanksgiving

Go ahead....say "Awwwwwwww." This was taken in the Smokey Mountain State Park on the way home from Gatlingburg last Thanksgiving. That little stream was so pretty and the rocks were just right for sitting for a picture. I can't remember what we had to bribe ( or threaten )them with to get 'em to pose ONE MORE TIME, but it must have been big because they sure are sitting there nice and sweet and up close and personal.

Southern Football

Ok, I admit it...I have never in my life attended a college football game, and likely never will unless my nephews or my son is playing or my niece or daughter are cheering for it. ( man, that is a sexist remark, huh?) BUT......having been raised in the South, I do know the proper etiquette for attending such events as I have observed the participants from afar when I lived on campus at Mississippi State University. (Actually, I lived in a dark little basement on the edge of campus, but it was across the street from the University President's house. My dogs used to poop in his yard. But that is another story, in fact there are many.) Anyway, here is a little thingie that my mother and her friend sent me to post for the blog-rolling public.

Southern College Football
Planning for the fall football season in the South is radically different than up North. For those who are planning a football trip South, here are some helpful hints.

Women's Accessories:
NORTH: Chap Stick in back pocket and a $20 bill in the front pocket.SOUTH: Louis Vuitton duffel with two lipsticks, waterproof mascara, and a fifth of bourbon. Money not necessary - that's what dates are for.

Stadium Size:
NORTH: College football stadiums hold 20,000 people.
SOUTH: High school football stadiums hold 20,000 people.

NORTH: Expect their daughters to understand Sylvia Plath.
SOUTH: Expect their daughters to understand pass interference.

Campus Decor:
NORTH: Statues of founding fathers.
SOUTH: Statues of Heisman trophy winners.

Homecoming Queen:
NORTH: Also a physics major.
SOUTH: Also Miss America .

NORTH: Rudy Giuliani
SOUTH: Herschel Walker, Peyton Manning, Joe Namath & Bo Jackson

Getting Tickets:
NORTH: 5 days before the game you walk into the ticket office on campus.
SOUTH: 5 months before the game you walk into the ticket office on campus, make a large financial contribution, and put name on a waiting list for tickets.

Friday Classes After a Thursday Night Game:
NORTH: Students and teachers not sure they're going to the game, because they have classes on Friday.
SOUTH: Teachers cancel Friday classes because they don't want to see the few hung over students that might actually make it to class.

NORTH: An hour before game time, the University opens the campus for game parking.
SOUTH: RVs sporting their school flags begin arriving on Wednesday for the weekend festivities. The really faithful arrive on Tuesday.
Game Day:
NORTH: A few students party in the dorm and watch ESPN on TV.
SOUTH: Every student wakes up, has a beer for breakfast, and rushes over to where ESPN is broadcasting 'Game Day Live' to get on camera and wave to the idiots up north who wonder why 'Game Day Live' is never Broadcast from their campus.

NORTH: Raw meat on a grill, beer with lime in it, listening to local radio station with truck tailgate down.
SOUTH: 30-foot custom pig-shaped smoker fires up at dawn. Cooking accompanied by live performance from the Dave Matthews Band,... who come over during breaks and ask for a hit off bottle of bourbon.

Getting to the Stadium:
NORTH: You ask 'Where's the stadium?' When you find it, you walk right in.
SOUTH: When you're near it, you'll hear it. On game day it is the state's third largest city.

NORTH: Drinks served in a paper cup, filled to the top with soda.
SOUTH: Drinks served in a plastic cup, with the home team's mascot on it, filled less than half way with soda, to ensure enough room for bourbon.

When National Anthem is Played:
NORTH: Stands are less than half full, and less than half of them stand up.
SOUTH: 100,000 fans, all standing, sing along in perfect four-part harmony.

The Smell in the Air After the First Score:
NORTH: Nothing changes.
SOUTH: Fireworks, with a touch of bourbon.

Commentary (Male)
NORTH: 'Nice play.'
SOUTH: 'Dammit, you slow sumbitch - tackle him and break his legs.'
Commentary (Female)
NORTH: 'My, this certainly is a violent sport.'
SOUTH: 'Dammit, you slow sumbitch - tackle him and break his legs.'

NORTH: Neutral and paid.
SOUTH: Announcer harmonizes with the crowd in the fight song, with a tear in his eye because he is so proud of his team.

After the Game:
NORTH: The stadium is empty way before the game ends.
SOUTH: Another rack of ribs goes on the smoker, while somebody goes to the nearest package store for more bourbon, and planning begins for next week's game.

Nothing else in the universe comes even halfway close to the glories of Southern football

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Earlier every year.....

I figured that since Walgreen's has already got Halloween stuff out, that I would go ahead and put mine out too.......I put Last year's punkin head on the banner ( look up) and here are a few pictures of the lil'uns from last year. This year Girlie is going to be a belly dancer ( I have no idea where she gets that from) and Porkchop is not yet committed, but I am thinking he may go with some thing like a Tai Kwan Do guy. He was a Ninja last year, but as he explains it, that is not the same as Tai Kwan Do.

This crazy thang is one of the "used to be" techs from Kirby Gate/Southwind who now is a bus driver for the county schools. Would you trust your children to the "Great Pumpkin"?

I think I am going to be a clown again. I still have my red union suit!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

On the way home today

I saw a half dozen or so of these just standing about 30 yards off the road. Just standing there in the cut under the power lines. I see deer and turkeys, coons and "dillos along that stretch almost weekly. Cool things to see.

Hello out there! Who are you?

Hey, I got a favor to ask. Every once in a while, it would be great to have an idea of how many people are actually reading this stuff. I know quite a few of you, but there may be others who fell into this groove while blog-rolling. If you would, leave a comment with just the town you live in. I don't need a name or anything, but if you want to volunteer it, go ahead on with it.

Just curious as to who is out there...........

Monday, August 18, 2008

Absolutely precious!

This has got to be the sweetest expression I have ever seen short of the ones that my beautiful children have when they are trying to con me into something. If these little dogs would just stay this clean and combed and ( I am sure) smelling good, they couldn't raise enough of them to meet the demand. I may get one when I get old.

Kid's review of the apple dumplings

The girl child ate the next-to-the- last apple dumpling for dessert tonight and said,
"Ma, thisissogoodcanyouputthatotheroneinmylunchboxforschooltomorrow? " That was all in one breath and with desperation. She was SO afraid that I was going to let her Daddy have it!
We stowed it away in a little container in the "secret spot" in the fridge - surrounded by vegetables so that no men-folk would dare touch it.

FYI- they were a hit at work today too. We even gave the recipe to several clients....Now I will probably be personally responsible for a rash of smiling heart attack patients. You just gotta love all that butter!

Treated like a DOG!!!

I'm having a good time at "camp."

The laundry is NOT something I really want to be involved in!

The food is pretty good. Today we have some leftover BBQ, all sorts of drinks, apple dumplings, chicken pasta stuff, and yogurt and cheese.

This place isn't so bad ! I can do whatever I want. Whenever I want.

Don't was my prescription food.

Last week we started getting baby squirrels in again. We had quite a few in the late spring, then none for the last month, then one on Friday and two today. These two came in a few hours apart today. The larger one is a girl, the smaller ( eyes still closed) a boy. Our whipping boy Andrew has them at his hizzy tonight, but I bet he pawns them off tomorrow.