Sunday, November 23, 2008

Monkeying Around

Happy 16th Birthday Daina!!
I made this for my niece. When she was here months ago she made a sock monkey--she has a fine appreciation for anything of the sock monkey nature. I started this pre-surgery, needless to say it has taken me a long time to finish. This was my post-surgery "if I'm not back to normal soon I will go crazy!!" project. It took so much concentration and the first couple times I worked on it my neck swelled up, my kids were freaked out by the sight, I was a hurtin' unit! I paced myself after that, a couple of rows a day and finally I finished it!! Oh yea. that back to normal thing still eludes me--monkeying around in moderation!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Thanksgiving/Harvest Decor

It never ceases to amaze me what you can do with a brown paper bag!!
Maybe I should start a brown paper bag chronical,

Isn't this so cute? It was road side trash! Grace, who was chauffeuring on a dr. run was a little reluctant to turn around and gather this treasure for me. Willy hosed it off and drug it in for me. Although they all scoffed at my "treasure find", Jon and the kids liked the end result. It took the dog a few days to realize that it meant war when he tried to play with my gourds.

It also never ceases to amaze how creative God is.
We truly have so much to be Thankful for!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hot Dog its a Hot Date!!

Last weekend we decided to put in a pellet stove. No kids wanted to go with Jon to pick one up, since I don't get out much I went with. We stopped at the DQ for a bite to eat. Jon said this could almost qualify for a date--a hot date! We are lovin' the warm heat! This 100+ year old house is drafty (we call it the fresh air exchange) and hard to heat. The big old cast iron registers will now hold plants and other family paraphernalia, I will have to rethink how we dry rugs and snow clothes.
Hot Dog!
Otto found the new favorite spot in the house right away.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Putting the Yard to Bed

The kids worked well together, they even had fun in the process.
"when we all work together the happier we'll be"
"cuz your work is my work and my work is your work"
Burning leaves and some football to end the day.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Fall Recipes

Just listening to a little "Blessed Assurance" comfort music--comfort food, good combination!

Squash Soup

Squash Soup
1 lg buttercup squash (my favorite)
1 can chicken stock
Brown sugar
Heavy Cream
Little bit of Lawry's
Clean squash and bake until done (I cut in 1/2 and cover with foil)
While squash is baking caramelize pecans
--melt 2-3 tbls. butter in pan
--add 1/4 cup brown sugar
--stir in pecans
--keep stirring until well covered with a glazey look, cool spread on plate
When squash is done scoop out and mix with stock.
I then put in blender a bit at a time and puree.
Heat well in a kettle, adding salt, pepper, & Lawry's to taste
To serve
--scoop soup into bowls
--pour heavy cream around edges
--sprinkle caramelized pecans on top.

Pumpkin Stew
1 pumpkin - top cut off & cleaned (make sure will fit in oven)
1-1&1/2 lb. Ground beef or any other cubed beef or pork you choose
1 large onion
few potatoes cubed
1/2 bag frozen mixed veggies
Beef bouillon (I get it from The Common Market)
Lawreys season salt
sea salt
any other season you enjoy or have on hand (the latter usually guides the
flavor of the food I cook)
I try to keep it to a 2 kettle operation.
Place pumpkin in round kettle (hey, is there a difference between a kettle and a pot?)
I use a footless cast iron dutch oven. (gives me that back woodsy feelin')
add 1-2 cups of water around pumpkin.
In large skillet brown meat with onions.
When it's 3/4 of the way done add about 3-4 cups water and all
other stuff including bouillon and seasonings.
Cook until Potatoes are 3/4 the way done.
Give a taste test to make sure you have enough seasons.
Gently scoop/dump into pumpkin
Bake 3-4 hours @ 350* depending on thickness and size of pumpkin. ( I check by lifting pumpkin lid and poking pumpkin on inside. Also check potatoes.)
--This year I used 2 pumpkins that were sm/med size.
--I also used dill--it fell into the "on hand" category. I will repeat
--We bought pumpkins from a local family produce farm, we had planted just carving ones, the skin is not tough enough to withstand he baking process or the scrap out when you dish up. They had painting pumpkins that were thick skinned. Next year will plant thick skinned flavorful pumpkins made for eatin'!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Pumpkin Stew

Pumpkin stew is a tradition at our house. We skipped it a couple of years, Grace requested that it be reinstated, and so it was. We scoop out a chunk of pumpkin along with veggies, potato's, onions, ground beef, broth, & seasonings. Good tradition food!