Monday, December 29, 2008

Magic Tree

This is the Magic Tree in Columbia MO. It's a few blocks from Randi's home. It is very pretty
This is the Magic tree inspired hat I crocheted for Elijah while we were Christmas-ing in Missouri. I grabbed a skein of yarn from my project bucket as we walked out the door. It just happens to be as colorful as the tree. I made it there for Elijah so we could do a little bonding, we both enjoyed it. He was so compliant about trying on a half done hat, once he took off on a run but I had enough yarn unwound so I didn't loose any stitches. I told Randi that he doesn't have to wear it. The joy was in the journey!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Rosie the Rosetters

Like Rosie the Riviter we were heating iron , but with a whole different outcome.

I had no plans to do Rosettes this year. Grace had other plans. We made it a mother daughter day while A & W were at school. Grace did 90% of the work, I stepped in for pictures. Isn't she adorable in her apron. Its a youth apron that Barb gave her years ago. I offered her a bigger one but she was fine with hers, she didn't want to wear one with chickens on it!
Am I a beaut or what!! I think the apron added 10 pounds, that and the 3 layers you need to wear when you do anything in my kitchen in winter. I have on my Christmas apron. I have no idea where it came from. Had to be in a hand me down box. I'm sure it was made for someone alot taller than I, and the little pocket that once held someones hanky now holds my cell phone.
Grace came down with a bandana on, and like any full grown woman would do I said "Ooo go get me one!! It was fun teaching her how to make Rosettes (I had always done them when everyone went to bed a "my thing"). A memory I will hold dear.

Rosette Tutorial (kinda)

I've been making Rosettes for years. I love them, I could eat my weight in them - if it were humanly possible. I looked on-line to check out how other's are making them, I was disappointed. Most sites just had the recipe, but no tips and techniques, so I'm sharing!
2 eggs
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
Lard -- for frying
sugar -- for dipping finished rosettes in

Mix first 6 ingredients until smooth. Let rest until room temp. Don't stir. Skim off foam. Heat lard to 375*-400*. Heat iron in hot lard. Tap on paper towel to remove excess lard. Dip iron into batter. Dip battered iron into hot lard. Hold in for a few seconds and pull away, you may need to use a fork to help rosette off iron. Fry until delicately brown. Turn once. Fry a bit more. Remove. Place on paper towels. Cool. Gently dip in granulated sugar. Store in air tight container.

*Don't use Armor Star Lard it tends to smoke. I use Snow Cap.
*Skim off foam with a flat end pancake turner so batter doesn't get to stirred up.
*I use clear glass bread pans for batter, lets you see the foam better, and is the perfect size for a double rosette iron.
*I mix 2 batches and put each batch into a bread pan.
*Don't cover iron top with batter.
* If batter "falls off" iron - iron could be to cold - your moving to slow - or the batter is to
saturated with lard and needs to be tossed
*Don't use last 1/2 inch of batter (lard saturation).
*Have a nice stack of plates, it helps with less lard build up.
*After removing Rosette from hot lard, place pretty side up, and don't stack any on top of each other or lard will drain onto the bottom ones.
*I store Rosettes in an ice cream buckets (I have alot of them. I may have eaten my weight in ice cream!)

Well worth the mess and effort!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Willy's Day

Happy 15th Birthday Willy!!!
Will's first gift of the day was a 2 hour snow delay!! He is a great kid!! Willy is a traditionalist, his birthday meal will be the same that he has had for years. Grace and Ave try to persuade him to change things up, but his meal will be "A Boy Scout Meal". Jon had it as a kid when camping on Royal Ranger outings.
Boy Scout Meal
--ring baloney
--seasons - salt (use very little), pepper, Lawreys
-- toast
Saute ring baloney, stir in eggs that have been whisked, season, stir until eggs are done, add cheese, when that's melted squirt in ketchup until a nice orange-ish color. Serve with toast!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Dressed in Holiday Style

Drum roll please! I told you he out did himself!
We all stand in the front yard for the first lighting of the season. We take turns flipping the switch, Willy did the honors this year. Jon put in a master switch for all outside lights. It's located inside at the top of the stairs, to be turned off when the last one up is turning in.
I don't always get all (or any for that matter) of the candles turned on in the windows. If you drive by for a look, call and I can make sure they are all on.
I may be a bit prejudice, but this has my vote for
"Best of Show in a Small Town"

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Line up the shoes, its St. Nicks Day!

It always makes us happy when St. Nicholas Day lands on Saturday, as it did this year. If not we just celebrate on the Sat. closest to that date. This years gifts were Dollar Tree Mugs, and the traditional oranges, nuts, & candy. We put our shoes outside of bedroom doors, its way too cold to leave them outside or even inside the back door for that matter!
Grace, who has a wee bit of a shoe addiction, always puts out the funnest pair of shoes she has.Avery put out his baseball cleats, he keeps them in his room to "gaze upon their loveliness" he rescued them from being sent to the garden shed attic for winter storage.
Willy forgot to put out a pair of shoes. I had no desire to traipse back down stairs and find some for him. I grabbed his catchers mitt (another rescue from storage) off his bedroom floor. I figure it like this: Its leather, its dusty and stinks, and I spend a significant amount of time tripping over it when I come in the back door, close enough to a pair of shoes!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tree Shopping

We went with a scotch pine this year. $10 from the too big clearance lot! What a deal! They don't hold ornaments that well, but with a price like that we couldn't pass it up!
Eli making sure Uncle Willy is getting the job done right.

J.J. taking his turn at the saw!

Grace helping Elijah learn stump jumping.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Exterior Illumination Specialst

Every year I tell him: cut it down, its too big, plant a smaller one, you can't see and I don't want to hit a little old lady (The one who is caretaker of the A. A. Arnold house) when I (or Grace who Chauffeurs me) back out, and you are going to break your neck one of these times. Every year he says I know but I planted these with them, Randi was in 3rd grade and J.J. was in kindergarten, they brought them home for National Arbor Day. Every year he devises another "tool" to help him get the lights to the top. And every year he out does his self! I will post the end result soon, we just had a beautiful snow and it is lovely.
Checking up on the Vikings game between putting up the strands of lights. He bought a "I gotta have it" tool, he heard about it last year but MENards was sold out. It repairs the light strands so slick and helps find that one burnt out bulb that makes 1/2 of them to go out.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

B is for Boy

The blue eyed boy in big blue shoes!!
This was our Thanksgiving surprise!! They arrived from Missouri and ambushed us at the entrance to Macy's Christmas display. And this Grma did a huge red nosed cry (you know the one) yes I did right there holding up the line. His Grmpa let him go into the display (yea and had one of our 5 ever tried that there would have been trouble). We took him to cut a real tree (pictures to follow) and loved on him like there was no tomorrow! I am Thankful.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Lefse Memories

We are not Norwegian, but we sure do love our lefse a.k.a. Manna from Heaven. Jon and I started making lefse about 17 years ago. It was truly a trial and error--lots of error endeavour. It became our challenge to get it right. We asked a ton of questions from any one who made the stuff. I even called someone in Milwaukee for advice.

We are now lefse snobs, we are! We think ours is the best we've tasted!
We make it the week before Thanksgiving and supply it for the feast.

This is the first year Jon's mom has come and joined the labor of love.

Jon is the expert roller and fryer!

This year Grace made a move up the lefse latter and rolled and fryed alot. We were also joined by Jon's sisters family and Grace's boy friend Ian. Pictured here Ian, Kaydra (who looks like a porcelain doll and is Norwegian), yes Willy we see you, and Grace. It won't take long and the lefse will be just a memory.