Monday, June 27, 2011

So busy, and yet nothing is done

Why in the world is it that you can feel sooo busy, and yet nothing is completed....I am decided that complete is not actually a word.  It's a mirage in the middle of a hot desert road that just keeps moving farther no matter how fast you go at it.  I have to remind myself that if I have smiled, or made someone else smile then it was a good day.  After shampooing the van and her seats, bathing the goat, feeding the critters, feeding the family, providing tech support for my Aunt in Iowa, catching the premier episode of Weeds with the hubbs and the 10 other things I started and didnt finish, it was a busy day...I did have some smiles and some LOLs but I am now looking at the dishes that need to be loaded in the dishwasher, the carpet that needs to be vacuumed, and knowing that there is laundry that is not folding it's self....I think it will wait for tomorrow.  Maybe I will try a new strategy and move at a snail's pace and see if anything is completed!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Summer Time and the livin's...Easy?

I can remember slow summer days, fishing on the doc with Grampa, and spending the entire day at the pool, coming home lobster red and G-ma putting a damp sheet on the couch so I could sleep.  It seemed like the days would last forever.  Now that I am grown, and have kids of my own, I wonder where those slow and easy summer days went.  Life is so fast and busy, it seems we never have a moment to stop and just enjoy a summer day.  Before I know it the school bells will be ringing again, so I am making a point to make the most of this summer.  The kids have helped with the garden, and we will learn some home canning together and with some failures and I hope some success we will be able to enjoy the fruits (and veggies) of our labor year round.  We will be taking a little longer trip to see their grandparents and will spend the 4th of July on the beach.  It is my goal not to rush this summer, to spend whole days with nothing planned but making others smile.  So, here's to iced tea and lemonade, melty popcicles, fishing, walking, talking and sunburns.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Goat!

So  I said before I am giving cheese making a shot, and I use my bread machine at least once a week...so that lead to making some yummo cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing.  Lucky for Bob (the goat) these were stuffed away and forgotten, and a little dry for my taste, so he got a yummy treat.  I had to grab the camera because his face is like a kid with their first ice-cream cone.  I swear he said thank you :)  Notice Polly trying to catch crumbs...she even tries to eat dandilions when she sees him do it 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

SACO Foods: Cultured Buttermilk

SACO Foods: Cultured Buttermilk
I was given a container of this from a friend who didn't need it...I did not know it existed! I am always thrilled to find a new product, and can't wait to experiment with this. It's dried cultured buttermilk. I love to use buttermilk in recipes, and I uses it as a started in some of my cheese making. In dried form! I am loving that, because fresh buttermilk looses its gusto quite quickly. You watch...This will be the best thing to happen to me, and I will not be able to find it in stores! That's the way it goes! I will try out a few recipes and let you know how it goes!

Oh before I forget the first batch of bagels were a taste and texture success, but I made too many out of one batch of dough so they were not thick enough for slicing. I will be trying recipe number 2 tomorrow, and then I will try #1 again making 8 instead of 12 and then I will post. This is my first time really taking notes in the kitchen, and I am having a blast.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sorry....Most over used word in the English language IMHO

sor·ry  [sor-ee, sawr-ee]

adjective, -ri·er, -ri·est.
1.
feeling regret, compunction, sympathy, pity, etc.: to besorry to leave one's friends; to be sorry for a remark; to besorry for someone in trouble.
2.
regrettable or deplorable; unfortunate; tragic: a sorrysituation; to come to a sorry end.
3.
sorrowful, grieved, or sad: Was she sorry when her brother died?



This is a tough word for me.  Not everyone that says it means it.  Not everyone  that means is says it.  I try to teach my kids to say they are sorry when they do wrong,  more to the point when they do wrong TO someone else.  It feels to me like this word is like toilet paper, its useful, when you really need it, you're out, it can be soft and fluffy, or rough and uncomfortable.  Have you heard the phrase "Love means never having to say you're sorry"?  What load of garbage is that?  IMHO  Love means having to MEAN that you are sorry.  We live in a world where that little 5 letter word is tossed around so frequently that it almost means nothing.  I was raised to look someone in the eye, tell them how what you did must have made them feel, and to say you are sorry, knowing that it meant you would NEVER do it again.  Now a days It seems to me that "sorry" just means...here take this word, swallow it and be quiet because I am to busy for your feelings.  I hope that if you are reading this, you will think about how many times a day you say this word, and if you really need to say it, and most importantly...Do you really mean it.
Sorry if you didn't like that....LOL!

Cheese Please

Ok..this is odd in this day and age of grocery store conveniences I know, but since my hubby works on a dairy farm, one of the perks is being able to bring home a gallon of fresh milk every day.  Wow right add that up @ 3 bucks or so a gallon.  Now this is some serious whole fat milk, and we as a family drink 1%, that's what we like and what works for us, so he passed on the milk up until recently.  I started thinking, while planning to try a garden this year, hey I am going to grow tomatoes and basil and boy would some fresh mozzarella go great with that.  We live in a rural area of Idaho, our local store is great, but not know for their cheese selection, so with the fact that we are blessed with fresh milk, I started to Google how to make cheese... surprisingly, and unbeknownst to me...it's relatively easy.  I ordered a few supplies off of Ebay, spent less than 5 bucks, bought some rennet at the grocery store, and gave it a go.  Since then I have successfully made 3 batches of mozzarella cheese, and the whey left from that process made about 2 pounds of ricotta totally free!! And I have made 2 batches of cream cheese, with milk not cream so it's really  Neufch√Ętel.  It's fun, its easy and I find it very rewarding to save money on the grocery bill.  The down side of this money saving idea is that from one gallon of milk I yield approximately 2 pounds of cream cheese, so now I am on a mission to turn my wonderful bread maker (My favorite kitchen tool used VERY often) into a bagel maker.  I have NO clue how to do this, that's what's so great about it!  So Google here I come!  I am sure it will take me a few major flops, and a few recipe trials...lucky family taste testers.  I will let you know how it works out, or if I throw in the towel and hit the market!

What's for dinner?????

If I had a dime for every time I heard this, I'd have a personal chef so I could ask them that!  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE to cook, but after so many years I think we all get in a rut with supper time routines and the same old same old.  I try to be organized about this, and get the kids involved as much as possible.  We use print outs from http://eatathomecooks.com/printable-menu-planner to make it easier at the grocery store, and so I know what I need to take out of the freezer for the next day. There are some great recipes and tools on that site, its a daily visit for me.  My favorite way to come up with new menu items is to take a look in the freezer, choose a protein, scan the pantry and fridge, chose a few things I know everyone likes and then do a Google recipe search with those items.  Like this... I searched Porkchops, rice, spinach then hit enter then the recipe tab on the left http://www.google.com/search?q=Pork+chops,+rice,+spinach&hl=en&prmd=ivnse&source=lnms&tbm=rcp&ei=MCb1Tbi_GozirAf857nVBg&sa=X&oi=mode_link&ct=mode&cd=6&ved=0CAwQ_AUoBQ
 It's a fun way to try something brand new.  If you have kids at home get them involved in the kitchen especially if you are making something no one has tried before, I find that if the kids help make it, they will almost always eat it, because their hands helped create it.  They sure don't wanna say something is gross that they made.  So if you are uninspired for what to make for dinner tonight play Google recipe roulette and see what you come up with!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Here's the first one!

OK, so I am so new to this "blog" thing!  I would never have thought of it at all, but for my dear friend Vicky, who suggested that I start one up.  I am not sure if I am thanking or cursing her yet, I'll let you know later.  

Let me start by stating loud and clear that I am by no means a writer.  I spell things wrong on a regular basis.  I punctuate rarely, and incorrectly most of the time that I try.  I am just a regular Mom with more important things to worry about than how to use a coma or a semi-colon properly.  You can email and try to correct me, but I will just congratulate you on your abilities and embrace my flaws :)  

So about me, this is tough, I don't like to talk about myself, I have never needed, nor wanted to be the center of attention, but I will start at the start and work my way up from there.  I am an only child, lucky and then again not so much.  I was raised in Southwest Minnesota in an itty bitty town named Holland.   I spent my winters freezing my rear off and my summers with my Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents, and lots of Cousins.  Where I was taught many things by many people, the most important of those things being common sense.  A skill or trait that is so rare these days.  I have fond memories of being in Gramma's kitchen.  I only wish I had really been paying closer attention.  When I was 13 my folks dragged me to Oregon, new job for Dad...New school for an angry teenage girl, but eventually Oregon became home to me.  The friendships I made are still cherished today, and that's what home is really, isn't it?  I have since made my home here in Idaho with my fantastic husband, and my two youngest children, a hamster, 4 cats, 2 dogs, and Bob the goat.  I am sure to post tons more about all of the characters in my life.  

I think I will leave with that, and hope to see you soon.  

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