Sunday, November 30, 2008

Gas prices and Shore Acres

Hmmm, price is still dropping, gas war is still being waged locally. Went to Coos Bay today and gas at most stations was 1.95... Hooray for us!

You will have to click to enlarge most of these quasi night pictures. We went to Shore Acres to view the annual Christmas lights at the Shore Acre gardens. Beautiful! The weather was perfect, not a breath of wind and it was jacket weather warm. This picture is of a whale breaching.

This is a killer whale,the whole thing shows the whale leaping up,turning, splashing down with a big wave. My digital camera was not meant for action pictures.

Three pelicans flying about.

Under the sea, wild life etc.

The sky was clear, we looked up and there is was the big old almost alignment of the slivered moon, Venus and Jupiter. Very pretty.

That configuration peeked at us all the way home until it got foggy. I tried to take a picture but need something with telephoto lens etc.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Don't blink.

Topped off my tank today, cost a grand total of SIX BUCKS! Take that Exxon!

Day before yesterday I made corn bread dressing with creamed corn, black olives, onions, and the secret ingredient smoked oysters...should have used more oysters, can't hardly tell they are there.

Today I made cranberry orange walnut celery jello salad. I also made golden potato casserole, shredded potatoes mixed with a cup of sour cream, 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar, salt, pepper, butter, bread crumbs and paprika topping.

I also made four pumpkin pies using my grandmother Nora Beatrice Lattimer Horn's recipe. The recipe has been in the family for almost a hundred years. Her recipe came in a recipe book with her brand new Home Comfort cooking range, purchased very very early 20th century. The recipe is as follows: 1 cup pumpkin, 3/4 cup sugar, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 tsp allspice. The original recipe called for one tablespoon of melted butter, I have tried that variation once and it did not seem to make any difference in the pie. These pies are meant to sit on a shelf for a day to allow the sugars to percolate onto the surface in little clear pearls. The pie can be sliced very neatly and if you are in a hurry it is firm enough to pick up a piece and eat it out of your hand. This recipe is such a favorite that I have a horror of any other pumpkin pie especially the ones that have nutmeg and ginger or are loose,have to be eaten from a plate and they just feel like a pudding disaster about to happen.

My favorite Thanksgiving memory goes back to the early 1960's. Mom and Dad and the rest of the kids were in Susanville,California and I had stayed home as I was at a seemingly critical time in high school. Some friends of the family decided to go visit members of their family who lived near Susanville and they very kindly took me along to surprise the folks. Boy I'll say, I only had a street address and I knew what the vehicle they owned looked like. So I finally spotted the Van in the alley where they lived. I knocked on the door, Mom answered and looked very shocked, "Where did you come from!?". We had a good visit. I remember in particular that my brother Richard and I got into a fight over the last piece of pumpkin pie. The pie wound up on the floor, but we ate it anyway, we didn't waste food and Mom's floors were spotless.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Now THIS is getting scary!

A dollar ninety-EIGHT per gallon? I over heard a conversation at work this morning between a co-worker and her husband who had brought her in a tall mocha double shot. He reported that he heard that the Shell station and Ron's Oil was having a GAS WAR!
OMG! Gas is ten cents higher in Coos Bay so for a little competition to rear it's ugly head is unprecedented. I wish my 5 gallon tank were empty of the $4.20 cent gas so I could fill it up. Oh well.

Meet my little frien'. Someone brought in some smallish decorative pumpkins for table decorations. Hah! I'm slicing off the top, scooping out the seeds and plan to insert brown sugar,butter and bake it and then sneak in a drizzle of brandy as it cools in the oven. Yummmmmmmm.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sweet green tomato pickles --- DONE!

PART TRES of the green tomato pickle project was accomplished this afternoon between 3 and 5 pm. I divided my "vat" of pickles into two large pots and brought the contents slowly up to a boil, which I then boiled for 35 minutes.

In the meantime I assembled my sterilized glass jars and made ready to can the stuff once it had completed cooking. The smell of vinegar permeates the house, it will singe your nose hairs if inhaled, wear a mask.

Results: 6 quarts of green tomato pickles to join the basement stores for the winter. One dainty little Martha Stewart gifty size to give to Mendy for giving me the 'maters. Hope she likes them. I had three quarts of vinegar mixture left over, I decided to jar that up as well. I might want to pickle something delicate such as asparagus spears or make pickled eggs without the beets. I better go Google some recipes for left over vinegar. Hmmm. Somebody stop me, I am regressing to my 60's earth mother persona. Yeach!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Will you LOOK at this!?

I was stunned to see this precipitous price drop! I was 2.52 per gallon yesterday WHEN I TOPPED OFF MY TANK! I even asked the attendant if he thought the price would go any lower as the tanker was there filling up the service station. He scratched his head and said he didn't know. CRAP!

And the rest of my Friday and Saturday was not very day offish. I was called in Friday evening to transcribe a CT report that was 7 minutes and 14 seconds long. Doesn't sound like much and true, I was only there 30 minutes. While there I saw several other higher priority documents that needed to be done but I went home.

Then I stopped in at Fraziers and had their breakfast special; ham slice, 2 eggs, toast, countries fries...yum!

I had said it was okay to call me if they needed help in medical records. Saturday morning I went in very early to transcribe 2 radiology reports (long ones) and two history and physical reports all on the same patient. About 1:30 medical records called and needed help transcribing another radiology report so I went in and did that one as well as a couple more history and physicals.

Then I went home and worked on PART DEUX of the pickled green tomato project. 6 pm I carefully separated the tomatoes from the pickling lime. I very carefully poured the lime outside because if you pour it down your drain, you will instantly cement your drains shut and you will immediately become friends with your local expensive plumber. The pickles were rinsed some more and put in cold water for three hours. I then prepared the 9 cups of sugar, 2 quarts of vinegar, 1 tbsp pickling spices, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp cloves and 1 tsp celery seed add water to cover tomatoes. Tomorrow after work (if my fingers haven't fallen off from typing) I shall bring pickles gradually up to a slow boil and cook for 35 minutes and can while hot. Boy is my house gonna stink! Phew!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Gas prices and green tomato pickles...

Astounding! I was 1/4 tank low so I stopped in and put in NINE bucks worth of gas. What a relief and unfortunately the relief will be only temporary as soon as the market settles down or up or what ever...

I have been begging people at work to please save their green tomatoes for me and viola! A young lady from the business office let me know that her husband was dropping off some green tomatoes for me. Woohoo! That looks like about seven pounds which is exactly what my recipe calls for. Thanks,Mendy!!

I washed and sliced the green tomatoes up and they have such a delicate green color. These green tomatoes will be covered with two gallons of water and two cups of pickling lime for 24 hours. TO BE CONTINUED....

Oh yes, lovely sunset this evening off our back porch. We are having mild autumn weather here, lovely stuff.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

a little bit of gas, a few more blossoms

Getting better.

MUCH better, but not yet ridiculous.

A few more blossoms have popped open. No aroma, however.

Also today I felt like making fried chicken and I went shopping after getting off work. I picked up a whole, fresh chicken, and fixin's for pineapple,banana, cheddar cheese, miniature marshmallow salad. I dug out my trusty Ulu ( I purchased it at a Native crafts fair in Barrow years ago, it is wicked sharp and makes cutting up chicken very easy). I like to cut a whole chicken into as many edible bits as possible. I take care to separate the back into three pieces and peel the ribs out which makes a nice little collop of meat. I also cut the wings so that there is a goodish amount of breast meat attached to make it worth the effort of eating the wings. I also separate the breast into five pieces; the wish bone portion and cut the main breasts in half. I like to clean the leg bones so that all the meat contracts and cooks about the large end. The thighs are separated and then I dip in milk and then flour bread crumb mixture and fry. I like to season the chicken in salt, pepper, garlic, celery seed, red pepper flakes, paprika. Fry until golden brown and delicious. Drain and finish cooking on a bed of small halved potatoes that have been oiled and seasoned with salt, about 45 minutes covered in aluminum wrap. Yummy! This is the kind of dish that ages well in the frige and just gets tasting mo bettah.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A memorable day

The price of gas continues to slowly descend, I hear from other family members who are buying 2.51 gas,but that price MIGHT get here eventually. The guy that owns the tanker also owns all but one of the gas stations in town...sigh...

I took this picture just outside my window this morning between rain showers. The quail were out in a fairly large covey pecking in the dirt and dashing back and forth. It's nice to see all the noise from the facade remodel did not scare off the wildlife residents. They were accompanied by a large gray squirrel who scampered after them looking for bits they missed.

This is a picture of my shyly blooming Christmas Cactus, very pretty and colorful. My grandmother Horn had one for years and I rather admired it.

Oh yeah, thanks for voting, 'preciate it.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

It was a dark and stormy ... morning actually

Yep, Saturday morning, needed to make a run to the store about 7:30 am and very extremely over cast. Took picture of latest gas price, I know for a fact that the sign says $2.91, although it could be almost anything, it is so blurry. It's hard to take pictures and drive at the same time. Hey, isn't that a UFO!?!?!

And this, my friends, is the completed facade at CVH. I'm trying to think of what this reminds me of...not KFC...not K-mart...what!!?!?!