Friday, December 31, 2010


Today we went for breakfast at the Railroad Avenue Station.  It's in Myrtle Point on the corner of Spruce and er Railroad Avenue, just off Highway 42.  A friend at work had raved about their omelets, husband had garden omelet.  His only complaint was that the toast should have been served on a separate plate as it got soggy sitting on top of the hash browns.

I decided to try the two pancakes, two strips of bacon, and scrambled egg.  As you can see the egg came over easy but once stirred upon a donation of husbands hash browns, not bad.  I did not know how darn big the pancakes were and I only consumed 3/4 of ONE of them, dainty eater that I am. 

Husband decided to check out the bathroom while there.  I was shocked to see him return almost immediately, usually it is a much longer trip.  He was enthusiastic!  He rated it almost a ten, which translated into none OCD language means the paper towels were handily hanging down, the water was hot, there was a trashcan to hold the discarded paper towel once the handle to the door had been opened in order to exit.  Minimal touching of fingers to surfaces, etc, etc.   I would be willing to return to sample some of the other breakfast fare.  Yummy!


My sister also commented that she did not like split pea soup either,it was tasteless and the texture was not so pleasant to her. 

I,too, have never been terrible enamoured of split pea soup because most of the times I have eaten it it was the consistency of wall paper paste and would serve the same purpose.  However, many years ago a good friend, May Clarke, who hailed from Florida taught me the secret of yummy split pea soup.  Chicken fat or more precisely... Schmaltz.   Chicken fat in and of itself was difficult to obtain in Emmett, Idaho unless you cooked a lot of chicken, saved the skins, rendered the fat etc.  However, Schmaltz is available online.  It is chicken fat and onions.  You saute lots of fresh parsley in the Schmaltz, add the beans, add chicken stock  and cook the beans until tender.  That, my friends, is the BEST split pea recipe. 

A nice garlic crostini would be nice to dip.  Gevalt!

BEANS, beans, the magical fruit.....

Carla's comment earlier about her distaste for beans may well arise from a hundred pound sack of pinto beans.  Dad had purchased this sack of beans from a farmer who was going to feed them to his livestock.  Dad probably thought they would go better in our household to feed an even half dozen or more children.   When it was deemed appropriate (Hey Mom, you want to make chili?  "I don't care".)  He would bring in a five pound coffee can full of pinto beans from that sack.  We would gather around the kitchen table and sort rocks from the pinto beans.

The beans would go into the pot to soak and then cook for what seemed like days.   I believe that occasionally there were other ingredients in the pot depending on how full the locker was in town where we kept the butchered beef.  We would also get a sprinkle of cheese.

Now substitute the large turkey for a pot of chili, subtract some of the fine cutlery and there you have it, Chili beans for supper.

Thursday, December 30, 2010


I cooked about an eight pound ham for Christmas....that made LOTS of left overs.  So I decided to make ham and beans; two cans of Northern white canned beans, one can golden hominy, garlic, horseradish, and a little sugar.  It warmed up nicely when I plugged in the crock pot at work and I left it in the kitchen for the evening crew and results?  Nice shiny clean crock pot to take home the next day.  Got a few compliments, from some ham and bean lovers.

Yesterday I jacked a recipe for ham salad from the net.  I went home and chopped four cups of ham, fine chopped half an onion, fine chopped three stalks of celery, chopped three hard boiled eggs. I mixed in a cup of Mayo, two extremely generous tablespoons of mustard, three generous tablespoons of sweet pickle relish, stir and serve with crackers.  Took it to work today, invited all and sundry to come have some.

Now THAT's more like it.   Got a couple rave reviews and requests for the recipe.  Happy to share. 

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Have relaxing Holiday, if you are traveling, try to think of as an adventure and remember,you don' t always get to hav FUN on an adventure.

Thank you Charlie, Leslie and Anthony for the gorgeous pears, one of my favorite winter treats!  Merry merry!

I put the frozen Rhodes rolls in the dish and put in the oven about 10 pm last night,  this morning they had miraculously risen, so I triggered phase B and spooned cajeta on top with a sprinkle of chocolate covered sun flower seeds.  So Vegan!  Bake at 350 for 15 to 20 minutes until browning happens. 
The same time last evening I dragged out the crock pot, put in the shoulder bone in ham, left it on low.  About 9 am this morning it fell off the bone.  I then consumed Christmas breakfast of a sticky bun, some succulent ham bits, a glass of milk and my pharmaceuticals.
Merry! Merry!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Major excavation so far

This picture doesn't give a very good prospective of just how much down there is just outside the north exit and a couple steps from the concrete sidewalk. I would arbitrarily assign it a pucker factor of about 3, 4 if its windy.   They have trucked off a lot of dirt.  Thursday was quiet,  I believe the gentlemen have all departed for the holidays.  There was one guy on site doing some measuring on the upside slope, all of that dirt is still waiting to be massaged some more. 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

...a brief report...

Yes, sun chokes being a member of the cruciform or brassica family are indeed GASSY!!!!!!!!!!!
I now have the promise of receiving yet more of the tubers and must research if there is anyway
to degassify this veg.  From what  I have been able to gather on line, short of consumption of
Beano, there is little hope of gastrointestinal peace once consumed.  Perhaps this could be used
as a secret weapon against our enemies; as in invite to dinner,smite with take home left overs.
Sumpin' to think about.....brrrrrrrrrrrttttttttttt...'scuse me.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Late entry for the CVH wreath decorating contest.

The maintenance department hoisted this little gem on their door, its kind of cute.  Click to enlarge to enjoy the big boy toys.  I don't see a miniature orange Hitachi up there but it is good to set goals.

One of the surgery nurses posted a notice that she had items for her garden available to anyone who wanted anything.  I asked for sun chokes and some herbs.  She threw in some sage and rosemary.
The sun chokes are knobby tubers that are apparently flavor neutral sort of like tofu only crunchier.  I am also reliably told that sun chokes are very gassy.  I will let you know.  This evening I decided to make a gratin of potatoes and sun chokes.   I scrubbed and sliced two Russets, two large knobby sun chokes, sauteed half a chopped onion, salt, pepper, garlic, added milk, let simmer a bit.  Grated up some Gruyere cheese and had some shredded parm left over.  Throw it all in a baking dish, top with buttered bread crumbs, bake in 350 degree oven for 60 minutes it you like your veg al dente, for fork doneness go another 30 minutes.  Tastes good. 

Sunday, December 19, 2010


My potluck dish for tomorrow's "office party" is stuffed  mushrooms.  I got 24 beautiful medium sized white mushrooms.
I used two packages of sausage and two 8 oz packages of Philly cream cheese, to bunches of green onions chopped, half cup shredded parm, half cup Panko bread crumbs.
Fry up meat until browned, stir in chopped onions, turn off heat of pan, put two bricks of Philly in stir until melted together.  Use a couple of spoons to fill the mushrooms, top with shredded parm and Panko, bake in 350 degree oven about 25 minutes or until cheese starts to brown.  I had WAY too much meat mixture left over, I could have easily filled another dozen shrooms.  So I dug out a frozen loaf of artisan garlic bread, popped it in the microwave for 2 minutes, sliced it in half, scooped out some of the bread to make room for the filling, put the rest of meat mixture in and topped it with Parm and Panko, baked in same 350 oven for 25 minutes. It was delicious! Anyway that's what husband said.  What are you having tomorrow? 


I was asked by the local Fireside group to cook the turkey this year for the evening get together.  We had fun attending the celebration the last couple years and I have a great big roasting pan, so why not?

We gathered up the turkey, the gravy, some dressing, a bowl of cranberry orange jello relish and a white elephant gift and drove to the church about 5:30 pm.  There were two long rows of tables set up.  I plugged in the crock pot full-o-turkey and helped. Husband immediately assigned himself the task of brewing multiple pots of coffee.

About 75 people attended and there were lots of children this year.  The organizers purchased a pile of gifts for the kids.  The meal consisted of turkey, ham, lots of desserts, a terrific Mexican lasagna, someone make a lovely short pasta salad with celery that was exceptionally tasty, lots of food.   Someone gave the blessing, lines formed and we ate.  Delish!  The turkey was almost gone by the time I got in line, I had cleverly visited the dessert table first. 

Then numbers were passed out and called and those who wished to participate went up to select from what looked like hundreds of wrapped packages.  I was number 18, husband was 80 (the last number called).  I selected a large flat package that turned out to be a framed W.C. Fields photo, the one of him in a top hat scowling over a poker hand.  I actually had such a poster as a young single!
Husband eventually went forward and was rewarded with a large chocolate football.  The most fun was when the person whose number was called got to either choose a gift from the table or one that had already been opened.  A few people had to give up their DVD player or chocolates.  No one wanted W.C. Fields until we were cleaning up the hall. Thank goodness.  A nice gentleman asked if he could take W.C. home, I said, "Yes, My Little Chickadee".  The gentleman was old enough to appreciate the comment.  Husband also donated his chocolate football to another guest. We tottered home by 9 pm.  Not bad.  We thought we would be there until midnight there were so many people there.  Next year, I think we need TWO turkeys.

Oh, yes as a result of cooking the turkey I got to keep the bones and simmered them into four gorgeous pans of turkey stock.  One had already been stored in the freezer.  Yay, more dressing! Or soup! Or noodles. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

...and now for something different...

These are lap sponges. Or if you must use the long form, laparotomy sponges.   For instance, they are used in surgery to pack off bits and pieces of the abdomen to protect bits and pieces from being accidentally punctured during the operation.  They have a bit of metal embedded in them so that if the sponge count is wrong at the end of the procedure, they take a quick x-ray to look for the culprit left behind. When the operation is over the crew cleans and sterilizes the instruments and occasionally there are left over opened but unused packs of lap sponges.  The surgery crew hang onto these, they are worth real people who clean their glasses.  I have had a couple lap sponges from WKMH days back in the 80's.  My current set are getting a little ragged.  So I begged some lap sponges from surgery a couple days ago.  Once they go through the wash they fluff up beautifully and are perfect for cleaning fine optics.  My last pair of glasses went five years without a scratch.

These are the lap sponges washed up and ready to go.  I used them daily on my glasses.  Unfortunately my new glasses won't go five years without a scratch as I performed a one point landing my face earlier this summer and got a bloody nose, black eyes, a fat lip and SCRATCHED MY NEW GLASSES!  The lap sponges are good but they do not remove scratches. 


Dear FN:

The cow stopped by to ask if you had any cigarettes and I told her no.  Having said that I can't figure out how they get the lighter to work.  R

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Unexpected shopping today...

Yesterday I started making cajeta de leche.  This is nothing more than caramelized sweetened condensed milk.  I use the slow cooker method.  I have seven small cans that I need to process for gifties at work so I got out my lovely slow cooker that holds five cans nicely.  I peeled off the labels, wrapped each can in cling wrap, (because the cling wrap prevents rust marks on the bottom of the crock pot) put them in the slow cooker and covered  with water.  I cooked them on low for eight hours.  About 10:30 last night, that batch finished and I put the final two cans to cook all night on low.  When I got up this morning, the crock pot was barely warm.  Uh oh...the crock pot died on me.  Dang!  So I took out the inner pot, heated the oven to 250 degrees F and let them finish cooking for four hours.  I decided that I needed to go to Freddy's and get another crock pot.  So I did.  I had also been looking for colored cling wrap and I found some there as well as some holiday themed zipper closure plastic bags to put the recently finished fruit cake in for gifties.  My fruit cake is very different this year; I used dried cranberries, cried cherries, dried peaches, dried papaya, glace pineapple, golden raisins, 4 cups chopped walnuts, 2 cups flour, 2 cups sugar, 8 eights, 4 tsp vanilla, mix, bake at 250 for 2 hours.  I also spotted some nifty little plastic containers that looked like they would hold the cans of cajeta de leche.  And they did!
Now I have to type up a recipe for both dishes, insert in gift containers and on the 20th we will have holiday potluck and gift exchange at work.  I am making stuffed mushrooms.  Yummy!

Oh and the best part?   Getting the thick gooey caramel into the individual containers. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010


This is the wreath from HIM dept.  I threw it together this afternoon.  I dug out some of my readily available angels and they look pretty good, at least not so much like a mass hanging.

This is the wreath decorated by the nursing department, there is a sign underneath urging people to take a candy cane!

 This one is by the business office, click to enlarge and take close look at the snowflakes, someone got very creative with a glue gun, some push pins and some paper clips, and I really REALLY want a glue gun!

This one is from the kitchen, as if the ginger bread men and kitchen utensils were not a dead giveaway.

 A very classically decorated wreath from the laboratory.

This one is from surgery, if you enlarge it you will see mysterious objects actually used in surgical procedure...I just don't what to know what they actually do......

I will post more wreath pictures, still haven't heard from a few departments yet. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Another day of debris removal...

Orange Hitachi machine back on the job scooping nice dirt into the dump truck.  The truck was also busy bring very nice rock for the "logging" road from the berm above the hospital.

This is the belly dumper truck, it seems to be in some sort of mechanical distress.  There are logs waiting to be hauled off.

Ah yes, here are some more logs.

And here goes another dump truck full of nice dirt.  I love work, I could watch it all day.

Rotary car parking

I finally googled the correct name, I was guessing Ferris wheel parking, mechanical parking.  Am I the only one who dimly remembers such a parking apparatus in downtown Boise?  I remember seeing it not too far from Louie's Gold Dragon, where we learned not to ask to use the bottles of soy sauce and NEVER asked for dessert.  We did learn how to behave.  My favorite dish from my youth at that place was the sweet and sour pork spare ribs.  Real ribs, but short, cooked in very dark sauce, fabulous. 

So back to the parking,  We have a very steep hill in the back of the hospital that will have pretty sturdy retaining type things done to it, I just think that a rotary parking system would be so cool.  Really cool.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

There Christmas Decorating...DONE!

I purchased a Poinsettia work to support the local Coquille High school Project Graduation fund for 2011.  And I added two new candle sticks to my collection, I now have um...about 25 candle sticks and some candles. So count 'em awreddy.

I sneaked a picture out the back entrance, smaller orange Hitachi machine was busy all day loading all that nice gravel into the dump truck. I am not sure where those truck loads are going but there are lots of empty spots on the various properties that need to be filled up. 

Monday, December 6, 2010

I missed taking a picture of the logs being removed.

Because the belly dumper came on Friday and took the logs...somewhere.  I guess a regular
logging truck was too hard to wiggle into the space where the logs were to be loaded onto the truck.
Must have looked so much like pick-up-sticks on a Tonka toy truck.

I noticed that the bigger Orange Hitachi machine is gone. It was  apparently loaded onto a low boy on Friday and away it went to re-arrange trees at another site.  We must be through logging for the moment, although a few trees are still standing in spots that do not allow easy access.  It has rained a lot for November, the last couple days the rain has tapered off and the mud is a lighter color.  That's all for now, will keep you posted on the progress.   I counted up parking spaces on the plan; there are 55 above the old hospital and 40 below the new one.  95 parking spaces!  Woo Hoo!!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Eagles Craftfair Coquille

I spent the day at the craft fair visiting with Sue and wandering about town for a bit, it was fun.  Then we came home and ate left overs and it was delish!  More crafting tomorrow!