Friday, November 30, 2012

The freezer was delivered

The freezer got delivered today, it has a light and the delivery man had to um, remodel, the wall plug.  But it works. It is about a foot shorter than the old one but seems very roomy on the inside.  I think we can hold off on storing up quite so much bread, bagels and such.

This the motorized hand truck the delivery man used this to drag the freezer inside.  It was cool, the little motor on the bottom has a chain apparatus with little feet on them that raise the whole thing up a couple inches to get over the edge of the bottom of the door.  Cool.  

Oh and the freezer works very well.  Yay!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Town Home Obituaries

I posted this picture thinking I might change my profile pic...
nope, this coy little number was my attempt at looking wryly skeptical about some deep thoughts.  Deep thoughts to follow:

I went to Messenger Index web site, perused the obituaries when a name caught my eye. Danny Green was listed, it is always a shock to see one's contemporaries thusly, the thinking there but for grace...etc.etc. Anyway I had not thought of Danny Green or Tom and May for decades. 

For those of you who may have forgotten, at one time the Green's and Berglund's were part of a very social circle of working family's more or less loosely involved with the Idaho Power Company. 

The Greens had two kids to play with so we sort of considered them poor because there was such poor pickin's for playmates.
Pat was a couple years older and sneered at the thought of associating with the little kids.  Danny just joined in and bossed everyone around because he was maybe a couple months older than me.

I have never told anyone this, but I got him in trouble at school once. It was 6th grade of so at Parkview Junior High school.  It was during lunch and he got into some fisticuffs with another boy and I ran to the school office and snitched on him.  The appropriate authorities dragged themselves outside to break it up.  By then most of the participants had scurried off.  Mr. Green did not thank me for interference.   Hmph.

Then everyone grew up and went their separate ways.  He is survived by his sister, Pat, his mother May and his wife, four children, a bunch of grandchildren and step-grandchildren.

Fare thee well, Danny L. Green.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Dead Freezer

The freezer is dead, long live the freezer, sob, sob, sob.

Another major appliance bites the dust in the household.

Got several calls at work from husband declaring imminent death of the freezer, what are we going to do on a Sunday, not only a Sunday but Black. Friday. Sunday. Weekend.  !!!!

Okay call around. 

The only place open is Sears who are booked solid for delivery until next Friday.  Can we fit a small freezer in the back of the van?

Um, not really.

Um, okay, wait until I get home we will save what we can.

Got off at 3 pm, started examining the alarmingly softening contents.  Went directly to refrigerator and jerked out everything to make room for several pounds of butter, and some boxed frozen things until packed completely full.

Pulled out several bags of frozen fruit, allowed them to thaw.
Dragged out the picnic cooler and put in the freezer bag things with some other semi-frozen goodies.

Pulled out several packages of bagels, well out dated, not worth saving.  Pulled out items that can actually survive nicely on a shelf,they were just taking up freezer space.

Net loss, lots of well aged freezer burned bread.  Am currently creating more croutons for dressing by drying three loaves of bread in the oven.  

I pulled all of the dried fruit and nuts I have on hand and put them all in a nice container. From this I will make several loaves of Christmas Fruit Cake.   It's all good.

Husband will call a local appliance store tomorrow and depending on whether the local guys are willing to haul off the empty freezer, we will be freezing sometime tomorrow afternoon.  Oy!

I am eyeing suspiciously anything electrical that may suddenly become the halt and the lame.  Wait...there's nothing left!!  Um, is that a good thing or a bad thing? 

One good thing, you should clean out your frost free freezer once each time the appliance dies on you.  Meh...

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving dinner and how it evolved (personal)

Thanksgiving has long been my favorite holiday.  As a kid it was a four day holiday from school. Invariably we would have dinner at either of the grandparents homes or maybe both.  The gatherings consisted of a gathering of aunts, uncles and cousins.  We cousins would play marathon games of Monopoly.  We dined at the kids table and giggled and choked our way merrily through dinner.

My absolute best remembered Thanksgiving was way WAY back in 1963. I remember the date because Kennedy had been assassinated and the folks and kids had all moved to Westwood California following one of Dad's jobs. I had stayed home to continue school and was moping around Grandma's house when some old family friends showed up to drive me to Westwood.
So off we went,  I was all of fifteen or so then and had my driver's license, quite unused don't you know. I cheerfully offered to help drive.  I was very politely refused. Armed with the address from one of Mom's letters we tracked down the house, their presence confirmed by the blue van vehicle parked outside.  I knocked on the door and Mom's eyes bugged out and she shrieked,"What are you doing here?!"  The friends drove to Susanville to visit some of their relatives and the next four days were mine.  My brother and I got into a tussle over a piece of pumpkin pie which landed on the floor.  We didn't care, we ate it anyway.

Today's menu and story as follows:

Turkey.   My place of employment (thank you Mr.Z!) hands out certificates for turkeys and they usually run about 10 to12 pounds.  Mine is nicely thawed and will go into the oven stuffed with whole lemon, whole orange and lots of whole garlic.  I will use the dripping for gravy, will slice up the orange and lemon yumm.  Darn I forgot to purchase Rosemary.

Dressing:  Using some of last years frozen turkey broth, grilled onions, garlic, celery, salt, pepper, sprinkle red pepper flake. Mix well with bag of croutons, add couple of eggs, pat into baking dish, bake at 350 for 45 minutes or so.,

Golden Potatoe Casserole:  4 to 6 whole potatoes, boiled, cooled, shredded.  Two cups sour cream, two cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, chopped green onions, salt, pepper,1/4 cup butter.  Mix well, pour into bowl, pat down, top with 1 cup buttered bread crumbs 45 minutes 350. This is decadent.

Cranberry Orange Jello Salad with walnuts and celery:  This is a recipe that is either well received or heartily hated.  Generations of my family have eaten this, well since Jello was invented.  Mom's preparation method involved grinding the cranberries in one of those metal food grinders which was clamped onto a large breadboad upon which one of the larger children would sit to hold the whole thing in place.  Since the fruit was very juicy and dripped down the apparatus, another child would be given the job of holding a container to catch the dripping juice.  It was quite an ordeal. My method involves a blender, grind up orange and cranberrys, use juice to prepare jello (black cherry, which is fast becoming a rare commodity to purchase), chop walnuts, chop celery. Go back one step macerate berries in one cup sugar.  Sets up nicely, use only half the liquid called for in the jello instructions.

Pumpkin pie:   Okay this recipe has been in the family since my Grandmother Horn received a Home Comfort wood cooking stove many years ago. The pie recipe came in a small cookbook that accompanied the range. That cookbook now resides with my sister as a treasured family heirloom.  The original recipe called for one tablespoon of melted butter.  It was left out several decades ago and has not harmed the pie at all.  Recipe is simple; pumpkin, sugar, milk,eggs, cinnamon and allspice.  The crust is another story altogether. Grandma Horn had a very light hand with pie crust made of lard, flour, dab of water and there you go.  Her cholesterol was well within normal limits and I thankfully have inherited the same trait. My pie crust is the peel and stick kind, love it! OH yeah I forgot, Cool Whip is optional.

Crescent rolls:  Hmm, more peel and stick, follow directions on can.  Easy peasy.

Condiments:  Green tomatoe pickles (I have raved about these before), black olives, celery maybe.

Activities:  Maybe watch the parade and snooze between fits and starts of cooking. If there is a football game on I may snooze through that.  Drive/walk/fly/hop/skip/jump carefully

Thanks:  I am very thankful for the blessings of the land. I am thankful for my family extended though they may be.  I am thankful to be gainfully employed and in reasonable good health for the shape I am in.  Bless you all!


Saturday, November 17, 2012

French toast croissant

Ahhh, Saturday morning, a lazy day to drag out the on sale frozen croissant and a bag of out dated frozen strawberries for Croissant Pan Purdue with Strawberry compote.  Mmmmmmm.

It wasn't exactly a Chopped episode but the croissant slices nicely when frozen and since they have a great whacking amount of butter in them they brown nicely in a hot pan.  Um, the extra butter on top is purely for over kill.

I dumped the icky strawberries in a sauce pan, added three packets of Splenda and let it boil merrily away.

It was delicious!

The rest of the croissanst will feature as part of tuna salad sandwiches. I use a can of water packed albacore, one chopped apple, scant handful of chopped walnuts, half chopped onion, couple tablespoons of Mayo, couple squirts creamy horseradish and spread it on.  Not bad at all.  Of course Tuna can be substituted or if you wish vegan, leave it out and add another crunchy veg.

Bon Appetite!


The passing of an era and other food memories

I, personally, have not been overly affected by the closing of Hostess due to finance/labor/etc troubles.  I always found the Twinkies to be a bit bland and such commercial goodies were never much available at our house as dinner consisted of meat, potatoes and dessert.  No Twinkies.

However, husband saw the news and immediately went to the store and purchased 10 blackberry pies (hand size?) and he got me some chocolate sumpin' sumpin'.  He would eat the blackberry pies as a youth for a Sabbath treat.  Now his mother would have prepared the traditional blackberry cobbler but there was just something about this forbidden snack that appealed to his blackberry starved soul.   He mused that he would freeze them and savor them on a yearly basis.  According to the news, Hostess may have been sold off to the money brokers of Wall Street but some of the brands may mysteriously reappear on the market in the future.  We plan to use a box of the Hostess cupcakes as a gag gift at the auction at the next Christmas party and see if there is a lot of turn over before it is finally claimed. 

Since I am remembering other food memories, it was not that unusual for Dad to announce to all to get in the car, we're going for a drive.  This usually involved getting a gallon of root beer in a jug, a dozen maple bars and a couple cans of Vienna sausage.  Thus stocked, we would drive the bench, the valley and Mom and Dad would argue about who lived where and then that school was closed and what Power line Dad may have worked on for the Power company.  Pure boredom for us ravenous omnivores sitting the back seats (station wagon, lots of kids).  Occasionally if the finances were riding more generously Dad would pick up an oven roasted chicken and we might even have been let out of the car at a park to consume the food and being thorough little omnivores even cracked and chewed the well baked chicken bones. 

As a final aside, to this day I do not particularly care for root beer, maples bars or Vienna sausage.  ......

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Ooh shiny new gutters

The gutters guys came today to install new gutters front,back and all around the front "porch".  Theoretically this will keep the rain out of the basement unless we have a tsunami, then all bets are off.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Chrismas Cactus

Just started blooming this week, very pretty.  It is more of a succulent and looks cactus-like with those spiky things but they were soft, not thorns.  Grandma Horn had one like this.

She kept a garden and I loved her sun hat, I found one almost like it, huge round brim, small cap, strings to tie beneath ones chin.

There was a gooseberry bush that grew on top of the root cellar and if I begged her for a gooseberry pie, she would let me go pick enough berries to make a pie. She would then shudder when ever I took a bite.  She apparently did not like gooseberry.  She also indulged me a young beggar to eat way more cherry pie than I should have with disastrous gastrointestinal results. Haven't liked cherry pie since. Ah me.....