primsong: (seagull)
It's been a long time since I bothered with roasting a whole chicken but the price was right so into the oven goes a bird.  I'd forgotten how fragrant a roasting chicken is too, makes me go put on my grandma's old apron, cut flowers for a vase on the table and otherwise come up with all those homey trappings that go with it.

Hubby, visiting for the weekend, comes in from working on the car and just stops to breathe it in.  "Wow, that smells SO good!"

If someone could make a perfume that really smelled like fresh roasted chicken with homemade biscuits it would be amazing - wear it on a date to bring all the guys flocking!
primsong: (cookies)
Seriously, one of the best things about Thanksgiving is my fridge is stuffed with leftovers and not only do I not have to cook for like three days or something, but I also get to eat pumpkin pie with whipped cream for breakfast.  Oh yeahhhh.
primsong: (panda bounce)
I broke down and got a box of cherry turnovers from the day-old rack at the supermarket bakery and as my son and I were sharing this loot I commented how I always love cherry turnovers and cherry pie.  He asked why and I realized it's partly because I miss George Washington.

When I was a kid George Washington's Birthday was still its own holiday, not this "Presidents Day" thing we have now.  It came in February and the classes in school learned about him and the apocryphal tale of his chopping down the cherry tree and not telling a lie when his father asked him about it  - probably because much of the theme of this holiday was about teaching children about being honest as much as it was about history.  We had cherry pie and cherry turnovers and cookies shaped like little hatchets, made fake "powdered wigs" out of curled white construction paper and decorated with red, white and blue crepe paper.  He was the Father of Our Country and we were happy and proud about it.

I'd love to see George Washington's Birthday come back as a holiday again, it was a good one, honesty never goes out of style - a shame to have it fade away. 
primsong: (pears)
One thing about living where I do is the summer is absolutely filled with berries. We could rename it Berryland and it wouldn't be far from the truth!

Picked some strawberries, blueberries are coming in - there's kotata, boysen, marion and tay berries ready to go as well as raspberries in both red and golden. Yum yum. My childhood memories of picking berries and being paid for by the flat are shared by many here.

*squirts whipped cream on blueberry and banana pie*

An artist friend was assigned painting a picture of what summer is to her. She painted a blue sky literally raining berries.

My apple and plum trees are absolutely loaded with fruit for later on as well, hopefully they won't get so fried that they start dropping the green ones because I want to make apple butter this year.
primsong: (zucchini)
Ah, St. Pat's! I love what a simple holiday it is. We wear green and I make a big honkin' tureen of corned beef with cabbage, parsnips, carrots, etc. - follow with some strong coffee with irish cream in it and that's it. My inner Irish person is happy to accept this annual dose of non-authentic Irish soul food.

May the wind always be at your back, etc. etc.
^_^
primsong: (lunch)
In spite of my best efforts my house always ends up awash in sweets other goodies over the holidays, I finally got down to business and threw out some of the remaining candies that were still here and there, tossed a handful of candy-canes (still have a pencil-cup-ful though) and sent some unopened things we were given to our local food cupboard.  Yay!

On the other hand, I found mincemeat filling on clearance at the local shop and ended up making not one but TWO mincemeat pies tonight.  My victories are apparently self-congratulatory and brief. 
primsong: (bladda dog)
Well, we did it - two teas on two consecutive weekends with almost no help, 42 at the first one (mostly kids) and a paltry 19 at the adult's tea.  Problem is I had the kid one slightly cheaper than actual cost because I kept being told that it couldn't be "too expensive for families with children"... I counted on the adult's one counterbalancing that and then when so few showed up it tipped the proverbial apple cart.   Worked hard, got rave reviews, but only pulled in less than $200 after all expenses were accounted for.  :-p   Ironically overheard people saying "Wow, if I'd know it was going to be this good, I would have invited X, Y and Z!"

It was supposed to raise money to replace curtains and blinds - didn't even make enough for one set of blinds much less eight.  Kind of discouraging, but at the same time it was rather fun to do - I would do it again someday IF (and ONLY if)  I had a confirmed team to help me and enough people buying tickets ahead of time with the option to close shop if there's too few.  Lessons learned!
primsong: (hamster smooch)
Working on tea stuff, I wanted some lavender in there somewhere and also wanted a pound cake to slice and serve, so I tried this Lavender Lemon Poundcake as the best of both worlds.  It was good enough I wanted to pass it along!

Added a little extra lavender, as I had some from my yard as well as what I got at the health food store, they had it there in bulk for people who make their own teas, ,then reduced the cholesterol a bit by using half margarine, half butter and only putting in half of the egg yolks...doubled the vanilla and dumped in a dribble of lavender syrup we had left from our lavender latte binge.  It's AMAZING - we snarfed the baby size loaf I'd made for us to sample it, the rest are cooling to go into the freezer for next week's tea.  We'll top it with glaze, lemon zest and sparkly purple sugar there. ^_^

Yay!

primsong: (harvest)
Doing a bit of raking in the yard and discovered my apple trees are ALREADY dropping ripe apples... in July! My initial reaction was "noooooooooo!" I am so NOT ready to have to deal with apples again, we haven't even used up the ones in the freezer from last fall.

Oh well, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em (or consume 'em).

Made three apple-blueberry pies with brandy this afternoon to kick off the early apple consumption for this year, plenty more where those came from.
primsong: (nom)
So... I was at Bible Study last evening. The windows in the room look out at the bend in the building where the two wings come together. I watched a crow fly up onto the roof there with what appeared to be half a burrito, a great find for a crow. It spent some time happily pulling bits off to eat, then stopped and looked around, considering what was left. As I watched, it carefully hefted it up, carried it to the edge of the roof and stuck it into the gutter, cawed a few times and flew off.

Apparently a roof gutter makes a great safe for a crow's treasure, as he came back shortly and reached in for a couple more bites, then flew off again. Didn't see it come back while we were there and then it got dark. Now I need to send a note to our handyman to let him know, lest the mystery of the mummified gutter burrito be too baffling to him in the fall.
primsong: (zucchini)
We're trying to incorporate more veggies again here, having slowly drifted off into meat-and-starch land for a time and doing a course correction in tandem with our annual church fast.  Today's dinner is cabbage wedges roasted with sweet onion slices and a drizzle of olive oil - which made me wonder, cabbage being such a versatile thing, what are some of your favorite ways to put a bit of cabbage in your life? 
primsong: Scan from an old Dr. Who magazine (find tardis win game)
I was at a little Polynesian market yesterday to fetch some coconut milk and found a marvelous thing - high cocoa-content chocolate sprinkles from the Netherlands that had a tempting picture on the front of the package indicating it was intended to be generously heaped as a bread topping.  I took a package home (I like to get one thing I've never tasted before each time I'm there), and....aaaaaaahhhh.....seriously, you should try this, folks. Hot toast with a touch of butter then GOBS of dark chocolate sprinkles strewn and heaped on it so it gets slightly melty, oh wow.

I'll never want those waxy cheap brown 'chocolate' sprinkles again, this is the life.
primsong: (cookies)
It's definitely "that season" again - coming from a Christmas party that had rockin' gingerbread cake with spiced whipped topping and cream-cheese-and-nutmeg stuffed dates to holiday events with everything from brandy beans to peppermint cookies going by it's hard to know what comes next.

We have our church Christmas event this coming Sunday, so I'm busy making marshmallow popcorn balls and green tree-shaped spritz for that, at the rate we're going I may not even need to make any Christmas cookies this time around as we'll already be full up on enough goodies to cause us to all roll out the door like that girl that turned into a blueberry in the Willy Wonka thing... but y'know... there's still those soft sugar cookies with lemon in them... and the peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate....and that amazing fruitcake with all the wine in it....

What are you making this year? Any extra good things orbiting past you?
primsong: (pumpkin)
Just got back from a run to Trader Joe's (gosh I love Trader Joe's....) and found they were going seriously into the realm of "let's see how many things we can make that taste like pumpkin!"

Ended up with pumpkin cookies and pumpkin flavored corn chips - picked up pumpkin biscotti and managed to put it back down.  Thankfully the pumpkin mochi ice-cream balls were gone or that would have been my doom (the cashier assured me they were 'inspired' and he had ripped through an entire package of them in his short commute home). 

Yoooom yom yom num num num.
primsong: (bladda bladda)
I was so sad about seeing an icon like Hostess closing down that I bought 4 boxes of Ding Dongs, a box of Twinkies and some snowballs to see it out.  We like to have Ding Dongs at Christmas, so I figure they can go into the freezer for now. 

Alas, Suzie-Qs and Cupcakes, we knew you well...

Well, not that well - actually we were very low on the scale for Hostess consumers, it's mostly memories of being a kid and drooling over the colorful packages in the store and wishing we could afford them that comes to mind.  The grocery store clerk said people had been coming in and loading up on Hostess all morning, so I'm obviously not alone in that.
primsong: (lunch)
When I went out to a local farm seeking an "autumn fix" I soaked up the happy harvesty atmosphere and also came home with a jack-o-lantern type pumpkin (which we dutifully carved) and 2 sugar pie pumpkins.  One sugar pumpkin is for pie, but the other was for a favorite autumn-time easy dinner we do, to wit:

Dinner in a Pumpkin

1 4-5 lb. pumpkin
1 lb. ground beef
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 c. uncooked instant rice
3 T. butter or margarine
1/2 t. salt (optional)
1/2 t. pepper
1 t. thyme
1 can diced tomatoes (undrained)
2 c. beef broth
1/2 c. grated cheddar (optional)

Wash the pumpkin and cut a nice wide lid on the top (you want to be able to scoop yummy things out later).  Scoop out the seeds and stringy bits.  Brush the inside of the pumpkin with the butter and sprinkle it with a little salt if you like.
In a skillet, saute the beef and onion until browned. Drain fat. Add the rice and remaining ingredients except the cheese. Put your pumpkin in a shallow dish (I use a casserole dish) and fill it with the meat mixture. Put the lid on the pumpkin and stick the whole thing in a 350 degree oven.  Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until the pumpkin is tender.  You can add more broth if needed.  Take off lid and sprinkle with cheese while hot. 
Serve right from the pumpkin, scooping out pulp with the beef mixture. 

For lower sodium people like me, just use no-salt tomatoes and unsalted beef broth and reduce or even eliminate the table salt too. Still very tasty and homelike.  This is the only time of year I buy instant rice, just for this, and sometimes use dried minced onion instead of fresh, though fresh is always better if you have one handy.

Enjoy!
primsong: (monkeys)
Life is feeling quite repetitious and mundane today - repairing a stack of identical textbooks, slicing dishes of apples, printing copies of a newsletter, folding yet more laundry.  One of the things I am looking forward to in heaven is less need to constantly constantly constantly do stuff that is solely for the upkeep of bodies.

Round it goes!

Oh well - at least we have food and clothes and decent weather at this point.  Variety break!  Think I'll go get some unusual tea and try out those German chocolate cake flavored marshmallows I found in the store yesterday, they're chocolate ones rolled in toasted coconut.
primsong: (seagull)
Making my morning coffee, I just absently picked up the nearest spoon to stir it.  Turned out that was also the spoon I'd just used to give Pi-cat her morning treat of catfood.

Just what I always wanted, that exotic piquant of chicken giblets in my latte.  Mmm. Not.

What's amusing to me is I've been using the same spoon for both for some time now to simply save on one more dirty dish with each morning, but I always (always always) *rinse the spoon* first.  And I remember telling myself "One of these days I'll forget to rinse the spoon and end up with catfood in my coffee."  Like, you know, today.  ;-)   I don't listen to myself any better than my kids do sometimes, lol!
primsong: (flag)
We aren't doing much for the 4th this year, I seem to be in low-interest mode for holidays this time around.  Spent the morning pressure-washing the curbs of the church parking lot while no cars were parked there, prepping it so I can repaint them, which isn't terribly holidayish, I admit, but it worked great. 

In lieu of other festive ideas we decided to get the last of the apple pies that I froze last fall out of the freezer and bake it and now the house smells fabulous.  Besides, it's traditional to associate America and Apple Pie. I'm not entirely sure why, though, hah!

Starflower passed her test and got her driver's permit this week, so I get to go lurching around with her this year while trying to cheerfully keep my composure as passenger/instructor - ah, parenthood, where the adventures never end.
primsong: (cookies)
Spent yesterday and today packing and hauling and driving etc. to help in the end of year college-kids-come-home thing, very grateful to sit down for a few minutes... until memories of a slice of chocolate cake I saw at a cafe kept coming back to haunt me. A Ghost of Dessert that May Have Been.

Baked a chocolate cake. Rationalized it as being a 'sort of holiday' because there was moving boxes involved and after all, it was 'kind of healthy' (non-fat, with fructose to boot). With extra chocolate. Lots of it. Daaarrrk chocolate.

It is now dinner time and all I have cooked for my family is a large chocolate cake.

Um. Yeah. Heh.

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