Saturday, March 28, 2009

Manicure Memories

For my birthday this year Mom gave me a pair of manicure scissors. But mind you, they weren't just any pair of scissors! This pair was purchased in Los Angeles, CA in 1957.

The story is that grandma had traveled from Iowa to California shortly after I was born to see her newest granddaughter. Being the particular person that she was, she insisted Mom have a better pair of scissors with which to cut my tiny little nails. So, she walked around the corner to a drugstore and purchased this pair. She then proceeded to instruct Mom (as mother's do) NOT to lose those scissors as she paid $25.00 for them. And $25.00 was a lot of money in 1957! Well, Mom certainly listened to her as she still had them. I do remember using them all the time at home. How they survived all the moves and years I have no idea, but now they belong to me.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring Fling!

After a weekend of NO internet service they finally fixed it! I hope you enjoy my little bit of spring!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Finally a Baby Quilt!

Quite a while ago I posted about this quilt that I was making for our nephew's baby who had already turned 1! I finally got it done and sent. They said she took it out of the box and curled up in it, so hopefully she will enjoy it.

The fabric was a little brighter than I usually go for, but I was in the mood for some girly color when I picked it out.

I especially loved the polka dots and flowers. I used all of the fabrics for the backing and the binding and I tied it with lime green floss.

Now, on to some more projects that are waiting for me!

Monday, March 16, 2009

A Cast and A Casserole

My poor youngest grandson, Nate, has really had a bad several weeks! Two weeks ago he was having a great time JUMPING OFF THE COUCH!! But all of a sudden he was in pain and didn't want to walk, so Trilby took him in to the ER where they x-rayed it, said it was broken, and put it in a splint. She scheduled an appointment to go to the orthopedic doctor the following week for a cast. But, as he learned to crawl around with the splint it began to come off. So they told her to come in a few days early. Well, that doctor said he didn't "think" the leg was broken. Sooooo, she took him home without anything on the leg. But after a few days of him limping around she decided to take him back--to the same doctor. After a few more x-rays he said it wasn't broken and she should make him walk on it. Well, as it happens a mother of a child from her same daycare works for one of the doctors in that clinic and she had seen Nate limping around, so she had her doctor look at the x-rays. Well, the next day they called Trilby and now Nate looks like this:

We feel bad for the pain he must have been in while not having the cast on! Poor guy!

When I joined Weight Watchers about seven years ago one of the best casseroles we began to eat is still our favorite, even though I am obviously NOT following the plan, so I thought I would share it.

Chicken 'n' Cheese Casserole

2 cups cooked macaroni
2 cups coarsely chopped cooked skinless boneless chicken breasts
2 cups canned condensed cream of mushroom soup (undiluted)
2 cups fat free milk
8 ounces low-fat cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes

Preheat oven to 350

In large casserole, combine all ingredients mixing well.
Bake covered, 35-45 minutes. Remove cover; bake 10-15 minutes longer. Serve immediately.

262 calories, 12.7g fat, 0.6g fiber 6 points per serving--makes 8 servings

Monday, March 9, 2009

Boys & Butchering

Saturday morning found us traveling to my sister's over by Maquoketa to butcher. This was the second Saturday we have butchered. I'm not sure how many hogs were done the first time, but they did 15 hogs this time, most of which was made into sausage and brat patties. I'm sure to many of you this sounds rather old fashioned, red-neck, whatever. In fact, I didn't grow up doing this--our meat came from grandpa's stash at the locker or from the grocery store. Bud's family always butchered everything. They're favorite saying was, "When we're done butchering a pig the only thing left is the squeal!". And they were right! I've helped them make lard and ladled the cracklings out to go in blood sausage, I've pressure cooked the hog's head and picked the meat off to use in head cheese, and I've wrapped and wrapped the meat! My family just got into this in the past 10 years or so. My BIL arranges to purchase hogs at a greatly reduced price, my nephew kills and skins them, and then everyone helps with the cutting up and wrapping. They had a conglomeration of friends and family there to help. Honestly, I have to say it is the best meat. This way we really know that the meat in our freezer is ours and what the quality is.

There is one downside to this though. And it was a downside with Bud's family too. And that is that you always have a "surprise" package of meat in your bunch. Last year I took a whole loin with us camping and planned to feed Trilby's family along with us two. I set it out to thaw and sometime in the afternoon Payton picked it up and threw it back into the sink. As it clunked I wondered why it was still so frozen. So, I felt it and it was not thawed at all! As I unwrapped it and got a good whiff of it I realized that it wasn't a loin at all. Oh no, thanks to my niece and nephew we were gifted with the lower leg of a hog--hair, hoof, manure and all!! Needless to say, we didn't have loin for supper. The coons certainly enjoyed their little snack sometime in the night as they managed to get it out of our trash can!

Saturday I only helped with the butchering for a short time and then I was the designated baby-sitter for two two year olds--my grandson Nate, and my great-nephew, Evan, and my five year old grandson, Cael.

They kept me hopping as they played, ate, and played some more. Evan, an only child, was awed by Nate and Cael and their good natured fighting and horseplay. He did get a little braver as they day went on and he and Nate decided to jump down several stairs. Luckily I convinced them to stop before we really had broken bones!

All in All we had a great day. I just don't know who was the most tired--Nana or the boys!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I'm a Winner!!!

Here's the email I received--

We're pleased to tell you that your entry was selected in THE BOOK CLUB COOKBOOK'S Book Club Buzz drawing to win a copy of THE SCHOOL OF ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS by Erica Bauermeister. Congratulations! The publisher will send you a copy of the book shortly.

We hope you will share THE SCHOOL OF ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS with members of your book group. You might be interested in Ms. Bauermeister's recipe for Tom's Pasta Sauce accompanied by an explanation of how the recipe connects to the book.

Again, congratulations, and happy reading! We hope you will continue to enter our Book Club Buzz Contests. And please feel free to send book recommendations from your book group for our website.


Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp

The School of Essential Ingredients follows the lives of eight students who gather in Lillian’s Restaurant every Monday night for cooking class. It soon becomes clear, however, that each one seeks a recipe for something beyond the kitchen. Students include Claire, a young mother struggling with the demands of her family; Antonia, an Italian kitchen designer learning to adapt to life in America; and Tom, a widower mourning the loss of his wife to breast cancer. Chef Lillian, a woman whose connection with food is both soulful and exacting, helps them to create dishes whose flavor and techniques expand beyond the restaurant and into the secret corners of her students’ lives. One by one the students are transformed by the aromas, flavors, and textures of Lillian’s food, including a white-on-white cake that prompts wistful reflections on the sweet fragility of love and a peppery heirloom tomato sauce that seems to spark one romance but end another. Brought together by the power of food and companionship, the lives of the characters mingle and intertwine, united by the revealing nature of what can be created in the kitchen.

I never win anything, so I'm REALLY excited! And I haven't really mentioned my book club, so it is about time. I am a member of the Booker Babes and I maintain a blog. See the link in my sidebar as blogs to follow.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

My Big Yellow Bowl

Do you have a dish or container that most people your age also own? Well, I think that most people my age own a big tupperware bowl in either yellow or green. In later years they changed the color I think, I'm not sure. I haven't been to a Tupperware party for MANY years, but in looking online it seems there is a similar one in orange and white and made out of a different material. It doesn't have the memories that mine has!

I received my bowl as a shower gift in 1975. I don't remember who gave it to me, but it was money well spent. Over the years it has been used for MANY batches of potato salad, rotini salad, bread dough, Christmas cookies, beer batter, and a variety of other things. I can tell my kids and my hubby to get the big yellow bowl and they know exactly which one I'm talking about! The bowl has a few melted spots where it got too close to the stove, or a hot utensil, but never melted all the way through. My name, written in black marker, is fading on the top of the lid. Putting my name on it was necessary as I have taken it to many family dinners, picnics, and high school potlucks.

So, family leave me a note about this bowl. Friends, let me know if you have an item most people your age also own.