Sunday, November 20, 2011

New Foods

I've been trying new foods to lower my LDL cholesterol. I've been keeping with no animal protein, no dairy and no fat of any kind. Ethnic foods are really up my alley because I like spice. I like the variation.

Potato and Pea Curry
This potato and pea curry is really REALLY wonderful! Of course, when it sits overnight, it is even better. I made a pot of it so I could take it to work for lunch. I love Indian food flavors!

My friend, Yuri,  from the Japanese Food Lovers blog gave it a thumbs-up! We share at lunchtime when we make new dishes. It's really great to work with someone who shares a similar passion for food. I've learned so much about Japanese food from her. She is very open to trying new things. The Japanese make curried dishes with a similar taste, but a totally different look. I think that's why she liked this one. Stop by her blog, if you haven't done so already. Her recipes are very tasty and authentic Japanese style.

Black Bean Chili
Now, I went South of the Border to make this one. It's my concoction of chili with no meat. I used navy beans, lentils, black beans, kidney beans, tomatos, onions, green peppers, corn and chili powder. With all of the beans, it didn't make me you-know-what. I was really surprised about that.

I made so much I got tired of eating it as chili. LOL! I also used this to fill corn and flour tortillas and topped with salsa for lunchtime. It was great! I've made it since then so I could fill more tortillas. It is very filling and you don't miss the meat at all. I spice it up with extra hot sauce because I love the heat.

I also share these recipes with a guy at work who is allergic to wheat. I, myself, stay away from food additives and as much soy as possible. I've also been staying away from a lot of wheat because the acidic by-product settles in my knees and causes pain. I also stay away from pork. That by-product settles in my back and causes pain in my spine. It's not a lot of fun to have food allergies. I like to help others when I can.

Disclaimer: I really botched up this diet for a week now. I hope to get back on board tomorrow. I'll worry about Thanksgiving when it gets here.

By the way, Happy Thanksgiving to all of you who read my blog.
Take care.

Afghan Done!!!'s a pic of the afghan for my GDG.
Full-on shot of afghan.
It took quite a long time to make since I had to change colors on every row and count stitches. It's about 66 inches by 48 inches. I ripped out a lot of rows on this one! I hope she likes it.

Now, I'm off to the races for the GDS!

(Not using names in case they come in while Mom and Dad are viewing.)

Monday, October 17, 2011

He's got...

Clint Eastwood eyes. I call him Eyes. Look at that stare he gives you! Chills you to the bone.

He's a Cornish Rock we got from Tractor supply as a chick. NEVER get this kind of chicken unless you're going to eat them. I didn't know to give them a special feed during their growth otherwise their legs get bad because they can't hold their weight. This guy doesn't have a problem with his legs. 4 out of the 6 chicks I bought did. I have two of these chickens left since I got them in May.

They are amusing, though. Eyes, here, sounds like an ooga-horn. His brother, Arnold, has a bad leg and favors it a bit. I don't expect him to be around much longer because of it. This is a no-kill-zone, so, no. I'm not going to do him in. They're pretty much tame and you can handle them.

Eyes goes about 10 pounds, if you can catch him. He doesn't move too fast, but he's slick. Arnold goes about 8 pounds.

Way far in the back, you can see Boris, my Polish Crested. He's a trip, too. Yeah. All of them have names.

Have a great day!

The Project is Done!

As promised, here's a picture of my hubby's project.

Our neighbor next door had this tractor that needed a little work to get it running. Well, hubby and the neighbor's son got it running for him. Hubby wasn't satisfied. There was no hood or grille to cover the engine. Hubby made one of each. The paint was bad. Hubby took care of that. The front wheel rims and seat needed a coat of paint. Hubby took care of that. The neighbors son found the bulldog (on the seat) laying around and they're going to put it on the hood. Hubby also made a holder for the battery to raise it above the air filter so air can get to the engine. This is the box you can see through the grille.

It looks so much better than it did. Hubby and the neighbor's son did a great job piddling with this. Looks great, doesn't it, Mr. Nels?!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Welcome Armadillos!!!

NOT! We are starting to get armadillos in Moncks Corner, SC. Oh boy! I've seen two dead on the side of the road in the past month. What I think is kind of funny is, they must be a challenge to the buzzards and other scavengers. With that hard shell, the carcass stays put for a lot longer than regular furry roadkill.

Also, I read up on them and they can carry the leprosy virus, just like humans. I'm sure they carry salmonella just like most any other animal. They like to burrow. They eat bugs and small invertibrates. Too bad they don't eat mosquitos!!!

It's going to be a challenge to keep them out of the gardens, I'm sure. Trixie, my hunter dog, has been working on ground moles. She hasn't caught one recently...I wish she would. Our yard is lumpy and mushy from all their burrows. I wonder how she'll fare with armadillos? I guess we'll have to wait and see.

That's all for now. I have to get outside and transplant some cabbage and collards I've started. DH is mowing the back 40 right now. So I'll get out there and feed the chickens, pull up plants, and wait for him to get done mowing.

Have a great and sunny day! We are.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Crocheted Vest

I had a birthday party to go to for my great-great niece. She just turned 2 years old. I didn't know what to get her and it's nearly the last minute. I'm sure she has everything she could want and more. So I got my favorite crochet hook warmed up and did some thinking with the help of the Lion Brand website.

Here is my pic of the Wee Vest in the free patterns section. It took me three days worth of working on it because of work and other things. At two o'clock this morning it was finished. Today was the party.

I think it turned out really cute. The link for this pattern is here.
I especially like it because it is heavy enough to wear for a long time here in SC. There is a hood to keep off the chill. I added a button to the front and a pom pom to the hood. If I had a little more time, I would've liked to put a border around the edges. That would be a nice touch for the next one. It was pretty easy. This is one of about 4 clothing projects I've ever done, not including the hats I'm working on for charity. I should do more clothing.

I hope you enjoyed this one. Take care.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


As of September 1, 2011, my sweet hubby has retired! Yay!

I am so glad he did. He deserves to enjoy the rest of his life doing things he wants and likes to do.

So far, the fascia on the house is painted; the picnic pavillion is painted; the porch was stained, but will be painted; he's fabricating stuff in the garage - I'll show pics of that later; he's helped a bunch of the neighbors to fix their stuff; he's prepared our gardens for winter time. My! He's a busy little bee!

Time will only tell what else he'll be getting into. Stay tuned!

Take care...until next time.

More Growing Things

For some reason, I had a hard time getting the next set of pictures to insert into the post. Here are some more pictures of things growing...but not in my garden.

I have had a fascination with mushrooms ever since I bought my first 35mm SLR camera. You know, the oldie that you have to adjust your aperture and manually focus. They are really fun to take picture of. No two mushrooms are the same. 
Small Mushrooms

Fairy Ring

 The Fairy Ring is a bunch of mushrooms which grow from previous mushrooms growing in the area. What happens is, one mushroom will drop its spores from the cap and seed the surrounding area around the mushroom. Then it happens again with the mushrooms that grow from those spores. Again and again it happens and makes a circle of mushrooms. I was tickled to see it happen here. That pile of brown straw is actually decomposing chicken manure. It's not hard to figure out where the spores came from!

The small mushrooms I almost stepped on. I don't know what kind they are. I just liked them because they are in a little bunch.

The Boletus is a type of woodland mushroom. It grows like crazy in my yard, here in South Carolina. I don't mind all the fungus because they're interesting. They have an orange and brown cap. The underside looks like sponge, as you see above. This particular Boletus is not an edible mushroom. See the little black spot on the top of the cap? This is what happens when it is bruised. I pinched off a bit to see if it changes color. Because it changes color, it is not an edible Boletus. It is really fun to pull these apart because you can watch them turn color right in front of your eyes.

REMEMBER!!! Do NOT eat any mushrooms you find in the wild. They can be poisonous.

Take care.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

What's Growing in My Garden?

Here are some things growing in my flower garden.

The red flowers are spider lilys of some sort. A friend of mine gave some of these bulbs to me a couple of years ago and said they are fall blooming flowers. Well, I never saw them for the past two years and almost gave up on them. I was very pleasantly surprised to see them this fall. They are so pretty.

The purplish flowers are my Joe Pye Weed. It is just that...a weed! If you plant them in a five gallon bucket and then plant the bucket in the soil, you won't be invaded. I end up pulling and burning most of the runners. It is very invasive, but I like them.  The butterflies and hummingbirds like them. They smell kind of like fake grape soda or something like that. They have a very light and sweet smell. 

For some reason, I can't access any more photos for this post. So, I'll say 'see ya!' for now.

I hope some pretty things are growing in YOUR garden this fall.

Ethernet Woes

I had a little bit of a fight with the ethernet card in August. That's why I haven't posted in a while.

It seems like the ethernet card can go 'on the fritz' for no apparent reason. When it does...look out! You're in for a ride if you've never installed one before.

You pull out the CPU. Mine's a dinosaur floor model...still kicking! You touch something metal to discharge energy that may have built up in your hands and body on the way to the workplace. Then you take it apart VERY CAREFULLY.  Then you remove the ethernet card VERY CAREFULLY. Make sure you already bought the new one so you can put it back in all at the same time. After you put the ethernet card in the correct slot, you put the CPU back together. Plug it all back in. Then, install software for the new ethernet card. Turn on the computer and voila! It works for a couple of days. Then it stops working. You call the number on the box for tech service on the card. You spend an hour or so doing everything they tell you. It still doesn't work. Then you call the digital cable service to see if the problem is in the line. They change the internet box and it works again. Yay!!! For a couple of days. Then you get disgusted and order an ethernet card online. Take the whole shebang apart again. Take the one you just paid out the wazoo for back to the retailer. Put it all back together so you can at least use the computer. Get a refund, if you're lucky. (I was lucky.) Get the new ethernet card(s) in the mail. (One extra for just in case...). Take the whole shebang apart again. Replace the card. Struggle with the VERY VAGUE instructions for installing this software. (I had to read between the lines of the program info on the installation CD for this one.) Computer works for a couple of days. Get disgusted. Call the cable company again. They send two guys out this time. You tell them what's wrong and it only worked for a few days after they came the first time. One old guy laughs at you and insinuates you don't know what you're talking about. They check everything again and put in another digital box. All works!!! Yay!!! Long time now!!!

Whew! I can post again!!!

Moral of the story...if you work on computers all day at work and come home to take care of your own stuff, NEVER touch the RESET button on the back of the digital internet box. This resets the whole box to FACTORY settings. You don't want that. Your internet company installs something in that digital box so you can use their particular service. SILLY ME!!!

Live and learn.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Cooking for the Week

Here's what I do on Sundays. I of rest. For me, cooking is fun. I don't consider it a chore.

I make dishes I can serve up quickly for the rest of the week. After two days, the leftovers go in the freezer for later. This helps out when I can't make something because of appointments.
White rolls. Here's my story with this. I've made bread for about 15 years now. I can never get it just right. My crumb is too coarse and the roll falls apart when you eat it. When we went on vacation, I bought a loaf of bread made by an Amish woman. It was heavenly! When I cut it, it was so light and airy I thought it would float away. Literally. It was moist, cut well and made great sandwiches. No dry crumbs with her bread. It had a nice shape. The top was rounded and high. Beautiful!

Now I had something to stack mine against. I knew it could be done and this Amish woman was a master of the bread baking. I went home and got out my recipe. I read the general directions for bread and I found no more clues. OK. I'm doomed to make lousy bread. Wrong! The thing I have never done is kneaded the heck out of it and get as much flour in it as possible before the dough rips. Bingo!!! It worked. I have light and fluffy bread rolls that are moist and tender and stay together. Ta da! 
 Croatian potato salad. It's simple and a lot less fat. Cook your potatoes like normal. Cut them and put into a bowl with some onions. I decided to use red onions for color. I usually use what's on hand and that is white onions. I love the onions from the garden and I chop the green tops into the salad for color. Waste not! Vinegar, oil, salt, pepper and about two tablespoons of Italian dressing for extra flavor. I give the Italian dressing a squirt, which is probably more than two tablespoons. The longer it sets, the better it is. I like it cold, but you can eat it warm, too.
 Pulled pork butt from the crock pot. Hubby loved it this time. It's usually pretty dry. This time, it was just right. It went great with the white bread rolls.
And, with some of the white bread dough, I made pepperoni and mozzarella rolls. You can cheat with this and used thawed, frozen bread dough. Roll out dough. Line up the pepperoni along one end. I used sandwich pepperoni. Add mozzarella. Roll. Rise. Bake. This time, I laid out the pepperoni and mozzarella over about 2/3 of the surface of the dough before rolling. It made a nice streak of meat and looks good for presentation. You can use any dry type of meat for this. Don't use cooked ham! It's too wet and makes a soggy heavy mess of the bread. Dry Virginia baked ham with cheese is good. The other Italian deli meats are probably good, too. Prosciutto, cappacola, sopressata, etc. Not cheap. Wouldn't a nice calzone be good with this dough? Hmmm.

I hope you enjoyed seeing my food prep for last week. Take care.

Have a simple day!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Wild Life

 I guess I should say wildlife. This guy is about as wild as it gets on our property. Except for a few rats, snakes and an occasional stray dog or deer. I don't know what kind of spider he is, but he made a home on hubby's work bench. I couldn't get too close so I zoomed in on him. The pic is pretty bad, but hubby was amazed at his size. Yeah. He's pretty big. About a half-dollar size. Maybe bigger.

Here's Angel waiting for Daddy who's in the barn. He's doing something and she waits patiently for him. She LOVES her Daddy! 

Here's Angel being a good girl with Nuts. We taught all of our dogs to leave the chickens alone. I used to have four dogs watching over my chickens when we let them out. This used to freak out our visitors. People think dogs will chase and eat them. Maybe someone else's dogs would. Mine are really good with chickens. Bunnies, too!

 Nuts has a hard time walking. Rightly so...she was beaten up pretty bad by her sisters and brothers and the other chickens shortly after we introduced them to the flock. She may have brain damage because of the lump on her head and the amount of blood that was on her. She doesn't act quite right.

She has her own 'condo' outside. This is what we used for a chick brooder. Hubby and I made this from scraps. If you look through the back of the condo, you'll see Nuts vegging out in the yard. She loves it out there. When we get home from work, we let her out to graze. On weekends, she has full days of grazing and lazing outside. We have a few hawks hanging around so she needs supervision. Otherwise, I'd let her out all day. She's getting around pretty good now. 

I think the other chickens are jealous of her because she's outside so often. They line up at the fence and stare me down to let them out. LOL! Chickens aren't stupid!

Later, everyone. Have a great day!

Monday, July 18, 2011


We are back from vacation July 9th. It was a really nice time visiting family in PA.
My stepson and his family just bought a new house. We were very excited to see it. As you see, it is not disappointing. It's really beautiful inside and out. This is the only pic we've got of the house. I hope no one minds that it's posted for all to see.

The party is for our granddaughter.
She wanted a luau party and that's what she got. This was a really cute cake. I bet you'd never guess it was all cupcakes and about 3" worth of icing on top! Yum!
They live in a gated community which is in the forest. I don't know if you can see, but this is in their back yard. Deer constantly roam through here. There is no hunting and they are smart enough to take advantage of that. Animals aren't dumb!

While there, we made a stop to my favorite flea market. There was all kinds of stuff there, as usual. I bought some woodwork as a gift for the lady who takes care of our dogs and chickens. I HAD to buy a loaf of Amish made bread and 2 pints of Amish made jelly. These were straight off the buggy and they are the best!!! Now, if I can only make my bread as soft, light, fluffy with a nice crumb as She did...(dreaming).

Then, we hopped over to visit my family. My brother and his partner have a new home and it is beautiful inside and out, too. It's way way way out in the country. It was so far out I don't even know if it was in the USA! LOL!!! They have a few acres, a pond and a boathouse with a swing. It is really peaceful there.

We stayed with my Mom at her house for a few days and helped her a bit. She lives in a really nice area, too.

It's taken me a while to get this onto the blog because my ethernet card was blown out from a storm last week. Now that it's taken care of, I'll be back with more.

Take care. I hope your summer holiday was as nice as mine was.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Sunday Musings

It's been a while since I've posted. We've been busy here.

First of all, we're trying to keep our gardens alive. We haven't had a productive rain in a long while. Last week, we had 5 minutes of rain one day. Then we had a short thunderstorm one night. A guy who I work with lives about 3 miles away. He only got the thunder.

This is in the shade. This is what we've been having for weeks! This was taken around 5pm yesterday. By 8pm, it was still in the 80's. Right now, it's 78 on my thermometer.

 The weatherman says that we have temperatures in the 90's F. The weatherman lives 35 miles away and closer to the ocean where they have breezes. I think they should live where I do. We pray for rain.

Here's a plant that is doing really well. It's Joe Pye Weed. It is really invasive and needs planted in a 5 gallon bucket to keep under control. I didn't control it, so I have to pull out the shoots from all over. On the right of the picture is why I even have this plant. Butterflies and hummingbirds love it! The flowers smell like concord grape juice, to me. The leaves are a bit stinky, though.

Here's Nuts! She got her name when she was a chick, about a month ago. Yes! A month ago. I have never seen a chicken grow this fast. She's a Cornish Rock, which is a fast growing chicken. She was acting goofy one day, playing. So I called her nuts. For some reason, the other chickens pick on her something fierce. They bloodied her comb and head around the comb. She's always been healthy, but she was the runt of the batch I bought. That may have something to do with it. Right now, she's segregated from the rest because she can't walk really well. I know that's from the beatings she's received. I don't know if anything is broken, but she can stand a bit. Her appetite is good. She drinks. She does chicken things. Oh, well. Here's another pet for me!

Here's our experimental garden in the 'back 40'. It is doing really well for not having amended soil. We were a little late planting this year. Closest plants are watermelons and cucumbers. You can barely see the cuke plants because they intertwined with the melons. Next are the squash. I have summer and patty pan. Yummy! Then green beans. Then corn. All is doing well. We are watering this enough to keep it alive.
Here's a watermelon in my hand, for reference.

Here's one of my crafts. I make crappy bird feeders. The birds love them. Probably for the food, but I have them all over the back yard. I make them once every few years because they are not pressure treated and they rot. I don't use pressure treated lumber so I don't kill the birds with chemicals. We have bits of wood laying around from other projects and my hubby gets a kick out of me using power tools, air guns and the like to make yard trinkets. Quite a few years ago, I made a pretty nice potting bench. That was a large project for me. It turned out well. It's rotting and will need replacing.

That little red building in the background was our first chicken coop. We started with 12 and went up from there. We only have twenty-some right now. Now this shed is our wood shed. We store hardwood in there to burn indoors in the winter. Yes. It does get that cold in South Carolina.

Take care, everyone. Have a nice simple life.

Monday, May 23, 2011

How Was Your Weekend?

Mine was pretty nice, thank you.

Here is a brief rundown of simple life in the country.

I was daydreaming at work last Friday and wondered what else I could make that I use a lot of. Well, here it is...da da da dahhhhh! Sour cream. How easy was that to make?

Get a very clean glass jar with a lid. Put one cup of heavy cream in it. Get a culture...use a 1/4 cup of a good sour cream you get in the grocery store. Make sure you get one that contains only cultured milk (hint: mine is named after a flower. Most others contain fillers.). Mix the two together, put on the lid and leave on the kitchen counter for at least 24 hours. It doesn't ferment, so there is no burping the container.

The taste was incredibly fresh and different than store-bought stuff. OK...I HAD to try it. I mixed a little with a teaspoon of sugar and topped my apple pie for breakfast. Yummy!!!

What is better than hanging sheets on the clothesline? Answer: being able to hang the sheets! I've not been able to do much for the past few months. It sure is great to be able to do stuff again! Even something as simple as hanging sheets on the line. This is the first of many hangings this year.

The Lantana is in bloom. I love this flower. It grows great in the heat and is pretty drought tolerant. We haven't had rain to speak of for a while and this looks great. The leaves have a stinky odor if you rub against it. The butterflies, bees, hummingbirds and hummingbird moths love it. It's really cool to see a whole family of hummingbird moths in this shrub all at once.

I've got a tomater! It's not a good picture, but it's dead center. Hubby and I have our own gardens. He gardens at yard level. I garden in boxes. For me, it's easier to pull weeds while sitting on the edge of the box. A lot of weeds are kept out by doing it this way, too.

Aren't these strawberry plants beauties? Well, they are Ozark Beauty strawberries. They are everbearers, but they are seasonal where we live. They are a cinch to grow. Look at all the new runners I'll be able to plant soon!

Our fire pit. Trixie's ready for evening fires. I spent all morning on Saturday pulling weeds from between the blocks. I also pulled the weeds from the sidewalk. This was my first major foray into yard work for a while. This is the second year for this area of our yard. Hubby leveled the land and prepared it for the block. I set the block. Believe it or not, I love laying block. I have to redo our pavilion patio because we relocated this block from there. was YOUR weekend?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Saurkraut salad.  



Once upon a time, very long ago, I dated a really great man. His Mom invited me over for dinner on Sundays or Saturdays, depending upon when we had a date. He always apologized for his Mom's cooking not being up to par.Well, let me tell you...she was a fantastic cook! I learned so much from her. Including this scary sounding salad.

Now, saurkraut salad...doesn't sound that great, does it? If you like saurkraut, even a little bit, you'll love this salad. It doesn't taste like saurkraut. It does have crunch and flavor.

Here's how you make this simple recipe.

Saurkraut Salad
Saurkraut, canned, in a jar or in a plastic bag
Crunchy veggies like celery, carrots, onions, radishes, cukes, green peppers, etc.
Equal parts white wine vinegar, cooking oil (not olive), sugar

Place equal parts white wine vinegar, cooking oil and sugar in a saucepan over low heat just until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat to cool.

Place saurkraut in a colandar, rinse and drain well.

Peel and chop or grate your veggies.

Place saurkraut, veggies and cooled vinegar mix into a bowl. Stir well.

Salt and pepper to taste, if you like. It gives more color and flavor.

You may eat this at room temperature, but I like it best when it has been refrigerated until cold.

Crunchy, sweet and yummy!

Now, Mr. K, you were blessed with a great cooking Mom all of your years. You didn't even know it!

Monday, May 16, 2011


Have you ever looked at yogurt and thought 'I can make this!'? I did that. The lovely internet has a bunch of recipes to make your own yogurt. I use it instead of sour cream for just about everything...biscuits, muffins, pancakes, cakes, etc. You get the same fluffy texture and flavor as with sour cream.

Here is my recipe. You have to follow the instructions or it won't work. The instructions are very simple.

You'll need:

Stainless steel saucepan to cook on the stove. 2 quart is best unless you make a half batch.

ORGANIC yogurt leftover from what you bought in the store. About 1/4 cup or 2 tbsp for a half batch.
NOTE: DON'T use anything other than organic! It will not work! There are too many gums added to regular yogurt to thicken the milk and to give a creamy mouth-feel to it.

Milk. 2% or Whole. Whole makes a thicker yogurt.

Cooking thermometer.

Stainless steel whisk.

Clean plastic containers with lids.

Warm place to put it.

How to do it!
Put 4 cups of milk in the 2 quart saucepan. For this batch, I used 2%.

Heat the milk to 190 degrees F. Use the thermometer to check the temp from time to time. Don't let it go over 190 degrees and don't quit before it reaches 190 degrees. Don't worry if the milk sticks to the bottom of the pan. Sometimes it will get a little brown.

Take the milk off of the stove and let it cool to 110 degrees F. Use the thermometer to check. Don't let the milk go under 110 degrees.

Add yogurt. Whisk with whisk until you see no lumps.

Put milk into plastic containers and put on the lids.

Put containers in a warm place until they coagulate. You can be creative in how you process the yogurt.
You can wrap them in a towel and place them on a low heating pad.
You can preheat an oven to a temp of about 100 degrees F. Turn off the oven and wrap containers in a towel and put on the rack. Leave the door closed.
Wrap them in towels and put in the sun. Do not expose the milk to the sunlight.
*My favorite...I put them in my microwave with the night light on underneath. This stays just warm enough. If I put it in there at night, by morning I have yogurt. DO NOT MICROWAVE YOGURT. Take out the yogurt if you need to use the microwave. You can always put it back in.

**TIP: Put the yogurt in small containers or you'll have to wait forever for the center to set up.

Here's the lovely stuff! My homemade yogurt in a 1 cup container. I can't call it organic because I have store milk in it. I don't know what hormones are added to the milk. If you use organic milk, you'll be better off. However, 1/2 gallon of organic milk in my area is $5 for a 1/2 gallon! At this time, I can't afford that.

The taste is totally different from store bought! Yum!

Monday, May 9, 2011


The last post showed the new washcloths I made for the shower. I used one last night and they are a scrubby with a nice lather. It worked! Hooray!

In my last post I complained about the terrycloth ones I buy in the store. Well, instead of just complaining, I started doing something about them.

As you see, the one on the right is what I started with. Yuk! The one on the left is the finished product. I crocheted around the edge after I trimmed and blanket stitched around the edge. I hope this lasts a while and doesn't fray any more. If I remember, I'll keep you updated on this one. I'd hate to put so much time into these for them not to last. I have two more to go.


The babies are huge! Look at all of the feathers they have! This will be my third week of them being with me. They've eaten 15 lbs of crumbles in two weeks time. I just bought a 50 lb bag of crumbles. Let's see how long this lasts with these little eating machines!

The three on the right and the one in the middle forefront have learned to take a dust bath. That's what they're doing now. It's so funny to watch. There's no dust, just grass. I have to move this pen tonight so they don't wear out the grass. This is just a playpen for them. They are outside in this for about an hour, right now. I have to watch them because we have hawks.

I hope all of you have a great day!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Projects Completed

I've been busy crocheting, as usual. This is a hobby that can be done all year long because it is so portable. I've been doing this for about 40 years...I started when I was about 8 years old.

Anyhow, here are a few washcloths that I've been working on in the past few days.

I am sick and tired of buying terrycloth ones and they fall apart in a few washings. Even my good ones aren't that good. These are made from a popular brand of acrylic baby sport yarn. These are popcorn stitch every other row. I've made some for washing dishes and they soap up really well. They stay soapy and scrub very well. I figure that if these are half as good as the ones I made for the dishes, then I'll be on the gravy train! I'll probably feel like I've gone to a spa, with all of the bubbles!

Here is another project I made for me.

I've made a couple of prayer shawls for people I know who've gone through rough times. This is just a plain ol' shawl I made for running around the house. It's something quick that I can throw over my shoulders and run outside quickly. I used a size 10 knitting needle with knitting worsted yarn. I should have gone down a size or two needle for looks. I haven't washed it yet. The stitching may tighten up a bit with a washing. Knitting is not my passion like crochet is, but I learned to do this at a very early age, too. This is plain stockinette stitch so it doesn't curl up on the long sides. I crocheted around the edges for a little more rustic look and to stiffen up the edges.

After 40 years of needleworking, I'm still addicted to it.

Happy hobbying!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

I'm Making Hats

Here are some of them. They are made from scraps from projects I've completed.

Several weeks ago I read an article in the Sunday newspaper about a priest in Michigan who goes about town giving homeless people scarves, mittens and hot coffee. He is kind of like a watchman for these people. He keeps tabs on them to make sure they're doing OK.

I thought how selfless he was. He was helping people who really needed help. For many years I thought of doing this for the homeless, but on a grander scale. It was overwhelming to imagine all of the work my project would take. All of the space I'd need to accomplish this huge task. I actually feel I'm called to do something for less fortunate people. 

Then I saw this article. Same deal...smaller scale. Hmmm. I can do something small and help the most people. I reread the article and there was no mention of hats in there. So I made the green, beige and white one above. It was easy! It only took maybe 2 hours of time and some scraps I had laying around. Easy!!! Then I made another to be sure it worked. That's where the purple one came in. Then another purple. Then the purple and white. I'm just going and going between projects.

'Where do you find the time to crochet?', most of my friends ask. When I watch TV after chores and work. Saturdays and Sundays when I take my breaks between cleaning and cooking.

My goal is a hundred hats for the homeless. Local homeless. I know there is a need. I see homeless people in my town, every time I go to town. Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. Brrrrrrrr!

Just wish me luck with this project. There is a need.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Another Yummy!

I got a little bug in me to bake some bread for Easter. Actually, I try to make this for every Easter because it's Easter bread!
 I love this stuff! Because Lent is a time of abstinence from meats and dairy, this is loaded with dairy! Lotsa eggs. Lotsa butter. Lotsa sugar. Lotsa yumminess!

It is Greek-style Easter bread. This bread is flavored with anise. Yes. There are different styles of Easter bread depending upon different cultures and how Easter is celebrated with each.

No. I am not Greek. I am Hungarian-Croatian-German-American Indian. What a mix! Anyhow, the Croatian side, my Mother, always baked the nut roll (shown below) for Easter and holidays. She and my Aunt always made this, poppyseed roll and apricot roll. Apricot is my favorite. Then, nut. NOT poppyseed. I don't like it that much. Mom and Auntie LOVED the poppyseed.

We used to have great after Easter service lunches at my Aunt's house. She'd bring out the good china...the good tablecloth...all her pretty things for the table. It was a HUGE table! Then, we'd have a tureen of little noodle soup, that's what we called it. It is actually a beef broth flavored with veggies. The broth was strained off and served with very fine egg noodles. Then the veggies and a huge beef roast, from the soup, were served in another bowl.

THEN...drumroll, please...the nut rolls!

It was tradition. I loved that tradition!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Yum! Shortcake!

We've been picking strawberries from our garden for about a month, now.

Here's how we get rid of them...Yummy!

I hull the strawberries, slice them and add sugar to them. I use about 1-2 tablespoons of sugar. I cover and let them sit for a while in the fridge. This give the sugar time to melt and some of the strawberry juices to come out.

I make a 'Lazy Daisy Sponge Cake' recipe from an old Pillsbury Family Cookbook from 1963.

Lazy Daisy Sponge Cake

2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup milk, scalded
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, well beaten
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Grease a 9-inch layer pan. I used an 8" x 8" square glass dish so I can split the cake, if I want.
After milk is scalded, remove from heat and add the butter to it until the butter melts.
Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in one bowl.
Put eggs, sugar and vanilla in another bowl and beat until lemon colored.
At low speed, add dry ingredients.
Then mix in the milk and butter mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees F until a silver knife comes out clean. This will be about 30 minutes. Cool a bit and make your strawberry shortcake!

It takes me about 15 minutes to put together the cake and 20-30 minutes to bake it. The taste and texture is so much better than the rubbery little dessert cups you get at the store.

We ate 2 of these cakes one right after the other. I cut them into 9-pieces each. We had 18 shortcakes!

This is one of my favorite desserts ever! I also use blackberries on this cake and peaches, too! Use your imagination and enjoy this simple cake. You won't be sorry! 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Spaghetti Pie! Yum!

Here's one of my favorite things to do with leftover spaghetti. Yes! A spaghetti pie! Yes, we couldn't wait.

This is one easy thing to make. I don't remember where I got the recipe. I think it was word-of-mouth from an Italian friend.

Put in enough spaghetti in a bowl to fill an 8" or 9" pie plate. I fill the pie plate beforehand to make sure I have enough. Then I put it into a bowl. Then, lightly spray or grease the pie plate.

Scramble one egg and add to bowl. Stir egg into spaghetti really well. You can salt and pepper if you like. I usually don't because the toppings are flavorful enough.

Put eggy spaghetti into the pie plate.

Top with leftover, meats and veggies, then cheese. You may use the sauce, if you like. I left off the sauce on this one. I used a liberal amount of pepperoni in this one. It turned out really good. 

Put into the oven at 350 degrees F until a knife comes out of the center clean. I use a glass dish because I can look underneath to see that all is cooked.

Serve with more sauce and cheese.

Easy! Let me know if you like this recipe.

Breakfast fit for a King and Queen

Have you ever wondered what the royalty eats for breakfast? Well, the King and Queen of our household have this.

On the left, fruit bowl. On the silver (plated) platter, bacon, sausage, toasted Easter bread and homemade crumpets. On the right, homemade strawberry jelly and butter.

Of course, the Princesses have their treats, too! (In the blue bowl.)

Best wishes for a very happy life together, Prince William and Princess Catherine!!!


Last week we went to our favorite feed store. There were these cuties there...on sale.

They are the Cornish breed. Aren't they sweet?

As you can see, their wings are half feathered out. However, they were all a bunch of fuzz when we got them. So, in 4 days time, we have chicks with wing feathers. In exactly one week, as of yesterday, their wings are fully feathered, they have larger tail feather tufts, and their bodies are feathering out a little. Their feet are huge for their size!

If this is any sign, they are going to be whopping-sized chickens!

They've already gone through two sets of increasingly large boxes. And, this past weekend, my hubby and I built them a large wooden cage which should hold them until they get ready for introduction to the flock. They are enjoying exploring their new home.

Monday, April 4, 2011

From January to April

Here is a quick rundown of what has been happening in our household since I posted in January.

We had a little bit of snow.

I made some nut rolls for Christmas. I pulled this out of the freezer for a snack. It makes a pretty picture, doesn't it? Tastes even better than it looks!

I was not feeling well and had to sit around the house for quite a few weeks. So, I crocheted my brother an afghan. It is about 4' x 6'. I still have to send it to him. He has snow where he lives, so he'll get some use out of it this year.

I crocheted a baby afghan out of leftover yarns. I'll send this to my Mom so she can give it as a gift. It could be a baby afghan and is big enough for a lap robe. It'll be her call how she uses it.

I knitted a small batch of  dishcloths, a shawl for me and I'm working on a scarf for a friend. I only know how to stockinette and purl in knitting. Knitting drives me bats, but I like how it looks. I am going to teach myself how to do other stitches in knitting just like I did with crocheting over the past 40 years. I crocheted an egg basket out of plarn for a little girl who will have chickens soon. 

For my upcoming projects, I have enough yarns left over to make another baby afghan and a lap afghan.

We had some hail last weekend. It was about the size of mothballs. Luckily, it is warm out and the ice melted quickly.

It's been exciting around here, hasn't it? 

Hopefully, all will be back to normal real soon.