Thursday, March 20, 2014

3 of my favorite things

A good cup of coffee dripped through my Mellita single cup filter. The low tech version of the oh-so-popular Keurig coffee maker. 
My special cup and saucer from the "Flow Blue" porcelain from Gustavsberg, Sweden. Purchased in 1971 and still in good shape!
Monster cookies, recipe in the list on the sidebar. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

a lifetime achievement award

It's not Oscar Night, but I am nominating my very special and experienced automobile for the highest achievement award!  It is a bittersweet experience to let go of my Saturn that I have been driving since 2000.  Yes, 14 years!  We have traveled far and wide, or just to work and the grocery store some days!

Very little trauma has come our way, no incidents that would qualify as a motor vehicle accident.  Twice I did some damage in my own driveway with stationery objects that were in the wrong place.  And once I had a close encounter with a poor deer that I didn't even know I had hit until the body shop man found deer hair in my doorlock!  I thought I had been hit by a rock while driving at night, but some poor creature took my outside mirror and a chunk of finder with him!

I have had an excellent service record and a friendly service guy--Bob!
He always stayed on top of oil changes, etc.
And we are lucky to have a good, reliable, trustworthy auto repair shop--
Advanced Automotive in St. Francis--always up to a challenge!

I took a parting shot of my odometer so I will know what I have to beat with the next car!

The next car hasn't arrived on the scene yet, but even though it is going to possess a lot more bells and whistles than my Saturn had, it has some big shoes to fill.  I'm willing to give it a try!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

a bonus day

Back again, so soon!  I have been thinking about what I said on this morning's post about Chex Mix.  About The Pioneer Woman and her life on the ranch.  About growing up on the farm.  And I thought I should share another favorite of mine--The Peterson Brothers music videos on YouTube!


This is just one of their fun creations, you can find more on YouTube if you look.  Honestly, we never leaped around on top of the silage or hay pile.  Not much, anyway!  I loved the smell of the silage, and I was amazed that in the middle of winter the inside of the pile would steam when a shovel broke the surface.  And we would get some of that fresh-cut vegetation smell.

The farm I grew up on was not huge by most standards, but when I was in Sweden in 1971, the people there likened it to a ranch because it was so much bigger than their smaller farmsteads.  And the fact that we had beef cattle!  I think they might have pictured it like a huge herd out on the vast prairie!

So enjoy some humor and entertainment from some modern day farmers, the Peterson Brothers!

kitchen tools

I am preparing 2 big batches of traditional Chex Mix - well, mostly traditional!  I found a recipe on the Pioneer Woman's website for a variation that I decided I wanted to try.  I think that this cook, Ree Drummond, is a good source for down-to-earth recipes.  And she writes well, too!  Just read some of her descriptions of life on an Oklahoma ranch with her family, you will get a chuckle.  Reminds me of some of the things that happened way back when I was a kid on a farm.

Anyway, this Chex Mix recipe holds pretty true to the corporate version.  The biggest variation is Ree's substitution of real garlic for garlic powder.  But I don't always keep real garlic on hand, but use the minced garlic in a little jar on many occasions and I find that my everyday palate is not offended.  Not in the least!  So I set about to put the garlic into the mix, but thought it needed to be mushed up a bit more to spread out the garlicky goodness more evenly.  First I tried just mashing on those little garlic bits with a spoon in a cup, but got nowhere fast.  Then I resorted to my tool drawer--

Every self-respecting kitchen has a tool drawer, right?

And I worked out a better plan--

With the garlic bits in a sealed bag and my kitchen hammer, it works so much better!  I suppose a mortar and pestle would be a good addition to my repertoire, but in the meantime, I have my own way to make it work!  And now half of my chex mix is out of the oven--

And yes, I know that you can buy chex mix in a bag in the store, but I tasted that once and it is nowhere near the taste of good homemade chex mix.  This is going to provide sustenance to 50 quilting ladies on Friday to keep them happy until dinnertime!  I better get the second batch whipped together, I would hate to see what would happen if we ran out!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

quilting fun

At long last, I have a new quilt for my bed!  Sort of like the shoemaker's children, I have been getting by with a quilt on my bed that doesn't really fit.  For a long time.  I decided to put some spark into the color scheme of the room with some bright, fun prints.  I used my own pattern, Hocus Pocus, because it goes together well and works with a variety of fabrics and prints of assorted scale.  But it has taken me a long time to get the quilting done, and now I am happy I did it.  Not so much that the quilting was detailed, just that I always put it aside in order to do quilts for customers.  And then one day I said "Enough!"  And the hedgehogs went on the frame!

 I did some improvisational piecing for the back, to make it fit.  I had purchased that solid blue fabric, the perfect color, but not enough (and I bought all I could get!).  So leftovers from my blocks and border were called into action, and I love the unexpected look of the quilt back.

Next on the quilt frame is this Christmas tree skirt that is made with a special ruler and will be included in an upcoming class at Bear Patch.  It's not as hard as it looks!  The center will be cut out for the tree trunk after the quilting is done.

Did you remember to turn your clock ahead?