Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Anna and Maggie went with my Dad to run errands today. I asked Anna to take plenty of pictures. She always does. Here's Maggie and Dad while waiting for Mom to show up for lunch in Leonardtown. Ever since the Texas trip, Dad has preferred Mexican restaurants.
Anna took a picture of the new Lexington Park Firehouse. Isn't it beautiful? What an improvement over their last firehouse.
They went to Dameron so Dad could drop off some papers for his tenant. His house is located on a peninsula, so it is both waterfront and waterback. I always enjoy looking out the windows of the master bedroom because the views are magnificent. This is St. Jerome's Creek, home to many oyster growers.
This looks like a picture of the front, if my memory is correct.
Anna took a dozen pictures of this kitty. She loves kittens!
This garage door caught Anna's eye.
This is south of the base. I never tire of seeing miles of farmland. The girls had a fun time, as they always do with Grandad. They especially enjoyed his new Suburban that has every upgrade imaginable.
Tonight we had squash three ways. I experimented with patty pan squash and came up with a winner. It was sliced patty pan, onion rings, splashes of worcestershire sauce, then strips of bacon. Bake until done. Next time I will use 1" bits of bacon instead of the big strips.
We also had these delicious cucumbers.
Squash dish #2 was diced patty pan, diced onions, olive oil and fresh garlic, all sauteed in a large pan. Delicious!
Squash dish #3 was panfried patty pan and yellow neck squash. They disappeared quickly!
Our last dish was Smash Potatoes. I made these back in the 80s and they were a hit. This is the first time I used white new potatoes (from the amish stand) and they didn't smash very well. But they were delicious. I was reminded of this recipe when it was posted by http://www.thepioneerwomancooks.com/. I enjoy reading this blog, but she does have some crude expressions, so be careful. Her recipes have the best step by step pictures. Pioneer woman isn't a believer, as reflected in her posts about how she met her hubby. But wonderful pictures of her life on their ranch.
Sarah went by the amish market last week and brought home two adult-size muscovy ducks. We have been enjoying them ever since. The two muscovys enjoy flying up to our roof. I hope they don't make a mess of our roof. I guess I was thinking they would roost in our trees...!
I think they look funny up there.
Just had to show you one more picture...this is a banana pudding that Maggie made yesterday. It was sooo yummy. Not sickening sweet.

I haven't been out to pick blackberries for 5 days, so tomorrow I will try to pick them all before the day gets hot. We found some squash bugs on some of our plants, so I guess our squash days are numbered. I already have about 50# of squash in my kitchen, so we should be just about sick of it by the time the plants die.

Many blessings ~ Kathie

Monday, July 28, 2008

Class of 1978 Reunion

What a busy weekend! This past Saturday my high school class got together up in Carroll County for our 30th reunion. I was apprehensive about going (just shyness), but my cousin Sue talked me into it. Sue also asked us to sing. Now I'm glad we went. It was good to see my old friends.
These are our former teachers from Arlington Baptist High School in Baltimore, MD. Teaching was a ministry for them as well as a sacrifice. See "Miss Baker" in the bright blue shirt in the center? She was responsible for me getting an English degree. When I arrived at ABS in 9th grade, I had no idea what a noun was...and Miss Baker expected me to be able to diagram sentences! She had the patience of an angel while I caught up.

We had folks come from FL, TN, NY, PA, VA, CO, MA, NC, and, of course, MD. It had been 15 years since our last reunion. Thank you Nadine and Susan for all your hard work hosting this event.

We have been busy baking loaves of "blessing bread" ~ that is, bread to give away to busy moms or those with health issues. I added mini chocolate chips and banana to these loaves of zucchini. Sure are yummy!
On Sunday afternoon, we had 29 people for Fellowship Night at our home. I served BBQ and hotdogs, and everyone brought delicious side dishes. I made the above sourdough dinner rolls to go with the Brisket BBQ. It was yummy ~ I will never make BBQ from pork again...just brisket. What a difference!

Some updates from our family life this past week ~ Mom and Dad's Texas home on North Padre Island did not get any effects of the hurricane Dolly. What a praise! Secondly, Allen and Mike passed the Hunting Safety course (required by law) and at this moment are shopping for rifles. Allen got a 96% on the test, Mike got 100%. We are so proud!!

Best of all, Maggie went to the specialist on Friday, and he assured us that Maggie's arm is not in danger. The popping sound is okay...as long as there is no shooting pain. What a relief! He also gave us suggestions of other specialists if her arms/hands do not improve. So she still needs your prayers.

Today we picked up our last 20# box of blueberries for the season. So between the fresh blueberries and the white peaches, we are enjoying the season.

Many blessings ~ Kathie

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Hurricane Dolly

Our family is watching Hurricane Dolly closely since it is headed for southern Texas. My parents have a home on North Padre Island where we stayed for 6 weeks this past spring. (You will see lots of news coverage coming from South Padre Island which is a much more populated area of the island.) This is where we fell in love with Texas. Dad said that the estimate he saw was up to 20" of expected rainfall. Yikes!

We are keeping updated on Dolly by accessing the National Hurricane Center website.

Poor Dad. Today he had a stress test that was part of his annual heart checkup. He flunked. However, he said that he did not realize the test was 5 minutes long or he would've endured the last minute. He made it to 4 minutes and decided he'd had enough. So for the next 24 hours he is hooked up to a heart monitor. Thankfully this is all outpatient.

Five of my children just left to go visit their Granddad. They took a blackberry cobbler and sourdough rolls, fresh from the oven. Wow, it's peaceful around here now!
Anna is busy sewing a quilt to send to an orphanage. All she has left to do is the binding. If you would like to sew up a quilt for charity, let us know. We will give you the precut pieces to make a crib size quilt. We may even have enough fabric to do a twin size.

I'll be sure to show you Anna's finished quilt. She is also finishing up a quilt for her new cousin, Abby. I'll get pictures of that quilt, too.

Many blessings ~ Kathie

Monday, July 21, 2008

Guess what I finally found at our Giant food store today?! White peaches!! We have missed them so much. Last year we ate white peaches all spring and summer, but this year we have been unable to find them. And they are as good as we remember.

Why are they called white peaches? Because the flesh is white as snow. I like these peaches because they have more flavor, but mostly because they are a firm fruit...the juices don't run down your arm while you are eating them. I have 3 white peach trees planted, but it'll be a couple years before they produce. Today's peaches came from Mexico and cost $2.69/lb, so they are costlier than the regular yellow peaches, but worth it. Today we went to the thrift shop as we always do before violin lessons. I got a bag of books and this pottery, all for $1.18 (tax included). Not a bad deal! This dish is made by Yesteryear Pottery in Marshall, Texas. I put the pen next to it so you could get an idea of the size. I have a feeling it originally came with a lid. Maybe I will put sugar cubes in it to serve with tea. Any ideas?
This week, Mike and Allen are taking the Hunter Safety Course down on the navy base. Imagine my surprise when I drove to the far end of the base and saw this log cabin! Yes, this log cabin houses the Rod and Gun Club (or whatever it's called). The inside was just as impressive as the outside.
Look at this bear skin rug! There were animal mounts on all the walls: deer, duck, fish, elk, fox, etc. My dream home! (My name isn't Kathieskabin for nothing!)

There were several dogs running around including this cutie named Hunter. I don't know what breed he is, but he is definitely chocolate colored!

Allen and Mike just walked in the door (class is from 5-9 pm each night). They are tired and hungry, so gotta go.

Our ground is dry. Hopefully we will get some daily thunderstorms starting tomorrow, like the weatherman is suggesting. Our fingerling potatoes are doing well. Ruthie brought in a basketful of green beans to snap. Guess tomorrow will be another vegetarian day.

Many blessings ~ Kathie

Friday, July 18, 2008

Free Quilt Giveaway!

Thanks to my friend, Deb, over at Mountain Musings, I learned about this quilt giveaway from the Old Red Barn Company blog. Isn't it a beautiful quilt? You don't have to have your own blog to win, so hurry up (ends midnight on Tuesday, July 22nd). I am getting extra bonus entries for posting her link, as well as her logo on my sidebar. All you have to do is leave a comment on the quilt post at the Old Red Barn website (click on their name, above). Be sure to take a moment to browse through the many wonderful soaps and body bath products at Old Red Barn Company. The above link takes you to the giveaway, the link in this paragraph takes you to the actual company website.

Many blessings ~ Kathie

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I gave Anna instructions to take plenty of pictures of the children helping Granddaddy yesterday. She sure obeyed ~ I think there are 88 pictures (of which 40+ were of baby Abby).
Granddad picked everyone up at noon-ish and took them to Ruby Tuesdays for lunch. The waitresses know them well. Then they headed on down to SAYSF Bible church to start cooking.
I enjoy working in their large kitchen.
Maggie was under strict instructions to keep her arm in the sling. She was only supposed to be going for moral support.
You gotta hand it to her...at least her arm is still in the sling!
"Foolishness is in the heart of a child" ...and in the heart of an energetic 18 year old who is going stir-crazy!
If I'd known darling Abby was gonna be there, I probably would've gone along.
This has always been my Dad's most favorite thing to do. For years he used to rock babies in the church nurseries.
Look at this nice fish Al caught in Dad's pond! Boy was he happy!
Allen donated him to Dad's little fish pond that my brother Simba built.
I made Sourdough Blackberry Cobbler with my gallon of blackberries that I picked yesterday. Does anyone know why my very sweet berries turned sour after being in the refrigerator for several hours? I spent an hour researching on the net, but got no answers. I ended up adding a tablespoon of white sugar to them. That was the perfect amount. (Added later: Last night I picked another gallon of blackberries and purposefully left them on the counter overnight. This morning they are still sweet as can be. So the point is...don't refrigerate those berries!)

For the topping, I used a sourdough recipe that was delicious (using half the sugar). It was perfect with vanilla ice cream.
Dinner ended up being a much bigger meal than I had originally planned. When I was shopping today, I found some different ribs, so I brought home 2 pkgs. They were yummy and not too fatty. I also made potato salad (one with egg mayo and one with eggless mayo).

The zucchini dish of the day was an old favorite ~ stuffed zucchini. I sliced two large zucchini lengthwise, then patted 1# of bulk sausage (Jimmy Dean) on top. Then slices of onion, then slices of tomatoes. For the topping, I whirled 4 hotdog rolls in my food processor to make crumbs. I added a tbsp of butter to the crumbs. Then cover with foil and cook for 1/2 hour. The recipe calls for freshly grated parmesan. The onions, tomatoes and hotdog rolls were leftovers from SAYSF, so it was really easy to decide on this dish!

It's been a while since rain, so today I did some watering. Today is also a happy day for me because my 72 chigger bites are finally healed. I made the mistake of picking up some dead tree limbs last Thursday and woke up Friday with terrible itchies! I used chiggerex to control that and it worked nicely.

Sarah has been visiting her girlfriend in Alabama all week, so Mike is up at the airport picking her up. It's been fun watching her plane's path on the website.

Have a nice Friday. Many blessings ~ Kathie

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Yesterday I told you about trying to keep up with all the zucchini around here. So for dinner, I experimented and ended up with a delicious way to cook zucchini. I sliced all the zucchini and soaked the slices in a mixture of sourdough starter with a little soy creamer to thin it out. Then I dredged the slices in panko crumbs and sauteed in a little olive oil. I salted it after it was all cooked. Yummy!
I also sliced some yellow squash and dredged it in a mixture of sourdough starter and flour (with a little salt and pepper). Not as good as the zucchini, but still a hit with the whole family.Since I had a cup of starter/flour/creamer mixture leftover, I added some milled corn that I keep in the freezer, and mixed it all together to make hush puppies. I don't usually like hush puppies, but this mixture was fantastic! I hope I can duplicate the recipe next time we have squash.

I also shredded 20 cups of zucchini to freeze for future muffins and cakes.
For dessert, I made this zucchini bread type cake using sourdough starter in place of eggs. My family enjoys anything with raisins and walnuts, so this was a real hit. I almost always use half the sugar that a recipe calls for, so this bread/cake was not sickening sweet.

So 12 zucchini and squash have been eaten, only a million more to go!

My children are helping their Granddaddy cook dinner for his church, so I'm home alone. For 16 years while my children were young, I never once had the house to myself. So this is still a treat for me. I have another hour left, so I'm off to cut out dresses for Lizzie and Ruthie.

Many blessings ~ Kathie

PS ~ Looky what I picked this afternoon... a gallon of blackberries...and I was only able to finish half my plants!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

This past Friday evening, Mike and I were invited to a riverside concert down at St. Mary's College. We went with my neighbor, Rick, and his friend, Sharon. It was wonderful. SMC is about 30 minutes from us, and is located on the beautiful St. Mary's River. We had a hard time taking good pictures.

One of the soloists was Brian Ganz, a famous pianist. Mom took lessons from Brian back in the 80s, so his name is a household name around here.

It's a shame that St. Mary's College ranks highly as a party college (according to US News and World Report) because it is definitely a scenic college. Maryland began here at St. Mary's City.
Maggie had the children plant some kohlrabi for her this summer. This week we pulled up the first three plants. We're not sure if we like it yet:-) I think it would taste best if we shredded it and added it to cole slaw. We haven't looked up any recipes for it yet.
We are only 2 weeks into zucchini season, and I am fighting madly to keep up with it all! I got a good laugh yesterday when I saw a huge zucchini lying in the middle of the highway unharmed. Nope, wasn't me who threw it there!
Well, Maggie finally got her wish this week. Ollie was growling at something...a copperhead. So Mike skinned it for her. It's drying out, waiting to be tanned. The above picture shows the meat part before Mike cut it up.
Mike cooked up the insides. No one will ever get fat eating copperhead steaks, that's for sure!I would've deep fried them.

Here they are all fried up.
Hopefully you can get a picture of how little meat there was. That's why you only hear about frying up rattlers! The fried rattlesnake that we saw in Texas was equal to pieces of fried chicken. My children said it also tastes like fried chicken. So that was our great adventure this weekend!

Maggie's right arm has taken a turn for the worse, so she's under dr's orders to keep it in a sling until she see's the specialist. Very hard for a kinesthetic person!

Summer is going at a nice pace this year. Usually it flies for me, but this year the Lord is blessing us. The strange part is that I can't figure out what makes this summer slower.

Enjoy your summer. Many blessings ~ Kathie