Monday, January 24, 2011

I haven't been baking in a while in an effort to cut down on carbs, so when I went to look for my favorite sourdough recipe, I was surprised at how awful my recipes look! I wonder if my recipes will be around in 100 years. I think of the measurements of a century ago and how we can't use a lot of those recipes because of the vague measurements.
I want to clean out my folder of miscellaneous pictures, so I'll post some here. I bought a box of these tortilla bowls to try. They worked really well.

I kept the boxes so next time I can use a healthier whole grain tortilla. It makes a wonderful taco salad.
Lizzie and Anna made these two aprons. No ruffles for my tomboys.
I forgot about Martin Luther King holiday for the federal workers so at the last minute we invited some other "feds" to come over for games after church on Sunday evening. I had such a good time.
Here they are playing Rumikub, a family favorite, but we also played a lot of Blokus...our latest family favorite. I love strategy games!
On Monday night, we headed over to Monterey Restaurant to hear the mariachi band. They were great!
Evidently they will be coming regularly, every other Monday evening. Sarah says the Monterey restaurant in Calvert County has a mariachi band every week.
I see that I accidently deleted a picture. The band had a trumpeter, a fiddler, and two guitar-type instruments that are common in the mariachi bands. The band came around to each table and took requests. We had several requests...but they didn't know them. I was surprised since our requests were typical mariachi songs. Most of the songs they sang sounded like typical pop songs. I still enjoyed it.
Remember the huge piles of mulch and wood chips we've been getting for free? Allen is on a mission to try to use the heat generated from the piles. He would like to get an early start on his chickens, so he is trying to figure out how to heat his chicken coop. First we tried digging a hole in the middle of the pile to stuff a black pipe into.
You could see the smoke rising...and you could definitely feel the heat!
Ollie ran up and plopped himself down on the heat! We looked online and found many different ideas for using compost heat. I think we're going to try putting a tarp over the coop, then covering it with the mulch. I'll let you know how that turns out.
My 5# bag of daiya nondairy cheddar shreds came in this week. I love it. It came prepackaged in 1# bags. I put 4# in the freezer. I love that it freezes well! We are having fun trying the cheese in all our old favorite recipes like quesadillas and grilled cheese. Yummy!
Every time I go out on the porch to get firewood, our cat tries to jump up on me for attention. He caught me off guard on this day. I don't hold him often since I have to change my dress and wash up afterwards because of Ruthie's allergy. I sure enjoy it though.
We always enjoy when grandad comes over to sit in front of the fire. Now that he knows we have all 6 seasons of Hogan's Heroes on dvds, he enjoys the fireplace even more! Today Grandad sent home a pot of corned beef, cabbage and potatoes that we enjoyed for dinner. Thanks, Dad!
Sarah is still crocheting something new almost everyday. She made this dish cloth and is proud of her straight stitches. We're both not sure if we like a round cloth.

It has a handy loop to hang for drying.
She also made this soap scrubbie.
Lizzie finally has her etsy store open and has listed two totes so far. It's a family store...and the rest of us will be listing items as well.
For Christmas, Maggie gave me this vanilla kit. She knew I had been researching how to make my own vanilla extract, so this was the perfect gift! You write the date on the bottle, split the 3 long vanilla beans in half lengthwise, pour in the vodka, then store in a dark, cool place for 6 months.
Here's a side view.

Mike bought the vodka at the navy exchange for less than $4. I was afraid that was going to be a lot pricier. My bottle is down in my cool cellar. I have to shake it once a month. I'll take a picture of the progress.
I found this nice bottle at Ross' for $1.99. It is perfect for my homemade salad dressing. I like that I can make 6x my recipe.

Last week was so busy...and this one is just as bad. Last Monday the piano tuner came and tuned my grand piano...but he recently hurt his arm/shoulder, so he can only tune one piano a day. He came again this morning and will return tomorrow for the third piano. I liked getting it all over in one day. Our tuner comes first thing in the morning...and it's hard for me to get going that early!

Anna has her appointment with Occupational Health tomorrow morning to discuss her many immunizations for her upcoming trip. My children only got the basic immunizations (d-tap, polio and mmr) so that is working against us now. Maggie is making an herbal tonic that I hope Anna can stomach to build up her strenth against this onslaught. The tonic calls for ginger, garlic, horseradish--all fresh--and apple cider vinegar. First we have to find fresh horseradish. (Click here for more natural remedies.)

Mike is busy with lots of paperwork to get Maggie's naval health benefits extended since she turns 21 in March. We are praying diligently for this extension.

We woke up to 8 degrees this morning. Our inside temp was 61 degrees. Fortunately it doesn't take long to warm up once we get the woodstove, fireplace and pellet stove all cranking. But we are sure burning up a lot of wood and pellets this week!

Ruthie's birthday is on Wednesday, so I am anxious to get back down in the basement and return to my sewing. I have 3 jumpers and 2 slips cut out. Hopefully I will get them finished.

Hope you are enjoying your winter and keeping warm. Many blessings ~ Kathie

"Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.

Neither do men light a candle and set it under a bushel, but on a candlestick. And it giveth light to all that are in the house.

Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." ~ Matthew 5:14-16

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