This is not a garden blog, but you might see an article concerning gardening. It is a blog about me and the cultivation of my life. This is a place where I air my opinions and ideas. There will be stories about what is happening or has happened. I like to write poems, some will be good and some will be bad. I am never bored, I hope you won't find what I write about boring. Thank you for sharing time with me.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

THRIFT SHOP VISIT

I make regular stops at my local Thrift shop.   Most of the times I find great necessaries for the kitchen.  Maybe some replacement dishes for my sets of china.  Yes you hear correctly.  China in the plural.  You see my hunny has "asked" me not to bring home anymore dish sets.  He request with a sigh and a look.  I love dishes and there are only the two of us.  

I also look for gizmos which other people have grown tired of, such as, George Forman grills, Pans that have hardly been used, baking items.  Last trip I acquired a brand new Oster waffle iron.  It had never left the box. The tissue paper was still between the grills.  

I always thought this was stuff people grew tired of, which had been put out for a garage sale and it hadn't sold.  It was like the old saying, "One man's junk is another Man's treasure." This last trip opened my eyes and actually brought tears to my eyes.

The first item I came across which brought a fleeting sad thought to my mind was a stack of almost new spring form pans, 3 different sizes.  I thought why would a baker use these pans once or twice and then discard them.  I've never had new ones, only the hand-me-down tin ones.  I use them very seldom and couldn't rationalize the cost of the new ones.  I just made do with the ones I had.

I imagined that someone had to "down size" and this was the least used item which took up the most space and then I continued browsing through the store.  I couldn't even fathom another circumstance which would make some one part with their great pans.

Down the isle and in the back, the store has incidentals.  Things like nick knacks, appliances, lamps, and various odd pieces. There, hanging on the end of a shelf was dog collars and leashes.  

The size of them, they were just the right size for my "puppy". (He has his own blog.)
The one leash was enormous and you could tell that it had been well used, but was still in excellent shape.  I thought, "This will be great for Boych".  Then it hit me, "Why was this leash here?"  "Where is the dog which used this?"

I hope this is like the case of the lady who downsized her kitchen in her move, and she couldn't take her big baby with her so he went to another loving home.  Then I thought,
"What happens to my pots and pans and all the things I treasure?  
When will I no longer need this leash?"

Other blog sites by me:
Chronicling our adventures with a dumped Pit Bull Pup 
who has become a hidden treasure.

A blog mostly about quilting,
cooking, poetry, prose and a little gardening,
 Tutorial on how to make 5 panel Boxer Shorts.
 Check out "A MYSTERY IN THE MAKING"
A mystery quilt designed with the novice in mind. 

blogs about the wildflowers on our farm
Organic methods we use, some cooking and some poetry,
blogs about Seed sprouting, insects, and garden pictures

an intro to baking for kids.

All recipes, pictures, and writings are my own.
I give credit for items which belong to other people in my blogs .
Please do not copy without permission

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

BIG EASY TURKEY FRYER, VENISON

On December 31, 2016, we ushered in the new year using our
CHAR-BROIL BIG EASY TURKEY FRYER for the second time.   It continually amazes us.  Yes this is another product endorsement!!

Hanging in the basket you see the Venison leg from a 10 point buck we harvested on our property this year.  (Three deer were taken from here in 12 hours).  It made up for last year when we and our hunter friend didn't even see one deer during all the deer seasons.

The leg (I didn't weigh it) weighed appx 5 pounds.  We cooked it for an hour and 45 minutes. I checked it at an 75 minutes using the suggestion for beef of 15 minutes a pound. The Thermometer said 140.  I left it another 30 minutes and whoops the thermometer read 165.   I thought we had over-done it.  Nope, the thickest part of the leg was medium rare next to the bone.  It was gorgeous (It may have weighed more than the 5 lbs).  It was juicy (Deer legs do not have much fat on them). What did we do to prepare it?  Not a thing except use a small amount of the rub I had made for the Turkey in this blog:

I think I could have studded it with garlic cloves in the thickest part.  
The light application of rub was perfect.  

To support the roast in the basket I used several skewers and rested them on the bars of the basket.  
They weren't long enough to reach from side to side in the basket.  The skewers were to hold it upright so no part would be touching the sides of the basket putting it closer to the walls.  My theory was it would cook more evenly if it was dead center. 

Would I do anything different with the next leg?  Yes, I would hang it with the larger end up.  Why, because when reading (googling the cooker) I have read the cooker is hotter at the top.  That would keep the narrower end from being over done and I would be able to put the lid on and cook the thicker end faster.  Mind you the above is just a theory, but I do have a couple of more legs to experiment with.  (The dog loved the terribly over-done bits on the narrow end.)

You can see in the picture, the basket still looks brand new.  I am sure wiping the rungs with an oil saturated paper towel made the clean up a breeze.  I only had a couple of places I used steel wool and I could have probably gotten the places clean with one of those rough scrubby sponges.  (BTW Dollar tree has the best buy around for Steel wool pads.  They are smaller so you don't feel bad about throwing them away if they start rusting.)

Clean up in the barrel...easy peazy.  I used a wooden spoon when we took out the basket and scraped up the hot drippings..left them in the bottom of the barrel till it cooled....it gets hot having your arm down in there....even with the gas off.  When cool I removed the barrel and put a tablespoon of oil in the bottom and further scraped with a wooden spoon the bottom.  The oil helped to lift the scrapings off the bottom. Then I took more oil soaked paper towels and wipe the sides thoroughly and cleaned out the bottom of extra oil and burned drippings. Then I took a clean paper towel and wiped off the excess remaining oil, leaving a light film for protection.  

After this experience I recommend this item as the ultimate gift for your hunting significant other. 

I can't wait to try it with a plain old chicken and some foil covered sweet potatoes.

Other blog sites by me:
Chronicling our adventures with a dumped Pit Bull Pup 
who has become a hidden treasure.

A blog mostly about quilting,
cooking, poetry, prose and a little gardening,
 Tutorial on how to make 5 panel Boxer Shorts.
 Check out "A MYSTERY IN THE MAKING"
A mystery quilt designed with the novice in mind. 

blogs about the wildflowers on our farm
Organic methods we use, some cooking and some poetry,
blogs about Seed sprouting, insects, and garden pictures

an intro to baking for kids.

All recipes, pictures, and writings are my own.
I give credit for items which belong to other people in my blogs .
Please do not copy without permission

Saturday, December 31, 2016

BORROWED TIME

Have mundane moments stolen time from us,
Over trivial things did we make a fuss,
Did we miss something important,
While we were out on a little jaunt?

Did, in an office, we sit for minutes on end,
Not even a moment to share with a friend,
Sitting with a magazine of useless information,
And advertisements of unattainable faraway vacations.

Did we sit, watching the Television, entranced,
Viewing a cooking show about food in France, 
Were our hands laying idly in our laps,
Our putting into our mouth fattening snacks.

These minutes into hours did stretch,
Were there times our breath we did catch,
For a moment we did visualize,
Was there a time when we did surmise?

Where has this year gone so fast,
Now is now gone and in the past,
Tomorrow approaching, seconds speeding by,
Don't fret about yesterday, don't even cry.  

Awake in the morning, fully refreshed,
Time is like a savings account of cash,
Withdraw it each day, no need to pay back,
Remember, put it to good use for things you lack.


Other blog sites by me:
Chronicling our adventures with a dumped Pit Bull Pup 
who has become a hidden treasure.

A blog mostly about quilting,
cooking, poetry, prose and a little gardening,
 Tutorial on how to make 5 panel Boxer Shorts.
 Check out "A MYSTERY IN THE MAKING"
A mystery quilt designed with the novice in mind. 

blogs about the wildflowers on our farm
Organic methods we use, some cooking and some poetry,
blogs about Seed sprouting, insects, and garden pictures

an intro to baking for kids.

All recipes, pictures, and writings are my own.
I give credit for items which belong to other people in my blogs .
Please do not copy without permission

Monday, December 26, 2016

THE BIG EASY OILESS TURKEY FRYER

WOW!!

Yes, this is a product endorsement.  
(No, we are not getting paid for or reimbursed for it...it sure would be nice though if we were.)

Wow is not a big enough expletive to describe using the apparatus or the product issuing from the basket.  We should've taken pictures.  You can go to "You Tube" and find lots of videos describing the use of the cooker and how to prepare the "meat" and cook it.  
(Look at several for lots of ways to use the "fryer".)

 A bit of history:  We were at our son's Navy retirement ceremony.  
He had bought one of the
CHAR BROIL BIG EASY OILESS TURKEY FRYERS.  

I didn't pay much attention to the assembly but less than 3 hours later there was a turkey sitting and cooling it's heels on his kitchen counter.  To say it was a gourmet delight is to put it mildly.  To say that cleanup was a breeze is an understatement.  I have reached that stage in life where I don't want to buy another cooking gadget.  Technically I have about all the cooking utensils I need.  We also do not have need to be cooking for more than two people.  So when you hear me say, "Hunny, when I get home we have to invest in one of these."  You know I am serious about it.

It was our Holiday gift to each other.  We ordered it through Amazon.  We also have Amazon prime.  Our gift arrived on Monday (we ordered it late Saturday).  The big box sat in the living room awaiting the grand opening.  We were having zero temps with below zero wind chills so we figured "NOW" was not the time to fire it up.  The temps were supposed to be moderate by the end of the week.  Our turkey was put to thaw in the fridge.  It was just under 14 lbs.

The Eve of Hanukkah/Christmas the day was supposed to be almost 50.  It barely made it over 40 but we knew we had to do that turkey and I wasn't about to dirty my oven and spend 4-5 hours basting and making dressing and giblet gravy.

Hunny, assembled the cooker.  I sat the turkey out to come to room temp.  Then re read how we were to treat the bird before cooking.  Rubs and injections were suggested but said to not be necessary.  We didn't have an injector and had not purchased rubs (we don't like pepper, most purchased ones have pepper and sugar....it says sugar burns sometimes in the cooker.)

I proceeded to make my own rub.  I used 1/2 cup fine ground canning salt (not a kosher salt).  Then I eyeballed about 1/4 cup garlic powder, 1/8 cup paprika, and 1/8 poultry seasoning.  

The cooker was seasoned and burned off and the Turkey covered in vegetable oil and sprinkled heavily with the dry mix, and put in the basket and lowered into the cooker.
Suggestion: (which I never saw in the book or videos). They say, spread the birds legs; which we did.  We also folded the wings down so the tips wouldn't stick out the sides of the basket and burn.  When the legs were spread, it tilted the breast forward.  The breast got darker than we wanted, because it was close to the side of the cooker.  Next time we will be making sure the back bone of the bird is resting against the side of the cage.  BTW.  We used an oil saturated paper towel and oiled the rungs on the basket.  I think that did contribute to the ease of the basket cleanup.

Due to the cold we arranged our metal lawn chairs around the cooker and put up a ply wood surround and a sheet of plywood over the top (made a little hut for it).  Yes, we checked periodically to make sure nothing was reaching a temp where it would ignite.   

We set the kitchen timer to 1 hour and 20 minutes and then we were going to check to see if we needed to put the lid on.  Nope, the bird was looking superb and just a little over 1/2 done.  Went back in and set the timer for 60 minutes. Went about straightening up the kitchen, had to reach over the stove to put some spices in the upper cabinet...I didn't realize I had bumped the button on the timer...geesh....how long had it cooked.  We went out with the Thermometer and inserted it...it sky rocketed way over 165....Whoops...get the hooker and get that bird out of there!
(BTW, we never had to use the lid).

It was set on the counter to cool for 20 minutes.  The drippings on the tray were clear so we had no worries it was done...Our worry was, had we, literally cooked our goose .  

We began deconstructing the left side of the bird.  Laying out the pieces and of course sampling as we went.  We had not scheduled dinner, we had a ton of left overs in the the icebox.  Needless to say the left overs are still there.  We sampled turkey all evening.  It was a pickers delight! (The breast wasn't over cooked or dry).

What happened to the right side of the turkey?  We called friends to see if they wanted a half of a turkey to have for supper.  Yes, we could have frozen it but it was so much fun sharing.

We can't wait to try other meats and I will have to get one of the baskets to double my pleasure in the cooker.  (There is a basket available to hang inside the other one for two tiered cooking.  Veggies can be done too, just like you do on the grill.)

Okay...final cleanup of the cooker did require a little elbow grease and a wooden spoon to scrape the residue off the bottom of the cooker after we burned of the inside  but it was nothing like the cleanup of an oven or the broiler pan from roasting a turkey.  I don't think it took us 10 minutes to clean and put away everything. 

What would I recommend this item for?  Do you need a gift for a wedding and they live in a small apartment?  Do you live in a climate where it is always hot and using the oven is a detriment?  Do you hate standing by a smoking Barbeque?  I can't think of any reason not to purchase this item.

We are only two old people (over 70) who wonder when they will be able to enjoy a life of leisure.  While we are waiting for this to happen we will be eating very well and cooking won't be monopolizing what time we have left.   

This "Grill" is handled by most of large retailers and various sources on line.  Our experience purchasing through Amazon has been exemplary.  Our Son bought his at Walmart.  The plus in purchasing through a brick and mortar store is you have somewhere to return it to if something should go wrong.  BUT...we can't for see anything going wrong with this well designed cooker.

Other blog sites by me:
Chronicling our adventures with a dumped Pit Bull Pup 
who has become a hidden treasure.

A blog mostly about quilting,
cooking, poetry, prose and a little gardening,
 Tutorial on how to make 5 panel Boxer Shorts.
 Check out "A MYSTERY IN THE MAKING"
A mystery quilt designed with the novice in mind. 

blogs about the wildflowers on our farm
Organic methods we use, some cooking and some poetry,
blogs about Seed sprouting, insects, and garden pictures

an intro to baking for kids.

All recipes, pictures, and writings are my own.
I give credit for items which belong to other people in my blogs .
Please do not copy without permission


Sunday, June 19, 2016

FATHER'S DAY, A DAY OF HIS OWN.

This is my Dad, an entrepreneur,
A master of most trades,
If there's something he needs,
He can figure out how it's made.

When I was little he would say,
"Think about it, see what it needs",
He was there with a solution,
Of how to complete the deed.

When we're little, we're held and nurtured,
Our hurts are bandaged when we fall,
As we grow a father's roll changes,
He's the adviser and friend we call.

When working my dad is the happiest,
Sitting, doing figures, at a desk is fun,
But give him a rake or hoe,
And see the smile when he is done.

Then there are times at a sewing machine,
Cutting fabrics for drapes and linings,
That old living room chair got a second life,
When a new chair cover he was designing.

Making things from scratch is what he likes,
Fun for my Dad is making things right,
He loves a challenge of something new,
Including jigsaw puzzles at night.

He's sees beauty in the children he made,
Each with a multitude of talents home grown,
They have given him grands and greats,
He's the laird of this clan of his own.

The only present I can give my Dad,
I endeavor everyday to live,
With happiness and lots of love,
This is my gift to him I give.

Thank you Dad for the life you gave to me,
Thank you for all you have done,
Most of all thank you for the memories,
Like the ones, building balsa airplanes for fun.

Lots of Love from your first born.

Other blog sites by me:
Chronicling our adventures with a dumped Pit Bull Pup 
who has become a hidden treasure.

A blog mostly about quilting,
cooking, poetry, prose and a little gardening,
 Tutorial on how to make 5 panel Boxer Shorts.
 Check out "A MYSTERY IN THE MAKING"
A mystery quilt designed with the novice in mind. 

blogs about the wildflowers on our farm
Organic methods we use, some cooking and some poetry,
blogs about Seed sprouting, insects, and garden pictures

an intro to baking for kids.

All recipes, pictures, and writings are my own.
I give credit for items which belong to other people in my blogs .
Please do not copy without permission











Saturday, May 21, 2016

OVER 21

In two days my sister will be "over 21".  She's been over 21 for several years now.  She and I are at that age where it is like the Groundhog Day movie.  It seems we are beginning the same things over and over again not getting ahead and falling 2 steps behind.  She is balancing a huge task, one her little family, which has grown by another lovely granddaughter and she does double duty in  being around to help Dad since we lost our Mom a couple of years ago.  

Her life has been filled with so many adventuresome moments.  She has been to India and taught music.  In Russia she delighted in meeting the "Babas" to her music Students.  She has been to Vienna and other Mediterranean places.  She brought one of her groups from the Czech Republic to the United states and they toured, singing their way across the country selling  CD's of their Music.

My Sister beats her own drum, she does things on a whim, She is always ready to cheer the underdog and loves to make things smile.  Her Grand kids are the most important things in her life.  She has changed a lot of who she is to accommodate her love of her family.

Yesterday I was sorting through papers I've accumulated and pitching unimportant ones and came across the following.  It was a snippet of one of the days I shared with my sister.

This was lots of years ago, before she lived where she lives now (Now a 3 room cabin higher up on the mountain.).

September 22, 2007
Last night we made the trip up the mountain to see my sister's little Hunters Cabin.  It is very small.  I don't think it is more than 14' X 14'.  It does have electric but little else.  She is working to insulate it for the winter.  It is located at 9,000'.  I myself can't imagine living there with no plumbing and no water.  She though, loves it and doesn't mind the inconveniences. 

The gravel road did twist and curve,
For an oncoming car you must swerve,
Reaching the summit, around we must go,
The whole way you must go slow.

We find our way to the little shack,
Plumbing necessities, it does lack,
The resident has added to the charm,
Tibetan Prayer Flags protect it from harm.

Inside, cramped and crowded with three,
Perfect for one we could see,
A get away, a homey place,
Not needing to be dressed in curtains of lace.

Its mistress has every inch accounted for,
Places for everything, even on the door,
Pictures of loved ones surround her every where,
Everything in her home she's ready to share.

Wild life abounds outside her door,
Her Cat finds mice and lots more,
An Elk clambers over rock strewn ground,
Grand-kids have a pile of treasures found.

Filled with music her little house sings,
I didn't notice, did the wind chimes ring?
If music from the cabin did not come,
The wind on the mountain would continue to hum.

Close to heaven, our mind wonders there,
Moments happen, there's much love to share,
As if Magic, time suspended, drifts slowly by,
Night falls, listen, refrains of lives, cry.


Happy Birthday, sister of mine,
Wish I was there to cook you something divine,
Then we'd sit with a cup of tea,
Out in back under the apple tree.

Speaking of when we both were small,
I'm the one who's short and you grew tall,
As the oldest one, when you grew up I wasn't around,,
Left behind in Missouri,  when to Colorado, the family was bound..

Our lives took us in different directions,
We each made our own selections,
Each of us our stories hold moments bright,
Sharing stories, with much delight. 

Love and hugs, may your day be filled with lots of love,
Your oldest Sister

Other blog sites by me:
Chronicling our adventures with a dumped Pit Bull Pup 
who has become a hidden treasure (and his little sister)

A blog mostly about quilting,
cooking, poetry, prose and a little gardening,
 Tutorial on how to make 5 panel Boxer Shorts.
 Check out "A MYSTERY IN THE MAKING"
A mystery quilt designed with the novice in mind. 

blogs about the wildflowers on our farm
Organic methods we use, some cooking and some poetry,
blogs about Seed sprouting, insects, and garden pictures

an intro to baking for kids.

All recipes, pictures, and writings are my own.
I give credit for items which belong to other people in my blogs .
Please do not copy without permission






Thursday, February 18, 2016

GRANDSON'S FIFTEENTH BIRTHDAY




When did our grandson grow so old,
Wasn't it yesterday, paper airplanes we did fold?
He was the first to pull our heart strings,
To our lives, happiness he brings.

The fun I had as the years flew by,
Costumes, pajama's, boxers with panels five,
Quilts made to cover your bed,
You used for tents to cover your head.

Your fantastic curls and bright shining eyes,
Always filled with delight and surprise,
Made a gorgeous baby of you,
As you grow, girls' hearts you'll break, boo hoo.

Baking at Baba's when you were two,
Was something you really loved to do.
We were amazed at the attention you gave, 
In this blog,  the pictures we saved.





As a toddler it was lions you adored,
In your sweat pants suit with mane you roared.
Each year we looked forward, costumes to make,
It was worth all the time it did take.

As Captain Hook you dazzled,
Some days your parents' nerves you frazzled,
To us you were our angel with out wings,
We smiled at what your next antic brings.

To be an astronaut, one year you dreamed,
In the costume that year, it almost seemed,
You could travel to distant worlds,
With that idea you were thrilled.

Bat man was your super hero,
Others at that time drew a big zero,
That year, in a cape which criminals fear,
You played it in for months, to you it was dear.

(find batman here)


With your Zeda, conservation was the thing,
Building bird houses, the bluebirds to bring,
You worked with Baba when the customers arrived,
Selling pizza plants, helping them to decide.
(pizza plants were oregano)

(See bluebird house installations here)

Finally came the last year, costumes I would make,
I was really disappointed for goodness sake,
But you were grown up and in the tween years,
Costumes became passe, the idea out grown I fear.

(the last costumes for kids)

Now you'll be driving a car,
Grandparents will be worried from afar,
Please remember that seat belts rule,
And no cell phones while your foot's on the fuel.

If the car is in the go mode,
It's the time, your eyes are on the road,
Hands, always on the wheel,
Yes, this is a really big deal.

Making the decision to signal when you turn,
Is something you must diligently learn,
It is not just something that is polite,
It's lets other know if you're going left or right.

It will keep you from getting hit in the rear,
Protecting our grandson, who we consider dear,
No matter how good a driver you become,
Watch out for the mistakes of some.

Be a considerate driver when traffic's congested,
Do nice things, don't let anger be projected,
Show every one you're the better man,
Promote safe driving whenever you can.

How lucky we are to have a grandson like you,
Wish we were there to give you a hug or two,
Enjoy today, look forward to the rest of the year,
Baba and Zeda wish you Happy Birthday, to us you are dear.


Other blog sites by me:
Chronicling our adventures with a dumped Pit Bull Pup 
who has become a hidden treasure (and his little sister)

A blog mostly about quilting,
cooking, poetry, prose and a little gardening,
 Tutorial on how to make 5 panel Boxer Shorts.
 Check out "A MYSTERY IN THE MAKING"
A mystery quilt designed with the novice in mind. 

blogs about the wildflowers on our farm
Organic methods we use, some cooking and some poetry,
blogs about Seed sprouting, insects, and garden pictures

an intro to baking for kids.

All recipes, pictures, and writings are my own.
I give credit for items which belong to other people in my blogs .
Please do not copy without permission