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Friday, December 15, 2017

Ho-Ho-Holey Cow.

I was trying to sum up the past couple of weeks as foodstuffs.  Why?  By now, you should know that my brain works in mysterious ways...even to me...  I would say that it's been sliders with a heavy dose of ketchup.
Skating our way to mid-winter
As mid-winter trundles its way towards us, I have found myself woefully unprepared.  I toddled out to do chores in -1 degree F and slid my way toward the barn, having not brought out my heavy-duty treaded boots.  (Get it?  Slid?  Sliders?  Hoagies?)  I inched back in and corrected my footwear.  After all, as my dear mom keeps reminding me, 'you've got a LOT of dependents and we can't look after them for you!'  We have been the recipients of an onslaught from the Arctic which, although not unexpected for this time of year, has caught me off-guard.  The upside of this frigid weather (and there is always an upside...somewhere) is that the fireplace is back in use!
That is Slimbo's bed in the primo place
I tell you, it is almost impossible to drag myself away, but needs-must.  You know, all those dependents.
Good, but worth the effort?  The Jury is out.
Last weekend I was graced with the lovely Sylvie - maybe it should be 'blessed', as that was twice in two weeks that I have spent time with her!  She came back to her hometown to help celebrate the 100th birthday of a family friend and stayed with me until Sunday morning.  I thought I would take advantage of having dinner company by trying a recipe out of my collection of Moosewood cookbooks (my FAVORITES, all of them).  It sounded good and I had everything but the cilantro on hand.  After much peeling, slicing, steaming, cooking, and layering, a pan of Caribbean Sweet Potato Gratin went into the oven for an hour.  And came out...raw.  WTH?  We figured out that I had put it into a deeper casserole than requested (I was showing off - it was my fanciest baking dish), so on went a lid of foil, up went the oven temp and onto the lowest rack it went for another 20 minutes.  It came out fine the second time around.  Still...there were so many things we'd change about it, that I doubt I will make it again.  I did find that the leftovers were better than the original go-around.




As far as the heavy dose of catch-up (or ketchup, catsup, tomato-saucey-stuff), I pulled open my sock drawer to find *gasp* one lone pair of woolen socks!  I ended up spending a good deal of time hand-washing my socks and hanging them over the heating vent to dry.  My goal is to have at least two-weeks-worth of socks, just in case.  I also decided to tackle the pantry/cat room.  For years, it has been the repository of bulk food stores, canned/preserved food - you know, everything a Prairie Farmwife from the 30s would have on hand for her family of 12.  I had everything crammed onto a five-shelf plastic storage rack, a narrow antique cupboard, and in precarious stacks in the closet.  I used a gift card to purchase a new, metal, six-shelf storage unit (the need to assemble this behemoth, I blissfully ignored) and, after struggling for a week to get the goldang thing together, I managed to shoehorn it into the space vacated by the cupboard.  I have plans for the cupboard (thanks to Sylvie) but that has gone onto The List.  All this moving around of canning jars forced me to examine my stash.  Canned green beans from 2011?  Chicken feed.  Zucchini relish from 2009?  Compost.  I managed to empty and clean seven boxes of various-sized canning jars - in excess of the two dozen of each size that I saved for...whatever.  I put them on trash-nothing!, which has, apparently, replaced freecycle in my area, and they were picked up in a day.  Boy, that felt good!  I still have to deal with everything in the plastic shelving unit, but I did discover that I have six jars of apple mincemeat (yay!) left, and the rug cleaner and floor steamer can now be stowed away in the newly half-emptied closet!  Double Yay!


All this purging left me exhausted, so I made a pot of ginger tea, took out my latest knitting, and snuggled up with a warm pup.
Double cabled headband in
Sapphire Wool of the Andes
I'm hers, she's mine.

18 comments:

Michelle said...

Gasp; don't tell me a Moosewood recipe wasn't a winner! Canning jars are a hot commodity; someone got lucky.

Susan said...

Not possible - it was my rendition that was not a winner! I don't think I have ever been disappointed in the taste of any of their recipes, this one included. The only thing we remarked on is that we would have used a heartier green than spinach - although the double-baking could have done it in...

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Just out of curiosity -- if you want 2 weeks worth of socks in your drawer, why are you knitting a HEADBAND? lol

Toni said...

You are one active woman. Nice, though, that the rewards are a nice pot of ginger tea and knitting!

Susan said...

Let's just say the headband is inserted between the sock-knitting so I don't lose my mind. You only have to knit ONE headband. Unless you have two heads... :)

Susan said...

Toni, there is nothing quite as soothing as a pot of tea and knitting (and warm dog head on your lap).

Rain said...

Hi Susan :) I love your sliders with ketchup! :) I think I'm just in Popsicle land lately with a dash of hot dogs lol...I have a LOT of knitting plans for after the holidays. I need some warm socks or slippers that's for sure. I currently wear 2 pairs of dollar store polar fleece type socks and slippers and my feet are still chilly on this floor. I took out the ice cleats in November, way too soon! You two look so cozy together...isn't it nice? :)

jaz@octoberfarm said...

i need some really good winter house socks too. we all do. i was recently inspecting everyone's socks and they are all so lame. i just need to find some for everyone.

Amber Ravis said...

Your fire picture looks like a skull in the fire!

wyomingheart said...

The greatest moment of the day is when that little pups head totally surrenders to the power of the lap! I love it!

Goatldi said...

It must be Spring and we just don't know. I too spent the afternoon organizing my "studio" aka guest room. While the morning was spent about 30 minutes up the hill retrieving the 2017 Christmas Tree and spending the majority of the three hours gone tree hunting getting off the ice and back on the road. My socks were wet as were my jeans. Spirit was not however.

It all looks good from snow to dinner to knitting. Good job!

Leigh said...

Definitely not ready for cold and snow! Happily I found my box of gloves and mittens - now just need to find my winter cap! Your fire, knitting, and warming buddy all look pretty good!

Theresa said...

I clean out my old canning when I do new. If the dates are still good but close, it's a big giveaway, if they are over, out they go. I have dozens of gas hanging around myself but not as many as you since most of my canning goes for gifts. The fireplace looks so inviting and nothing speaks of cosiness more than a dog ( or two or three), hermitically sealed to you napping.

Susan Clark said...

I am in admiration of your expedition into canned storage land, such bravery. Thank goodness for the compost, it assuages a lot of guilt. My own lap warmer has just got up and moved closer to the fire. I guess this means I should get up and do something.

Theresa said...

You know I have to say, spell checker does some amazingly funny things with my spelling.

DUTA said...

Woolen socks are of utmost importance in winter, even in a country with mild winters such as the country I live in. If you can keep your feet warm than the whole body will be warm.

Kristina said...

I love your knitted headband. I used freecycle once in my life. I should use it more often.

Theresa Young said...

Feels good to clean up and clean out doesn't it? It did the same with my pantry and spice cupboard this weekend. Next, the laundry, storage, furnace room.