Monday, January 28, 2019

We've Got Winners! and Another Dayz in Paradise.

Yes, that is not a typo.  After having a Big Girl Talk with myself (which I usually avoid at all costs), I faced up to the fact that I will probably not learn how to crochet until I get through at least half of my sock yarn.  Which should get me through 2025.  So there are two books and two winners.  Winners were chosen via Random Number Generator.

Book 1 -

Theresa!  of Camp Runamuck.

Book 2 -

Retired Knitter!

Theresa, I have your particulars, so to speak, so I will post the book this week.  Retired Knitter, please contact me via email and give me your mailing address.

Yay, winners!

Last week ended with a bang, figuratively speaking.  We had torrential rain all day Thursday, which fell on frozen ground and caused lots of flooding.  The ground was frozen because it was -12 on Monday.  I wonder how many gods we have pissed off...  A cold front blew through late Thursday afternoon, changing the rain into snow, so my commute home took three tries and lasted two hours.  During the last part of the ordeal, I had to take an alternate route down my mountain through 6 inches of snow on the road, frozen flooding, white out conditions and in the pitch dark.  Life out here is not for the faint-hearted.  I was sorely tempted to kiss the frozen ground in front of my house when I finally got home, but there were two dogs with their legs crossed in the house.

Friday morning, as I was busying myself to get ready for work, a neighbor sent a text telling me to check the news (I don't have television service) because some large boats had broken loose on the upper Hudson River and were zigzagging their way south.  Most of the bridges had been closed.  This means that it is virtually impossible to get from the east into the city.  I worked from home.

Saturday, my volunteer meeting was rescheduled, so I ended up having the whole day - woohoo!  I went to the farm and fed the cats, picked up milk and had a conversation with my farmer.  He is planning on selling his dairy herd in the spring, keeping his heifers and doing nothing but hay.  Another small dairy farmer bites the dust.  It is an alarming trend in my area and in many areas in the Northeast -and across the country.  The price of milk is pitifully low, the cost of feed, insurance, equipment, etc. just keeps going up, and the small farmer ends up barely making ends meet.  There is also an alarming number of suicides among the small farming community because of this.  It breaks my heart.  Jasmine will be retired in the spring and off to (literally) greener pastures, at Marianne's beautiful farm.  And I will have to find another source of raw milk.

I made yogurt and threw together a really good soup.  It had chickpeas, butternut squash, apples, green chilis, vege broth, coconut milk, some chopped red peppers from the freezer, a jar of my home-canned diced tomatoes, garlic, curry powder, and cinnamon.  It was delicious and warming.  I also tackled the end of my apples from Marianne, peeling, coring, slicing and dehydrating them.  They were a little lackluster in the flavor department, so I sprinkled a little cinnamon on them before dehydrating.  The house smelled wonderful!  This also provided a mound of peels and cores for the sheep and llama.

Sunday I finished my sister's socks (yay!) and realized I had knit my fancy socks too long (boo!), so have to rip them down a few inches.  I decided to bake something new for the barn crew and, as I went online to peruse baking sites, I realized that I had an entire cookbook collection that I never use.  Down with the electronics and into the bookcase.  I came across this gem:

Given to my Great Aunt Edie by a friend.
Back before computers - yes,
in the time of dinosaurs

Love this foreword - typewritten
and in much more formal language
than we typically use now
True to the late 50s and early 60s, it leans heavily on canned goods, shortening and isn't shy about introducing bologna as an appetizer.  However, I found a great, simple recipe for a layered coffee cake that I whipped up for the guys.  It got the All Thumbs Up.  I found a couple of other recipes that sounded intriguing, so they will go into the rotation.

It was also my weekend to cook dinner for my neighbor.  I rummaged in the freezer and came up with the last package of ground beef and a package of ground pork.  I decided to make spaghetti and meatballs because I have enough canned tomato products for a regiment.  I managed to use three pints of herb tomato sauce and a quart of diced tomatoes!  Woot!  Only 150 jars to go!
More wonderful smells
Needing something bread-like to go with the pasta, I made gluten free bread sticks.  I used my easy-peasy bagel recipe and just made flatish sticks.  They weren't bad. 
Topped with Trader Joe's Everything
But the Bagel sprinkles

I made tapioca pudding, too, but didn't get a picture of it because tapioca is, well, tapioca.  It went out the door with my neighbor.  My mother used to make it as a treat, being sure to embellish it with a maraschino cherry on top.  She was big on maraschino cherries - one of our favorite salads was the "lighthouse" salad - a leaf of iceberg lettuce, topped with a ring of pineapple, scoop of cottage cheese, half a banana, with a maraschino 'light'.

Just as I was settling in for an evening of New Tricks on the DVD player, accompanied by more knitting, I realized that Peanut and Lovey were crammed on the far end of their sofa - as far away from their usual preferred corner as possible.  Sigh.  Upon inspection, someone had barfed on the cover, pillow and sofa itself.  I suspect Lovey, who tends to eat outside things that she shouldn't.  DVD watching was put aside so that much laundry could be done.  There is no rest for the parent of dogs.


Susan said...

I would love the soup recipe as I have all the same ingredients stashed in one form or another.I'm trying to use up the squash as I'm pushing their storage life. I soo know the wobbly leg stagger out of the car after a heart stopping commute. You are very brave. Congrats to the winners, I will be buying the book, it is calling to me.

Susan said...

Susan, that is exactly why I made this soup! My remaining squash was getting a little puckered. I'll email the recipe.

Elaine said...

That soup sounds really tasty and nourishing - and with all that you have going on in your life, boy do you need it. You are one busy person, I am in awe of all that you do. We have a tiny amount of snow forecast over the next couple of days, you wait, the country will come to a stand still, we are just not used to coping with it all. My soup pot will be on and there will be bread baked, just in case we get snowed in. ;)

Retired Knitter said...

I am thrilled to have been selected as the winner of one of the books. I put the book on my Amazon wish list thinking I would have to purchase it at some point. Guess that won't be needed now.

You northern folks sure have been hit with some dramatic and severe weather. I am in Maryland and was just on the southern fringe of the last storm - I guess it was the one you were struggling to get home in. I love weather - but mostly I love all weather from my chair in my living room.

Be safe!
Elaine (Retired Knitter)

ellen abbott said...

After doing the lion's share of the cooking and housekeeping during the child raising years and for a decade after, I stopped cooking and the husband began in self defense. he would get hungry before I did. it was interesting at first but he's not too shabby now. I would not be able to function AT ALL during your winter weather.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

The cookbook "isn't shy about introducing bologna as an appetizer" -- LOL, those were the days!

Theresa said...

I never win anything, never, so you have broken my 60 year streak and for that I am eternally grateful! I wondered about you all weekend with that arctic freeze. Glad you made it home. One storm it took me close to 7 hours to make it home on Rt. 2 from Waltham to Shirley MA. Poor Fat Sam, held it all in for over 16 hours.
The cooking and baking is making me hungry. Yep, almost time for dinner!
Hoping you have a boring, uneventful and easy week. Hugs!

Leigh said...

Congratulations to the winners! Great giveaway Susan.

Sounds like you've really gotten a lot accomplished. It's a good feeling, isn't it?

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

Nothing makes you more thankful for home than a treacherous drive! Your giveaway was very sweet. I'm trying to picture the lighthouse salad. I don't think I understand it, but I do remember the days of lunch counters at big stores where you could select the scoop of cottage cheese / pineapple ring combo. -Jenn

Goatldi said...

Congrats to the winners!

Per post

Oh come on don’t sugarcoat it girl!

Poor pups hope tummy is better.

I will swap you 1300+ gallons of water for some sock yarn. Always happy to help out.

Michelle said...

Oh dear, I'm sorry to hear about "your" dairy. At least Jasmine gets a happy retirement, thank goodness.

Vera said...

I could provide you with raw milk in a couple of months, but we are in SW France so think that the logistics of getting it you will be difficult! We have two Jersey cows, and am in sympathy with your fellow dairy farmers. It is the same here in France.

After reading your blog I shall not complain about the fierce winds and torrential rain we are having here at the moment! But we are watching the river running beside us. It is getting rather full. We might be paddling over our land soon.

Socks. I knit them as well. Couldn't find any today. Must knit a few more pairs!

I am a first time visitor to your wonderful blog. Will visit again.

Kristina said...

Hopefully you can find a raw milk source. I have a feeling we may get goats again due to no source for milk here. Buying it organic is expensive, and doesn't have all the good stuff in it either.

Mama Pea said...

I get tired reading your posts. I know you have a very full, happy life as it is but you would have been a great wife and mother to a brood of about six kids. And you wouldn't have had to do any more food preparation and canning than you do now. Your energy level and accomplishments are above and beyond amazing. Please let me know what kind of pills you're on.

So sad to hear your dairy farmer is joining the ranks of small farms that simply can't make it. Oh, there is so much wrong with all of that.

Time to take that retirement from your away-from-home job? (If only, she says.) Those scary treks home in bad weather aren't worth it.