Friday, February 25, 2011

Snow Ice Cream

A dry snow....not the right stuff for snow balls, snowmen, and igloos;
but perfect for snow ice cream!

Start with one farm fresh egg in a mixing bowl.
Stir in 1/2 cup sugar.

Add 1/2 cup evaporated milk

and 1 teaspoon of vanilla

Whisk well.

Gather a nice large bowl of very clean snow.

Add snow to the custard mixture and stir in until the consistency you desire.

Sorry, we didn't get any pictures of the finished product...we were too busy lapping it up!
This was some left from the little farm-girl. She had already eaten a bunch. (We made a double batch)

*******No young children or elderly persons were poisoned with salmonella in the making of this treat******* If you are concerned about it, you could maybe cook the custard mixture first and chill, or use egg substitute? Haven't ever tried doing that, so am not sure if it would work or not.

Snow Days Science Project

We don't have a "Snowy Days" Activity book.... but today, we pulled out this one I got thrifting at Goodwill, a few years ago.Volcanoes have been the subject of study at school, and the topic of conversations and subject of documentaries and youtube viewing here at the farm, lately. We chose to recreate.....

First you need two properly attired volcanologist assistants:

Organize tools and chemicals

Mix the baking soda and food coloring into the cup of water.
Pour into the empty bottle, add drops of dish detergent.
(Don't shake)
Set the bottle in sink , Pour 1 cup of vinegar into the bottle (Don't stand directly over the bottle opening)

Red Frocks and White Pinnys

The girls were watching this 80's version of Alice in Wonderland this morning. It reminded me of one of our favorite pictures of Sarah when she was little. (I even took it to the hospital with me when I had Kate....the first time I had ever been away from Sarah overnight)
See, she's wearing the little red shoes I talked about in this post.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Chinese Embroidery

The week of Chinese New Years, i munched on homemade egg rolls and fried rice, watched Lisa Ling's National Geographic documentary on "China's Lost Girls" and embroidered these dishtowels for Dot's birthday. They were quick and fun.

Monday, February 21, 2011


There have been SO many colorful crocheted stripe afghans in blogland in the last few years. Some wavy, some granny stripe like attic 24's gorgeous version. I've been picking up this Random Stripe Afghan and crocheting a few rows occasionally between knitting projects for several years now. It's just stored in the straw chest in between times. Maybe one of these years it'll be done.
But right now the focus is on another crocheted afghan. I'm working on a version of a Sunshine Day Baby Afghan. These are some of the 80 center motifs needed. They'll all be granny squared out. It's a fun project. When we lived in California, my friend Hope taught me how to crochet simple double crochet, I made a simple baby bunting when I was pregnant with Sarah. During that same time, my friend Linda's little grade-school niece was staying with her for a while and showed me how to do granny squares. That ended up in a few simple projects. I do more knitting than crochet... preferring the look of knits for garments, but I think crochet has a very cheerful and fun spirited vibe to it, don't you?

Ski Trip

We could see the snow on the higher hills out our kitchen window. But none here, in the foothills.
We decided to go skiing anyway. With the Wii Ski. Donning wool hats and knit scarves. If it were for reals, I would be heading down the hill on a stretcher wielded by a rescue team. The 4 year old, very sweetly offered to show me how. She's dynamite at it! After quite a workout, we headed to "the lodge" to roast marshmallows by the fire. (The fruity swirl marshmallows are yucky by the way.) We don't do a real fire in the fireplace, because it has never drawn properly.

Then we made some yummy hot chocolate, and warmed our weary bones!

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Remember the Caramel Apple Socks ?

Dot had mentioned them a few times, so I sent them to her....along with a pair I knit especially for her. I named them "Crossing the Continental Divide" socks. I watched a mess of "Lost" episodes and got lost in my bamboo and wool jungle.

Here are some of the other socks that I've knit...the ones I've kept.

The ones on the left are the Patricia Polacco socks I started last January and put aside until THIS January. I really liked working with that yarn. I finished them and knit the pink, brown, and pale blue pair next to them "Little House in the Big Woods", while watching old episodes of Alias and 24.
The middle primary colored ones are called"Kindergarten". The ones on the left, I call "Springtime Frolic"
The middle ones; "Glacier"
The ones on the right are my favorites: "Jolly Ranchers".
I first learned how to knit in the 5th grade. A third grade girl taught me on the school bus. (We had a really long bus route!) I started by knitting a square potholder, then slippers. For years all of my family got slippers for Christmas. In 6th grade I knit my first sweater. It was purple, not enough yarn, and was finished with a different dyelot....Yikes, it was bad. If it happened now, I would take out a sleeve and stripe them with another yarn color, or something, but at the time...didn't have a clue. While I was knitting away with regular acrylic worsted, a teenage girl (Jeannie) came to visit Mom one afternoon, and was knitting the most lofty lovely pink mohair cabled sweater. I was smitten, and have never forgotten it. For years, I was intimidated by the thought of doing cables, and ditto...the thought of using 4 tiny double point needles and knitting socks like my upstairs neighbor in Germany. Knitting in the round on circular needles? Too much for me to wrap my little brain around. And then about 7 years or so ago, I picked up knitting slippers again, and am not sure if it was age, maturity, or what, but I knew that I was not content with that any more, and was determined to teach myself how to knit socks, cables and sweaters in the round. There are so many resources available with the "net", and even more now with YouTube, I'm convinced a person can learn whatever their little heart desires. I was knitting so much that the Fam joked about staging an intervention. Now there's been two and a 1/2 pairs of socks and 2 bunnies with outfits since the new year started. It calms me, and makes me feel productive even when I'm sick and not up to doing anything else.
It's comforting to know that God is a knitter too!
Psalm 139:13 (NIV) says "For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother's womb."

Saturday, February 19, 2011

In Loving Memory

" The Pinkster"
Beloved Companion and Friend
February 19, 2011
Our hearts go out to your family.

Chicken !

I've been a huge fan of Costco rotiss chickens, for years. Other stores not so much. But a Costco chicken can feed us, almost all week! This time, we had the roasted thighs and drumsticks with steamed broccoli on Thursday. Friday was this Black Bean Soup, using a cup of shredded chicken breast meat. Today, Saturday, the rest is going into enchiladas. When I've taken the meat off, I throw the bones and fat in the plastic covered container the chicken comes in, into the freezer. After there are a couple of them in there, They get pulled out and made into a large pot of the best chicken soup ever. It's got so much more flavor when chicken has been roasted first and not just plopped in a pot to boil from it's raw state.

What's your favorite food to streeeeeeeeeeetch ?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Nanaimo Bars

Valentines dinner was sort of wierd this year....After 3 weeks of crud, I was still sick on the 14th. I managed to fix seafood scampi for Jim, but I wasn't up to eating it....I had a smoothie. I am still dealing with symptoms, but got put on antibiotics yesterday, so am hoping to be much better real soon. Today I fixed Jim a belated Valentine Treat: Nanaimo Bars. They are Soooooo rich.
The first time I had them was when we lived in Europe. Our friend Loma had gotten the recipe from her mom who lived near the Canadian border in Washington state. They're a British Columbian treat.
I'm too lazy to copy the recipe off tonight, so will just provide a link for a recipe for them at Joy of Baking. I do have a few personal hints to add: When you add the beaten egg to the hot chocolate mixture; temper it first by putting a small bit of the hot chocolate mixture into the egg, stir, then add that to the chocolate mixture in the saucepan, (You don't want scrambled egg in your chocolate.) Also use your mixer to incorporate the chocolate mixture with the other ingredients for the crust; you want them very well blended, and mixing with a spoon just doesn't cut it.
Pour a nice tall glass of cold milk. Enjoy! xoxo

Monday, February 14, 2011


Ashlyn loves to do crafts, so last week she and I put this little garland together for the fireplace.

Meet Chloe

Little Miss Chloe is exceptionally intelligent. Sometimes she thinks out loud and can seem a bit too forthright. In spite of her occasional lapse in social graces, she is a most loyal and dependable friend, prepared to sacrifice convention and her own comfort for those she cares about.I knit these little bunnies from a ravelry pattern by Barbara Prime, from a Turkish yarn. Their outfits are adaptations of her pattern....I made quite a lot of changes to them. Other than little fortune cookie cat toys, these are the first toys I've ever knit. (I did knit a little purple sweater with a crystal button for my Dad's MAC truck hood ornament when I was in 7th grade) These 2 are for the little twin babies....a boy and a girl....that Kate is expecting.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tamale Tutorial

The girls got this book at the library last week. It was one that had been read at school in class and enjoyed. Its about a girl who tries on her Mother's diamond ring without permission, and fears she's lost it in the tamales they had been making. She recruits her siblings and cousins to help eat the tamales, to try to find it. Victoria wondered if I'd ever had tamales, and said she hadn't. She wanted to try some. So.... with rings off, that's what I fixed for dinner. Here's a how-to.

Cover a chicken with water. Season with chili powder, garlic powder and salt to taste.

Cook until it's tender and falls from the bones.

Soak dried corn husks in warm water for 30 minutes or more, til soft and pliable.

Remove the chicken meat from the bones and skin, and shred it.
Place the shredded meat back into the stock and simmer 15 minutes.
Drain most of the liquid. Prepare chicken filling:
Saute 1/2 onion, add chicken,
season it to taste with more chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mix 3 c. masa with 1 & 1/2 c. chicken broth and scant 1/2 tsp. salt.
Add some chili powder to it for a bit of color.
(Add water if necessary to incorporate all of the dry masa.)
Knead. It should be about the consistency of playdoh.

Place 1 lb. lard in mixer bowl, soften, add the masa mixture and mix together well,
to the consistency of frosting.
Place a little blob of it, (1 tsp. or so) into a bowl of water. It should float a bit.
Spread 1/4 c. masa mixture onto the inside of a corn husk, into about a 4x4 square.
Don't spread it all of the way to the left edge.
You can use a rice paddle to spread, but I end up using my fingers.
Place 2 tablespoons or so of the meat filling down the center of the spread masa.
(I got busy rolling tamales and didn't "film" the process)
But starting at the edge to your right,
roll once toward the left, fold tail up, and continue rolling to left edge.
Pretty soon, you'll end up with a whole mess of 'em.
Traditionally they are placed in a steamer.
I put mine on end in the crockpot, preheated on high,
add 1" of boiling water to the base of the tamales.
(Don't put water in before placing the tamales in, or you'll get steam burned.)

To ensure that the steam stays in well, place a sheet of aluminum foil on top and
place the lid on top of it. Steam for an hour or more.
They're done! Tamale wrapper on left......steamed tamale on the right.

served with frijoles and salsa.
cooling. preparing to freeze.
We prefer them cut into chunks in a casserole with chili beans,
with additional onion and cheese, and baked 30 min. or so at 350F.


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