Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ahhhh, I love the weekends!

     Its been yet another long week, nothing huge happened, just life. But life CAN get exhausting, especially towards Friday! I have started one of my New Years resolutions early this year, and that is to get up every weekday morning and make tea and breakfast for my husband before he heads off to another day of work. He had made some hints, after a rare morning where I did get up and fix him breakfast, about how much easier the day was, and how much more cheerful it had made him. So I reluctantly eagerly agreed to get up every morning, from now on,,,, if it makes his day that much better! Though I did stipulate that he needed to remain cheerful, so that I would know that getting up while its still dark and cold and making him a hot meal with my eyes half closed is still making a difference, otherwise I might be tempted to just stay in the nice warm bed! (Have I mentioned I tend to be a wee bit selfish and lazy,,,,,, I try to overcome those personality traits, but lets face it, selfishness is nearly incurable!)
     So, its Saturday, YAY! And, the hubs has Monday of, YAY AGAIN! It is cold, and dreary, and doing that rainy/icy/slushy/snowy thing outside that is particularly dangerous to drive in, so we are going to just stay home today, in front of the fire, with a few candles lit and the kettle on,,,, ahhhhh!
     I will be working on these,
     I am making about a zillion of them, to be made into afghans and given as gifts this Christmas (yes, Christmas 2012, crafters need to start VERY early, and I slacked this last year, because once again I waited until November to start working on gifts, and so ran out out time, again,,,,) I have had a particular request by my niece, so I thought I better get cracking ASAP. Also, it will greatly reduce the two totes of all the odds and ends of yarn that I have, and if I ever want to convince the hubs to buy me more, I need to get RID of some of it! So, I just was handed a fresh cu of tea by my love, so I am going to sip it, and maybe watch some classic Dr Who's while granny squaring the day away, you have a wonderful weekend!
                                            ~God Bless!~

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Preperations

   Hello my friends, I know, I know, I am a terrible blogger! I have been absent so much these last few months, but I HAVE been reading your blogs:) We are busy here, just like everyone else at this time of year. Today I have a couple of little Christmas pudding that I made in teacups, steaming away in my crock pot. I am working on a couple of gifts, knitting a pair of slippers for my younger sister, and a couple of rice "socks" for my father who has a lot of aches and pains that need soothing.
     Our kitties enjoyed helping us decorate our tree, as usual :) They are good girls as far as kitties go though, they have never broken an ornament, or tried climbing the tree. They do, however, have a taste for the tree "tea" that can be found in the tree stand, hehehe.
     This Christmas I have decided to make a gingerbread castle,,,, I have only ever made a gingerbread house once before, and it is a LOT of work, but oh so much fun. I was a little over ambitious though, and made the four sides a little large, and have nothing suitable for a base! Lucky my Poot is coming to the rescue, and bringing home some cardboard from work tonight. Hopefully construction will officially begin tomorrow! I'll try and post pictures when it is done, we plan on eating it Christmas day.
     We have managed to budget a little spending money for gifts this year, and both have gotten the other our main "want" plus a few little extra gifts. We actually ended up with a little extra money, and instead of getting more extra gifts we decided to get something we have wanted for over a year,

     a little electric woodstove. Now our fireplace is actually a fireplace, and it makes the living room so much more cozy. I absolutely LOVE it! We also got a lovely soft set of flannel sheets, which will be used for the first time on Christmas Eve,,,, ahhh, talk about pampered! 

     Well, I had better get back to work, I hope you have a lovely, relaxing Christmas!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Changes on the Horizon

     Well, a lot of things have been happening lately, and I have just not had the motivation of energy to blog about them. The bread business, while still small, has been enough to keep me busy two or three weeks. The holidays season is upon us, and with it the "famine" season of our finances. We are used to less money in the winter months though, so this isn't so bad. It doesn't help that virtually EVERYTHING from toilet paper to eggs is more expensive than last year, but hey, we are all getting used to that too, aren't we?
     A big change that may ore may not be around the corner in the coming months is a move,,,, cross country,,,, to a FREE home. There are a few catches. One of which is I don't want to move cross country!!! *insert whining and foot stamping here!* That's a con, a PRO is,,, did I mention the house is FREE? It was my husbands grandmothers house (or big mommas house, if you come from down there) and is in a tiny town in the big state of Texas. A con is, it is just about 2,000 miles from everyone and everything I know. *sniffle* A pro is, in that home we can FINALLY start our dream of self sufficiency. A con is,,,,, I am a pine tree,,,, we northerners don't so so well in 100+ heat, even with air conditioning! A pro would be that My husband would get to live very close to his father, and see him anytime he wants. A con would be,,,, MY WHOLE family would be 2,000 miles away!!!
     So, as you can see, up to my usual standard, I am having a hard time making up my mind! I am trying to leave the decision to my husband, but I'm not doing so well with that. I just don't know. Its just so intimidating! In the next few months we will be seriously talking this thing trough, beating it down with a stick until we make a final decision. If the move does happen, I will be blogging a WHOLE lot more, as it will be a way for me to share my day to day life with my family, and also to make more *virtual* friends, something I will need while trying to make real life friends in a new home. We'll see what happens,,,

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


     Well, its a dull grey day today, isn't it? Brrrrr, with the temps outside barely reaching into the 50's, and a slow drippy rain falling, its the kind of day made for curling up on the sofa with mug after mug of tea and a warm homemade blanket. If only! There's a sink of dirty dishes that's giving me dirty looks from the kitchen, and a fuzzy carpet with little black fur balls all over it, thanks to my littlest kitty. So, chores to be done before quality time with the old couch!
     It is my favorite time of year really, I prefer a chill in the air to sweat dripping in my eyes. I am glad the year is turning, and I am really looking forward to thanksgiving and Christmas that are rolling our way. I really hope to finish the afghan four our bed soon, so I can start on a few Christmas gifts,,, though I really have no idea what I'll be making this year.
     So, I guess I should get started on the dishes, and think about what to make for dinner, stay warm!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

So sorry I've been neglecting my blog!

     I hope you have been well, and enjoying this lovely fall weather! Its been busy here, in the Evans castle, with the start of my new bread baking business. It's taking off, and more orders and customers are coming in every week, I am quite surprised! My wonderful friends and family have been sharing with thier friends and family, so the word is spreading. Its all super exciting, I have never been an ambitious person, but now I am finding myself scheming and dreaming of someday having my own bake shop, and my husband being able to quit his job, so that we can work together,,,,, ahhhh, someday!
     Also, I have been quite busy lately, I seem to have caught a bug,,,,, the baby bug! I have been pursuing adoption websites, and have fallen in love with Reece's Rainbow, and all of the beautiful little ones that can be seen there,,, we dream of someday adopting an orphan (or two) from eastern Europe, children with Downs syndrome who would otherwise be at a risk of ending up spending thier lives in a crib, with little attention and perhaps no love,,,,, it breaks my heart, no baby should have that fate! This plan is in limbo though, until God provides a path, right now there are a few mountains in the way. Luckily, our God is bigger than any mountain:)
     Also, after a two or three year break, Mr Evans and I have decided to start "trying" again. This time we are armed with a fertility monitor (very neat!) and a thermometer, both of which I got to borrow off of my best(est) friend, as she is now expecting her 1st baby! So, be saying prayers for us, we would LOVE more than anything, to become parents. We tried quite hard a few years ago, then gave up, but now, with fresh info on nutrition and God's help, we hope that we will soon have some good news to spread.
     Now I had better be off, time to clean the kitchen up, ready for tomorrows 3am baking! Goodnight!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Going into Business!

     Here's what I got up at four am to do this morning,,,

     When I was watching the Goober, I kinda got used to having a little of my own money. Well, she is now in daycare, and I have been missing the "dough" (pun intended:) My neighbor asked me to make him some bread, and my husband said,,,, yet again,,,,,, "why don't you go into business and sell your bread?" And instead of once again brushing the idea off, I thought,,,, hmmmm,,,, why don't I? I mean, I have been baking most of our bread for years, and I have gotten really quite good at it. And, we can't be the only people who are dissatisfied with the "bread" they pawn off in supermarkets, I mean that stuff is hardly even food! So on a whim, I made a face book group and added some of my relatives and closest friends who I thought would be interested in homemade bread. The group descriptions says,

" I have a feeling, in these times of "reconnecting" with our food, that more people wish they had the time to make something as simple as bread. After all, that fluffy, chemically laden stuff on the supermarket shelves is hardly even food. Even the whole grain kinds have ingredients your grandma and great grandma would never have even heard of, let alone put in thier bread! I have been making all of our bread for years now, and (not to toot my own horn) have gotten pretty good at it! I can make a delicious loaf of bread, just like grandma's, from only 5 ingredients! Nothing fancy, just real, honest, and simple bread. The kind you would make for your family if you had time! So why not let me do it for you! 1st loaf is free, and after that $2.50 a loaf and free weekly delivery! This is less than you would pay for a CHEEP loaf of bread from the store! Give it a try, you wont be sorry!"

     Within the first 24 hours TEN loaves had been ordered by five of the ten people in the group! I am actually really excited! I hope I can get orders for about 50 loaves a week, that will be a doable number, and give the some $ for Christmas!
     So, since I have been up since before sunrise filling the first two orders, I think I am going to go take a nap! Pleasant weekend everyone!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Another busy monday

    My feet are a little achy, but I got so much don't today! I cleaned up the bedroom, washed and put away two loads of laundry, swapped the summer clothes for the fall/winter clothes, changed the sheets and made the bed, vacuumed the bedroom and living room carpets, cleaned the bathroom, did dishes, and now I am relaxing while the four loaves of whole wheat bread are baking in the oven! Tomorrow, all I have to do is sweep the kitchen floor and mop, then I will have the rest of the day to do as I please. I have a few crafty projects that need working on, and its so much nicer to work on them in a clean home!
     My hubby will be late getting back tonight. He is taking a hunters safety course at a local school so that this year he can get his license and bring home the venison! I'm really glad he is getting into this, I was raised in a hunting family, and though I don't hunt myself I LOVE wild game of all sorts. We hunt for food, not trophy's, so if your only experience of hunting is something you might have seen on TV, then you are probably misinformed as to the REAL reason a lot of people partake of this traditional sport. There is nothing in the world that can bring you quite as close to you food as providing it yourself!
     Anyway, I am sitting down now, crocheting granny squares and watching some Midsomer Murders:) I love me my british mysteries!!! I hope you all are enjoying this beautiful start to our week!
     ~God Bless

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Free Food

     I love the blessing of free food! We are very fortunate, in that barely a month goes by without some free food coming our way in one form or another. Now we are not in anyway in need. We have all the food we want, and are very blessed in that way. I just appreciate a gift when I get it!
     Today's free offering came in the form of potatoes. My hubby works for a food wholesale company, and delivers all manner of foods to businesses and restaurants in the state. Often, though, as is the case in our society, less than perfect food is tossed out. After all, what customer would buy a bruised apple, a loose banana, or a dinged potato? But, as that wise old saying goes, one man's trash is another man's treasure, and being the daughter of a "Trash" man, I know this for a fact! 
     Twice hubby has brought home boxes of bananas, that I promptly turned into brad and muffins and froze, to be eaten at our leisure, for quick breakfasts and snacks. Just the other day he brought home 5lbs of pickled polish sausages. Now, I hear you saying, what on earth are they going to do with FIVE pounds of pickled sausages???? Well, I don't know,,,,, but even if we only eat a few and toss the rest, hey, those few snacks were free! We also get a lot of venison from family, especially around this time of year, when they try and use up whats left in the deep freeze to make room "hopefully" for the fresh shot game of the season. Its all good, we will take whats offered and be glad:)
     So, about 3lbs of potatoes, each with a gash that was easily cut off, are in a pot, ready to be boiled and mashed to go along with the roast chicken that's in the oven. (The smell of which has had me almost drooling on my shirt for the past hour and a half!) I am getting pretty hungry now, and I had better go and check the chicken. Do you get (or go look for) "free" food? How are your feelings on visual imperfections of food? I love to know what you think!

Grilled Summer Squash Salad

      We are nearing the end of a rather wonderful summer here in the northeast of the United States. My husband and I have enjoyed our new eating habits, and I especially am enjoying dropping TWO skirt sizes as many months! Unfortunately, the wonderful fresh summer veg wont be available for much longer, so we are making good use of it while we can. This week we picked up a beautiful assortment of winter squashes, two of which I have never tried before. I made a delightful (and delicious!) Roasted veg and kale soup, I will be making it again and will post about it when I do! Today's recipe though, is a good way to enjoy the last of the summer squash,
     Grilled summer squash salad, YUM! I had a couple of squashes that needed using up, and I was bored with the usual sauteing of them. So I had Hubby get the Foreman grill out (one of his most favorite Christmas gifts of all time!) and heat it up. I Brushed slices of squash and green pepper with a little EVOO, then sprinkled with garlic powder and s&p. Grilled until seared and served up on a bed of fresh greens and cherry tomatoes, healthy eating can be soooo good!       Today is a very "fall" day though,,, cloudy, cool, with a thunderstorm moving in. I think I will take a nice hot bath then roast a chicken for dinner, and work on some granny squares,,,, I am almost done enough granny squares for the bedspread I am making of Irish roses, I can't wait to see how it turns out and show you! Have a good night, and God bless~

Monday, September 5, 2011

If I have a black eye,,,,,

     ,,,its due to being so mad at myself that I slapped me silly! I LOST CAMERA!!!! My hubby was a lovely hubby, and took me to the Windsor fair for a treat. We had a wonderful time, gorging on deliciously fried junk food and fresh squeezed lemon aid, petting and cooing over the wonderful farm animals, and of course spending FAR to much money on a darts game so my hubby could win me a black stuffed Dotson. It was all peachy until we had left the fair grounds and were getting in the car and I did the usual pocket pat down to remove my phone,,,,,,,and there was NO CAMERA! We hurried back in to the grounds and had a look where we were sitting, no luck. I left my number with a nice elderly fair "police" officer, but no one has called.
     So, I am sad. We have to get a "new" car first, then I will be able to get another camera. I may not be able to blog too much until then, as I don't want to be boring trying to describe what I am doing without showing you. We'll see. Maybe I will actually just start "musing", as that doesn't involve any illustrations:)
     So, no you know,,,, if I don't post to much for the next few weeks. God bless!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Leftovers: Bean "Burgers"

     On Monday, I decided that to go with our salad (we have been having large salads on Sundays or Mondays, as we only shop at farm stands once a week, and the greens are best within the first 48hrs) I would use the leftover refried beans to make bean "burger". They came out WONDERFUL! Veggie burgers are a favorite around here, but I do not buy them pre made, we avoid soy as much as possible and its hard to find that type of "meat substitute" without it. Try making your own sometime, there are plenty of great recipies to be found online! Or be like me and just experiment:)
     Here's what I did:  I Peeled three small carrots and tossed them into my food processor, added 1/4 of an onion and 1/2 of a green pepper and zipped them through until they were minced pretty fine.
To them I added an egg, a few handfuls of rolled oats and what was left of the refried beans, and some salt, then zipped again. It was a little wet, so I added a little more oats and a homemade bread roll, that made the mixture less of a batter and more of a "dough", which is what I wanted.
I then let the mixture sit for a few minutes while I washed the greens, to give the oats a time to absorb any excess moisture from the veg.

I divided the mixture into four patties on a foil lined baking sheet that was generously oiled with EVOO. I then gently basted the top with some more oil, to encourage browning. I popped them in the oven at 375' for about 20 min, until they had firmed up, I flipped them over and baked for about 10 min more.
       You can serve these on a bun with the sauce of your choice and some nice sharp cheddar, or, "meatloaf" style like I did. My Husband loved these, and made me promise to make them again! The oats gave them a nice texture while the green pepper added a nice aromatice flavor.
      Sorry I didn't give exact amounts, but this is how I cook most of the time, I just make things up as I go along. I have come up with some of our best meals that way! So don't be afraid to put your own spin on things and be creative!

Monday, August 22, 2011

I love living near the Ocean!

     We had a terrific day Saturday! We went to the coast with some of our friends, and spent the day swimming in the not very cold water, playing keep the beach ball up, passing a football, and teaching a three year old that getting "dirty" in the wet sand is fun! I am now nursing a pretty bad sunburn, but it was worth it! Summers are pretty short here in the Northeast, so we are enjoying the last of the heat while we can. I am a autumn lover though, so the crisp nights are getting me excited for apple picking and corn mazes!
     Well, I guess I had better go and finish getting this place cleaned up before my Poot gets home, I hope you have had a great weekend too!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Frijoles Refritos,,,, yum yum!

     Refried Beans! A yummy and nutritious food. It can be expensive to buy them ready made though,  with the ever increasing rise in food prices, especially canned food. Around these parts a can of refried beans can cost up to $2!!! I think that's a bit outrageous, considering how inexpensive the ingredients are. I tried over and over to make them at home, and they never tasted quite right,,,, until I looked in one of my vintage 70's cookbooks and found the simplest, and most delicious refried bean recipe yet! After all, this shouldn't be complicated, that's one of the things I love most about Mexican food, its fresh and flavorful simplicity!
      So, if you want something that "hits the spot", then try making some Frijoles Refritos, you (and your family) wont be sorry!

     Now hows this for easy, you don't even have to soak the beans!
     1lb bag of pintos, picked over and rinsed
     6c water
       Put the beans and the water in a medium to large sauce pan and bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 2 +1/2 to 3 hours, until the beans are very tender. (to test, cool a bean then place on your tongue, if you can "mash" it against the roof of your mouth they are ready) During the cooking time, if the beans start to dry out add just a tad bit of water, but not to much, I don't like to drain them after cooking, no sense losing any minerals!
     Now let them cool for a while, just set them on the back of the stove and get on with your other chores or cooking, maybe even try your hand at making your own flout tortilla's!
     After they have cooled, if you like extra creamy beans like I do, place the beans and their liquid in a food processor, and season to your taste. Purist's can put in only a teaspoon or two of minced garlic and a couple of teaspoons of salt. I like to add a tablespoon or so of chili powder, a liberal sprinkling of garlic powder and salt. Its totally up to you and your taste buds! Now after they have gone for a nice long wizz through the processor with the spices, you can either "re-fry" them immediately, or put them in a covered dish and store in the fridge for quick lunches and snacks. I havent tried freezing them, but I'm sure they would freeze well in a covered plastic container. We use them up within a few days, we are both bean lovers!

     I know, I know, not the most appetizing looking of foods, but my oh my! they are so goooood! Not to mention, they are great way to slip meatless meals into your week. Beans are a good source of fat free protein, and also have a ton of fiber and some minerals to boot. I do not add fat to my beans, as I can't tell the difference in flavor, so I save my "fat" calories for something else. These are rich and creamy without any added fat anyway, so be sure to try them before adding the tradition 1/4 cup of lard or butter.

     Bean and cheese burritos make a great late-night dinner or snack for hungry Hubby, and they are very quick and easy to make. Just slap a couple big spoons of beans onto the center of a tortilla, top with cheese and bake at 350' for 10 min, flip and bake 5 more min, serve as is or with sour cream and salsa, YUM!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Cleaning Monday's

     Its Monday again, that's one of my "big clean" days. After the weekend, which I mostly take off from cleaning, there are a lot of things that need doing. There are some dishes in the sink, sheets needing changing, dust on most of the flat surfaces, and little balls of kitty fluff everywhere. I get stuck in, and get sweeping, scrubbing, polishing, dusting and generally tidying up. After a few hours the whole place is sparkling clean, fresh, and ready for my Poot to come through the door. In the winter, I use my crock pot on my cleaning days, that way I get dinner out of the way first thing in the morning, because by the end of the day I am pretty worn out, and not in the mood for messing up the kitchen again. In summer's though, I just do something easy, like a salad or corn on the cob.
     My cleaning style is very relaxed, I clean for a while, sit and sip a drink and check facebook for a few minutes, then clean some more, and take another break,,, ect. ect. I don't like cleaning while there is anyone else around, I'm not sure why, maybe its just because I don't like cleaning "around" another person. So, I guess its good for me that I spend most of my time alone, I can't use it as an excuse for why the house is untidy!
     My favorite chore,,,, probably making the bed, as its also the easiest chore!
     My least favorite chore,,,, cleaning the shower,,,,, ack,, how I loathe soap scum!
     So a quick run down of my cleaning schedule would be,
     Mondays, all over clean, inc. vacuuming, dusting, bathroom, and general tidying.
     Tuesdays, anything not done on Monday + a load or two of laundry.
     Wednesday, laundry again, and vacuuming, and of course, and tidying that needs doing.
     Thursday, I finish off any laundry that isn't done, and that's about it!
     Friday, I tend to do another big clean, to get ready for the weekend. I try to take the weekends off,
     and enjoy my husband!

     How do you clean, what are your favorite parts of keeping your home tidy? Do you take the weekend off, or do you keep cleaning straight through the week? I love to know how other ladies keep house, so please let me know in the comments. Have a good day, happy homemaking!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

New clothes CAN cheer you up!

     I am having BAAAAD PMS this month. Its not bad every month, more like every three, this happens to be a bad one. I guess on one side its good Poot is working crazy hours, cause he's not here for me to snap at,,,, but then I am all alone for hours and hours and hours, and that can get me a bit lonely. So as I find myself watching youtube vids that arent remotly sad, and crying my eyes out, and I dont have a stitch of candy in the house, whats a girl gonna do?
     Just in time, the mail man comes to the rescue!!!!
     Last week my darling Poot let me do some online shopping, and I found a LOT of great deals on my two favorite sites. I got my package today from woman within! I know it shouldnt make me so happy, retail therapy is a shallow pastime after all, but I will be truthful, nothing cheers me up quicker (except maybe a hug from my Poot:) than getting some new clothes. It doesnt happen often, I am picky when it comes to clothes. They have to be girly, and the more flowers/lace/ruffles/pink the better! Part of the joy, I think, comes from growing up quite poor. The only time we got new clothes was in august, for school. It was such fun! Like a fresh start every year. Now its such a novelty, to be able to shop a sale, and get clothes any time of the year, within reason of course:) My Poot takes such good care of me!
     So here are the things I was soo happy to see this afternoon,
new dress, only $12!
another dress, I think this one was only $15
and this luggage set, a "free" gift for only $3.99!!!
     I got some great deals! I can't wait to get the things I ordered from the other site, they are SUPER girly, and couldn't be more "me" if they had my name embroidered on the front!
     Now I'm off to make me something sweet, I am also trying out making yogurt in the crockpot today, if it works out I'll be doing a post on it. Have a nice night:)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Goodwill treasures

     I just love Goodwill stores. I love looking through the old dishes. pictures, knick-knacks, and odds and ends. I once in a great while find clothes that both fit me, and are my style,,,, but not very often. Good thing I like treasure hunting though! Thrift stores are ripe pickins' if you like to decorate with vintage flair like I do. In fact most of our apartment is decorated with stuff from them, with occasional finds from antique stores.
     I am pretty *durn* excited about this weeks finds! Without further ado, I'll show them to you:)

     A vintage lamp that not only has roses on it (have I mentioned that roses are my *thing*?)!!!!,,, but is also the same kind my grandmother had in her bedroom and dining room. I just LOVE it!

     I found a bunch of patterns for $.99ea, Some I'll have to size up to fit me, but hey, its worth the extra work, I have been wanting to learn how to make pleated skirts for a while now, this vintage pattern will be put to good use very soon. I see some tweedy, woolly, winter skirts being made this coming fall,,,

     And this little guy, who actually came from an antique shop, not a thrift store, but I have been waiting for a "treasure" post to put him in. Isn't he sweet? He says "made in Japan" on the back and has string connecting his arms and legs. I have no idea how old he is, but I am guessing at least 50. I'll have to knit him a tiny blanket, and maybe make him a little nappy, he's just too naked:)
     Anyway, I hope you have enjoyed my latest finds, and can't wait to go treasure hunting again soon! Happy hunting my friends!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Healthy food and Politics,

     Why is it we keep hearing stories (if you pay attention to such things) about stores and co-ops that sell healthy food being raided, sometimes even by armed police? I'm sorry, I may have been asleep at the wheel here, but when did natural, fresh, organic, and raw become illegal? Who has a problem with us eating food the way God himself wanted us to eat it, un-fiddled with? When did Amish dairy men become criminals and fresh from the cow milk become an illegal substance???
     These are all questions I have been pondering on my path towards eating more real foods. For the longest time I pondered it on the sidelines. My husband and I have a dream of homesteading someday, of raising our own food. But at this point it is still a dream. It was only recently, after watching yet another documentary on food, that we came to realize we can't wait until we "someday" to start eating better. After all, just looking at the collective health of western "civilization" is enough to convince any logical person that there is something very wrong here. Even children are falling sick to illnesses that in a more natural lifestyle would rarely effect adults. I think its worth at least a little consideration. After all, God designed our bodies to eat a certain way, who are we to say that we can come up with something better?
     So, if you, like me, are interested in the politics of REAL food, here is a video for you to watch and ponder,
    This is in Cali, I wonder when they will start picking on the local farm stands here?
     Here is today's haul. We now shop at three different farm stands, all within a short distance from where we live. I am super excited to have found a place to buy RAW milk. If you have been brought up thinking that raw milk is akin to poison, I suggest you visit here, and then do some research on your own. There is absolutely nothing to fear when it comes to milk from healthy, naturally raised cow. In fact, the milk is more nutritious than anything they sell in a regular grocery store. This milk is from Guernsey cows that live very near here. I can't wait to try out the Angus beef and milk fed pork products soon! I love that the stand where we bought the milk and lettuce from had an "honor" pay system, which was a basket by the door:) I have a feeling that kind of thing wont last too much longer in this world, but it warms my heart when I still see it once in a while.
     Anyway, I had better get off here, have to go make a grilled summer squash salad with cherry tomato's and purple sweet pepper:) God bless you friend!

Weekend BBQ with family.

     I guess that this weekend was THE social weekend of the summer, as we had about 6 different invitations to bbq's/birthdays/ocean trips/bonfire,,, But when I found out my grandparents were going to be coming up for a surprise visit to my sisters, I dropped everything else and went. You have to put family first. A big lesson everyone has to learn is that you should never take for granted loved ones, young or old, because you never know when your last visit them will  become the last memory of them.
     So here are the pictures that I captured of the day,
Meet my beautiful Grammy:)
My handsome Grampa!

My little sister, kissing her grammy:) ~Shutterbug Photography~

After the parents and grandparents left for home, us sisters and our hubbies went out for some Excellent ice cream! this is my older sis and my hubby, yum yum! ~Shutterbug Photography~

The best waffle cones EVAH!!!
 It was a great day with great family! I am one lucky ducky, thats for sure.

Friday, August 5, 2011

What to do with leftover boiled dinner!

     Other than making a soup, as I mentioned in my last post, you can do something else that's super easy and very tasty with your leftover boiled dinner meat and veg. You can make what is known 'round here as red flannel hash! I'm assuming its called that for the simple reason that loggers often made boiled dinners (after all, you don't need to be an experienced cook to make an excellent boiled dinner) and would then eat the leftovers the next day in this tasty "hash", more often than not for breakfast with fried eggs and piping hot biscuits. Seeing as how the traditional loggers garb included an almost mandatory sturdy red and black flannel shirt, this is one way it got its name. (BTW, here in Maine, most real Maine men still proudly sport their flannel shirts, especially during hunting season, along with the obligatory scruffy beard!) Another reason for the name is the color the dish takes with the shredded red corned beef mixed in.
     Its a bit too rich and heavy for our modern tummies to take first thing in the morning for breakfast.After all, we will not be headed into the cold damp woods to fell mighty pine and cedar! Instead we'll be having this hearty hash for dinner! I like making it, I feel connected to my roots seeing as my paternal relatives of old were stout Scottish loggers who were some of the first to brave the wild Maine woods and clear land for the more delicate colonists to settle! *why yes, that would be pride you here in my voice*
     OK, so lets get to cooking,
   First, preheat your trusty, giant and super heavy cast iron skillet with a good gob of butter in it,
   Meanwhile, chop all your cooked veggies and meat to bite size-ish pieces,

   Now dump your stuff in the sizzling pan, level out and cook on medium heat, stirring and turning occasionally, until the liquid is absorbed, season to taste with salt and LOTS of pepper,
   Now feed it to your husband (maybe even with some homemade biscuits), and don't forget to compliment his manliness, 'cause all men are mighty loggers, even if they don't all cut down trees:)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

New England Boiled Dinner

     We have been visiting local farm stands lately, in our quest to eat fresher and local. We are also trying to eat as many fruit and veg as we can, as its a key to healthy living. So this weeks menu so far has been -Monday, steamed broccoli, baked sweet potato and minute steaks. Tuesday, a DELICIOUS Greek green bean salad, the recipe found here, Last night's dinner was fresh corn on the cob, and tonight, new england boiled dinner!
     All local vegetables! In Maine, we don't have a long growing season, so the local veg are limited to plain and ordinary "peasant" foods. Potato's, carrots, cabbage, turnip, beans, broccoli,,,,,, So when looking for recipes for these types of foods, its best to look for classic, traditional recipes. In days gone by, farm wives used what they had and could grow. In today's world, most of what they ate would be considered boring, but that is far from the truth, it is delicious, and often most importantly nutritious! Women didn't have the time to fluff about with extra culinary foolery. They had TOO much else to do since everything was done by hand. The tried and true one pot stews, soups, and casseroles have hung around for so long because they are not only EASY "from scratch" cooking, but also some of the most comforting of home cooked meals. Meals Grandma and Mom made.
     So tonight I'm scrubbing up a bunch of veg and tossing it into a pot with some lightly salted water. If you have never made a boiled dinner, you don't know what you are missing! If you can boil water, you can make this!
                  Veg,(some or all of these can be used)
                        Potatoes (leave peels on for extra nutrition) carrots, turnips, rutabaga, onion,
               parsnips, cabbage.
                   Meat : You can use the traditional corned beef or large bone in ham, or you can use smoked sausage, polish sausage, or, like I am using tonight, all beef hot dogs.
     If you are using ham or corned beef, you don't need to add salt to the water, as the meat will add plenty of flavor to the broth and veg.

     If using ham or corned beef, place in the bottom of the pot, add water and simmer according to directions for weight,,,, about an hour before the meat will be done add all the veg except the cabbage and cover with more hot water, bring to boil and simmer for about an hour more, until veg are tender. Add quartered (or eighths if large) cabbage and cook until tender, about 15 more min. If you decide to use sausage, add it with the cabbage so that it gets heated through but not over cooked.
     To serve, scoop out meat and veg onto a platter, serve with plenty of butter and pepper and some mustard for the meat. SAVE the broth, you can use it the next day to make a wicked good soup with the leftovers. Don't worry if you don't have leftover meat, just add some beans (canned or pre-cooked) of any variety and serve with crusty bread. Them theres some good eats!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Weekend Getaway Pictures

Well, its a new week

     Back to the plain old ordinary world here in the Evans castle. We had a Wonderful weekend, relaxing in a huge jacuzzi tub, swimming in the pool, eating out at new and Amazing restaurants, and then sleeping in a lush bed with regal bedding! Ohhhhh, to be spoiled like a king and queen was such a treat! And the breakfast,,,,, oh my,,,,,, the bacon couldn't have been tastier if it had been dipped in chocolate!
      Now its back to life as usual. I cleaned everything before we left, but for some reason it all needs to be done again today,,,,,, housework, its just one of those things! So I'm stripping sheets and vacuuming up the fuzzy carpets (pretty sure the kitties threw a party while we were gone) and cleaning the powder room. Dinner tonight will be something with broccoli, as there is some in the fridge that needs using up. One thing I am looking forward to is getting back to work on my afghan this evening, I have missed my yarn!

Friday, July 29, 2011

I think its time to get away!

     This summer has been pretty hectic for us, with my husband working up to 60+ hours, and then the usual busy summer social schedule, we are pretty worn out, and its only half over! So, we decided its time for an adventure! We're not 100% sure where we are going yet, maybe someplace in the white mountains, maybe someplace on the coast. A nice little B&B somewhere or a hotel. That's part of the fun, not knowing!
     Any where we go though, we always make memories! I'll be bringing my camera, so I hope to capture the fun!      Better get back to packing, and getting everything in order here at home so we'll be ready to leave first thing in the morning. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

I have been working up to this for more than a week!

     I have done it! My first ever Irish Rose granny square!!!! I am sooo excited. There were a couple of points in the pattern where I was confused, and momentarily stumped, but in the end I figured it out.
     I am going to make lots of them in different rosy colors, then sew them all together to make a bed sized blanket. I am thrilled to be learning how to do something that both of my Grandmothers could do! I hope to know enough soon to whip up a few snowflakes before Christmas, for gifts. I guess its that time of year, and I should start thinking about what to give and to who. For people who make gifts for people, Christmas starts in July!
     Anyway, I am going to go take a nice bath, I had the Goober bright and early this morning and "eu de similac" just doesnt suit me! Time to go sink into a some rose scented bubbles (oh how I love thee, Crabtree and Evelyn!) and read a good mystery,,,,,

Godnight all!