Monday, November 29, 2010

Poor Snowy Trees

   We've had 18 inches of snow so far, and are supposed to get another 7, or so, during the next couple of days. The snow is higher than Chip is tall, even though it has packed down and melted to 16 inches.
   The trees are very heavy with snow. I think they look sad, all droopy. Every once in a while, you see the snow slip from a branch and the snow fly off.
   It's happened. I knew it would. Tim is tired of clearing the 450 feet long driveway. He does say, though, if he didn't have to keep clearing, he wouldn't mind the snow. With the snow blower, he gets covered in snow flying out the thrower part.
   I'm not allowed out, but I did have my outing to Walmart yesterday to buy a few groceries and the all important dog food. Walmart wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but maybe that's because we waited until Sunday to go.
It was afternoon when this dark picture was taken.
   Next week I leave for my trip to sunny CA. I checked the temperatures for Riverside, and they will be in the 60's and 70's with lows in the 40's. I should check Kingman AZ, too, since I will be going there for a day.
   I'm not really looking forward to all the security at the airport, but I am curious to see if all the metal in my leg will set anything off. There is also my biggest fear in life, getting lost. Since I will be bringing, and using, my cane, Amy said I needed assistance, so they should see I don't get lost. I have a little more than an hour layover in Seattle to people watch. Now, if only Michaela cooperates.
   I wonder how much snow we will have when I get back? Since I just look at all the pretty snow from out large picture windows, I don't mind it. I've got a great view from my rocking chair, as I sit here and crochet, watch TV and generally waste time on the computer. I also have a great view from where my spinning wheels are in front of another large picture window an the other side of the house. Chip also thinks its a good view, since he spends a lot of time sitting on my spinning chair, looking at the world. 

Friday, November 26, 2010

We Really Do Live In A Snow Globe

   It's snowing in my snow globe world. It was a good day to stay home. Tim and I aren't Black Friday people, especially if we have to go out in 10 inches of snow. Can you imagine crazed bargain hunters and snowy and icy roads and parking lots? Not a good combination.
   So instead, I cooked the turkey bones and am making a big pot of turkey and rice soup. One day, I really should write down what I put in the soup so I can make it the way I like it more than once.
   Tim went and cleared the very long driveway and a spot for the dogs.  We're such exciting people.
   We went to my mother-in-laws house for Thanksgiving and came home with most of the food. Next, I have to do something with the ham bone.
   We took Jake and Chip over with us so they could  get used to  the house, since they will be staying there when I go to CA next month. They did pretty good. Chip didn't like the snow there, either. I guess he's not a cold weather poodle. I guess he'd better get used to it, since we have months more of this weather, and it's going to get worse before it gets better.
   And me, I'm just doing crafty, stuck in the house stuff. There are more towels again waiting to be folded. Some people are so lazy.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

It's Frigid Outside

   It's downright frigid outside. The sun is shining, but it's colder when it shines. It's been snowing all day. The flakes are tiny, powdery flakes. We had blizzard conditions last night. Luckily, the power stayed on, even though it did flicker a few times.
   Poor Chip needs boots and a coat. Jake could use them, too. We do have dog boots. Jake has a pair, and we had a huge pair for Dixie. I guess when we find them, Jake can wear Dixie's since she's no longer with us, and Chip can wear Jake's. The only problem is the snow is deeper that the boots are high. I thought I'd have to go out and get Chip this morning because his poor little feet hurt so much to walk in this snow. Fluffy, wet snow doesn't seem to bother the dogs as much. I guess that's because it's actually warmer.
   Some crazy people moved up here because they wanted seasons. Makes you wonder about some people. This is suppose to be a very cold, wet winter. The heat pump is keeping the house comfortable. I'm not looking forward to the next electric bill. I really wish we had a wood burning stove. That's another thing on our list for when we win the lottery. Our electric blanket bit the dust, too, so now we can be crushed under the weight of all the blankets.
   I have plenty to keep me busy now that I'm stuck inside. I did lean as far as I could out the front and back doors and shoveled the snow off of the steps. Unfortunately, out the back door there is now a pile of snow at the base of the steps. I couldn't reach far enough out to take care of that problem.
   The potato soup mix is really good in this type of weather. I like croutons in mine, my parents put real bacon bits in theirs. I'll be keeping a supply on hand.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

How To Dehydrate Potatoes And A Couple Of Recipes Using Them

Dehydrated sliced and shredded potatoes
   I have been dehydrating our crop of potatoes lately, and have been asked about it. I dehydrated some last year, as well.
   Last year, I sliced the potatoes raw, blanched the slices for 5-6 minutes and soaked the slices in 1/4 tsp. Fruit Fresh per quart of water for a few minutes, and then put the slices as close as possible on the dehydrator trays.
   Since my dehydrator is an old DAK, it doesn't have any of the new fangled things like temerature control and a timer.  It just has an off and on switch. I have to rotate the trays, which gets old after a while, especially if I have to get up at night and rotate them.
   This year, I boiled the unpeeled potatoes whole until a bamboo skewer went through them with a little effort. I also made sure the potatoes where about the same size for more even cooking.
   Next, I put the whole, boiled potatoes in the fridge until the next day. I cut off the root end and sliced or shredded thm on my mandoline. Much easier than a knife. The skins came off as I went.
   I layed the slices on the trays as close as possible, in a single layer, and turned the dehydrator on. For the shredded potatoes, I put a layer of about 1/2" on the trays. Oh, before I forget, I have screens so the small stuff doesn't fall through the trays. Since I had to rotate the trays, I spread the shredded potatoes out as they dehydrated.
Scalloped Potatoes
   The potatoes rehydrated much better this way versus last years way. Also, if I removed the slices as they were done the color was better. The shredded potatoes will be used as hashbrowns. The slices are used to make Scalloped Potatoes like the boxed kind, and a Hamburger Helper kind. You can find the recipes on my recipe page. Of course, I had to make changes. You'll need to scroll down to find the recipes.
   These are also nice to have on hand.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Michaela's Bear

    I finally finished Michaela's bear. It's 15 inches tall. Since Michaela isn't even born yet, it might be bigger than she is. I even made it so it stands up by itself.
   Tim told me teddy bears are suppose to be brown, but I told him it was a polar bear. Yeah, I know, polar bears don't have blue eyes, but I thought I'd be different.
   I am going to make a bear for each grandchild, so I need to make 3 more. I wasn't sure if Micheal was too big for teddy bears since he's 5 now, so I had Alyssa (his mom) ask him if he liked bears. Micheal said no "because they get you dead." When she
asked him if he liked teddy bears, he said yes.
   Since the other grand kids are boys, I think I will make one tan with camo overalls and some hair on it's head. I haven't decided about the other 2, but one might be a panda bear. Since I don't care who gets which bear. I think I will wrap them and just let the boys pick one.
   There is no way I will have 3 finished before Christmas, since I haven't started on them yet. They will be "just because" bears.
   I saw on the National Weather Service site that next Monday night is suppose to get down to 5 and the high for Tuesday is suppose to be 18. There will be some snow thrown in there, too, so I'll have plenty of time to work on them.
   I also have 2 more hooded scarves to make for Myrna. One of these days, I plan on trying to make enough crocheted things to try to sell. I'm not having much luck lately.
   I bought some Smartglo crochet hooks. They glow in the dark. Supposedly they make crocheting dark yarns easier to see, and make it easier to crochet in dim light. They glow nice. I don't know about the rest. They did have some rough spots on them that I needed to sand down.
   I have been downloading a lot of old time radio shows off of the internet. I like listening to them. Right now, I am downloading  The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. I am trying to see how much music and radio shows I can put on my 16gb mp3 player. If that gets full, I can always put more on my 4gb mp3 player. What I really need to do is burn them to discs so I don't loose them and I can change the shows.
   I made 7 more half pints of cherry preserves today. I am getting better at it. I have enough cherries in the freezer for one more batch, so I think that is tomorrows project. I also have to make more potato soup mix. Tim is going through a lot of it.
   Oddly enough, I don't have any towels, or anything else, to fold, so I'm doing good.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


These are slimy

The fog has lifted and the moon is just right, so I was able to upload pictures. I have more that are on my camera. I will put them on here later. I figured you can only stand so much excitement. I thought the photos turned out pretty good. I am putting 12 pictures up tonight, since there is nothing on TV to watch.

Looks like a pancake

This is my new wallpaper photo

Foggy Weather = Poor Internet Service

   It's been foggy up here lately, and it's playing havoc on my internet service. I have broadband, and apparently this year, it doesn't like foggy weather.
   Since Sunday, I have been trying to post pictures of some mushroom/toadstool pictures I took. We have many different looking ones growing all over the place. It would be nice to know if they are edible. I know the deer really like them, but since I don't know, I'm not going to eat them. I just thought it would be nice putting pictures of the up. Some of them are great pictures, even if I do say so myself.
   I also finished crocheting Michaela's bear, and was trying to put pictures of it up, as well. No luck there, either. I can take a hint.
   Hopefully, this doesn't mean I have to wait until spring and clear weather to post photos.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Potato Soup Mix

   I like to make mixes and keep them on hand for quick meals. I found this recipe for potato soup mix. Everyone who has tried it, likes it. Tim even has a jar full at work for a quick, filling warm up. I hope you like it as much as we do.

Monday, November 1, 2010

And The GE Man Says...

GE Self-Cleaning Radiant Range
   Since I'm new at canning, (this is the second year I have tried canning) and was going by web sites for information about canning, and what I could, and couldn't do, on a smooth glass top stove I was only using the boiling water bath method, because my instruction manual said it was ok to do it.
   After my Sage of The Green Tomato Sauce post, I thought I'd try and find out the answer to the pressure cooker/canner question.
   I called GE this morning, and talked to one of their experts. I asked him if I can use pressure cookers/canners on this model, and  after being put on hold and him researching the question, he said yes, and it also takes the burners about 26 seconds to cool down or heat up. So, now I know.
   I guess for next year, besides a freezer, and a bigger dehydrator, I also need a pressure canner. I just need to find out what is a good, inexpensive model. I also called and asked Amy if she used the pressure cooker I gave her, that my mom gave me. My mom gave it to me because it didn't work that well on electric stove top with the coils.
   Now that we all know the answer to this question, I'm going to get up and go make chocolate chip cookies.