31 December 2008

A Walk in His Gardens-the Coastlands

The Coastlands of the Pacific NW

I walk in the high places and see the beauty of the panorama below me. The mountains and rivers, the bay and the ocean to the west.

The sand of a beach, washed smooth by the surf..

Rocky cliffs high above the sea...

A bay, where many boats set out to sea carrying men in search of fish for the dinner tables of the NW.

"And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good." Genesis 1: 9, 10 KJV

Blessings, Aimee

Photos: NW Coast Views

26 December 2008


Christmas is over and plans changed. But that's OK:) We go with the flow, huh?

We had a really low key Christmas. I spent a lot of time outdoors walking around, listening to sounds of nature, taking many photos and enjoying God's blessings. We communicated through text and other methods with family who we will see after the roads improve.

We spent about the same as last year, I think.

Gifts tended to be practical -- sometimes cash for those we know preferred that, clothes, paying for yard work, dinners out, etc.
My Christmas gift to myself was a Fattigman cutter, Rosette & Timbale set, a Norwegian Rosemaling calendar for 2009, LED lights and expanding the pantry with specialty items! I am very excited to start using a lot of these soon; the lights were marked down to 50% and I'll use them next year.

I'm still trying to decide about the Goro iron (used for a specialty Norwegian cookie-cracker that looks like a work of art) but ....save or spend?

Christmas meals:
Breakfast was seasoned fried potatoes with scrambled eggs & ham. The potatoes were perfection! (Actually the meal was more a brunch as I woke up nauseated this morning and didn't cook it till about noon). Thank goodness it got better; it would be such a bummer to not be able to eat Christmas treats, right?

Dinner ended up to be fresh angel hair pasta with a marinara/seasoned ground beef sauce and shredded (not dry!) Parmesan cheese on top! We'll have the apricot-orange honey glazed Cornish hen tomorrow and the roast later. Yum--that sounds good.

A lot of time outdoors in simple pleasures enjoying the handiwork of God.
Earlier this week we went on a drive--past some beautiful mountain scenery and gorgeous Victorian homes. They looked really Christmasy with the snow! (Is Christmasy a word? Apparently not per blogger..) Oh well.

Many, many. The music of the season, snow, hearing from friends & relatives and much more!

Well that is a little recap for you all. How was your Chanukah or Christmas celebrations?

Blessings, Aimee

25 December 2008

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you joy & peace this Christmas, and always!

Photo: Wyoming. © J. Blessings. All Rights Reserved. Used by permission..

24 December 2008

A Walk in His Gardens

Sights & Sounds of a Christmas Week Walk~
A walk? Yea mom! See, I remembered my coat;
but I could use some winter boots.
Did you see that? Even the apples have hats on. They must be frozen.
I'm doing fine though; this cold, wintry day feels much warmer then a rainy one to me.
We walk by a wheelbarrow laying, at rest, under a deep snowy blanket.
Looks peaceful although I don't think I'd enjoy it much.
Next we wander beside a pond laying at rest too; frozen under a layer of ice and surrounded by snow. All is silent except for the sounds of a few passing cars and the birds singing nearby in the trees; they're calling each other to share in the bounty of a winter's feast of fruit.
And finally a table that's become a tall snow covered mushroom with no place to put a book or plates; but whuch looks very cool.

And inside the warm house, Aimee keeps a watchful eye out for any visitors and more snow!
Wishing everyone a blessed Christmas.May you experience the amazing joy & peace which does not come from gifts or a nice meal, but instead comes from receiving the greatest Gift of all--God's Holy Son.
Blessings always, Aimee

Photos: rural NW views

19 December 2008

What's for Christmas Dinner? Help!

I need help. There's only a week left before THE day and I have a BIG problem. I haven't decided what to cook for Chrismas Dinner yet.

I've asked the husband for his opinion; no answer, no guidance, no help. Besides he might ask for his all time favorite and I am not going there. Ick!

The winter in autumn weather we're having is playing havoc on my shopping. But of course I would not have it any other way.

After much reflection (and web surfing) I've narrowed it down to these finalists:
Glazed ham, mashed potatoes, vegetable, homemade bread with herb butter
* Roast beef, new potatoes and other root vegetables, Yorkshire pudding
* Lamb, rice pilaf, stir fry asparagus, focaccia
* Apricot glazed Cornish Hen (stuffed), stir fry asparagus, Yorkshire pudding or homemade bread or focaccia

Other holiday meals--
* Cheese fondue. Not being man-food, I'll have to serve that with a meat/cheese tray. It's so hard at times to make a meat and potatoes man happy when you're an international/gourmet food aficionado, but at least my grown kids take after me. That's a comfort in my old age.

* Christmas Morning: breakfast sausage (maple), plattar (Swedish pancakes), potatoes. Just eggs, sausage and fried potatoes for the man cub; he doesn't do pancakes. Good thing I have 4 working burners now.
* Christmas night: blessed leftovers.

So what are you all having? I am always open to other ideas! That is unless it's hot dogs and bologna --my hubby's favorite foods :)

Advent blessings! Aimee

17 December 2008

A Walk in His Gardens--mountains & snow

Snow on the mountains~
and points in between.
In the Northwest we are getting hit hard by winterlike weather and I can tell that for most people this is getting old, very old.
But not for me.
No, with every new weather report my glee & childlike delight are more then evident. And when -- for a moment -- it looks as if it might be going away,
I feel sad.

I just can't help it; it's the way I am made.

I love the winter carpet on the rolling countryside, by the rivers, lakes and waterfalls, in the forests and even on the high desert. I love it on houses--especially if they're Victorian ones and on old churches too. I love it by ponds and falling from the sky. I even love it as it covers our decks and paths

But my favorite...and I am sure this will be difficult to guess.
Yea, the mountans & foothills.
But I want you to know--this is a good thing.
Because if it wasn't for my love of snow and the mountains & foothills, I would have missed this..
and this.

And if it wasn't for my almost obsessive love of the snow and mountains, I would have missed this on the way down from one of those trips..

and then I couldn't have shared it with you.
Advent blessings, Aimee
Cascades, Coast Range, Foothills & near Bend--all in Oregon, Colorado.
Colorado photo: © J. Blessings. All Rights Reserved. Used here by permission.

My Favorite Things

Let's start out with the link first for those that might need a refresher -- or just a musical interlude:

We’ve all heard the song--“My Favorite Things“--you know from the Sound of Music. The one sung during the big thunderstorm, that sends all of the kids into Maria’s room? Yep. That one.

So right now we’re enjoying one of my favorite things that just so happens to be on Maria’s list too--snow--and I am in a great mood because of it!

And because I am in such a great mood, and because Christmas can be stressful (and I don’t want any of you feeling sad or bad)… I’m wondering what are a few of your favorite things? Things that make your world a brighter, happier place?

Do you like raindrops on roses?

I really like roses-especially the miniatures and climbing, very fragrant ones but I certainly do not like rain. At all.

After all we get rain, or some form there of, for almost 9 months a year here in the Pacific NW . OK maybe a slight overstatement; a very small exaggeration. But Lewis and Clark, the explorers hated over wintering here and it was because of the icky cold rain. They really did. Look it up. I must be their descendant-somehow-give me snow and I am good. Or sun. Lots of sun.

But back to the list--I am really a dog person now, although there are certain cats that I hold in deep awe. I just don’t like the fact that when you think they like you they're really saying they own you. Or at least that's what I've heard. Sounds scary (LOL)

I do like copper on kettles but not as much as I used to--more into natural wood and marble now. And cast iron. Nice black cast iron. Good stuff.

So I’ll go with the ponies (but I would prefer Arabian or Fjord horses or Icelandic ponies as my Welsh pony was way too ornery for me!! Of course he wasn‘t cream colored come to think of it--more a buckskin), apple strudel (warm with whipped cream please), snowflakes and schnitzel please!

And those are just my favorite things from the song...

What about you?

Song lyrics: Oscar Hammerstein II
Music” Richard Rodgers
Film: The Sound of Music
Blessings, Aimee
Photo: Near Leavenworth, WA

Like a Child in Winter

I hate to admit it, but I've never quite grown up.

Surely this grandmother jests, you say, but I have proof and that is-
I really LOVE all the winter-like weather we've been getting lately.

It’s so true…the minute a perfect snowflake falls from the sky, I lose
all semblance of being a mature woman and I become a little child again, totally entranced and exhilarated by the falling snow beyond my window! I race around shooting photos of it, I constantly check to see how deep it is and I even wake people up to tell them it's snowing.
And I’m not embarrassed about it. Not even a tiny bit.
Just ask my long suffering husband, best friend and DIL.



I think of all the past blessings in my life and so many have been accompanied by snowflakes---

As a child, the 2-3 ft snowfalls we used to get, sledding and building snowmen.
And snow days!

As a teenager, a failed attempt to walk on water, like Jesus, on the not quite frozen enough stream behind our home.
And the very cold horseback ride home afterwards by our kind neighbor.

As a kid/teen, skiing--at Mt Hood, Hoodoo, in Washington state and even near the rural town we lived in when I was younger; and ice skating (I know it‘s indoors and ice, not snow, but it’s white and it's frozen).
It counts in my world.
As a college student, one Thanksgiving visit to a friend's family in very rural Idaho (population: 13) I just knew they should, logically, have snowfall at that time of the year and then having this wish come VERY true (much to their total shock and my immense joy!)
And the very long, very slow, very crowded bus trip back to college since we couldn't fly because of all the snow!

As an adult, a magical, wintertime train trip from the NW to the Rockies with my mom (just after being in sandals only, warm Hawaii for about two-three weeks!).
We arrived in blizzard-like conditions.

As a married woman and mom, watching my kids make snowmen and…many, many more wonderful times in the beautiful snow covered mountains of the Northwest!
Where Paradise was a (very) snow covered meadow instead of a wildflower filled one!.

So, despite snow being dangerous, and my fervent wish & prayer that no more weather related accidents will occur, I feel very blessed right now surrounded by this beautiful pristine carpet of white, powder snow.
I feel like a child; it's as if God knows the desires of my heart:)

“For he saith to the snow,
Be thou on the earth.”
Job 37:6 KJV
Thank you God!
Blessings, Aimee

Photos: camellia, mushrooms and rose hips in snow.

11 December 2008

A Walk in His Gardens-- Canada

A Walk in British Columbia, Canada

"For he saith to the snow, Be thou on the earth."

"O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand."

"Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,your justice like the ocean depths. You care for people and animals alike, O Lord. How precious is your unfailing love, O God!"

Thank you Lord for the beauty of this earth
for your everlasting love to your children.


Photos: Interior of British Columbia, Canada

Verses: Job 37:6, Psalms 95:6. 7, Psalms 36: 6. 7 KJV

10 December 2008

Thinking Nordic..

At this time of year, I always start thinking of the Nordic countries. I guess it's just that whole mountain, snow, skiing, tree, reindeer, stave churches, candle, cookie thing! (Well honestly I think about the Nordic countries all year long but especially at Christmas & Advent).

In keeping with the Nordic Christmas/Advent theme, I've been researching such sublime treats as Goro cookie/crackers, lefse, aebleskivers, Swedish jelly cookies, etc, etc. After days of doing such 'heavy' reading, I can hardly wait to start baking and eating --especially since I only have till Jan 1 or 2 before I convert from my carbo-loving ways to my 'be good' ways. Hopefully convert that is...

There were, thankfully, a lot of good blogs/websites to be found that specialize in Scandinavian cooking--some of them are written by natives to the Nordic countries! Problem though--some of the recipes will not pass my 'husband test' even though they sound intriguing to me. But there are a lot that I think he might fancy (despite his propensity for being a meat and potato m'am person)Well drop the m'am part!

Here are a few of the sites I found. I'm especially interested in trying the Goro cookie/cracker and lefse. Lefse I've had before, but I have never tried a Goro cracker/ cookie--although they remind me a bit of Krumkake though not cone shaped like them. The photo I found is beautiful--I love it when food is pleasing to the eye and the mouth!

Have I told you how much I love food???

Scandinavian food/blog/forum
Norwegian Christmas site
Sons of Norway site
Christmas cookies
More recipes

Blessed Advent everyone!


06 December 2008

Advent wreaths

Well it's almost week 2 of Advent and I should have posted this a couple of weeks ago, but I had other things on my mind and so did my best friend. Next year I'll try to be more timely:)

One of the things a family can do to celebrate the Advent season and help focus their minds and hearts on the Christ child, and the whole story of the Nativity, is to make a special wreath--called an Advent wreath-- for their home. Many churches also have one at this time a year (see link below for more info).

Making the wreath isn't very difficult or expensive (next year I'll post better directions and the photos I took this year) Basically you just wire on 'cross shaped' evergreen boughs to a round wire frame and continue doing this all the way around that frame, overlapping the previously wired on section. At the top you use the wire in a 'blanket stitch' fashion to secure the wreath's greenery (Note: make sure you pull the wire well as you wrap each section and wrap it twice around the frame).
FYI: I prefer wreaths made of fir but my best friend also makes ones of boxwood and many like them instead. I am such a traditionalist!

Making the bow -- if you choose to add one -- can be a bit difficult. For those not up to the challenge you can check with florists or craft stores in your area for pre-made or custom made bows. Fortunately for me, my best friend makes amazing bows:) but I decided to just use a red ribbon tucked under and on top of the boughs because it was the look I was after. FYI: I am still working with it to get that look perfect though--I have a few issues with perfectionism you know:) If you are trying to be thrifty you can save the bow for a wreath next year as it should be in good condition.

Can you see the little jul bok, isn't he cute? Also please note the unruly ribbon! Bad ribbon.

If desired you can add other decorations now--glass ornaments, pine cones, juniper, incense cedar and so forth. You can wire or hot glue them on. I just placed mine on the wreath as it lays flat on the table. I chose straw Nordic Christmas tree decorations this year in keeping with a Scandinavian theme. The set-bought several years ago-consists of angels, hearts and jul boks (little goats). Often you can find decorations, Christmasy picks for 1/2 off at craft stores or look at garage/thrift stores.

Now as to the candles--I was going to use my Swedish electric candle set in the center but was not happy with the result at all! I ended up using three white/silver piller candles and a rose one (they're on a plate which is under the 'hole' in the wreath's center). I still need one more for Christmas Day but I'm pretty sure I have one--somewhere....

A final note---I know it's not necessary to warn you all about getting the flammable ornaments/ ribbons/greenery or kids (LOL) too close to the lit candles!! I never leave my lit Advent wreath unattended and only leave the candles burning for a short time. Isn't this red nice and in keeping with the season?

Link to more information:
Advent wreath (Wikipedia)

And still more Advent blessings your way! Aimee

Why Advent?

When I was a child we attended a church that did not celebrate Advent, so it was only as an adult that I was introduced to this season and it was then I fell in love with it!

For those who may not be familiar with Advent, it is the four week period of time which ushers in the Christmas season. Advent was set aside by some churches for people to reflect on the first coming of the Christ child and also to look forward to his second coming as the King of Kings.

As our world seems to be moving further away from the REAL meaning behind Christmas, I feel setting aside these weeks that call us to focus on Christ is a good thing. After all Christmas is not really about the latest fashion, toy, electronic device or other worldly and temporary things, is it?

So I challenge you to include the season of Advent in your yearly calendar and take a few moments each day to reflect on what Christ means to you, what He has done for you and what your response to that should be.

Remember the birth of Jesus Christ was all about God's great love for us.

Here are some links to Advent resources:
Information about Advent
Advent calendar (Catholic site, doors open to Bible verses)
Family friendly Advent site with recipes, verses, etc
Daily devotion for Advent.

Advent blessings, Aimee

Photo: St Paul's Episcopal Church, Port Gamble, WA

03 December 2008

A Walk in His Gardens-NW OR & Olympic Peninsula, WA

A Walk in NW Oregon & the Olympic Peninsula, WA

Let's pretend that I posted the 'Walks in His Garden' last Wednesday just as I was scheduled to do.
And that there was nothing else on my mind then.

Let's pretend it wasn't a bad week for me because it wasn't the worst I've ever had;

it was just different--very different.

I didn't really go anywhere new, although I definitely thought about it. Nope. No new trails---at least not the kind you find on mountains.

I could have used a walk in God's gardens ...on a trail and with an aebleskiver--a lot of aebleskivers. Freshly made aebleskivers with powdered sugar and lingonberry preserves. Of course you really shouldn't walk on trails with aebleskivers---not a good idea. It's just that I am so hungry for aebleskivers and there on my mind lately. And I am at home so it's OK.

How was your week? Some stress in your life too, huh? I understand, sorry I let you down. But I am here now with some good news about One who is always here.

Now you know we can't go back in time? This isn't an episode of some TV show or movie, right?

However, this is blogger...and they do have this Help button UP there....for people like me--newbies. It has lots of instuctions and you just have to know where to look to get the advice you need.
Kind of like life, ya know...often the answers are right there. Obvious.

So thanks to blogger's helpful staff and programmers back we go----in cyber time.
I know I'll feel better about it and maybe you will too.

Set aside your cares and stress.
Relax and take some deep breaths.
Turn off the news and put some soft music on.
Reflect on the beauty of the Creator's creation...
and on the beauty of the Creator Himself,
the One who made Christmas possible.
The One who knows you by name and loves you
The One who gave us instructions on how to live....

He says "Be still, and know that I am God".
Stillness is a very good thing, it allows us to hear the most important things in life.

"My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth."
The One who made all this hears our prayers and cares deeply for us.

"The earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof".
All of this is His. He made it. He made us too.

Take the focus off whatever is bothering you and place it on God and His promises.

He is the good Shepherd.

"He maketh me to lie down in green pastures"
Where we can be fed by the "Bread of Life"--and sheltered by His care.

"He leadeth me beside the still waters."
Where we can be restored by the 'Living Water'.

who made the blue rivers and fjords,
the green pastures and forests,
the foothills and high snow capped mountains of our land.

Help us to trust You in all things,
even when we're afraid and unsure.
And help us to give You thanks always.
For this is Your will.

Advent Blessings, Aimee

Bible verses: (KJV)
Psalms 46:10a (all of Ps 46 is good)
I Corinthians 10:26
Psalms 121:2 (this is my favorite chapter in the Bible)
Psalms 23: 2

NW Oregon & the Olympic Peninsula, WA

27 November 2008

A Walk in His Gardens--New England

In the steps of my ancestors~
About 355 years ago a small group of Christians, known as Separatists and later as the Pilgrims, left aboard a small ship--the Mayflower--in hopes of making a new life in a new land for themselves and their children. It was a long crossing by today's standards, with very cramped conditions and not without inherent dangers...but they made it to America and gave thanks to God for helping them do so.

First some of them stepped ashore in the area of Provincetown. After scouting around the areas nearby they picked out the Plymouth locality to settle in. During the hard New England winter many of that small band died; out of the survivors there was just a handful of women.

Most likely the Pilgrims buried their early dead on Cole's Hill just above the area of "Plymouth Rock"- later burials took place on Burial Hill. There were no gravestone markers because the deaths were so many and the number of Pilgrim's were so greatly reduced during this terrible time.

The settlement knew more trials but it survived with the help of the Native Americans of the area, hard work and by the grace of God.

Today the earliest Pilgrim's houses are long gone but there are still some traces of their time there--aad the beautiful town of Plymouth lives on. as do the memories of these brave early American settlers.

Personal Note:
A lot of misinformation is out there about the Pilgrims, the first Thanksgiving and the Native Americans who helped them and you cannot believe some of it whether you hear it on TV or read it. If you want to learn more about them, and separate out some facts from the fiction, then I would recommend these sites (the first two links are primary records/narratives of THAT time that you can read for yourself).
While you read this material keep in mind that these people lived in a totally different world and time then we do today--but still managed to live fairly peacefully with their Native American neighbors till more then 1/2 century after their arrival on the eastern seaboard, many years after the death of a lot of the founding forefathers,

Links to more information:
ALL PHOTOS on this Post:
© F & B Blessings; All Rights Reserved. Used with permission here.
A BIG thank you to them for allowing me to post these photos, taken several years ago, online here.
And a happy & blessed Thanksgiving to you my Pilgrim cousins!!! Aimee

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Despite the uncertainty of these times, we as Americans have much to be grateful for.

The Bible teaches that giving thanks to God is right and that it should be done often.

Giving thanks takes the focus off our current problems and reminds us of all we have been given while it helps to increase our faith in God and in His providence for us in the future.

On this day of thanksgiving what are you thankful for? Good health? Your family? A warm home? Thanksgiving dinner? This beautiful world? Your church? Life itself? The freedom to worship as you choose to? A job? I invite you to join me today and give thanks for something you are grateful for.

A Pilgrim's Child

My Thanksgiving list:

  • My very talented husband who replaced our washer and cook-top, repaired our oven AND bought me a new microwave. WooHoo!! I can cook again!!
  • My mom, dad, sister and best friend; Hubby's mom and family.
  • All my children who have taught me so very much.
  • The cross and what it represents.
    And so very much more!

24 November 2008

Giving Thanks Early!

Life can be a good teacher if we let it be.

Like when you do without something vital to daily modern life for an hour or more (like the oven, washer, indoor plumbing, electricity, etc). It changes your whole outlook on life and you just don't take it for granted when you get that vital appliance or convenience back. Or at least you shouldn't.

The old me would have ranted and raved when, in successive order, I lost a washer (actually it was a soggy mess so I did mini-rant at first on that one) and then the oven went out in a blaze of glory (I was pretty good on the oven thing - just stressed. Badly)

I saw all my plans for baked desserts going up in smoke.

First we replaced the washer....and that was good, really good. Soggy, mildewing clothes in the tub is no fun.

But Thanksgiving was coming and w
e had only a lowly 'ancient' microwave and one burner left to cook on. Oh and a crock pot---but I don't think I've ever seen a Thanksgiving-in-a-crock pot recipe (even on the very wise Internet).

I began thinking about any and all restaurant alternatives for THAT day and craving even more the desserts I couldn't make now.

The weekend came....and then in just one day---my wonderful, totally talented prince of a husband replaced our oven heating element, our cooktop (with a brand new one--yippee!!) and even put in place a new microwave (his idea!) He was probably having cravings for baked food too.

It was like Christmas one month early or Thanksgiving before Thanksgiving Day or my birthday or???

My hubby is SUCH a good man:)

So tonight I had the pleasure of christening our new oven heating element by cooking some beautiful potato crusted cod and Mediterranean style salmon in there--delicioso! (Unfortunately the microwave was christened by my hubby heating some hot dogs in there--ew!)

Tomorrow I believe I shall take my cooktop on it's maiden voyage with----perhaps, no definitely, lamb stir fry! Oh yum!

And Thanksgiving--well plans have changed and others will be cooking--which I am thankful for! Which leads me back to the subject of this post: giving thanks.

My list so far for this week:

  • I am thankful that I do not live in pioneer or in Pilgrim times (when it comes to washing, cooking and indoor--heated plumbing concerns at least) I know my Pioneer and Pilgrim forefathers (and foremothers to!) were stronger people then I and I'm willing to admit it.
  • I am thankful my hubby person is the extremely talented man he is! He would have made a great pioneer!

  • I am thankful that we had money in savings to cover this 'emergency' and that after 5 stores and many, many miles we found all of the answers to my cooking dilemnas.

So what are YOU thankful for this week?

Thankful in the NW,

20 November 2008

Life is good-for the moment-in my Queendom!

I was going to get stuff done today. Really I was.

It was on my ever-expanding 'to-do' list to:

  • clean the exercise/craft/currently used for storage room so I could get in those three days of exercise sessions (in the three days left of this week; now two),
  • find that info I should have mailed out days ago for my husband.
  • catch up on Bible reading--to keep that promise I made and...
  • do the other hundred things I should be doing (Instead of sleeping in).

A call at around 11:30’ish woke me up from a very strange dream. It was from my best friend, who you know has been up and busy for hours. Hyper person she is who can live on almost no sleep!

How could I have slept in SO long? It might have something to do with staying up so late...Aimee.

What to do about dinner now? With the oven temporarily out of order and a good roast ready to go to waste, that means stovetop cooking. But my only recipe for pot roast requires oven cooking...oh oh.

I know!! The wise and wonderful source of 'all' information--the Internet--must have an answer for my dinner dilemma. Good thing as my best source--my knows how to cook everything, was once a restaurant cook, hyper, needs no sleep best friend is in her meeting by now.

Onto the web via a very slow modem I go and about 1/4 hour later (or more) I've found the perfect recipe for my beef bottom round roast. No time for breakfast this is going to take some time…need to lose weight anyway.

A quick review of the list of ingredients needed showed me to be missing some. But we women are all a 'mother of invention', right?? Besides it's way too cold and wet to run to the store when one can substitute in your very own nice, dry, warm home kitchen..maybe.

Red wine becomes Marsala cooking wine (and you thought that was just for Chicken Marsala, not!) In goes the fresh herbs that say best used by---yesterday. Shouldn’t be a problem. Add A-1 sauce--hey everything is good with that stuff, yep. No parsnip -- oh well I've never ever cooked and probably not even eaten one. No garlic--no problem--the fresh stuff makes me sick anyway-- ah I know...the all time love of my life (besides my hubby that is) Greek seasoning has it in the ingredients list in doable, smaller amounts. Looks like it's a go on the roast! Yippee!

Good thing because it is really late now. Great move about the getting up 'early' bit goal, Aimee. This calls for a long, long time of cooking to become something not akin to shoe leather. And hubby person does not do tough meat-ever!

Ah--the positive self talk in a woman's day to day existence!

But soon--well actually after quite a bit of prep--the roast is happily simmering away (in chef-talk it's being braised)

Now what to do in the hours I have left? Consider that since dinner is cooking on the stovetop I can't really disappear to the exercise room to clean it up. Not since our recent bad run on dying kitchen appliances; nope- I don't dare leave my one remaining, very precious and probably fragile stovetop burner alone. And my dog can't be trusted to not let the roast burn if the liquid level "that should cover up to 1/4 of the roast" drops precipitously. Well not yet..

So I busy myself with more Internet cooking research, a few quick tasks here and there (mostly here) and those few hours pass by rapidly and then…the man cub is home.

I add the required can of tomatoes (although I think the sauce was better without it), the cut up potatoes (that seemed a tiny bit frozen--oh oh) and the rest of the listed ingredients and voila ½ hour later the dinner presentation is complete and pretty good (you can tell if the man cub takes a second helping it's OK) but I do need more specific information so the nightly question...

“Grade please?” I ask him. He is a man who has to be primed to answer questions a wife needs to know. And besides I must sub-conciously miss the days of my performance job reviews. Well maybe not.

And the roast passes!! A repeat performance is called for. And all is well in my little queen-dom!

But then I realize...Thanksgiving Day dinner is coming really, really soon..and we have company coming...oh boy.
Blessings anyway, Aimee

19 November 2008

Life Happens

Well I was hoping to have a post HERE about seasoning cast iron cookware and one ABOVE HERE with a recipe for Mole Enchiladas, but life (or at least my cooking method life took a downturn yesterday when the oven decided it was too tired to work anymore.

I really can't blame it; I have times that I feel too tired to work...

It wasn't the best timing though as I had about 5 minutes of baking time left on my one and only precious $7.99 package of specialty cornbread mix bought this summer in the Rockies and it was still a bit soggy in the middle.

If you know me then you know I wasn't about to waste anything from the beautiful Rockies (and especially not $7.99 cornbread!!)

So flame out (house preserved, all peril gone for dogs and humans) I shut the oven door to conserve all remaining heat and about 10 minutes later the cornbread was moist, sweet, yummy--perfect!

I would have posted a photo but you forget important things like that when you have fabulous Rocky Mt flavored honey to go with warm, buttered delicous cornbread!

Fortunately, I'm married to a man who knows how to fix everything ----and there is a weekend coming...and I have been VERY good this week (well sort of)

I think I'll ask him to fix a couple of the stovetop burners that aren't working too...I just found out there will be more then him and I for Thanksgiving here!

Blessings, Aimee

A Walk in His Gardens--America's NW Switzerland

The Wallowa Valley & Mountains~

We entered this magical valley through a twisting mountain pass with steep sides and spectacular views. My family and I had been invited there, for a visit, by my cousin and her family. I did not know then that days later, when we had to leave this blessed place, that a piece of my heart would remain there forever.
This "Walk" is dedicated to my cousin and the sweet memory that was then (and will someday be again). May God bless and keep you always. Aimee
Once past several valley towns we pass fields being harvested below tall snow capped mountains. Many farms in this area have picturesque red barns.

And then we see it for the first time close up--the Wallowa Lake nestled between two morraines. We walk for awhile along the banks of it's outlet. The water level is at a low point right now because it is late summer/early fall. But we have already had the first snowfall and the mountains have a white dusting on them!

Another view of those beautiful mountains.

Photos: Minam Grade; farm fields near Joseph; Wallowa Lake looking towards the resort and Eagel Cap Wilderness area (the Gondola is here along with lots of wildlife; actually the wildlife is everywhere in this valley!); a view of the mountains to the west from the cemetery where Chief Joseph, Sr is buried.

Note to viewers: I have many, many more photos of my time in this valley--pictures of the Lostine area, Wallowa Lake and other places around the Joseph and Enterprise community. I'll be making another post or adding to this one but it is late, or should I say early in the morning and sleep calls me for the reasons of stewardship and expected good weather!!

Blessings, Aimee

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