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

17 November 2008

I am NOT a Pioneer Woman.

After about a week of playing Pioneer Woman by being forced to do the wash by hand, I added to my already huge admiration of my Pilgrim and Pioneer ancestors! Strong women all :)

I don't know how they did it ... I really don't.

After a week of hand washing in the sink I was more then eager to welcome home another friend to help me with the load(s)...so we went shopping. Super capacity and regular sized ones. Ones that looked like commercial washers; ones that didn't. A lot of features these days. Nice colors too. Red anyone? Ahhh-red, a fantasy of mine. I LOVE red.

I did eye a front loading washer...another fantasy. Saves water too but due to our floor problems it will have to wait.

After all it would do me no good if the washer spun its way down to our non-existent basement. I'd be back to doing the wash by hand again and we would have a very drafty laundry room.

I chose this beauty. A super capacity for a two person household. Well two person, three dog household. You definitely have to count our long haired dogs.

My new partner has NO transmission and is SO quiet my honey and I sneak in there to see if it's on or not. It is light too--about the same as a dryer and it also has some nice features like an optional extra rinse or extra spin (for those endless loads of heavy towels!) Needless to say, it was love at first wash.

Thank goodness for the 21st century modern convienences of life and laundry.

Speaking of endless amounts of towels..why do we use a clean one each time to dry totally clean hair and body parts? Hum. I will have to think about that.

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