Monday, January 31, 2011

I'm still here....

I'm still here... My poor computer stopped working. Seth spent many hours figuring out how to fix it. It would have cost $120.00 for the shop "just to open it". Thanks to him I have a new fangled fan that my lap top sits on and its running like new!!! I have really missed writing here. While I was "away" I made some good progress on my baby blanket....
There was a lot of this going on.....
I've been able to reduce my pain medication by 1/2 and the mental difference is amazing. My thoughts are more clear. I love it!!!
And we got our first egg of the season!!!! I'm thinking it was one of my Rhode Island Reds. I was sitting in the living room, knitting away and I heard her proudly proclaiming her feat!! Yeahhhhh If you have never had the opportunity to eat and cook and bake with fresh homegrown eggs, You should seek out finding some in your community. They are absolutely the best!!!
More later.. Just wanted to check in and let ya'll know I'm still kicking!! hahahahahhaah
Blessings, Sue

Monday, January 17, 2011

Doughnuts...Do or Die

My Grama Merical, my moms, mom... lived in Iowa while I was growing up. Every year she and my Grampa came to visit for a week or two. My Grama loved to bake and I loved to bake with my Grama. I was blessed to be the one at her elbow, soaking in as much of her and her "kitchen wisdom" as possible. One of our specialties was raised, glazed doughnuts. This is her hand written recipe given to me when I got married.. The one on the left is the copy I made for myself while she dictated it to me..I was in Junior High. The funny thing about my gramas recipes is that she never put the amount of flour she used, just flour. This one I was able to ask her "about how much Grama?"
This is Paige.. My adopted love baby!!!!! She was my main taste tester today!!! She loved them.

My Grama and I made many, many batches of these....

We even made them camping.. and had to use a dental floss container to cut the wholes. We would start early in the morning and knead and rise and knead and rise. I remember seeing them rise on a giant rock that was right by our camp site one year.

And what would a doughnut be without the wholes.... Now mind you the sprinkles are all mine. I used to put sprinkles on everything for my girls..... Do you guys remember your yummy french toast???

I have been writing my recipes down in a journal for my girls. Only the recipes I use all the time. The ones they remember and mean alot to our family. I am writing these out in my own hand. Some will have the original glued in beside the new. Like this one from my grama and then me in jr high.
While looking for the applesauce cake recipe the other day, I came upon a whole bunch of really good things that I haven't made for years. Recipes given to me by some loved one or another. I decided that I would bake each recipe before writing it in the new journal to make sure it was still one of "the special" ones....
This may be a really fun journey or it may fizzle out, if my eye is caught by some other bright and shiny project... I'm kinda that way... but I'm happily inviting you along for the ride... if your game.
Feel free to send me a favorite recipe... I'd love to try it!!!
Baked blessings, Sue

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Saturday stuff...

I have been taking an on-line course to learn more about wine. I have always enjoyed a glass of wine, while making dinner and while visiting with friends. And while being blessed enough to live near "the wineries" in the Paso Robles area I never have known enough to know "what I was doing" while going tasting. I still have enjoyed it and by guess and by gosh, have ended up finding wine that I really like. I met a really nice lady at one of the wineries that taught me quite alot and whet my appetite for more....... And so I share......
Punt: When describing the anatomy of a wine bottle a punt refers to the indentation in the bottom of the base of the bottle itself. Although it adds strength, the size of the punt does not necessarily do anything to the wine. A deep punt can not only be impressive but add to the ease of the pouring, by placing your thumb inside it, and resting the body of the bottle on the other four fingers. Generally you stand a wine upright for awhile before pouring it, so the sediments can settle into the bottom of the bottle,which is a smaller area when a punt is present. You can clearly see the punt in the above picture.

I have learned a lot. I have found quite a few wines that I really like. I can enjoy the fullness of the flavors of a wine now and know what foods go with what to bring out the best flavors. But honestly... I know just about enough to be really dangerous. Heck before now I just thought the indention at the bottle of the wine bottle was just to cheat me out of a glass or two... hahahahahahahahahahahhahahhahah
Do you have a favorite wine???? Will you share with me what it is???? I would love to try it!!!
Blessings Sue

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Applesauce Cake!!!

Yesterday when I woke up, I saw apples in a bowl on the table. While coming back through the kitchen, cup of steaming hot coffee in hand a memory was triggered. A wonderful memory of an Applesauce Cake that my mom used to make for us when we were growing up.
Its a recipe she got from a school friend she grew up with named June. It's a moist, cinnamony cake, filled with nuts, raisins and chopped apples. I searched through my recipe box until I found it.

Applesauce Cake
1 1/2 cups applesauce
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons soda
2 eggs
1 apple- chopped
1 cup nuts
1 cup raisins
Place raisins in a small bowl and cover with HOT water and a teaspoon of vanilla. Let them soak while Mixing all dry ingredients in another small bowl.
Mix together in blender bowl your butter, brown sugar and eggs.
Add dry ingredients and stir.
Drain water off raisins and add them , the nuts and the apple chunks to the mix. Stir well.
Pour into a greased 13x9x2 inch , greased pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 35 to 45 minutes. The sides will shrink away from the pan and a toothpick will come out clean. ( I start checking mine at about 30 minutes and then every 5 minutes til done. It gets pretty dark. Cool completely and then top with Cream cheese frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
8oz cream cheese
1/4 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
powdered sugar, enough o get the consistency of frosting that you like, about a 1 lb box.

This also happens to be the very cake that I asked my mom to bake for my wedding...30 years ago... Our then neighbor across the street Jeanne, decorated it with apricot roses. It was beautiful and delicious. Thank you again Mom and Jeanie. I hope you know, knew how much it meant to me.

This morning when Seth took a big ol" bite his comment was " I don't remember our cake being this good!!! I have to agree.. it turned out great!!
Blessings, Sue

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Well.... I did it again.

I never wanted to write anything negative on my blog only because I think there is enough "out there" to fulfill that. But I can't help it. Things change. My life is different right now. and I need and want to write on here. It comforts me. It makes me feel close to people who are far away from me.
I "skipped" a few doses of my pain medication the other day and threw myself for a loop. I did the same thing last knee surgery, and would have hoped I would have learned from that. I hate being on narcotics, I hate the way it messes with my thought processes. I do not like being confined to my house and couch. I have so many things I want to be doing. But... For now this is it... I need to stay on the medication until my body is healed enough to go off it. Chronic pain is a very difficult thing to live with, and depression sucks, but I am blessed to be able to have gone through this so I understand other peoples walks through this life a bit better. And so I will continue to concentrate on the good things, of which there are MANY, in my life and I will win. I have two good knees now. The pain I am feeling is healing pain, not degeneration of my knee joints like before. Ahhhhhhh thanks for listening.... I feel better already!!!!! :)
We had an interesting "Holiday season" this year. We knew that it would be different going into it. And it was good. Carlye and Matt came to visit for a week and they joined in talking care of and spoiling me rotten!!!!
Jennifer and Carlye took me to Jo Anns to look around and on the way home we stopped at Baskin Robbins to enjoy some yummy cones. Mmmmm mmm mmmmmmm!!!!

Do you remember Henry and Pearl? well they fill my morning and pretty much most of my day with entertainment. Each morning they are so happy to be alive and they fill my house with the sweetest songs. I have found so much pleasure in these two little creatures. I put some wool and natural fibers into their cage and they have been busy making their nest ready for eggs. this will be their 2nd try actually, we lost three eggs before this. I think it was because they were to young. But they are busy, busy again.

I have been finding much pleasure in knitting this baby blanket.There is prayer and love in every single stitch!Its sunshine yellow and pebble grey. Its challenging enough to keep me interested but not to difficult that I have to rip out alot!I'm really looking forward to spinning!!!

and this is our dear little Christmas tree. I have wanted to get a small tree to put on the little round table for years and "they" all talk me out of it. But this year..... I WON!!!. Of course i had nothing to do with it actually.. hahahahahaahhaah Jennifer and Allison went to Wal-Mart and bought everything. So we had none of our usual Christmas decorations this year. I enjoyed the beautiful lights and yummy smell every single day!!!
Thanks for stopping by!!!!! I feel so much better now!!!!! Talk to you again soon!!!!
Blessings, Sue

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Glad it's the New Year

I have been wanting to write now for awhile but haven't been able to settle down to any particular subject to share. This has been a rough year for me. I have had 3 knee surgeries, along with all the other living experiences. When I think about this literally its easy for me to understand why I feel the way I do. Add to that, the fact that I am still on narcotic pain medication and its easy to see why I have been on such a mental roller coaster.
Don't get me wrong I have had many blessings thrown in as well but I am glad to see the new year roll around this time. I"m excited to see where this year will take me.
And so I'm beginning again... I have taken lots of pictures and had them taken for me. I will start sharing now!!!
Thanks for sticking with me... Come back again really soon.
Blessings, Sue