Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Monday, January 30, 2012

Boys' Play Time

Yesterday our nephew Drew and his little boy came over. The last time they were here, Jack had  fun playing with a toy cow and some hippopotami. They had hay to eat and there was poop (coffee beans) to clean up.
So I went to Tractor Supply and got a little tractor and some farm animals to surprise him the next time he was here.
Jack drove the tractor and herded the animals and shoveled the poop. Then he took a snack break while Ali Ali and Willa watched with interest.
Mean while, Jack's dad Andrew and Justin were busy, searching through the cubby holes for toys from their own childhood. They discovered a major treasure trove of GI Joe action figures from the 80's.
Justin spent a good bit of time explaining to Jack which were the good guys and which were bad.
Uh oh! The bad guys have invaded the peaceful farm!
The big boys are working out a scenario . . .
The blue napkin is a pond -- the perfect thing to do with the action figures who'd lost their legs.  
Look like they're wading in deep water, don't they?

I'm not sure why the fellow in pink is guarding the poop...

But undoubtedly the strategists know.
Note the cup of milk and the two glasses of Scotch in the midst of the action. . .
Justin helps Jack plan an aerial attack from the corner cupboard.

Meanwhile, I was in the kitchen photographing more action figures.

They're a wild and crazy gang. . .  
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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Trading Up


 “There’s no question at times of my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate"

Newt Gingrich, quoted HERE.

 
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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Blue Skies . . .

Smilin' at me,
Nothing but blue skies
Do I see...
And very welcome they are, after several rainy overcast days.

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Friday, January 27, 2012

Ball Hooting in a Gaum


 This unseasonably warm and rainy weather that has flowers blooming too early has also made the ground muddy. John came in from getting fire wood and told me that the way into the pasture was a big gaum and he was afraid the Kubota ATV would go to ball hooting if he wasn't careful.

Before we moved here, I would have thought maybe he was speaking in tongues.  But I've learned the language.

A gaum (or gom) is a big mess -- in this case, a patch of mud, though it could apply to a teenager's room. And ball hooting means sliding around.  The term come from days of logging with horses -- pulling a big log down hill was dangerous for man and beast and you definitely didn't want that log to go to ball hooting.
  
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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Lemon Curd Pie

It was a birthday request from Justin -- and one of my own favorites. Lemon curd, whipped cream, pastry, chocolate -- you know you want some.....
 
Start by making a pie crust (yes, you can use a pre-prepared one but I bet it won't be as good.) I follow a standard recipe (1 1/2 c. flour, 1/4 tsp. salt,  1/2 c. Crisco. 4-5 TB. cold water. I substituted vodka for the water, having read that this made for a flakier crust, and it worked quite well.) 

Bake the empty crust at 425 for 15 minutes ot till the edges begin to brown. Remove from oven, sprinkle with semi-sweet chocolate drops, return to oven for five more minutes. When you take it back out, the chocolate will be soft. Take a knife and spread chocolate to cover the bottom 0f the crust. Set aside to cool.

For the lemon curd, you'll need a double boiler (or a large and a medium sauce pan.) Also, the grated zest of two large lemons, 6-7 tablespoons lemon juice, 1/4 pound of butter, 1 cup sugar, and 4 eggs. (No, this isn't health food.)

Put the zest, lemon juice, butter, and sugar in the top of the double boiler over simmering water. Don't let the water boil. Stir now and then till the butter melts and the sugar dissolves.

In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs till thoroughly blended.  Stirring constantly, spoon a little of the hot lemon mixture into the eggs.  Add a little more and when it's well blended, pour the egg mixture into the double boiler, still stirring. Continue to cook over simmering water till the curd thickens (10- 20 minutes.)

Remove from heat and let cool.
When the curd is thoroughly cool, pour into the chocolate-coated pastry shell.  Top with whipped cream (I used a cup of heavy cream, a tsp. of vanilla, and a tiny bit of sugar, maybe  
a teaspoon.)
 


Shave some bitter-sweet chocolate on top . . . Chill for a few hours to let the curd firm up a bit.  

The chocolate on the pastry will harden and you'll need a firm hand and maybe a serrated knife to cut the pie. 

Very tart, very sweet, very satisfying.
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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Impatient

Eager for Spring blooms,
I bring quince branches inside --
Pale petals unfold.

Early daffodils
Are eager too -- don't they know
It's January?  
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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

At the River

Our little riverside park, where the rafting companies put in to go down river to Hot Springs, is being enlarged and tidied up.
This silo was the inspiration for a scene in In a Dark Season where the valiant Phillip had to climb up and then down into it in search of. . . something awful.

Of course, in my imagining, it was at least twice as tall.

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Rumford Complete Cook Book


At the library last week, as usual, I had to peruse the offerings in the ongoing book sale. I'm a fool for old books...

Of course I don't need another cookbook -- but I was seduced by the hand-written recipes...
A good pickle recipe is always worth having...
And I love the way she added to it...
Banana pudding is an staggeringly popular dessert in my neck of the woods but not one that I like very much. Even topped with meringue, the way lots of folks fix it.
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