Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Here is the recipe:
Chipped Beef on Toast
3 cups medium white sauce
3 packages sliced, roast beef (Carl Budding is a good brand)
2 or 3 pieces of toast per person, torn into pieces
Prepare medium white sauce as directed. (see below)
When sauce is thickened, cut beef into small pieces and mix in.
Serve over toast.
Makes 4 servings.
Medium White Sauce (1 cup serving)
2 tbl butter or margarine
2 tbl self rising flour (if using all-purpose flour, add ¼ tsp salt)
1 cup milk
Melt butter in saucepan. Stir in flour. Add milk. Stir over medium heat until smooth (no lumps). Continue stirring until thickened/bubbly.
Now I'll break down the shopping for the Chipped Beef ingredients. These prices are what I generally find at Kroger, but you may be able to find them somewhere for even less. (If you do, let me know!)
1 loaf of bread: $1.29
3 pkgs Carl Budding sliced beef @ $.50/ea: $1.50
1 lb. self rising flour: about $1.00
1 pkg of margarine: $.60
1 gallon of milk: $3.25
So your total grocery bill (without tax) is $7.64, and most of that was the milk. All of the ingredients for less than $10, and you can use the rest of the flour, milk, and margarine for other cooking, or go get another loaf of bread and some more beef to make more chipped beef. Applesauce and peas are good sides with this dish, and also cheap. Enjoy!
Friday, November 14, 2008
Once it was marked, I paired the sets of lines right sides together with each other, putting the extra "fold" of fabric on the wrong side. I then sewed about an inch downward to make the pleat hold:
When all of the pleats were in, I set the right side edges of the fabric and base together and sewed them. The result was exactly as I expected it to be:
There are 2 sides to this now: 1st, I have achieved my goal! The jeans are now a skirt! However... the flip side is that it is too short-easily fixed by adding more strips to the bottom edge before making a hem line. And, more importantly, when I tried it on, it wasn't exactly flattering. The pleats fall right at my hip line and make me look a little wider than I'd like. I think I'm going to take the pleats out and sew the panels from the front center of the base towards the back. This means I will have to call on my very best sewing friend, Mr. Seam Ripper, to pull out some of the panels. I may leave a few pleats to add some volume around the bottom. I'll keep on playing with it. But at least it's a skirt.
The funny funny stuff he said just kept playing back in my head (yes, IN his fabulous Scottish accent, too!) so I looked him up on Youtube. My husband and I laughed for at least an hour until our sides hurt!
I have a few complaints with Danny, but they aren't anything serious enough to keep me from overlooking them and checking in on his website and on youtube for more funnies. One thing is, I don't like his potty mouth. But I have seen comedians who dropped words a lot more often; so much so that I couldn't find any humor in the joke for all of the offense from the language. Danny is his own person and though I'd be happier if he'd clean his mouth out a bit, it's his gigs and I can watch and laugh or not watch and miss out. So there you go. Danny is also definately (as also referenced by the above) NOT a Christian. It was also pointed out to me, though, by a friend who grew up in England that church and God and all are put across TOTALLY differently (if at all) over there than how it is here in the heart of the Bible Belt in the South. So once again, I don't really like it when Danny says something that openly mocks my religious views. But he generally stays away from that (generally) and makes hilarious fun of the Australian Parliamentary Sessions (which I've never seen but can now never look at without laughing), Pretentious Food (you've got to hear it to understand; I can't even begin to relate any of it...), the size of the Country of Australia (insanely big!), and how the Scottish bagpipes in the history of music are the missing link between noise and sound (it's true!). Danny also does a fantastic accent impression of the Jerry Springer show contestants from Alabama. I'm told by my British friends that Jerry Springer is one of only a few American television feeds they get over there and I was asked if all American television is like that. Great. Just Lovely.
So, wrapping up, I LOVE the comedy of Danny Bhoy. If you get the chance, go to youtube and look him up. You'll laugh. A lot. I promise. Now if he would only tour the Southeastern US.... Danny, if you ever read this, I'm looking for a chance to see your show. Either you come here, or I'll have to come into a few thousand dollars so I can visit you. Either way, I'm still a big fan.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Alright, so yesterday I made the first batch of Gossamer Spice Cookies from a recipe I found in a 2002 Better Homes and Gardens Christmas edition. These are really different! There is only brown sugar to sweeten them. The texture is a lot like Gingerbread or Gingersnaps (and they do have ginger in them), but they are definately NOT Gingerbread. They are very spicy! Not spicy hot, necessarily, but definately not sweet! The ones I made were a lot darker than the picture I had, but I don't know if I left them in the oven for a minute too long, or if I ought to tweak the recipe and use light brown sugar instead of dark brown because the instructions say to bake them for 5-6 minutes until the edges are brown. Well, the whole unbaked cookie was dark brown! I couldn't tell when the edges were turning! So I think tomorrow I'll try a new batch with light brown sugar and see what happens. Or my printer could have been printing light since it's running low on ink...
Also, I must not have rolled them out thin enough, because the recipe says it yields 66 cookies and I got maybe 30. Anyway, I like them. They definitely stay in the Christmas Cookie section of my cookbook, and I can think of several people on my list who would love them. Jake tried one and said he would love to take a sack of them to the next reenactment with him. He's a very good judge when it comes to cookies, so there you have it. Here's the recipe:
GOSSAMER SPICE COOKIES
1 & 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp apple pie spice
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground red pepper
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup molasses
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
In a medium bowl, stir together first 7 ingredients (through red pepper); set aside. In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for
30 seconds. Add molasses and brown sugar. Beat until combined. Beat in flour mixture just until combined.
Divide dough in half; cover and chill for I hour or until easy to handle.
Preheat oven to 375°P. On a lightly floured surface roll half of the dough at a time to 1/16-inch thickness. Using a 2-inch round scalloped cutter cut out dough. Place cutouts 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake cookies in a preheated oven for 5 to 6 minutes, or until edges are browned. Transfer cookies to wire racks; cool.
Yield: About 66 cookies
If you make a batch, comment back and let me know how they did for you!
I cut the legs off just at the crotch seam and above that ripped place so I got what looks like a mini MINI MINI skirt.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Every single second of the AutumnChristmasHolidays, as I call them, is wonderful. The best part of all of the hustling and bustling is the baking!!!
I LOVE baking Christmas cookies! And pies. And cakes. I've just been working on my cookbook that has all of my favorite collected recipes in it. I took them all and typed each one on it's own page and put it in a page protector. That may seem like wasted space, but I have a hard time reading a recipe that has other recipes on the same page. It's a quirk. I love having a photo of the recipe I'm doing, too, so it's nice to put each one on its own with a photo so I can see exactly what it is I want to accomplish. Tonight I made the dough for Gossamer Spice Cookies (recipe to follow, if they turn out right and I approve them for inclusion in the final cookbook. Stay tuned on that.) The mixture smells divine. All sorts of spices in them. One I had to substitue because I couldn't afford it. A 2 oz. jar of ground cardamom at Kroger was $9.00!!! I looked up a substitute on Google though (equal parts cinnamon and nutmeg) and also found that if I MUST use cardamom, that the next time I'm over in Cobb county near the World Cost Market thing or whatever, over there at Town Center, that I can get some for around $2.49. Much better. Seeing as how that's kind of a ways to go however, I opted for the substitute this time around. Gotta run check the dough and see if it's workable yet. I'll post again when they've been baked and tested. If they pass then some of you will be getting a tin of them under the tree with your name on it! But only if you make the nice list...
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
We all know what an Anglophile I've always been. I love talking in a British accent, I adore British films, British literature and I have a very British sense of humor. Dry, admittedly, but there it is. Anyway, of late I seem to be delving deeper into the habits of those "across the pond".
So there you are. Another quirk that makes me...me. It's really late, so I think I'll head to bed. I'll blog again on this subject, I'm sure, as I try new varieties of tea. At the moment I'm still sampling all kinds and am in no way an actual "Tea Connoisseur", and even if I did have a developed taste for different qualities in teas, I am at the moment somewhat impoverished, and cannot afford the more expensive gourmet teas. As I said, as I try new kinds I'll let you know. Until next time, then. Cheers!
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
In can be no surprise, then, how utterly happy I was to discover in my genealogical search that this author, whose works of classic English literature I love so well, has a place in my own family tree! The link is an obscure one, to be sure, and is not by direct birth (Miss Austen never married or had any children), but through association by a siblingship. However, it is a link all the same and I grin and gloat with all of the other Austenophiles who have found her in their family trees as well. My link to her is as follows:
My 15th Great Grandmother (well, I told you it was a vague and obscure connection!) Had 2 sons, John and William. John's line comes down to me on my mother's side and William's line goes to Jane. I am not practiced enough in genealogical familial terms well enough yet to decipher exactly WHAT my relation to Jane is. My 6th -greats "somethingth" (4th? 8th?10th?) cousin, heaven knows how many times removed. But still, there it is. I wish I could post the chart, but the blog format removes all of my spacing and relation lines. Maybe I'll play with it further and post it somehow later.
There are several dozen other famous people in my tree that I could spend an afternoon blogging about, but the connection to Jane Austen is the most dear to me because of how much I relate to her intellectually already.
I'll write some more on the subject of Jane, her life and times, her books and how much I love them, etc, another time. I have to finish cleaning up our room before Emily wakes up from her nap. (Which may be quite soon if my cat doesn't handle jumping down from my chair with a little more grace and a lot less noise.)
Friday, June 13, 2008
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Before recorded history, pecan trees grew wild along the river banks of what is now southern Illinois. Flood waters moved their seeds across western Missouri into southeastern Kansas, Oklahoma, central Texas and Mexico. Accounts by early Spanish and French explorers show that Native American tribes living in these areas moved around to follow the pecan harvest. The Spanish explorer Cabeza de Vaca was held captive by one of these tribes from 1529 until he escaped in 1535. In his journals he wrote that the people lived on nothing but pecans for two months of every year. During the rest of the year they pounded pecan kernels, added them to boiling water and used the mixture as seasoning for other foods.
The pecan is a form of hickory. The word “pecan” comes from the Algonquin word “paccan,” which means “a tough nut to crack.” Some of the pecans harvested today are small native pecans whose shells are very tough to crack. Most are new varieties called “papershell” varieties.
The life of pecan trees can be 100 years or more. A pecan tree will start producing nuts in its first six to eight years. There are two parts to the pecan nut. The nut has a soft outer husk. A hard, brown shell forms within this husk. The pecan meat is within the shell. It is soft and clings to the inside of the shell until the fall of the year, when it starts to congeal and
separate from the shell. Ripened pecans are easier to separate from the shell than those that are not. When the nuts are mature, the husks split open into four pieces, and the nut falls out.
The price pecan growers receive for their product depends on the percentage of edible meats in a sample. The grower weighs out one pound of pecans and carefully cracks them by hand or in a mechanical cracker. He or she picks out the edible meats, weighs them and calculates what percentage they are of the total weight of pecans. In the best pecans the
edible meats make up 50 percent or more of the total weight. Some of the newer developed varieties of pecans have edible meats weighting up to 60 percent of the total weight. Those meats deemed inedible are those that are poorly developed, rotten, or moldy or those that have dark spots. The dark spots indicate insect damage.
After the grower has picked out the edible meats, he or she separates them into three piles according to their color and development. The best pecans (No. 1’s) are bright colored, full bodied and solid. The next best (No. 2’s) are bright colored but light-weight. The least best, or No. 3 meats, are brown-colored and either full-bodied or lightweight.
The use of pecans has reached outer space. NASA packs pecans for astronauts to eat because they are dry, compact, contain important nutrients and are easy to digest. Pecans are low in sodium and have no cholesterol. They are also high in energy and contain protein, vitamin A, phosphorous, potassium and magnesium. The oil in pecans is mostly unsaturated (95 percent). Unsaturated fat is the good source of fat people need because it helps lower blood cholesterol.
Most of the pecans grown in the United States are grown in Georgia, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee, Kansas, New Mexico, Arizona, South Carolina, Alabama and Florida. Outside of the United States pecans are grown only in a few countries where the climate and soil conditions are proper. These countries include Australia, Canada, India, Israel and Mexico.
Friday, May 16, 2008
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
I took the kids to the library yesterday and I thought I would periodically include some book reviews on my blog. Enjoy!
I first saw this book on an episode of Reading Rainbow on PBS when I was about 13 or 14 and in bed with a cold. (For those of you who think that 14 is "too old" to be watching PBS, you are missing out! You are never too old to learn from public television!) The host of the show, Lavar Burton, was touring Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, Massachussets. Old Sturbridge Village is a working village in which the workers dress, speak, act and work as townspeople of the late 1700 to early 1800s would have done. You can check out more about Old Sturbridge Village at www.osv.org.
In Ox-cart Man, the man and his wife and their son and daughter work through the year to make goods for him to sell in the spring. He takes honey and honeycombs, vegetables, goose feathers, apples, maple syrup, a shawl his wife made, mittens his daughter knit, and birch brooms that his son carved with a borrowed kitchen knife. After he and his family load up all of these things on the ox-cart, he walks ten days to Plymouth. He sells everything at the market there, down to the boxes the goods came in and then his cart and finally his ox. With some of the money he has made, he buys an iron kettle, an embroidery needle for his daughter, a barlow knife for his son, and 2 pounds of wintergreen candies for them all to enjoy. When he gets home, his wife uses the new kettle to make supper in. His daughter takes the needle and starts embroidering linen that she and her mother have woven from flax, and his son, now having his own knife, begins to carve birch brooms. The man begins sewing new harnesses for the young ox in the barn, and carves a new yoke for it and the whole cycle starts over again.
The illustrations in Ox-cart Man, by Barbara Cooney, are just beautiful. They look very much like paintings of early 19th century American folk artists. I highly recommend this book to everyone because the story and illustrations are so wonderfully matched. Just because it is found in the children's section does not mean it is meant only for the enjoyment of children!
I love this book because it reflects very much how wonderful a simple life can be, where everything you need comes from the hard work of your own hands. While I wouldn't give up my computer for anything, sometimes I think I would like to work at a place like Old Sturbridge Village, where everything you have is grown, gathered or else acquired by selling what you have grown (or made from what you have grown as with the linen and wool). I guess that's why I like reenacting so much- I can work on hand crafts for the weekend and satisfy that wish for quaintness, but then come back to my world of conveniences during the week.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
We just got our computer back up and running after a very nasty virus wiped it out, so it will take some time before I add any pics, etc. I have to weed through all of the CDs that have hundreds of pictures in "temporary folders", uploaded from my digital camera over the last year, and actually edit, resize, sort and save said pictures onto new discs, but in a comprehensive and organized fashion. That's going to be quite an undertaking, but hopefully when I'm through it will make other things like making prints for scrapbooks a lot easier and stress free.