We’re in the throws of winter here in the Midwest – although we managed to dodge big blizzard, ‘Jonas’, of 2016 and for that I am grateful (I mean seriously, 40-inches of snow in 24 hours?!!). However, there is something to be said about being snowbound while the white stuff tumbles furiously from the sky – it can be magical. But when you live in the country like we do, there is always the fear and trepidation of loss of power that usually accompanies said blizzard.
Some Sunday mornings The Professor and I attend a country church just across the street from our house; some Sunday mornings we sleep late, wake slowly, have random conversations while still in bed. And because it’s winter here in the Midwest, I usually start the conversation something like this:
‘Did you sleep well?’
‘Yes; how about you?’
‘I slept well too – all through the night as a matter of fact.’
‘What’s the temperature supposed to be today?’
‘Well, the weather-guessers say one degree.’ ‘
For a high??’
(pause) ‘Do you want to go to church today?’
‘Maybe. But staying here snuggled in this comfy bed, having you next to me and wrapped in blankets is pretty nice too.’
‘It is quite lovely, yes. (pause) So one degree outside, really?’
‘I guess getting outside for a hike is outta the question then?’
(pause) ‘Thank goodness . . . dodged that bullet!’
Did we even have November??? I know I’ve said this a lot lately but, dang, people – did someone put earth and it’s calendar on the spin cycle of a washing machine and walk away???
This is a post I’ve wanted to write for a while now because almost two years ago, The Professor and I completed a mini-kitchen update and streamlined our pantry into one area. Before then, we had pantry items stored on shelves in our basement, on a shelf above the stairs leading to the basement, on shelves in our studio area, an extremely deep pantry, and non-functional cabinet in the kitchen and anywhere else we found empty. There are just two of us. I may need an intervention.
I am so. over. winter. No really, I am. This from someone who embraces each season, relishing the changes in the landscape, giddy over puffy, white clouds and bright blue skies as well as lover of rain clouds, fall leaves and the first snow . . . all within reason. But move it along, Mother Nature, let’s move it along already.
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Musical pairing – Easy by Rascal Flatts
I’m pretty sure even those who love to cook or bake want to push the Easy Button every once in a while; it happens here in my kitchen too. Even though I have an office at home, I still have clients to service, phone calls to make, emails to respond to, bills to pay, invoicing to send out, mail to drop, yadda-yadda-yadda. And like the rest of you, I juggle all of that and then some amongst the laundry, running the sweeper, grocery shopping and cleaning the toilets – ah yes, Cinderella, I do live a glamorous life (said very much tongue-in-cheek).
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Musical pairing – Oliver’s Twist by Chris Standring
I don’t know about you but I’m always looking for the perfect brunch items to add to my table – and with several holidays happening during the Spring months, brunch is our favorite way to entertain family and friends.
Just the name of this Dutch Baby takes me on a journey . . . it takes me back to the little house on Ankeny Street . . . and for some reason memories of my Grandma and Grandpa on my dad’s side come flooding back. Grandpa used to sing to me when I was a child. . . we would sit in his big, off-white leather recliner and he would sing ‘You Are My Sunshine’ to me . . . he had a familiar smirk like that of my father . . . and he smoked a pipe with cherry tobacco . . . to this day, my nose gets a whiff of cherry tobacco and I am instantly transported back to Walla Walla, my grandparents’ home and that big leather chair . . .
Musical pairing – Mama’s Song by Carrie Underwood
‘Ever wish you could freeze frame a moment in your day, and look at it and say, “This is NOT my life”?’ Daniel Hillard, Mrs. Doubtfire
Funny how when we travel, we always seem to end up at a Panera’s – they have comfy benches, decent coffee, killer cinnamon crunch bagels and free Wi-Fi, not to mention, people watching is always fun.
During one of those visits, I found myself at a particular busy cafe – familiar sounds of buzzers going off, folks placing orders, babies crying, silverware clanking and LOTS of discussions that involved everything from what’s on TV tonight to students discussing new classes – it is a happening place!
Here’s my confession . . . I am not a baker. I do not have the patience to mess with all those fancy little embellishments on itty-bitty cookies, cupcakes or the like. Nor am I ever inclined to perfect my macaron (in fact, I’ve never even attempted to make one, let alone perfect my skill); I leave that to the many talented professionals – and there are so many out there – check here, here and here for starters. These folks eat, sleep and live for that kind of detail work. Me? Give me heft. Give me something I can scoop, roll, slice or plop. Set it and forget it. That I can do.
Musical pairing – This I Know by Sam & Ruby
It’s been a rough winter for my in-laws. After months of pain meds and limping around with a bum leg, my mother-in-law had hip replacement surgery in February. The surgery required a couple of days in the hospital, home to recover, a wheel chair, compression stockings, physical therapy, a walker then finally graduating to a cane – WOO! But that left my father-in-law, ‘Big D’ in charge of the cooking . . .