December 10

There is a box on my treadle. A gold box with gold ribbon and a gold bow.

The box is my Christmas present from the boy. He has put it there to torture me. He knows just how much I love presents. He knows just how much me seeing a box that I can not open will gnaw at me. He willingly put it there and now he is the one being tortured.

Poor guy wants to give it to me so badly, he can hardly stand it. There hasn’t been a day go by in the last week that it has been there, that he hasn’t said to me “I want to give you your gift.” It is said with a excitedly pained expression, and I am having more fun watching him be tortured than seeing the box and me being tortured.

I love it. I love that he picked out the paper, I love that he wrapped it, I love that he had to make sure that the ribbon matched and that he is frustrated that the bow isn’t metallic.

What do you think is in it, coal or knitting supplies with a brick to throw me off?

December 9

Things that make you go hmmmm……

In general, I do not wax philosophical ( I don’t wax, I shave) or blog about politics.

I have very strong and definite opinions, however, I also believe that everyone has the right and the privilege to have their own. Blogs and opinions. I try very hard to be respectful of others opinions, even if mine is the right one.

I came across 2 quotes the other day that were kind of scary, and I thought that I would pass them on.

You are going to think one of 3 things.

  1. That is horse pucky.
  2. Hmmmmmm, that is interesting
  3. Wow! She is so smart.

 

It is impossible to establish Communism as the immediate successor to Capitalism. Accordingly, it is proposed to establish Socialism as something which we can put in the place of our decaying Capitalism. Hence, Communists work for the establishment of Socialism as the necessary transition stage on the road to Communism.”

-English Marxist, John Strackey

 

The other one is just as profound.

 

“We can not expect Americans to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving Americans doses of Socialism until they suddenly awake to find out they have Communism.”

-Soviet Premier Nikita Krurschchev

 

I am hoping that you all are thinking #3…just for ego’s sake.

 

 

December 8

The other day after it snowed, me being the loving mother that I am, I said to the boy. “Go shovel the snow.”

Because I am all about quality, I made sure that the hole in his boots was properly taped shut. Not with duck tape, but with Gorilla tape.  Gorilla tape is much better.  I told you, I am all about quality!

He looked so cute, and I begged and begged him to let me photograph him.

He was having none of it.

Finally, after all my begging and pleading, haranguing and ordering, he finally succumbed. Isn’t he so cute? Isn’t that hat adorable?

Who needs a snowblower? I have got something even better.

He not only makes a wider path,

he also gets all the way down to the sidewalk itself and  salts what he has shoveled. No snowblower I have ever seen does that.

I also have never seen a snowblower look that cute.

Which kind of snow blower do you have? manual or gas?

December 7

It is Friday, and I have a burning question.

All the people I know make goodies for Christmas. Cookies, fudge, candy, gifts in a jar, bread, cinnamon rolls, the list goes on and on.

I must know, I have got to know, I need some ideas. What are you baking this year for Christmas? Cookies? What kind? Do you have a favorite? Are you making fudge? My Aunt Cindy makes the best peanut butter fudge…Aunt Lucy, you are making me some? Right??? Anyone making candy? What kind? Do you have a treat that everyone clamors for? Are you willing to share a recipe?

I just gotta know.

December 6

This is Chef Rachelle. Chef Rachelle has on a cute apron. I didn’t like it at first, but it really began to grow on me. Maybe it is because I sat directly in front of her, and I got to stare at it for 2 hours.

Rachelle graduated from the New England Culinary Institute. That is where the boy dreams of finishing his education. However, at $42,500 a year, he has to keep on dreaming, or rob a bank, or find a rich uncle to leave him his millions, or maybe Alton Brown will bank roll his education. Who knows?

She also attends our church. She taught us how to make a roast in the oven. In the oven? Who knew? I thought that you just plopped it in a crock pot and called it good. No wonder Superman hates roast. Let me just say that I was oh. so. wrong. Rachelle made the most delicious pork tenderloin that I have ever eaten! You can too. Ma? Didn’t you purchase a pork tenderloin for Christmas? Ma?

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Roasted Pork Loin with Port and Cherry Sauce

  • 1 4lb. pork loin
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • 2 shallots, minced (onion can be substituted)
  • flour
  • ½ c. dried tart cherries, roughly chopped
  • ½ c. port (I didn’t know this, but port is wine that has been fortified with Brandy)
  • kosher salt
  • oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1-2 c. chicken broth
  • ½ c. red wine
  • 1 tbsp. fresh thyme or ½ the amount of dried thyme

Remove the pork from the fridge about an hour before roasting. Preheat your oven to 500º, ½ an hour before roasting. While the oven is heating up, rub the loin with just enough oil to make it shine. Then rub with salt and pepper. Place the loin in a shallow roasting pan on a rack. Make sure that the pretty side is up. Insert probe thermometer into the center of the loin and set it for 140º.

***let me just say here that a probe thermometer is one of the best thermometers you can get. You don’t have to keep poking the meat to tell what temp it is, and lose all your lovely juices***

Place the loin in the oven and roast for ½ an hour. Putting the meat in such a hot oven gives it a nice sear, and seals in all the juice. Reduce heat to 350º, and continue roasting till 140º has been reached internally. Take it out of the oven, move to a cutting board and cover with foil till ready to serve~~if you have ever watched the Food Network, you know why, so I am not even going to bother to explain.

Place your roaster on top of the stove over med. heat and add shallots ( or onion). Scraping all the yummy stuff off the bottom of the pan. Add garlic and sauté. Sprinkle in some flour~~about 3 tbsp, for every 2 tbsp of fat. Whisk for about 3-5 minutes on low. (all we are doing here is making a roux) Turn up the heat a bit and slowly whisk in chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Add the wine and cherries. Simmer till sauce thickens. Add the thyme.

Your going to want to slice the loin and spoon on the sauce~~which is really a glorified gravy.

If you don’t use alcohol in your cooking, you could use cranberry juice or apple juice.

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You really need to make this for Christmas dinner or New Years dinner, or for when you invite me over for dinner. Really. It is necessary!

Ma? are you listening?

This is Chef Amy. Amy went to the French Culinary Institute in Manhattan. She is a pastry chef. Both of these ladies have encouraged the boy, but Amy has really taken the boy under her wing, which is kind of hard since the boy is a good foot taller than she is. They have made bread, apple tarts and something else together. She is great!

She showed us how to make fruit cake. I don’t like fruit cake. I am a fruitcake.

I am throwing this picture in because she asked the boy to help her on the spur of the moment. I love my boy and he deserves blog time.

Amy also made a super Cranberry Chutney. It is what was in that pot. You could put it with a pork tenderloin, pork chops, or ham. You could eat it on toast or a bagel, or on ice cream or dip your Hershey bar in it. Applie the Normal could even drizzle hot fudge all over it. It is just. that. good.

If you would like these 2 recipes, I will post them later or email them to you, or air mail them to you, or osmosis them to you, but this post is getting way to long for any more recipes.

Have you ever eaten chutney before?

December 5

Update~~It is 1:11 and it is STILL ****ing.   It has got to stop!!!

Ok, ok, ok….so I was wrong yesterday.

That wasn’t ****.

This is, and as you can see, it is still coming down.

Last night the boy and I went to a food demonstration at my friend Shirley’s bulk food store.

These are a few of the foods that they had for sampling.

Today I want to talk about the Ginger Cashews and the Olive Pecan dip.

I have had ginger many times before, but generally when I have had it, it has been really overpowering to me, so I really didn’t want to try them. However, cashews are one of my favorite nuts, so I did. Wow! they were so good. The ginger wasn’t overpowering, and you could taste a hint of clove and cinnamon.

These would be great to serve at an open house, or a Christmas party.

Ginger Cashews

  • 2 c. cashews
  • 1 tbsp. minced or grated fresh ginger (you can use powdered, but use ½ the amount of dried or powdered)
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tsp. garam masala Garam Masala is an Indian/Pakistani spice that has cinnamon, clove, bay, cumin, cardamom and pepper. Shirley has it, but I googled it and there are several places online that you can find it. I was surprised that Penzeys has it cheaper than amazon.

Preheat oven to 300º. Toss everything together in a bowl. Line your shallow baking pan with foil or parchment. Spread your nuts out and roast for 20 minutes or till golden brown. You will want to stir occasionally.

The Olive Pecan dip is another lovely appetizer that you could use for an open house or party. When I first saw it I thought “yippee!! a dip!!” Then I read the name of it and went “ewwwww…..olives and pecans….gag-a-maggot!!!” But since I am game to try almost anything, I did. It was good. Very good. The ingredients are simple, and it is a quick throw together dip.

Olive Pecan Dip

  • 1 c. pecans
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp. olive juice
  • 1 c. green olives
  • 1 c. mayo
  • dash pepper

Process pecans in food processor till finely ground. Add rest of ingredients. Whiz till smooth.

I didn’t get a recipe for the Dutch Apple Crisp bars. They were good, but I am a simple girl and would much rather make/eat Rice Crispy treats.

Tomorrow I will be talking about the demonstration, and the best sample I ate last night. I was so busy snarfing it down, I didn’t take a picture of it. It was that good.

Do you like your rice crispy treats made with plain rice crispys, chocolate rice crispys, fruit rice crispys or with peanutbutter?

December 4

We have had our first **** of the season.

I took a picture just so you could see how much **** that we got.

I will be happy if it doesn’t do this again till Christmas day, then never again till next Christmas.

When I was little I was so happy for ****. I remember the blizzard of 78-79. So cool! Snow drifts taller than I was. Building ****forts, plastering my sisters face in it, dumping it down her shirt. Ahhhh what memories.

Now, now I think that it would be good to live the rest of my life without it.

Do you like ****?

December 3

Sunset.

Going.

Going..

Gone.

I love how the sky is getting more and more purple as the sun goes down.

The most beautiful sunset I ever saw was over the Rocky Mountains when I was in Colorado.  Where have you seen your most beautiful sunset?

December 2

First off, I must wish my sister a Happy Anniversary. My sister and her husband have been married 17 years.

This year our church has begun AWANA. I am one of the leaders in the 3rd and 4th grade girls. I like AWANA for very selfish reasons. There are no lessons to prepare, no planning involved, you just go and listen. I can do that. I am lazy, and this…this is just up my alley. I get to listen to little girls recite verses, tell me about their day, and they think I am great. It is a win-win all around! I love it!

These girls are a blast. So cute, so fun, so fresh and giggly, and sweet, and just a joy to be around. Only 2 of the 7 girls in our class are churched, so to see their passion for learning scripture, gets me. Right. In. The. Heart.

One of the girls made a paper for me last week.

Right. In. The. Heart. peoples, right in the heart.

Does your church do AWANA, or something similar?

December 1

The other day, we forgot to light the kerosene heater before we went down to do school. It has to be lit a good ½ an hour before I go down, or the fumes will give me a migraine and make me totally grumpy. A grumpy Chocolatechic is difficult for anyone to endure, and since a 60º room is not conducive to learning, I had the chips haul all their stuff up into the kitchen, and into the sun. They don’t like doing school up here. I have never understood why till I heard the girl whisper to her brother…”there is no music up here”. I offered to sing to them, but I got such eye rollage I think they strained themselves.

As they were diligently studying, I listened to them whisper to each other, quoting movie lines, and just being brother and sister.

I looked over to see this.

It gives me such a thrill to see them happy, learning, laughing, enjoying each others company, and totally enjoying me singing.   Can’t you tell they are enjoying it?