July 30

The other day I walked passed the window and saw this.

And I began to recall being 16.

Laying out in the sun.

Slathered in baby oil.

Listening to Huey Lewis and the News on the cassette player.

Drinking sweet tea.

Gossiping with friends about the guys in our youth group.

To this day, baby oil still smells a bit like burning flesh to me.

But at least I was tan, and when your 16…that’s about all that matters.

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July 29

The boy is home this morning.

I love it when he is home.

I love to spend time with him.

It is a rarity for him to be home  anymore.

You know, because of all that school and work that he has to do.

There is something else that I love about him being home in the morning.

He makes me breakfast.

This is tons better than Rice Crispies.

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July 28

I am a purist.

I always have been.

I like my steak only with salt and pepper.

Steak sauce is to mask the flavor of a steak that’s been cooked beyond recognition or in my case…anything past medium rare.

I like my diamonds large and in a setting all by itself.

All those teeny-weenie diamond chips that you need a magnifying glass to see…fugetaboutit.

But my ice cream.

Well, that’s when the area begins to gray a bit.

Lynn of Cafe Lynnylu picked today’s  TWD of Vanilla Ice cream.

Vanilla is just so…well…vanilla.

And vanilla is just so…not chocolate.

But if anything, TWD has shown me that not everything has to center around my beloved chocolate.

So, I figured that if I was going to make vanilla, it was going to be the best vanilla I could make.

Free range eggs.

Raw cream, and raw milk.

One of my very few, very precious plump vanilla beans.

And I followed Dorie’s directions to a ‘T’.

I cooked it, and cooked it and cooked it.

But it just wasn’t getting thick.

So I cooked it some more.

And then…my custard broke.

Beyond all repair.

I almost cried.

But I am of the opinion “waste not, want not”, so I soldiered on, and made it into ice cream anyway.

And because I just couldn’t get away from the pull of my beloved, chopped up Snickers went in too.

This ice cream is the best vanilla ice cream I have ever eaten.

Ever.

Even without the Snickers.

And, Internet, I have eaten a. lot. of. ice. cream in my 39 years.

Want the recipe?

Go check out Lynn’s blog.   Please go check out her blog and make this ice cream.

Your summer will not be complete without it.


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July 27

This year, Summer has decided to masquerade as Spring.

So, the chips and I have spent a lot of time outside in the evening, just relaxing.

And I am loving every single moment of it.

Until the boy steals my camera and tries to take all sorts of pictures of me.

I much prefer to be on this side of the camera.

Capturing the chips.

Being the chips.

They are my heart.

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July 25

So.

It is Saturday.

Superman is out of town on business.

The boy is away for the weekend.

It is just the girl and I.

I knew this about 3 weeks ago, so I began to make plans.

Now it is supposed to rain.  again.

Right when I have plans.

Somethin’ is seriously wrong with that.

Maybe we can pretend we are swimming.

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July 24

It is Friday, Internet, and I’m nosy.

The other day I was thinking about my childhood, and how much fun I had playing with my sister…when I wasn’t trying to kill her.

I want to know what was your favorite outdoor game as a child.

Mine was hide and seek.

Sister couldn’t hide for anything, and she was slow.

I always won.

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July 23

Remember when we decided to paint the front porch?

And remember that y’all thought that it might be done by now?

Well, you must understand that even though Superman works very hard at his 1.5 jobs, when he walks in the front door…all work stops.

Superman turns back into Clark Kent.

About 3 weeks ago, the boy ripped off all the carpeting.

Only problem is, that who ever glued that stuff down, mucked the glue all in blobs.

Which left ginormous glue/carpet blobs all over the plywood.

Blobs that must be scraped up with putty knives before painting starts.

And to get Clark Kent out there and working, I offered to scrape too.

There is a lot more to be done.

A lot.

Any bets on when it will be finished?

I’m thinking 2020.

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July 22

About 12 years ago, Superman and I moved to the country, and we lived there for 5 years.

I love the country.

I love the peace and quiet that comes from not having neighbors weed wack their lawns at 6:30 in the morning, or stay up till 1am with their music blaring and kids screaming like wild banshees all. summer. long.

I love the fresh air.

I love the fact that neighbors are willing to give you 2 gallons of raw milk a week.

For 2 years I had a free supply of milk

Then the friends moved away, and we moved to town.

And Chocolatechic was appalled at the price of milk, and stopped purchasing it.

For 7 years.

But guess what?

I now own a cow.

Yep.

I named her Tartare.

Actually, I don’t own a whole cow, just a part of a cow.

It is called herd sharing.

Because I own part of a cow, I get to drink her milk.

You know what comes along with milk?

Cream.

See that lovely darker line…that is all glorious cream, Internet.

You know what comes along with cream?

Butter!

And y’all know how much I heart buttah.

I’m gonna show you how I make it.

First you skim the cream off the top of the milk.

I got 2 quarts of cream from 3 gallons of milk.

It is important that you let the cream sit on the counter till it becomes about 60º.

If you do, butter will happen in about 10-15 minutes.

It takes much, much, much longer to make butter if you skip this step.

Then you hand these jars over to your slaves chips, and have them shake.

And in about 15 minutes you have butter.

Now you drain your butter.    The leftovers???

Buttermilk, baby.

Real buttermilk.

Now it is time to wash your butter.

Dump it into a bowl and fill it up with cold water.

Get a flat spatula, and swirl the butter around.

The water will turn milky.

Drain the water and smoosh the butter against the side of the bowl.

Repeat till the water is clear.

This is after about 5 washes.

I did another 2 or 3 before the water was clear.

If you don’t get the water clear, your butter will go rancid.

Salt your butter.

Stir it all up.

Scrape out all your dry butter and put it in a container.

I got about 10 ounces of butter from those 3 gallons of milk.

Thanks Tartare.

You are my favorite cow.

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July 21

When I was little, people were always giving me jello thinking it was the best thing since the ball point pen.

Mom:  oooh loook CC, jello.

CC:  thinking~~ I don’t like jello mom!~~ What kind of jello?

Mom:  Orange and look!  it has fruit in it.

CC: I want a cookie! are there any brownies? cake? anything?~~Wow mom…fruit.  Shoot me now!

Today’s TWD is Blanc Manger, which roughly translates into white jello with fruit eating white .

Uhh….didn’t make it.

If you like jello….with fruit, then go check out Susan’s blog at Sticky, Gooey, Creamy,Chewy she has the recipe.

Next week is something great, and I’ll be making that one.

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July 20

Hey there Internet.

I missed you.

First, no one is dead, sick, or in the hospital…unless you want to count my inbox which is suffering from the 200+ messages, or my feed reader which is about to faint under the weight of just under 100 feeds.

But something serious did happen.

Something so important that made it vital that I turn you off.

But I’m glad to be back.

Why?

Because a morning bowl of cornflakes with 4 cups of sugar, doesn’t taste very good when your not reading emails.

The cats began to hork up hair balls all over the place due to not getting their hairball treats while I read my blogs.

I didn’t know what to wear, because I didn’t check the weather every morning.

Crops die on Farm Town when you don’t harvest…unless you beg your son to do it for you on his lap top, and he sighs and huffs and puffs…Oh Internet, it isn’t pretty when a 19 year old man huffs and puffs.

And the news…did y’all know that Walter Cronkite died?

You did?

Oh, yeah…that happened days ago.

PS.   Here is my Friday nosy question…

What would you do with yourself if your computer or your TV wasn’t turned on for 4 days?

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July 15

Growing up, my dad fixed everything.

Cars.

Buildings.

Roofs.

Boo-boo’s.

Washing machines.

Sink drains.

If he couldn’t fix it, it couldn’t be done.

Period.

I followed my dad around like a little lost puppy dog.

He taught me how a carburator worked.

All about cam shafts.

Wrenches.

5/16th sockets, and how to hang sheet rock.

He has taught Superman how to change breaks on a car.

He’s taught the boy how to roof, how to install electrical stuff, and that if you take care of your tools, they will take care of you.

He is always there to lend a helping hand.

Thanks daddy.

You have created one huge legacy.

And an even bigger mess in your garage.

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July 14

Disappointment.

It comes to us all, many times every single day.

It comes to my cats every morning when they can not get to this female cardinal who chirps and twitters on the Rose of Sharron hedge just feet from where they lie in the window sill.

The male mocks them and flies here and there, protecting his female and the nest that is close by.

It comes to you today, when you realize that I didn’t make today’s TWD.

I didn’t make it because it just didn’t sound good to me.

Please don’t be hatin’ but brioche has never been something that I am overly fond of.

My apologies to Denise of Chez Us, who picked today’s Brioche Plum Tart.    If you want the recipe to see what I’m missing out on, check her blog.   She has the recipe.

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July 13

I am sitting here, awaiting 8: 21 am to roll around so I can get in my car and go to the dreaded dentist appointment, at which time he will re-bond my permanent retainer to my teeth, and drill a hole in a molar.

Good times, Internet, good times.

I am about to go get me some rice crispies and put as much sugar on it as I can, because I believe in going big, or going home, and since I’m on my way to the dentist office, I figured I’d give him something to look forward to.

Don’t all dentists dream of scraping sugared rice crispies out of teeth?

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July 10

Hi Internet!

It is Friday, and I am nosy.

Since I have been busy in my mud room one excruciatingly long day forever, and I showed you the horror that was underneath my washing machine, I have to know…

How long has it been since you have moved your washer and cleaned under it.

Bonus question~~if you moved it today, what would you find under there?

July 9

Isn’t this the cutest pasta you have ever seen?

This is the pasta that I chose to use for today’s BB’s recipe of Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes.

I made this for our family 4th of July get together.

My sister-in-law tried some and said to me…

SIL: This pasta salad is great.    I don’t like tomatoes so I just picked them out.

CC:  Oh?  Well there is tomatoes in the sauce.

SIL:  No there isn’t!  Tomatoes make me sick, and I’m not sick.

CC:   Ok, just pick them out then~~and I laughed to myself the rest of the day.

I loved this pasta salad.

The sauce was fabulous.

The flavors perfectly came together.

I  used just plain old black olives, because Kalamata olives…$4.50 for a small jar….phtttttt!

And sun dried tomatoes in oil?

Ina, Ina, Ina…honey!   Not everyone has a gourmet store around the corner.

After much searching, the girl found some in a plastic package.

I did find that the next day the salad was dry.

Next time I will triple the sauce at the outset.

Make this pasta salad.

Buy some cute pasta.

Forget about expensive olives.

And rail at your grocer for not carrying sun dried tomatoes in oil.

Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fusilli (spirals) pasta(I got a cuter pasta)
  • Kosher salt
  • Olive oil
  • 1 pound ripe tomatoes, medium-diced
  • 3/4 cup good black olives, such as kalamata, pitted and diced(just use plain old black olives)
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, medium-diced
  • 6 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped

For the dressing:

  • 5 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, diced
  • 1 teaspoon capers, drained
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 cup packed basil leaves, julienned

Directions

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water with a splash of oil to keep it from sticking together. Boil for 12 minutes, or according to the directions on the package. Drain well and allow to cool. Place the pasta in a bowl and add the tomatoes, olives, mozzarella, and chopped sun-dried tomatoes.

For the dressing, combine the sun-dried tomatoes, vinegar, olive oil, garlic, capers, salt, and pepper in a food processor until almost smooth.

Pour the dressing over the pasta, sprinkle with the Parmesan and basil, and toss well.

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