Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sorry About the Lack of Posts Recently!

A lot has been going on here and in the world and here in the US as well.
Hurricane Sandy has me worried about all my family members back East.
I had my birthday.
My aunt died here in El Paso. A charming, vibrant woman that I hadn't seen in many years.
So, there has been a lot going on that has distracted me from blogging.
I'll be back in a few days.
Love to you all and stay safe!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Various Thoughts...

Found a lot of stuff about kitchens that was interesting...
1920s kitchens:
What do we notice here?
No built in cabinets!
Now SOME kitchens had built in cabinets, but those were usually in the richer neighborhoods, and they had "butlers pantries".
Lovely....but that's not going to happen!

I am trying to figure out how to sorta replicate a farmhouse kitchen from the 30s or 40s...with a little of the 1860s thrown in (wood cook stove!).
Still searching out pictures and resources for when we find our dream property and move.
At least that time is getting closer!

I am ignoring as much of the current political season as I can.....sigh.
Watching ANY of it just reminds me to get ready for a much faster economic decline than the one we are already in.
Doing pretty good on rice, still need some more beans. Also need more honey and oils and oatmeal and wheat....heck, just more of everything. Not paranoid, just damn cautious.

Grocery shopping trip today. The store I normally shop at was having a "buy one get one free" sale in the meat department. Now, normally, it is one 3 or 4 types of meat cuts that are on sale for BOGO sales.
This week, however, over a dozen meat cuts were BOGO. Steaks, Roasts, Pork Loin, London Broil and so on and so forth.
To me, this is a sign of the bad drought most of the country went through during the past year or so. So many ranchers and farmers *dumped* their cattle and pigs and chickens to avoid the expense of feeding them through the winter that the market is simply flooded with meat right now. Yes, I am buying, repackaging and freezing as much as our freezer can hold.
Sadly (and predictably), no sales in the produce section. Prices in the produce department were sky high!
Just another sign....

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Kitchen Porn!!!! (Pic Heavy!)

While we are looking for our dream house/dream property, I am already planning my dream kitchen....

Most of my dream kitchen focuses on the stove...I want TWO stoves...One gas stove and one wood stove.
BUT, I want both of them to look old. Not old as in worn, used and battered up , but old as in classic, antique and practical.
Which leads me to the following pictures (ladies, get out your smellin' salts...you just might get the vapors looking at these pictures!)
From Antique Gas Stoves
Which turns into THIS:
Actually, that shot is a different stove, but they both have the covers...gives me a SQUEEEE moment!

Want something with a little color? How about a touch of red?

Or maybe a LOT of color!
Those not *retro* enough for you? Wander over to Antique Appliances
All those are gas stoves...but on that site they also showed a wood stove they did...
That's as big as I could get the image to copy and paste...grrrrrr. But it IS lovely. Someone recently posted a pic on Facebook of this beauty, which is coal or wood:

I am trying to hunt down where the pic originally came from or find out the model/maker. I think it would be wonderful for a summer kitchen.

The prices are....jaw dropping HIGH for those refurbished gas stoves.
But consider this...these stoves were built to last a lifetime. Not just 5 years or 10 years, but 50 to 100 years---with proper care and maintenance.
Go to the sites, browse around and droooool at the thought of having one of these marvelous stoves, totally refurbished to perfect working order ...and I am going to look at other kitchen goodies...

Friday, October 12, 2012

That's The Way I Always Do It!

Do you have something you do just because "that's the way I've always done it"?
Maybe you learned from trial and error, maybe you learned from a grandparent or parent. Doesn't matter, you do it "that" way and any other way just feels "wrong".
Well, that sort of got hammered home with me last weekend when the fella had a couple of friends come by after they had gone to the shooting range.
I had fixed lunch for them and dessert was apple pie.
Now, when I make apple pie, I almost always put a layer of walnuts on the bottom.
This surprised our guests who had never had apple pie fixed this way.(Which surprised me!)
I take about a half cup of crushed walnuts, a tablespoon of brown sugar, a pat of butter, a drop of vanilla and a dash of cinnamon, mix all of that together in a pan over medium heat until the brown sugar melts and walnuts are glazed and put that mix in the bottom of my pie crust. Then my apple mixture goes on top, then my top crust and I bake it.
Apparently, not everyone does that with their apple pies.
I've always done it like that.
Because that's how my maternal grandmother did it.
I don't know where or how she learned it. I do know that sometimes she used black walnuts as they were easier to come by. She had a black walnut tree on the small farm she and my grandfather owned.
I prefer my apple pie with the walnut *bottom*. It adds a bit of crunch and a pop of flavor.
When I have apple pie without a walnut bottom, it just seems lacking.
I also put crunchy bottoms on other pies.
Crushed almond pieces (butter, a drop of vanilla and white sugar or light brown sugar) in the bottom of cherry pies.
Pecans or hazelnuts in the bottom of blackberry pies. 
Yeah, so I'm weird, but I like to think it's the good kind of weird!
So...have anything you do just because "That's the way I've always done it"? 

Friday, October 5, 2012

More Pictures and Questions

First, the pictures!
4 of the 6 new turkeys

Long view of the turkeys

Gotta admit, they are pretty!

Inky, Ugly Betty's other chick.

I think Inky is rather elegant looking. She and her sister Bo have steadfastly refused to join our small flock of chickens. They wander the yard together, scratch and peck together, eat together and sleep together on top of one of the feed barrels. If I go out on the patio and sit down, both will scamper over and jump up in my lap! They both like to be petted and make little chirring sounds when I pet them. They let me pet them and my son can pet them as well, but they don't let anyone else get close enough to pet them.

The turkeys, as you can see, are mostly toms. Four toms, Two hens. We already had Trixie and Tinkerbelle, so now we have an equal mix of male and females...until Thanksgiving!
Yes, we will be butchering at least one of the toms for Thanksgiving....probably THREE of them. Several of the Darlin' Mans coworkers have expressed an interest in learning how to butcher their own turkey for Thanksgiving, so we may have a class.

Now...a couple of questions...
We received as a gift a HUGE bag of dried chili peppers. I whirled some up in the blender to make dried red pepper flakes for my pantry, but I still have LOTS left over.
Any suggestions on what else I can do with them?

Other question:
I like to make as much as I can from scratch. One thing I have NEVER successfully been able to make from scratch is Graham Crackers. I have tried several recipes over the years and none of them worked quite right.
If you have a recipe that works...please let me know or post it on your own blog or in the comments. I don't think I am the only person looking for such a recipe!
Thanks a lot!

Oh, for those wondering...The Darlin' Man's health issue is being addressed. He has a few spots of skin cancer and went this past week for surgery. It caused him a lot of pain (9 stitches!), but he is recovering well. The doctor said they got it all. One more place to remove and all should be well!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Picture Day!

Bag of dried chilis I will process later today

Bo, one of Ugly Betty's chicks, almost full grown now!

Cori and Selene with their new spiffy collars

Selene in purple, Cori in red

Baby bunnies getting BIG!

Such a cute face!

I will be posting pictures of the new turkeys and a lot of other pictures this evening!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Well, What Do You Know.....

The Darlin' Man went to church Sunday and afterwards went to lunch with church friends at a local buffet type place. While there, SURPRISE!!!, he ran into Roy the Animals Guy's FATHER. The guy who owned the female goat and then suddenly didn't own the same goat....?
Yeah, him.
Well, the Darlin' Man got to talking with Roy Senior and found out a few things.
While he was doing that, I talked to some folks that live  in our neighborhood and also had dealings with Roy.
Turned out he had lied to everyone, including his own dad.
Never told his dad he was keeping his animals out here. His dad had 4 turkeys for sale and Roy told him the most he could get for the four together was 100 bucks....offered US the turkeys for $270.....said he "wasn't making any profit" on them. Bought some chickens from one neighbor for 5 bucks a piece, sold them to his dad for 20 a piece...telling him that was what he paid for them...
And so on and so forth....

I wish I hadn't been so patient with Roy and hadn't bit my tongue over and over again as I didn't want to upset the Darlin' Man as he was friends with Roy.

Anyway...Roy Senior and the Darlin' Man made a deal on the turkeys...no, not for 270. It was for 150. Fair price for both parties.
The Darlin' Man did not tell Roy Senior about his son's shady dealings. He says he will save that information for when it is appropriate.

Oh...the little goat that triggered my telling Roy to leave the property?
She belongs to Roy Senior, seems HE picked her up in New Mexico along with the male goats for Roy, Jr.
Of course, he told his dad she had died....

The Darlin' Man came home with SIX turkeys....Roy Senior had a couple of *extras*. But he sold the whole package....6 full grown turkeys, for $150.00. Four toms, two hens.