Monday, June 29, 2009

Pecan Pie

My husbands favorite dessert is pie. He doesn't care what kind I make as long as it doesn't contain any rhubarb. For some reason none of our family is fond of rhubarb and we have been known to turn down dinner invitations during rhubarb season to avoid the dreaded stuff. We have been offered to try it in cobblers, various pies, puddings, and almost everything else imaginable, by eager cooks convinced if we would only try their delectable creation we would lose our aversion to rhubarb. Unfortunately it only rooted it more deeply.

We always heave a sigh of relief when rhubarb season is over and we can once again mingle safely with friends and neighbors.

One of the pie I often turn to when I'm baking is our favorite Pecan Pie. I often substitute the pecans for oatmeal, or an oatmeal and coconut mixture, for something different.

Pecan Pie
2 eggs beaten
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1 Tbsp flour
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp melted butter
1 cup chopped pecans
Mix all together and pour into an unbaked pie shell. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

The pie in the picture I substituted the nuts for 1/2 cup oatmeal and 1/2 cup coconut.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Giveaway Winners

It was fun reading all your captions for the photo of my niece.

I had my husband read all of them and pick the one he liked the best. And so without further ado the winning caption that was written by..............
Katie said...
Oh, God have mercy!
A close second was written by The French Bear said...
"Crisco, it makes the best "cutie" pies ever!!"

Great captions everyone!

And now for those of you who were brave enough to blog about this giveaway. I randomly selected one of you to receive a Wanda Brunstetter book and some other goodies.

The winner of the random drawing is Coveredwithjoy .

So if the two winners will email me with their address I will get your packages in the mail.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Home Again

We are so happy to be able to say that we went from this.

To this.
It is sooo good to be home again. Sunbeam is still her sunny little self even though she can't be active. She was asking when she can walk again and trying to explain three months to a little girl is a hard job and eighty four days sounds like years to a five year old!
Thank you so much for all the prayers and kind thoughts. It really meant a lot to us over this time. We are so thankful to have our little girl on the road of recovery.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sunbeam Update

We are still here in the hospital with Sunbeam. She is progressing really well and we are all so thankful to still have our little girl.

On Thursday evening there was someone turning their cattle trailer around and Sunbeam happened to get in the way and was knocked down and the front wheel of the big truck drove on top of her. The driver immediately realized something bad happened and stopped with her underneath and then had to drive off of her yet.

We live around 60 miles from an emergency room and it seemed to take hours to get there. Our Pastor had called ahead to let them know that we were coming and a trauma team was ready the moment we drove up.

They got everything checked out and everyone was very relieved to find that none of her organs were damaged. Her right leg is broken just below her hip. She had to have surgery to get it pieced back together, but since she is only a little girl and her injury was different from normal fractures they had to order in the plates before they could do surgery. It took a lot longer in the operating room than they had estimated and I was very thankful for the friends that were waiting with us.

She was wearing her favorite white dress with little pink rosebuds sprinkled over it and was very concerned that they had to cut it off, but Daddy made her day when he brought a dress for her and she is looking forward to wearing it.

The driver of the truck feels really horrible about the whole incident. I don't blame him at all for what happened and don't want him to feel guilty and awful about it.

Sunbeam is her happy little self and is facing around 3 months without being able to walk. I'm trying to think how to keep an active little girl occupied without being able to walk and run.

I'm hoping by the time she is grown this whole incident will be only a very vague memory.

Friday, June 19, 2009

This will be a short post. We are at the hospital with Sunbeam since she was hurt really badly. I will share more details later.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Write a Caption ~ Giveaway!

I captured a picture of my niece just as she was discovered playing with a can of shortening. I have been trying to think of a cute caption for this picture so that is where all of you come in.

Leave a comment telling me what you think would be a great caption and you will be entered to win the book "Plain and Fancy" by Wanda E. Brunstetter. I will also add a few other mystery gifts that you will love.

To be entered twice, blog about this giveaway and link back, and then leave a comment to let me know.

The winner will be chosen on June 25th.

*This giveaway is now closed and the winners chosen. Thanks to all those who participated.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Broccoli Salad

Everyone should have a sister-in-law like I have. She has a heart of gold and laughter that makes you want to join in even if you don't have a clue what is funny. She is the mother to eight children, and she just celebrated a birthday.

For the past several years when either one of us had a birthday the other one would cook a big supper and bring it to their house.

I spent all day baking and cooking and thought I would take some pictures and share recipes on here. I managed to get all the baked things done and then started on the main course. Fried chicken is one of her favorites, so naturally I made that. I have a recipe for the coating/breading that I spent years tweaking and adjusting till I found a combination that every one loves and I always get asked for the recipe when ever I make it. I was going to share it with you but somehow every last piece of the ten pounds of chicken I had prepared disappeared before I got a picture taken of the finished product. I have a sneaking suspicion that a certain dog and cat got to enjoy it too.

I made cheesy potatoes in my slow cooker that also disappeared before I had time to take a picture of them. And so it continued everything I worked hard at all day got swallowed up in a matter of minutes. I did manage to take one picture........ of a salad.

Broccoli Salad
4 cups chopped broccoli
1 cup black seedless grapes (halved)
1 cup red seedless grapes (halved)
1/3 cup chopped green onion
1 lb bacon (fried crisp and crumbled)
1 cup shredded cheese
In a bowl mix broccoli, grapes, onions, and bacon. Make a dressing with:
1 cup Miracle Whip
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp white vinegar
Pour over broccoli mixture and mix together. Set in refrigerator overnight for flavors to blend. 20 minutes before serving add the cheese and mix again.
As you can tell by the picture I hadn't added the cheese yet. I have resolved next time I want pictures I have to take them immediately after the food is prepared. For sure if I'm expecting to feed a hungry, fun loving crowd of little people.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Horror Of Household Pests

Hi, my name is MaryAnn and I hate household pests. The ones that are brave enough to venture inside my house very rarely live long enough to to be able to tell their friends what new things they have discovered. Woe unto any spider that dares to start a web somewhere. It will surely be destroyed and it's life ended in a crushing manner.

No insects have a chance if I'm around, but there is a certain pest that turns me into a pathetic mess of shivers and shrill noises.

Our house is fairly new, and ever since we live in it I was able to go where I wanted 24 hours a day without the fear of a furry rodent scampering across my toes. That has all changed now.

I am the first one up every morning. I enjoy the few moments of quiet, as I start the coffee, do some reading, and turn on the computer and then visit with Sunbeam as she comes to join me.

On Monday morning I was happily going through my normal morning routine, I opened a cupboard door to get a water pitcher to get water for the coffeemaker, when to my horror I almost touched a mouse. I let out an involuntary noise that woke the entire household, I slammed the door shut and ran to the bedroom gasping, a mouse! there's a mouse! my husband looked at me groggily and calmly said "I'm sure you scared it away." I headed back to the kitchen shivering and gingerly opened the cupboard door again. He was right, it was gone, so I went ahead and got the coffee under way.

A few minutes later my husband came to see if he can find the little intruder, but there was no sign of it any where. I went ahead and started on breakfast right away, since everyone was awake already, when oh horrors there goes the little fellow scampering bravely across the kitchen floor. I declare he must have been related to Desperaux. My mouse reflexes kicked in again as another shrill sound pierced the air and I somehow wound up standing on a chair.

We didn't see it the rest of the day and I managed to be myself, I tried to tell myself that I'm much bigger than a mouse and sent Sailor on a quest of locating a mousetrap. It was of no avail and so I had to contend with the fact that I might have to live with a mouse in the house until we get to town to buy a trap. (Shiver and shudder)

Yesterday morning I was once again enjoying my solitude when Sunbeam, my early riser got up like she normally does. It is nice having alone time with her before everyone else is up and about. We were sitting, chatting pleasantly when we both heard the pitter-patter of tiny feet. I froze in my chair with my feet pulled up off the floor, Sunbeam had no such problems and went to investigate, she opened a cupboard door and whispered excitedly. It's right here Mom! And watched as it disappeared behind the refrigerator.

We got through the day without seeing it again, but last night with my mouse detection senses on high I woke up in the middle of the night to distinct gnawing noises. I woke my husband and pleaded that he go and find it, as I sat in the middle of the bed and wrapped all the covers around me, while he not nearly as convinced as I was investigated the noise I said was coming from underneath the baby crib.

This particular crib is different from most in that, since Sunbeam moved out of it, I used it to store lots of things in it and under it. I also buy old Dick and Jane books and store them under the crib until I have enough for a set and then I sell them. My patient husband got everything out and there was no mouse in sight.

I can hardly wait to get a trap and be able to sleep soundly once more. I really, really hate mice.

The scene of investigation. It looks so peaceful with the Flower Garden quilt that Grandma Mast made for our babies, hiding the host of things I store behind it.
Now doesn't that look like a place a mouse would like to explore? I will prevail and our house will soon be a no pest zone once again.
Please tell me I'm not the only one out here with a loathing of furry rodents.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Happenings on the Porch

  • Our porch happens to be the place where the children spend most of their time if it isn't too hot.
  • Our porch serves as a place of "fine dining" whenever my husband gets the urge to fire up the old grill.
  • Our porch happens to be the place where Wags temporary calf hutch home still remains months after we decided to have it there for a week or so. (The children love sitting in it whenever it rains.)
  • Our porch is the stage on which Sailor and Wags play tug-of-war.
  • Our porch is a place to ride kiddie cars and wagons.
  • Our porch is the place where many happy memories are being made.

It isn't a grand porch or even a pretty one, but we enjoy it.

What do you enjoy the most about a porch? And any advice on how to go about getting rid of a nine year old's favorite tattered shirt?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Of Gum and ........

Several years ago we planned a really great vacation. Before we left I went into a sewing frenzy and made that we each had a matching set of clothes for every day that we planned on being gone. A month after we got back we left the Amish and were stuck with lots of barely used clothes. We had no one to give them to and the thrifty part of me could not go and pitch them. And now I still have three types of clothes. Amish, I'm almost through with those, thankfully. Mennonite, I don't think I can emphasise how much I dislike those clothes, and then skirts and blouses.

This was taken a few weeks after we left the Amish.

Last evening I wore one of my Mennonite dresses to go to church, ill fitting though it is. Before we left I grabbed a Kleenex on the off chance that I might need it and since these dresses don't come equipped with pockets I tucked it inside of the cape, and happily went out to our vehicle and we headed to church.
On our way there I opened a new pack of gum and popped a piece into my mouth, trust me I try to be discreet with it, I don't want to appear to be chewing a cud, but my fear of having bad breath and losing friends because of it, is strong, and since I can't check my own breath I always try to prevent it with a piece of gum.
This piece tasted odd, but I kept it and we went into church and found a seat. About halfway through the service all I could think of was how bad this gum was tasting, and that I really need to get rid of it. I thought of my Kleenex and tried to get it but was now faced with a new problem. Let's just say that my cape no longer seemed like a good place to store something since I'm sitting. I tried to squirm a little to be able to get it, and my husband leaned over and asked me if something was wrong. I tried to hold still and just bravely swallow it. But the gum was so bad, that I didn't care if my breath is bad, I can always make new friends later. I just really need to get rid of the vile stuff. There was no way I wanted to swallow it and I hate getting up and walking out in time of church so with one last frantic effort I managed to grab hold of the corner of the Kleenex and I pulled it out and disposed of the gum.
I have learned several things.
  • Never ever under any circumstance tuck anything in the front of a Mennonite dress. In fact don't bother wearing a Mennonite dress, they are ill fitting, ornery contraptions. (No offense to any of my Mennonite readers, but it is the way I feel when I am wearing them.)
  • Never, ever and I repeat never, ever chew Jolt gum again.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Hair Despair

Help! What can I do to manage these hair? The only option I've had so far that makes that I can half way control these fly away curls are to have a braided ponytail. And even then several hours later she will be looking like this and the higher the humidity the wilder they become.

They also are more on the dry frizzy side. Any suggestions on taming her unruly mane would be appreciated.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Rosebud's Accomplishment

Mondays are always busy here at our house. Today was no exception. As I was going over all the things I wanted to get accomplished today Rosebud came with a box of Blue Bonnet margarine asking if she can make the recipe that was on the back. I checked it, it sounded good, so sure why not, if she stirs up a batch of cookies I'll bake them for her. She loves working in the kitchen and was on cloud nine that she gets to do it by herself.

She got the sugars measured into the bowl and thought it looked so pretty and asked me to take a picture, which got me started taking pictures of each step as she attempted to make cookies without any assistance.

Measuring the salt was simple enough. I can handle this Mom!

The butter she had melted was hot so I got to pour that in for her.
She got it all stirred up as her siblings watched in admiration. It smelled so good that Sailor was reminded that he really is hungry. I told him to go ahead and wash some garden lettuce and make a few sandwiches.

He got it all nice and clean and then turned and asked me if he can go climb a tree now. I actually managed not to laugh until he went outside. Climbing a tree is so much more manly than washing lettuce!
In the meantime Rosebud was still busy with her cookie dough. Time to break in the eggs. I offered to do it but she wanted to step up to the challenge by herself.Perfect! I couldn't have done it better myself.

Using the egg beater is so much fun! Let's just say everything in the bowl was thoroughly blended by the time she got through.

Adding the vanilla was a breeze and then some more vigorous beating followed.

Finally time to measure the flour.
And the baking soda.
She sifted the soda through a small sieve to insure there would be no bitter surprise lumps in the cookies.

And finally time to dump in a bag of chocolate chips.

And stir it all up. I can only imagine what she will say about the following pictures once she's, say, 16. But I really couldn't resist adding them too. She was trying to put waxed paper on the counter top for the cookies to cool off on.

I got them all baked for her and we all got to enjoy a warm chocolate chip cookie with a glass of cold milk.

Life just doesn't get much better than this!