Monday, November 30, 2009
we ran and got supplements for me on sunday, and the trays for the massive yearly cookie bake
and new undies for bernie....(we are BIG spenders you know..... a buck a tray for the cookie trays and 2.00 a pair for bernie's undies)
today it's raining
i am not all here
i fell into momma's night crate this morning, unfortunately i did this while momma was still in the crate.....
she wasn't happy
i wasn't either
then slipped in the mud down the hill
i am waiting to see if that twinge in my back means it's going out or what...
i so wish the winter pens were done
we have to fence first though to keep the 'houseguest' that lives permanently next door from allowing his dogs to harass my ducks and curse at me while we are on our property and not bothering anyone!
can you tell i am still appalled at the whole thing, not to mention that the homeowner hasn't bothered to apologize either.... but decided that i told her who she could have living there ....i DID NOT TELL HER any such thing.... but you know what.... screw them, as i realized that i am much better off since they stopped talking to me......i think this kid did me a favor in a very crude way
meanwhile i got the laundry in, which was wetter then when we hung it out,
hung some on the inside line,
i watered and fertilized the african violets, did more dishes, brought the sweet butter up to start the massive cookie baking sessions,
i can't get into the chest freezer as bernie is got his chain saw on the top of it right now
so turkey soup i think
or bean soup
i listed the wood that we can't use in our stove on freecycle hoping someone can,
made veggies for the baby birdies.........
and right now writing this for susan,
i still have to decide on a few more cookie doughs as my list (gee thanks bernie) has grown to hundreds of people now.......it used to be two big trays!
now it's oh man............ more like 11 trays, gift baskets, gift bags, etc.....
i really don't like baking that much!
i think i should have started in august...........................
oh and i need cookie paints... i have to paint some cookies!
maybe i should use eatable lusters instead?
eatable gold would look nice on the angel molded cookies
ok i need to go
i don't want to get up cause i am sorta tired but i have to, i have to unload the dishwasher and do the hand wash dishes now......and strip that turkey off so i can make some stock
maybe run the sheets and towels through the spin on the washer and then hang them by the woodstove *but they smell outrageous so maybe not*
and decide how i am going to decorate the sugar cookie molded angels
i would have loved to do the nutcracker and stag as well since i have them both
and these are all from house on the hill
i am not going to make springerle cause i don't have the hartshorn nor the time but i will make some molded cookies......... maybe if only sugar or gingerbread
right now i could use a daughter, or a neice, or a daughter in law.......... or even one of my friends..... who are all so far away
ok i got to go
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
and the mouse won!
i got woken up by fawn this morning 'calling the kittens to eat'
and i also heard some tiny squeeks...
yup she had a mouse
and brought it upstairs, and TRIED to bring it to bed so i would 'eat'
yeah i don't think so
these three have been playing with this poor mouse now for 45 minutes...... growling like pitbulls and stealing the mouse from each other
i tried to get the mouse away from them but that wasn't happening either
they'd take turns running around the house with the mouse hanging out of their mouths
losing it......... finding it
(this is one dumb ass mouse and it STILL eventually got away)
yup and my cats are decended from barn cats........ yeah right
now they are clustered around the firewood.... as thaddeaus lost his grip on the mouse by the fire wood
i think the mouse is REALLY gone this time
(although like i said it's a dumbass mouse........ it got 'away' into the dirty laundry and when i moved the laundry fawn got it back)
fawn is still by the firewood, her i actually have hopes for
thaddeaus has decided it's under the computer....... at the OTHER END OF THE ROOM
my boy isn't normally that dumb so i think he is taking a hopeful stance that mouse could be as far away from the girls as possible?
calpurrnia is still sort of aimlessly wandering around.... she is pretty sure something happened but not quite sure WHAT it was....but she sure is pretty...
meanwhile i made the coffee, and the mouse has run over my feet a few times
i think we need to put more bait and some snap traps
and you all wonder how come i am so nuts
i give you exhibit A............... and the rest of the alphabet isn't too far way
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
but it looks like in addition (or probably a precursor ) to pcos
will the genetic wonders never cease? i did find one site that had an evolutionary positive for this defect, 'increased intelligence'
meanwhile we wait
and i have to say, i go from disbelief to anger to hope to depression to crying to being ok
as to the doctor, we like her
we like her VERY MUCH
she's is not stupid, she isn't prejudice, nor fat-phobic, she is thorough, and took the initiative to order 'out of the box' blood work which may turn out to be the answer to the continuing problems, there may be treatment.
it won't help my looks now unfortunately, as due to my age, the hirstuism is most likely permanent, as is the baldness, and the skin satiation, and possibly the hyperpigmentoses (please excuse the spelling issues, i am not going to look them up)
it may however help the mood swings, the depression, panic attacks, anxiety, fatigue, muscle weakness, etc
oh and my blood pressure......... 120/70 which for me is kinda high.......so that stupid ASS of a doctor up here who was going to give me HIGH bloodpressure meds....... she should be stripped of her license to practice........or MALPRACTICE medicine
part of me is hopeful that i will feel better
part of me is so angry that i had to suffer, for so many years, not only the physical symptoms, but the freekish looking body, and the remarks people have thrown at me
(remember the 20 year old neighbor's houseguest just last month calling me fat)
you know......right now i am very very tired of the fight to try and get some answers
( i told you that the people he works for are absolutely wonderful....and that is so rare in this day and age)
we'll be leaving in a few hours,
meanwhile he helped me clip wings today
i felt so bad clipping phoebe's pretty white wings but after last night with lillianna FLYING up the hill, and trying to go over to the neighbors, EVERYONE is safely clipped
lilli was a bad girl.......phoebe was a good girl
but in this case, wings needed clipping irregardless
i cleared momma's crate and hopefully she is not going to go broody, and i caught her in the beginning
you should have seen LILLI the defiant though.......oh man what a mess bringing ducks in last night, falstaff ended up in lilli's crate, lilli was loose and pooped all over the top of momma's crate (which i hosed off outside this morning)
and no one wanted to come in........ i was up and down the hill a billionty two times between falstaff and lilli
i used that cast iron dutch oven again last night, i put a pork loin in that i put a mix of mustard, garlic, cinnamon and a bit of sugar on as a paste, (i should have added flour as it liquidfied) threw it in the dutch oven and threw that in the oven at 350.... cooked it from frozen
it was wonderful
ok i am a convert i think....
i like it much better then the crock pot, as i didn't have to add liquid.
ok so i am thinking.... le crueset stoneware needed to be researched, and it's made in Taiwan
i was debating over the pampered chef or the le crueset stoneware baker..... it is going to be le crueset i think.....IF i can wash it out cause the end result of last's night experiment is got to be soaked
plus btw, while at le crueset's site it turns out that the enameled iron line is not totally hand made anymore, AND it only gets TWO coats of enamel not the 4 i thought
(folks should take a walk on line once in a while)
now staub is from france, and according to this HERE the iron ware is still made in france
i couldn't find anything on pampered chef and where it's products are made
i thought i was done with cookware...........guess not huh?
anyway this is what i am thinking of this morning while waiting out the hour after thyroid meds for breakfast.....
(see food is on my mind....)
Monday, November 23, 2009
i am stoking the woodstove right now
i have a bunch of things to do today, clean the kitchen, start stuff for thanksgiving, clean the fridge, find car/waiting room knitting, ... you know STUFF
we had a busy weekend.
saturday bernie stacked wood from the delivery pile to the actual wood pile, and i did laundry and cleaned the kitchen and brought house wood in (not too much but some)
sunday we went to jen and scott's for a pampered chef's party and then got home just in time to bring the ducks in and make supper
good thing bernie is off tuesday AND thursday as i feel like i've not seen him in ages and ages
he's been late most nights and weekends barrel by
last night in bringing the ducks in, MOMMA duck started that molty squeeky 'leave me alone' stuff. oh man i wish they would have all molted at ONCE and gotten this duckie hell thing over already.
right now the only one that loves me is phoebe and she was homicidal for HOW LONG?
lilli still hates me and now MOMMA?
bernie moved momma's a frame pen over near to the old shed, she must like that location better as she ran out there yesterday morning by herself without being carried and then squeeked her way back to the house by herself for the most part.
she got tired about 5 feet from the back door and i had to pick her up and bring her in
so since lilli and MOMMA, now think my parents are canine, only phoebe the standoffish loves me and boy does she love me lately
so phoebe isn't standoffish anymore! i swear it's always an adventure with duckies.
tomorrow the duckies will be coming in for the night at 1pm
or maybe earlier as we are leaving for philly about 1.
so that's about it
i think i am going to bake a pumpkin today for the holiday
what's your day look like?
Saturday, November 21, 2009
i realized that for many top brands there ARE substitutes that work as well and also cost a lot less
there are a few hand made copper pots that i don't think you could substitute for but also i doubt the average person would want them in the first place
(although i lust for them, the practical side of me realizes that i can't deal with the upkeep)
i found that for all clad you can sub either calphlon tri ply or emeril pro clad
i found that cuisinart classic chef got an all around good rating and it's available at amazon or sam's club at a very good price for a set IF you want to go with a set...
(i liked the pan configuration of the one at amazon better as i like the long handles on the saute pan, sam's has a pan of the same size and shape but with two smaller handles called i think a casserole pan- and i prefer my old corningware and pre-exploding pyrex for casseroles)
now as to sets as opposed to individual pieces, you can save money with a set if it has all the pieces you need and will use, i never like the frying pans that come with sets so that's a waste for me
that being said i am thinking of getting (in addition to what i have already) the emeril pro clad set (247.99 at amazon) as i like the sauce pans and the 6 quart 'dutch oven' which i would use as an every day soup pot (as opposed to my large stock pots which i truly adore)
the difference in the cuisinart set from the emeril set as far as the actual mechanics of how they cook?
cuisinart is encapsulated base and better for electric (but it isn't induction ready)
emeril is a tri ply construction, i suppose better for gas (i don't know about induction)
ok that is my totally unscientific opinion, i do have one piece of cuisinart and one piece of emeril, i have to use the emeril yet (small 3 quart saute pan) now my emeril is got the encapsulated base, and i am dying to pick up a pro clad from him to see
that more or less takes care of the basics, i like that enameled cast iron dutch oven.
it's not easy to clean as it does need to be seasoned because it is NOT le crueset and has an uncoated cast iron rim, and it is heavy but if i can do more one pot meals than that is fine and worth the work
i realize that this is a LOT of option for someone to negotiate through.
so my suggestion is this:
1) make a note of what you cook, what do you do the most? stove top? on electric or gas? oven?
2) how much time do you have to devote to clean up, some stuff can sit, until you are ready, some stuff needs almost immediate attention and some stuff needs to cool down then needs immediate attention
3) if you are a casserole type person, consider getting an enameled cast iron dutch oven, and that one pot cookbook (i haven't read it yet but i intend on it so check it out of the library first--- if your library is still open)
4) investigate not only the warrenty but the customer service, cuisinart was very pleasant to deal with, but i haven't heard good things about all clad... lecrueset is the best in the business i understand
i do know that i need more sauce pots (which is why i am thinking of the emeril pro-clad)
and i really LIKE the strainer lid in the cuisinart 2 quart sauce pan i got, emeril has three different sizes like that in his other stainless line
so i will eventually end up with a bunch of different sized sauce pans, which may or may not match.
if the matching thing is important to you then you need to just pick a line that overall is suitable to your cooking heat type and run with it.
i will admit that the french pot racks look so cool with the graduated sizes of sauce pans from smallest on top down to largest on bottom, but i may not have the luxury of the space or the expense of the pots
hopefully this helped someone else and if so let me know what you got and why!
cause i think that is the most fascinating part of this whole thing........ the planning!
Friday, November 20, 2009
(that's why i am late on the blog posting)
i have been working out the cookware all week
this is what i have done
with the berndes i made a ham casserole with a cheddar cheese sauce.
no curdling, even though i ignored it for a bit
easy clean up oh my goodness!
i used the cuisinart 2 quart sauce pan with lip and drain lid for broccoli....... like a charm!
and i used the sam's club enamel on cast iron dutch oven for beef burgundy
which almost made bernie CRY it was so good
i have yet to use the saute pan but that's coming
and of course the 12 quart stock pot is waiting it's turn
i also have an 8 quart stockpot/double boiler on it's way
that is the ONLY way i think i will be able to make the gallon and a half of yogurt and the gallon of icecream i make
(i was so sick of fishing teflon out of the milk)
next up (this weekend i believe) the rival 18 quart roaster, with buffet insert, will be trotted out and put through it's paces
i still need a larger saute pan with deep sides i think i am going to look for a 'chicken fryer'
and i still need a chef's pan.... a BIG one
now if i get used to the enameled cast iron........ i will save my money and get on the outlet sales list for le crueset....... and get a few of them
i would dearly love to have a saucier with as good a construction as my copper core limited edition revere ware from the late 70's
so i am able to make larger batches of sauces (cause sometimes you just have to)
i am hoping to find a few more stock pots to round out that end of the cookware
but i can manage with the 20 quart, the 12 quart and the 8 quart that is coming
i would like to replace the 20 quart with something that has an encapsulated bottom though
and is induction ready just in case
the other thing that came in the mail today was a package from moonrise (sandy terp)
two fantastic lace books that were out of print but are now back in print
and the lewis book
both of which are called 'knitting lace'
if you are a lace knitter or would like to be a lace knitter, these are something i believe you should have on your shelf
now onto cook books
while i rarely follow recipes (italians mostly have methods and lists of ingredients.....that is what passes for a recipe)
i am thinking of getting 'one pot meals' for the enameled cast iron dutch oven
just to learn how it works
i am playing with trial and error but a few tips would help
the other thing i recommend to you folks if you haven't gotten it (besides that pantry book that i have the link over there on the right for , which should be on everyone's shelf that puts food by, i don't have any stake in this book but i do love it and think you folks will too) is a book called 'good cheap food' it is out of print but there are copies floating around.
i have the '72 edition in paperback
i highly recommend this to anyone starting out..... or struggling with costs, food, cooking..... and kitchens.... and i highly recommend this to anyone interested in food at all
this will help you figure cookware out (without the hype) will help you figure healthy low cost foods out
and is generally a good read.
now if i only knew where thaddeaus disappeared my copy to (it's old, stained, dog earred, yellowed, and a bit ripped up and i love it, and i would like a copy of the newer edition to compare)
so that is about it for today's post.. we are having leftovers from last night for today
i am about to go inside and put some fruit salad up in pints
i do have some pictures to upload when i get around to it of the new cookware
so bare with me
Thursday, November 19, 2009
prior to this i need to clean the fridge out ( it's been a few months, that's what i get for not canning daily like normal)
ironically i am canning more now then i did all summer! turkey and turkey stock, chicken stock, beans, and tropical fruit salad!
if i can get to the sale on yams and turkey again....guess what else will be going into the jars on the shelves....
and i got a lot of new cookware to do it all with...!
i still have to replace that 5 quart saute, and my chef's pan, as well as the smallest of my stock pots ( with i think an 8 quart)
and i have to add a decent sized double boiler like a 6 quart size....(cause of making yogurt and icecream)
i think however that i am about done with the cookware thing more or less
i will also add a few more knives and a few more things like more wooden spoons (cause mine are now old and cracking)
but i think that is about it for cookware
i am going to be picking up a grain mill this year from a friend of mine who is a dealer
that means no more flour from the store!!! only home ground stuff
which also means a huge goal is going to be met for being able to control the insulin resistance better
low carb and low GI blends of grains milled into flour for everything.
in addition to the cookware i did get that book on kitchens for bernie ( actually accidentally got two of the same book.....so i will be sending one back) we have a such a horrible kitchen now, even though it is an improvement over the last two incarnations of kitchen here... 5' more would be a blessing..... but we don't have 5' more- ANYWHERE
my friend jen's house has a very interesting addition of two enclosed porches one across the side and one across the front of her house..... that actually would be a smart and feasible addition if we do decide to do something here.
down the north side........ it would give us space for bookcases, and at least a few closets, such as a coat closet, food pantry, out of season. not to mention improving traffic flow through the living room.
a similar addition on the south side (but two story) would do something similar, and also include a relocation of the stairs which WOULD give us more useable kitchen space....... and more storage space and UPSTAIRS closets....(and if i could talk bernie into it.... upstairs laundry facilities)
the north one doesn't have to be wide..... 10 feet is fine
the south side..... well if we could go a bit wider there that would be good.....and put in some solar or green house panels at one point for passive solar.
i also have to say that the endless studio organization is had a tiny leap forward. bernie got a shelf system for his stuff
i have two corners yet to do in the studio and i have made nibbles on one corner.
my list of stuff to do:
the kitchen, i have to reorganized the non existent kitchen
the upstairs pantry (which is in three locations now) need a reorganizing and the two shelf pantry needs a canvas cover
repaint the bathroom
repaint the front door
you don't want to see bernie's list......... i am going to try and move a few things off his list onto mine
last time i did that i hurt my back again
but someone has to and he isn't getting time right now
ok i have to start my day now
coffee is calling
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
even though I am not religious at all we have a few as well....
my bernie has his very own angel that wears plaid.... we even call this angel, 'bernie's angel'
one night about 18 years ago or so maybe 16...... bernie was coming home from work in jersey....he was late it was winter and pretty cold.
he got up to the andover exit on rt 80 and the car died.
since it was past normal traffic time there literally was no one on the road... there was no exit for miles....it was a dark new moon, no lights NOTHING. that area is still today really rural, hilly and empty.
so quiet and still you can hear your eyelids blink.
he looked under the hood but realized that there was no way he could fix the car as the rotor had gone and he didn't have a replacement. it was an old old chevy...... like a 72 or something....
so he got back into the car and tried to sleep, what else could he do....?
meanwhile I was frantic.......terrified at what I imagined happened to him
Ok he had fallen asleep and was woken up by someone tapping on his window.....
he hadn't fallen into a deep sleep... and was up immediately
there was a man in a plaid shirt that asked him what happened........and could he help bernie....
now it was pitch black out and a NEW MOON...... you can't get any darker then that.... and bernie was slumped down on the seat a bit....
NOW MIND YOU........ he had no lightst on in the car..it was totally dead.
bernie got out of the car and told the man that he'd broken down but that the man could NOT help him as he needed a rotor for this chevy that was pretty old.
the man said....'is that all, no problem' went around back to his car..... opened the trunk reached in and found the EXACT ROTOR with no fumbling or looking at part numbers on the box..................... and handed it to bernie
bernie said to the man, ' I have three dollars in my pocket...it's yours and if you give me a name and address I will send you more money to pay for the part'
the man said to my bernie...... 'don't worry about it...... just help the next guy on the road'
bernie went to install the part and stopped midway.... looking to see why the man hadn't left or if the man needed him......
the man and the car wasn't there....
the car hadn't ever started up
hadn't ever pulled around him.....
THERE ARE NO EXITS THERE
it is a sheer drop off a cliff there
and the road goes on forever...you can literally see for miles...... no head lights or tail lights.. either way......
bernie got chills
he'd only been under the hood a few seconds!
he went back and finished putting in that rotor and came home
he got in at 3am
I was frantic......
he was amazed
he told me what happened..... totally puzzled....
and I realized
he met his angel.......
I bless that angel all the time and know that my bernie is safe out there BECAUSE that angel watches over him
Bernie always stops for folks on the road.....going way out of his way most often to help
he has picked up folks walking in the cold and taken them to a diner to call their families and bought them coffee
he has taken gramma's and their grandchildren home and then went back to help with their car
he has always done this.......
so see we firmly believe in angels around here.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
what is the best buy for the money
what will serve me the best for the longest
in my research i realized that while there are certain brands that are 'the best'
i also realized that 'the best' is what is best for YOU
or in this case ME
all clad may last a lifetime, but i am in my early 50's
and i have no children (and even if i did there is no guarentee they would like to cook)
plus it's heavy ... really heavy
ok so what have i decided
well first off i got a few tips i picked up (bless the cookware forums)
(and marshalls, and tuesday morning but we have a tjmaxx here)
and indeed i found allclad, emeril (made by allclad) calphalon, cuisenart and some very good german (made in germany) and italian (made in italy) brands
i picked up a 3 quart emeril saute for 29.99
a 1.7 quart and a 2. something quart german sauce pan each with it's lid for 16.99 and 24.99 respectively that are ready for induction
and a cuisenart 3 quart stainless saucepan, with a lip and a draining lid with two sizes of holes for 24.99
i got a cast iron, enameled 6.5 quart dutch oven from sam's club for 38.and some change
i got a 12 quart cuisenart chef's classic stockpot with pasta insert and steamer basket for 72.91
and an 8' chef's knive for 25.99
what else is on my list??
a 5 quart saute, and a few more stock pots
i think that's it
i am going to look around for a well seasoned cast iron skillet
and i am also trying to get my magnalite pro replaced
i think that's all i need right now
after all, i been cooking on crap cookware for years......it's not the cookware, it's the cook
and i can after all........ really really cook
so better equipment will just make my job easier
so better add a few more knives to that list huh?
Sunday, November 15, 2009
we recently discovered we have 'reward points' $175 to be exact
so i decided to get gift certificates to amazon, and to replace our old (really crappy i will NEVER buy that again nor recommend it to a dog) cook's essentials
the non stick doesn't!
and it peels...... badly
now my cousin charles invented the PROCESS by which teflon is able to stick to metal to make non-stick cookware (cousin on my mom's side) and at the risk of family disloyalty i have to say
someone messed up
cause it doesn't stay non stick and it's bad for the birds (and i suspect us as well)
so the quest for cook ware
i have one revere limited edition tri-ply copper core saucepan, with brass handles
i got it in i think 78 or 79 at the revere outlet in flemington for something like 3.00
mom got one too but dad dumped it ( i am still kicking myself about that as well)
i adore it
nothing sticks......... it makes the very BEST sauces
and it cleans up like a dream
so that tri-ply construction is a good thing
so is stainless steel interiors and exteriors
now i also have the OLD (1978) magnalite pro by ghc which i am going to see if they will replace and honor the warrenty........
i liked them for things potatoes, soups, tomato sauce, chili ....but the acid apparently doesn't like them
so if i get them replaced, i will use them for things like non acid stuff
beans and stews and such
that leaves me to what all else i use and need
i have an 11'' straight sided saute pan i adore, it has a helper handle which is sheer genius and in a GOOD tri-ply should be awesome
that is my 'go to pan' for stove top
i saute chicken breasts, then remove and make the sauce in it
i saute chopmeat, add tomato sauce and throw in pasta for a fast stove top thing
i make smothered pork chops,
peppers, broccoli and mixed veggie with meat stir fries in it
i made my orange chicken and my cranberry chicken
i can reduce a sauce in it FAST
i have even been known to brown off meat, add liquid and let it braise with the lid on
it's my favorite pan shape
i would adore it with a copper core...... i can't afford that
soooooooooo we'll get an aluminum core with stainless inside and out and a glass lid.....some folks don't like glass lids but i do
now onto the TYPES of stainless steel......and yes there ARE differences
there are three types you are going to run across (see this website HERE)
a fast explaination: higher number better stain resistance
and the key is RESISTANCE, not stain PROOF
also the 18/0 is able to be magnetized so is ok for induction ranges
we would prefer 18/10 inside the cookware (actually all over but if you only get an 'inside vs outside' i would opt for inside)
there are also gauges but i would say to you... heft the pan and see if you can lift it
now put a cabbage head in it and heft it again..... did your arm break?
if so keep looking
i am looking at:
emeril pro clad line (made by all clad)
i am NOT looking at all clad (ok i am but i understand their customer service is a nightmare)
i am sort of looking at some of the other tri-ply lines however the one other that got super top ratings by cooks illustrated went out of business
now for long simmering on low heats you want something THICK, and heavy
that's why i had liked the magnalite
but now i want porcelain on cast iron
yup the le crueset
or at least something similar
sam's had a 6.5 dutch oven with cover for under 40.00
and you know what......it's also red! i am seriously thinking of getting that
i would like two but that's ok.....one is ok
now onto steaming veggies or making rice pilaf
i have a steamer arrangement that sort of works
it's an old t-fal saucepan with a revere ware steamer topper/insert thing, that i add the magnalite lid to
but it does work
you want that water to boil FAST and generate a lot of steam then cool down fast as well so it isn't oversteamed
at least i do
i need something to boil brussels in too...... so i have a tiny magnalite and i also need a couple of 2 and 3 quart sauce pans
something to cook rice in as well
(no i don't want a rice cooker)
then of course a stock pot or 6
and a pot large enough to cook pasta....with an insert
i have the insert!
stock pots need to be tall..... and they need to have heavy bottoms......really heavy
i like big ones
20 quarts is a good starter, as i want to fit a turkey carcass in there
i would also like a 25 quart and maybe even a 3o quart
now at this point i imagine you are all wondering (if you don't know us very well) why two people need such extreme cookware............
yup we do it
ok so I do it........bernie doesn't usually
which also means I need to be able to lift them! for filling at least
so i need either a pot filler faucet over the stove.....which i would love but bernie is skeptical
or i need to be able to carry it at least half full over to the stove...... ( ok so maybe a quarter full, as when i lift these suckers full i tend to dislocate ribs)
i am actually thinking of the emeril proclad set but really i don't need the frying pan or the steamer insert thingie
and the 'dutch oven' is 6 quarts......smallish for my big batch cooking and preserving
and a bit large for just a fast soup or sauce
but the line in open stock is limited
i would however like to try a sauce pan in it if they have a 3 quart
now the stock pot........ or stock POTS
i am going to start to look now
i have a 20 quart that is stainless but thin....... and a bit pitted on the bottom (crap stainless i think)
i would like an encapsulated bottom for the stock pots, and i think a free standing french pot rack.......... which ironically may just work in my disaster of a kitchen!
let's see....... i will keep the two smallish non sticks for now.... because bernie uses his presto griddle for most egg things or a poacher i got ( which i need new cups for already!)
but with an eye to cast iron in the very near future
now, that leaves me with what?
oven? well i have a ton of old corningware, and old pyrex ( you know.. the PRE exploding variety) as well as the newer (all things are relative here) french white corningware and a few old (30 years worth) phaltzgraff casseroles in stoneware....from when they actually were MADE IN AMERICA....what a concept!
i could use a lasagna pan but i been using the french white which is deep enough, and the ones i have are old so they are pretty big compared to what i see now
the only other thing i lust after is a maslin pan.....the stainless one from lee valley
so there you have it
at this point
a peek into the thought processes that i am using
i am also going to give you some links
(in addition to the one above)
here is one place i joined to look into cookware
now here are some other interesting links
le crueset (american division)
emeril pro clad review at amazon
best reviewed cookware article and HERE as well
calphalon tri ply
edited to add that cuisinart has a multclad as well as a brand called tramontina
stockpot i am considering
cast iron skillet i would like
ok apparently a DISK bottom is better for sauce pots that simmer liquids....... (and stock pots as well) so now i am going to look for disk bottoms for sauce pots,
i need 2.5, 3, 3.5 and 4 quart (and i need at least two of the 3qt sauce pans)
an interesting discussion HERE
Friday, November 13, 2009
all grown now with chicklets of her own.
i do miss her.....or more exactly the child she was when she lived with us
i adored that kid.
she used to follow me around like a puppy, and i spent numerous pay checks on her and her sister.
haven't spoken to her since 1992
i did communicate with her in 1995
but that was pretty much it
it's apparently her choice... as she never responded after i sent her a huge box of stuff for her first born (and my great neice)
i saw her and her sister on face book and pm'd her...... that was back in september or august, and i've never heard from her
tonight ( you'll read this in the AM) i am listening to music (don't drop dead yet) classical music and knitting on my scarf.......waiting for bernie to get home... and thinking of the kids
(we all always referred to my neices as 'the kids', as they were kids when bernie and i married als0)
i am getting to the point in my life, where i am thinking about the end of my life... no doubt because almost everyone i knew is gone now......
and also because one of bernie's younger friend's died yesterday.....just never woke up
that is a very easy way to go
no one knows when they will be finished here, but i just realized that my days are more numbered then ever before
i have stuff that when i do go, needs to go to the kids
stuff that was my mother's and i promised on her death bed that if i did not have children that the kids would get it
bernie and i discussed it and he isn't too crazy about the idea....
one of the other things i am thinking of is moving vs staying
i think even if i did want to stay........it's impossible
i realized that these past few weeks while i did bernie's chores in addition to mine,
the house is not set up to easily take care of if you are elderly and even slightly handicapped
just getting the wood in is a nightmare
i got the wood cart but still need to get it up to the front porch......which may mean over the front lawn and a nightmare of ice during the winter
there isn't any easy way for me to get my wood in without bernie
what if bernie isn't in the picture?
some of this is hard and sobering to think about......
what IF bernie isn't in the picture....
how do i manage?
what if I am not in the picture? how does bernie manage.......?
(he'll do much better without me then i will do without him)
i think we need to start to think of a ranch type house
on a slab..........
with level property
Thursday, November 12, 2009
and my back started to get better
so did my legs
so ironically did the nausea.................
i wonder if the poorly fitting run down used shoes i been wearing around the house have something to do with the extreme pain etc in my back??
well with my good walking shoes on, i managed to finish canning the turkey
and bringing in the ducks didn't hurt as much
but i got the old crap shoes on right now
and i think i need to order some new shoes from zappos
i got the new balance i think they are the 527
on to bernie news.......one of his former (from his last job) co workers died yesterday, he got the call at work, and he is thinking of trying to go to the wake friday night
i told him that i won't be able to go with him
he'd be on his own with that and he is going to SEE his former coworker in the coffin dead.
( that normally is something he won't do)he has to make up his mind by tonight as he needs to bring good clothes with him to work
and change before he goes
(which i just realized, and he may not have yet)
i am almost done with that new scarf...IF the yardage holds out... this ball of trekking xxl has had a LOT of broken plies in it... way too many for the amount of money i paid for it. thank goodness i didn't knit socks with it..they'd never held up
as a scarf however it is pretty nice, although that picture doesn't capture the true colors, as they are much more saturated and richer. OH and that picture is taken on the new drafting table workbench in the corner that used to have my porcelain workbench... i got plants on that table now too...
anyway that trekkiing has been marinated in stash for about 5 years or so now.......so it's time no????
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
after whacking off some of it's appendages....... and almost finding a pan it fit into
it was good........now it's going into freezer bags and canning jars for meals throughout the year
i canned chicken stock yesterday
and i have only 2 out of 7 seal.......so i will reprocess today
and start the turkey stock out of the carcass of the monster turkey
(what was i thinking?, even bernie had issues with that bird........as i couldn't get it OUT of the oven)
meanwhile i again hurt my back and most likely (it feels like it anyway) popped a rib out again
now popping a rib out is not nearly as much fun as it sounds......believe me
and i would actually love to sleep in all day until it either pops back.......(highly unlikely without intervention)
or until i can get to the chiro......
again highly unlikely
so meanwhile i am waiting for the sun to come up so i can take the ducks out and start today's canning
ok in the jackass neighbors.......well now you can pick a side, as i got them on both sides now
the original jackass had left his wife and kids to knock up another female and have a kid with her, (in april the latest kid was born)
now he's back here again, but his wife is keeping him low......they've ditched his cars and she is using her van to get around with him
bernie saw them
now the uphill neighbor who's house guest cursed at me and told me to keep my F*CKING ducks in my house........you know the ducks that DO NOT QUACK AS THEY ARE MUSCOVY,
hasn't really been out much
i would hope that they are ashamed that a house guest of theirs had the audacity to do that to a neighbor.....
but somehow i doubt it
as obviously no one is apologizing so i suppose they think they are better or entitled or what ever
i have decided........ this is a very GOOD thing not talking to them
and my time is now my own for the most part
in knitting news i bought a pattern from a person on ravelry for a garter stitched tip to tip lace edged scarf/shawl in fingering or sock yarn
i am about half way through it
it's a fast easy knit and i do like it
enough that i am thinking of making a couple with varied edging....
it was and it wasn't worth the 5.00 i paid for it
it's very well written but it's just a garter stitch scarf with lace edging
but it's very well written and i like to try and help the small independant vendors
ok so that is what i am working on right now...in trekking xxl sock yarn......hahahaha
looks sorta interesting and is striping in a cool way
i may do this again!
Monday, November 09, 2009
Sunday, November 08, 2009
i been thinking of family.
a few times during the evening, we would say stuff and my cousin would say stuff.....
and it was italian stuff.....you had to be raised that way
you can say to an italian kid 'you know how it is'
and they really do
we were taught to have extreme respect for elders, or expect a slapped face, or even a hair brush or slipper thrown at us.
there are things you just do if you are italian, (as with other cultures) without even thinking of it
such as you never show up empty handed... you just DON'T (i brought my freshly baked crispy snickerdoodles....... they loved them)
you put your best foot forward in food etc for guests...and especially family guests
there is no one more important in an italian family THEN THE FAMILY
anyway we had a good time, we laughed, we kidded around and teased each other.....we talked about the relatives living and dead.
we had a good enough time that we actually stayed up way past our bedtime and stayed OUT way past our bedtime
now today, i got a turkey at weis, for .49 a pound.......we did try and get the .40 a pound walmart turkey but our's didn't have any at all for that price.......the cheapest was .60 a pound
so i am going to cook and can this one this week
i have a 21 pounder to cook and can also
and we'll most likely have a turkey breast for the holiday
today we are having homemade pot pie
as i stewed a chicken friday and have stock
i will most likely can this today
i need a few more stewers however
so instead of chicken, this year may be turkey soups and stocks all winter
anyway....today it's 64 degrees out
bernie put the ducks out as i was way too tired today
he is actually home this weekend..... he almost had to go on a road call yesterday but sent a wrecker instead.
he also brought in wood
a LOT of wood and put my wood cart together, and stocked the deck woodpile as well
so naturally it's really warm out...... how could it not be!
anyway.. that is our weekend
hope you all have been having a good one
Saturday, November 07, 2009
i let him sleep in (i was up at 3 but stayed there reading ghost stories with the cats and bernie sleeping)
he's had a problem that he solved at work with motors getting trashed by a defective aftermarket part.
it took a bit of detective work on his part but he figured it out
and saved the company money, downtime,....... and ultimately did his small part to make sure the ambulances are running and out there saving lives
his company is so wonderful that they called him in and told him how happy they were and proud of him
which is rare these days......most companies wouldn't bother at all.
it made him so happy to be acknowledged.
it also took a load off his mind as he could not figure out why all these units were having the exact same problems and needed heavy motor work
now as for today, i got my woodcart last night after i got the last load in the house.
bernie is going to put it together sometime today
and he is also going to be putting the 1/4 cord on the deck so i am going to be able to just get it from there instead of having to go down to the big piles like i been doing
(it's a good thing too, as the nerves in my outer calves are burning again)
i am trying to see if i can plan a big batch canning/cooking/freezing session with chop meat and also chicken breast... i can't quite afford the wholesale prices right now.....the prices are great but i don't have enough for the minimum poundage
that would so help me out though as i would be basically stocked and done with a lot of cooking for the bigger part of the winter
i also need to do a sam's club run and i need to get to shoprite
i need 100 pounds of sugar etc.....
let's see.....i visited a new to me knitting store yesterday, wow i loved the people there!
they even recognized that my hat was one of my designs which a lot of folks don't realize
i didn't buy anything but boy was i tempted
bernie just told me he is going to fix the dryer..hahahaha it's only been two years
Friday, November 06, 2009
i just walked by the table in the living room........another year
i sort of missed halloween and i most likely will almost miss thanksgiving with a slight sideways slide into christmas
today i am thinking about this house
part of me loves it
part of me hates it
and i hate hate hate the neighbors
and the neighborhood...... the townships zoning etc
i like that it's almost paid for, and that it's easy to heat
and i love my second floor studio and deck in the trees
i love how quaint it is
but the no storage at all thing......that's worn thin 20 years ago and hasn't improved much since
i am still gasping with disbelief at the audacity of the uphill neighbor condoning the 20 year old house guest's cursing at me!
i am still pissed that i am going to have to put a fence in that is going to cost me the price of new windows and siding because the neighbors are not actually being neighborly
bernie reminded me of all the favors etc we've done over the years for them
helping with thier cars, helping with the wood when the owner was in the hospital and after surgery
helping when the wife was in an accident
helping with the granddaughter, great grandmother,
we've decided that they did us a favor
i also realized that when i have neighbor problems it is time to move on
oh man this is overwhelming
now yesterday, bringing in the ducks, both phoebe and me realized that phoebe indeed has fully functioning flight feathers ( say that three times fast with coffee......)
as she started us and became AIRBORNE
the second time she actually realized what happened, and hit the ground confused and turned and LOOKED at me
i rushed to pick her up and carry her into the house
kissing her head gratefully that she was ok
and hadn't startled herself and flew away
today is a walking day..... it looks like it is going to end up being twice a week not three times.
and my log cart is due to be delivered
i threw logs on the deck yesterday, it isn't easy for me to do
but i got a few up there
if i was a few inches taller i could do it
yesterday i got two loads of laundry done and two loads of wood in
a load of dishes
and supper was bean and ham soup...........my home canned beans, my home canned ham..... a few of my home dried (some home grown) veggies........ a lot of garlic and boom........
it was good, and even bernie liked it
he was surprised
he also took it for lunch today
now today i am doing up a stewer
we need the stock
and i will make salad or pot pie out of the chicken meat
i want to do a batch session of chop meat..... at 1.59 a pound
and just in 2# packs for some other stuff that doesn't freeze or can well
and with chicken breast at 1.39 i want to do 20 pounds in jars......and 20 pounds of cordon bleu
and i would LOVE to do 20 pounds in breaded
i don't have the available money for it right now
due to car insurance and a few (duckie) emergencies.......
good thing i am stocked up on most stuff
Thursday, November 05, 2009
since it's gotten really cold we took the hose in, so water buckets were FUN in the morning.
since i still have lilli in the molt bad, and momma still afraid of phoebe (not to mention me not wanting them greeting each other due to ALL the asshole neighbors now) so it's 3 buckts and a 7 gallon small bath
i need to get two new buckets though so i can just carry buckets out
not buckets to fill the small bath as well
then walking at the mall.....
while i waited for jen, a woman sat down next to me, so i talked to her.
i was knitting a hat (actually had just finished it)
she thought i was selling them
i said no they are for me
we talked a tiny bit
then she 'got a cell phone call'
but it didn't ring
and then couldn't get 'signal'
she left and i was thinking........'gee all you had to say was, excuse me i need to go back to walking again'
anyway jen arrived and we did the mall 4 or 5 times
then went to borders, for coffee. i had a 5.00 discount thingie so i got me a ghost book
later it was wood.........i threw my back out
so ordered a wood cart on sale from cabela.....
good thing too, as bernie told me last night with him responsible for three fleets and counting.....
it looks like hauling wood is going to figure predominately in my future
we had chicken salad and cream of tomato soup for supper and when we finally sat down to eat.... at 9pm, i realized i hadn't eatten all day except for coffee
how did THAT happen?
so today the woodstove is cranky.............my back is hovering on the verge of being totally out
and i got more wood to get in
but the coffee is good
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
this is on a SMALL fire last night
not the full all night sub zero burns
i love my woodstove.......... and i got a small fire in there started now, which i will load up shortly
now onto walking..... we are to go walking at the mall today.
i haven't been to the mall in i think 7 or 9 years
could be longer
i am almost finished a new color knit hat
for some odd reason it's too small
and i ripped it back cause it was too BIG
i think i need to make them on size 8's
(now that will be way too big.......watch)
jen was up to the pet store and all 4 of the budgies i wanted are still there apparently
i sooooooooooo wish i had the cage space cause then all four would be living HERE
two purple one gray and a sky blue clear wing.......
oh and i got a 5.00 check with borders i need to use........... so there are a few books i would like to read and not pay through the nose for
i am not sure what we are going to do with the cookware yet
i am most likely going to get a 5.5 quart saute, and i am really tempted to go with a copper core tri clad from all clad...........
i need a really good stock pot 16 quart is almost big enough
a saute pan
a few sauce pans, 1.5, 2, 3, 4 quart and they should be good ones
i am dumping every single peice of non stick we have, even though my cousin invented the process whereby non stick STICKS to metal.......i hate the cookware
eventually it all peels
and then there are birds........we have birds again
but i am not entirely convinced anymore that non stick is good for us either
sorry cousin charles.......
ok so i am off now.....i have to load the stove a bit more and take the ducks out and go walking and then bring in wood
i need a log cart
and a clone
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
thank you for keeping us warm all night
today it's to go up to 50
it was 36 when i took the ducks out, falstaff was shivering a bit, he's getting so old.
phoebe decided she couldn't wait and jumped in with the chickens to eat THEIR breakfast.
i got her out
the chickens weren't happy
i dreamt that the ducks and/or kiss the dog got out and were running around on my old childhood street
that a neighbor (mrs polski) was very upset about them being out and was telling everyone to call the police to help me get them back
i had found that dad had not secured the gate properly, and that's how the duck/dog (it kept morphing back and forth between a duck and a dog)
i was terrified that someone was going to hurt my baby
i did however get them back in the dream....which made me realize how unsafe i feel living here.
how bad has it gotten when a neighbors HOUSEGUEST curses at you for no reason!
so i am worried that my ducks aren't safe out there
today, i am going to clean the kitchen a bit, and finish the christmas cookie list for this year
and maybe see about starting some doughs to freeze until later
i got the snickerdoodles, peanutbutter and gingerbread cookies on the list already
i should add the sugar and butter cookies
and finally.....the springerlles
i have to order the hornshorn ( is that what it's called? nope it's hartshorn)
now yesterday i moved more stuff in the studio so i could light the woodstove, which i did again last night
i also washed the windows i could reach
i did more laundry, and started roughs on the color drawing of the 'monsters in the wind'
today i got more of the same plus finishing up the cookie planning
i also have some dishes to do (when does everyone have dishes to do?)
i am hoping to get some knitting time in as well, having ripped back that hat i am working on to the brim so i can reknit the crown
(ohohoh, someone remind me to order lopi for mittens please)
tomorrow is walking day..... we are supposed to walk monday wenesday and friday but it's working out to be wens and fri.........
monday is just too rough to get to after busy weekends
meanwhile i have to bring in firewood today
so bernie doesn't have to
ok til next time
Monday, November 02, 2009
so i can drink my coffee for a bit and then take my babies out
at a reasonable time without rushing
we got the studio a bit more straightened out.......bernie moved some of the really heavy stuff for me
the porcelain clay and the cases of slip and the plaster
i still have more molds to move, as he found TWO large plastic totes filled with molds
molds are heavy
multiple molds are impossibly heavy
i have two totes to move myself
one with molds and one with fabric
that will happen today
and tonight we will again do a break in firing
we've finally gotten the oil in the tank down to half way...... (since july 05) so we need to fill it soon.......hopefully we will get another 4 years out of the next tank as well
(and we used to get about 5 weeks out of a full tank...... we can't afford to fill it like that now)
bernie was in a vile mood sunday...... between the neighbors on both sides now, he's discusted
he keeps telling me 'get that fence guy up here fast' he is appalled that the uphill neighbors would allow a 20 year old houseguest to curse and insult me, and disrespect not only us but them.... then he saw jackass neighbor on the downhill side.....who has apparently abandoned his new 'future wife' and new son........(not even a year old yet) and has moved back in with his 'current' wife and old kids.......
in good news, he's finally decided to take an interest in paying the bills.......(who are you and what did you do with my bernie!!!)
in doing so.........we discovered i had 175.00 gift card waiting in the rewards points on the cc we've had for years.........
so i arranged for that to be shipped to us
new pots and pans..........all stainless from amazon here we come
so that was good
he still needs to know how to pay one other bill........ and how to figure some of the yearly/quarterly stuff but he could more or less take over if i am down for the count
although he informed me that he would use the USPS
i tried to explain to him that sometimes....... due to the way he gets paid....he really won't be able to do that
he won't listen
let's hope i am not down for the count any time soon
so that was it in a nutshell.........
yup we do have to move
Sunday, November 01, 2009
first i heard a few male voices.......
and then the horse walk down the hill
it wasn't quite a trot but it wasn't a slow walk either
i didn't get up to look as i didn't have my distance glasses up there so i figured i wouldn't be able to see anyway
i am assuming, that this was a ill fated attempt at a halloween costume........and the 'prop' got away
i haven't gotten around to looking at the local paper online yet but i wouldn't be at all surprised if there was a riderless horse on the cover...........
halloween was not as good as we planned
bernie had to work, and after assuring me he was going to be home by noon.........strolled in at about 4:30 or a bit later
i was not happy for a whole bunch of reasons........ some with the state of the studio that i can't move by myself
some with the plans we had that didn't happen,
i know he felt bad but i felt worse
as it is my favorite holiday and every year it seems something happens that i don't get to do it all like i planned
even watching the moon didn't work out as it started to POUR out
and no holiday candy either.........
double sniff sniff
enough feeling sorry, as we have to do the saturday errands, feed store-grain and hay, kmart, a shade, home depot, casters. pet store cat food.................
i really needed to go to sam's for a commerical shelf and some odds and ends but can't afford it as the car insurance is due
it's always something isn't it?
and the duck pen is not finished.... it needs a wall and two doors then we could always tarp it agains the rain/wind/snow/ assholes.........
now as the the feathery and furry family...... momma duck has had her last baytril and she is doing ok, still in the molt but ok.
lilli is growing HUGE pink flights in............. so she is so totally out of sorts as to be a nightmare... phoebe loves her momma so much now...... it's 'mommy pick me up and mommy kiss me and mommy hold me i love you'
falstaff seems to be walking much slower lately
he worries me
i wish i could handle him a lot better.......but there isn't any handling him
we'd have to dart him i think....... too bad i didn't raise him.
however even though i didn't raise him, he is doing remarkably well as far as being trained to go in and out.... but no one can touch him
the chickens are down to only 1 bird laying out of the 4
and the budgies are a constant source of amusment. bernie loves to watch them
i love to as well but i REALLY love listening to them talk to each other
now the furry ones.... they don't really like thier new food, but they need to deal..........
it's much better for them as there isn't any corn, so thaddeaus isn't itching as much
and it seems to be less and less every day
he's taken to watching the budgies..... but he won't bother them
he does it so i will play with him
that's no dumb pussycat you know..........
the girls are great..... they enjoy sleeping on my head while i am having night sweats and hot flashes...... gee thanks girls.......
this morning is daylight savings or what ever the hell it is
so it's 8:32 but really it's after 9am
we haven't eatten yet but after we'll be going to take the ducks out and then run errands.
bernie just ran up to get milk while i have my first coffee and type this blog post
it sometimes takes me a while in the morning
and today it's taken me a while
well happy new year to any witches
and a blessed all souls to any christians......
have a wonderful weekend