Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The China is Going to a Good Home

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I has come to my attention that I am now ready to see some of my treasured items go to a new home.

My china.

Before I was married, a couple that I worked for gave me a place setting of this lovely china.

At our wedding, they gave me the rest of the set - gasp!
So dainty, and feminine.
Pink glass accessories are very nice with it.

It must not have been a very popular selling item
because I have not seen many extra pieces in my years of
digging through piles of yard sales
shopping the aisles of thrift stores
and seeing it online.

It is German made and the store where the couple purchased it has long since closed it doors.

I still love it
I think I will love it more when I see it in my daughter "B's" home.

It has survived over 40 years of marriage,
six children
and I didn't use it as often as it deserved.
But, it is all there, no chips, cracks, etc.
Service for 8.

Long ago, this child claimed it for herself.
It was a joke that she would get it after...
after I was finished with it.
The other girls have other claims in also,
but that is for another post.

Well, I don't see myself giving dinner parties
and she is rather a social butterfly,
so, it will now be put to good use.

I like to give "with an open hand",
which means to me that whoever gets what I give
can do whatever they want with the gift,
no strings attached.
It is now theirs.

I packed it in a box and the next time "B" comes, she can properly pack it for travel.
Because it is going around 1750 miles to its new home.
Half a country away.

It's a good thing.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Fruit Smoothie

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Mr drinks one of these every day. I love them, too, but right now I am trying to limit my carbohydrates, so...
No gluten, no dairy - that is unless you want to add it...

I use 8 ingredients, and it make two largish servings.

I put everything in the blender and give it a whirl

Measurements are approximate:
1/2 Cup Orange Juice
1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds
1 ripe banana
1/2 Cup pineapple (today I used canned in its own juice)
crushed or any kind will work - add some of the juice too
Mango chunks - frozen
my store carries these - it is only fruit with some stuff to keep it from turning brown...
Peach slices - like the mango, frozen
and like the mango, they have no sugar added - only fruit
Lately, I have added a large washed leaf of Kale
(I have drawn the line at the stem at this point, maybe I will add it if I get a better blender)
And, lastly, a golden delicious apple
(because that is the kind Mr likes)

I throw all of this into my blender (an older one at that)
and pulse it and then really get down to business with running it.

It is really important to at least let the lid rest on top of the ingredients,
as I found out this morning when it spurted out all over me, my glasses, the counter, etc...

As it blends, it will condense down

Now, with it turned off, give it some stirs, then continue to run it to get all the fruit to the bottom
where the real stuff is going on.

One will be enjoyed today and the other will be refrigerated with a cover for tomorrow.
I know, it probably loses some of its goodness, nutrition and all, but it makes two
and I am too lazy to do this every day!

My blender is an Osterizer
Just a plain Jane, but she is a workhorse.
I think she is probably 20 years old - times flies by so fast.

I found a VitaMix at a yard sale a while back.
But it needed a replacement "doodad" and I was just too lazy to order it...
So, I sold it at a show and made a $60 profit.

Unless someone wants to give me a VitaMix, I will continue to use this one until it dies.
Then, I am promised a new one.
(I am not suggesting or hinting here)
I am just telling you that this one works fine for me - and yours will probably do so also.

Enjoy whatever variety of fruits you want in your drink.
They freeze great, too, for the summer.
I am going to be looking for "popsicle" makers for the summer.
I will probably find them at a yard sale, I do most other things too.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Breaking the Bread Code

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I have heard of color ties for dating the freshness of bread.

Each day of the week is assigned a color and you go by the color to determine what day of the week the bread was baked.

Accordingly, I did a very short internet search to find out what colors go to what days. And, bread is baked only certain days (what do they bake on the other days?  - twinkies?)


Monday - Blue

Tuesday - Green

Wednesday - Day off - or twinkie day

Thursday - Red

Friday - White

Saturday - Yellow

Sunday - Another twinkie day

So, I usually get my homemade bread from a friend who does the whole thing from scratch, adds extra ingredients to make it even more healthy, bakes it in her own kitchen and delivers it to me. How much better than that? Should I get her some color ties, just to liven things up a bit? What color should Wednesday be? (my usual day of delivery)...

Maybe I should just leave things the way they are and not "rock the boat"

By the way, I also found out that these colors codes don't work for all bread manufacturers... some have their own colors and they PAY people to rotate the stock on the shelves so you won't have a week old loaf laying there for you to grab.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Fantastic Mashed Potatoes

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Many years ago, a dear friend gave me this recipe and we have never looked back.

This recipe is very versatile, you can make it up to a couple of days before you plan to serve them and reheat the dish in the oven or microwave. Whenever we have a family dinner and mashed potatoes are planned, then someone is assigned  The Mashed Potatoes. We all know which recipe will be used - this one.

There is a funny story associated with these potatoes. We were having dinner with our prospective son-in-law (he has now been my son-in-law for over 20 years!)and his brother was there also.  Anyway... after we had pretty much all eaten our fill, the brother jumped up from the table and started doing sorta jumping jack in place! We were all astonished! What was going on? He then sat down and asked to be passed more potatoes. OK... what was that? He replied he was just making more room for more potatoes...

On to the recipe:

Fantastic Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes

5 lb bag of potatoes
1 8 oz cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
1 cube of butter
some minced onion

If you were looking for a low-fat version - move on...

I like to peel and then dice the potatoes and then boil them. To me, it gets the mess out of the way. After they are tender, drain them in a colander.

After they drain, I put them into my trusty Kitchen Aid mixer bowl. I can't tell you how many times I thank the Lord for this mixer. It has served me well for over 20 years and is still going strong.

Throw the other ingredients into the bowl too. Start with bursts of the mixer spinning, or you will grace your kitchen, counters and floor with potato mixture. After things settle down, add some salt, pepper and mix it up til it is smooth. Put it into a casserole, bowl or whatever you plan on serving your potatoes in. I put mine into a casserole and will heat it up tomorrow for our lunch. I am serving it with homemade meatballs and gravy. Yum. I am kinda hoping that the top makes a little crust and browns up some when I reheat it. A little more butter on top makes it look like it will jump right on to your plate - like I said, if you are looking for a low-fat potato - this a'int it.

These potatoes are so good...enough said.