Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Last of Summer - Two New Recipes

When I wrote my last post, Blogspot would not let me complete it. I may be finding a new home for my blog. The garden this summer was a dismal failure. What started out with such promise, quickly became a disaster. Here the garden was thriving...
Here is what it looked like several weeks later. Last year I had a bumper crop of cucumbers, and this year I only got one. All the vines died and these cukes rotted on what vine was left.
The garden did not yield one zucchini, green pepper, or eggplant. My grape tomatoes were the size of dimes. I think the two weeks we were on vacation in June did most of the damage. It never rained and was also unbelievably hot. The second week the garden was watered every three days, but by the time I got home, it was apparent I was going to lose this year's garden.
We lost a large part of the second Bradford Pear Tree. I now have one and a half trees left. While in Myrtle Beach during June, there was an epic trememdous storm that toppled several of the trees in the neighborhood. Fortunately, the largest part of the tree is still there, so I will keep it till another storm claims the rest of it. A large branch that gave a fourth of the tree it's shape fell during the storm. We can now see the middle of the tree on the left side.
I wasn't sure the trunk would survive with such an injury, but so far it has healed itself. The other branches appear healthy.
I made a new pizza recently. The recipe was sent to me by my daughter. It is a taco pizza. You start with a crust, spread refried beans on it, then top with taco seasoned hamburger, chopped tomatoes, onions, black olives, and cheese. Bake until crust is done and cheese is melted. (I always prebake my crust for a few minutes).
I let it rest after baking for five minutes, then I topped my slice with lettuce, salsa, sour cream, and guacamole. It was delicious!
My husband has been on The Atkins Diet for over 4 years. I've been trying different low carb recipes recently. Yesterday I made fried turnips. First of all, you have to like turnips to try this dish. If you do, it was good, but darn time consuming! Start with sliced onions and turnips. I used my food processor to slice these. I am not one of those cooks who finds it therapeutic to chop and slice...
Heat up olive oil in a pan, add onions, and cook until golden, moving them constantly.
Add turnips to pan and cook, flipping constantly so they don't burn.
They will begin to turn a more golden color. Sprinkle with about 1/2 tsp of cumin, and cook till turnips are soft and golden. (You have time for a glass of wine waiting for the turnips to turn soft...)
I must admit towards the end I plopped some butter in there because I like butter and turnips, but you don't have too. Salt and pepper to taste. I paired the turnips with oven-fried boneless pork chops and asparagus. The turnips were very flavorful.
Have a great day!

Monday, August 27, 2012

This Past Summer at My House

I cannot believe it's been so long since I wrote a blog. After the trip to Boston, it seems the summer just flew by... We went to Myrtle Beach in June, and were joined by Miss Cassidy and her lovely parents. They stayed for a week, and it was so fun to watch Cassidy on the beach. She was just a toddler last time she was there. She was quite awed by the sight of the ocean. However she was not scared. She walked right in, clothes and all!
In July I went to North Carolina for one last visit to the house. It has been sold, and soon everyone will be moving on. The house was lonely without my mom there.
It was fun to visit with family members. I was only there a few days because we headed back to Myrtle Beach for one last trip before school started again. This time Susan joined us for a few days.
Billy hates the beach, but Susan managed to get him out there for awhile. I usually feel like I'm vacationing with a vampire who only comes out after dark.
It was a nice week with beautiful weather. Unfortunately, we were there two weeks. The first week the weather looked like this...
The last week it looked like this...(It is not evening, that is a dark storm cloud)
And this...
But as the saying goes, a bad day at the beach, is better than a good day anywhere else. Plus, the RV NEVER LEAKED, so Bill was quite pleased with that. It was the first time rainy weather at the beach didn't send him to bed early. Have a great day!!!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Short Trip to Beantown....

We had the opportunity last week to take a short trip to Boston, Massachusetts. I've watched the John Adams mini-series a million times, plus I've read three biographies on both him, and his wife Abigail. So I was intrigued enough to want NEED to see the homes they have there. This is the home where John Adams was born and raised. It sits right next to a busy road. Even when he lived there, it was the main road to Boston. Here is the home he shared with Abigail and where all his children were born. His son, John Quincy was born there, so the 2nd and the 6th Presidents of the United states were born right next door to each other. Look how close to the road the house is... After he returned from his government service in Europe, The Adamses bought this house they named "Peacefield." You are not allowed to take any photography inside the homes. Peacefield was really interesting. It was owned by family until the 1920's. All of the furnishings are original to the family. There are portraits, books, and sculptures there. There is even a dining room table that John and Abigail bought in Philadelphia. It was as if the family just left one day, and the Park Service started doing tours the next... I would love to have this front entrance. There are beautiful gardens and even a library that holds thousands of books belonging to the Adams family, built by John Quincy's son, Charles. The library was built in 1870. The most memorable part of the tour was the crypt of both John and Abigail, and John Quincy and Louisa, his wife. They are buried under a church, and their crypt was sealed until the early 1900's. It was eerie being there, knowing that when their graves were placed there, it wasn't intended to be a tourist attraction. Bill standing at the foot of Abigail Adams final resting place. John Quincy and his wife's graves are in the distance. Afterwards we walked the Boston Freedom Trail. It outlines the city's important places as this country began it's independence from Great Britain. The Granary has thousands of people buried there, including those murdered during the Boston Massacre, Paul Revere, and Benjamin Franklin's parents. This was the site of the Boston Massacre. Centuries later, there is a Chipotle's next door. There was much more to the Trail, but I also just loved the look and feel to the city. It was so clean and pretty. It had a mixture of old buildings and new. There are pretty parks and fountains dotted throughout the city. On the way home, it rained as New York City became the world's longest parking lot for 3 looong hours. But by the time we crossed the George Washington Bridge, the clouds were gone and the sun was shining. The sunset over the Delaware river was beautiful. Though I had to say goodbye to John Adams and his beloved home, I hope to visit again someday and spend more time getting to know the beautiful State of Massachusetts. Bye for now, President Adams!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

This Past Week at My House

It has been a busy week at my house this past week. We went to the Shenandoah Valley for a family reunion on my husband's side of the family. For the first time in many years, I had most of my children with me, including Cassidy! (just missing Melissa) This is the second photo this year of my children without a christmas tree in it. Score some bonus points for getting together more often!
Connie Rush's family representing!!! (Connie is Bill's father)
The next day while shopping with Cassidy, she wanted to stop at the Build-a-Bear Store. She knows I'm planning to buy her one for her birthday this autumn. Never trust a face this cute when they say "I know we're not going to buy anything, I just want to look."
In short order, she picked out a doggie, helped push the pedal to stuff it, and even gave it a bath. To hold down the cost, I said "Only the doggie and an outfit, nothing more"...
Then she named it "Darlene" after me. After that, "Darlene the doggie" went bling-bling...
On Memorial Day we took Cassidy to the cemetary where two of her great-grandparents are buried. There was an American flag on every grave. I told her how important it is honor and respect those who are serving and/or have served in our military. So many have given their lives so we can live free. Someday I pray she truly understands that sacrifice.
We took the boat out on June 1st. It was the latest start to the fishing season we've had in years. The last time we went fishing, we had an earthquake that caused the Washington Monument to lose some height. The weather was beautiful...
And the fish were biting!
On the gardening front, everything is doing well, I think. The zucchini plants have taken over the box. They are all showy with their big yellow flowers, but I don't see any evidence of something to eat. Susan told me I can eat the flowers, but I think I'll pass on that.
This box is doing amazing! The cucumbers are climbing higher on the grid everyday. I have a dozen little cucumbers growing larger everyday. The onions are huge, and the cantaloupe vines have reached into the herb container and are trying to choke the rosemary plant to death.
I have already harvested some greenbeans!
Have a wonderful week!!!