About The Country Wife Blog

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Mission: The Adventure Begins

On Thursday we finished rushing around: packing, taking boxes to the post office, packing, then taking more boxes to the post office, and finally putting ourselves in the car, stopping a moment for prayer, then headed to the stake center where we had a final interview with the Stake President and were then set apart, making up official full time missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

We then hit the road...

That night we stayed in Berlin, Connecticut at a nice clean motel.  We were completely shot.  We fell asleep instantly. Friday morning there was a very nice breakfast BUT no vegan, oil-free, salt-free, and sugar-free food.  Disappointing not to stick to my planned diet on the very first day.

Friday we left around 8 AM and drove through until we arrived in Charleston, West Virginia.  There was a pool in the motel but we were too tired to take advantage of it.  Across the access road was a Hardees/Red Burrito franchise.  I got us each a bean and rice burrito, some salad, and a chocolate milk shake for Dear One who was thrilled with that!  We were almost instantly asleep that night also.

Saturday morning there were even fewer options for acceptable food  so I went across to Hardees and got several salads and sides of beans to go on top.  The manager was very kind to prepare them for me as it was breakfast time and they don't have that food ready at that time of day.  Again we left around 8 AM and drove and drove and drove...750 miles or so.  At one point the thermometer in the car registered the outside temperature as 102 degrees.  We arrived in Blue Springs, Missouri at 7:45 PM at 97 degrees!

We scouted a little for the LDS meetinghouse, did not find it quickly so Dear One humored me in going back to the motel to check in.  Now we are about ready for bed.  Well, I am, anyway.

Tomorrow we will drive to the Denver area which should only be 8.5 hours which is good as we will get a late start after church.

This country we live in is glorious!  So many beautiful sights.  My favorite was a doe with two spotted fawns eating beside the interstate highway up on the bank.  West Virginia had me humming to myself that great John Denver song about the state.  The corn was already tasseled out.  Further south and west there were huge fields of corn and soybeans.  Impressive.  Kentucky had some very beautiful horse farms visible from the highway.   We saw big rivers:  Ohio, Mississippi, and Missouri and lots of little ones.  The road signs were so interesting.  Salt Lick! Santa Claus!  Ferdinand!  Jackson County.

So far Dear One has done all the driving.  The car is pretty closely packed.   I think to avoid embarrassment I will NOT post a picture.  It just struck me tonight that we won't be able to take any of the grandchildren for rides, once we get there, because there is no room.  We may have to figure something out.

Monday, July 17, 2017

New Focus (for a while...)

On Sunday Dear One and I spoke in Church.  It was our last time to speak in our home church for a while.  We have been called as full-time missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  We will be moving to Oregon to serve.

At present we do not know for sure what our responsibilities will be but as we were called as "office specialists" we believe we will be working to support the young missionaries who devote 18 months to 2 years as full time missionaries.  We look forward to this service, and the changes it will bring in our lives.

Some of the changes that we already know about:

We will be leaving quiet country living and move to a city.

We will be leaving our one-family house and moving to an apartment complex, one with an outside  swimming pool!

We will be meeting many new people all at once!

We will be doing things that we either have not done for a long time, or have never done.

We will have opportunities to grow in ways we cannot now imagine.

Maybe we will even eat different foods...

It is likely that these blog posts will only be weekly instead of five days a week...even though it has been nearly a month since I last posted.  (Getting the house ready to leave, emptying, storing, saying good bye to good stuff and foolishly saved stuff has taken a lot of time, energy, and a mental toll on this country wife and all the helpers who have made it happen.  Nearly done now. With only a few days left to make good before turning over the house to our family.)

Monday, June 26, 2017

Munchie Monday: Smoked Almond Cheddar

Still trying to the vegan things most of the time.  Here is a recipe I do not recommend!

Smoked Almond Cheddar

2 cups raw almonds, soaked overnight in water in the refrigerator
1/2 to 3/4 cup pimentos from a jar, plus 1/2 to 3/4 cup packing liquid
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 3/4 teaspoon smoked sea salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Drain the soaked almonds.  In the bowl of the food processor put everything including 1/4 cup of the pimento packing liquid.  Process well.  Scrape down sides then process some more.  You may need to add more of the liquid to make the texture better.

For my iteration I used Smoked Garlic and Onion Seasoned Salt mixture instead of the smoked sea salt which would have entailed circling back around to the first store I went to which did have some at a very great price.  The store where I was sure to find it did not have any at all.  Oh well.

My notes on this material:  it tastes okay.  It is not great and it DEFINITELY is NOT CHEDDAR.

I have not thrown it out yet but I also have not tried serving it to Dear One.  I think I will try that tomorrow. My hopes are not high...

Monday, June 19, 2017

Munchie Monday: Quick and Easy Peanut Sauce

Recently I found a recipe for peanut sauce.  Today I made it.

Quick and Easy Peanut Sauce, PACC version

1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 Tablespoon rice vinegar--plain or seasoned

Put all the ingredients into a small blender and blend until smooth.  This is fabulous for dipping all kinds of vegetables in:  red bell pepper strips,  celery sticks,  steamed broccoli, probably anything you want.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Munchie Monday: Sweet Potato and White Bean Burger

Over the weekend I saw a recipe for Sweet Potato and White Bean Burgers and thought I would see if I could improve it...without trying it first.  I am always trying to make a good veggie burger; good meaning: tastes good, has good texture,  mostly fat-free, and holds together.

Well, this one was about three-quarters good.  It did not hold together.  Dear One said it was okay.  High praise, indeed.  

This is the way I made these burgers.  For some reason I did not save the original recipe.  That recipe had corn in it, some more spices, and they were fried, something we are trying to avoid.  I am sure they was taste even better fried in a cast-iron skillet with your favorite cooking oil.

Sweet Potato and White Bean Burgers

Makes 12 burgers

2 medium sweet potato, roasted and peeled
2 15-ounce can of white beans, drained and rinsed
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoon granulated  garlic 
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2/3 cup nutritional yeast
1  cup Italian parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup bread crumbs
1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
Black pepper

Place sweet potatoes and beans in a large bowl.  Mash with a potato masher until well mashed but not totally mush.  Add onion, parsley, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and seasonings.  Mix very well then add in the bread crumbs to make a good consistency.
Using a 1/2 cup portion scoop, dip out the mixture and place on a parchment-paper lined baking sheet then flatten to about 3-3 1/2 inches across.  Bake 30-40 minutes.  Let cool a bit  then remove from pan.  Eat plain or in a bun with all the fixings.  These are really good.  In my opinion.  Some people in the family used Frank's Red Hot sauce on his.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Food Friday: Egg Salad on Vacation

When you use your Instant Pot to hard boil a dozen or more eggs the day before vacation, what do you do?  Why, you take the eggs with you in the ice chest.  Then what do you do?

At the beginning of the week we had a few eggs chopped into green salad.  After that we ate out a couple of lunches so the eggs were aging in the refrigerator so something had to be done.

This morning I peeled the eggs, rinsed off the egg shells, then chopped the eggs on the cutting board I had purchased at Goodwill thrift store (which was conveniently close right across the street from our resort!!) and tossed them into a bowl.  I mashed them up somewhat with a fork. We had some celery and some small onions so I chopped both celery and onion and tossed into the bowl.  Next I squirted in a couple of tablespoons of mayonnaise,  at least the same amount of mustard, and a good 2-3 tablespoons of sweet pickle relish.

After stirring everything together I tasted it.  Too bland, SO  I added in some Garden Harvest Seasoning.  Quite a bit, actually.  After blending well I scooped some onto a nice crispy red leaf lettuce leaf, folded it over, and ate it.

That was a mistake...to eat it right then.  The harvest seasoning actually needs to soften up in the egg salad overnight.  If not, you feel the "grit" in your teeth.  That really puts you off the egg salad. 

However...the next morning things were different.  There was no grit.  Sadly, we still needed tiny bit of salt to make this fun to eat.

Tomorrow I plant to scoop some into a luscious tomato for lunch. Or maybe breakfast...

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Vacation Report: Yellow Lady Slippers in The Wild Gardens of Acadia

The weather was glorious so we went to The Wild Gardens of Acadia.  There is a fabulous set of gardens with all kinds of plants from all the various types of habitats on Mount Desert Island from meadow to mountain to beach land, and more.  We were there at the end of May so there were few plants in bloom, but those plants were really stunning.

The plants with the most impressive blooms were the yellow lady slippers.

They really were great, except for the creepy part that looks like arachnid legs...!

When we were children our father put an iron pipe into a spring beside Jigger Hill which always ran with water.  In that woodsy section of Jigger Hill in the early spring weather we could almost always find Jack-in-a-Pulpits and a bit later some purple, pink, and white delicate tiny lady slippers.  We never picked them, just loved looking at them as we walked by up the hill from school.

That was probably one of the first times I realized I love flowers.  Daffodils and lilacs are my favorite spring and early summer flowers.  I also like carnations.  Well, I like pretty much all flowers, but daffys and lilacs take the cake for me.