About The Country Wife Blog

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Women Heart Attacks

Recently my knitting hero, Cheryl Brunette, sent me an email.  Not just me but all her people.

Cheryl has just had a surprise heart attack and needed major surgery to stay alive and wanted to share a video about women and heart attacks with everyone she cares about.  Since women often  do not present with the same heart attack symptoms that men do, I want to share it with everyone so we can be aware.

I think it is called A Typical Heart.  Please watch it and be warned.  Heart attacks can come very early for women.  I just started attending a class at the YMCA and the woman who is teaching the class had three heart attacks when she was 38 years old!  Thirty-eight!  She has lost more than one hundred pounds since then and has changed her life. 

After learning of my dear friend's cancer and now this heart potentiality, I am now working on a new body much more significantly than I have in the past.  I hope any of you who are lazing around, eating, drinking, and being merry with the standard American fast-food-grease-filled-animal-product-filled diet, stressing out and not taking time to smell the roses will consider eating more vegetables and fruits in their original package and avoid the problems that come from processed foods.  There is not one person who I know that I would like to see cross the veil early.

Thanks for listening.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Munchie Monday: Dr. Praeger Veggie Burger and Oatmeal Pancake Bun

Well, doesn't this sound interesting!  In the interests of getting away from bread which has a bad effect on our scales, and probably our inwards as well, I thought of using #Life is NOYOKE's oatmeal pancakes for buns for a Dr. Praeger veggie burger.

This is what we had for lunch this weekend!  It was not bad.  Dear One did say that if he had a choice, he likes hamburger buns...but then, he is not a very adventuresome eater!

He did manage to choke down two of them, though!  I thought that was pretty good.

You can find the recipe for the oatmeal pancakes here.

The only things I did differently were:

1. I left out the dried dates because I did not want this to be sweet, and

2. Our aquafaba had been in the refrigerator a little too long so I mixed 1 Tablespoon of ground flax seed with 4 Tablespoons of water and let it sit while I put the other ingredients into the blender jar. That is more water than you usually use to make a "flax egg" but I wanted the batter to be a little wetter than Lenny's recipe turns out.

This worked great.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Food Friday: Swedish Apple Pie Again

Three years ago I blogged about a wonderful recipe:  Swedish Apple Pie.  This recipe is a treat to me, in part because two dear friends separately gave me the recipe.  Each time I make it, I think lovingly of them and am so grateful for their friendship even though one of them has crossed the veil.

This time I made it slightly differently.  Because I was concerned about how well glass would travel from Vermont to South Carolina, I left most of our glass kitchen things in Vermont.  For the most part this has not been a problem!  However, when it came to making a pie for company, I was at a loss: no pie dish.  SO...what to do?  I went to the freezer section and purchased a frozen pie crust in one of those cheap-y aluminum pie tins for this pie.  (AFTERTHOUGHT: now is the time to replace the glass pie dish!!)

To make the Swedish Apple Pie you do not normally use a pie crust.  The recipe itself makes the crust somehow.

The method is to peel and slice apples and fill the pie dish 2/3 full of apples.  Some apples are supposedly better than other apples for pies, but I just use what I have.  This time it was McIntosh apples.  Some recipes call for hard apples, or rather, apples that remain pretty hard/firm when they are cooked.  Those are not my favorite. I don't mind if the apples disintegrate into tasty apple-y mush, which is more or less what Macs do.

After the pie dish is full of apples you sprinkle on top 1/4 chopped walnuts then 1 teaspoon cinnamon followed by 1 Tablespoon of sugar which does not seem like much but is perfect. Set aside while you mix the other ingredients.

In a small bowl place 1 cup flour, 1 cup granulated sugar, 3/4 cup melted BUTTER, one egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla if you like vanilla.  Mix well then spread over the top of the apples/walnuts/cinnamon/sugar.  It is a bit tricky (sometimes) to spread the topping evenly.  It will still taste good if it is not perfectly evenly spread.

Bake at 350 degrees F. for 35 minutes or more. I am pretty sure I cooked this one for quite a bit longer.  I just kept checking.  It wants to be nicely browned and not at all jiggly in the center.

Having the crust in the bottom of the pie pan was okay but it did make the top crust around the edges of the pan a little bit thick.  I only had one piece and thought it was fine but each piece Dear One eats, he leaves a semi-circle of that thick-ish crust on his plate or puts it down the sink.  Thus, I gather it is better to just make this pie as it is written, without a crust already in the pan...

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Preparations for Month's End!

Today we went to the temple.   Besides the glorious spiritual lift we get from serving in the temple, we also were close to Costco.  I know, I know, from the sublime to the ridiculous, but that is what we did.

This is especially ridiculous because Dear One is so concerned that we are ready for Halloween. In Vermont we rarely had any children visit with their bags except our grandchildren.  Here, we are told, we should expect a mountain of children since we live in the sticks of Sumter, even though we are in a housing development.  Consequently, families who live further out drive to the development and drop off there children for candy.

We are ready! 

Dear One wants to sit out on our front "porch"--a little space in front of our door, maybe 3 feet wide--just enough to put our wicker couch on and have our feet mostly hang over the edge--and by sitting there we can greet the trick-or-treaters who come rather than having to keep opening the door.  I am hoping that the cobwebs above are gone and that there will be no mosquitos that night...!

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Recycling at its Best!

It turns out that Dear One was not actually enamored of the giant blue Bartlettyarns afghan I made to celebrate the addition on our home in Vermont and the wonderful new great room with queen-sized-hide-a-bed sofa so long ago.  This turned out to be in one of the boxes we brought to South Carolina.  It seemed like a perfect project for recycling.  There is so much yarn in the afghan I should be able to make a sweater even for myself...

Because this was made back in the days when my hands still agreed with me and crocheting, to recycle this yarn I just had to find the end.  There were only four corners to try and, as luck would have it, I found the end at the first try.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Somewhat Quick and Easy Sewing Project

We have been using paper towels as napkins since we got here.  The time had come to change that.  The cloth napkins I saw in the store were not what I wanted so...I visited Heirloom Child Quilt Shop!  That store has been staring me down every time I drove by since the first time we were in Sumter back in June.  Finally I stopped in.

The ladies in there,  both the proprietress and the customers, were so very nice.  I was directed to their sale credenza where I found some perfectly acceptable fabric.  I got four one-yard cuts and while she was cutting I saw MUCH MORE fabric I wanted to buy.  You can imagine how hard it was to let it go, but I did it...walking out with only that purchase.

Once home I washed and dried the fabric then ironed it flat. Because not all things are currently in a state of perfect organization, I had to use my paper cutting shears for the first few cuts.  Soon I made a more concerted search for the Ginghers then made much cleaner nicer cuts for the remaining pieces.

First cut was across the folded and pressed horizontal line.

Next I cut off one selvedge on each piece.

Third I folded up one corner to the opposite corner making a square, which I cut out.  Now I had a template and cut the other 15 squares which were approximately 18 inches by 18 inches.

At this point I changed my mind:  I had planned to have the two sides of each napkin to be different but decided instead to have them both the same, so I laid out 8 napkins with right sides together then stitched around all four edges leaving a 2-3-inch section unstitched for turning right side out.

After the stitching I turned the napkins right side out, pulled out the corners to some extent, and pressed the edges as flat as possible.

Now came the tedious, eye-opening part: closing up the openings! I say eye-opening because this did not used to be a difficult job.  Now I fought with the needle opening and had to move up to a larger-eyed needle which was not ideal but necessary.  The thread was some European thread which had no body so it was not the easiest to get through even the large eye, but did finally work.  It turns out my close-work is nowhere nearly as attractive as it once was, and it was never great, at that!  Well, I did get them all closed.

Napkins ready for close-work/handwork closures

At that point Dear One asked if he could turn off the electricity to the workroom to install a fan light for me.  Heck Yeah!!!!  So we prepared to use the napkins with no top-stitching.

The fan light project was completed VERY FAST (less than one afternoon!!) and now I have a heavenly fan to run in the room.  Even though the easy chair is in Dear One's room so we can sit companionably together in the evening and watch various tv programs, I still like the workroom better for sitting when it is just myself.  So glorious to have a constant breeze available.

Anyway, the next day I did actually top-stitch around the edges and now feel like the napkins are complete.  I am edgy to go back and get some more fabric but I think I will wait for a bit on that!!  Even in the sale shelving, the fabric was not cheap. (Well, that was the point of shopping there in the first place: I hate cheap fabric.) However, the napkins should last for years as opposed to other places in town where I could buy fabric and make napkins that would probably last for a year or two.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Munchie Monday: Homemade Hoagie Rolls

After we invited the senior missionaries to have lunch with us, I asked Dear One what he thought we should have to eat.  He was thoughtful for a bit then said, "Hoagies."  He really does enjoy them.  We have not been to Subway in ages so I can understand why that would come to his mind!  So...immediately I began looking for recipes for hoagie buns.

This is the recipe that I used.

Homemade Hoagie Buns

1 cup warm water
1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
1 1/2 Tablespoon sugar
3/4 cup warm milk
1 large egg, room temperature
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup Vital Wheat gluten
4 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt

Place a mixing bowl on a kitchen scale and set to zero. Add 1/2 cup vital wheat to this mixing bowl then add flour until you get to 23 ounces on the scale.  Remove bowl from scale and add sugar, salt and yeast to the flour and vital wheat gluten.  Whisk well until completely mixed together.

In a large measuring cup add the milk, water, olive oil, and egg and gently whisk to combine.

Put the wet mixture in your Bosch or other stand mixer if you are that fortunate, then start the mixer and add the flour mixture.  Mix, using the dough hook, until the dough comes together in a "ball" and cleans the sides of the bowl.  At this point let knead for 8 minutes or so.

If you do not have a stand mixer, place the flour mixture in the bottom of a large bowl then pour in the wet ingredients and stir until all the ingredients and completely combined using a long-handled wooden spoon.  When combined, put onto an oiled counter and knead for 10 minutes, until smooth and very elastic.

In both cases, once kneading is completed, cover bowl and set aside at room temperature for 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in bulk.  Remove from bowl and divide into 10 rolls of about 4 ounces each.  Roll up tightly into 6" long rolls and place on a Silpat or parchment lined pan and let rise for an hour or until doubled again.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Just before  placing pan or pans in oven, beat one egg with 1 tablespoon water and brush on tops of buns.  Finally, with a very sharp knife, make a 1/4 inch slash in each roll.

Place prepared rolls in oven.  Turn heat down to 375 degrees F.  Bake at 15-18 minutes .  The interior heat should be 195 degrees F. This is a great time to use that instant-read thermometer you have hanging out in the back of your kitchen tools drawer and which causes guilt for the money you spent on it.  Actually, taking the temperature of the rolls is a very good idea because if they are not quite cooked, they sort of glob together when you break them open with your fingers to eat one of them right out of the oven.

Let cool completely then slice before adding your favorite vegetables and condiment and meat/cheese if you must...!