About The Country Wife Blog

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Travel and Arrival

Today we flew from Boston to Cancun, Mexico and ended at the Royal Haciendas in Playa del Carmen. All went well. It is SIGNIFICANTLY warmer and more humid here than in New England.

The red flags were flying on the beach so we could not go swimming in the ocean but we did enjoy the pool then spent a long time in the whirlpool...until we got cold, if you can believe it. Tomorrow we have an orientation meeting at 9 AM and hope to attend the Pelen ward at 12 noon. We will have our first experience getting around without Spanish skills!

This was a picture out our bedroom window early this evening, Right now it is mostly dark with many lights and no people. We are turning in!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A Beautiful Fall Day

Today was a great getting-things-done day. A perfect fall day with crisp temperatures in the morning and a bright sun with crystal clear blue sky and a luscious 50+ degrees in the afternoon. This morning I worked like a fiend to prepare for institute class tonight and many good things came to mind. Hopefully they will also come to fruition in a pleasing way.

After making out a list of all the things I needed to do "down country" I made a flying trip and did everything that was on the list. I felt that there was something else that was not on the list, but just left it as not do-able. I even went to Burger King to purchase a second Kid's Meal so I could get a second Boo Toy for Halloween for two little boys who might possibly come trick-or-treating at our house. Grandma wants to be prepared!

When I got home there was a message from the pharmacy about the medication I had asked to be refilled so I could pick it up today...the item that was NOT on the list. Oh well. Just as well because one of them could not be filled until tomorrow. Tomorrow is winter-tires-onto-the-rims day at Interstate Tire so I can just swing over and pick up the medicine then on my way to knitting (and dyeing) enrichment group tomorrow.

Also when I got home I took a bag of trash to the dumpster from the house then filled up the little cart and dragged a big batch of stuff from the garage to the dumpster with a minimum of distress from flying, jumping, crawling, biting, and stinging creatures all of whom think the garage and boxes, barrels, and cans in the garage are fair game for housing opportunities.

Hilda Yates' Farm Yarn sale post card came today. The yarn sale is the day we return home from Mexico so I will miss it this year. Should I call Hilda and ask her to put aside a big bag of yarn for me to pick up later....?

The photo shows our potato harvest for the year 2008. Grace and Anne helped us plant seven potatoes that had sprouted and looked pretty bad. This is what came of it!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Sunday Morning Busy

Today is General Conference so we go to Church a few hours later than usual--11 AM instead of 6:30 AM. It seemed like a great day to test the carrot cake recipe from Cook's Country that they asked me to make for them, then fill out a survey about it. Since neither Bob nor I need a whole carrot cake, and since we will have a potluck at Church between sessions of Conference, it was the ideal time. So I made it. When that was complete I made some vegetarian chili to take along so Bob would have something to eat. I also had made what I lovingly call Harvest Stew--a mishmash of many vegetables and greens in a big pot cooked in the oven for hours with a pork roast in it...a previous blog entry discusses the stew...to which I added this morning some mashed cauliflower and broccoli that was lying around in the refrigerator waiting to go bad.

So, after the cake and the chili and the stew, I wrote up a blog entry for The Country Wife Knits about Grace's sweater. Jonathan and Alissa and the boys have just arrived after having looked at some land in Thetford and will bake some bread. Bob and I will be leaving for Church soon while the kids stay here and cook bread.

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Soup

What a day! Already! This is a better day than I usually have by 9 AM. I woke up when Bob's alarm went off at 6 AM. He was already out of bed and downstairs. I discovered that my own clock was two minutes slow, so I fixed that.

I cannot remember what the first few things were that I did today, but by the time Bob left at 7 something (driving the car in to work today instead of taking the Stagecoach because he is going to the temple with the youth tonight) I had decided to use up all the vegetables that we received from our CSA share yesterday, and the leftovers from last week as well, and turn them into a soup. A soup that I may share with Jonathan and Alissa and the boys tomorrow! Watch out, Kids!!!

This is the recipe:

Chop a bunch of leeks, a bunch of shallots, and two heads (yes, heads) of garlic and saute for a while in 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon canola oil. Not really saute because I put the cover on so it was more a "steam/saute" with the fat just for flavoring. Next chop up a bunch of new carrots and throw into the large pot in which you sauteed the previous vegetables. Pour in a quart of free-range chicken broth from friend Trader Joe. Scrub and throw in a couple handfuls of red potatoes and a couple handfuls of fingerling potatoes...the larger ones having been cut in half.

Now chop up a good-sized yellow summer squash and throw in. Be sure to stir every so often, even though the burner is set on pretty low. Remove the blossom and stem end from two smallish delicata winter squashes; cut down the middle and scoop out the seeds and pith, then slice into quarter-inch pieces and toss in, skin and all. By this time the pot is looking rather full of stuff and not much liquid so add another quart of the chicken broth.

Finally, (at least finally to this point....soup isn't done yet!) chop up a bunch of dried kale leaves, a bunch of beet greens, a bunch of turnip greens, and a bunch of fresh basil. Once these greens are chopped/sliced set them aside and take the 2-pound boneless mini pork roast out of the freezer, remove from the pink styrofoam pan and nasty, sticky white plastic protector sheets, being sure to hack the bits of pink styrofoam off the pork roast where they stuck. Be careful not to hack off the part of your two fingers which froze onto the pork roast as you were removing the roast from the nasty white plastic protective sheets then plop the nice pork roast on top of the potatoes and other vegetables in the pot. On top of the pork roast toss in all the chopped greens and put the cover on. Look around the kitchen and in the refrigerator for other uneaten-and-likely-to-go-bad vegetables (hold the fruits this time....) and get ready to add them to the pot as the other things sink down into oblivion in the whole mess. Certainly you will have a few part-bags of spicy salad greens from previous CSA offerings, and who knows what all else. Let cook on low for several hours, checking every now and then to see what is going on in the pot. Probably DON'T chop up the beets from last week's CSA and throw them in. Beets may be pretty, but....they make me a little squeemish.

Then there was the genealogy issue. I glanced at one email from the LDS-FH-CONSULTANT list where there were several messages about Ohana Software's new Family Insight which is their version of PAF Insight which will work with the new FamilySearch, or FamilySearch family tree as it is now being called. I downloaded the Family Insight, installed it and got ready to roll with it but found that my MacBook using Parallels and the Windows software where my PAF resides had some sort of issue with connecting to the internet (it has to do with firewalls and I could not figure out a way to take down the firewall for this software, or any software for that matter)...so I wrote a feedback message to Ohana about a problem I found when I started reading their help center's Getting Started with Family Insight. As soon as I sent the emailed feedback I went back to the Ohana website and noticed that I was supposed to restart my computer after installing Family Insight. Whoops! So I did that, but still received the same error message. Now I think I will have to wait until tomorrow and chat with Jonathan about that, and other, computer issues. I hate to wear him out with my brain wave problems, though.

Also, before the soup project I had had a major kitchen cleaning project, including washing the platter on which was formerly a delicious carrot cake which Alissa made for Bob to thank him for sending her some Wigwam socks. I am not sure who got the better deal there! The cake sure was good.

So, all this by 9 AM on a Friday! I think I will turn this email into a blog entry and feel like I have really accomplished something today. Oh! I can smell the soup! That is such a good sign. Well, I can smell the beets, too, and hope I remember I was going to hold off on adding them to the soup!

Perhaps there will be an addendum to the soup project, besides the fact that I have now put it into the oven for the long-haul cooking. I feel that way it is less likely to burn. We shall see.