About The Country Wife Blog

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Summer Morning Wake-Up

Gary and the guys arrived at about seven and  are here to put the shingles on the porch roof, and maybe trim around windows and siding on.  Yay!!  I have been working on the website for the family history day in Concord in October this morning since I need to go live with it on the 30th.  We shall see. I am worn out and really just want to take a nap at the moment.  Maybe I will. 

Oh, a sort of funny thing happened a while ago.  Well, not even sort of funny...really a mean thing but unintentional.  I woke up at 5:41 this morning and started in doing stuff.  After a long time I was washing dishes and remembered the new glasses I purchased at the Salvation Army store yesterday so I went out to the truck to get them.  I used my new (since I lost my key ring that had the truck keys on it) truck key to open the door.  Well, it set the alarm off.  That lasts for 1-2 minutes.  Quite annoying.  No way for me to turn it off before its time.

It was very quiet in the neighborhood but I did not think about it.  I had not heard the dogs bark this morning....they always go out by 6:30 AM and sometimes earlier and bark for 15 minutes or so...annoying Bob to no end.  Well, unintentially I guess I fought fire with fire, or noise with noise in this case, and wrecked the pristine loveliness of a quiet summer morning.  The screaming of the truck alarm really sets the teeth on edge. 

When I got back inside with all my bundles, I found the clock was still in the 6 AM hour.  Oh well.  I have never been known as a good neighbor anyway...and maybe they had slept through their alarm clocks?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Baby Bolero

Back home late last night from a week at the temple.  A great week at the temple, though are there any other kind?!  Today was a pick up the house again, put away the stuff from the motel stay, wash all the clothes kind of day.

After doing the needed things I thought I would try to make some nice vegetable sushi rolls.  Not a great idea.  I made the quick cucumber pickles to go in the sushi, julienned the carrots, and made some wasabi paste.  After cooking, and sort of cooling, the sushi rice I got out my rolling mat which I covered with a large ziploc bag to keep the mat clean, and started mashing the rice into the size and shape I wanted.  I painted the center line with some wasabi paste then place a lovely green lettuce leaf over the whole thing then placed the carrot and pickle slices and started rolling it up.

It was not a  total disaster, but it was close.  The middle three cuts were sort of sushi looking but the other ingredients just fell apart.  Gr-r-r!  So, not wanting to invest any more time in this project, especially since I found out I was going to be the only one in the house to eat it, I mashed the ingredients into sushi rice balls and served it with the same kind of dipping sauce that Hisayo Oshima made when she made rice balls for us many summers ago when visiting our home as an exchange student from Japan who participated in the Rassias Method Language program at Dartmouth College.  The sauce was mayonnaise and catsup.  Heavy on the catsup.  It was really tasty then and I enjoyed it tonight, too.  Bob had a nice melted-cheese-on-tortilla thing.

Another thing I learned while making the sushi rice mess is that wasabi is VERY VERY spicy.  In fact, just about impossible to eat.  Or at least, the wasabi powder I used to make the paste was so pungent that it brought tears to my eyes and severe choking.  Water did help. I put the leftovers in a small glass jar in the refrigerator in case anyone comes by soon who likes that kind of stuff. I was afraid if I put it in a plastic container the stuff would eat a hole through and contaminate the whole refrigerator!

After semi-cleaning up that mess I headed to Wing's Market to get a few supplies for Bob's hiking trip next week and came home to find he had picked a large bag of apples for me to make into applesauce. I did get them cut and cooked but cannot make the sauce tonight.

Upstairs I picked up the baby bolero sweater that I am making for little Rhea.   I finished the back and the left front and started the sleeves.  About 40 rows till bind-off then sewing together and picking up stitches for the border.  It is going to be a sweet little sweater.

Another cool thing I did today was to set up the  Bond knitting machine in the dining room.  I had taken everything to the motel thinking I could clamp the board holding the Bond to the bar at the motel but found that the bar was at least 6 inched deep and I only had 4-inch clamps.  The clamps I have can be used on the table we have here but I am thinking of returning them and getting one more QuickKlamp which has a 12" opening.  I used one on the table and it seems to work fine.  Returning the two 4'-clamps to Lavalleys will give me enough money to purchase a second QuickKlamp.  I am just dying to get started making a little sweater.  Elsie will teach me a great way to insert the sleeves as I knit.  I did watch the first "Making Your First Sweater" video but I was too tired to take in everything. I will try again, maybe next week if things quiet down here a bit.  I am actually not very hopeful there.

Megan sent me the new America's Test Kitchen Cookbook and the video for the 2011 Season!!! I am so excited. I can hardly wait to watch it and go through the cookbook....

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Apples, apples

Yesterday was a busy apple day at our house.  I picked a big Trader Joe's bag of apples from our Lodi tree around 6 AM and got them cut and cooked before leaving the house at 9 AM.  Owen and Robbie had arrived to help on the porch roof project by the time I was cooking the apples.

After a day of errands and appointments I arrived home around 3 PM and went immediately to stretch out for a little while.  Soon Bob needed me to go to Fairlee to pick up a quick clamp or something like that, which I did find.  It was good he told me it was blue!  I picked up two orange C-clamps for my own schemes while I was there.

After supper (fresh delicious sweet corn on the cob from Killdeer stand--plus some leftovers) I set up the Victoria strainer to make the applesauce.  The first go-around I had put the plastic guard on incorrectly and applesauce dripped everywhere...which I partly alleviated by putting a black plastic garbage bag under the collection bucket...but then realized my error, fixed it, and then the applesauce just slid into the bucket happily.

Bob kindly cranked for a little while before going back to the porch roof/lawn watering projects.  In the end there were twelve quarts of applesauce, very lightly sugared, ready for the freezer.  And I was totally ready for bed!

Here is the applesauce project set-up...making applesauce in a construction zone has its drawbacks, but it does work.  Notice the nice orange C-clamp.  There are two of them holding the sturdier board to the wimpy board.  There was a bit of bounce as we cranked, but all is well that ends well.

Ready for the freezer.  Now to make space in the freezer...!