Monday, February 20, 2017

Steamed Pudding adventures

I have been collecting old family recipes in the past few years to give to my older kids someday when they have kitchens of their own. There are the obvious ones: Canadian meat pies, the pork stuffing from Thanksgiving, little knot breads, the popular spaghetti sauce that has morphed into something new from both Tony and my recipes of old. But there are recipes from the more obscure memories of my childhood. My mom's Sour Cream cookies with browned butter frosting....oh my! And one thing she didn't make often, but was worth remembering. Chocolate Steamed pudding with vanilla sauce. This must have been from her British roots on her mom's side.

 Now, being relatively new to the glories of the internet, I still react in doe eyed wonder at the things it can serve up...."you can print out RECIPES from the internet!!!!??? Wow!"

I managed to find my mom's pudding recipe there. And I thought: how hard can it be? Mrs. Cratchit made one for Bob. I can certainly make one for Tony.
It was REALLY hard. Not the mixing. But the steaming. I had to put the cake pans in a "steam bath" which meant that I had to fill a roasting pan with boiling water while it was in the oven with the cake pans in it. Somehow I don't remember this whole process when my mom made it. But by hook or crook I managed to get the finished product. There were a few casualties on the way. The pans were too full and overflowed their banks, so to speak. 

There was the whole lugging the pan out of the oven with boiling water sloshing everywhere. I discovered why all the old paintings of housewives in the kitchen depict them with very large forearms. This kind of cooking requires strength training. And then there was the whole "getting them out of the molds" fiasco.
But at long last...VICTORY. One, solid, small but mighty chocolate pudding with vanilla sauce. 

And if you have ever wondered when you would ever use any of those Latin sayings your children have been memorizing over the years, and you have seared into your memory, here is the perfect one for this process:

Monday, February 13, 2017

Good, Random, Fun


 Moon gazing in the backyard.  All I heard was soft wind as the clouds drifted over the moon and then drifted away. All that magnificence done in the silence of space.  We don't need to make a lot of noise to reflect beauty to others.   So beautiful.  God is good.  

Macaroni and Cheese Monster.  He actually ate both bowls at one sitting.  I stood amazed.


  We started rehearsals for our spring play.  Everyone is ready to go!!!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Seven Quick Takes

1.  Jury Duty has its perks.  A St. Louis Skyline right outside the 5th floor window of the Courts Building.  

2.  TRES LECHES CAKE!  A birthday treat of gooey deliciousness for ME.

3.  Celebrating a promotion at work.  So proud of this kid o mine!

4.  One book completed.  Powerful, heartbreaking, story.  It managed to send many thoughts stirring in my head on the meaning of "dying for Chirst" and the nature of REAL humility.  

5.  One book begun.  A lovely biography by a master biographer.  The story of a group of different 1830's Americans abroad in Paris.  Painters, medical students, poets, educators and writers and their impressions of the "Old World".  It is a fascinating look at the importance of travel to get a better perspective on your own country.

6.  State Championships week end for our basketball organization.  Fun!

Oh, guys and their basketball styles.  It's a real art form I am discovering..... 

7.  A 14 year old philosophizing about his Mountain Dew.  "Life should be tasty.  Not filled with brown rice...and squash. 

Sunday, February 5, 2017

A Good, Random, and Fun Detour

“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.”
- J.R.R. Tolkien
I suppose these words of Bilbo could also be applied to parents on their way home from a basketball tournament in Alton, IL. We saw this observation tower to the right and Tony just turned off the road and went to find it....he's a sucker for observation towers. We found ourselves, at the end of this rabbit hole, at Camp Du Bois - the winter camp of Lewis and Clark before they embarked on their great adventure. 

This area is full of history both human and natural. This is where the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers is. This is where Eagles nest every winter in great "flocks". Alton itself is one of those Mid-west river towns that are just so distinctive. Big houses of both brick and clapboard are nestled in the very hilly neighborhoods. Our wonderful guide, a middle aged woman who was filled with great enthusiasm for her subject matter (the kind of person you want your kids to have for history class) pointed out all the landmarks as we stood on the windy tower high above the river. There is actually a little island in the middle of the water where you can put your foot in and say that you are standing in two rivers at once. 
 I love when you can say, "Who knew???" about an interesting place so close to home.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Beautiful Birthday Bash

Beautiful Birthday Bash Surprises

1. Some Bling

 2. Some Baroque

 3. Some Boost

4. Some Beautiful Bakeware

5. Some....Blimey...England sure is wonderful......

 6. Some Beethoven 

7. AAAAANNNND....wait for it...............
Jury Duty!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Good, Random, Fun: Late Winter

Winter walks.  I guess I am one of the weird ones who prefer trees without leaves.  They look like lace up against that pearly gray sky.  The geese and I have kept good company in the early morning.  Winter walks are full of  unique things: the smell of the air is just a little bolder, the greens are greener in contrast to the grayness, and the Holly bushes seem so bright and front forward with their bright scarlet berries.

Random and Fun

Thoughtful Child uses his Christmas present.  The Veggetti Pro.  It's pretty fun to watch.  I felt like I was filming an info-mercial for the Cooking Channel.  He made something with zucchinni and garlic and olive oil that smelled and tasted amazing.  It has been fun watching him try to eat a menu without meat. 

 But I draw the line at Kambucha.  This has been growing in a jar in his room for awhile and is now "ready" to...........DRINK. 

 Who ever thought, when they looked at this,  "Oh, let's drink it now!"
But so many people swear by it.  Maybe one day I'll try it.....or maybe not.