Actually, I do have a kitchen. What I didn’t have was a working oven. Some of my friends could not fathom why this was a problem. But, for one who likes a home filled with the wonderful aromas of roasted and baked goods, this was indeed a problem for me.
Five weeks ago when the oven problem first surfaced, it was still fairly warm. Grilling and using the cook top were fine. But once the weather started to turn brisk, I really craved more hearty foods. So, I dusted off the old crock pot (slow-cooker for you youngsters) and pulled out some recipes. We lived on soups and stews for weeks. I love the idea of using a slow-cooker, but I rarely love the results, and I was growing weary of our limited options. Most importantly, I was unable to test recipes for our site…and we do have Thanksgiving rapidly approaching.
After numerous unreturned phone calls to the repairman who was really good at cashing checks, but not quite as excited about actually providing the service to warrant said check, I decided to cut my losses and buy a new oven. Everything seemed wonderful. I was in and out of the appliance store in less than 30 minutes and the oven was to be delivered in 2 days. Yeah!!! Well, I discovered that the appliance store was also really good at taking money, but not so good at delivering product or service. No-shows, broken ovens, bad installation…need I say more? Lucky for me I have a Richard and Butch in my life. Every homeowner needs a Richard and/or Butch. They can do anything and everything, including fixing what the so-called “experts” can’t seem to do.
This weekend was like a dream come true. Fresh baked cookies and scones, orange almond cake, roasted cinnamon lemon chicken, and sweet potato fries. Ahhh, the smells still linger in my mind. Gotta go – need to hit the treadmill and work off the cookies and scones and whatever else I may choose to bake today.
Thanks to all of you wonderful friends who offered to lend me your kitchens for testing Mother Earth Meals recipes!
Please, allow me to use this blog to express my personal joy and share my thoughts on the recent birth of my third granddaughter, Leah, born last week. At a time when the news is so full of negativity, and the world is so full of problems, I am blessed to be able to celebrate a new life and remember that joy is found in the tiniest things.
Babies…whether they are our own, our grandchildren, or a stranger’s- there is something about a little baby that makes a person smile. Even the grumpiest of us can be charmed by an infant’s innocent joy. It’s a beautiful thing to observe. I must admit that I’m a sucker for a newborn baby. But having a third beautiful granddaughter is really putting me over the top! See, I am the third of three daughters in my family so this is personal for me. I know the fun the girls are going to have growing up, playing, arguing, and watching out for each other, as they become young adults. Then, when they are old women like my sisters and I, they will be a comfort, a support system, and most of all, best friends.
I anxiously await my trip to Colorado to see this newborn angel and get my hands on all three of those precious little girls! But until then, I am so very thankful just to have the positive daily reminder that life brings hope – and hope is something to celebrate! Cheers!
Once, when I was a tween, I made a two-layer cake. I was very excited to share this wonderful creation with my family. Unfortunately our beloved little mutt Max, got into the cake while we were out. Imagine my surprise and disappointment to discover that the half-eaten cake contained eggshells, lots of them. One would think this would have been my biggest kitchen disaster. But no, that would be way to easy, almost like cheating,
I need to fast-forward a few years. Roy and I were living in Maryland, and I decided I wanted to cook a birthday dinner for my sister and her new beau. He is long gone now and she is married to a great guy, but I digress…
Steak, potatoes and salad were on the menu. I worked that day and had to rush home to get the meal on the table. Steaks were thrown on the hibachi grill. Salad greens tossed into a large bowl with some vegetables awaiting the dressing. And potatoes were put in the oven to bake. I just barely had enough time to change before my guests arrived.
We pop open a bottle of wine, something cheap and by today’s standards, awful, but what did we know back then. We were just getting used to our new grown-up roles. We sit down to eat and that’s when it all went wrong. Disaster number 1 – the salad greens were sandy – I forgot to wash them. Or maybe, I wasn’t even aware I was suppose to wash them – that was so long ago, I can’t even remember. Disaster number 2 – overcooked steak. Disaster number 3 – undercooked potatoes. I can’t even remember what I served for dessert, probably a cake with eggshells.
I have been watching The Chew, and I love Carla’s Gon Be segments. Even after all these years, I can still learn a thing or two about disaster recover.
Every once in awhile, I run across people or organizations that inspire me and cause me to take a moment and reflect how much good there is out in the world today. All the negative news, friends or family issues and daily problems that can consume thoughts and dreams tend to bog me down. But if I look hard enough, I know I will find good people doing great things.
One such inspirational story is one that I ran across while researching breast cancer support programs for the Mother Earth Meals’ website and Facebook pages. It’s an organization called “Breast Intentions” formerly known as “Breast Friends Forever” (BFF). Created by two young people, and when I say young I mean YOUNG, when they were 15 years old- to support those individuals and their families who are fighting Breast Cancer. All money raised goes directly to women who face financial hardship as they struggle with the disease. Quoting from their website,
“The goal of Breast Friends Forever is to support those individuals and their families who are fighting Breast Cancer. Our mission is to help them deal with the consequences of this diagnosis by providing emotional, intellectual, spiritual and financial support and resources in their time of need. Additionally, it is the goal of Breast Friends Forever to encourage young women to take charge of their health by performing monthly breast self examinations.”
Check out their website to learn more about this great cause, http://www.breastfriendsforever.org
These young people are now 19 years old, and they are already making a difference in others lives. I love that! How can you not feel good about that? Now, if you’d like to share a good news story with us, please do! There are great people and causes all around us. I salute them all.
What is it about fall that makes me want to get in the kitchen and cook like an Iron Chef? I feel about fall cooking the same way most women feel about fall clothes – they can’t wait to shop, layer up and strut their new stuff!
Is it that the cooler air makes the kitchen bearable again? The fact that I finally have my house back after the long summer break? Or perhaps it is the bounty of colorful foods that are coming into season.
I am a creature of routine. Wednesday I plan my menu. Thursday and Sunday mornings are reserved for shopping. After Sunday shopping, meal prep is in full swing. Vegetables are chopped, sauces, marinades and dressings are made, meats are roasted or smoked. The most time consuming meals are cooked and devoured on this day. As the week progresses, I crave hearty soup and home-baked bread (OK, I cheat and use a bread machine), or a savory pasta dish. Near the week’s end, I pine for a little something on the sweet side. Apple or pumpkin pie, scratch-made cookies, bread pudding – you get the idea – warm and gooey! And since I have eaten so well during the week, I can indulge my sweet tooth. Then it’s time to start the cycle all over again.