Monday, October 15, 2018

Off and Running like a Herd of Turtles

Having spent a relaxing weekend, it is time to get busy.

15 lbs. of hamburger are waiting to be jarred and processed.
4 lbs. each of broccoli and cauliflower and onions await the dehydrators.
10 lbs. of potatoes need to be peeled and sliced and dried

My bread machine has been dusted off and is ready to produce lovely loves of bread and some tasty rolls.  My gosh, but store bread has become expensive.  I don't like baking bread in the machine, but shape the dough into loaves and bake it in the oven, now that the heat of summer has past.  The only drawback is that I can make only one loaf at a time.  But I can live with that.  The machine makes it possible to have good bread for pennies and it does the stirring and kneading for me. 

So I am off, like a herd of turtles, to see what I can accomplish in the next couple of days.  As they say, 'Keep on prepping.'  Judging by what is going on in Portland with the antifa mob taking over the streets and all the craziness elsewhere, that seems to be pretty good advice.

Thursday, October 11, 2018


7 AM.  34 degrees.  My son's Facebook post after his drive to work this morning:

"Aaaaand there are snowflakes in the air."


Wednesday, October 10, 2018

It Rained...

yesterday.  It rained the day before yesterday.  It is going to rain tomorrow.  And the day after tomorrow.  It is raining now.  I wonder if I can find building plans for an ark online.

Youngest son called me yesterday.  He was picking Maddie Mae up from gymnastics, so I talked to her, too.  The gymnastics season hasn't started yet, but she practises and says she is learning some new moves.  I made her promise to pester her Dad until he took some video of her so I can see what she is doing.  She said she would be happy to do just that.

Boston's school now and then has a themed day.  A week or so ago, the theme was patriotism.  Boston wanted to wear a Trump 'Make America Great Again' hat.   David said he couldn't find one in time.  Even so, I was so proud!!  We both agreed that the way things are these days, wearing a Trump hat might have gotten her beat up.  I still love the fact that the hat was her first choice for the day. 

I was going to make beef stew and biscuits last week but life just got in the way.  So today I put a big pot of stew on the back burner to simmer the better part of the afternoon.  Duane came over to eat supper with me and took a bowl full home to take in his lunch when he goes to work tomorrow.  Wish he had taken more - I will be eating stew the rest of the week.  :)

There is really very little going on here at the moment.  I read or crochet or nap.  I have ordered some more food for the dehydrator - hash browns and corn - that will arrive Thursday.

I have noticed that some of the bloggers I read regularly are experiencing the same sort of uneasiness that I am.  And maybe a sense of urgency to fill in any gaps in the preps.  Sort of like waiting for the other shoe to drop.  My retired cop friend who keeps me and several others informed of what is going on around us, has been more prolific with his emails lately.  I might have to give him a call and see what he knows for sure.  In the meantime, I just keep adding to the shelves as often as I can.  Seems like the smart thing to do.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Desserts From the 1950's

A frequent commenter on this blog and I have been talking about old time Jello dessert recipes.  My Mother was the Queen of the Jello  refrigerator type dessert recipes and I have several of those recipes in my possession.  Thing is, I couldn't find them. 

I have Mother's old recipe box.  I think it is actually Dad's recipe box.  Mother's would have been organized and alphabetized.  This one is full of clippings from magazines and newspapers, recipes written on the backs of old envelopes, recipes written on pieces of notebook paper and recipes cut from the backs of boxes and labels.  I went through, piece by piece but no dessert recipes.

I carefully looked through all of my old cookbooks.  No luck.

Then the light bulb went on and I remembered I had moved those recipes to my own recipe box.  Sure enough.  There they were.

As it turns out, only one of these recipes uses Jello.  But if memory serves, the rest are so good that I am including them as well.

The following are written here as they appeared on the original recipe cards.  Notes in parenthesis are mine in the hope of making instructions more clear.

Lime Dessert

Dissolve 1 pkg. (small size) lime Jello in 1/2 cup boiling water.  Add 2/3 cup sugar.  Stir until dissolved.
Beat 3 egg whites until stiff.  Add 1 tsp. vanilla.
Fold Jello into egg whites.  Fold in 1 pint whipped cream (I think this means start with 1 pint of whipping cream - then whip) into mixture.
Crush 25 Hydrox (or Oreo) cookies.  Butter pan (I don't know what size) and spread 2/3 of the crumbs on bottom.  Pour in lime mixture.  Top with remaining cookie crumbs.  Chill 12 hours.

Cherry Dessert

18 - 20 graham crackers
1/2 lb. marshmallows
1/2 lb. butter
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup milk
1 can cherry pie filling

Crush crackers.  Place 1/2 in 7 x 12 inch pan.  Melt butter, add milk and marshmallows.  Cook until marshmallows are melted.  Cool.
Add cream which has been whipped.
Place 1/2 mixture over crumbs, then pie filling, then rest of marshmallow mixture.
Sprinkle with remaining crumbs.  Refrigerate overnight.

Strawberry Chiffon Dessert

30 marshmallows
1 - 1/4 cup milk
1 pkg. frozen strawberries  (Many brands of frozen strawberries come in 10 oz. packages.  Back when this recipe was used by my Mother, the berries came in 16 oz. packages.  I would go with more berries rather than less.)
1 pint cream, whipped
1 loaf angel food cake

Melt in double boiler marshmallows in the milk.  Cool.
Drain juice from berries and save.
Whip cream and add berries and marshmallow mixture.
Tear cake into bite sized pieces and put in loaf pan.
Pour mixture over cake.  Chill.

1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. corn starch
reserved juice plus 1 cup water

Cook until thick and chill.  Spoon over pieces of dessert when served.

 Lemon Freeze

 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
 1/4 cup lemon juice
 1 1/2 tsp. grated lemon rind
 1/8 tsp salt
 1/2 cup sugar
 3 eggs, separated
 1 can (6 oz.) evaporated milk, chilled

 Line refrigerator tray (I'm not sure what a refrigerator tray is, but I would use a pie tin or a 9x9 inch pan.)  with 1/2 the crumbs.
 Blend lemon juice, rind, salt and sugar into well-beaten egg yolks.  Stir over low heat until mixture thickens.  Cool.
 Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.
 Whip chilled milk.
 Fold egg whites and whipped milk into lemon mixture.
 Turn into crumb-lined pan.  Top with remaining crumbs and freeze.

 Fluffy 2-Step Cheesecake

 1 pkg. (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
 1/3 cup sugar
 1 8-oz. tub Cool Whip, thawed
 1 prepared graham cracker crust
 1 can cherry pie filling

 Beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth (use wire whisk).
 Gently stir in Cool Whip.
 Spoon into crust.  Refrigerate 3 hours.
 Top with pie filling just before serving.

 Raspberry Revel

 1/2 lb. vanilla wafers
 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
 3/4 cup butter
 2 eggs, well beaten
 1 box frozen raspberries, drained
 1/2 pint whipping cream

 Crush wafers and line a lightly buttered 9-inch pie pan with half the crumbs.
 Cream the sugar and butter well.  Add eggs and blend.
 Pour over the crumbs.  Add a layer of berries.  Cover with whipped cream.  Top with remaining crumbs.
 Refrigerate 24 hours. 
 May garnish with additional berries.

 So there you go, SJ.  :)
 These are the recipes I remember from the 50's and 60's.  None of them are fat free or sugar free or anything free.  They are what we ate before we were supposed to be skinny.  Personally, I am not fond of all those 'free of everything good' foods, which is probably why I love these desserts. 

 So go ahead.  Live dangerously.  And above all, enjoy.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

The Case For Storing Water

It doesn't need to be a catastrophic event to find we need to have water included in our food storage plans.

Duane stopped in about midnight Friday night.  He said the lady living in the apartment beneath his had knocked on his door to find out if he was having problems with water overflowing in his apartment.  It seems she was having water pouring into hers through her ceiling.  Finding no source of the water problem, they concluded that a pipe may have burst between the two floors.  Duane went down to the basement and shut off the main water valve.  (That's one of the advantages of living in the same building for a number of years.  You know where the shut-off valve is.)  They called our landlord and left a message about the water problem.  Duane then let me know what was going on.

For some in my building, having the water shut off will be a major problem.  I asked Duane if he needed water for the morning before he went to work.  He said he was good.  He keeps cases of drinking water in his apartment.

Storing water in my small apartment is a challenge.  I have no place to store those big water barrels that many use.  What I do have is space behind my sofa that contains several dozen 2 liter soda bottles and gallon juice bottles filled with water.  I have 6 cases (24 per case) of bottled drinking water on a shelf in one of my shelving units.  Used sparingly, that amount of water will last both Duane and me at least a week or more.  Including the absolute necessity of morning coffee.  :)

In looking around my apartment I found that with a little bit of rearranging, I have room for 4 more cases of bottled water.  If I spend the money to buy several of those square, stackable water jugs I have seen advertised, I could store still more water under my bed or in an out of the way corner of my apartment.

Water is more important to have on hand than is food.  They say we can go a couple of weeks without food but only about 3 days without water. 

I'm sure there are others like me to whom water intake is vital.  I take a pill each day to help get rid of the fluid build-up in my body.  Which means I need to drink plenty of water to avoid becoming dehydrated.    Which is a really silly Catch-22 situation, but there it is.

We are not in an emergency situation by any means, but it has caused me to rethink my water storage and think of ways to improve it.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Upright, Taking Nourishment

Still have no idea what this creeping crud that has been plaguing me is, but it sure is a sneaky devil.  Thought I was about over it when it smacked me upside the head and said, "Not quite yet."  I'm not the only one.  One of my nurses and the cleaning lady were down with pretty much the same thing last week.  A couple of my blogging friends have been fighting it as well.  I feel pretty good today, so it is time to fold up the green fuzzy blanket and get some stuff done.

Over the weekend I did manage to do some dehydrating.  I dried 4 lbs. of green beans, 1 lb. of corn and 1 lb. of carrots.  Found the corn and carrots when I was digging the green beans out of the freezer.  This morning I put 4 lbs. of broccoli and 4 lbs. of cauliflower in the dehydrator.  I still need to clean and chop 4 lbs. of onions to dry. 

I just mailed off a letter to my grandson Zach, who is in his first year of college.  His Mom thought he might like a letter from home.   I write letters the old fashioned way with pen and paper.  Do they still teach cursive writing in schools?  I wonder if he will be able to read it.  He is a smart kid, so I suppose he will figure it out.  :)

It is cool and rainy here today, with the temp at 46 degrees at noon.  I heard a nasty rumor about the possibility of snow in the northern part of Minnesota.  I guess I shouldn't be surprised.  One of the worst blizzards here occurred on Halloween of 1991 and dumped 28 inches of snow on Minneapolis.  I don't mind snow as long as I can look at it through my window from the comfort of my rocking chair, but not quite yet, please.

Not much else going on here in my little Home Sweet Apartment.  I have 4 lbs. of bacon to can, but I think I will order another 4 lbs.  next week before canning so I have a full canner load.  I had started an afghan for granddaughter Boston, but I just didn't like the way it looked, so my daughter Jill brought me different yarn to try.  I like the new yarn much better and will post pictures when I am further along with it.  I think the weather calls for beef stew with biscuits for supper.  That's the plan, anyway.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Why I Don't Believe Her

There was once a 9 year old girl who escaped being molested by her 21 year old cousin.  Some 60 years later she remembers every detail.

She remembers her cousin asking her to go for a ride at night to 'shine the deer.'
She remembers the pickup truck was red and white with rusty spots on it.
She remembers the seat cover was red plaid with some spots worn through.
She remembers the smell of stale cigarette butts in the ashtray.
She remembers when they stopped at the edge of a field and he plugged the spotlight into the cigarette lighter.
She remembers seeing three deer in the light from the spotlight.
She remembers how dark it was when he turned off the light.
She remembers feeling sick to her stomach when he started kissing on her.
She remembers crying and him stopping and telling her she better not tell.
She remembers spending the remainder of the evening at her aunt and uncle's house, drawing cartoon characters over and over again with a pencil on notebook paper.  Goofy and Pluto and Mickey Mouse, mostly.
She remembers pretending to be asleep in the back seat of the car on the ride home, listening to her parents talk.
She remembers her mother saying something was wrong and she thought the cousin had done something bad.
She remembers her father saying he didn't think the cousin would ever hurt his daughter.

She never told.  Her mother had often told her that she was a bad girl, for she was headstrong and tended to get into mischief.  Children often believe when something bad happens, it is their fault, so she remained silent.  When the girl was a grown woman with a family of her own and when she knew none of it had been her fault, it made no sense to hurt family by dredging up the past.  It did not take years of therapy to come to that conclusion.  It just took believing that forgiving is the right thing to do.

You just can not convince me that a 15 year old girl now a grown woman has so few memories of an attack except for the name of a man who is up for Supreme Court Justice.  A man who has never had even a whisper of scandal associated with his name.    It may be what the Dems want to hear as truth.  It may be what her lawyers have told her is truth.  But you just can not ever convince me that her testimony is the real truth.