Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
Here is a video of my grandmother baking one of her favorite desserts: Kuchen. It was filmed on a 8 millimeter camera and has all the quirks that come with that. This video is fun and even involves a bit of magic. A big thank you to my Aunt Kathleen and my Uncle Tom for sending these along.
Below, I have the recipe for Kuchen. The video really does help when trying to figure out the construction of the master piece. I will try to explain to the best of my ability as well.
Kuchen (Swedish Tea Ring)
1 1/2 cups warm water and 2 packages of yeast
1 1/2 cups of lukewarm milk, 1/2 cup of sugar, 2 tsp of salt, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup of butter and 1/2 of 7 1/2 cups of sifted flour.
Mix both mixtures together until smooth. Add flour to handle easily, mix by hand. On a lightly floured board, knead until smooth (5 minutes). Round up in a greased bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Let rise in a warm place (85 degrees) till double in size (1 1/2 hours). Punch down and rise again (30 minutes).
Roll out dough on floured surface. Brush with butter, sprinkle with brown sugar, raisins, walnuts, apples and cinnamon. Roll up into a log roll. Pinch ends together to form a ring. Using kitchen shears, cut at 1 inch intervals toward the center of the ring, twisting sections as you go --forming a daisy like pastry. Video demonstration helpful here.
Bake on a lightly greased baking sheet at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes- until golden brown. Enjoy!
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
So when I asked Quinn what he wanted for his birthday dinner this year, his easy answer was perogies and croissants-- I went with the flow and it was a beautiful thing. So, tonight our menu included tempura shrimp, perogies, fresh salad with tomatoes from the garden, followed by croissants and ice cream. Good stuff. Smiles and chomping noises were had all around.
Note: 12 candles are hard to place on a croissant.
Kye: Mom, who made the machine?
Monday, September 22, 2008
Looking into your lover's eyes
Knowing that you are safe
Holding with love and intention
Taking risks, trying things
Accepting one another- flaws and all
Holding hands, quick kisses, gentle touches
Connections from across the room
Sharing secrets, telling stories
Wondering out loud
Feeling at home
Sunday, September 21, 2008
I will replace my regular incandescent light bulbs with high-efficiency compact fluorescent ones.
I will purchase foods, goods, and services that are grown or produced close to home.
I will turn my thermostat up in the summer, and down in the winter.
I will water my yard only once a week.
I will install a rain barrel in my yard to collect rainwater, and use it to water my plants.
I will run my dishwasher and washing machine only when they're full.
I will carry reusable bags when I shop.
I will choose products that use less packaging and less harmful material.
I will avoid one-use items such as paper plates.
I will buy small amounts of items that have a short shelf life and bulk amounts of items that don't go bad quickly.
I will donate unused or unwanted items instead of throwing them away-and explore thrift stores instead of always buying something new.
I will recycle paper, steel, glass, and plastic by using my local curbside subscription program.
I will separate my yard waste (like grass clippings and leaves) from other trash, and leave it by the curb on my assigned day.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
1. After not having tea for 3 days, it seems that I am officially addicted to caffeine as evidenced by the splitting headaches. I have pledged to curb this habit. It is hard mainly due to the fact that enjoying tea feels like a part of my heritage- being Irish and all. Nothing better than a good "cuppa" as my Aunt Bridie used to say.
2. It is good to think of the outage as an extended camping trip. Afterall, we have paid for such experiences. The difference is that I generally plan to the hilt for a camping trip- note to self- do a little more planning for such circumstances in the future.
3. When you don't have lights, place things in very predictable places things like phones, keys, matches etc.
4. Games are really fun. The kids pulled out a few this week and it was clear that they had a great time. Forcing the issue helped since computer games and tv often get first billing when lights are on. With this new found knowledge, I am planning on declaring game nights in the future (I actually know games are fun, I just needed to be reminded).
5. Dead limbs coming off trees is a good thing--especially if they don't hit houses or cars. Some of my neighbors were not as fortunate as I but all in all- everyone was safe and now has fire wood. I learned from a neighbor how to prune an apple tree in my back yard (yes I have apples!) and I plan to study up on this. Cleaning up clutter, or getting rid of dead fall is a good metaphor in many parts of my life.
We still don't have power and the electric company is saying it may not be turned on until Sunday at midnight (between Sunday and Monday). The main issue for us is figuring out what to eat. The grill and fresh foods have come in handy this week.
By the way, I went to our local Kroger's store and they were throwing away frozen foods by the shopping cart. It gave me a taste of what it must be like if we were in the eye of the storm so to speak. Can you imagine no food, water or other essentials? And, we think we have it bad as we ponder in the dark.
It has been interesting thinking about what it must have been like in the pioneer days. The biggest thing I have missed has been reading and blogging. I would have been bored out of my skull in the winter as it gets dark at 6:00, or maybe they found ways to amuse themselves otherwise.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
A couple of weeks ago we went to an event down by the riverside behind COSI that was put on by BalletMet. The snippet we got to see was enjoyable and kept the kid's attention. We were interrupted by an impending thunderstorm. This is a clip from one of the performances. The dance was choreographed to Simon and Garfunkel music- lively and cleverly arranged.
When I take my kids to events like this it often brings a tear to my eye. I feel like I am exposing them to good stuff and that I am doing right by them as a mother. I know there is much more to being a good mother, but somehow I get a twinge of emotion during times like these.
Oh, and I think it is cool that my kids can see men in an alternate role- yet still manly role. Nothing like a man that can dance.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Kye: Bagel with cream cheese, oatmeal and that fruit.
Mom: What was the name of the fruit?
Kye: I don't know.
Kye: No. It has a hard outside and keeps all the good juice in.
Mom: What color was it?
Mom: You mean an orange?