Thursday, July 31, 2008

Well we are off to Colorado tomorrow, though it may be Saturday, depends on Bob and work. He always has tons of little details tha need tying up and they are the kind of things I cant help with. We will be gone for about 8 days so I wont be blogging for a while. I will take loads of photos and post them as soon as I get back.

My last post concentrated on my friend Eileen, I wish you all could meet her. She truly is one of those people that light up a room when she walks in. Her sense of humour is legendary with everyone that meets her. It has kept her going through some really tough times. Even when her husband (they were seperated at the time) was found dead she managed to make others smile, even the police that came to take us to the morgue to identifiy his body, were laughing by the time they took us home. Someone asked her if he was really dead?? She replied " I hope so we cremated him on Monday" She really is a gem. I miss my mates in England.

Its been a busy day, it started off ok but then one of the kids came down form the barn at about 9am, and said they had found one of our cats that had been missing for a while. "We have found Stinky" they said, "she is in our hay stall". I dont know why but it just slipped out I said "so she is really Stinky then" Dont think they got the joke. If Eileen was here she would have rolled on the floor laughing. The poor cat was old but Im not sure what had happened to her, though I suspect she may have been crushed by a bale of hay. She was as flat as a pancake, I hope it was quick for her. Dont think Im uncaring, I do care, but I do like to tell it how it is. I too use a bit of humour to cope in sad situations. You should see me at a funeral. I'm a real laugh.

The rest of the day has just been humdrum, getting stuff done before we leave. Cooking has been on the back burner (no pun intended) lately, so not a lot to write home about there. Wiil be back soon.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Does this make my bum look big?

I was reading another blog the other day, and it made me remember a shopping trip for clothes, I had with a very dear friend of mine Eileen. To cut a long story short, my friend has a bit of a sense of humour, we would go out and have an absolute ball with just a trip to Icleand (hmm reminds of the day I threw her in the freezer in Safeway). Anyway, she had been asked out to dinner by her very fit boss, he was drop dead gorgous (but he knew it), and she needed something to wear. We went to the Metro Centre in Gatsehead and trailed round all the shops till we went into BHS. The place was a mess, it was in the middle of renovations, the changing rooms were just bits of curtains strung up workmen everywere. Well she eventually gets her eye on a little black number, and I mean little. Eileen is by no way fat but she had lost some weight and decided this dress was her size. She then heads for the changing room and insists I come in with her so I can give her my opinion. She gets undressed, not easy as the changing rooms are a bit small and the two of us (neither of us small) are in there, she then attempts to try on the dress. She pulls it on gets it as far as across her boobs, it then gets stuck. She is standing there with the dress bunched up around her chest and neck and she looks at me and says "Its perfect!!! Ill take it" Can you imagine my reaction, I started to howl with laughter and she does too, the curtains were flapping all over the place as we are trying to get the dress off. It took some doing I can tell you, it had become part of her after a while. We laughed so hard I had no makeup left on by the time we came out. The staff came over to see what was going on, but I suppose you just had to be there.

What is it with all the stuff in your house breaking down all at once!!! I feel like this house is a black hole for electrical goods, but then I have always had this problem. I moved into a new house about 16 years ago, and on the day we moved in we had four TVs. Within a month three had died on me, one just up and died, another got dropped and another burst into flames while I am holding my month old nephew. Talk about panic!!!!! The room filled with smoke, all I could think of was "get the kids out" Luckily it didnt get out of hand.

Anyway, to the present day, my dishwasher only washes dishes when it feels like it. Somedays I open it up to empty and the dishes are worse than when I put them in. The ice maker on the fridge is being really difficult, it either will not produce ice or its like a glacial flow pouring out. I was sitting here earlier and wondered why I my thinking was getting louder. It was almost like I was shouting inisde my head. (Im not sure that that makes any sense but I hope it does) Turns out the tele has its decided to make my ears bleed by turning up the volume on its own. The sneaky thing is, it does it gradually, so at first you dont even realise it, till it get so loud you cant hear the phone ring. Seems like we may have to go shopping.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Morning Buggerlugs!!

Its a run of the mill day today. Nothing special happening just stuff. So the reason I am writing this is because its been almost a week since I wrote owt, so I'll let you know whats been happening lately.

Well last week my son Micheal, got a promotion at work!!!! Well done that man, I'm so proud of you!! He is a real smart cookie, and yes Im a bit biased but so what he is a wonderful son.
My daughter is planning on comming to visit us soon. Its so exciting that it keeps me awake at night thinking about her getting here. She is coming with her boyfriend Mark, and they are flying into Memphis and spending a few days there and then we are going to pick them up. We will spend a day or so in Memphis with them (no doubt most of it probably in Beale Street,) and then we will make our way back to Stillwater. Its so exciting for me I am like a little kid waiting for Christmas.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Well I thought I would have had more time to add a post or two this blog this week, especially with Bob gone, I thought I would be sitting around twiddling my thumbs. But no such luck. I have been a bit busy with all sorts of stuff. Most of it being taking care of acreage. The veggie garden is a lot of work too, but Im getting some great stuff out of it too. I made the first batch of my roasted tomatoe sauce, the first pic, is of it as it comes out of the oven. The next is the finished product ready to freeze. Here is the recipe,
Roasted Tomatoe Sauce
2lbs ripe tomatoes (I find if the tomatoe is ripe the skins are easier to remove)
3 table spoons olive oil
2 teaspoons mixed italian herbs
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 cloves garlic chopped
Preheat oven to 400f
In a roasting pan sprinkle evenly all the ingredients except the tomatoes in the bottom of the pan.
Slice the tomatoes and and place cut side down, on top of the oil and herb mixture.
Roast for about 30-40 mins or until the skins start to lift.
Allow to cool then remove the skins.
Use a blender or fork to break up the tomatoes.
Bob is on his way home now and I will be using some of the sauce for meatballs. He is getting picky these days about food, when I first met him he was glad of anything I made. I think I have him spoiled, he is even putting in requests. I have to say its nice, it means he must like my cooking.
A change of subject now, we went to see the new Batman film last week it was really good. We really enjoyed it. It seems that there are some good new films out at the minute we are hoping to go see the X Files on Friday. I cant wait, I love the X Files. And of course there is Mama Mia, another one I cant wait to see. So different to the other two I know, but I mean its ABBA. I know all the words to all the songs. We will be singing our little hearts out. There was talk of our Zumba class going to see it. That will be a hoot, Joni the instructor, says we should do a zumba routine to Abba music. I can see if we have a few bevvies there may be a few arrests or we will get barred from the cinema. I hope not theres only one in town.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Love and Cake

Well its the weekend again, bit of a quiet one as Bob left this morning for a meeting in New Orleans. I wish I was with him, but there was no real point of me going along, as he will be working and I would spend most of the time on my own. So weres the fun in that. I am better off here looking after the place.

I should really have been back in Newcastle this weekend, my neice Julie got married today and I wish I had been there. I called her an hour after the ceremony (not a good idea I probably spoilt her makeup) and we both had a few tears. Julie was the first child for my sister Ann, and the first Grandchild for my parents, and the first baby in the family since I was born. There are ten years between Julie and me. We have always been close, even when my sister moved to Scotland a few years later we still managed to stay to keep that connection strong. I really hope I can make it up to her for not being at the wedding, I do feel bad about not being there.
Even though its been a busy week I have had a little time for some baking. I made this cake for us and Bob loved it. Hope the thought of it will make him remember me while he is gone. He had better or he will be in big trouble.
Its funny how cake is such an expression of love!! We make cakes for birthdays, christmas christenings, and of course weddings. I bet Julie has a fabulous one.
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp slat
1 stick butter
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 tbls sour cream
1 cup blueberrys
1/3 cup almonds
2 tsps brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 325f.
Grease or spray a 1lb loaf pan.
In a small bowl sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, set aside.
Cream the butter and sugar on medium speed till light in colour, and add almond extract.
Add the eggs one at a time, making sure each egg is well combined in the mix.
Add the dry ingredients and sour cream in two batches, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
Do not over beat.
Gently fold in fruit and half the nuts.
Pour the batter into the pan, and sprinkle the rest of the nuts and brown sugar over the top of the batter.
Bake for 45-55 minutes.
Allow to cool in the pan.

Not Mushroom in Here

Look what I found in the front garden this morning!!! Have you ever seen a mushroom that big, its massive. Im taking a stab in the dark, by saying that we have a bunch of mushrooms growing out here, due to all the rain we have had lately. They seem to grow so fast and in the dark, I know this how? Well because they arent there in the evening, and when I go out early morning there they are, all grown up. Im suprised I have got a family of gnomes living under this one. We have got more around the place but this was is huge, I just had to share it. Thats is my size 7 foot beside it, to give you some idea of the real size.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Kittens That Don't Need Mittens

It Hasnt been much of a cooking day here today, its all leftovers and the kind of leftovers where both Bob (Husband) and me just root around to see what we can find,

Apart from that here are some pics of our latest residents at the Barn...... The top two pics are of our new kittens, just two weeks old and curretnly living under a palatte under a hay storage. the next two are of Geordie (my constant companion and namesake) keeping an eye on things. And yet another kitty. The last two are of Mama kitty and the other little darling is another addition to barn that just showed up one day.
I know its supposed to be about food but today the kitty are so cute.

Not a Good Day for Cakes

Ok Im here again as promised!! I know am such a serial non starter, but I know that once I get started with this blog thing, I really enjoy it.

Yesterday was a super busy day for me. We had had a relatively laid back weekend, and of course that meant I really had to get my bum in gear. I should have shopped at the weekend, and of course I didnt, so that was something else I needed to get done apart from the all my stuff at the barn. Not to mention cook the brisket and make a birthday cake. Not a good day for that at all. I had got all my jobs done apart from finishing off the cake, (that including looking for a 21st birthday card, can you believe in Hallmark they only had two to choose from, I suppose it made things easier to pick one, so perhaps I should be greatful) I thought that would be the easy part, as I had planned to keep in simple due to time constraints I decided not to get to complicated. Im so glad I didnt. The weather here is very hot at the minute, it was probably about 96f yesterday afternoon and even with the AC running its little heart out, it was muggy in the house.

I had put the base frosting on (chocolate ganache) and it went on great so I let it set up, and came back to it a little later. Not realising the humidity was so high I started to pipe a border on the top of the cake, well it started to slide off. You can imagine my thoughts and exclamations at this point, certainley not for family viewing thats for sure. I did get it finished eventually but it spent so much time sitting in the fridge to cool off I didnt get to make it as fancy as I wanted. Oh well it tasted good.

Before dinner Bob had taken his daughter and her boyfriend fishing on the pond at the back of the house. They really enjoyed it as Devon (BF) had never fished before, he caught a very big catfish and Kirstin caught a bass. So not too bad a day all round.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Im going to start with an admission of guilt!! I am a serial blogger non starter, I start them up and then leave them all alone to fret and worry and to die a sad lonley little blog death. I have started at least three maybe four and I hope with this one that I can break the cycle of blog abuse. I know its going to be hard, but Im sure that with some love and support (I promise I will join a support group, Bloggers Annoymous and follow the steps)

So fellow bloggers, Im not sure who will read this but it doesnt really matter, as this is just my minds ravings, I need to clear up some things. So first things first!! A Geordie is someone who was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, and thats were I lived up until five years ago. Im now remarried and living in Stillwater Oklahoma. Its a long way to travel and it seems even longer on days I get homesick. Yes I am happy to be here but there are days when I miss my family and friends back in The Toon. (nickname for Newcastle)

Enough of that!! This weekend has been a bit of a lazy one for me, we did some gardening and barn work yeseterday, but then it got so hot and muggy we ended up coming in and just hanging about the house. I did bake a cake, it was orange and cranberry struesel cake, and there is a pic to prove it, just above. I did bake some wholemeal bread too but that didnt last long enough for me to get the camera. I have been intorduced to King Arthur Flour, so dangerous for me as I am a total breadaholic. I love the stuff, and now I messing around with whole meal flour on an exercise to get healthier. I have to say the results were great. Hats off to King Arthur. ( I wonder if his table was really round and were did he get his tablecloths from. Perhaps Guinivere ran them up for him, in between polishing Lancelots chain mail)
Im going to keep this short, seeing as I have had such a lazy weekend, and I have yet to make a brithday cake for a 21st for tomorrow, and prepare half a cow (brisket) for the oven for tonight. Im going to bake long and slow, all night long. I can feel a Billy Ocean song coming on. All night long, all night long.... all night long. Ok Im off now. I will take pics of the cake and the brisket too.