Friday, September 27, 2013

Surprise Side Dish

I went on a date night with Mr Farmer the other night. I had found a recipe for a special surprise that I was going to make for my family. As I was picking up the ingredients, I told Mr Farmer about the recipe.

He asked, "Is this for all of us or one of those yummy things you make during the day for just you and the kids?"

"What? That doesn't sound at all like something I would do!" I shouted in disgust. Hummph! As if... What does he think of me? Does he think I keep the chocolate and other such deliciousness tucked away to be brought out only when he's not around? I guess it is starting to sound more and more like something I do would do.

Anyway, this recipe didn't involve chocolate of any kind, so he was sure to get some. Food. Not some of the other kind of "gettin some" you dirty birds are thinking of. I mean, it was a date night, but I got no flowers or chocolate and had to go grocery shopping instead of shopping for clothing or other fun stuff.

Ok. Stay with me here. The evening finished, shopping done, without anything else to note. I told the kids the next day, when asked the eternally-asked question, "What's for dinner?" that we would be having hamburgers and a surprise side dish.

Oh the suspense. The excitement. The endless questions. I was beginning to regret not just giving the information out to begin with. But I held the secret.

Time came to make supper and out came the cheese sticks, pepperoni, and crescent rolls.

First, take the cheese sticks, unwrap them and cut them in half.

Now roll each half in four pieces of pepperoni. I kind of laid the pepperoni out and rolled the cheese with it, then squished them to get the pepperoni to stay. Briefly.

Next, take the crescent rolls out and separate into the triangles. Starting with the end, roll the pepperoni-wrapped cheese up in the crescent roll. Here's the most important part.

Are you listening to me?! This is important I tell you. Do NOT forget this step or these may blow up your house, maim you, and leave your children crying in despair.

Ready? Ok. Find your most disgusting, blackened, chipped cookie sheet. Maybe one you've had since it was given to you for your wedding 18 and a half years ago. Use this to place your rolls on, take a photo of it, and post it on your blog for everyone to see. No blog? No problem. Post it to your Facebook account. You just want to make sure everyone can see what you cook your food on. The cookie sheets you fix food for your family on.

Of course, I place my own food to bake on a sterile, beautiful, new cookie sheet. I claim I have to have it because of my diabetes. I can tell them anything as long as I say it's for my diabetes. They have no comeback for that, yet. Yet. They have tried to say they need candy because their blood sugar is low, too, but I'm no fool. And I don't like to share my candy.

I know. I know. This was supposed to be a post about a recipe. You got your recipe, now let me babble on about nonsense.

Oh wait! I forgot to tell you to put the rolls into the oven for the amount of time listed on the can of crescent rolls or until golden brown on top. Also, if you make more pepperoni-cheese rolls than you have crescents, just put a toothpick or two in them and put them right in with the rolls. Mr Farmer wasn't sure which he liked better. I served them with a homemade marinara sauce for dipping.

This "surprise side dish" was so delicious! I will definitely be making them again.

A Simple Re-do

Someone gave this little cabinet to me some time ago. It is cute but it needed some cleaning up.

First, the farmkidz and I sanded it down and washed off the dirt and dust.

It had several layers of paint already on it. I decided to add one more- a little bit cleaner cream color.

And here you have it. My finished cabinet. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Tenting A Room

Ahhhhh, to be a kid again. The wonder and joy of building a fort.

The other day, Baby and The Boy decided to build themselves a fort in Baby's room. They found every available blanket and chair in the house and went to work.

I was on my way past the room when I peeked in. No longer did Baby have a room.

Apparently they even had a furnace room. I'm not sure why, but what do I know. I'm an adult.

I peeked under.

How exciting!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Pear Butter

When we harvested our pears this year, the kids begged for me to make them into pear butter. In the past I have made pear sauce, similar to apple sauce. They like that ok, but what they really like is pear butter.

Pear butter is like apple butter in how it's prepared. I took and halved the pears and cooked them until soft. Sorry I don't pictures of that process. I didn't decide to do a post on this until later in the process.

Anyhow, next I ran them through my food mill. Pears make much more juice than apples do, and less pulp.

I had a huge basket of pears and a few apples to do.

Next I put a bowl full of the juice and pulp into the crock pot on high. After the stuff has come to a boil, I add sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon by taste.

I continue to let it boil on high for how ever many hours it takes to remove most of the moisture and caramelize the mixture.

The pure pear sauce took about 24 hours, the overnight hours were on the low setting. The apple/pear mixture was closer to 12 hours.

Once it is caramelized, a nice dark color, and thick I take a stick blender and blend it smooth. It looks like pudding when I'm done.

Then, I put it in jars.

The kids like it on toast or peanut butter and pear butter sandwiches.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Such Sweetness!

The other night I was making supper and turned around to find this in my spot at the table.

I know it's kinda hard to read. It says, "Dear mom and Dad
I love you. You are so so so speshl to me. I love you. 
Love Baby."

As soon as she saw I spotted it, Baby rushed up and gave me a huge hug.

My heart. Can't handle. That child.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Science At Home

This week we studied crystals in science. We also learned about heating and cooling.

Did you know that you can dissolve more sugar in hot water than in cold water? I had never thought about it before. I guess I assumed the same amount would eventually dissolve, though it would take longer to dissolve in cold water. You know, like sugar in cold iced tea versus hot tea. Nope.

The very same day we studied crystals, I had a pinterest email come to my inbox showing how to make sugar crystals, also known as rock candy.

It was meant to be.

First, I had to stock up on sugar. I had used all of mine making jelly.

The recipe called for 1 cup of water and 2-3 cups of sugar. Slowly heat and dissolve the sugar, a cup at a time, in the water until no more would dissolve.

The only thing we did differently was to add some blue food coloring. The syrup was super thick as I continued adding cups of sugar. I added a total of 9 cups of sugar to 3 cups of water before calling it good.

We got some craft sticks out, dipped them in water and then sugar, and clothespinned them to hang down into a glass. I added the hot syrup to the cups. The dipping in sugar is supposed to speed up the process of crystallization. Since the hot liquid holds as much sugar as possible, as it cools the extra sugar in the solution, held because it is hot, will turn back into crystal form when cooled and cling to each other and the stick.

I set the glasses in the window and then we waited. It was supposed to take anywhere from 3 to 7 days.

A week later here is the result.

Not very big, but good enough to taste.

Unfortunately, there were also a lot of crystals left on the sides and bottom of the glasses. It was really quite pretty.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Funny Baby

So, the other day I was talking to Baby and she starts to make silly faces at me.

After saying the usual mommy things like, "You're silly. Very funny." and the like, I say," You're such a dork. Where do you think you get that from?"

Without missing a beat, she replies, "From Daddy!"

That's my girl!


A few weeks ago, I bought some hand puppets at an auction for the kids to play with.

Baby puts one on her hand while I was doing dishes and makes it bite my butt.

"Nom Nom Nom." says the puppet.

She walks away and her puppet burps.

Then, I hear the puppet say, "Mmmm, tastes like chicken."

She's such a weirdo!

Monday, September 9, 2013

When Life Gives You...

Beans! Oh my!

Sissy and I went out to the back garden to pick beans this morning. It was 100% humidity and very warm, even at 10. We picked and we picked. Soon we had our four ice cream buckets overflowing with beans.

Ummm, now what? We dumped them into the bed of the Ranger and continued picking. Sissy took a break and picked the ripe tomatoes to give her back a rest.

Unable to sweat, I was turning more and more red the more I picked. Would picking beans be the death of me?

We finally finished and had 7 buckets overflowing with beans. SEVEN!

Now, typically I put water over the beans and stick them in the fridge overnight. They snap better when they're cold, so I clean them the next day. But this time I had too many to fit in both of our fridges. I put some cold water in the sink and Sissy and I began the work of cleaning them. I did two bowls, until my hands cramped up. Then, Sissy took over.

She outworked me. No surprise there. She is a little bit younger than me. Not much, though. I had her when I was six, you know.

She finished up the two bigger bowls. I had to add more water to the sink! We had to leave them there until later as we had an appointment in town.

Later in the evening when Mr Farmer was here to help, I blanched and packaged all of them for the freezer.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I Was Only Gone Three Days!!!

This past Labor Day weekend, we went atv-ing again down at Soggy Bottom ATV Park. When we returned, the kids decided to go out and pick tomatoes.

I was busy cleaning up the camper and didn't pay attention right away. Then, they brought in all of the tomatoes. There are some green ones that got knocked off the vine and brought in, too. Of course, I would probably have left a lot of them to ripen a day or so longer.

What happened while we were gone? It was only three days and we picked before we left.

We headed to the back garden and finished picking tomatoes and green beans back there.

Now I have a mess to take care of. And our freezers are full. And I'm trying to get ready for another garage sale. And I'm tired.