Blizzard

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We are at 18 inches and it is still snowing. Looks like it will continue to for about 3 more hours and then taper to flurries till midnight. This is the biggest storm we have had in quite a long time. Today was supposed to be a baking day but I am not the only one who didn’t go to work around here. All schools are closed, as well as most businesses etc. It’s been a white out for parts of the day. I piled wood yesterday outside the door, so we wouldn’t have to go to the wood pile. during the storm.  After thinking I had a great pile stacked nicely and covered with some old mats, hubby came in and said that that was enough wood for only 1-2 days, so he piled up even more! So much for my thinking I took care of that one.

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We had a great brunch this morning, and I got to use my “new to me” egg beater like we had when I was a kid. Ours was red, I remember it well. I forgot to show it in the past picture which showed my second hand shop finds. Funny thing, using it brought back memories, of cooking with Mom. My sister and I each had our own aprons when we cooked with Mom and I thought about that when I was whirring around the beaters to mix the eggs. I don’t quite remember mine but my sister’s was a denim blue with red zigzag trim! We made it brunch because we were not ready till later. He worked on getting the cattle (all three, lol) hay and making sure they were doing well in the storm. I got a fire going, and then got everything done that I might need water for, such as; laundry dishes, etc., we lose power here fairly easily and loss of power means also no water pump. We also need our communication devices (fancy way of saying electronic toys; iphones, computers etc.)  fully charged, so we put all items on chargers. Our land line goes out easily in these situations as well, so having the phone charged is important to us. We have satellite internet out here because we don’t have high speed phone lines, and hubby went out twice today to clean the snow off the dish so we could get our connection back! Oh and that included spraying “PAM” on the dish so the snow wouldn’t stick after that, a trick I learned from my daughter her was in some big storms when living in St. Louis.

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My half whole wheat sandwich bread turned out better then ever! It makes great toast, slices easily and keeps well. My plan is to bump up the whole wheat flour and dial down the white flour, but slowly so hubby doesn’t notice:) I am really pleased with this recipe and can’t believe I thought it was a big ordeal before, it is mostly just waiting time, and that’s always a perfect window to check a few things off the list or if lucky have the time to do a bit of reading.

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It’s getting dark out, the snow continues, and now the winds are picking up. This will ultimately bring the drifting of snow that they’ve promised for tomorrow. Tonight we will just keep piling on the wood and open a wine gift we were given, one of North Carolina’s finest. The views of the storm and the wine make a perfect snow day evening.

A day at home.

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It’s been a busy granola week, and so this picture was from a few days ago. It was a snowy day and I had the good fortune of not having to tangle with traffic and slippery roads. I also didn’t want to go out to the store so I wanted to find something at home, and being that I was caught up on business and home on a snowy day, there seemed to be no better idea then cooking! I decided to make a spicy pulled chicken dish in the crock pot. I do look forward to having chickens in our freezer that we have thoughtfully raised. My personal definition of this is, healthy appropriate foods, a proper environment to grow and live and be a chicken, and compassionate treatment. Until that time I purchase chicken that is vegetarian fed, no antibiotics, free range, and traceable to the farm it came from, and I am ok with that, for now. I found three leftover onions from a bag a friend gave me, and enough of this and that to count for bbq sauce. Then I found the forgotten cabbage in the pantry fridge, from our neighbor. I didn’t imagine it was still good, and I felt badly, it was a really nice sized cabbage, but as I peeled back the wilted leaves, I found a perfectly good, but a little bit smaller cabbage, add in the last few carrots, and I had coleslaw which we really like on bbq sandwiches, ahh but no bread. I found a recipe, for buns with poppy seeds, and guess who had poppy seeds in the freezer? I think this had something to do with Lemon Poppy Muffins a while back? While the buns were rising I thought about that new to me potato ricer I got at the antique store, and I had just enough of our neighbors amazing organic potatoes. How lucky to have a neighbor who calls before thanksgiving and says they wanted to share some of their food to put on our thanksgiving table? So I tried my hand at the potato ricer. It didn’t work like a food processor, that is for sure, but out came potatoes and with milk and butter, well nothing else needs to be said! When it all came together we had awesome spicy bbq sandwiches, mashed potatoes and coleslaw. The best part was that I totally enjoyed doing all of it. While things were rising, or simmering, I was able to look on craigslist for ice fishing gear and do a bit of reading. It was a day that was completely appreciated!

A Snowy Day

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Well today was surely going to be a baking day, that was until I looked out and saw the first snow! It was snowing pretty hard and only an inch at the time, but the thought of calling a snow day was beyond tempting! It was really beautiful out today!

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So instead I put the coffee pot on the stove and started a fire and piled up some good reading, yup chicken coop ideas and “The Compassionate Carnivore” by Catherine Friend, so far of which I half like and half am not sure about. Also, reading a bit about ice fishing gear, and techniques, as I have never done it before. Funny thing is, is that there is a lot I didn’t ever do in the winter. I was always freezing outside, the kind where you shiver and every muscle tenses up, and I was out of there, heading for the house with my eye on the smoke coming out that chimney. Now, I have found something out, (DUH) that if you actually take the time to layer and dress properly you can’t feel the cold weather, apart from maybe the nose and cheeks! So I think I may actually use the cross country skis that used to make me cold just to look at, as well as try my hand at ice fishing this year! Camera hikes as well, will be on the agenda, no more taking snow pictures from the open front door darn it!

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I also decided today was the day to try a Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe that I had read about, it was a very different process unlike any other CCC recipe that I had ever made. I can not even recall the last time I made CCCs! They were great. It was America’s Test Kitchen Best Chocolate Chip Cookie. Turned out perfect that I made them because the neighbors called and asked if they could come and cut down a Christmas tree, at our place,  and what goes better with that then warm cookies afterwards, right? Tonight hubby is enjoying a football game with friends in the workshop and I am enjoying a quiet snowy night, with more reading in store.

Retro is cheaper and sturdier!

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Spent a little time this morning totally appreciating hot coffee. Then off to pick up 100 pounds of organic rolled oats. I spied a small consignment shop and you can see what I scored. Find number one was a potato ricer that has had a couple of lives already and a great strainer. I forgot to put in the hand held egg beater in the photo, just like the one I “helped” with while cooking with Mom. These were awesome finds, although I did not find the manual coffee grinder I was hoping for, (the Amazon grinder was made to look old but wasn’t and was too small and is going back), HOWEVER, I remembered that my sister-in-law had the old one my mother-in-law used when hubby was a kid, so I put in a message to her. I remember she used to use it, maybe I might have found a way to secure a good sized manual coffee grinder, after all.

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This is the bread I made yesterday. It was very good and toasted nicely, also sliced well for sandwiches. We both liked it. Tonight was left over brined and grilled chicken from last night on sandwiches with my successful loaf of bread, add in some local organically raised bacon and tomato with lettuce, a perfect Sunday night dinner. Tomorrow is a baking day, better get to bed.

Occassionally FB is profound!

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I believe I have been boring hubby with gratitude, lol! See, I left my job teaching position, last June,  it was occupying my world, and when I could make a difference I loved it, but the playground politics was a soul sucker. I wanted to do right by my role and that required lots of time, lots of unpaid time, so my free time was often consumed with it. Now I feel like everyday is a gift. I love what I do, baking and delivering granola, I meet great people, The gift of having my time to do things on my agenda instead of a workplace agenda, has been dramatically life changing! I am grateful pretty much every minute, I know it sounds Pollyanna, and gooey sweet but it’s completely true. My new business has brought me to meet wonderful people. People who live by knowing their neighbors, growing or making good food, living close to home and living in the moment. They wouldn’t have it any other way and I am eating up each bit of it, as I evolve from the constantly doing, doing, doing for work, and multitasking and thinking of what other 32 agenda items I was going to get to next. When I worked directly with my clients I loved it, but oh the paper work and politics!

So about the photo in this entry…Everyday I see people’s posts on FB, and everyday there are a few statements, (shared by a few thousand others), that people found noteworthy, and about 5 times in my year and a half of using it I have really valued seeing them! This one was profound, because I can not think of a situation in my life or the world that can’t be changed largely or in some way by gratitude. Really! It won’t fix a problem but it will do better, it will affect  the important thing, vantage point! And vantage point, in my opinion, has a lot to do with how coping works, or it does for me. I heard someone on Public Radio one day calling in to a call in show about… “what is your strategy for coping and going through life?” A man called in and said, “I can’t control what comes at me in life, what I can control is the way I react to these things”. So I said,note to self, this is good advice.

Today I took the gift of time after a very, very busy granola week of picking up ingredients, visiting customers, baking and book keeping. I wrapped some gifts while I enjoyed my amazingly hot coffee. The stove top pot makes the coffee so hot that even with milk it is hotter then the black coffee from the coffee maker, so nice. I wrapped some small stocking stuffers for the kids out west and went to the post office. The rest of the day I relished in studying about ice fishing, drinking yet more coffee and baking my first successful Whole Wheat bread. We had a great dinner of Brined Grilled chicken and roasted cabbage, carrots and onions. It was a a day I was very grateful for, see, what did I say? Gratitude ad  nauseum:)

Already looking forward to tomorrow morning!

Today was a busy baking day to keep up with Winter Gift Giving Glass Canisters. The Granola looks quite pretty in them, and it’s been great to see them so well received. After a full day of baking I came home to a wonderful package from Amazon. We were talking about getting a new coffee maker, but I decided I was darn sick of hearing our coffee maker constantly warming water 24/7. and it’s been sounding like it’s going to die soon. It’s using electricity all the time, to keep that water hot and yes it seemed like a good idea when I got it, that you don’t have to wait more then 2 seconds for coffee, but I have come around to a different thinking. One of the things I noticed after I started my new business and stopped working on other people’s schedules that they set for me, is that I am not racing through everything I do, constantly thinking about the next thing and not enjoying the thing I am doing. It’s been a marvelous revelation. I was used to getting coffee out of the coffee maker before the kitchen even barely smelled of coffee. I am looking forward tomorrow to hearing it perk, like I did when I was a kid, when my parents made coffee. No more coffee maker noises, just smelling delicious coffee while I let it perk, and wait for that first cup. This does also follow suit in other areas of my life now. I’ve decided that if I don’t have time in this new life I have to learn classical guitar fingerings, play the piano, and read books then it’s just simply no one’s fault but my own. Oh and PS the new coffee pot was $20, instead of $100 to replace our fancy coffee maker, and it can’t break because nothing can go wrong with it, the grinder just seemed like a great idea, because even tastier coffee can’t be a bad thing!

A very special pick up in the middle of a busy delivery day!

A very special pick up in the middle of a busy delivery day!

It was an awesome day, with an amazing response to my new wintertime gift giving packaging! It’s actually a bit overwhelming but in a very good way. I have lots of Quickbooks to work on tonight but since QB and I only get along on an as needed basis, I try to only do it when it is undeniably time! I will work on it tonight though, into the wee hours, because right now, all I want to do is read about my future chickens! Today in the middle of a very busy delivery day, I had a very special pick up! I met a Craigslist seller, and purchased my first Chicken gear! Thanks Mike, now on to “Raising Chickens” and yes more hot coffee!