Saturday, February 15, 2014

The greatest compliment I have ever received.

I have, for the most part, been "Over Weight" all my life; with the exception of my first few years.  Dieting was a large part of that life.  I went on my first diet at the age of 9. It didn't last long.  My mom was on Weight Watchers then and I guess I wanted to try it too.  It is, however, the time I was first aware of the fact that I was heavier than my peers.  Realizing you aren't the weight norm can sometimes be detrimental to ones self esteem, but in my case, it didn't slow me down much.  I will tell you why.  The greatest compliment I have ever received is the statement that I look just like my mom.  One of my favorite pictures of my mom is a black and white head shot taken from her school days.  I always thought she looked like a movie star such as Marlene Dietrich.  How could I not feel confident in my appearance with a comparison to a movie star! As a result I have grown to feel  that while I may be fat,  I'm a good looking fat woman(Smile). 

This is my mom:

What daughter wouldn't look at this picture and feel proud of the comparison?

Following closely on the heels of looking like my mom is the statement that I am just like my mom.  Never was meaning of that statement made more clear to me than when I saw this picture during the holidays.

My mom is the greatest combination of beauty/strength, and Grace/Power.  She would give a total stranger the shirt off her back, but mess with her family and she'll knock you into next week.  To be compared to her on any level is a great compliment.  So for those who have made that comparison, I give you a heart felt thank you.  You have done more for my self esteem than any pant size.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

How we fared in the latest snowmagedden.

We Georgians get a lot of teasing from folks up north who drive in snow all the time.  While I can take some good natured ribbing like the next guy, let me stand up for the south for a moment.  First of all, we folks in Georgia, while the last state with 4 distinct seasons (cause you know Florida has 2; spring and summer), rarely get snow.   We might have a flurry here or there, but not a lot in the snow realm.  Once every few years we will get a snow "event".  Which means we get accumulation and or ice( usually with ice involved.  Mainly with ice involved). It is even more rare to get nice fluffy snow that is easy to drive in.  We have no way of really knowing what we are gonna get, and enough of us have been in situations where we, or someone we love, has been caught in a slippery situation.  As a result, we tend to react as if the worst would happen.  Also because of the rarity of snow, we don't put snow tires on our cars in November and keep them on until the beginning of spring.  In fact we usually don't have snow tires, sleds, tire chains, snow blowers, and four wheel drives.  Don't get me wrong.  Some people in Georgia have these things, but they are not common place.  Georgia weather is very unpredictable.  We have prepared for ice storms of historical proportions only to get rain.  When I was a teenager I watched the bank clock fall from 72 degrees to 0 as I worked my shift at our local McDonalds.  We got so much snow that time we were out of school for a couple of weeks.  So  when you Yankees want to tease us about our reaction to snow, think of the old saying and "Take a walk in someone else's shoes".

So now that I have defended Georgians to the best of my ability, I will say situations like this past snow storm are reasons to keep a pantry on hand.  Instead of getting into the madness at the grocery stores this past Monday, I came home and made two loaves of bread, a batch of hot dog buns, hamburger buns, and cookies.  This was in case we lost power and I wouldn't be able to make my normal bread/baked goods.  I had one loaf left and wanted to make sure we had enough to make it thru should I not be able to bake.  Dh checked the Kerosene heater to make sure it would light.  I have 4 hurricane lamps and extra oil that I keep on hand.  The lamps stay filled for emergencies whether it is a power outage from a snow storm or from a thunder storm in the summer.  We have a propane grill we can cook on if needed.  I did a mental menu of what I had in the freezer that would thaw fairly quick in the event we lost power.  Using those items up was the basis for our menu plan for these past few days.  Now we were very fortunate in that we got lots of snow and less ice.  We maintained our power so we were definitely blessed.  However, we were ready for a power loss if that happened.   It is always better to have a plan before something happens so you aren't caught off guard when something happens and have to scurry.  As I have said before, keeping a pantry is just prudent.  It doesn't have to be an end of the world scenario.  It is helpful for just out of the norm occurrences.  I don't want to ever be that person interviewed at the store clearing off the last loaf of bread or eggs and having to pay whatever that price is because the cheaper stuff is gone.   Instead I got to bake, crochet, and stay snuggly warm with a throw, my family, and a cup of coffee.

So now that I have shared that stuff, let me share our snow!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

What I did Thursday....and you can do it do!

Okay, it has been dismal seeing my home canned goods dwindle in my pantry.  We had a so so harvest this past year and so my stores so to speak are depleting.  Feeling the need to add something, I figured I would go ahead and cook up a turkey I bought during the holiday season, can the meat and make broth.  It is really nice to have cans of meat whether beef, chicken, or in this case turkey.  It is definitely a convenience.  When you are wanting to make a quick meal and are tired from work, pulling out a jar of meat and using it in a recipe is a life saver.  In addition to that, making and canning your own broth is a much healthier alternative to the canned broth or bouillon bought at the store.  So since this is what I did on Thursday, I thought I would share a little how to for those adventurous souls among us.

First let me say I Do Not Mess around when it comes to canning meat.  I make sure Jars are washed thoroughly and heated, lids and rings are hot but not boiling.  No cross contamination with utensils or hands.  Once all of this is done, you are ready to start you process.  Believe me this is easier than it looks and so worth it. 

Remove the meat from the bone and cut your meat, in this case it was turkey, into bite size pieces and place in a pot.  Cover with water.  You then want to cook the meat til it is half done.

Once the meat is ready, remove it with a slotted spoon and place into your hot jars leaving about 1 inch of space (head space) at the top.

Once your hot jars are full, add 1/2 tsp salt for each pint.  Wipe off the rims with a damp cloth.  This removes anything that might keep the jar from sealing and also will give you a heads up of any cracks in the rims.  Put on your hot, but not boiling, lids and rings. 

Put them all in your pressure canner(which has 3 quarts of water in the bottom).  Put on the lid and start heating.  You want to get to where there is steam coming out the vent  pretty strongly.  Let the steam vent for about 2 minutes and then place the weight on the vent. 

Bring pressure up to 10 lbs pressure.  I know my gage says 11 lbs, but that's cause mine is special and I have to have it at 11 lbs.  Mine is uhhhh 72 years old (it was my grandmothers).  The gage is off a little so according to the county extension office I have to can my stuff 1 lb higher.  Anyway, I digress.  You are going to process turkey for 90 min at 10 lbs pressure.  Other types of meats will vary in processing times.

Once the processing is done, turn off the burner and let the pressure reduce (don't remove the weight).
Once the pressure has returned to zero, you can remove the weight and open the lid. 
Remove the jars to the counter and over the next 2 hours they will cool and begin to POP! as they seal.  This is the cool part, as your children determine you are nuts as you yell the numbers as they seal. You know "THAT"S TWO!".  Let the sealed jars cool for a day without moving them.  Once they are completely cool you can store them in your pantry.  Jars that don't seal you can store in the fridge and use them for that nights dinner.
Okay now that you have an almost empty turkey carcass (I know.  There is no way to make that sound better), place the carcass along with 3 whole onions, 3 or 4 good size carrots (washed but unpeeled ), Celery, 1 TBS salt, and 2 TBS vinegar into a stock pot.  Let it simmer on a low heat for at least a day.  You can also put it into a crockpot, but it would need to be a good size one.  This broth I made was cooked for about 36 hours.  Once it is done, remove the bones, carrots, etc.  Place your broth in the freezer or fridge to cool and allow the fat to solidify at the top.  You can defat it this way.  Just scrape the fat off the top.  Bring your now defatted broth to a boil.  Put the hot broth into hot clean jars.  Wipe rims, put on lids and rings.  Process at 10 lbs pressure for 25 min for pints.  This is what you get:

Check out that color!  All the wonderful nutrients from the veggies are in there.  The vinegar draws minerals and other nutrients from the bones.  This is the type of broth that cures colds I garauntee!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

What I did today with a dinner knife and a hair dryer.

MADE YA LOOK!  HA!  Seriously.  I did do something with a dinner knife and a hair dryer.  I removed paint from walls.  Let me take too long...let me sum up.  We are repainting Rubics room.  The walls were peeling cause the last paint job didn't stick.  Rubic has helped over the last few years.  That is has helped the paint peel.  So Rubic and I get in the room and begin to try to remove the rest of the paint.  Some of it came off with... a dinner knife.  The rest we were trying to sand to blend it into the rest of the wall in order to paint it.  No dice.  This paint would just flake off instead of blending in.  What to do, what to do.  Rubic had mentioned that in the summer the paint was easier to peel.  Following that thought was the knowledge that hardware stores sell glorified blow dryers to remove paint.  I think Hmmmmm I wonder (there it is again) if the heat from my normal hair dryer will help some of this paint turn loose.  Well what do you know it did!  I would hold the dryer on a corner for a few seconds and then I could peel large chunks of paint off the walls.  Best part is NO SANDING!  (Sigh)  I love it when a plan comes together.  Now I am off to get a shower and get the sheet rock dust (from the previous sanding) out of my hair.  Will post a pic of the finished room once it is in fact finished.