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Archive for October, 2014

Wish I Could Meet The Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten

October 26th, 2014 at 08:54 pm

It's Sunday and there's a pot of soup simmering on my stove. We went outside for a few minutes and came back and let's just say the house smells wonderful!

One of my favorite celebrity cooks is Ina Garten and Parade has an article about her and her new cookbook about making things ahead.

I have never met Ina Garten and would like to. Apparently she will be in Chicago in November making an appearance and signing cookbooks. Alas, it is a school day/night and I just can't justify taking off time and the expense.

The article said she is very kind and thoughtful and from what I've seen on television on her show, "Barefoot Contessa" she appears to be that way and I picture her that way. It would be wonderful to meet her.

I have learned some things from watching her program and I have tried some things I might not have tried if she hadn't demonstrated them on her show. I own a few of her cookbooks and I check her others out from the library.

There is something about her voice, demeanor, and manner that tends to relax me when I watch. I know I will never have a cocktail party or own a specialty shop, but it certain is fun watching her.

I like the idea of making things ahead. The soup bubbling away on my stove is for a supper and a couple of lunches this week. I have whole wheat bread baking in the oven for some meals, and I used up the rest of our tomatoes to make a tomato sauce to pair with spaghetti for another meal.

So, although I won't be meeting Mrs. Garten anytime soon, I do think her common sense manner and ease in the kitchen have made an impression.

My Husband Owes Me

October 12th, 2014 at 10:46 pm

My husband owes me. Big time.

You see, yesterday we decided to be tourists in our own state and go on the Spoon River scenic drive. Every year during the first two full weekends in October, the little towns around Spoon River have food and crafts and goodies to buy. I've never been and since I'm a fan of Edgar Lee Masters who penned "Spoon River Anthology" I thought this would be a treat.

My husband mentioned that when he went over 30 years ago, he and his mom took the tour and saw a remnant of Camp Ellis. During World War II, Camp Ellis was a training camp, a German POW camp, as well as having major telephone lines running through there. His mom was a telephone operator for a number of months. From what we've read, it was like a small city with a hospital, movie theatre as well as other places normally found in a camp like this. When I asked him previously if he wanted to try and find more of Camp Ellis, he said no, but yesterday, as we were driving down a back road we found some large concrete structures and he immediately was drawn to them.

Knowing my husband's fondness of anything World War II and the fact his mom worked there, I figured if we came anywhere near Camp Ellis, we would be stopping. Sure enough, he pulled off the road and we walked around the concrete structures that were crumbling in some areas. There are no signs so we had no idea what we were seeing.

My husband said he thought it might be a water plant for the camp since there are two large round tank like structures. But, what about the walls across the road?

After our little jaunt and we were home, I did some research on the Internet. I found a map and I remember the location of where we ventured. Was it a water treatment plant? A prison? A firing range?

Nope. It was, at the time, a state of the art sewage treatment plant.

See, some husbands take their wives on romantic outings -- mine on the other hand takes me to a World War II sewage treatment plant.

Like I said, he owes me!

End of the Season Soup

October 5th, 2014 at 08:57 pm

Last night the weather forecaster said there was a chance of frost. That meant DH and I got busy in the garden getting stuff out just in case.

DH planted some large pots with carrots. He did that because the bunnies kept eating them when they were planted in the ground. Wow, did he get a bunch...Bugs would be envious!

Last spring on Facebook someone shared something about taking the end of celery and putting it in water for a couple of days and then planting it. We figured why not try it since it didn't cost anything. We did get celery out of it. It wasn't as large or thick as the original, but not bad for something basically free.

DH also planted bell peppers and he picked them. He only had 3 plants and we've been enjoying them off and one the past few weeks, but he picked what was there and there were over 15.

We also picked the few tomatoes that were on the vines and the onions that were still in the ground and the small squash.

And, I cut some herbs so I could dry them.

Fortunately it didn't frost so we can still get a few things we didn't pick (there are some green tomatoes we left just in case) and I will still use the herbs until they freeze.

But, this afternoon, soup was started. So much of it came from DH's garden. It contains garlic we harvested earlier, onions, squash, tomatoes, celery, peppers, carrots, and some of the herbs. I am going to add some green beans and some barley. I am making a huge pot so we have it for a meal and some to freeze for another meal.

I was teasing my about getting a cow next year so we can beef and vegetable soup? He didn't think the city or the neighbors would approve.

In the paper's cartoons today, Blondie and Dagwood invite the new neighbors over for supper. These newbies were highly critical of the food and decor and said to come over anytime they wanted some food suggestions. Ironic? Yes, since Blondie has her own catering business. It reminded me of a couple we invited over for supper a few years ago. I never professed to be a fancy cook, but most of the meal was made from scratch. The wife informed me she had a better recipe for meatloaf and that her cornbread was better than mine because she used Jiffy. She would then tell me how she would fix this and that and how good it was. I wonder if they realize they have never been invited back.

I'm going to say it...(beware, a rant!)

October 1st, 2014 at 11:08 pm

What I have to say may not be popular, but I'm going to speak my mind anyway. I have some Facebook friends who often complain about not having money...and a couple of these folks put it right out there that they are broke.

I understand that things come up and it can hurt one's financial situation. We have all had unexpected expenses. That is not what I'm irritated about.

These same folks are the ones who spend tons of money on cigarettes, booze, and tattoos.

One person talks about how their SSI just isn't enough and then mentions the new tattoo that is wanted.


Don't complain you can't make your benefit check or your paycheck stretch when you are getting what I would term luxuries such as tattoos, cigarettes, and booze. Especially if that check is coming from tax payers who work hard, save money, and pay for things as they come.

You want cigarettes? Then make sure you other bills are paid before getting them. Want to have some body art? Be sure you have food in your house and gas in your car before getting inked. Don't spend the money ahead of time and then moan and whine how you don't have money for groceries or you don't know how you are going to drive to work.

OK, rant over. Thanks for letting me vent. I'm sure the folks who this really pertains to would either deny it was them or wouldn't bother to read it.