Thursday, May 25, 2017

Life in May

 My parents, sister Verina, uncle Lloyd & I went to Alabama for my uncle Elvin Yoder's funeral. It was good to see family again. Because of the lack of ladies in our house, I almost never leave. It is rather disastrous when I do go. Lots of things piled up for when I come back.
 There was lots of road to travel.
We were impressed with the handmade furniture where we stayed overnight with the Lowell Brennemen family. They have talented sons.

 Must have been a space museum here. ???
  Melvin and I cleaned the pantry. He had an elevated position.
Much time was spent preparing for the spring school concert. I shot a few pictures during the final awesome song, God is an Awesome God. The lights were dim and they had a slideshow going behind them of colorful and artistic nebulae.

L-R Matthew, Austin, Stephen, Christopher, Melvin (circled)
 So many flowers blooming now. I was intrigued with this one RED peony.

 This sight thrills my heart. Our dyslexic son buried in a book! 
A normal sight for the one below.

How has your May been?

What is planned for the rest of the month?

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Kitchen Hacks I

Do you know how easy life can be in the kitchen? Here are a few things I do to improve time and body wear.

Use a vegetable peeler to peel potatoes, carrots, butternuts, apples, turnips, pears etc. Did you know most peelers have a place on the end that is meant for digging unwanted spots out of potatoes (or whatever you're peeling)? In the photo below the Cutco peeler has the "digger" on the cutting side, the red one has the loop on the end to serve the purpose (doesn't work so great) and the T-Fal has it on the backside. We like the T-Fal the best.
L-R Cutco, unknown brand, T-Fal
The blender is a very useful tool to me. Throw onions in with tomato juice when making chili. You'll have the flavor of onions without the chunks or the tears. Do this with any recipe that has liquid and onions. Blend them together before adding to the other ingredients.

Blend all ingredients for pudding (or white sauce) except for the greater part of the milk which you have heating on the stove. Once the milk is hot, add the blended ingredients and in short order your pudding will be done. No long minutes spent bending over the hot stove, stirring pudding.

Blend the thickener you need for gravy. No flour clumps.

Blend the wet ingredients for something like muffins or pancakes. Add to the dry ingredients.

And, of course, milkshakes and smoothies. The male species in this household wear out my blender over these drinks. I freeze lots of unsweetened fruit that they turn into cold drinks or "blender ice cream".

Bake the bacon. What a lifesaver. It bakes nice and flat. The stovetop doesn't get splattered with grease. No need to turn it. Lay it out on a baking sheet, put it in the oven, turn the oven on 350 and wait for the delicious aroma of bacon. When you smell it, check it for the quality of done-ness you desire. (Will someone please give me the word I want there? Done-ness isn't a word.) Pour the grease off and there you are. Bacon by bakin'.

A mandolin is most handy for slicing, shredding and julienne-ing. Hate to be without it! Mine is bent from being on a back burner where oven heat warped it. It's also broken in different places. Time for a new one, I reckon.

The most important kitchen tip is to keep the counters clean. Easier said than done. But one dirty dish will bear young and multiply. Just try it. It's unbelievable how many dishes one dish can produce. I have no illustration for this tip! Wonder why?

How do you save time in the kitchen?

What did you have for dinner today?

Hey, you really may answer these questions!