Under Costruction.....

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

Just like life building (rebuilding) a blog is a journey.... please stick with us as we make this blog better. Thanks y'all!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Not Even Close

I promise myself every year that I will have ALL the Christmas shopping done by Thanksgiving and will do nothing but enjoy the Spirit of the season and bake and cook and sing and decorate and smile all the live long day.


Yep, you guessed it, not even close.  I have yet to get our neighbor treats done, or finished shopping...and this year dragging around two prize winning boxers/biters/hitters/spitters/tantrum throwers/screaming/ pinching each other cute as can be little bloomerbuttons and their sweetly mellow as can be baby sister that either brings looks of utter sympathy or astonishment at the stupidity of the woman braving ugly weather and not smart enough to get a babysitter for her three kids that are all younger then 2 and uses one long sentence to portray the exhaustion of just getting thru one store..... let alone Costco.......

are you tired just reading this?  Don't be...it really isn't that bad...I usually ignore the stares and the twins antics and I am gently rejuvenated by the sweet old ladies that stop to reminisce about their twins and babies and grand babies and how fast life goes by, so enjoy it while you are here kinda talk.....and a cookie...a cookie always does wonders!

But back to the Christmas Spirit.....I have it, though I haven't done all that I want or that is on the list in my head and the half created list on paper....the house isn't as clean as it should be or even half decorated (that's right folks, more then half my decorations have stayed in the boxes)... and dinners are whatever is in the fridge....and yet I continue to blog and have my idol time on the computer (and yes, you, if you feel guilty reading this one little word..."idol"....then thank you for coming on and reading my post.....it means a lot).

Christmas has never been my favorite holiday, and wait...don't get all in a huff because I said that....it is because I do honor the birth of Christ, but have such a hard time reconciling the materialism and commercial aspects of Christmas with the stillness of that holy night in my heart and sometimes the ache that it leaves.

There is a never a time that the spirit doesn't make me weepy at live nativity scenes and Christmas hymns and It"s a Wonderful Life" Christmas movies. I am grateful for the season that is dedicated to Christ and the thoughtfulness that prevails as wonderful people go out of their way to serve each other and strangers.  I am eternally grateful for the babe in the manger that saved the world and I can't help but grow weepy over His earthly parents sacrifice.  I can only imagine giving birth for your first time alone and in a manger to not just a baby but to the Savior and King.

The Christmas season has been for me a time of regret and sadness at a dysfunctional family growing up, of men, particularly brothers and mothers not reconciled and of past memories that feel and sometimes become unmanageable...and of another year closing on unfinished goals (because I probably wasted too much time fb'ing, blogging and perusing your posts!) .

...and because my husband likes to shop last minute and I mean down to the wire, store is closing for Christmas Eve and they have called for last check outs over the intercom twice and he is still meandering....because that is how his family did it....and he likes it..and it gives me heart palpitation for more reasons then one....bless his heart.

However, this year I was/am determined to make it better, that this SEASON should be one filled with peace and good cheer and love...and that those feelings of regret can wait until after the new year and group themselves with the goals new year's goals that I have already dropped by the wayside. That family traditions will prevail...even if it means the house cleaning lacks (sorry honey) because that is what my kids will remember, that I will have immense patience when one of the twinners drops bolts and screws from who knows where into the cookie dough....who was watching her?! (O yeah...that would be me...all the other mckiddos were win school) and that I will be forever grateful because I have more then enough and because this story reminds me of that:

In about March 1946, less than a year after the end of the war, Ezra Taft Benson, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, accompanied by Frederick W. Babbel, was assigned a special postwar tour of Europe for the express purpose of meeting with the Saints, assessing their needs, and providing assistance to them. Elder Benson and Brother Babbel later recounted, from a testimony they heard, the experience of a Church member who found herself in an area no longer controlled by the government under which she had resided.
She and her husband had lived an idyllic life in East Prussia. Then had come the second great world war within their lifetimes. Her beloved young husband was killed during the final days of the frightful battles in their homeland, leaving her alone to care for their four children.
The occupying forces determined that the Germans in East Prussia must go to Western Germany to seek a new home. The woman was German, and so it was necessary for her to go. The journey was over a thousand miles (1,600 km), and she had no way to accomplish it but on foot. She was allowed to take only such bare necessities as she could load into her small wooden-wheeled wagon. Besides her children and these meager possessions, she took with her a strong faith in God and in the gospel as revealed to the latter-day prophet Joseph Smith.
She and the children began the journey in late summer. Having neither food nor money among her few possessions, she was forced to gather a daily subsistence from the fields and forests along the way. She was constantly faced with dangers from panic-stricken refugees and plundering troops.
As the days turned into weeks and the weeks to months, the temperatures dropped below freezing. Each day, she stumbled over the frozen ground, her smallest child—a baby—in her arms. Her three other children struggled along behind her, with the oldest—seven years old—pulling the tiny wooden wagon containing their belongings. Ragged and torn burlap was wrapped around their feet, providing the only protection for them, since their shoes had long since disintegrated. Their thin, tattered jackets covered their thin, tattered clothing, providing their only protection against the cold.
Soon the snows came, and the days and nights became a nightmare. In the evenings she and the children would try to find some kind of shelter—a barn or a shed—and would huddle together for warmth, with a few thin blankets from the wagon on top of them.
She constantly struggled to force from her mind overwhelming fears that they would perish before reaching their destination.
And then one morning the unthinkable happened. As she awakened, she felt a chill in her heart. The tiny form of her three-year-old daughter was cold and still, and she realized that death had claimed the child. Though overwhelmed with grief, she knew that she must take the other children and travel on. First, however, she used the only implement she had—a tablespoon—to dig a grave in the frozen ground for her tiny, precious child.
Death, however, was to be her companion again and again on the journey. Her seven-year-old son died, either from starvation or from freezing or both. Again her only shovel was the tablespoon, and again she dug hour after hour to lay his mortal remains gently into the earth. Next, her five-year-old son died, and again she used her tablespoon as a shovel.
Her despair was all consuming. She had only her tiny baby daughter left, and the poor thing was failing. Finally, as she was reaching the end of her journey, the baby died in her arms. The spoon was gone now, so hour after hour she dug a grave in the frozen earth with her bare fingers. Her grief became unbearable. How could she possibly be kneeling in the snow at the graveside of her last child? She had lost her husband and all her children. She had given up her earthly goods, her home, and even her homeland.
In this moment of overwhelming sorrow and complete bewilderment, she felt her heart would literally break. In despair she contemplated how she might end her own life, as so many of her fellow countrymen were doing. How easy it would be to jump off a nearby bridge, she thought, or to throw herself in front of an oncoming train.
And then, as these thoughts assailed her, something within her said, “Get down on your knees and pray.” She ignored the prompting until she could resist it no longer. She knelt and prayed more fervently than she had in her entire life:
“Dear Heavenly Father, I do not know how I can go on. I have nothing left—except my faith in Thee. I feel, Father, amidst the desolation of my soul, an overwhelming gratitude for the atoning sacrifice of Thy Son, Jesus Christ. I cannot express adequately my love for Him. I know that because He suffered and died, I shall live again with my family; that because He broke the chains of death, I shall see my children again and will have the joy of raising them. Though I do not at this moment wish to live, I will do so, that we may be reunited as a family and return—together—to Thee.”
When she finally reached her destination of Karlsruhe, Germany, she was emaciated. Brother Babbel said that her face was a purple-gray, her eyes red and swollen, her joints protruding. She was literally in the advanced stages of starvation. In a Church meeting shortly thereafter, she bore a glorious testimony, stating that of all the ailing people in her saddened land, she was one of the happiest because she knew that God lived, that Jesus is the Christ, and that He died and was resurrected so that we might live again. She testified that she knew if she continued faithful and true to the end, she would be reunited with those she had lost and would be saved in the celestial kingdom of God. 

After reading this story the first time of such faith and devotion I felt small and ungrateful, but the more I return to this story in President Monson's talk it becomes a Christmas story to me....it is of unyielding faith in Christ in the face of adversity, it is of  mother love far greater then any other the our Elder Brother's love for us.  This woman, gives me hope and the courage to move forward (even when I sarcastically joke about the life God has given me) and have he Christmas Spirit all year long.

This is what we, or rather I, have forgotten, that the learning is in the journey, the preparation for Christmas...not necessarily in the holiday. That the bad memories can be replaced with brighter ones of the family traditions that I have started with me and mine.  That although I am a slow learner, and often have to repeat things over so that they are ingrained upon my soul that Christ was born to carry those burdens for me.  That for my journey back to the farm is really that...a journey...not a destination.


Merry Christmas, one and all......may it be filled with loving family, happy memories and good cooking!

Molasses Pie as made by Mack's Great great grandmother from Ohio

1 Cup good Molasses
1 Cup sugar
1/4 cup hot water
1 T flour
small pat of butter
4 eggs well beaten
She wrote that this was enough for two pies, though we found that it left the pie rather thin. I baked at 350 for 30 minutes.  It is like a custard pie, that is even better with whipped cream.  I also connected a link to another recipe with more details about Molasses Pie. Enjoy!

Friday, December 16, 2011

I'll get around to it....

Did you try the frog eye salad? DO you have plans too?  It is such an pleasant reminder of summer reunions......but my biggest food memory of Idaho....is spam.....yes...spam....open faced melted cheese spam sandwiches!  But I do not need to give you that recipe because you just open the can and plop it on the bread....and 2) I wouldn't couldn't eat the stuff....I know how it is made now.....a...ya...no.way!

and talk about no way.....have you seen/heard about the Elf on the Shelf.......

Have you jumped on the band wagon, marching to the beat of this little doll....or are you like me?

And your head might pop off if you think about one more think being added to your christmas list, let alone try and be all cutsy about it because you are trying to potty train twins and it isn't going very well along with house breaking two puppies all while you continue to nurse a teething baby...um...ouch....and chauffeur around your "I'm too old for my mom to drive me but I blew the clutch out of my kid car so she must but I am going to have a total attitude about it" all while feeling guilty that you are not doing enough or maybe really...or...you are doing to much and loosing the spirit of Christmas ?  (BUT if you are one of these extra awesome peeps that keep it all together and makes everything rosy and tied up in bows for the rest of us to ooh and aah over then bless your heart, my hats are off to you! I'll just down another cookie.....)

SO...if you are like me then read here......it will give you a good laugh.......and make you feel better about your lackluster ability to get the elf spirit going.

But really, you must know, I will have to be joining the "make the elf play silly games and tricks so the kids will think he is alive"....because my mother in law informed me.....she will be getting the family one...YEAH! for me......maybe there truly is magic in the box.

I also know that I am more then a little lackluster in my preparation for the season is.....because my husband.....had to make peanut brittle....it was GOOD! He tried to make me feel all guilty about my lack of not having Christmas preparation...but...nope....didn't work....my mouth was too full of the sweet buttery goodness.  Thank you honey, you're the best!

He used the Peanut Brittle recipe here.

I will redeem myself ...eventually....and make almond roca, after I finish some Christmas skirts and mop the floor and pack for a quick party.....and.....and.....

Love yer lazy guts.......

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Salt of the Earth

Yesterday I went from being talked down off the wall (if you need more explanation then that, we'll have to talk later.....at least that is what I told my husband) and thank heavens for my sister who responded to a text at 5 am her time......to listening to a woman we all wish was our mother sing  songs she wrote just for me and my memories of Idaho and cousins and summer....or at least that is what it feels like.....(long breath)

Idaho was to me what water is to a parched man in the dessert....

it was soul saving.....life saving...really

All summer long, Memorial Day to Labor Day, Fourth of July small town parades and fire works, horseback riding, first crushes, splashing in the water canals, so many bug bites you lost count, warm mellow sun on grassy fields, bb gun fights (yes, I could have sot my eye out...but I didn't), fishing, motorcycles, tents, stars as numerous as pebbles on the beach, quilts that smelled like dew, dogs barking, warm fizzy soda pop, water snakes slamming screen doors and wind that never stilled......

it is all all fuzzy around the edges and runs in my mind like a black and white rerun of The Andy Griffith Show (yep...still love that show) or even The Waltons.....and yes our kiddos roll their eyes when we watch those old shows on Saturday.

I think back now about my childhood summers there.....and I have to give credit to my uncles and aunts who took on an extra mouth, when all of them had more then enough mouths to feed...but I guess I kinda earned my keep....I weeded..and weeded and weeded....or it seemed that way! And if I didn't, well, just holler at me...I miss a garden.

We caught worms with our bare hands to throw in a bag and sell for cash to the anglers....I know totally eeeww now.....though I can and will thread a worm on a hook for my kids...if nothing else but to be totally cool in their eyes....but ya...still eewww.  We spent all day outside and had to be called in long after dark.....even with the bugs eating us alive. 

Idaho has become a sanctuary in my mind, and after listening to Cori Conners you would totally understand too......I have tied to convince my Utah Born husband that is where we need to move.....but I digress..

Cori is a much better story teller then I....

read here ......and really the song is so good, you must hear it...call me and I will run out to the car and play it for you over the phone....because the CD is always in my car. Even my kiddos love this CD and Cori, because maybe it explained their mother to them just a little, but more then that, Cori and her son, who was kiddo #5's soccer coach are intensely talented and real down to earth and good......good people...salt of the earth.

Hopefully we all have  misty edged black and white haven of our childhood locked away somewhere...that reminds us.....life is good.....and there are people out there that will take you in when no one else would, or save you from the monsters in the basement......(a whole other story...that I have written several times...yet can't post...not yet...)

Love your Idaho guts...and even if their not...love to all...

and the memory wouldn't be complete without frog eye salad.......for reals...a family reunion must!

FROG EYE SALAD
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 3/4 cups unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 quarts water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 (16 ounce) package acini di pepe pasta
  • 3 (11 ounce) cans mandarin oranges, drained
  • 2 (20 ounce) cans pineapple tidbits, drained (or just crush your pineapple in the blender)
  • 1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
  •  (8 ounce) whipping cream (prepared according to your liking)
  • 2 cup miniature marshmallows
  • 1 cup shredded coconut

Directions

  1. In a sauce pan, combine sugar, flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, pineapple juice and eggs. Stir and cook over medium heat until thickened. Remove from heat; add lemon juice and cool to room temperature.
  2. Bring water to a boil, add oil, remaining salt and cook pasta until al dente. Rinse under cold water and drain.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the pasta, egg mixture, mandarin oranges, pineapple and whipped topping. Mix well and refrigerate overnight or until chilled. Before serving add marshmallows and coconut. Toss and serve. 12 servings

I never include the coconut because enough of my clan doesn't like it...but either way...GOOD!


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Calming a Messy Mind

This is my favorite hymn.....

....it calms my soul....

as does the Master.....

especially when I look at my list...the list....the list to end all lists...

...and I am.....let's say....overwhelmed...more then a little

but then I know.....with every fiber of my being....


that all is well...


even with a messy house....and a messy mind....


Peace.

Christ.

Love.

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

1. Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount, I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.

2. Sorrowing I shall be in spirit,
Till released from flesh and sin,
Yet from what I do inherit,
Here Thy praises I'll begin;
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Here by Thy great help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.

3. Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood;
How His kindness yet pursues me
Mortal tongue can never tell,
Clothed in flesh, till death shall loose me
I cannot proclaim it well.

4. O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

5. O that day when freed from sinning,
I shall see Thy lovely face;
Cloth├Ęd then in blood washed linen
How I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace;
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry,
Take my ransomed soul away;
Send thine angels now to carry
Me to realms of endless day.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Divine Nature....begins with pasta....

How many times have you heard?

"If you can't say something nice, come sit next to me?"  Just kidding, I really meant to say

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."

{Just between you and me....the first applies to me more then I would like....I promise to listen and commiserate and never tell a soul that we discussed your mama drives you up and a wall...}

But back to don't say nothing at all......it is good advice and it has taken me a lot of years to learn to just bite my tongue....I should have an iron tongue by now.....but I am still learning, especially with my husband and kids...

but what about myself?  Do I bite my tongue with myself? Do I hold back my opinion when my hair won't do what I want or those extra baby pounds won't go away (and they aren't budging...I am sure the cookies have something to do with it!)? What about when someone gives you a compliment about how good you look after your 8th baby and you laugh it off and say....

Thank heaven for clothes or something else totally not nice.... Why are we so hard on ourselves...and believe me I am right there right now as I sit in my capri yoga pants and holey tshirts in freezing weather..because...well...nothing really fits me after this last baby and I only have one pair of jeans that I save until I go out or pack meeting...which is later today....but on another note I am enjoying a chocolate chip cookie or two...because....well...they're in the house...why else?

And then we look at long ago pictures and say...whatever it is we say....

I was doing just that today with a family picture after the mctwinners were born.....and I forget that I had TWO nursing babies and could hardly eat anything...or they were retching all over me and everyone else near!

....and then I found this site My Beauty Campaign and I cried. I cried because of her message and the beauty of it and that she is changing the world, one woman at a time. And I thought, what if we taught our girls this from  the very beginning and pounded it into their heads.....beauty is what you are...not what the world says you need to be. That imperfections are what really makes the world more beautiful.

I found her page by liking a post on fb about how to pose...how to pose?! Who knew? (Probably all of you...'cept me!...and see there I go again)

Wahlaa!!  You can still eat pasta..and look good for pictures! You will need to "friend" her on facebook....but she also has fabulous and interesting information and advice on loving yourself and your unique beauty.  I love her...and I don't know her....I am just grateful that someone is standing up for the uniquely different women of our world...and saying...that beauty is not all alike.

Having talked with many women who think they are not beautiful, myself included, that think they have nothing or little to offer the world and are way too hard on themselves and the other women in their lives. 

But I know deep down inside that we are all made in an image of a loving God, a perfect God.....so though we are not perfect....we are divine and that makes us beautiful!

So eat and ENJOY your divine Caprese Pasta Salad, my girl's favorite salad, and heven knows they are beautiful...and everyone of them is different.... and then go and know how to show your best self off in pictures!!

Love yer guts....for reals!

CAPRESE PASTA SALAD

1 box spiral pasta
7 oz mozzarella cheese
Tomatotes
Fresh Basil
Pepper
Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar

Prepare pasta per instructions and then cool under cold water. Cut tomatoes (I love the cherry tomatoes...and the yellow heritage tomatoes...but will use what is fresh and available), toss with plenty of pepper, cut mozzarella and toss with pasta and tomatoes, gently rip or chop fresh basil and then add to pasta with oil and vinegar to taste!!!  SO good!!!




Thursday, December 8, 2011

NUTS

Because I happened to be surfing the web and not doing what  needed to be doing, and talking on the phone to my sister about how guilty I felt about not doing the things I needed to be doing, because I was posting on facebook about quilt was riddling me, because I have no motivation to conquer the wake of damage my twinners do in approximately 2 minutes or even look in the bathroom of my teenagers...like totally yuck.....

I found this post

this wonderful post that says it beautifully and more poetic then I ever could and because this blogger is my beautiful cousin that is nurturing wonderfully kind and sweet children (did I mention there was 11 of them?) and has the time to make everyone feel like her best friend....{breath}

and because I will be absentee most the weekend and must must I say, put my house in order.....I will let her do the talking...which my husband will see as a sign of progress on my part...because I rarely let someone else do the talking.....I'm working on it though!

If ever there is a  blog to follow...it's hers......

and I'll go make candied nuts.....because I need the protein...and cleaning isn't as much fun and doesn't taste as good.....or maybe I will go make the girl's new out of that fabulous ruffled material!! to die for! okay not that fabulous but pretty dang cute...and it will take me all of five minutes...it will be more effort to set the sewing machine up......or maybe I will go have lunch.....which brings us back to nuts! or go hang the family pictures back up from two years ago when we repainted, or repair the pine cone wreath for the door....and if I do any of the above...it will just mess the house up..so cleaning is definitely out...yep...no cleaning.

I am soooo wasting time....gotta go....

CANDIED NUTS

1 1/2 cups raw or roasted cashews (my favorite), peanuts, whole almonds or pecans...or do a mixture of them all
1/2 cup sugar
2 T butter
1/2 t vanilla
1/2  t cinnamon
1 t salt

In a heavy pot, throw all the above ingredients in and cook over medium high heat....shake the pan occasionally to coat nuts,  until the sugar starts to melt, but do not stir. Turn the heat to low until the sugar turns golden brown, stirring occasionally (i think I stir the whole time when I forget...and it still turns out!). Pour out the mixture onto butter tin foil or cookie sheet...and try to wait till they have cooled down.  Good luck...I burn my tongue every time.

Love yer  nutty guts


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

It's My Own Fault......

It's my own fault.......and it stinks....literally

Mcpunk #5 has the stinkiest breathe evaha!!! It smells so bad I thought he had stepped in you know what!

And do you know why it smells bad? He has strep with a side of abscess...something that I knew before I took him in...so I paid to have a doctor tell me what I already knew. And then tell me to put him on antibiotics asap. 

Hhhhmmmm......why do I do this?

I pray for the power of discernment....have clear and specific feelings and then question myself and take him in....

I did this today, I did this when #8 bilirubin was up and the doctors kept insisting that we keep testing her...every day for over a week...I knew what was right...but there was just this small speck of dark doubt called what if.....I did this with the twins as well..you would think I would learn.


Am I the only one that does this? The minute I am home after the doctor confims what I knew and insists on meds when  I question letting the illness run it's course or alternative measures...I am back researching what I already know. I know that the thoughts in my head and the feelings in my hear that I get concerning my children are real and that Heavenly Father entrusted them to me...so why wouldn't he tell me know how to make them feel better?

I get out the raw Apple Cider Vinegar, dilute it with a little warm water and we all start sipping on it....why do I forget this Wonder drink.  I know this works.....I've tried it on myself...I start getting sick...Mr Mack reminds me (jokingly) to stick it in cider...which is an old joke from his grandpa...but I think it wasn't a joke...he knew what he was talking about...and the way the boys took it....well they are boys and they just think like that...

and wahlaa....I start getting better.  Now I just need to remember this with the kiddos and trust my "Gut instinct." Even in the days of John Adams, they washed everything down with apple cider vinegar and used it as tonics.  They knew and used what we have now seemingly forgotten....and they trusted their gut instinct or motherly intuition.

Why do I not trust mine? Why do I care if the neighbors or friend raise an eyebrow at my dislike of taking meds ancd forcing them on my children for every are and concern?  Apple Cider Vinegar works and it has for a long time.  Geez louise....I need to pull it together...and quit drinking hot chocolate...which is so goooood, but so bad for you when you have strep! Along with eating way too much candy and sugar the past few months after Halloween....no wonder we are all sick! I will be recommiting myself to slaying the sugar monster!  It can be done!!!

SO here is a plug for Apple Cider Vinegar and all the good that comes with it...heres to oping I will start remembering it more often and and trusting my own power of discernment...and that your trust your own as well. And please don't think that this post is in any way saying to not use antibiotics ever or even medical advice...that's not the case. We need to use them wisely and when they are effective.

And for Sara, The Healthy Home Economist who is wonderfully wise but also does her research and is kind enough to pass along real wisdom about REAL FOOD!

And a plug for strengthening our faith in the powers that the good Lord gave us.  We are strong and wonderful and He trusts us. And knowing this will help us live better lives..


Friday, November 25, 2011

Blessed Buttermilk Pie

i am thankful.....

I am thankful...

i am thankful...

This was the mantra I said over and over in my head yesterday (Thanksgiving) as I was trying to coordinate the finishing touches on dinner......aka: going crazy!  Been there? Done that? 

and then it hit me....it was only dinner and that I was preparing it for those that i loved the most and that those finishing touches didn't mean a thing compared to those wonderful little AND big souls that were sitting on the couch watching a movie that was way too loud, or underfoot, or didn't seem to hear the puppies whining to be taken out.  It wasn't worth being frustrated over gravy that wasn't thick enough or a floor that was messy at best and sticky mud bog at worst.

The fingers in the stuffing or the little snatches of rolls being taken were a sign that dinner was good and that they approved and dinner would be a success. The TV too loud meant I had ears to hear the kids laughter (really it was scrabbling at each other, but whatever). Life was good, and I needed to relax. My house was warm, my table was loaded, I had neighbors that for one reason or another had made an extra coconut cream pie and insisted that we take it...yeah right...but I'm not sayin no! and my quiver was full...or is that the hubs quiver that was full?  But in either case, life is more then good.....it was blessed.

So I breathed in deeply and I let it all go....because.....

because I also had Buttermilk Pie at the end of the day!  So good...that the name...Buttermilk..does not do it a bit of justice....A creamy custardy old fashioned pie that is more then easy to make. I dare say it is one of my favorite!  Thank you Aunt Peggy for introducing this pie to us last year....when we were craving a traditional homemade Thanksgiving Dinner and having enough prepared that a family of nine could just drop in and you didn't blink an eye!

I tried two different recipes, and this recipe was by far the best

Buttermilk Pie

Pat-in-the-Pan Crust Ingredients:
  • 2 1/2 cups Flour (All Purpose Unbleached)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons cold milk
  • 2/3 cup oil (vegetable or canola–make sure it is fresh!)
Sister Liza Jane’s Southern Buttermilk Pie Ingredients:
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 4 eggs, whisked
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 stick butter, melted and cooled (1/2 cup of butter)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (fresh squeezed)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • pinch of grated Nutmeg
Pat-in-the-Pan Crust Directions:
  1. Whisk together dry ingredients in a bowl until blended
  2. Add wet ingredients and stir gently until the dough forms a ball.( For a tender crust, do not over mix).
  3. Put dough into pie pan and pat it thin and flat to conform to the shape of the pan.
  4. Crimp the edges.
  5. You are now ready for the filling.
Buttermilk Pie Directions:
  1. In your mixer, combine the flour and sugar.
  2. Stir in the eggs, and buttermilk .
  3. Add the cooled melted butter, vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
  4. Add a pinch or two of grated Nutmeg.
  5. Pour into the unbaked pie shell.
  6. Put the pie in the center of the oven and bake at 425 in a pre-heated oven for 15 minutes, then lower the temp to 350, and bake for 40 more minutes.
  7. Cool then keep chilled.
We of course dolloped (or drenched as I must admit) some whipped cream....and then we sat back and I pretended I was on my ole southern plantation porch rockin to and fro.........and then I woke up.......when my punks finally returned early in the am from shopping on black Friday. Ugh...is all I can say!

Love to all!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Heritage Vinegar Pie

Before I posted about the CDC being totally wrong about raw milk....

Before I started making french bread so it can dry out for the stuffing Thanksgiving dinner...and for dinner tonight, I have to double the recipe because we easily go through two loaves of french bread at one dinner.

Before I realized that I will never be a full fledged and real foodie....because {sigh} I like and use white flour, sugar and sometimes stoop to using something that may be processed or eat at Burger King.....

Before I started getting the mctwins cheerios because it looked like everything was on the up and up after a few rough days of UPing.

Before I realized that the utensil drawer was...ugh.....disgusting and full of crumbs and I pulled out the vacuum to de-crumb.

Before I started a load of laundry.....I had started to blog...or at least think about blogging...about Vinegar Pie.

Yes....Vinegar Pie....Who knew?

 I didn't....but great grandma Mabel's mama knew....she knew lots of things...she wrote them all down in a ledger above and then collected more recipes and hints from magazines. And with this pie, you can catch more flies then with honey!

It has been interesting to try many of the recipes to say the least because many of them do not have a temperature or a length of time on them.  But what a fun tradition of using and preparing recipes used back on the farm almost a hundred years ago!! I feel especially emotional as I think of the rich heritage in which both my husband and I have (or it could be the idea of cleaning up the 4000th mess after the twinners because here I sit blogging!) and of teaching all that we know to our little and not so little ones.

and as I teach what little I know, it makes me realize that I must search further and with more diligence to find these stories so that they will not be so lost to future generations.  I learned from my grandma in what would be the last few weeks of her life, stories that not even my uncles said they knew..why did none of us know these things?  Why did I not ask these questions of her when she was in better health? DOes she hav a hidden ledger somewhere?

I am realizing that my journey to be back on the farm is much more then owning a piece of ground....it's knowing who I am, excepting where I came from and learning from mistakes (and getting my daughters down from the table).....much much more...left to be uncovered.

VINEGAR PIE
(as written)
2/3 c white sugar
2 heaping T flour
4 Heaping T Vinegar
Yolk of 1 egg
pinch of salt
1 pt of boiling water

Cook in double boiler until thick, flavor with lemon. Fill baked crust, beat egg white, sweeten and place on top. Brown in oven. When we made this, we cooked it at 350.

As far as my research has found, pioneers made this pie when the fruit of summer and the dried fruit of winter had long been gone. SO try it and tell me what you think....I'll be waiting!

Raw Milk......Framed? {gasp}

Raw Milk has never actually in any way killed someone....

The CDC admits this in a round about way, after threatening to file a Freedom of Information Act request.  One of the deaths that the CDC linked to raw milk was from queso fresco, a fresh cheese that is made by aging it for 60 days.  Here in my own lovely state of Utah, the news linked illness and even possible death to raw milk when it in fact was from queso fresco most likely made in unclean residences with unsafe practices and then sold under the radar.

Whether you support raw milk or not at least support the right and the ability of those that do the choice of doing so.  People have the right to drink alcoholic beverages that lead to far more deaths...yet the government feels strongly compelled to report misleading numbers, jail innocent people, tarnish good peoples name and business, all over raw milk?  Raw milk has been drank for hundreds...no thousands of years.....you and I do not need government involvement in this choice.

I'll be back later with a fantabulous recipe for Vinegar Pie...yes, you read that right, but I have french bread ready to form...with my help of course..so that I can dry it out and make homemade stuffing!!!  See ya in a fee........

Monday, November 21, 2011

I CAN, CAN

I learned a few amazing things this past week....I'd like to share what I CAN do

You CAN make whipped cream outta evaporated milk...and if you hadn't have told your husband about it he wouldn't have turned up his nose at it, because he wouldn't have known, but more on that later.
You CAN cry over spilt milk...especially when it comes out as throw up/vomit/puke/up chuck/blowing chunks/ralphing or as we now call it in our house....up...just...UP.  it's usually all that would make it out of the twins mouth before the surge came.....ugh.
You CAN bottle homemade sauerkraut with ease and even joy because it smells better then what you have been dealing with for the past five days.
You CAN make a lovely homemade, prepared from scratch meal....and one of your children will say the meat is dry...and then eat enough that you loose count of the helpings.
You CAN laugh with, not at your mctwinner who makes the funniest faces when she is trying not to UP, including but not limited to eye rolling, faux fainting, not to be confused with faux painting, laying down on the tile floor and so on, because....well...you ( and I mean me)....do the same thing.
You CAN manage to do fifteen million loads of laundry in the day...and still not be done
You CAN put it out on facebook that you need a coke...after church of course.....and  more then a few friends deliver...including a can secretly stashed into your husband's manbag and your husband wonders how they knew....hmmmm
You CAN heat up your hot chocolate more then four times...and then give up on drinking it.....and just go for the coke....
You CAN tell yourself every time you take a sip of that oh so coldly refreshing beverage...that you will quit once the twins stop UPing.
You CAN still be the only one that hears the puppies at "butt crack of dawn" as my cousin likes to call it.... and no one else does...so you spend more energy to pull your teenage son outta bed and make him take them out because you don't want to get cold..and you have to wake him up anyway you reason...and you have to make breakfast after all....and will still be picking up their doggie poop...even though five kids swore on bibles jumped up and down, did flips and promised... that you (and I mean me) never would
You CAN manage to blow through the house and make it some what presentable for potential buyers to walk through who called ten minutes earlier...did I mention my house is for sale...and the twins are UPing..and that is when everybody will be calling on the house.
You CAN survive it all and blog about it on Monday...because that it was what makes it all worth it...that and you love your family.

But back to the whipped cream that you CAN make from evaporated milk. I made it and it was good...and the kids had it on their whipped cream this morning....so it must be decent! I always prefer fresh cream...but I forgot to put it on the list for the hubs this weekend as I was grounded at home or rather didn't dare leave for fear of coming home to a bigger and nastier mess then just dealing with it. And I don't know about you, but I can't have pumpkin pie nekkid...just can't, it isn't right. So we had to do something......and sherbet was goig to cut it

But now I know that it can be done...and will work wonders in the food storage if there is ever a time we can't have fresh cream and we are beyond desperation in our need for whipped cream on our pumpkin pie, you never know it may happen!

1 can Evaporated milk
1/2 package non-flavored gelatin
3/4 c powdered sugar
1 t vanilla

Pour evaporated milk in a metal bowl and freeze for at least 30 minutes along with the beater (the milk should start to freeze o the sides of the bowl. Take out and shake gelatin on top of cold evaporated milk. let sit a few minutes, add vanilla and start to beat.  Slowly add in sugar and increase speed and beat until you have the consistency you want.  It doesn't get as stiff as cream.....but it will work!!!

love yer creamy guts!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Confessions

I have a confession...yes.....a confession. We all like confessions, right?!  WE all like confessions because we need to feel normal, we need to know that the beautiful neighbor secretly chews her nails, or picks her nose or turns into an ogre come sundown.  We NEED to know this.....because we...and I mean me...are human and it makes my shortcomings not so bad.  And for the record, my neighbors are all extremely beautiful and fit and funny and really, really good people.....not a bad one among them...going to church is like attending a convention of beautiful people..and I'm the maid. Good People, I say.

Back to my confession, I have one, well I have a few, but it isn't that I totally get grossed out by my kiddos residual spit left in the sink after teeth brushing,....eeeehhhh...yes, I can deal with poop better then that slimy stream. No it isn't the confession that I get annoyed, and not secretly when my husband helps me with housework/laundry or pulls in the kids to help and doesn't do it my way. Like last night...after FHE...he has them bring down the whites....and yes they were in two overflowing baskets, and yes, one of them had been like that or more then a week, and yes, they had been dumped out and put back in more then three times, and yes, my husband hates, HATES pulling things out of the basket.....even if it is only underwear...he hates it....and hat within a matter of minutes...like 30...that the whites were all folded, more or less, and out of my hair. And it isn't the fact that he said he could see..."I was drowning"...hhhmmm...maybe I was, but I hadn't been asked to be rescued, BUT it is nice this morning that it is done and for the most part put away.

And it's not that my mctwinners run around the house nekkid most the day and hat I gave them red and pink starburst when they potty [I KNOW....GASP!]

No, my confession is much more serious.....

First, I know, I know...just get to it, but I need to explain for those that are not LDS (as we call ourselves) or Mormon (as the world usually know us, it is the same thing.) we have a lay ministry, all is done by volunteers from the top, down to the bottom.  When someone is "called" to help or to a position, that means we don't just raise our hand and volunteer for the job, we believe that through prayer, inspiration and thought, that the "calling" comes from God, and that He want us to be in that position for whatever reason.

So with that being said, can you guess my confession (yes there are probably a lot of confessions that I should explore)?

Hold your breath, get ready for it....

I was called to be a den mother......{gasp} a cub scout leader...and I cried.....{big sobbing gulp}

now, for my friends that may read this, when you are not being beautiful....let me tell you, that I love your boys, love them!  I love when they are over and we are debating (IE; shouting) which team is better - the U or BYU....I love that they run over to tell me that they are getting a puppy...because we were the crazy ones on the block to set a precedent that their parents are now feeling the pressure of! I love that they look after the mctwins and will bring them back...or try to....when they have silently and secretly escaped. Let me say it again...I love these boys!  They are sweet and kind and funny and witty and good boys from good parents.

...but I just never pictured myself in scouts...the husband does scouts and has been away on many a scout trip, I have helped my son with badges...but never once did I see myself in the women's yellow uniform, raising my hand to the scout pledge....I just didn't. It wasn't a calling that I ever thought about..after all, I have SIX girls. SIX.....and I get called to cub scouts....I don't even have a cub scout, for two more years...and then no more after that. It never crossed my mind, that that is where our Heavenly Father would want me....

...so I cried...and I cried a lot....(enough that one of the bishop's counselors commented on my crying to his wife...good thing she is one of my besties...she had my back) but just not until after... After I heard of all these other callings...and I was a den leader and after I made a teeny weeny comment to my husband and he wrote the sweetest note to me reminding me of the preciousness of these boys (and now I will start to cry again..thinking about it)....and after I felt the guilt of not being pleased and excited with my new position, because after all...the women that are doing it...are amazing and wonderful and beautiful and I could learn a lot from them!  But after THE NOTE......reminding me that this call was being extended through mortal men from God, because after all...we believe in personal revelation and that God still speaks to men and women! And He had spoken to not only me, but to His leaders that this is where I needed to be...and once again I was being/feeling rebellious and put off that I wasn't in one of my preferred callings...like young women's...after all I have SIX girls...have I mentioned...I have SIX girls! Or again...one of my favorite calling..Relief Society teacher.....but no I was going to be a den leader....

And the guilt was overwhelming as I was set apart (a special blessing to help and guide you in your calling)...and it was all I could do to stifle the sobs, because as a crier, as my dear friend's husband put it, the more I try to quit, the harder the tears come, and the more people look at me, with my red and tear streaked eyes and runny nose, the harder my chest heaves, and the more I try to swallow the tears....it just gets to be a messy wet scene.....and I was just that....

a runny messy wet scene, because I knew that this calling was where the Lord wanted me.....and I wanted to say no...but I didn't...and I wanted to be the kind of daughter that was happy and cheerful and "put me anywhere you need me" type of girl.

But I am not, I never have been....I have always questioned and examined and double checked and asked again..to the dismay of the hubs. some might assume I am whining...I am not....just trying to make sure that the Lord understands my position. You understand, right?

silly me...you'd think I would have learned by now.. but I am still working on that...

but late last night and early this morning as I researched the cub scouts and read a message from my sweet cousin that echoed my husband and the blessing already given..I knew that I was going to love this new calling and that this would be where I would fill my house with boys...just not my own as I had planned on as a young girl ( I even had lists of my children's names, maybe one or two girls among the list of boys names and no I didn't use one of those names!)  

That once again the Lord knew better then I, the plans of which I know nothing and yet to try to usurp. Silly me for wasting time and energy and tears on something of naught...

It reminds be of one of my favorite verses

Psalms 46:10

10 Be still, and know that I am God:


this calling will be......A.W.E.S.O.M.E! and I will L.O.V.E. it......

And like they say, confession is good for the soul...just don't hold it against me...

And like confession, chocolate is good for the soul, especially when it is a ruined looking lump of cake. So here is our recipe for Chocolate Addiction Trifle:

1 ruined (or perfectly ok) chocolate cake, cooked from scratch, or use a box if it pleases you.
1 box of White Chocolate Pudding (yes I should have made them from scratch..they would have been better...but that is not how my day went...remember I had just been called to be a cub scout leader an hour before I had guests over)

1 box of Chocolate pudding
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
2 cups whipped cream or Cool Whip (if you must)
1 Tablespoon of Cocoa Powder

Break up cake and layer 1/2 in a glass cake pan...it looks prettier!
Make white chocolate pudding and layer over cake
sprinkle 1/2 of chocolate chips over pudding

Whip cream with confectioners sugar, a little vanilla and Cocoa Powder and layer on top.
Repeat with remaining cake, chocolate pudding, chocolate chips and whipped cream.

When you are ready to serve, drizzle chocolate syrup over each portion.

And then listen as our guests tell you that it is the absolute best and that they must have the recipe o make for their Chinese grandmother....It will set the world aright!

Love yer confession listening guts!!
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