Monday, July 18, 2011

Weekend Wrap-up!

Well, it's now after midnight, Sunday Night -which means it is really Monday morning now and the weekend is officially over. History.

As bad as my memory tends to be about things that have happened recently -bad is a kind word to describe my short term memory, because in reality, I do believe it is pretty much toast!

But I'm gonna try to remember what happened this weekend and write about it anyway.

The past week I have been really, REALLY engrossed in typing recipes I have received from various folks for the cookbook our church women's group is putting together now. And I have to say I have actually been enjoying all this typing too!

The publishing company we will be using has some software that you can plug into and then, you can type the recipes you want to use in your book directly into this data base so, when you have everything all completed, you just send this to the company and that will give a quarter per book you order off the publishing price. So here I am, typing away like a mad woman, so we can qualify for that quarter per book discount. Hey! Every penny -and in this case -25 cents -counts up after a while, ya know.

My neighbor and good friend Kate, stopped by Friday afternoon/evening to bring me some things pertaining to the cookbook. One of the items is a little cookbook, of sorts, that her middle daughter put together as a Christmas gift for members of her family and it contains about 16 different recipes (or thereabouts) that were among the best of her Grandma's recipes. And trust me when I tell you this, her Grandma, my friend Kate's mom, was one really terrific cook and baker.

Kate's older sister, Shirley, had shown me this little cookbook a couple weeks ago when I had stopped in at her place to show her whatever it was I'd just finished embroidering and I really enjoyed looking at this cookbook. I was especially taken with the recipe in it for Swedish flatbread -or as we call it around these parts - caka bread. (Actually, I'm not sure if I should spell that "caka" or if it should be "kaka" but either way, anyone who's ever had the kind of bread I'm referring to here probably will know exactly what I mean when I say it is the absolute best homemade bread! And the recipe, the way Kate's daughter had written it up, was so darned cute and comical too -but so true!

And to prove it to you, here's a copy of that particular recipe.

And every bit of the notations in this about praying is true too! Ask most anyone who makes homemade bread if they don't do that as they are mixing it up, waiting to see if it rises correctly, bakes up the way it should and tastes the way you want it too! The writing of this recipe plus the fact that she also has the page it is printed on edge in a border of little Red Dala Horses which really added to the charm of the recipe. Plus the main fact that no one around here, in my opinion, made bread, kaka or caka bread anyway, as good as "Little Grandma" did! ("Little Grandma" is what my three kids all called Kate's mom, by the way.)

So anyway, that's just a teensy sneak preview of one of the recipes to be found once our cookbook gets put together and published -hopefully finished and back to us by the end of October so we can then have it to sell when we hold our annual Fall Bazaar in early November!

One thing that the women in our group had talked about at the first meeting we had for planning this cookbook venture was a discussion about if maybe we'd be able, somehow, to acquire any recipes that had belonged to another lady -now deceased -from our church. This particular woman, Grace, had also been a spectacular cook and baker too but no one from her family is a member of our church now. However, I am friends with her son -who graduated a year ahead of me in high school and as such, I'm lucky to have his e-mail address, so I wrote to him and asked if he and his wife might possibly have any of his Mom's great recipes and if so, if he would be willing to share them with us for our cookbook.

Well, I heard back from him about two weeks ago now and he informed me his sister had compiled a little family notebook of her recipes along with lots of their Mom's recipes and he's just located his copy of it. However, he said, rather than him going through it and trying to pick and choose recipes to send me, he offered to loan me the booklet his sister had done up and that way, we could select what recipes we really wanted to use. Okay, that idea was fine with me, for sure. He lives about 40 miles from here though but his sister still lives around here and he said he and his wife would be coming up here soon so he'd bring the book with him and loan it to me then.

However, that plan got scotched when, the evening they planned to come up, his sister and her husband had other plans so they weren't coming over the mountain then after all. But he said he'd talked to his sister and she had said not to worry that she would e-mail me recipes from it.

True to her word, about 11 p.m. last Monday I received an e-mail from her with a document attached saying "Recipes." And when I opened it, boy did I ever get a huge surprise!

She had e-mailed me the entire contents of the booklet she had done up for their family -all 83 pages of it! Some pages held one recipe but many pages had 2, sometimes 3 recipes on them and there were his sister's favorites, his Mom's favorites, as well as some that had been his Dad's sisters (also an excellent cook/baker) and in addition to those, there were also recipes from his brother-in-laws family as well! Talk about hitting the jackpot, I sure scored big time in this acquisition!

As a result of getting that booklet with all those pages packed with really top-notch recipes, I now have over 320 recipes logged in for our cookbook and that only includes about half of those in that 83 page packet! My goal all along was to shoot for at least 500 recipes in this book and if things continue the way they have been going, we should definitely be able to reach that total and maybe even a bit more than that!

Friday, I received a letter in the mail from a Facebook friend who sent me some of her favorites and Saturday, I received some more recipes, along with some articles about our church and photos of that lady's grandfather who had been our pastor from about 1943 until 1956!

So yes indeed, I am psyched up, big time, about this project of ours. Wouldn't you be too, if you were me?

Saturday afternoon, Mandy had to take Maya into Philipsburg for the Heritage Days Parade because the theatre group Maya belongs to was going to have a float in the parade and Maya was expected to ride on the float and thus, participate in this parade -as the kids had done on the 4th of July for the Osceola Mills Fireman's Carnival Parade. Those poor kids though just about had heat stroke as it was hot, very, very hot and their float was about 3rd or 4th from the end of the groups participating. Mandy had to have Maya there at 1:30 to line-up and it was well over 2 1/2 hours later before Maya's group and their float passed by and got to the end of the parade route!

Since the Church Council had also planned to have their "Family Picnic" too Saturday even, plus the fact that we had decided that I would stay home with Kurtis to avoid another upsetting time for him with his fear of fire engines and sirens, I also was the one nominated to cook our stuff to take to the picnic as well.

So I fixed the apricot-rosemary chicken breasts that I'd made a while back for another church dinner, and a big casserole dish of macaroni and cheese (to make sure there was at least one item on the pot luck table there that Kurtis would eat (and Maya too although she ended up not coming home and therefore, not going to the picnic with us. And I also fixed a really yummy fluffy-kind of chocolate dessert to take as well. And trust me when I tell you this too, all three of these items are definitely the type of food things that make anyone look like what I call a "Marshmallow treats" kind of cook too! All three are very simple to fix, look good when ready and taste great as well! Now that, people, is MY kind of cooking!

All went fairly well too at the picnic as Kurtis dug in to eat the piece of meatloaf Mandy had put on his plate, some spaghetti and of course, Gram's home made mac 'n'cheese. The surprise came though when after he took a bite of the mac 'n'cheese, he didn't want to eat any more of it as he said he didn't like it and it was "spicy."

Darn it anyway! He caught me in one of my little tricks of trying to get the kids indoctrinated to occasionally having some foods that do have a tiny bit of extra flavoring in 'em and when I'd made the cheese sauce for that macaroni dish, I had added 1 green onion, very finely minced (VERY FINELY, at that) along with a teensy bit of red pepper flakes! And wouldn't you just know it, the first bite he took, he ended up with a tiny bit of red pepper in his mouth apparently!

We tried and tried all kinds of bribes and trickery to get him to eat that mac 'n'cheese but he wasn't doing it and that was that. I told him it was Gram's mac 'n'cheese, just like he always eats at home but his response to that was, "No Gram. I like Home Mac 'n'cheese but I no like 'Church' mac 'n' cheese."

Guess he told me, didn't he?

Sunday morning, I actually got up and ready and made it to church on time -which made it two Sundays in a row I've been able to get up and get ready and get there before the service started! I'm on a roll here apparently even though I now have to leave a bit earlier than usual because the road I normally would take to go to our church is closed as they are repairing a bridge there across the interstate so we have to drive around, about a mile further or so to get to our church while the bridge is being worked on and that extra mile takes a few minutes longer then to navigate then!

And that is pretty much all the excitement in my pretty much usually boring and quiet life here.

Tonight, I decided though to scrub my kitchen floor as it was looking very shabby but I didn't start doing that till about a little after 11 p.m. But I had a good reason, I thought, to wait till that late at night to do that.

One reason was I figured the temperature would be dropping by then and therefore, it wouldn't be all that warm when I did the job and secondly, by waiting until that late to clean the floor, I figured that way the floor would at least stay clean for about 8 hours anyway-until the kids get up in the morning and start messing up the kitchen floor again, ya know.

Well I was wrong though about my idea of it being cooler that way because it was still pretty hot once I dug into to the task at hand.

But the other part of it being clean and staying that way for at least 8 hours now -well that is holding true anyway!

Now, time for me to call it a day, I do believe!

Or maybe I'll check out some cookbooks and recipes here to try to get an early lead in my mind as to what I might want to fix for Supper for us now on Monday evening!

Decisions, decisions, ya know!


TechnoBabe said...

No more doctoring the mac and cheese, please grandma. It never worked for me with my kids either. They laugh about it now how I tried to disguise things they did not like.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Jeni ... the cookbook sounds like it's going to be wonderful and I completely understand you enthusiasm for the project. Kurtis sounds like my grandson, Reed, who seems to be able to detect the slightest thing amiss in the half dozen foods he likes. When we offer him something different, he says, "Is it good or yucky, Nana?" then just assumes it's yucky.

Thanks for coming by Bud's Blog while I was on vacation ... your comments are always appreciated.