Monday, November 30, 2009

Recently Read

Somebody Else's Daughter
This is a skillfully crafted novel dealing in a subtle way with adoption, alcoholism, drug addiction, pornography, sexual abuse, murder, AIDS, prostitution, adultery. Thanks to Brundage's skill as an author, there is a lot going on, but it doesn't overwhelm. She slowly weaves together seemingly disparate story lines and characters in a masterful way...a talented storyteller.

A well done suspense novel...

Nurture Shock
An outstanding book on children (from babies to teens) recommended by Kathy Barber....thank, Kathy!
The central premise of this book by Bronson and Merryman, a is that many of modern society's most popular strategies for raising children are in fact backfiring because key points in the science of child development and behavior have been overlooked. Two errant assumptions are responsible for current distorted child-rearing habits, dysfunctional school programs and wrongheaded social policies: first, things work in children the same way they work in adults and, second, positive traits necessarily oppose and ward off negative behavior. These myths, and others, are addressed in 10 provocative chapters (Amazon)....

The latest Stephen King...This novel will inevitably be compared to The Stand because it deals with the horrors of the world around us. Forget ghosts and vampires and space aliens--there's nothing as horrifying as what humans are capable of doing to one another. Stephen King knows that: it's the reason his stories are so effective. In his long, distinguished career, he's rarely been as effective--or as entertaining--as he is here.

A great book...Beals, one of the nine black students who integrated Central High School in Little Rock, AR, in 1957, tells an incredible story of faith, family love, friendships, and strong personal commitment. Drawing from the diaries she kept, the author easily puts readers in her saddle oxfords as she struggles against those people in both the white and black communities who would have segregation continue.

Thanks, Val, for the great recommendation...a wonderful book with the dog as the'll love it even if you don't have a'll cry...but it has a great ending!

Thanksgiving in Utah

Thanksgiving in Utah

We survived the plane trip with the four little boys, mainly by giving everyone a screen to to SLC, rented the car, got on the road to Logan, and made it through the snowy canyon at about 25 mph following behind a big truck!

We got to Karl and Amber's where all the cousins had great fun having more kids to play with...and we got to see Aunt Kaity!

This morning after the kids got off to school Kendra, Amber, the boys and I went to the "cookie story" (Pepperidge Farms outlet) and then back to the cheese factory to get Goessner flavored milks and "squeaky cheese." Then home to play with toys and playdo and wait for the cousins (Sadie and Lindi) get home from school.

We had fun reading and going to The Book Table...

and we did some knitting....

Karl entertained us blowing up a giant weather balloon!

The tension grew....would it pop????
Bigger yet.... It touched the ceiling a minute later....!!!!

Here's a quieter activity...the gingerbread house....

The kids are eager to go out and play in the snow...but we Californians didn't bring snow was too hard.

Carson informed me that Jesus made Utah before California.
He helped Lindie clean up her "Ladybug Room"

Brady and Sadie with all the Harry Potter Legos

More gingerbread...

Dinner's almost ready!

Mike was in charge of the "Matt's Savories"

6 hours to cook...6 minutes to eat! But it was yummy!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Matt's Savories

In honor of Matt's's his famous recipe (at least famous in our family) for the indispensable appetizer at all family holiday dinners!....

Matt's Savories

1/2 lb. grated cheese (usually mild cheddar)
1 small finely chopped onion (sometimes I just use dried minced onion...1/4 C)
1/2 lb bacon, sliced 1/4 inch(cook off some of the fat in the microwave)
1 t dry mustard
1/2 C mayo (more or less)

Mix and spread on English muffin halves. Broil 6-8 minutes until cheese is melty and things are just starting to brown. To use as an appetizer, cut into quarters.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Recently Read

I haven't listed the books I've read/listened to this month...there are more, but once I turn them in to the library(the CDs) I totally forget them...

Our book club is reading The Wednesday Letters ...I borrowed a copy last week and tomorrow is book club and I still haven't read it...I have a hard time with these sort of "formula" books...

A good series that takes place in England during the reign of Henry the Eighth...start with his earlier books to see the character development and all the political/religious goings on of the time.

The Last Child A fairly good mystery/suspense novel.

The Hunger Games Excellent young adult...reminds me of Shirley Jacksons short story "The Lottery" book in series is Catching Fire...third to be published next summer...

In the Woods by Tana French OK mystery...takes place in Ireland...disappointing ending after a whole book referring to what happened "In the Woods" ...we never find out!

The Moonpool another OK mystery...has to do with nuclear plants...the detective has two german shepherds named Frick and Frack that play key roles in the book.

Black Water Rising ...pretty interesting....about a black lawyer in Houston in the 80's and his activities in the 70's in the civil rights movement.

What the Dead Know ...a well written mystery...if you like suspense/mystery books.

I only listened to this because someone gave me a copy...Dan Brown just goes on and on and on!What a mediocre writer...if it's a "page turner" it's because you keep turning pages to see if you'll ever get to the end!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Don't Let the Turkeys Get You Down!

Do you like my new hood ornament?

Do you think he was waiting for a ride?

There seems to be an excess of turkeys in the neighborhood lately...Val saw about 20 in her backyard, and we have two or three that seem to be living in the parking lot down at the would think they should know to make themselves scarce at this time of year!

Sunday, November 15, 2009


1 1/2 C oil
1/2 C molasses
1 C white sugar
1 C brown sugar
2 eggs
4 C flour
1 t cloves
1 t ginger
2 t cinnamon
1 t salt
4 t baking soda

Mix, roll into balls, roll in sugar (I use a zip lock baggie). Bake at 350 about 10-12 minutes.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Firehouse Bread

Well...making wheat bread the other day reminded me of another good bread I used to make...this was an attempt to duplicate a yummy herb bread made at Sunrise Bakery in Walnut Creek...maybe I based it on a recipe for bread made by firemen because it's called (for no apparent reason):

FireHouse Bread

4 T (or pkg) dry yeast
1/2 C warm water
1/3 C dry minced onion
1 cube melted butter
3 1/3 C milk
1 1/3 C dry milk powder
1/3 C honey
2 t salt
4 T dry parsley
1 t dry dill
1/2 t sage
1 1/2 C cornmeal
8 C white flour

Proof yeast in warm water. Heat milk and put in mixer with honey onions, butter, salt and herbs. Mix in cornmeal, yeast and half the flour (Be sure the milk has cooled down some)Mix and add most of remaining flour. Let knead in bowl 10 minutes(or knead on floured board). Place in oiled bowl and let rise about 1 hour. Form into 4 loaves and let rise again. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Butter tops. Tip: I wet a clean tea towel with hot water (or warm up in microwave) and cover the rising bread dough so it doesn't form a dry surface.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Best Mom Awards!

Amber has started a great site for giving Mom's the appreciation they deserve!

Go to BestMomAwards to print out awards for the mom's you know....if you think of new awards (and the possiblities are ENDLESS!) send them to her and she'll add them to the site!

Why didn't they have this when I was in the middle of my "Momhood"??? Oh, right...there was no internet!

Another related site I found the other day is.... What's Mom Worth? No one could afford a mom if she had to be paid in $$$ instead of hugs and kisses....

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Simple Bread

Bread in the pans

Rising bread


Simple Bread
(4 loaves)

This is the basic recipe that came with our wheat grinder and Bosch mixer. When we bought them in about 1973 they cost almost $400....a LOT back then...but we rationalized...who knows, someday bread may be $1.00 a loaf! (lol...bread then was usually about 25 cents a loaf...on sale 5 for $1.00)
I added the gluten flour which really makes whole wheat bread raise lighter.

5 C hot water (115deg)
3 pkg (or 3 T) yeast
11 C whole wheat flour
1 C gluten flour
1 T salt
1/2 C oil or shortening
1/2 C honey

Optional ingredients for flavor or dough "conditioning"....I don't know if they make a lot of difference!
(grated orange rind and cinnamon)
(2 T lecithin granules, 1/2 t ascorbic acid, 1 t ginger)

I use the Bosch, but you can mix by hand or in a KitchenAid...but I think the KitchenAid will only do two loaves...I'm not sure.

Also...I usually use SAF yeast, which is more stable, and although the recipe said just throw it in with the flour, I usually keep out 1 C of the water and soak the yeast in it a few minutes...

Put the warm water, oil, honey, salt, and 7 cups of the flour (including the gluten) in mixer. Let mix a couple of minutes until blended, then add the yeast (either dry or with the water), optional flavorings, and about 4 more cups of flour. Let mix 10 minutes, checking the last few minutes and adding some or all of the last cup of flour if the dough hasn't "left" the sides of the bowl.

I roll immediately (wheat bread supposedly gets its best rise the first time) on an oiled counter. Put in pans, sprayed with Pam, and let sit on counter or in slightly warm oven...about 30-45 minutes. Bake at 350 about 30 minutes. Butter tops when the come out of oven if you like a soft crust. Tip out on bread board after cooling 5 minutes.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Clam Chowder

It was cold and rainy today...perfect for clam chowder. I've never had a recipe for this. It's just something we made, so all these amounts are very flexible...Mark wanted bread bowls, so I got some at Safeway....but that's a lot of bread!

Gma Eck's Clam Chowder

4 slices bacon
1 large onion
3 stalks celery
6-8 medium potatoes(maybe 4 C)
2 cans(6.5 oz) minced clams(including liquid)
2 C milk (we used to use a can of evaporated milk, or half and half, but in the interest of less fat I just use regular 1% milk)
1/4 C Wondra Flour

Cut bacon in strips and fry in large pot. Chop onions and celery and add. Saute for about 10 minutes. Peel potatoes and cut in cubes (about 1/2 inch or whatever...), and add. Pour about 1-2 cups water over this, cover and simmer for a few minutes until potatoes are tender. Stir the flour into the milk (you can use regular flour or cornstarch, but the Wondra dissolves without lumps) and either cook until thickened in another small pan before adding to the vegetables or just pour into the pot and simmer, stirring, until thickened. Add clams last and simmer, adding salt and pepper to taste...I actually use lemon pepper.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Turkey Chili

Fall weather makes me want chili...I really like this version...made with ground turkey and some very interesting spices, it's delicious and healthy, low in fat and high in fiber.

Turkey Chili

1 lb ground turkey, browned ( sometimes I just use 1/2 lb)
1 large chopped onion, added to the meat
2 cloves chopped garlic
4 (15 oz) cans kidney beans, rinsed (I use the light red ones)
2 (28 oz) cans tomato sauce (maybe only 1 and 1/2 cans if you want it thicker)

Spices: 1 t coriander
1/2 t each: cloves, allspice,
1 T each: oregano, cumin, chili(2 T chili if you like it spicier)
1/4 C brown sugar

Simmer for about 30 minutes... I like it with catsup!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween Aftermath....

And finally one more picture of cute cousins....Jess's sister Robyn's kids, Sydney and Coby...

I had to add one more cute Halloween picture from Jess's sister, Sarah's's so great to have a whole bunch more cute cousins in the family...

Two cute witchs plus Draco Malfoy!(Livi, Rigdon and Caroline)

Just some cute Halloween pictures I'm snagging from Kendra's blog....anyone else in the family have Halloween picts?

Kody as the "scary kitty"....not too scary with that grin!

The "boys"....Parker the Dragon doesn't look too concerned about Knight brothers Brady and Carson....

Carson's Star Wars costume he wore to his pre-school party....

Sir Brady....Kendra took individual pictures of all the kids in his class...