Friday, December 14, 2012

Bee and others, I don't know if this will come up live on the blog but this will give you an idea of what has happened.  I was at my fitness club when it came over the news.  It is shocking.  Mental illness can be shocking, which is obviously involved in this for no-one in their right mind would commit such an evil and disastrous deed.  I think of the parents, the mothers, who, shopping for Christmas, will already have bought Christmas presents for their children.  Twenty children are dead in this shooting.  It is almost inconceivable that this should happen anywhere, let a small town in Connecticut.

So sorry

to wake up and hear of the shocking news of a shooting at a school. Please know my love and prayers go to all. Lots of love Bee in NZ

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Royal Icing

Sara - After your post inquiring about Royal Icing, I "Googled" it and found some recipes.  I made cookies yesterday, and they are a type that need icing.   I bought some powdered egg whites (so I would not have to worry over salmonella from real raw eggs) and whipped up a batch.  Martha Stewart I am not!   It was not quite a success, mostly because the powdered egg whites wouldn't whip up all foamy, into a meringue.   That's okay.  I won't be Martha Stewart and I'll bet she doesn't sew quite like I do.   ;o)

Okay, ladies, here is another recipe for you. (NOT the royal icing project mentioned above)  I made these yesterday and brought them to the golf league today, where we assemble platters of cookies for all the club employees.  It's an annual tradition they look forward to.

30 regular size marshmallows from 10-oz package*
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon green food coloring
4 cups cornflakes

Small candies, such as red Decors, for the berries
Combine marshmallows, butter, vanilla, and food coloring in top of a double boiler**.

Heat over simmering water until marshmallows and butter are melted, stirring frequently, until no streaks of white remain. Gently stir in cornflakes, a little at a time. Remove from heat.
Spray PAM on fingertips, to prevent sticking to fingers. On a non-stick surface like cookie sheet or waxed paper, shape cereal into wreaths. Place red cinnamon Decors on wreaths as you make each one, before marshmallow hardens. Allow cookies to cool.
* I prefer Kraft Jet-puffed marshmallows over Campfire brand. For some reason, the Kraft mixture is always easier to handle.
** I use a heavy pot over LOW heat, instead of double boiler, just like I do for Rice Krispie Treats.


Sara - You finally have an answer!   There are a lot of people who are gluten-intolerant and find avoiding it makes a world of difference in their well-being and overall health.   Many people give it up without the medical testing, just to see if it helps.  Once they notice the difference, they stay away from gluten permanently.   More and more, stores are stocking gluten-free items and gluten-free versions of baking mixes.  Our local Publix has a decent selection, and I'll bet your Publix is even better.

There are still a lot of options for desserts (LOL)  like those famous no-bake/boil cookies that use peanut butter, cocoa, and oatmeal.    My MIL used to make her famous "Forgotten Cookies", a meringue confection, that was wonderful:

"Forgotten Cookies"

2 egg whites
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 pkge choc. chips (her recipe does not say 6 oz or 12 oz)

Heat oven to 375°F.    Whip egg-whites & sugar to meringue, fold in choc. chips.   Drop a tablespoon, or a heaping teaspoon, on to a cookie sheet.  Place cookie sheet into oven and turn OFF.    Leave overnight (she always made them in the evening) or several hours.   Yummy!

Meringue cookies are very popular in parts of Italy.   There was one little town DH and I visited, this summer, that had several bakeries and pastry shops that sold very large meringue cookies.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Update on mystery

I was typing this and it all went "Poof".  Will try again.
As of last Friday I have an answer to the stomach mystery.  It isn't IBF, as I thought, but Celiac disease.  I was quite shocked.  A further shock was that the Gastro doc said I've most likely had it all my life.  So, won't be eating all those cookies I baked for 2 days last week.
The doctor sent us to Barnes and Noble to get "Celiac Disease for Dummies", saying it would answer all our questions, and was well written.  So, we have been reading up on the subject.
Lavinia was asking me how it was discovered--during the Endoscopy several biopsies are taken of the small intestine.  The lab can see that the "villi" little hair like things, are destroyed.  Fortunately I am on the low end of the scale of severity.  In 1970 I broke out in hives when trying to drink a beer.  Cigarettes did that in the 1960's, so I never drank beer or smoked, but just though it was an allergy.
I can have all the fruits and vegs, meats, chicken, and all those things.  Including wine!
Just no pies, cookies, breads, pizza crust.  Thankfully that the book "Wheat Belly" and some celebrity-types also have this problem, so gluten-free things are easier to find.  We went to Whole Foods (grocery store chain) and got some gluten-free snack crackers, etc.  My local grocery also has lots, and they said they would order anything I requested.
I really like oatmeal, gritts, and non-wheat things, so will have an adjustment period, but it's not going to rock my world.  This also may be the cause of the anxiety,migraine headaches, and other strange things.
We invited 12 people for chili on Friday, so have been cleaning, stashing things away for 2 days.  I finally got all my Mom's stuff off the dining room table, but it is in plastic bins, and bags.  Still not sure what to do with things like my father's college deploma (written in Latin) and other odd things.
OK, more than anyone wanted to know, I'm sure.
Those quilt pictures sure look great.  Love the one for the grand Sarah--good name.
Sara in Fla.

Sarah, there were shadows on the pictures taken last week and it's too cold to take the quilt back outside to be photographed.  I'll have to wait until next spring unless we get warmer weather in-between times.  This is about as good as it gets, the other photos aren't good. This one has shadows on it as well.

Marion, does this make you feel better....this is image on a recent quilt that I made for granddaughter, Sarah, but it is meant to fly sideways..I think, not yours though  (smiling)...I don't understand computers but I'm getting better at it.  This past week, with a private tutorial, I've been able to update my website.  I create the text and learned how to put it up on the site but don't know how to insert the pictures.  I've learned how to do the captions beneath them as well and I'm very proud of myself. 

Digging trenchs (trenches, trenchs looks like it's right)...when it isn't themselves idea in the first place is never good, is it.  I've just had a recent conflaguration with himself over the woodchips that come from logsplitting which in cleaning up, he mounds up around the bases of trees.  We have woodchip pillows all over the property now.  Trouble is, one he did was in my pathway to the dog run and I've been treking the stuff into the house on my boots and shoes now for several weeks.  The request to remove the woodchip pillow was never acknowledged.  My gypsy self became quite provoked and let it be known I'd like some help in removing such chips.   Himself has now been grumpy for over one week.

I'm finally able to settle down after a busy B&B season.  Himself tells me that I run around with my hair on fire by the end of the takes a lot of my energy to do it.  Then, I can't sit down quietly in my studio to sew.  I'm making an outfit at the moment using all, in-house fabrics and pleased to be making a dent in some of my fabric storage.
Rosey in southern Ontario, Canada


I've done it again !  Sorry that this is sideways on, Rosey did tell me how to move the image around but I can't see any indication of how to on this page.  Anyway.........If you hold your head on oneside, you will see my Christmas greeting to you all !

We have had trouble with our internet for awhile now. It comes and goes without any obvious reason. Today the man came out and after many hours of checking, climbing and sorting he told us that there was an "disturbance" close to the house ( no surprises there !!!) so he moved the dish to a tree across the garen and we have very good reception now, far quicker too.  Seems we will have to dig a trench across the lawn for a more permanent solution... Himself is not too thrilled about that...!!

A busy week here ,  lots of "end of year" things as well as the usual Christmas rush to see everybody before we al disperse for the summer season.  We leave on 20th for a week in Auckland with DD#2 and family.  We are only there for a week, she has three teenagers and they will all be busy with their own lives. I have n't bothered with a tree this year but have put a few decorations up.  We have a few friends coming in this w/end and will be back to celebrate New Year with them which will be nice. It only seems like yesterday that we saw 2012 in..

Monday, December 10, 2012

What is this with computers telling me that I am logging in on an unusual device? This is the same computer, the same email, the same ISP, etc. This is the third site that has claimed I am logging in from a device I've never used before! ..... New Paragraph... I love my husband, but he is a Grinch. That being said, I have to tell you about Wednesday. I left the house before 6 AM, taught all day without a break (testing week), supervised an on-line competition for the quiz bowl team after school, drove straight to church and the Advent Worship service, begged out of choir practice and arrived in my driveway a few minutes after 8 PM. I did a double take. There are Christmas lights hanging on the house. We don't own Christmas lights...I check the car in the drive way. Yes, that's Russ' vehicle, and I have not managed to drive to the wrong house in an exhausted fugue state. After I finish sitting in the car laughing, I go inside and ask Russ: "Who are you, and what have you done with my husband?" He claimed we had been "elfed." I laughed all day Thursday. I have to turn the lights out early, at my bed time, because they are too bright for me to sleep through! No quilting happening here...:(

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Good morning from Oregon

The sun was out for coffee time this morning.  The Christmas tree is up with lights waiting for ornaments today.  We will bake gingerbread cookies and play Christmas music while we decorate.   I will read the several pounds of ads from the Sunday paper and try to get into the mood to shop.  Perhaps this year may be the time to fall back on the old faithful---a pair of socks for everyone with money stuffed into the toe.   However,  my daughters have their birthday on Dec 22nd, so I do have to shop for that.

My best present this year is already delivered.  I feel well after all the health bumps in the road this year and am finishing a scrap quilt top today.

Wishing everyone, health and joy for the season.