Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Eve and cooking

It is 9pm on Thanksgiving eve and I'm in the kitchen cooking for tomorrow. I'm in between what is cooking & what needs to be put together so with a few minutes to spare I'm currently sipping a glass of wine (plus I have Christmas music playing) – life is good. My oldest brother, Doug is hosting Thanksgiving at his house and my job is to bring the strawberry pretzel salad. Hosting Thanksgiving has become his special tradition and it started when he moved into his home just outside of Moscow. Doug's girlfriend, Edie, is really the mastermind of the event, organizing and making sure all is perfect. Later on in the day, we will also have a dinner with Joe's side of the family and it is hosted at Jay & Lisa's. They always put on a great dinner and are wonderful hosts. Joe's sister and her family are visiting from Seattle, so it will be a houseful as well. Lisa has me bringing pumpkin pies and a fruit salad. This holiday is bittersweet, as both my step dad and Joe's dad have serious health issues and realistically this could be our last holiday together with our dads. So we'll eat lots and enjoy the day with both of our families.

Recipe updates!

On my last blog I had posted the pumpkin dip (from memory) but when I checked the recipe I found I had the spices wrong, so here is the correct recipe:

Pumpkin Dip

15 oz canned pumpkin

8 oz softened cream cheese

2 cups powdered sugar

1 teas cinnamon

½ teas ginger

Beat cream cheese till creamy, blend in pumpkin, sugar and spices. Serve with apples & enjoy!

Turkey with a citrus flavor

Because Joe and I like to have family over, many of the holiday or family events are hosted at our house. I'm almost a complete vegan vegetarian (with the exception of having a fondness for cheese and yogurt) and do not eat meat/poultry/fish, but I am willing to cook it. So when hosting family events so I like to experiment and try new recipes and I have had rave reviews about the following way to prepare a turkey. This recipe has been requested now for a few years so I know my family really likes it and wanted to share it. They tell me is has a nice mild citrus taste and is very moist.

1 turkey

1 orange, lemon, lime –cut into wedges

1 small onion, cut into wedges

½ cup softened butter (no substitutions)

1-2 teas rosemary

½ tsp poultry seasoning

Salt & pepper

Pastry bag

Citrus Turkey

  1. Thaw the turkey, rinse, pat dry, salt and pepper the cavity
  2. In the cavity, insert 1 sliced orange, 1 sliced lemon, 1 sliced lime (no stuffing goes into the cavity) along with the onion
  3. Mix the butter, rosemary, poultry seasoning, put into a pastry bag – no tip is needed
  4. Next cut the top of the turkey skin with kitchen scissors and in-between the skin and meat, pipe in the butter mixture- this will melt into the meat, add flavor and help keep the turkey moist
  5. Oil the outside of the skin w/olive oil
  6. Bake as you usually like. I usually use a turkey bag and don't baste. Very easy and no mess.
  7. Once the turkey is done, remove the fruit and serve as usual

Also, to my friends at LaBella Hair Salon, here is the recipe you have patiently been waiting for! (This was created by my friend, Lezah)

Peanut butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cup peanut butter

2 cup softened butter

2 cup brown sugar

1 ½ cup white sugar

4 eggs

Mix well. Then add

4 cup flour

2 cup oatmeal

4 teas baking soda

1 teas salt

3 ¾ cup choc chips

Drop onto ungreased cookie sheet and bake approx 10-12 min @ 350 or until lightly brown. Do not over bake.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 23, 2009

A day on the farm 11.23.09

With the snow this morning and it looking like it was going to stay, my husband finally conceded that "Fall work" was officially over and he could unhook the tile plow from the tractor and move the equipment into the storage shed for winter. Before the snow falls, there are always outdoor projects that can be done, weather permitting. Just last week brother in law, Jay was putting in some tile lines in one of the fields close to our house. The tile lines help channel water in soggy ground areas that show up in the Spring to dry out so it can be seeded with a crop. Regular field maintenance is a never ending process and because of diligent tending it helps the farmer in the end. Sort of like keeping up on the maintenance with a vehicle or home, not the most exciting, but necessary.

With Joe and Jay officially out of the fields, they focus their time in the farm shop. Days are spent fixing, repairing, or doing maintenance on the equipment. The winter time months are a more relaxed work mode after a busy Spring, Summer and Fall schedule. A welcome time to work just a 40 hour work week as we do not have livestock to tend. Winter on the farm also means this is a time for farm related meetings. Joe was recently elected onto the Idaho Grain Growers Association (IGPA) board and many of meetings are geared to the winter months. Last month was a joint meeting between IGPA and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) held in Salt Lake City.

As for me, I've been working almost every spare moment on a "project house". Some farm land that is across from our home, and in which we have farmed over 27 years, came up for sale and it contained a house. We purchased it on 10/27/09 and almost all of my waking hours since then have been focused on fixing the house up. While Joe admittedly does not like household fixing up projects, I relish them. So this was truly a bucket list dream come true. It was a perfect house for me to work on - it's newer (built in the 1950's), sturdy and well built, but it had lacked good maintenance & upkeep for several years. My goal is to fix it up as soon as possible to get it on the market to sell. Home Depot, Moscow Building Supply and Columbia Paint Store have been my favorite haunts now. I comb the isles, talk to the clerks and am learning how to fix drywall as well as what paints to use and in what rooms. I have an arsenal of tools that I use and have been enjoying the freedom to be a little creative and put a little zest into fixing the place up. It has become addictive to say the least. All of my time spent watching HGTV on fixing up houses for resale have been hours well spent. I am on a first name basis with Grant at the paint store and several gallons of paint later; the house is evolving out of dull, dreary and ugly to fashionable and contemporary (hopefully the prospective buyers will think so too!)

I've spent so much time at my project house, that I think my husband bought me a new laptop computer to try to lure me to stay home a little bit more. =) He commented that I had not blogged in a while. So thought I'd post what I was doing. I've been taking before and after shots. So stay tuned!

On the recipe side- while attending the Salt Lake City meetings with Joe last month, I did score a really yummy pumpkin dip. It was a catered dinner at one of the director's homes and the caterer gave me the recipe. The pumpkin dip was served in a hollowed out pumpkin and served with apple slices. I literally could not stay out of it. So try this for your Thanksgiving gathering.

Pumpkin Dip

15 oz canned pumpkin

2 cups powdered sugar

8 oz softened cream cheese

½ tsp cinnamon

Beat cream cheese till creamy, add in pumpkin, pwd sugar and cinnamon. Mix well and serve with apple slices.


P.S. thanks to all who read this, and please feel free to comment on what you like or ways to make this blog better. G