Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Feeling Less Stressed Today & Family Memories & Foods & Books (long)

    I have been working on just not letting things get to me so much. I need to for my own mental health, This has been a summer with just so many different happenings and changes. Was hard to grasp it all I think.

   Started out with my Mom falling and mentally declining. I miss our weekly conversations over the phone now-usually an hour or more long-I would just let her talk as much as she wanted. Now when I call she is not the "same" person most times, and does not want to stay on the phone more than a few minutes. I am beginning to grasp all this now. I think I have felt "weird" too, that when we needed to go through her home and decide what to sell and what to keep-that this does not usually happen til after a death. 
      I am loving the desk I brought down-I remember it as a child growing up. I am also enjoying using Mom's good china dishes from Japan as my everyday dishes now. My brother had talked me into taking them. He took her better silverware, and just did not want the dishes, actually he did not want much of anything for himself. I was thinking with no cupboards still, I just have no place for these. Plus I love handmade pottery dishes better. However, I got to thinking I no longer have a nice every day set, and did not have enough to serve more than 3 people at a time(from a very very old pottery set I had gotton my from Grandma years and years ago (these dishes were handmade in California), and most people do not understand that my other pottery dishes are all handmade by people I knew, so these dishes need to be handled with care and love;  so I agreed to take Mom's china. I am really happy now that I did-as I really enjoy using them. The pattern is dogwood flowers-and we have gorgeous dogwoods here in the spring. Also on the back of the dishes they say made for Marshall Fields in Japan. Good memories of the old Marshall Fields store in Chicago which is no more. So good memories all around.

  Is your kitchen filled with memories?? I love having my Grandma's pyrex, enamelware pieces, and other items for baking. I have allot of pieces for baking from my Mom's kitchen too, and also have a few items from my late sister's kitchen. When I use these pieces they just really make me feel good and happy-like they are in the kitchen with me-especially my Grandma's items. It must be wierd I know, but I love that all these items are made in the USA-as I want them to be.

   Our friend came in for bow hunting yesterday, so since his wife will not eat or prepare venison, I told our friend that I would prepare several venison dishes this week for him to enjoy. He loves to hunt but needs to give away the meat.
   So last night I made a meatloaf in the crock pot (the only way I cook this now) that everyone just raved about. I used ground venison, beef, and sage sausage for the meats, to keep it gluten free no bread or crackers-which I never liked anyways, but I used left over cooked wild rice, two eggs, sauted red onion, garlic, and sweet peppers, and ketchup, worche. sauce, steak sauce, some black pepper, and spices. Packed it into the crock pot-kept the liquid drained off through out the cooking. 
     I had just read Pioneer Women's blog yesterday morning and she shared a recipe for bruschetta. I had never made this but it looked so delicious and I had all the ingredients-fresh little tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic, and I had Italian bread in the freezer and gluten free bread for me too. This was sooooo delicious I will definately make it again. I did not use all that butter for the bread that she did, but I added a little olive oil in the cast iron pan and buttered the bread on both sides-and cooked til golden brown on both sides-still got the butter flavor with out adding all that fat to it. This was a huge hit last night-everyone loved it. I served this in place of another starch, and added salads and steamed broccoli.
    So today I took out of the freezer my last venison tenderloin and will serve that up tonight-not sure what else I will serve with it yet.

   I decided we needed a few cookies for the guys-and me too-lol It is cool today and a little rainy for now-next two days though will be hot and steamy. So I took the chocolate chip cookie recipe from the newer Joy of Cooking cookbook and changed up some of the ingredients. For the guys I used coconut oil instead of butter, coconut sugar and splenda instead of all the sugars, and pastry whole wheat flour instead of white flour. They turned out delicious-cause the guys keep coming back for another cookie-lol
    For my gluten free version I also used coconut oil instead of butter, for the sugars I used sorgham, coconut sugar, and stevia-sugar blend, used my gluten free flour mix. Mine turned out really good too just soft instead of crunchy-but I liked mine too for something a little different. I am now only using the coconut oil for baking up cookies, etc and I really like it. I liked the coconut sugar too instead of using brown sugar.

     I go through these stages of buying new books-do you do that?? I love books-not the kindle books or online books but real books with real pages-love that and won't switch. Anyways, I  bought a new gluten free book called Sweet Cravings by Kyra Bussanich who had won cupcake wars on Food Network-never telling the judges til afterward that her flours were gluten free. Her recipes look delicious but they use lots of fats and cream so I need to work on that for us. I also purchased a new dye book for dyeing wools which I am anxious to receive, and I just ordered an old black and white book about embroidery-which looked like a really good addition to my craft library too. The embroidery book I bought is coming from England as it was in the nicest condition for the price that I ran into online-both checking ebay and amazon books. Allot of the older books on crafts  have so much more detailed how to information then most of the newer books.

   Looks like I have just written a book here-lol  Have an awesome Tuesday!

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