Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Where are the falls?

This last weekend we packed up the car and headed off to Ione, Washington for a scenic train ride with the kids and my parents. It was a fun trip traveling from Ione to Metaline Falls and back in the fall colors. The kids had fun riding the train - especially when the conductor wasn't looking and they hung their heads out the window with the wind in their hair and the scenery whizzing by.
When we arrived in Metaline Falls and started back to Ione Paige (almost in tears) said, "But we didn't even get to see the falls. What was the point?' When we explained to her that there aren't any 'falls' in Metaline Falls and that we were on the train just to enjoy the ride, she was a little crestfallen. Without anything to anticipate for the rest of the ride she found just riding the train was fun. There were also some other highlights besides the ride...
We were able to spend lots of time with Grandma and Grandpa.
We did get to eat kettle corn and drink hot cocoa.
We also rode right over the Pend Oreille River as it funnels into the Box Canyon Dam.
And the scenery was beautiful.
The train rides are put on by the North Pend Oreille Valley Lions Club and are over for the season, but keep an eye out next year. They have rides starting in July. Check them out at http://www.lionstrainrides.com/.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Cat People

After already having a dog in our married life - and knowing the work that goes into taking care of a pet - we were quite reluctant to add an animal to our already busy life. But I have been pleasantly surprised. Max and Sophie are happy when they get attention and just as happy left to themselves. They need food, water, a place to sleep and clean litter box. The girls have been doing a great job of meeting all of those needs, so I have been able to enjoy two sweet pets who like a little ear scratching and tummy rubbing every once in a while. The girls get to enjoy a little responsibility and lots of love and affection. Who would have known? Could I be a cat person after all? Probably not, but they are cute.

Monday, October 12, 2009

FHE Treat

Have you been wondering what the Davidson's are having for FHE treat tonight? Banana Bars. Thanks to Sherry for sharing her recipe. Yummy! Banana Bars 1/2 c. butter, soft 1 1/2 c. sugar 2 eggs 1 c. sour cream 1 t. vanilla 2 c. flour 2 t. baking soda 2 bananas, mashed (about 1 cup) Frosting: 1 8-oz. package cream cheese, soft 1/2 c. butter, soft 2 t. vanilla 4 c. powdered sugar Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, vanilla, sour cream, bananas. Add flour and baking powder. Mix until just combined. Spread in an 11 x 17 greased cookie pan. Bake 350F for 20-25 min. Frost when cool.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Minestrone Recipe

Kurt, I used a Minestrone Recipe from allrecipes.com. Here is a link... Here are some changes I made:

Omit - spinach, pasta (I wasn't sure how well those would process and didn't want to end up with mush).

Substituted - half/half mix of white and pinto cannery beans (that I had cooked in the crock pot overnight) instead of the canned beans.

Directions - Instead of following the recipe directions, I did the following: Saute onion, garlic until tender. Add turkey sausage and brown. Made a broth with the chicken stock, tomato paste and oregano. To fill the jars I layered beans, onion/garlic/sausage mixture, then the vegetables. I covered everything with the hot broth and processed.

Good luck!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Something New #2

I'm on a roll. Today I used up carrots, tomato, zucchini and onion from my garden pressure canning Minestrone soup!
Before processing

Finished soup!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Something New

I decided to try something new today. I recently purchased a large, new, shinny pressure cooker/canner. It has been sitting on my shelf intimidating me all summer. I don't know why, but the idea that it has the potential to explode makes me a bit nervous. Because of this, I have put off trying it out... until today. I don't do a lot of canning. A little applesauce now and then, but nothing like my Mom and Sister. Come to think of it, my brothers probably do more canning than I do. I really have to psyche myself up to do much more than jam. It intimidates me and zaps my energy. My canning buddy, Cassi, and I usually get together and talk each other into doing something. Just recently we went big and did pears AND pear sauce. Not much for some, but a big deal for me. To initiate myself with the pressure canner, I followed my sister-in-law Jenny's recipe for Beef and Barley Soup. In the end, it wasn't too bad. Nothing exploded and I think the soup actually looks tasty. I can't wait to pull it out and heat it up one cold evening this winter. Here's what I did: Step one (day before): Crock pot two beef roasts for 10 hrs. Step two: Make broth from crock pot drippings Step three: Cut vegetables, layer in jars and cover with broth
Step four: Pressure can
Viola - 75 minutes later (plus some cool down time) I have homemade Beef & Barley Soup. What next? Maybe Chicken Vegetable or Minestrone? I still have lots of garden vegetables that need a good place to call home.