Category Archives: Food
On Wednesday my grandson wanted to come over and hang out in the evening. I told him he could, but he had to help me cook for Thanksgiving Dinner which was the following day. He thought about it and said he would help. This came as a shock to everyone, he never wants to help. But Wednesday evening when he got there, he was ready to work.
His job? Make bread sticks from scratch.
His experience? None.
So we began by a discussion of measuring, he got it. He scooped, he measure and the ingredients began to fill the mixing bowl. We heated milk and butter, he added it to the bowl. He cracked his first egg into an empty cup, we fished out some shell, he added it to the bowl. I showed him how to turn on the mixer. From there on he would stick his arms out to guard the bowl because, “I can do it.”
When it was ready to turn onto the board to knead is when I remembered to grab my camera to document this event.
The dough was put in an oiled bowl, covered with a towel and placed in a slightly warm oven to rise. While we waited we moved on to peeling potatoes.
His enthusiasm for peeling waned fairly quickly but he hung in there working until the bread had risen to the top of the bowl and was ready for the next step.
He was so surprised at how soft and tender the dough was. Again a lot of concentration as he flattened the dough.
A Ta Da moment for Hayden. He wanted a commemorative photo of the event.
Next time we will not do gluten-free. He will be experienced and not intimidated by getting them smooth. I was so proud of his enthusiasm and his “I CAN DO IT” attitude, I simply let him roll.
They are awesome!
Thanks, Hayden for your help.
Grams (Shez to the rest of you)
PS When he arrived the next day the first thing he wanted to know was had I posted the photoz to prove to everyone he had actually “made the bread sticks all by myself.” So here you go Hayden, proof you actually made them all by himself. You Rock, Buddy.
(No I do not call him Buddy, I call him Sweetheart, but at 12 and in middle school, it’s not cool to call him that in public.)
It seems like there are days that life just throws a lot of curve balls and I can deal with that, it’s when they are grouped together and become weeks, overlapping weeks that it becomes a challenge. That’s when even finding time to write down the fun blog I want to post never arrives. A few other things pop up and by the time there is time, nothing fun or funny comes to mind. A family event is taking a bit more of my time than I seem to have but is something I want to share. First a little history is needed.
My mother and her sisters were very close. They chatted on the phone often and visited each other at least monthly. After they all retired, they got together often for Mexican Train Dominoes. They
mistakenly believed that none of their children (we cousins) ever got together and with our growing families; we admit we didn’t often have the chance, but we thought about it a lot. So to thwart their lazy children, they (the sisters) decided that an annual family picnic was the way to force all of the cousins and all their children, baby and kid paraphernalia, diapers, food, bottles into our cars and drive to a designated spot to have lunch.
Of course the Annual Picnic was hatched well before they retired, and the rules were laid down when our little ones were babes in arms. As they got older the Annual Picnic took on new meaning and became a driving force for them.
They thought of nothing else, taking a whole year to plan. We had to eat precisely at Noon. Not a second later. (That makes for a stressful Saturday morning for families because not only were we to be packed and there but we also had to bring food, dishes and silverware, drinks, etc.) Interestingly the sisters decided “pot luck” might produce a once yearly unbalanced meal so they assigned all the descendants of each sister to a food category. Main dishes, salads, deserts. These rotated by sister each year. Somewhere along the line the sisters decided it could not be a real picnic without Un-named to Protect the Guilty Large Grocery Deli’s fried chicken. Not to pick on said Un-named to Protect the Guilty Large Grocery Deli’s chicken, but even fresh at the deli, it is not that good. Several hours after pick up it is horrible.
As the sisters got even older and there were only two left they decided to turn it over to the cousins to plan. Oh we were thrilled. Actually none of us objected to that what we did object to was the phone calls. They were always the same: “Have you girls set the date and place for the reunion yet?” They began the nagging in March. As they got older the phones calls got earlier. At some point we cousins actually started betting to see which of us would get the first phone call reminding us of the Annual Picnic and had we set the date and place? Trust me with a houseful of kids, animals, sports, school and holidays, were we even thinking of a picnic in February? Not on your life. We were trying to find snow boots for their feet.
I won that bet one year not because mom was the only one left, but because she knew my cousins and I were taking a weekend trip in October and she decided we must set the date while we were all together. She called every day for six weeks to remind me. I found out she also called all the cousins at least once a week to remind them as well. Over dinner one night we cousins did set the date. First Saturday in August, just like it had been the previous dozen or so years, at the standard beach location. We decided on Pot Luck because what if everyone brought the same thing? As one very wise cousin put it, “So what is the down side of 20 different chocolate cakes?”
My mom was exceptional, she started calling about the picnic in late September. Unfortunately, it did little to stem the
trickle flood of phone calls. By that time in her life, mom was having trouble remembering dates. So once or twice a week she would call, “Did you set the date for the picnic yet?” And each time I would sweetly (Honest, I was always sweet with her or at the least very patient. Really!) remind her it was same place, same time and the same date. As always it was the first Saturday in August and she would be riding with us.
With the exception of a few of her cousins Mom was the last of her generation. She died last October of pancreatic cancer, just a few weeks after her last Annual Picnic. Her service was a small family affair at the grave site where we spread some of her ashes. It was the first Saturday of November. The rest of her ashes have been interned in their double plot beside dad. The date marker of 2011 has been installed.
Next weekend is first Saturday in August, in honor of our mothers, we are having the family reunion at our house. It is a pot luck at about 1, stay as late as anyone can. If they can’t arrive at one, we will be here fixing dinner later. So not a problem.
The event is a Wake, rather than a Celebration of Life, or a Memorial. The reason is simple, mom’s favorite movie was Waking Ed Devine. We may actually watch that this week, just to make sure we cover all bases.
I’m sorry, but if you are not a friend or relative of my mother you aren’t invited. If you are a friend or relative please join us. Can you bring a chocolate cake? Oh, wait, dang I can’t eat gluten. Guess I better get busy whipping up a GF Chocolate cake, or at I can whip up a batch of awesome GF Chocolate Brownies for desert. Either works for me. Maybe I should experiment with both GF and vegan. Just for fun.
Here is where mom and dad will always be: In my heart. Their remains and the marker that tells others they walked this earth is on the hillside just below the marble relief of the last supper.
Next weekend I hope she’ll be looking down from above with her sisters and they’ll all be smiling and saying, “Can you imagine, they actually got it together without a single phone call???” Then perhaps they’ll laugh and realize they did a good pretty job, we all turned out to be great group of people, with fantastic children and extraordinary grandchildren and we are a happy bunch.
PS The fist five photos were taken last year at the Annual Picnic. Mom’s last big picnic. Because of a surprise significant birthday incorporated into the day, the picnic was held in late July. It was a very good thing it was early. Mom was able to be there and love every minute of the day. She never realized the date had been changed. The last picture taken last Friday.
I promised this post on an odd day, but here it is a day late. It happens. Sometimes business comes before pleasure and I do own a company that I need to promote. I decided letting people know about it would be a step in the right directions. How better to do that than with a WordPress blog, a Facebook page, and a Twitter account. So that is what I have done the past couple of days, or mostly evenings after work. My hope is all my followers and friends will at least check them out and “like” or “follow” or most of all “share” my company with everyone they know. I will share lunch details and get back to business at the end of lunch. ;D
Aside from overcooking the turkey, the result of which was the very well-known bad thing about turkey, it turned mean and got dry. I’m so sorry, all who were here. But on to the good stuff.
In no time at all our wonderful day drew to a close. The team wanted a chance to see something of Portland before they had to be at the airport. Last I heard they were headed to VooDoo Doughnuts.
That is an event not be missed if you ever venture to PDX. You know the town proudly displays tee shirts and bumper stickers that say “Keep Portland Weird.” That pretty much sums that up.
Uncle Doug and Aunt Sherrey headed home to Seattle a place where people are not that weird and pride themselves on some rather cultural events and things like the Space Needle and Pike Street Market.
There you have it all.
Game 1 vs George Fox
I may (may?? maybe only a few hundred times) have mentioned that my wonderful granddaughter is a senior at Colorado College this year. She has started every game for all four years. This year CC scheduled a two game trip to Oregon. They have not played here in years. What an exciting gift to be able to drive to two games.
The first game was Friday night at George Fox University in Newberg Oregon.
What a game. I was amazed the girls stayed for the end. I have never seen so many fresh bruises on a group of young women. CC lost the game, in fact it was one of those games everyone wants to forget quickly. Here are a few pictures from that game, our women are in black.
(RATS. Here I spent a long time making three separate slide shows, only to have three identical slide shows simultaneously mixing
the photos randomly. So I will simply show the individual photos until I figure out what, exactly made it not work. Probably something simple that my overly tired brain just didn’t comprehend last night. I knew better than to preview, I wanted to go to bed “thinking” it was a great post. HUMILITY is good for a person. Update Monday Dec 12, 2011)
The Fans were there in support.
We remained a loyal fan base of about 10 people out of the reported 500 who showed up to watch this game. Colorado never gave up, and they proved they are scrappy, but against a much larger in numbers team with such a huge height advantage, this didn’t have much of a chance from the opening tip off to the final buzzer. The one thing the girls did receive is the largest number and most impressive bruises ever.
(Whew, even though this has not been without technical details, at least it is an improvement.)
Game Two Saturday Night vs Linfield
So moving right on to Saturday night’s game at Linfield College in McMinnville, we had a good game. It was close throughout. Intentional fouls at the end only increased the lead, but the girls enjoyed a good game. They were not badly disappointed by the loss.
Our granddaughter had a total of 20 fans in the stands which included grandparents, aunts, uncles, hometown friends, even friends from pre-school.
girls women had a solid game, they were down three with under a minute, the intentional fouls didn’t work out. Linfield women were on their game and didn’t choke. They made their foul shots and won. They get knocked to the hardwood while running full speed. I wouldn’t survive the bounce on the hardwood, they simply get up, try to get even, and continue to play.
Saving the Best for Last
Then the very best part was today, Sunday. We were privileged to host the Colorado College Women’s Team at our house for lunch. They are a group of young women that the college and their parents must be very proud of. In all we had 26 team members, family and friends of Ms Luetjen here. It was an amazing day.
After being up until 2AM and then back up at 7:30 to get the turkey in the oven, I was in a near panic as I looked at my list. Nothing there was difficult, just an impossible time frame to accomplish it. A few minutes later in walked my daughter (among her management job skills is a catering manager at a large hotel). She picked up my list and pitched in. In the next two hours everything was finished and ready, the van pulled in as we put the rolls in the oven to warm. I had even had time to get change from my pajamas and was ready. We were calm, cool and collected and ready to great our guests.
What did we serve? More on the next odd day on our dinner, if you are interested in what I cooked to feed that many. It’s past bedtime for two exhausted hosts. I don’t think I mentioned hubs washed all the windows inside and out, vacuumed and a million other things on Saturday afternoon between shopping for food for the luncheon and leaving for the game. He was amazing, while I worked on food prep and a million other jobs that needed to be done for the house to look like Christmas and “company ready.”
PS. OH Dear! We are exhausted and hubs went into the bedroom…the sheets are in the dryer (I did laundry after I got all the dishes done and the food put away) AND THEY ARE NOT DRY. We may both cry, too tired to deal with this. At least this catastrophe only affects we two. The two who
worked their butts off accomplished nothing short of a miracle to get it done. We need a warm bed NOW!
PSS This is Monday morning. We survived, the sheets were warm and dry and the bed toasty when we climbed in just after midnight. The sun is shining today!!