Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Chickens on the Loose

The boys are beginning to enjoy the chickens so much more now that we are able let them roam out in the yard every evening and that they are able to go out to see if there are any eggs waiting for them. The chickens are even beginning to get brave and explore the woods near the house. So far we haven't had any problems. The dog that comes to visit is now being kept at home during the hours that we let the chickens loose so it has been working out very nicely. The chickens love their time in the yard and it is great fun to watch their antics, and they are also beginning to actually relate more to us now that they are not penned up. They impatiently wait at the pen door and cluck at about five in the evening to be let out, and are beginning to follow us around the yard instead of run away. The boys are also able to catch and hold them now. One of the funniest new things is watching the kittens that we recently brought home. They will stalk the chickens while they have their backs turned, but as soon as a chicken turns and faces them they look in another direction as if to act innocent. The chickens and the kittens are so much more fun to watch than the television and computer. I am beginning to see what people did before electronics. There is so much wonder out there in the world that it is actually sad that the world is missing out on it. What hobbies do your families engage in that doesn't include electronic devices?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Pimento Cheese

The sound of that probably conjures up memories of the gross slimy day-glo stuff you find in the store...yuck!

One day I was trying to figure what to feed us all for lunch and had decided on sandwiches. When Nathan stealthy pointed out that it is Friday and ham sandwiches would not work because we are trying to be meatless on Friday, which so far has been a real challenge. In an effort to avoid the oven and stove on this particular hot steamy day I decided to make up a quick batch of pimento cheese. It is quick, and simple, and as I am making it I begin to wonder why we don't make it more often, also a simple dish for the kids to help with to practice kitchen skills.

Here is my version:

Pimento Cheese:
2 oz. cream cheese(room temp for easy mixing)
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/3 cup grated parmesan
1/2 cup mayonnaise(or more if it seems dry)
1/4 cup pimentos(if they seem big place them on a cutting board and mince them a bit)
2 tablespoons onion chopped extra fine
1-2 cloves of garlic smashed and chopped extra fine
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Let is sit for a couple of hours(if you can wait) in the refrigerator for the flavors to come together. Try making it with other ingredients, different cheeses and add-ins. There are so many ways to make it. Make up your own family version.

This is a very versatile spread. You can use it on so many things, crackers, sandwiches, celery and other vegetables, toasted on an open face sandwich, hamburger or baked potato topping ...just use your imagination.

When you make it yourself, you know what you are eating.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Our Trip to the Ship

A few weeks ago we Baptized our baby girl. During this trip we took a mini vacation and went to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to see the U.S.S. Kidd.
Matt, his Dad, and I took the kids to explore the battle ship. I had been as a child and have wanted to return with Nathan for some time now. We had a really great time. It was quite hot, and I do recommend going on a day when the weather is mild because the ship does take a while to explore completely. It is a self guided tour,they give you a map that is numbered to show you interesting facts. I found many fascinating things about ship living, they are obvious things when thinking about ship life, but until you experience it you really don't realize it fully. It is very tight living, your bunk was just inches from the bunk above you. The bathroom facilities were very open. Not only were there several entrance and exit doors, the actual toilets were set up on several troughs facing back to back with no stalls at all. I don't think that modesty had any place on the ship. You had to live very modestly also, from what we noticed there was very little storage space for your stuff, it looked like a half of a foot locker and a small cubical space under the bunk closest to the floor. Going up and down stairs was tricky especially with Evelyn, so after a while I just stayed on the outer decks. Navigating the ship during times when there may have been a rush or emergency would have been tragic for someone clumsy like me. The stairs were steep like ladders, and all the doors openings were at least six inches off the ground. The boys really enjoyed seeing all the guns, missiles, and depth charges. It was very interesting to see the huge difference between the state of the officers quarters, and the rest of the crew. My favorite part to visit on the ship had to be when we found the kitchen, it is really hard to tell from some of the pictures, but everything is giant sized, but it is in a space that is probably the size of half of a modern kitchen. If I remember right the sign said they had to cook for more than 300 people within that space. This was a really great day trip that I would highly recommend to anyone that likes to spend time exploring and wandering, likes ships wars or weapons, would like to experience life in another setting, is into history, or studying history. If you are ever in the area or near one of the other many ships that have been turned into museums, they are worth the time to visit. One of the future ships we would like to explore are the Tall ships of the pirate age, now that would be an adventure. On a side note, if you look past my legs in the picture you will notice a circle...It is an open hole. Matt had to grab our adventurous four year old by the feet and pull him back onto the ship before he fell through into the Mississippi River. He "just wanted to see what was down there"... It is never a dull moment with our crew!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Smell of Fall is in the Air

Fall is coming fast. The sound of the school bands practicing and getting ready for football season. The leaves beginning to show their first signs of their glorious colors of the season. Muscadines coming into season begging to be picked and turned into juice and jelly. The occasional cool breeze that brings with it the crisp smell of fall, and the cool mornings that just beg you to open the windows and enjoy, while whispering of soups, stews and gumbos to be made in the days to come. Sitting on the porch in the hazy light of the morning with the smell of coffee on the stove. Of course here in the south you have to really take it all in and enjoy it when it gets here because in the blink of an eye it is gone so come on in fall, take off your boots and stay a while, we would love a nice long visit.