Abode {W}

Monday, February 27, 2012


 I had a lengthy post typed up about this little boy's milestones and latest accomplishments. But somehow, it seemed all wrong. Like what I really wanted to say, underneath all those words about using scissors and weight gain, was that I love this son of mine to pieces. He is such an appealing little person, and I am smitten with him.
That is all I really wanted to say!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

This and That

 One of my dilemmas now that I am without oven and stove is the making of granola, which is pretty well the staff of life around here. The farmer and my eldest eat it with yogurt for breakfast every morning, and I snack on it throughout the day. I really don't like buying it, as it is usually expensive and full of sugar. Then I remembered this recipe for "raw" granola which I found at The Nourishing Gourmet. It is just soaked almonds and walnuts, coconut, maple syrup, applesauce, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. The beauty of it is that it "cooks" in a dehydrator. I now have a nice full jar of really yummy granola, with no stove and no oven.
Last night we gave a dinner party. It was so fun to break out the good china and silverware, plan a menu, and make champagne cocktails. I roasted a salmon in my counter top roasting oven, made rice pilaf in my rice cooker, and borrowed my mother-in-law's oven to roast asparagus (with olive oil, lemon zest, flaked sea salt, coarse pepper, and pine nuts). One guest brought a delicious salad, and the farmer made chocolate tarts topped with candied hazelnuts. The salmon roasting was tricky, as the pan just barely fit in to the roaster, and trying to put the loaded pan in to the roaster with out burning myself on the hot interior was quite a job! However, the salmon was roasted without mishap, and it was delicious. 
After dinner, we had lots of coffee and desserts and good conversation, lasting until past midnight. Stuart slept on the couch amidst all of the lively talk, and then, having had a full night sleep, awoke at his usual hour of 6, a mere four hours after I got to bed. Needless to say, I am terribly groggy this morning, and plying myself with endless cups of coffee in an effort to ensure I will stay awake during Mass! The truth is, being with out a stove and oven has been tricky. Successfully making a nice dinner for 15 last night gave me the much needed reminder that I can make this work, difficult as it may be!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Finally, a blog post!

A little splash of color to help dispel the February doldrums!
The last few  weeks have been crazy. Blogging has taken a back seat to finding an assisted living home for my mother, an overnight trip to see my sister, moving my mother, and having my stove and oven completely give up the ghost. Moving my mother was difficult emotionally, as it was an admission that her dementia has indeed worsened. The move itself went so smoothly, thanks to my sisters, children, husband, and a dear friend and her children jumping in and making it all happen in one day. Mom has had a few rough times since moving, such as going to the desk three times in one day and screaming "I have been in a concentration camp and you can not keep me here! I am going home, and you can not stop me!", but I am now only five minutes away from her and so was able to go and calm her down. Since then, she has settled in a bit more, and seems to enjoy daily visits from my sisters and I.

My stove is a whole different story! We had a repair man come and look at it, and he took a good look at it and told us to turn off the circuit to the stove . The stove itself is full of electrical problems, and not worth fixing. At one point, he turned a knob for a burner that had not worked for over a year, and the stove's timer buzzed. Not good. So, the long and short of it is that I will have no stove or oven until late June. We can not afford to replace it right now, and do not want to borrow any more money. The stove is built right in to the counter, and has a down draft to ventilate it, so we need to replace it with a similar model. The ones we priced (and they are gorgeous stoves!) are right around two thousand dollars. I had a moment of panic, as I not only love to cook, but my family (especially those teenaged boys!) loves to eat. Then, when I calmly took stock of the situation, I remembered that I had a whole arsenal of small appliances at my disposal. One large counter top roasting oven, a crock pot, electric skillet, one griddle,  and a very nice rice cooker, to be exact. I have since discovered that I can bake bread in the roasting oven, my rice cooker will also cook polenta and risotto, and my electric skillet can be used to cook up the quinoa patties we are all so fond of. Also? I have a cute little electric hot pot, so I can still boil water to make my morning elixir of life! I am planning a series of blog posts about cooking without a stove, and am already enjoying having to be more creative in the kitchen. That said, I was telling a friend on Sunday that right now, I am feeling excited about this kitchen challenge, but I know the excitement will start to wear off towards the end of April.

So! There is the official update, and this will hopefully mark my return to more regular blogging. I have missed banging out my thoughts for the world to see, and have composed many posts in my head over the last few busy weeks. It feels good to be back at this journal of my days.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

{phfr} in February

 Pretty- Evangeline enjoying hot cocoa on a wintry afternoon.
 Happy- Our "outside barn kitty" sleeping on Ella's lap by the warm fire. I could hear him purring from the other room.
 Funny- Sometimes Ella likes to play with her hair. The results are often quite funny indeed.
Real- Stuart at the table with his matching game. I bought him a Richard |Scary matching game so I could play it with him while the older children work on their school work. Reality is, he likes three tiles (the fire engine, the train, and Sargent Murphy's motorcycle) and those are the only tiles he will play with. Makes for a pretty quick game!

Joining Like Mother, Like Daughter for another week of {phfr}, making note of the everyday things that bring us joy! This joy and contentment always come to me so much more easily in the winter time, when the days are slow paced and evenings are spent reading, knitting, or playing games around the fire. Summer rushes past in such a flurry of urgent activity that it is harder to catch that feeling of contentment and peace!