Monday, January 18, 2021

I Love Facebook

 The title of this blog might take some of you by surprise, but I do love Facebook.  Tonight, I jumped on and watched an amazing rendition of "Bridge Over Troubled Water".  Wow, it was so moving.  Then I scrolled on to find a very tall black man tap dancing with a very short white kid.  That was super cool.  That kid was amazing!!  And then, there was a picture of a similar aged kid holding a big, iridescent trout, just out of the hole in the ice and his dad who posted it wrote, "Hooked for Life!".  You should see the smile on that kid's face - I still get those smiles when I pull a fish out of an ice hole!! 

And then there is Misty's List.  A local shopping site, punctuated with crazy political rants that get entertainingly swear-word accentuated and darn right bloody while also showing off the goods of Lincoln County (the county just south of Teton County).  I have found some good things on this site.  There is quite a bit of junk too, but you can get good at breezing through periodically; just checking to make sure something good didn't come up!!  Good things go fast!!

There is certainly a heaping helping of crap, but it's sort of like looking around the Re-Store.  Every now and then you find something so unique and so special, you are just glad you make a habit of coming in every now and then.  

Sometimes you get to enjoy little kids with big, iridescent trout, and that makes it worth coming back again and again.  

Find the good.  Find the good.  It is still QUITE out there!! You just have to open yourself up and look! 


Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Gadget Girl

Kitchen gadgets make life easier.  A good sharp knife is critically important.  This year, an anonymous gift arrived from Amazon - much to my delight - someone sent me a brand new Globe knife!  Wow!  What a great gift.  I tried to identify the sender but he/she is being very coy.  Thank you for this amazing gift.  I have already drawn blood due to its sharpness!  I wish I was a bit better at sharpening these important gadgets,. but for now, my new knife is razor-sharp!  

Diana gave me a battery-operated pepper mill a long, long time ago.  Made by Puget.  It's really really great and we still use it and love it.  I think the batteries have been replaced once. 

My newest gadget arrived yesterday and was triggered from my first attempt at home made ravioli (see earlier blog post).  It was a success, but rolling out that pasta by hand was rather exhausting.  Just got the pasta maker attachment for my Kitchen Aid and it ROCKS!  I used it to make crackers last night and it was sooooo much easier!  Pasta making next.  I only got the pasta one; I think I can cut to make noodles.....

There is a recipe for poppy seed lime bundt cake with a hibiscus frosting that I found the other day.  I fell in love immediately.  Recipes can hit you that way.  You see a picture of the final creation and you know you MUST make it!!  Of course, I don't have a bundt pan shaped like that, so one is now on its way from Amazon!  

A well-equipped kitchen must have a food processor, a Kitchen Aid, a blender, a good scooper (for ice cream or cookies), a hand can opener (why, tell me, would anyone need an electric can opener??), a carrot/potato peeler, various cookie sheets and pans, mixing bowls, measuring cups and measuring spoons, and a kitchen scale. I have become a huge believe in a kitchen scale!  I have a cold press juicer that cost a few days of work which I really love too.  The apples off our tree in Freedom make a delicious jice 

Some gadgets I have not been that thrilled about would be the spiralizer.  I've used it a few times but overall, it takes up more space that it's worth.  I got a herb grinder from Food 52 that I thought would be awesome.  It's cast iron, really heavy thing.  Thought it would work great on grinding things up.  It did not.  It's a heavy paper weight and I don't even use it for that!!  

Of course, for jam making, I am especially proud and pleased with my copper pot.  It was outrageously expensive - made an impressive gift from Mike.  Even he was impressed when I told him he had bought it for me!!  A bit of magic goes into every batch of jam I simmer in that orange piece of artwork.  It is lovely, at rest or at work. 

Now that I am in the manic-sourdough bread-making mode, having two proofing baskets and a good scoring lame with, of course, that kitchen scale mentioned above, have been pivotal in making consistent good loaves of bread.  Last week, I sold 13 loaves through our local Slow Foods in the Tetons   This neat marketing online source has given me a way to sell my bread and it sells out right away!  Clearly, Jackson needs a bread shop!!  

What is your favorite gadget?  What do I still need that I don't even know about.....???

Monday, January 4, 2021

Recipe of the Week and Snowmobiling

Thanks to a plethora of very ripe bananas and a bag full of fresh cranberries, I whipped up an original recipe this week which turned out delightful! Banana Cranberry Bread with Cranberry Cream Cheese Frosting.  

I took a general banana bread recipe and threw in 2 cups of fresh cranberries.  Then I took a couple of cups of cranberries, mixed in some sugar and some grated up a couple of kumquats for that unmistakable orange sensation.  This mixture was baked for 10, maybe 20 minutes; until the cranberries looked cooked.  After it cooled, these were added to the cream cheese frosting mix (which ultimately needed more powdered sugar; it was a bit thin).  The remained lined up on top, as you see.  The frosting was over the top delicious!! 

We finally got a day and enough snow to go riding on Sunday.  Mike and I went up into the country we elk hunt.  Seeing the landscape and trails in winter wonder was really great!  The machines worked well.  This picture of Mike is at the top of the ridge.  We were contemplating the trail below, knowing how it looks in the fall and wondering if we could make it down the tight turns, the narrow trail, the heavily wooded timber.  We did, but it took some real riding!!  Great day!! 

Friday, January 1, 2021

One Big Experiment

I got my vaccination this week.  Mike got Pfizer, I got Moderna.  We both get our second shot later this month.  

Personally, I have zero concerns about this new-style vaccination and feel fortunate to be one of the lucky ones to have this opportunity to vaccinate early.  I have had five positive COVID contacts thus far (that I know of) - all of them at work.  Providing vaccinations to those of us in the emergency service world is paramount.  I am sorry there are states that have put emergency responders lower on the priority list.  In uncontrolled emergency incidents, our chance of risk is higher - dare I say - that even the risk of the nurses and docs in the emergency room.  Our hospital tests all ER patients as they come through the door and has top of the line PPE (we have the personal protection equipment as well, but working a fast-moving scene provides ample opportunity for masks to not be tight, glasses to fog up, and cross contamination to occur).

In my head, I have written several blog spots on this topic.  I ponder why people are so opposed.  Parents vaccinate their children against measles, small pox, polio and most parents never think twice.  Many of those people who are opposed were vaccinated as a child.  Cases of polio have decreased over 99% since 1988.  As humans, we have practically eliminated polio off the planet.  And this happened because everyone got on board and vaccinated.  Shouldn't we be working toward this same result with COVID-19?  

The vaccine is new technology, new science.  I suppose that concept could be frightening or exhilarating - all depending on how one frames it.  iPhones were new technology once.  These little devices which we depend on so thoroughly, are the very tracking machines that some worry about with the vaccine.  If you think you will be tracked after getting the vaccine, you are already being tracked through your phone, I assure you of this.  

Worried about what will go into your body with this vaccine?  Hmmm.  What are you putting into your body these days?  Have you really been honest with yourself on this?  Processed foods and preservatives?  Smoking things and dragging crap into your lungs?  Oh, I could go on, but won't.  Do an inventory and think about what goes into your body this week.   

There has never been a vaccine created in such a short time frame.  Will it work?  We shall see.  I feel a bit part of the Big Experiment and that's okay.  I applaud Science for this new technology!  We could be on the road toward many many more cures because COVID showed up on the block.  

In the fall, I got a flu shot.  Once I am finished with my second COVIC shot, I will be heading to get a shingles vaccine.  Then my second pneumonia shot.  I see all of these as opportunities to lower the risk of illnesses and enhance my already great lifestyle.  The magic of Science!!  And I am thankful to live in a place where one has full access to these risk reduction opportunities.  Imagine living in a country where all these health opportunities do not exist.   

Thank you Wyoming.  Thank you for putting emergency responders' right there on the top of the vaccination priority list.  I am honored and proud to be part of the emergency service world and I am beginning to feel a slight bit safer.  

It will, however, be a long time before I quit wearing a mask!!  Stay well, stay happy, and here's to 2021!  May the year ahead unveil many more discoveries for us all!! 

Mike's comment, "big arms".  Ah, thank you, Dear One!!  Yes, I have been blessed with strong, large, fat and flabby arms!!  You gotta love your partner's honesty!! 

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Recipe of the Week, #2

I could feel it coming.  It's been an undercurrent all of my life.  This fall, when I found the nice fresh raviolis in the deli section the pull became stronger.  A delicious quick meal.  Saute up some onions and garlic, throw in a can of diced tomatoes and tomato paste, some oregeno and basil and dinner is served.  Then the guests staying at our house sent a picture of their lovely daughter, Lilyjean, eating raviolis.  The ones grandpa makes every year for Christmas.  It's a family tradition.  

I had all of the ingredients and a full free day.  The 00 Flour, eggs, oil.  The green ball above is the ravioli pasta ready to chill and colored up in kale powder green.  

There is no pasta maker in our lives.  Remarkable.  Mike is certain I have every kitchen gadget known to man and woman, however, I have no pasta maker.  This pasta dough was rolled with a rolling pin.  I may very well use this year's Christmas money (thanks Mom & Dad!!) for the Kitchen Aid attachment for pasta rolling.....

Each rav was filled with things I found.  Some burger left from tacos the other night - seemed weird, but what the heck!  Some parmesan cheese.  Some pumpkin seeds.  An egg.  I whirled it up in the food processor, ready for filling the ravs! 

I will say, this was a success!!  They are simply delicious!!  One recipe made about 30 ravs; enough for dinner and enough to freeze.  My oh my.  

It was bound to happen sooner or later! Manga!  (Or however you spell that!!)


Monday, December 21, 2020

Happy Holidays 2020

 As you get the last details ready for this holiday weekend coming up, Mike and I wish you a healthy and safe holiday season. 

We love this picture taken of us at Todd & Janet's fall wedding this year by friend Debbie Meagher.  If you were getting a mailed holiday card, this would be the picture on the front!  But, you are not getting a card in the mail!!  

Life changes.  Challenges come, opportunities sprout.  We miss family terribly.  Through all this, we have felt the amazing support of our parents, helping us stay mentally grounded and well.  Thank you Janet, and Jean, and Ken for being there when we need to talk or like to listen, for sending texts that make us laugh, and just, well, for being such a huge part of our lives - even though we cannot be together. 

I have watched FEAR take ahold of friends.  Fear is an ugly thing.  COVID hits pocket books (and the worse may be coming....), affects life styles, and infects loved ones.  News, TV, and social media breeds on fear.  Lots of other things out there breeding on fear too.  It's a fragile time.  The COVID triangle.   The virus, the financial impact, and the mental impact.  Again, I bow to my parents' and friends' support in helping me stay strong and well mentally.  I work hard every day to not let Fear permeate my being.  Positivity and optimism are my choice in life.  

For those of you who read this greeting, we wish you good health and a positive and optimistic outlook for your life, the things you believe in, and the way you want you life to be.  Every morning we make personal choices.  You let the things come into your life that you allow.  Live the life you want, sing, be happy, celebrate life.  It's still worth living.  Even with a mask on!!