Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Road to Nowhere

Living in suburbia has become a little more crowded and uncomfortable than I ever expected it to be. I have always lived in a suburban neighborhood, always on a lot of 1/2 acre or less. I never minded living so close to the neighbors until I moved into this house almost 13 years ago. My next door neighbor is a plumber and his wife is a hermit (except for her forays to Wal-Mart). They have a huge assortment of lighthouses in the front flowerbed. The back yard is full to overflowing with pipe, boats, sheds and whatever else Mr. Plumber can't bear to part with. He began to renovate the outside of his house about 5 years ago. The siding is not finished...still. Even after calls to the city codes compliance office, there has been little progress.
On the other side there used to be a nice older woman who kept her home in good repair and the yard tidy. She moved a few years ago and sold the house to a couple with 3 HUGE unruly dogs. They leave the dogs in a pen outside so they can bark all night. The once lovely pool is now a green pit that breeds mosquitoes. The fence is falling down and they accumulate huge heaps of garbage at the side of the house. Most of the other neighbors keep their houses fairly well. This is one of the NICER parts of our city.
So.......I have begun the search for a little piece of property on which my sweetie and I can build a new home. With space for a nice garden, chickens and (his dream, not mine) alpacas. Mostly I want to get away from the neighbors.
Yesterday after searching the local listings, I set off to find Eden. Oops, I forgot the directions. How hard could it be to find this place? After about an hour on the road, mostly backtracking, I gave up. Who knew that those back roads would look so much alike? On Sunday, armed with the GPS, my sweetie and I WILL find this little piece of heaven. The price is reasonable. Cross your fingers that it isn't under water or the Beverly Hillbillies don't live next door!
Maybe I will even have pictures next time!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A finished product

I have been so busy lately that sometimes I feel like there should be two of me, though one of me is probably enough! I have been working more in the neurofeedback office and trying to get more done at home. The crochet lessons are coming along pretty well. I hope to have something to show soon.
After two feeble attempts, I finally settled on the right fabric for a quilt to send to my niece for her baby shower this weekend. Ta-Dah!

Monday, February 1, 2010

The world's best cooks

Forget Emeril and the rest of the TV chefs. The best cooks in the universe are grandmas. At least my grandma was. She could make a meal out of the simplest ingredients fit for a king. Grandma has been gone for over 40 years now and my own mother isn't able to communicate well enough to tell me what cooking was like in the Great Depression. I can only assume that most of the ingredients were inexpensive, easily found and required minimal refrigeration. Hum, sounds like fresh, seasonal and local weren't new ideas to that crowd.

Since my step-buddy came to live here, "we" have consumed more groceries than I ever imagined possible. I raised two slim petite girls. They would eat just about anything, but not much of it.

Enter an eighteen year old, six-foot-plus muscular male and my views on food and cooking were turned upside down. No longer will a chicken make two dinners for three. And leftovers? Consumed before midnight unless the hands off message is strongly made.

Our food budget was suffering and frankly, I am tired of cooking. There had to be an easier, cheaper way to fill the void that is living in the back bedroom.

Since Mom and Grandma can't help, I pulled out my copy of the Magic Chef Cookbook from 1934. What a treasure. I bought it because it was old and nostalgic. I never really intended to COOK anything.

Anyway, after giving it a quick look, I realized that there isn't an ingredient in this book that I can't get at the corner market. And the recipes look just like what Grandma made.

I will warn you right now that Julie and Julia are in no danger of losing their place in blogdom or the movies.

I started out with Scalloped Potatoes. Simple. Easy. Available. And best of all, really delicious.

P.S. The rest of the potatoes were GONE before the dishes were done.

What is your favorite granny recipe??