Sunday, November 29, 2009

Ho, Ho, Ho and away we go

The Christmas season is upon me and I confess that I really have not started my shopping. I know, I know....I am feeling a might bit disorganized this year. However, nothing really starts the Christmas season in our house like the annual taking of the Christmas card photo.

You would think that as the children get older the photography process would get easier. Not so around this house. I could barely get anyone to sit still and then there was the question of the dogs. As you can see, only two ended up in the photo.




"Someone", couldn't keep their tongue in their mouth.





Another, "certain someone", wanted to pose with her fur lined hood in place.






But, we finally got a couple of good shots.






Although, it seems I kept getting that close lipped Mona Lisa smile out of everyone.



Friday, November 27, 2009

The recipe for Ski Cake...in all of its glory

In this post I am going to share my recipe for Ski Cake. Once again, I have to say, that I came across this recipe while combing through some beloved, "Church Lady", cookbooks. You know the ones...the collection of recipes from treasured ladies of the church, put together in a spiral bound book, and sold to raise money for the church. In my opinion, these cookbooks are some of the best collection of recipes. Made by real women, raising kids, and cooking with real ingredients you find in your local grocery store.

But, enough of my rambling.....let's get started.

You will need one box of lemon supreme cake mix, one box of instant lemon pudding, three eggs, 3/4 cup of oil, and one can of Ski soda. I realize that many of you reading this may not have access to Ski. You could try a substitute such as Mt. Dew or Sundrop. In my opinion they have a watered down taste compared to Ski, but for the purposes of the recipe they may be suitable.




I always put the cake mix and pudding mix in the Kitchenaid and incorporate them very well. Next, add the eggs and oil. Slowly blend in the soda, as it tends to fizz a lot.





Make sure all ingredients are well blended and your batter is smooth. A few lumps are normal. Pour the batter into a bundt pan that has been generously sprayed with a non-stick spray. I have always used a non-stick spray instead of greasing/flouring the pan as the recipe calls for. I get excellent results with it.

Place in a 375 degree (preheated) oven. Bake for 30 minutes.





At this point it is imperative to have good kitchen help. You know, the cake bowl and beater need to be cleaned.





When the cake comes out of the oven I usually let it cool in the pan for about 15 minutes. Then I go ahead and place it on a cake stand. You will want to glaze this cake while it is still warm.

Combine 1 cup of powdered sugar with 2 tablespoons of Ski. Mix well and pour over cake. You will have quite a bit of Ski left after you open another can....pour it over a copious amount of ice, in a tall glass, and enjoy.




This recipe is a favorite in my house and I have made it many times. It is virtually a no fail recipe. Here is the recipe straight out of the cookbook.

Ski Cake

1 box lemon pudding cake mix
1 small pkg. lemon instant pudding mix
12 oz. Ski
3 eggs
3/4 oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine cake mix, pudding mix, Ski, eggs, and oil in a medium bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until well blended. Pour into greased and and floured bundt pan. Bake for about 30 minutes or until done. Remove from pan. While warm, pour glaze over the cake. Yield: 10-12 servings.

Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons Ski (Or it says you could use water, but I would consider that a total sin!)

Mix ingredients together and pour over warm cake.

Enjoy!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving


I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Sending heartfelt wishes to all family and friends for a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.


Thoughtless Thursday


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

How about a Ski?

There are few things that I have a true weakness for. I don't smoke, gamble, and I only gossip the slightest bit. However, I do truly love an ice cold Ski. If you don't currently live east of the Mississippi River, then you might not know what I am talking about.

When I was a child my father, the renowned Mr. B, was in the Air Force. That meant that we lived far away from Smalltownland. Each summer we would load up the car and come to stay with my grandparents here in Kentucky. For me....that meant Ski soda in an icy cold bottle. We would visit my Uncle William and Aunt Jane at their house out in the country. We would sit in lawn chairs under the shade tree and enjoy an ice cold Ski. And, I do mean ice cold. For those of you who enjoy soda from a glass bottle, you know that it is just a better, colder drink than from a can. Uncle William always drank his Ski from a bottle.

My uncle would bring us each a Ski and there would be "bits" of stuff that had settled at the bottom of the bottle. The Double Cola company claims that Ski is one of the only all-natural sodas. The recipe contains real orange juice and lemon concentrates. Thus, the magical, "stuff", that was at the bottom of the bottle. You would take the bottle and gently swirl and/or turn the bottle upside down. This would mix the contents and the soda would be ready to drink.

Here are a couple of the older Ski bottles. These days Ski, of course, comes in cans. In fact there has been some voting going on about the can design. If you are interested you can read more about that here.



Ski was actually created in 1956. It is somewhat comparable to the sodas, Sundrop and Mt. Dew. However, I think it is much, much better. Smalltownland bottled Ski and Double Cola for many years. The bottling company, pictured below, was located just steps away from the old elementary school. At the end of each school year, the classes would walk to the bottling company for a tour. We would walk through the facility and at the end of the tour each of us received a bottle of Ski and a bag of chips. It was awesome.




Some people believe that Ski was actually developed here in Smalltownland. However, I discovered that it was invented in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Pity. We do have some other claim to fame. The Kentucky Headhunters, a country music group, produced a song entitled, "Dumas Walkers". A song about a small town dive restaurant where you can get a, "slaw burger, fries, and a bottle of Ski". This little dive really exists in Smalltownland and it was the inspiration for the song. It is still open and you can really get a slaw burger and a bottle of Ski. A restaurant that is not for the faint of heart, and in fact it might deserve a blog post entirely of its own....

All of this info and history is totally applicable to the recipe for Ski Cake that will soon be forthcoming. My son, The Deerslayer, says that I have referred to this drink as, "my sweet nectar". I am sure I have never done so.....

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Chocolate Chip Pie

As promised I am going to share with you my recipe for Chocolate Chip Pie. Simple and very easy to make, it is almost like half-baked cookie dough in a pie crust. It pairs well with a scoop of ice cream.

Let's get started, shall we? You will need eggs, self-rising flour, white sugar, brown sugar, melted butter (cooled to room temperature), and 1/2 bag of chocolate chips. For the crust I like to use the pre-made crust that I can just roll out into my own pie dish.


Mix the eggs, sugars, and butter well. Add the flour and mix until very well blended. Pour in the chocolate chips and stir to combine.




Place mixture in the unbaked pie shell. It turns out like very soft cookie dough. Delicious right out of the bowl....not that I would know anything about that.....

Bake for one hour at 325 degrees. Cool pie completely before cutting. I did not follow my own directive and cut this piece before it was quite cool. It was still delicious.


Chocolate Chip Pie
2 eggs
1/2 cup self-rising flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/ cup melted butter, cooled to room temperature
1/2 bag of chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 nine inch pie shell, thawed
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In large bowl, beat eggs until foamy. Add white and brown sugars, beat until well blended. Stir in flour until well combined. Add chips. Pour into pie shell and bake at 325 degrees for one hour.
Enjoy!



Friday, November 20, 2009

The contents of a boy's pocket

I am a girl. I grew up as a girl doing all of the regular girl type things. I read books, played with barbies, and attended sleepovers. I talked on the phone too much, wore Dr. Pepper lip gloss, and played in the band. When I rolled into teenager-land, I kept my room slightly messy and carried a fabulous purse.

Now I am grown and raising a boy. A boy who loves to hunt and hike in the woods. A boy who would wear camoflage everyday of the week, if I would let him. A boy who would sleep with a hound dog under his bed covers and grow his hair long and shaggy. A boy who is a sharpshooter and a collector of pocket knives.

He is also a boy who keeps quite an assortment of items in his pant's pocket.

For instance, let's examine this menagerie of items that I found just the other day while I was sorting the laundry. I don't think I can identify all of these items, but I shall try.


I spy with my little eye a dollar bill, a rubber band, a rock, some change, and an A&W bottle cap.

Hmmmm.....I think that pointy thing might be part of a screwdriver and do I see two shotgun items? I think I see some string and what that black cylindrical thing is, I have no idea. Anyone have a guess? Anyone?

Boys....they are a bit of a mystery to me.

Being a former young girl myself, you would think I have my daughter all figured out. Alas, that would be a lie.

This parenthood gig is turning out to be a bit tougher than I thought.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Hungry hunters and some Chicken No Peek

Today a motley crew of people converged upon my house for dinner....lunch for those of you not residing in the south. This would include the following:

1 Southern Fried Momma
1 Farmchick (me)
4 kids
and 7 hungry hunters

Needles to say we went through some food. Our menu included, Chicken No Peek, tossed salad, Whipping Cream Biscuits, and for dessert, Ski Cake and Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie. I have the recipe for the biscuits on my blog and will be sharing the two dessert recipes in the days to come. Today I will give you the recipe for Chicken No Peek. This is a one dish kind of meal full of vegetables. I found this recipe in one of my "church lady" cookbooks and changed it around a bit to suit the needs/tastes of my family. You know....church ladies are all knowing when it comes to feeding a crowd....or anybody for that matter.


Chicken No Peek

1 cup water
3 teaspoons of chicken base (instead of chicken bouillon)
5 skinless/boneless chicken breasts
5 potatoes, peeled, washed and quartered
1 small package of baby carrots
1 large onion, peeled, washed, and sliced
4 stalks of celery
1/2 medium head of cabbage, cut into 8 sections
1 small can of mushrooms
1 can cream of mushroom soup
Mrs. Dash, original blend

In a large casserole dish, place water and chicken base. Stir around the chicken base until well blended. Place chicken in bottom of casserole and vegetables on top of chicken. Cover vegetables with mushroom pieces. Place spoonfuls of soup around the top of the vegetables. Sprinkle entire casserole with Mrs. Dash. Cover the pan with foil and bake in an oven at 350 degrees for 1&1/2 hours.

This is what the dish looked like right before I placed it in the oven. Chicken on the bottom with the vegetables loaded on top. I like to spray my foil (the side that will touch the vegetables) with some non-stick spray, so that the cabbage will not stick.




This is the dish after cooking. The cabbage and veggies cook down making a nice soup/gravy.





If you have never used chicken base instead of bouillon, it is worth trying. It can be found in the grocery next to the bouillon. It comes in a jar and is the consistency of paste. It is used in recipes, soups, stews, etc.... It imparts a much richer flavor than regular bouillon. If you are reading this and you live in my area, please note that I cannot find it at Kroger....only at Wal-Mart.

I hope you take the time to try this recipe. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Warm fall days...


Today was a wonderful day in Smalltownland. Temperatures hovered around 70, with no wind. A gorgeous, mild fall day. Today also happens to be the opening day of modern gun season for deer. Secret Agent Man and The Deerslayer have been hard at it since early this morning. Toots and I, however, slept in and then attended her end of the season soccer party.

Toots and I also did some grocery shopping as I will be cooking for several hunters tomorrow. Stay tuned this week, as recipes will be forthcoming.

I have to say that I have no news to report. No king sized deer was slayed, but Toots and I sure enjoyed the warm weather outside. And, sometimes, that is just a great day in itself. Hoping that wherever you might be, you are enjoying some warm fall days.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day

Today.....



I hope you took a small moment....





to thank a veteran.....






for all of the freedoms we enjoy in our country.


Monday, November 9, 2009

An old house and a better explanation

Last Thursday I posted a picture of this house that is located down the road from my farm. Still in the original family, it sits in a deteriorated state on small rise, in a field. This house looks like many older farmhouses in our county. Built in the typical I-House style, it is two rooms wide and one room deep, with a central passage in the middle. This type of house is a type of British folk form and they were common in the pre-railroad era. After the arrival of the railroad this type of house continued in its popularity, although porches, rear extensions, some gingerbread trim, and additional chimneys became new additions.




This house, although I have only been lucky enough to look at it from afar, seems to be in the pre-railroad style. Simple in plan, yet very useful for the family for which it was intended. The chimney is composed of local creek rock with a brick extension.





Gaston Studio commented that this would be a wonderful home to renovate and wasn't it a pity that someone hadn't done that already. Unfortunately, there is some family dispute over this house and the land. So, it is likely that this house will remain in this state. In our area it is very common for an older house, located on quality farmland, to be allowed to deteriorate. The family will build a smaller/newer house on a new section of the farm, instead of trying to salvage an older home, even though it may be loaded with character and family history. And, I do realize cost is a huge factor in this equation.





A few years ago an older gentlemen arrived to deliver some furniture to my old/renovated farmhouse. He remarked at how excellent the house was looking. Then he let me know that he helped re-wire my house and at that time raccoons were living in it.

I am a true lover of old houses, but I could have gone forever without knowing that.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Where's George?

This past week I made a purchase in Smalltownland. Not a big deal and certainly nothing out of the ordinary. However, the change I received back was a little different. One of the dollar bills was stamped with the, "Where's George", logo.






Not being familiar with this, I had to look up the website. And, I have to say, it was pretty interesting. You enter the serial number for the bill, along with your zip code. It will also ask for the series of the bill, located on the lower right hand side. As long as people have logged in as to the whereabouts of the bill, you can learn where it has been. My dollar started out in Montreal and it took a year to arrive in Smalltownland.

If you are interested in checking out the web page, you can do so here.

Have any of you ever received one of these bills?

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could




To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.




I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
by Robert Frost


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween, in review....

Last night all of the ghosts, goblins, and super heroes came alive in Smalltownland. Even here at the farmette, Wonder Woman decided to exert her power in the kitchen. Somehow she managed to lose her headband...this did not surprise me. The evening went on without it.




Halloween was pretty quiet this year. The Deerslayer helped with a community activity held on our town square. He was doing a good deed while Toots was collecting candy. We also decided to make a couple of stops to see her great-grannies.

Here we have Bird......




And, here is Lucy....both were surprised to see someone from The Justice League fly into the nursing home.






For the rest of the evening I functioned as Wonder Woman's personal assistant. That would consist of carrying her coat and bag, when it became to heavy with treats, and driving her to the various events of the evening.





I had to hurry up and get her home. I decided she needed to take off that costume before it all went to her head.