Thursday, August 21, 2014

Haircut

Not, not my hair - the "hair" sticking out from the bushes at Siler City Airport!!

It's apparently that time of year again .....the bushes have just gotten crazy overgrown.





But just a few minutes per bush trims them up and makes the building look a bit more "professional"!





The back of the building as well...before....



And after.....




Haha,  after all that trimming.....look who I found again.....the Budda-cat that "someone" hid between two bushes.


Monday, August 18, 2014

Duane's Retirement Dinner at Fearington House

Looks like the Lenovo purchase of Duane's area at IBM has been approved by the government, so his retirement is coming up in the next month.....so we got to choose where we went for a retirement dinner, courtesy of IBM.

We (....I....) chose the Fearington House between Pittsboro and Chapel Hill.  We've never gone, but heard rave reviews about the true "5 Star" restaurant.

Got dressed up!  I wore the dress I had gotten for Richard's wedding - and the jewelry that Keith and Denise had gotten me for my birthday happened to match it perfectly!



I promised Duane that I wouldn't take my camera in to photo the food (but you would have LOVED to see all the pretty food!)  Here's the entrance with their whimsical whirlly-gigs.



I want to tell you that we had the best meal EVER.   I mean, the best meal that I've ever in my life eaten!  
The service was spectacular and the food was just divine.   It took about 3 hours - it was almost dark when we left. 


They even send you home with a "congratulations" copy of the menu and some assorted goodies.....even the little candies are melt in your mouth delicious!  


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Small batch of apple butter

I am the lucky recipient of more apples!! What to do, what to do.....apple butter, of course!




Lindy loaned me her apple peeler gizmo.  What fun!!!  And FAST!!



About 5 seconds and you've peeled, cored and sliced the apple!



Cool!




All sliced and set to boil in a bit of water.  This whole pot took less than 5 minutes!





Just thought I'd show the "work area"  haha.   Good fun!




Just cooked to mushy...



And put thru my trusty food mill to make a nice applesauce.




Into a big oven-safe pot - mixed in the spices - cloves, cinnamon, allspice and some nutmeg just because I like it!



Into the oven at 350 degrees for about 3 hours.  Pulled out to stir every time I remembered (about 4 times)



Stirred in about 4 cups of sugar.  Put back in the oven for another hour or so until it was the thickness I wanted.



Same process as the jelly - spooned into sterile jars and did a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. 



This is really, really good.....



Friday, August 15, 2014

Adding the color back

I've come to the conclusion that I just don't like the "natural look" of me with all this white hair all around....I like the idea of being "au-naturel", I just don't like how it looks on me right now.  It's all fuzzy and wild looking.  





So, I decided to jump back on the L'Oreal bandwagon for a while, maybe until it's all a nice silky reddish-white!! 



Thursday, August 14, 2014

Making a small batch of apple jelly

Dick and Lindy gave me some apples yesterday and I had a hankerin' for some apple jelly.  I haven't made any in years.  These apples remind me of the tree at Mom's house in appearance, but they are much more tart.  Good for jelly!




Just chopped them up and set them to boil in a little water.  I just cut off any obvious bad spots - I don't take the core out - it will be removed later in the process and it's just extra work that doesn't need to be done!



After several minutes of boiling, the pot is just a "soup" of apple!



Next I put the apples thru my trusty food mill.



This is what's left - seeds, stems, peeling.



I do a two step process to collect my juice.  I put the applesauce-y mixture thru a wire strainer first just to take out the big particles.



Then I put it thru layers of cheesecloth as the final step.


I got a little over 4 cups of thick juice.


   All set up for the final steps - sterilized jars, lids, some pectin and 4+ cups of sugar.


Just boiled the juice with the sugar and pectin for a couple of minutes until the mixture "curdled" on the spoon just right.  Ladled it into the jars, put the sterilized lids on and tightened the bands.


Into a boiling bath for 5 minutes.



All done!  I think that's a lot of jelly for 4 cups of juice!


Up close - forgot to mention that I sprinkled some cinnamon in the mixture - I just like mine with a little spice.


Overnite - all the lids "popped" to verify a good seal.  Robert tested it on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and declared it very good!  I took this jar to Dick and Lindy this morning as a thank you for the apples!


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Squash!

This summer has not been great for squash - so dry to start, to wet lately. 

I had just a few left - decided to do a "lite" dish using no oil  -  squash/onions/nutritional yeast/salt/pepper. 



Baked for about 40 minutes - it was nice - but not anywhere near the "comfort food" status of the good-ole fried in the pan with corn meal variety!



Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Sometimes a girl's just gotta take charge and move the darn tractor out of the way!


Monday, August 11, 2014

Fraidy Cats

We're actually enjoying Robert's cats....



Friday, August 08, 2014

Happy 80th to Shirley!

The Hayes boys really know how to throw a party!  Happy Birthday to Shirley!


There was a surprise for Shirley:




That's Keith Henderson - he's very good!  He put on a really nice show.




There was much dancing - Pat and his daughter Rachel:







And a cute photo of Dick and Lindy - blurry, sorry.  I need to hire a better photographer!




Thursday, August 07, 2014

Lunch

Yummy. Homemade humas and veggies. 




Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Veggies and basil!

It's that time of the year again, isn't it??

Dick and Lindy are being generous with their excess produce, of course....(the tomatoes are from my vines - in their garden!)



Lindy has a HUGE basil plant - she encouraged  me to take all I wanted.....so I snipped off quite a lot!

I've rinsed it and here I'm letting it dry a bit.  Isn't it lovely - it smelled fabulous! 



After it was mostly dry - I stripped off the leaves and placed on wax paper on a cookie sheet.



Into the freezer!!


A few hours later - quickly pulled it out of the freezer all crispy.



And then into a big baggie.....then quickly, while it was still frozen - I crushed it - balled it up - hit it with my hands - rolled a glass over it like a rolling pin.



 And this is what's left!   Just perfect flakes - much fresher than the dried variety.



Spaghetti for dinner!!  It was really yummy!