Saturday, October 31, 2009

Caramel Apple and Movie Night.


In honor of Reformation Day, since we don't do Halloween, we had a party. It did get bumped up a day, but we are calling it our Reformation Day party anyhow. Because it was our party and we can call it what we want.

I was baking three loaves of bread. Ashlee wanted a heart. So here is Ashlee's heart on a platter, formed with a few bashes and tugs. Try not to take that as a metaphor for life.

Folks started arriving about noon, and we had to get started on the caramel pretty quickly. This was a recipe I used last year, and it is TO DIE FOR! The girls had never done caramel so I handed the recipe and ingredients over to them.

Bringing in back up, for all that constant stirring.

It went just a little past soft ball stage, I could tell by the smell when I came in the room. Remind me to shop for a candy thermometer with a clip on it. But despite the rapidly thickening caramel, they managed to coat them all!

But check out that surface area! I did not buy enough white chocolate to cover that. LOL

Not a problem. They just spread instead of dipped.

Who gets the leftovers.....

And this very generous young man worked tirelessly for hours on getting an old computer running again for Michael. What a blessing!

Everybody loves truffles. And this had a nice surprise. Cayenne pepper. Two tough guys, feeling the heat...

Now we are talking! The final semi-sweet chocolate coat, to be sprinkled with butter brickle bits. We called this "Leah's Dress in A Pan". Silky, yummy, dreamy chocolate, to smooth out all the rough spots on the candied apples and fix every problem that exists in the universe.

Let's see what this young lady is up to...

Mmmmmmmmm. The main dish for tonight - Pumpkin Stew.

Beginning to pile into the room to watch the BBC mini-series of Pride and Prejudice. It was not the typical BBC dry flick, but actually very good.

When people begin to fall asleep on the furniture, yours truly included, you know the evening is being milked for all it's worth. We love each other and I'm so grateful for friends who are like family.

Happy Reformation Day!



Friday, October 30, 2009

Dancing With the Stars.


These guys all shine, in my opinion. Little Maddie is really looking forward to her first ball, and a ball gown is being sewn for her, even as we speak. Here she is learning her first waltz.

I'm not going to show you ME learning the waltz. It isn't pretty!

The Broomstick Waltz is always a crowd favorite. There is one less lady in the group, and when the music starts, the gentlemen must quickly change to a partner they have never danced with before. The last gent out, gets the broom to dance with until the music begins again. The men have a good time hamming this up!

The fun really begins at our practices, concerning this dance. There are never enough men. So often, the ladies will stand in as men, so everyone can dance. However, it's a little hard to tell.

It was hilarious yesterday, watching one boy repeatedly chase girls to dance with them, as they ran in the opposite direction, looking for a girl to dance with themselves, while they stood in for men.

"I just know this is a girl, I CAN TELL!" And they are all running away from him as he is in complete confusion. LOL

Always keeping their cool. These two are never at a loss with the ladies...

Have you ever seen the Blues Brothers play patty-cake?
Brought to you from our sponsors...
OK, I think this may be their cool handshake, but I am not staking my life on it.

Believe it or not, this is apparently a square-dancing move. Looks scary to me.

No one threw up, but they were certainly dizzy.

Social dance. All the fun. No pressure.



Thursday, October 29, 2009

LINES! We've got lines!


We were driving home from our latest dance practice. We turned onto our little home stretch, and...


They had painted lines on our road while we were gone! Weird! We cannot decide if we like it or not, but we were so mesmerized that I took about 50 photos all the way down the 1/2 mile stretch.

Mercifully, I will not post them all.

Just a few.

Yup. All the way home. But not down our driveway. I'd sure love it if they'd pave our driveway, though.

It looks alright, I guess.

Did anyone actually look at them all? LOL



Kefir Grains / Kombucha - Fermented drinks Part 3


I'm just being busy doing housework today. The house has been sobbing in the night... "It's been so long since you paid any attention to me!"

So today it's getting a lot of attention.

In the mean time, I wanted to show you the changing of the milk in the kefir grains.

So I'll sit on my tuffet and give you the low down.
Here they are, all curds and whey.

Shake them up a bit, to break up the curds.

I'm not going to save this kefir yet, so I'll just let it go down the drain.

The kefir is about the thickness of cream.

Here they are, completely drained.

Back into a new jar.

Don't they look wholesome and good?

Add milk, and back they go to ferment again.

And here is the progress on the Kombucha SCOBY. What's it been, about a week?

The bathroom mirrors and sink are calling....