"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." ~George Bernard Shaw

"Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time." ~Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thanksgiving Recipes

What the heck you say? What does this
alien in a car have to do with Thanksgiving recipes?
Not a gosh darn thing-but it got your attention....right?
Well- it's only October 30th, but our darling Grace wanted several recipes
for Thanksgiving as she and Radu will be having
their first Thanksgiving in New York City!
So- Grace and Radu this blog is for you!
Love and kisses and bon appetit!

Kathe's Turkey Dressing
(as taught to her by her sweet Mother years and years ago)

One package dry stuffing mix with herbstwo chopped celery stalks, one med onion
one egg, some milk and a blender is handy! Pour bread cubes into a large!!! bowl add herbs
(if you couldn't find stuffing with herbs add some sage, parsley and thyme)
Add the chopped onions/celery and egg to blender. Pour about a cup of milk into the blender. This should then be poured over the dressing and mixed well with your hands.
Now you are ready to stuff the bird! Turn the turkey over and stuff the backfirst and secure it with toothpicks or metal picks. Then turn it over and stuff the front. I kind of compress the stuffing a bit with my hands to make it less messy as you stuff it. It goes in easier. After you have stuffed the front tie the legs together with some string and pop it into the oven following the directions I wrote below! If you have leftover stuffing you couldn't get into the bird- just take a oven safe container and put the stuffing in it with a bit of the stock added for moisture and cover with a lid or foil. Bake for 30 minutes after you take the turkey out.
Keep in the fridge until you bake it.

Roasted Turkey a la Kathe

Allow one pound of turkey per person plus a bit more if you want leftovers. So a 10 pound turkey would be a good size for 6-8 people. ( I don't think they come any smaller)
Buy fresh if at all possible, otherwise you have to thaw the turkey and that sometimes becomes problematic. Remove all the turkey parts from the inside of the turkey-
do this the day before to make sure the turkey isn't frozen inside-and check both ends as sometimes there will be a surprise if you don't!
Put the inside parts in a pot with some roughly cut up onion and celery. Add enough water to cover and some bay leaf and thyme and sage . Bring to a boil and lower to simmer for several hours. This will be your stock for the gravy. Refrigerate this if you are doing this the day before.

Meanwhile, put the turkey on a rack breast side up and place that in a roasting pan.
At this point you will stuff the turkey with the dressing and rub it with
a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper it and pop it into the 325 degree oven on the lowest rack for appx 15 min per pound. However, test doneness with a meat thermometer. The thickest part of the thigh should register 170 degrees and the stuffing 165 degrees. Remove the turkey from the pan to a platter, cover with foil and let rest for 20 minutes befor carving.
This gives you time to make the gravy!

Kathe's Gravy (as taught to her by her dad years ago)

Use the roasting pan that has all the browned bits as your pan to make the gravy.
Carefully tilt the pan and skim out most of the fat. Turn on the burner to med/med-high. Add
3-4 Tablespoons of flour to the pan and stir/scrape to incorporate all the flour into the browned bits and juices to make a roux (just like making a cream sauce for onions). Once allthe flour has been incorporated add at least 3 cups of the stock you made. Stir quickly with a wisk to blend the floury bits with the stock. After a bit it will start to thicken and become gravy. Add more stock if it's too thick. Once done pour into a gravy boat or whatever is handy to use for serving the gravy. An ordinary sauce pan with a lid works just fine!
The Ubiquitous Mashed Potato
Take as many potatoes as you need- figure one - two medium new potatoes per person, cut in quarters, put in pot of cold water to cover, boil/simmer for 20 min or until soft when pricked with fork, drain, put in 1 tablespoon butter per potato, smash with potato masher, add hot milk- just enough to smash and make the right consistency-add a bit til it seems right. That's it! I also like to put in finely chopped fresh parsley or minced green onion tops for added flavor. Surprisingly-parsley is yummy. You can also put in whole cloves of garlic in the pot with the potatoes and it will cook with the potatoes-then carefully drain so they stay in the pot after the potatoes are done and smash in with the rest. FYI I do not peel my potatoes.
Also you can use a mixer/beater to whip the potatos if you prefer. YUM

Kathe's Cranberry Sauce
One 12 oz package cranberries,1 cup sugar, 2/3 cup water,
orange zest from one orange, cinnamon to taste
add berries, sugar and water to sauce pan
cook berries with sugar and water til berries pop
and sauce is slightly thick add orange zest and cinnamon
Let cool and serve or refrigerate for up to one day.

Paul's Requested Dutch Apple Pie
( discovered last year...now will forever be a tradition)

click on the photo to enlarge so you can read it! I use parchment paper on to bottom
and the sides of the springform pan. That way nothing sticks! Very rich and yummy.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

It Was a Gorgeous Indian Summer Day

It's a sunny day and hard to believe it's
already the 25th of October. We drove over
to Tualatin for the 5th Annual Pumpkin Regatta....

Children were dancing......

....painting pumpkins......

...while "adults" carved and scooped out
giant pumpkins that became.......
boats to race with!

There were quite a few pumpkins....
Everyone was trying out their boats
before the first race began........

Here's the winner of the first race.....
notethe OSU Beaver gnawing on the
U of O duck...hahahah

Here's this years World Champion pumpkin.
A mere 1528 pounds! Heavier than some cars!

......and finally here's a video of one of the
contestants trying out his squashy craft....

Thursday, October 23, 2008

It's Fall and I'm Back in the House a Bit More!

We have discovered a new great place for coffee in Lake Oswego.
It's called Blue Joe's, located on 2nd and B street. It has delicious
coffee, superb service and great atmosphere-a home away from home!

Back in the house more translates to I am cooking more and I am making
more baby quilts and starting up some Christmas gifts! Below is a baby
quilt I am making for Chantal and Berry's little boy due in December...

Grace asked me just a few days ago for my Pumpkin Pie recipe which
is found in the Joy of Cooking cookbook-so here it is Grace:

First off you have to cook the pumpkin.....

Then you make the pie! Bon appetit!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

We're almost at the end of the bloody campaign trail.....

It hasn't been easy being my sweetie pie's campaign manager,but we've managed to achieve almost all the tasks and goals that we set for ourselves. Being a team of two, along with a few stalwart walkers and talkers and a lot of faithful supporters,
we have managed to cover a lot of neighborhoods going door to door in the last few weeks. And now, that the many forums and "talkathons" and TV appearances are behind us, we are really able to relax and complete the neighborhood door to door meetings making new friends as we go along.
Speaking of new friends, it has been an absolute pleasure during the campaign to really get to know all the candidates. Even though we may not always agree, there has been a high level of respect and camaraderie amongst the seven City Council candidates. It has been an unforgettable experience and one both Russell and I
will remember with positive feelings-regardless of who wins-all of us have comported ourselves with grace and good humor.
In other words, we are all winners and our city is lucky to have such wonderful citizens willing to sacrifice family time for the good of the city. I am proud to have been a small part of this process and I thank each candidate and wish everyone good luck on November 4th.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Signs of old times

Russell needs to ride his bike even more now
with the economy sliding downwards...
we've pulled our remaining funds out of the
market and will wait this one out for awhile.
I really don't know how the US Government
can expect us to fund this "bailout" when we
are all broke. Will there just be a mass printing
of more money? Yikes.

Here's an old familiar photo-cars lining up
for the cheapest gas in town ...
and in the state!

It was $2.98 two days ago and is
now $2.95.....note the radio station
call numbers.....