"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

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Poetry Potluck: Nature: Plants, Creatures and the Cosmos

Plants, Creatures and the Cosmos

Emerald green home
It's beauty turns into wings
And heads to the stars

Saturday, November 27, 2010

T is for Thanksgiving recipes

Brought back from my archives is the following post-
I am so far behind in my ABC recipes that I am cheating
Next week I will have U and V recipes. Hope you all had a great
family weekend-wherever you are! Cheers!
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 all the 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 above to enlarge so you can read it! 
I use parchment paper on the bottom
and the sides of the springform pan. 
That way nothing sticks! Very rich and yummy.
Happy Cooking!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Magpie Tales 42-On the Edge

On the edge
Meanly tarnished from abuse
Just push me

Magic & Miracles, Wonder & Wizardry-Potluck Poetry

Grab a wand
With a twist of the wrist-poof!
It's amazing

Give a hand
With a smile helping someone
It's happiness

Open your eyes
To our beautiful planet
Cherish it

All of us
In a blink of an eye
Can be magic
Can be miracles
Can be wonderful
Can't we?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Magpie #41 Tick Tock

Tick tock tick tock
That tireless clock
It's only demand
Is for my hand
To turn and wind
Be ever so kind
And then it will
Continue to till
The furrows of time
While I write this silly rhyme
Bong bong bong
I skitter along
Closely on the floor
Zipping to a door
I can't get caught
My nerves are taut
With fear I shake
I don't dare make
The slightest noise
As it annoys
That damn cat
looking twice
For cute little mice

Friday, November 12, 2010

Magpie Tales 40, 40.5 Monkey Business and Jingle Potluck

Traveling in Mexico has kind of
shortened my ability to blog.
So I am cheating a bit and using the following
for both Magpie Tales and Jingles Potluck Poetry.I hope that's okay?
First I googled Capuchine Monkeys because of Willow's photo prompt for this week's
Magpie Tale and came up with this website:
How dare they????????

Capuchine babies for sale

How many dollars per tail?

Ripped from their mothers hearts

How could anyone take part?


After I posted the above- I wanted to write something a lot more posisitve-so here's a second try for Magpie Tales and also for Jingle's Potluck Poetry:

Magpie 40.5 and Jingles Potluck Poetry- this week's theme is Moods, Feelings and Emotions

My children are little monkeys-

hanging from trees and swinging with ease-

life is so simple wanting only to please-

their thoughts are wise under those blond curls

much more valuable than a string of pearls


When my youngest son was only 4 years old he said to me-

"Are you happy because it's a sunny day?"

With a start I heard those words and realized that I was allowing the weather to affect how I behaved. From then on I viewed each day as a gift and not a bother if it wasn't a sunny day. He helped me see how ridiculous I was to let myself get into such a bad habit. A wise child indeed.

Monday, November 08, 2010

A Kitchen in Mexico

A Kitchen in Mexico


Peaceful family space

Simply done

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Waterfall Paradise

Yesterday we went 1 1/2 hour into the Sierra Madres where we spent an enjoyable day hiking up to the falls, playing in the falls and having a delicious picnic. All of this surrounded by countless butterflies. Here are only a few of the photos I took of our wonderful day.
Part of the falls-there were pools we could climb
into and soak our cares away...oops-we're
in Mexico and we have no cares here!
Lunch is served-yummy beef stew, tortillas,
rice, refried beans and an avacado sauce that
was superb! Our drinks were from a dried Jamaica flower
Very refreshing.

Later after we were back our hotel the baby turtles
were released- those are Dave's feet....
We had a stellar day!

Saturday, November 06, 2010

We love Zihuatanejo!

Good old Zihuatanejo........we come here every year
and always always have a wonderful time....
The view from our breakfast table...
My artist studio on the beach!
For more photos click here:

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Magpie 39...Roosters

I am not Chicken Little

My world isn't falling down

I am King of the Backyard

From sun up to sun down

My hens run in front of me

Turning up great bugs to eat

I am such a lucky rooster

Life here is such a treat


Years ago we began to have backyard chickens.

Only hens and just for eggs and garden pest eradication-

plus the bonus of sheer entertainment for us watching them.

At one point we only had two hens as we had "lost"

3 hens due to racoons, neighborhood dogs and hawks.

So Russell fenced the backyard and we got some

fertile eggs from a neighbor and I slipped the eggs under our

broody hens. 21 days later the chicks began to hatch

and as fast as they would hatch the hens would kill them.

What the heck? Fortunately, I rescued one chick and the

two last eggs not hatched. It was early morning and so I

went back to bed with the injured chick and two eggs with a

slightly warm heating pad. By the time I had finished the morning

paper the remaining eggs had hatched. Russell got a small box

and we placed the three chicks under a light bulb for warmth

with their water and chick food.

They thrived and grew and as the days went by we had

to get bigger and bigger boxes to accomodate their growth.

The last box was the largest moving box that we could find.

At that point they resembled popcorn as they attempted to fly.

We figured they were big enough to graduate from living

in a box in Russell's den and it was time to go to the coop.

The hens were a bit perplexed about the teenagers showing

up, but after a bit of adjusting the pecking order all was calm.

Until the chick that had been injured grew up to be a rooster.

HAH! There was a bit of chicken justice doled out to those hens.

Eventually we sent Rocky and his harem to our friends

farm as his crowing was beginning to bother some

of our neighbors. Now we just have hens and we replace missing

hens with young hens. We still love watching our hens scratch

around in the dirt eating up the slug eggs and being so cute in

their chicken social ways. Not to mention the very delicious

eggs that they give us.