Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

We don't have anyone coming to the house. Jonathan is working his new job in Lake Jackson so he can't come up. Then I found out that Joey and Marilyn had other plans and so did my mother. We seldom know about Sam's kids' plans until the last minute, so he said, "Let's go out to eat." Suits me! We will probably go to Luby's in Longview...I still want dressing. ;o) If his son with girlfriend and daughter with husband decide to come over, we'll all go out to eat!

I did cook one day this week. First:


1/2 pound butter
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teapoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups old fashioned oats, uncooked

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; add to butter mixture. Mix well.

At this point you are supposed to stir in 1 cup raisins. I divided the batter in half. In one half, I stirred in 1/2 cup raisins. In the other half, I stirred in 1/2 cup or so of sem-sweet chocolate chips. ;o)

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungeased cookie sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to wire rack. Store sealed.

I forgot to take photos while mixing and baking. And you won't find a photo of them being eaten. IF I had enough left to take a photo of now, I would.

For supper that night, I made chicken and dumplings. I've never made a good homemade dumpling. My drop dumplings always just cooked apart and we had chicken with 'thickening.' So, I've always cheated using cheap canned biscuits or flour tortillas cut into strips. Until...Cooking With Friends...the cookbook the Friends of the Daingerfield Public Library compiled and had published.

This recipe was submitted by Harthia Bockman who got it from her Aunt Lena Leach. Aunt Lena - I called her that too - lived across the road from my first husband, Ron, and me while we lived in the last house that we rented from Aunt Lena's niece. Tying into an old friendship, I am excited to have Aunt Lena's recipe for dumplings. I am going to post with more accurate measurements than "enough flour to make a thick dough"...

The cookbook calls this "Tim's Favorite Chicken and Dumplings." I am going to call it:


1 cup milk
4 tablespoons melted shortening or oil (I need to fess up...I use lard)
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3-4 cups flour

Mix dough ingredients until very stiff. Pour out onto floured board and knead in enough flour to make the dough less sticky. Roll out in thin layer. Slice into strips. Drop dough strips into boiling broth. Continue to boil. After you have all the dumplings in the broth, turn it down to a low boil and cook 10 to 15 minutes. Taste test a dumpling to make certain that they are done. Here, the recipe says to add a stick of butter and 1/2 cup milk...I did not - see note about the lard. ;o) Add chicken and let simmer a few minutes.

I boiled a whole fryer in enough water seasoned with salt and pepper to cover adding chopped onion, celery, and carrots. When the fryer was cooked, I took it out to cool and picked the meat off the bones. I used only half the meat for my pot of dumplings.

I guess you can put anything in this that you want. I had a portobella mushroom that had to be cooked so I diced it and added it to the broth. We liked it...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I Washed My Cell Phone...

...back in April. I came in from subbing at the high school and jerked my black slacks off so that I could wash dark clothes. Pulled on a pair of shorts...put the clothes in the washer...went out back to water plants. Ten minutes later, I slapped my phone. Moan. My Motorola Razr drowned...mouth-to-mouth resusitation did not work. That slim little phone had all sorts of features...but no mouth! At the Verizon store, I let the cute little girl talk me into a LG...she said it got better reception. After months of yes it is it's not...yes it is...NO IT'S NOT!... I haven't dropped that many calls since we moved here in 2004 and had Cingular.

Sam and I went to Longview yesterday to buy me a Motorola...A Moto 755 I think. Purple. Oh! Yes! So much better than black - my only two choices. Sam asked, "Why purple?" I said, "Because black is boring." ;o)

After Olive Garden, he headed west on the Loop. He wanted to look at the Toyota 4-Runners again. We test drove one back in August when it was soooo hot. Amidst their tearing down and remodeling, we located the same salesman we talked to in August in a portable office building. We drove a white 4-Runner with leather seats (I wanted to go back to cloth - it's not hot in the summer or cold in the winter), then for some reason Sam wanted to drive the Sequoia...too big for what we need. The 4-Runner will pull the motorcycle trailer. We have a Ford diesel pickup for the

We were talking about not wanting leather and the other froo-froo stuff so the salesman looked up another 4-Runner...dark gray with cloth seats...and it had the trailer hitch. Dark gray wasn't exactly on our list of favorite colors...but hey, this was the year-end clearance. It drove just like the white one with leather seats...So, remembering that we went to Longview for a new cell phone and to eat at Olive Garden - this is what I drove home last night:

Um...wanna buy a 2000 Acura 3.2 TL? less than 109,000 miles at the moment...well kept...serviced regularly...