Cookbooks – a beginning

I am not a very adventurous cook, in fact, calling myself a cook at all is a stretch.  Ben does most, if not all, of the cooking.  For awhile I was baking breads and desserts regularly, then the girls were diagnosed with celiac and that kind of all fell apart.  Fast forward five years and now I am ready to get back into the thick of things.  Five years is a long time…it shouldn’t have taken that long for me to feel the urge, but it did.  It started with a cookbook I saw for sale on instagram.  I follow @presleypigs and she sells vintage items, many of which are books.  I have purchased a couple children’s books from her and saw the Gourmets Guide to New Orleans cookbook listed awhile back.  I picked it up and read it from beginning to end.  It has recipes from several famous New Orleans establishments including Brennan’s – which Ben and I both have fond memories of visiting.  Some of the recipes I will never make, some caused Blackburn to gross out just by reading – turtle soup – but some I will attempt to make.

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That being said, my interest in cooking and baking has returned.  Today I saw another vintage cookbook – The Household Searchlight Recipe Book from 1941 – posted for sale and debated about it all day while at work.  This cookbook seemed to have a lot of information and goes back to the roots of cooking and preserving at home.  When I got home and saw it was still up for grabs I jumped at the chance to own.  As soon as it arrives I will share some of the recipes.  My attempts at making these recipes gluten-free could be scary, messy and plain painful, but I am ready to try.

If anyone has any cookbooks or single recipes, vintage or current, that they recommend let me know.

Life Lately:

We received this amazing set of Nancy Drew books from Ben’s Aunt Kathy.  We have started reading them in order – a little bit each night…

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Working on a backyard overhaul.  I love old bricks, especially when they are covered with moss.

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This will keep him busy for hours…

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The Father-Daughter Dance happened…the theme was “Red Carpet”.

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Sometimes Vita just has to wear a costume…even if she is only watching television.

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Fairview’s Young Authors’ Night…I love that the school does this “project”.  We have all their books saved and its fun to look back on.

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Visiting family…learning more gun safety and target practice.

 

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We also celebrated Ben’s grandmother’s 80th birthday party. The kids had a blast playing with all their cousins and it was great to see family from out-of-state.

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A trip to the library

We went to the Corryville Library this morning to find a biography book for Vita’s class project.  She has to become the person and present a speech and use props then give a short report on their life.  We got a book called Stone Girl, Bone Girl: The Story of Mary Anning.  I must admit I had no clue who she was and am looking forward to learning more alongside Vita.

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Blackburn grabbed a Star Wars graphic novel and Isabella picked a wrapped book.  After you check it out you get to unwrap and see what it is.  It ended up being The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner, it may be a little advanced for her but I told her we would read it together and discuss each chapter.

Before leaving Ben snapped a picture of the Library’s ceiling, so beautiful.

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Also, here is a picture of the kids’ Valentine’s Day card from my uncle.  Love the pop-up action!

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The views from our windows have been filled with snow.

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We are off to a late indoor soccer game.  Wish us luck!

 

School Projects

Isabella had a project to write some thoughts about who she is.  Below is her report…

photo 4My two favorite lines: I believe in school and I dream I can fly.

Vita’s book project was a non-fiction informational book.  She picked Crystals and Gems.  It was out of her normal reading ability, but we powered through and explained a lot of big words.  Her project was to make an accordion book with cover page, ten fact pages and a summary telling what she learned.  She learned that crystals are in a lot of unexpected items and she decided that her favorite use for crystals was as jewelry.

photo 3 photo 2-2Not to be left out on the project making, Blackburn made a robot.  The plastic forks are ears.  Tell me again why I buy christmas gifts when household “trash” would make him happy.

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Surprise gift

I received a surprise gift in the mail a couple of days ago.  My uncle sent me a bronze paperweight that is now sitting proudly on my desk.  The quote says, “Either write something Worth Reading or Do Something Worth Writing.” I have several things that I have written over the years.  I’m not sure they’re worth reading but maybe someday I will share with others.  On the subject of writing, I have several diaries from when I was younger and although I haven’t written in them since my high school years, I still like the idea of collecting thoughts and feelings in one place to preserve.  In a way this is my diary now, I don’t put all my hopes and fears here, but there are glimpses.  It makes me very happy to report that Vita has begun keeping a diary.  One that she hides under her mattress and writes in while hunching over so no one can see.  She tightly grips her pencil and stops every once in a while to gather her thoughts before furiously scribbling them on the paper.  I see myself in her at these moments.  A girl who gets excited about a new journal, sharpened pencil and a pretty ribbon to bookmark my page.  There is something wonderful about putting words on paper.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABook No. 4

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

My favorite line from the book is “It was a stick – a stick that was just right for smacking a snow-covered tree.”

After all there is nothing like standing under a tree covered in snow and smacking a stick on the branch as the snow falls all around you.

Big Tree Plantation

On Friday we went to the Big Tree Plantation in Morrow, Ohio to cut down our Christmas tree. This has been a nice tradition that Ben and I started before the kids were even born. We got a late start this year (I’m really not a morning person) and paid dearly for our tardiness. The farm was packed with people. We actually had to wait for a saw and sled. We looked at short trees, tall trees, fat trees and skinny trees. One tree had a top like Cindy Lou Hoo’s hair in The Grinch. I wanted this tree but all three kids said no. Eventually we chose a tall and skinny tree and Ben chopped it down. We had time to kill before the tree was brought back to the barn so we visited the gift shop, saw some animals and the kids started their usual bickering about who said what and who touched who.

Once home it took no time for the lights and ornaments to cover the tree and the stockings to be hung on the mantle. So far no ornament casualties. Everyday more handmade cards, art and mysterious envelopes appear under the tree.

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The kids thought this looked liked grandpa.

THE KIDS THOUGHT THIS LOOKED LIKED GRANDPA.

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Book 3: Say Hello to the Snowy Animals.

A neat book that rhymes and has touch and feel animals. All the animals are ones that live in snowy locations. This was a gift from their uncle in 2008 and is a quick, fun read.

Thankful

Last Thursday we celebrated Thanksgiving at home, just the five us. Ben cooked an excellent dinner that we all agreed was his best yet.  There are so many things for us to be grateful for this year, but mostly I am thankful for stability.  Stable jobs, a home, health insurance, family for support, healthy children and the ability to compromise and work through any obstacles that present themselves.  Having that stability makes all the difference.

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Book No. 2 for the December book marathon was chosen by Vita.  For those of you who know her this choice will come as no surprise.  If you ever need a Barbie, Fairy or Strawberry Shortcake book, Vita will have it.  Although I’m not a huge fan of Barbie, this is the classic Nutcracker tale.  All of us agree that the best part of this book is the illustrations by Robert Sauber.  The colors in this book are very rich and vivid.

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I think this Christmas might be a good time to try to squeeze in a trip to see The Nutcracker.  The last time we went Blackburn was just a baby and he slept through the performance.

A book a day

For December the kids and I have decided to read a Christmas or winter book every night. We gathered them all up and will take turns choosing, then we will share here. Tonight’s pick was made by Isabella. She picked the Berenstain Bears Meet Santa Bear. I love these stories from my childhood. The kids enjoyed it and we all agreed that it would be so cool to live in the tree house. What are some of your favorite December books? Feel free to join in.

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Reading time with Vita

I’m going to start sharing the books that Vita reads so we can keep a record of her accomplishments and make sure we are not reading the same books over and over again.  Reading is the one thing she has struggled with since kindergarten.  She took speech class up until this year and it help tremendously but at the same time I think it made her focus on each and every letter and each individual sound of those letters, which doesn’t always work when reading.  There are a lot of silent letters in words!  Tonight she read  Just My Friend and Me by Mercer Mayer with very little help from me.   She had trouble with the words higher, separate and Louisville Slugger.  The best part was she understood what she was reading and was able to summarize the story at the end.  I remember reading the Mercer Mayer books when I was little.  I think I need to keep my eye out for more of these books since they usually involve a good lesson too.

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