New Year’s 2013

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New Year's 2013

Barbara and Gerry in the house!

**I just need to insert here that I accidentally moved from this post and lost the whole darn post.  Save people.  SAVE!**

It has become a tradition for Barbara and Gerry to come for New Year’s at our house.  This year they stayed in a hotel so the girls could swim in the pool!  The pool was out of commission for the first day but then up and running the next.  The first year we did this, Barbara and our neighbor Pam sorted through hundreds of socks from the girls babyhood, toddlerhood, and littlegirlness.  This year Barbara and Maggie sorted through some photos for me, and Barbara and Gerry helped me prep vegetables.  Another tradition of ours that that I, Michele, get to think big (big mess) when it comes to the meal, and I can make something new.  This year we had Kung Pao Pork, Cashew Chicken, and Amaretto Rice Pudding.  The first two delicious recipes came by way of

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The links to the recipes are included.  Preparing the meat in both cases meant using baking soda in a really interesting way.  Baking soda and powder have been themes of the weekend, starting with me running out, and ending with Bobo (Gerry) asking about its chemical composition and uses which we discussed at length at breakfast at Wild Oats.  Only to then be told, in a tweet from a friend in Florida, because of the Great Baking Powder Depletion of last weekend (apparently I was devastated enough that I shared it with the world) that “today” (Dec 30) was “National Sodium Bicarbonate Day”.  Wow!  Holly B. stayed over with Josie and Maggie hung out with them sometimes and us others.  The rice pudding was from Barefoot Contessa Family Style and was blogged about in the past, I believe.

Here are some pictures of our evening.

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Once upon a time, I would have written more than one post about our winter break, but now, I can only manage one, with a couple different topics.

Last Sunday we went to visit Kelli, Andrew, Sylvie, and Mae.  Thank you Sylvie and Mae for letting my kids talk your ears off and for showing them your rooms and hanging out.  How cute your rooms were (and how clean) was all they talked about on the way back.  Thank you for letting me, and my hurt back, take over the giant red chair and for waiting on me hand and foot.  We had homemade noodles and the most delicious sour dough bread and cherry cobbler and almond cake (Mae!) and kale salad and carrots with delicious baby capers.  Everything was so good.  We didn’t take any pictures, so the below will have to represent our time together.

Ditto.

For when I want to make bread like Kelli does.

This pic will have to represent us all even though Andrew, Jim, Josie, and Maggie are missing.

This pic will have to represent us all even though Andrew, Jim, Josie, and Maggie are missing.

This photo represents that there was storm a brewing the whole time we were there.  And that this year we have already seen a LOT of snow.  And Michele's hope that there won't be so much in the new year so she doesn't have to cancel school

This photo represents that there was storm a brewing the whole time we were there. And that this year we have already seen a LOT of snow. And Michele’s hope that there won’t be so much in the new year so she doesn’t have to cancel school

This tiny stack of books that Michele got for Christmas represents the giant piles of books the Rosenstein/Pryor clan had under their tree.

This tiny stack of books that Michele got for Christmas represents the giant piles of books the Rosenstein/Pryor clan had under their tree.

Out of baking powder. Although there was just enough to make cookies.

Out of baking powder. Although there was just enough to make cookies.

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Aforementioned cookies.

Aforementioned cookies.

For when I want to make bread like Kelli does.

Ditto.

Kelli shared the recipe for the noodles on her blog and I am including the link here since one of the major purposes of THIS blog is to help me keep track of what people liked and where the recipe is so I can make it again.  Here it is.  fourgreenacres.com

Okay, what else?  Well a few pictures from Christmas, including pictures of Jim’s favorite cookies.  The recipe is as follows:

  • Make up Nestle Toll House Cookies recipe, but make sure you put in a generous 2 1/2 cups of flour.
  • Form them into two rolls, press a divot into the log all the way down, pipe raspberry (or whatever you like) jam along the channel (I put a bunch in a small plastic baggie, cut off one of the corners, and pipe it in that way.
  • Bake at 350 til done.
  • Make a glaze with powdered sugar, milk/cream, and a little vanilla/lemon/almond extract and put all over.

This time I inserted a gallery.  Yeah, my new teapot is sideways, sorry.  And there is a mysterious cartoon picture of a book that represents the new blog I made for the bookclub.  Enjoy, in any case.

Last but not least, by request, my mother’s pie crust recipe.  I realized that I NEVER see her printing (very nice, Mom).  Trained by the nuns all those years, she writes cursive almost exclusively and despite protestations, beautifully.

Michele

A pretty amazing pie that I haven't made in a long time.  It's here because of the pie crust part but it is a great pie.

A pretty amazing pie that I haven’t made in a long time. It’s here because of the pie crust part but it is a great pie.

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Here’s the crust!

Note on the pie crust:  Mom usually says this, but chilling the dough for 1/2 an hour will help roll it out.  Also I don’t use a pastry cloth so don’t worry about that.

Oh and I have to celebrate having a shower that works as it should.  This is all on Jim and the fact that taking a shower doesn’t require a screw driver and the senses of a fighter pilot (never knew when the water is going to turn scalding or freezing) is awesome. The process even included Handyman Jim (have we met?) installing a shower head.

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