Friday, August 31, 2012

A Life Science Lesson

And now it's time to get back to nature, in the stuffed wild animal sense of the word. NOTE: if you are offended by hunting in general, you might want to stop reading here.

Like I said, instead of going to my sister's cabin in the wilderness, we stayed at her home in Twin Falls. Her husband and other members of her family were gone, having hiked 17 miles into the wilds of the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming to fish in the clear alpine streams.

My Brother-in-Law is an avid fisher and hunter. Has been since he was born. Comes from a long line of Men of the Rifle, Bow and Fly rod. My sister knew this when she married him, and they've have had to...compromise regarding the interior decor of their home. Besides the 3 humongous elk heads in their front room, and the diorama of a fox almost catching a pheasant in the entryway, my BIL has contained his trophies to one room right off the kitchen that looks like this:
Pretty impressive, right? A few of the inhabitants:
A Piranha:
I wouldn't want to meet this fella in the woods:
 There were several skulls that I couldn't identify.
 All in all quite a collection. And that's your Life Sciences lesson for today.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Let The Feasting Begin!

With all modesty, I can say that my mom taught us girls to be pretty darn good cooks. When we get together for a girl's weekend, we eat well, no doubt.

My mom usually makes her cinnamon-sugar covered jam biscuits for breakfast. Why don't I make these more often?
My sister and her daughter made Butter Dips to go along with Zuppa Toscada Soup one night. Soup dipping heaven!
There were several snack mixes to nosh on in between feasts. My favorite was this one:
Gooey Sweet Coconut Chex Mix

Time:15 minutes hands on + 20 minutes to set
Yield: about 15 cups
Recipe from my wonderful sister Alli Bahr

6 C Corn Chex Cereal
6 C Golden Graham Cereal
1 C slivered almonds
1 C sweetened coconut
1 C butter
1 C light corn syrup
1 C sugar

1. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper, or wax paper. If you don't have either of these, just spray the sheets with cooking spray and call it good. 
2. Find your self some Corn Chex Cereal and some Golden Grahams Cereal. Toss 6 cups of each into a large mixing bowl. 
3. Add 1 cup of coconut and 1 cup of slivered almonds.
4. Take a big wooden spoon and give it all a nice stir. 
5. Into a medium sized sauce pan place 1 cup butter, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup light corn syrup. 
6. Get the pan to the stove and bring it to a boil over medium high heat, stirring constantly. Let it boil for 4 minutes (keep stirring, won't you?). 
7. Pour the sugary sweet gooey delight from the pan over the top of the cereal/coconut mixture.
8. Stir the mixture well, making sure all of the cereal gets coated. 
9. Pour the mix out onto the lined cookie sheets. Let the yummy concoction cool and set for about 15-20 minutes. Don't be tempted to leave it in the your mixing bowl. It will stick together like crazy. Letting it set up on the sheets works a lot better. Once it has set up a bit, break it into chunks and store it in an airtight container. 

So, so good. No, we don't starve on our girl's weekend.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Baby Boo

This is B, otherwise known as Monkey or Boo. What fun it was to have such a sweet little one with us for a few days.
His schedule was a simple one. There were several choice: eat, sleep, swing in the baby swing, smile when someone baby-talked him, or be jiggled by a female member of his family. Eating seemed to be the most popular choice, by far. He also had his face washed by Ollie, who- as the perfect dog- loves babies.
This little guy is very, very loved.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Is This A Good Activity?

I mentioned yesterday that when we get together for a girl's weekend, we make crafts. My middle sister- with the help of her handy husband- brought all the pieces and parts to make the neatest photo collage hanger. Putting it all together required advanced woodworking skills like gluing and spray painting:

She might have been a little frustrated with all of us by the time it was all over.
Also, it may have been mentioned that such a frustration level might have been the demise of Homemaking Meetings as we used to know them. All I know is that if this is the level of our future crafts, I'm going to have to up my game to something spectacular like resin grape clusters or macrame pot hangers.
Look how cute the finished project is, hanging in my laundry room! I love it! I love it so much that I put my favorite picture of myself with Alvey the Goat on the second row, right next to the picture of Lindsey making the "loser" sign on her forehead and a few pictures down from Peter reading the funnies while pretending to use the bathroom at Shannon and Ben's house. Lots of good memories will be going on that board.
My other sister is a guru at card making. Every year she brings all of the pre-cut papers and instructs us on the gluing and bejeweling and stamping required to make these cute cards. (Grandma gets a little frustrated with the whole card making process. She might have to sit in a corner while the rest of us make cards next year.)
 My contribution was composition books that we covered with patterned paper, then we made them fancy with stickers, sayings and flowers. I made a few extra for my daughters and my VT-ing ladies.
It's fun to be creative together!

Monday, August 27, 2012

A Girl's Getaway

Every year my sisters, mom and I- along with other rotating family members, spend a few days together. We talk, make crafts, eat food, take pictures, watch movies, talk for hours and laugh, laugh, laugh. Usually we do all this at my sister's cabin, deep in the Idaho wilderness. But with this year's fires, the air up in that wilderness is very, very smokey. So we went to that sister's house in Twin Falls instead. It wasn't the wilderness, but with a view like this out the back door, no one was complaining.
This year's cast of girl's weekend characters included my mom:
My sister who was born first, whose house we descended upon:
That sister's cute DIL:
My sister who was born second:
That sister's daughter and her oh-so-sweet 8 week old little boy:
Ollie, the perfect dog:
And Smokie, the outdoor cat who desperately wants to be an indoor cat.
I'll be sharing some of the things we did together over the next few days. Boy, did we have fun! I think we should do it again next weekend.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Cowboy Candy

Ah- the first canning of the season, and it's something new and slightly strange. Candied Jalapenos! They remind me of the Pepper and Onion Relish at Harry & David's, only hotter!
This is also called Cowboy Candy...because cowboys must like them. Maybe I should send a jar up to Woodruff with Lindsey to see how it goes over. I'm planning on pouring this over cream cheese and scooping it all up with tortilla chips. Yum!

Candied Jalapenos
2 lbs. firm, fresh jalapeno peppers, washed, with membranes and seeds removed and sliced in 1/4 inch slices.
2 medium onions, chopped
1/4 c. finely chopped red pepper
2 c. apple cider vinegar
6 c. white sugar
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp.celery seeds
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
In a large pot, combine sugar and spices. Add cider vinegar and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the peppers, onion and red pepper and boil for 4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon or strainer to remove vegetables and put into clean 1/2 pint jars to with 1/4 inch of the top. Bring sugar liquid back to a boil and boil for 6 minutes. Pour boiled syrup over peppers. Wipe jars clean and apply a new canning lid and ring. Bottle any remaining liquid (The lady who wrote the recipe says it's good brushed on meat or added to potato salad. I am catching her vision...). Process in a water bath for 12 minutes. Remove from canner and cool completely. My batch made 5 half pints of peppers and 4 half pints of liquid.

I've found it helps to have a handy adult child (Brian) clean out those jalapeno membranes and seeds. I even let him wear gloves to protect his delicate skin!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Rose Ranch Horse Show

Around here, the horse show season is about 3/4th of the way through. We had a show last weekend in South Jordan and the temperature hit 100 both days. It was hot! Here are a few of my favorite shots from the show.

Of course there was lots of jumping going on. It was a horse show, after all.

 There was also horse snot wiping:
 And cute girls having fun:
 And girls helping other girls:
 And horse loves for the good boys.