Back in the Day

In 1991, the Navy transferred us move to Maine - Brunswick Naval Air Station to be exact. There was no internet. We didn't have cable tv and there were only a few stations with decent reception. My two children were not homeschooling and I had time to cook. The pace of life was much slower in Maine. I loved Maine. I used to listen to a radio show called Yankee Kitchen and an older man named Gus Saunders took calls from listeners (usually grandma-age) who would call in with their favorite recipes and other interesting personal tidbits of their lives. Gus wrote the recipes down, ingredient by ingredient and I would follow suit, too, if the recipe intrigued me. One funny thing about this show - he would frequently say KA (ie, 2 cups of KA). It took me a LONG time to figure out he was talking about King Arthur flour - the beloved flour of New England. Oh, another word was "hamburg" instead of hamburger. I miss those days.

Here is a recipe I heard on Yankee Kitchen from one of his listeners:

Picture taken before baking.

Scottish Oat Breakfast Bread

1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
1 ½ cups oats
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup raisins, plump
2/3 cup butter, melted and cooled
1/3 cup milk
1 egg, slightly beaten

Combine first seven ingredients in large bowl and mix well. Add butter, milk, and egg stirring with a fork to moisten. Shape dough in ball and place on greased/floured baking sheet. Press into 8-in circle. Cut into 8 wedges and bake at 425’ for 15-18 minutes. Serve with honey or preserves. These are similar to scones.


Cream Puffs

I got in the mood to make cream puffs the other day. The first time, I used a recipe from The "puffs" were small and collapsed after they cooled down. I knew there was a better way. The next time, I used the same recipe, but followed Marjorie Standish's directions from my Cooking Down East cookbook given to me by my dear friend Jan in Maine. Mrs. Standish's recipe had me split the recipe into 12 cream puffs and cook them for 50 minutes instead of the 20 minutes I had previously cooked them. These made glorious looking puffs which held their shape beautifully after baking.

I followed Marjorie's cream filling recipe and liked it okay, but next time added a heaping spoon full of real whipped cream. And now we have the perfect winner. This will definitely be a great dessert to make for company. Both the cream filling and puffs can be made ahead of time, just split and fill before serving.



Pearly is LOVING volleyball. She is a young 8th grader and technically would be in 7th grade if she were in public school. But she was invited to play volleyball with our homeschool volleyball league. The team plays against private schools in the general area. She's about 6 feet tall now and if she follows in her mother's footsteps, we suspect she will be close to 6'4". She doesn't get to play much, but we've been very excited to see her skills improve.


Fingerless Mittens

I never got around to posting a picture of these mittens. The free pattern is here: Dashing

Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Maple.

The yarn is pilling a bit. I wouldn't use Wool of the Andes for this type of project again. Maybe I'm just hard on my hands. I'm making a new pair of fingerless mittens for dh with Cascade 220, so we'll see how that goes as far as pilling goes.

Oh, picture was taken by 10-yr old :)


Celebrate 2

I'm 2!

Not quite sure what to do with those candles. At least he didn't cry this time :)

This was a delicious spice apple cake from LeLeche League cookbook. It uses whole wheat flour (no all purpose flour), apples, raisins, walnuts. So good and so moist. Of course the freshly whipped cream on top makes it perfect.

I don't know about that cake, but I could sure eat that 2-yr old!


Two Years Ago Today

Midwife checking fetal heart tones.

Trying to get comfortable in birthing tub

Midwife helping me focus during contractions

Baby born! My first water birth.

We weighed the baby several times because we couldn't believe he was over 13 pounds!

Two doting sisters

Midwife snuggling her biggest baby

Bunny could not keep his hands off his new baby brother. His face was bruised because he was born posterior. He was quite swollen for a couple weeks.

This was really sweet. These are our kids plus 2 extra visitors who had never seen a baby's cord cut. Our midwife was wonderful and explained the whole process.

Bunny was very concerned that baby would get hurt while she cut the cord. So sweet!

Our first family picture with seven children.

We love you, Jonathan. You have stolen our hearts and we are so sorry about those calloused cheeks. You are too irresistible.

If you read this far, I have written a birth a detailed birth story with pictures. Send me an e-mail at homejewel @ gmail dot com and I'll send you the link. For privacy purposes, I do not want to post it publicly.


Playing With Our Baby

I've never done this before. Hope it works. You can hear Tall Dude (17 yrs) and Pearly (13 yrs) playing with the flipvideo camera and our baby. We need to lose the pacifiers - ugh - we've never had a baby hooked on pacifiers before.


Wicked Good

When I had my ACL surgery a couple months ago, a friend gave me these from Trader Joe's:

I was not sure they would match up to my all-time favorite: cocoa covered almonds from Trader Joe's (roasted almonds dipped in milk chocolate and then dipped in unsweetened cocoa powder).

But, being a gracious recipient, I did the right thing by opening the container and sampled a few. I wasn't immediately convinced, but then I noticed one more was needed to make sure they were as good as the previous one. I was and am completely hooked on these things. I do not want them in my house anymore because I lose all sense of self-control. Something about the turbinado sugar on the outside and the little bit of sea salt combined with the dark chocolate and roasted almond - oh my - it is a wicked good taste. Be forewarned.


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