Sunday, September 28, 2008

marathon apple pie weekend

My husband is my hero. He chopped enough apples to make over 20 pies this weekend!! ... and we still have many more apples to go! Thanks to this PERFECT Pie Crust recipe, we were able to crank out these babies in record time!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


One of the most annoying parts of university is when it contradicts itself...and it does so ALL OF THE TIME. Today, I find myself writing a paper for a history class. The subject matter fascinates me... however, the paper does not. I kid you not when I say the essay must be written in a VERY specific style, so much so that the prof went to great lengths to create a handout that explains SENTENCE BY SENTENCE what we are to include. WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED TO THINKING CRITICALLY ON THE SUBJECT???? How does formulaic writing help me??? Another class I took said that we are not to use formulas to teach students how to write, but should instead allow them to simply WRITE ... and then edit ... and re-work it. Maybe my prof thinks I won't do any of that... maybe he's just anal. But it's so frustrating for me.

Another contradiction, especially in the education department: we are taught that we are UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES to grade students for their classroom participation/attitude or marks based on group work. Then why the heck in my other education classes am I graded upon my participation and my group projects? And we're talking 15-40% of my mark in some of these classes. Doesn't that scream contradiction?

Feeling very frustated about my history paper.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

dishwasher free

B & I decided to go dishwasher free last Wednesday night. I must admit, I loved being able to cook up a storm and then quickly shove the dirty dishes in the machine... outta sight, outta mind... and then I could enjoy the fruits of my labor without dirty dishes starring me in the face.

We had a number of reasons for doing this:
  1. it was an OLD dishwasher, and consequently, plates come out dirtier than the go in
  2. it was an OLD dishwasher, and we spent more time re-washing dishes than anything else
  3. it was an OLD dishwasher, and it is missing many of the holding thing-a-ma-jigs, which left huge gaps
  4. it was an OLD dishwasher, and our power/water bill is outrageous

I must admit, it does have its good aspects - like I never run out of dishes now, and I think twice before I dirty plates/cutlery, etc because now I know I have to wash them by hand. Plus, B and I get some quality time while we wash/dry dishes together... like the old days with my family :) We'll wait and see what our bill looks like next month... fingers crossed...

But now, I understand why students eat their KD straight from the pot.....

Saturday, September 13, 2008

"it was a good little cart"

I love being a housewife.

One of the things I love about being a housewife is shopping ... searching for deals, finding yummy stuff for us to eat, and people-watching. I love people-watching.

Depending on the time of day that I happen to go shopping depends upon the people I run into. While I was working this summer, I often had to go in the evenings, when I would often run into people like myself who have just spent the day at the office and now just want to get in and out of the store as fast as possible...who wants to really stand in a line-up?? BUT, now that I'm not working, one of my favorite times to shop is before lunch on week-day mornings, when I see little old people and moms with kids... such wonderful people, and wonderful interactions. Little kids rushing around, trying to add stuff to their mother's shopping cart without her noticing until it's too late and it's been paid for already... or little old couples slowly and meticulously working through their lists, often picking up a treat or 2 to spoil someone with (my grampa was famous for this!!)

This past Friday, as I was heading grocery shopping, I saw a little old lady pushing her cart back to the rest of the carts (what is that place called??), so I walked up to her and asked if I could use her cart. She smiled and told me yes ... and then she looked down at the cart ... and back at me and said, in a somewhat wistful manner, "you know, it was a good little cart" she paused for a moment and then again, "I had no troubles with the wheels". I laughed as she said this, agreeing what an important and rare quality in a cart this is. I thanked her and we went our own ways. As I walked away, I had a smile on my face... such a sweet little lady.... and it was indeed "a good little cart".

Sunday, September 7, 2008

a sample of my domesticated side...

This past weekend I was blessed to have a wonderful friend join me for some new adventures in the kitchen! It was a treat for both of us ... as we ended up with some delicious treats to share with our loved ones...

With our apple tree laden with fruit, we decided an apple pie or 2 was in order...

mmm... it smelled so good...and tasted even better!

Brownie Crinkles ... delicious bite-size brownies....

perfectly golden peanut butter cookies. yum.

Some of my other adventures this summer have included learning how to make a few things we usually buy at the store...

home-made waffles with strawberries, icing sugar and ice-cream.

when I discovered how expensive buns could be, I went digging through my recipe books and found a delicious recipe for home-made buns. What a treat it is to have a bread-maker!


This past summer I decided to become more "domesticated" as my brother puts it ... I decided to learn how to can fruits. As a child of the internet-age, I headed online to find some recipes and tips, and I stumbled upon this gem of a website, with the sort of idiot-proof instructions I needed as a beginner and then I waited until peaches were on sale. Unfortunately that happened on the hottest days of the summer, when it was in the mid-30s and our little house was just as hot. I had to wait until 8:30 at night, with all of the windows wide open to begin my experiment...

Here's the final product, just in case you were doubting ... :)

washing the peaches in my wonderful strainer - another fantastic wedding present!

some of my utensils - the funnel was a new purchase just for my experiment!

one of the new, fancy-pants tricks I learned about canning was to boil the peaches for about 45 seconds and then pop them into ice water (see below) ... the skins peeled right off!

I ran out of ice, so I substitued an ice-pak, and it worked pretty good!

watch those peels just slide right off...

I boiled them in a "light syrup"

And here they are! mmm... so delicious....

I read that if the syrup is too heavy, the peaches float, but even with a light syrup, they still I think I just need to fit more peaches into those tiny little jars!!!

Now I can't wait for next year to try some more! I picked up a cherry-pitter, just in time for cherries to head out of the supermarket ... alas, another year will pass... but beware fruit aisle! I'm waiting anxiously!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

think about such things

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

--Phil. 4:6-8

Every year I try to pick a "theme" verse for my year and then plaster it in a bunch of places to remind me of God's truth. As B and I anticipate what is sure to be a wild and wonderful year, I find myself constantly returning to this verse and finding solace knowing that He holds it all. Lord, fill me with Your peace.

the first week of my last year

I just finished the first week of my LAST year of school! It's hard to believe, but I am in my 4th and final year of university. I'm soaking it all in and enjoying every minute of it (except for standing in line to buy textbooks!!). Where did the time go?

first wheels

I feel totally and utterly blessed :) I have my very first set of wheels!

ooo ... ahhh :)