Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Spring Break - Part 1

We had so much fun at the last recital in February, that we did it again this week. Monday night we went downtown to the big Music store in the big city (ha ha), and had our Family Piano Recital. Everyone played, including Bruce, who played Sweet Hour of Prayer! Playing on the Steinway Grand Pianos was fabulous. Of course, we went to Taco Bell afterward, which is everyone's favorite. To feed a family of eight under fifteen dollars is delicious!

On Tuesday we went to see Inkheart at the dollar theater. We liked the movie - it was a good family flick, although some parts may be a bit scary for 5 and under. Libby said she wasn't scared. Taking a family of eight to the movies for eight dollars is a steal!

Today we had on the calendar to go to a park and play volleyball, but it was in the 40's, rainy with a cold wind, so we passed on that activity. Instead, I went to the local farm and ranch store with Peter and Libby, and came away with these:From left to right are Popcorn, Yellowie, Brownie, and Oreo (named by Peter and Libby).
Who can resist?

Besides, Peter brought his own wallet, and plunked down his own money for his own chick (.69 cents). I'm glad these are his chicks right now. In 8 years he'll be plunking down his own money for other chicks.

Tonight I made this tasty recipe. I modified one I found on the Internet.

Bacon and Egg Casserole
9 red potatoes, chopped
Lawry's Seasoning Salt
6 eggs, beaten
1 lb. bacon, cooked and diced
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
1/2 to 1 cup of cheddar cheese
bread crumbs
Cook bacon and dice it up.
While your cooking the bacon, add a little water to the potatoes and cook in the microwave for 3 minutes. Stir and cook for another two minutes.
Make a white sauce by melting the butter in a saucepan on the stove. Stir in the flour and salt until all the lumps are gone. Add milk and stir until it starts to boil. Boil for one minute and then add a handful of Cheddar cheese. Stir until mixed in and melted.
Pour a small amount of bacon grease into a 9x13 glass pan. Spread the potatoes across the bottom of the pan and sprinkle with Lawry's Seasoning Salt. Pour beaten eggs over the top, and make sure the potatoes are mixed in well with the eggs. Sprinkle the bacon bits on top of the potato and egg mixture, and then pour the white sauce over it. Sprinkle bread crumbs over the whole mixture.
Bake at 400° for 30 minutes. Serve immediately with chilled, fresh, raw cow's milk! :) ha ha

I loved it. Bruce thought it was OK. This highlights the difference in our palates.

This is what the kids are doing while I'm doing this blog.
Joseph is reading the Wishsong of Shannara; Jesse is reading Inkdeath; Mary is reading The Dragon Slippers.
Bruce is reading Ranger's Apprentice Book 6, The Siege of Marindaw. In case you follow this series, we borrowed this book from our friend who ordered it from Australia. It doesn't release in the US until August. Thank you kind friends!

This is the fort that the kids made last week and Jesse, Mary, Peter and Libby have slept on it every night of the break. (Double-click on this picture to find Peter and Libby).I loved doing this as a kid. I remember in our Oakdale house making a bed with chairs and pillows, and calling it our waterbed. No doubt my brother Cedric will remember the colors of the blankets that we put on it.

A benefit of the milking has come to light, and that is, that since the milk machine parts have to be washed twice a day, the sink must be clean enough to wash them. And since a sink with hot, soapy dishwater is available twice a day, we have been keeping the dishes washed! We used to run the dishwasher once a day, regularly, but it seemed like there was always pots and pans left over that didn't fit and miscellaneous stuff left around. No longer! Those get washed with the milk machine parts, and all is well.

Tuesday morning I woke up at five in the morning, and for some reason I couldn't get back to sleep, as all these organizing, cleaning, chore ideas were coming to my mind. One of those was that the logical consequence of not doing you kitchen job is that you are not contributing to the upkeep of the place where you eat. Hence - you don't clean, you don't eat. I introduced the idea to the childern later that morning. Before you eat, your kitchen job has to be done. (This is also in an attempt to teach them to KEEP something clean, instead of cleaning up a big mess once in awhile, which is what they are doing now.) So, our kitchen has been clean for two days straight. YEAH!!
I will post soon a some detailed pictures on the milking process, and also the butter-making process. We have been making butter every day - it's so cool!! I crossed milk, butter, buttermilk and yogurt off my grocery list today. Wow!

I ordered a yogurt-maker today, so I'll soon be trying that out at home. I remember when we were first married, Bruce told me that his Mom used to make yogurt when he was growing up. I remember thinking, "Wow - I can't imagine doing something like that. Why not just BUY it?" Ha ha. And here I am now, all gung-ho to try something else with our milk at home. Another reason to be indepentant from the grocery store. What a great feeling!

I can't believe how much my attitudes and outlook have changed. Much of that is due to knowledge - actually knowing how to do something, and also the right tools. But it's not just that. It's a different mindset, which I have now, and I didn't before.

By the way, Mom, a kind friend from our ward offered to rototill our garden, which he did last Saturday. We are getting ready to plant peas, lettuce, spinach and radishes.

This is also a complete turn-around from last year, in which we did no garden whatsoever, and the year before that, in which we planted two or three rows and neglected it for the rest of the summer. We have not been successful gardeners; no, we have been dismal gardeners, if you can even call it that. So, we'll see how it goes!!

Happy Spring Break!


wenderful said...

I love a clean kitchen. I can't go to bed at night if the kitchen isn't clean. Weird I know.
I am on the hunt for a chicken coop. Can you believe it? I'm narrowing down my options and may just make one myself. I'm getting excited. :)

WhettenWild said...

I think I am going to try your casserole receipe next week. It sounds yummy!

Feeding a family of 8 for under $15is a great deal! I can't believe you did it with teenage boys.

croc said...

I have several books I would like to read... can I come over to your house for Spring Break?

annette said...

I made your recipe tonight. I had leftover ham, so I used that instead of bacon. I had leftover boiled potatoes also so it was the perfect meal for my leftovers. Also I used ShirleyJ cream sauce (I'll tell you more about that another time.)

Lindsey said...

I love your blog Lor! I read it whenever I have spare time at work, and I have plenty today! It brings me pure joy reading about your family. :) I miss you guys so much!
Oh, and I need some of that casserole when I come up! It sounds delicious.