Archive for the ‘Kitchen’ Category

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This is the first day of the rest of my life…

I started a new blog a week or so ago and almost immediately regretted it.  I felt I was forsaking this one.  One that has been so good for me.  That is so ME.  Well, like every other person who puts their life online, the ME I let you know.  But what I am going to attempt from today forward is to be a little more real (hang on gals, it could get rough), a little less careful, painfully honest at times and if you can’t handle it  or don’t like it, that’s okay.  I am who I am, what I am and I have a lot of good qualities and a lot of vices.  What I don’t want to ever be is bored.  Or boring.  That would be the most horrible thing to hear about myself:  Susan, you’re boring.  YIKES. So what I have decided to do is move those posts over here over the next few days and share my renewed need to put myself out there for all the world.

Still not going to get “all political” on you or anything of that nature.  I might quip occasionally on the subject but in the spirit of honesty, I will go ahead and put forth my disclaimer, lest some of you think you know me “as your kinda folk” and be slapped in the face one morning and it ruin the rest of your day 🙂  Now don’t bother saying nasty things to me if you find me a heathen or not of your chosen political mindset because my comments are set to be approved and I won’t give you a voice.  Not on MY blog.  If you decide, even though you have been following my blog for years, that I am not who you thought I was, don’t worry about it.  Just take me out of your blog feed.  You’ll miss me, but you’ll get over it 🙂 As will I.

Okay, hold on to your hats ladies (and gents if you are there)…

I am a Democrat with Libertarian leanings. Though I don’t vote only for Democrats because they say they are Democrats. I vote for who I want to.  Who I believe the most, or distrust the least. But I DO vote, which is very important to me.  I am a proud American who believes men and women have died for my right to step in and close the curtain and participate in the process and I honor them by taking a few minutes to do just that.  But even before I am an American, I am a human being and I try to see myself as a part of that family first.  Accept differences when possible, allow for different ideas, beliefs, philosophies.  Never accept hatred or oppression, genocide, injustice or abuse.  I don’t believe war is the answer we should look to first, second or even tenth, but I also know it is inevitable.  So I support our military personnel and wish them only safety, always.

I believe in equality for everyone. This means all colors, creeds, religions, genders, sexual orientations.  And any other way we humans can figure out to divide ourselves into selfish little groups. I don’t believe the government or anyone else has dominion over my body.  Period.

I am not a religious person, however I do consider myself spiritual. There are things and ways that separate humans from the other animals.  Sometimes the lines are fine and sometimes I wonder how we landed on top when it seems we have less of a grasp of the meaning of life than other species. But I do feel connected to the Universe in a special way…human love I suppose. That and I have opposable thumbs 🙂 I find all religions to have a bit of the ridiculous in their beliefs and teachings.  I wasn’t raised in a religious home so this is just how my life has evolved. Oh, and I do believe in evolution, btw.  I could never ever join a group that thought me and other women anything but equal to men. I cannot tolerate intolerance (I hope that makes sense) and I am nauseated by hypocrisy.  So that weeds out the majority of mainstream religions available to me in my geographic area.  Not that I am looking.  I am most certainly not.  I have no answers to any of the big questions and don’t believe anyone else does.  I try to live my life in a good, useful, helpful  way.  I believe that if you hate anyone then you truly cannot love completely, like we should.  There is not room in the human heart for both.  So practice LOVE.  I think it is perfectly normal and fine to hate things that happen, actions but to pick out one particular person to hate, causes you to think about them far to much and waste too much time on something you cannot change.  So rather than hate them, I choose to just separate myself from them and forget about them.  To find it in me to be indifferent rather than continuously irritated and angry. If I had to pick a religion to know more about or that I find interesting and could abide by most of their teachings, it would be Buddhism.  But only in a very general way.

I hope to leave this world having done no lasting harm to my family, friends and as little as I can on the Earth. I am in awe of what all this world has to offer and I want to see as much of it as I can.  There is always something new to learn.

Am I all that I hope to be?  Nope.  Not even close.  But I am working on it.  That is really all any of us can do.  Perfection is not attainable and really shouldn’t be a goal for anyone.  Your best.  Just do your best.  If anyone asks more than that they are likely working through some things themselves and feeling inadequate to the tasks before them.  Cut them some slack and keep working away at your own life.

Well, there’s a start to the weekend, don’t you think?  If you find I am too much for you, I bid you a fond farewell and wish you all the happiness you can find.  If you stick around, I promise everyday won’t be like this. Much less philosophizing and much more food, sewing, crafting, gardening…you know the good stuff 🙂   It’s just sometimes, one has to regroup.  Recharge.  Confess.  Start fresh.  Turn the corner.  You get the gist.  So without further ado, welcome to the new NotQuiteJuneCleaver.  And have a wonderful weekend.

People make the statement “Today is the first day of the rest of my life.” for various reasons.  Some have an epiphany, wake up and realized they are in fact on the wrong road of life.  Some have circumstances come to them and change is not their choice but change it is.  Mine is nothing so dramatic, I am happy to report.  It just that I am fat.  Chubby.  Plump.  Fluffy.  I have the middle age spread. If I live to be 106.  Which at the rate I am taking care of the only body I have, is bloody unlikely.

I have lots of excuses if you would care to hear them.  I have had six children.  I was a fat baby.  I have had 5 abdominal surgeries plus my gall bladder removed.  I eat my feelings.  I am a good cook, therefore good food is relatively easy for me to obtain. I have weak ankles therefore I cannot do real exercise. Blah, blah, blah.

The real facts are: I hate to exercise. I eat too many empty carbs and have for a really long time. I am addicted to sugar and soda, diet or not.  But the fact of the matter is really good food doesn’t have to be bad for you.  My ankles might not be weak if they weren’t trying to hold up 70 more pounds, or five stones in Brit-speak, which I love,  than they were made to.

So what am I going to do about it you might ask.  Well, my best.  That is all.  I am going to do my best.  That is not too much to ask of anyone on any matter.  I find later in my life, I have not been keen to do my best always.  But I have people in my life who do.  Always.  And I think I owe it to myself to do the same.

Eating healthy and concentrating on my health will take more time.  But really, time is all any of us have.  We spend it wisely or we don’t.  It will take more planning, but that is one of my strong suits.  I am a plotter and a planner from way back.  And I like a good project as well as the next person.  So, that won’t be a problem. And it won’t cost any more money because I won’t be buying junk to eat.  Or drink.  Not to compare poor choices too closely but I will have to treat my struggle with food like an alcoholic treats their addiction.  It will be an everyday struggle until one day I will not crave the junk any more.

I had an appointment with my doctor this week  to get all my numbers run.  I have every reason to do this and no reason not to.  I need to know just exactly where I am and what I am up against.  And frankly I am running out of time.  I turned 53 on 14 August 2012.  I don’t feel old.  I don’t think I look too old.  But I also don’t feel good.  I don’t feel good about how my body works.  Or how tired it gets.  And I feel weak in spirit that I let this happen.  I haven’t posted a full body picture in many, many years.  But here goes.  Not a great one, but one that is accurate in showing my girth.


Not a pretty sight.  So now that you have seen me, you might as well know the numbers.

  • 53 years old
  • 194 pounds or 13+ stones (as of today 189 -yay for me!)
  • my measurements are 45-39-49
  • my height is 60.5″
  • my arms are too big for sleeves and my legs are too big for boots at 14.5 and 17.5 respectively
  • and I have 1.5 too many chins

So what do I propose to do about this?  First and foremost, set reasonable goals.  Hold myself accountable.  I would join a group, but I am not much of a joiner.  Not cheat myself by eating the very thing that will make me want to cry later.  Put one foot in front of the other until my body is strong enough to bear me putting one foot in front of the other in rapid succession.  Not compare myself with others by saying things like “oh I don’t know why I try, I will never be that thin” or “well, at least I am not that fat”.  I am going to pay attention to every morsel of food that goes into my mouth.  Every drop of liquid. I am going to enjoy my food.  I am going to take time to choose, prepare and eat meals.  Not fly by life, with a bag of crisps and a candy bar washing them down with a diet soda. I am adopting a mostly vegetarian diet with a serving of fish every now and then when I feel the urge to eat the flesh of a dead animal.  When you say it like that it makes it easier to fore go.  And rather than give myself a weight/size goal to achieve, I am going to give myself time, a year to be exact, because after all that is really all we have…time. And of course I am going to write about it honestly.  Follow along if you like. Later on I want to tell you about the wonderful shake I am drinking every morning.  But if you can’t wait  go to Rockin’Wellness and look for yourself.

What I am not going to do is judge others for what they eat, don’t eat, drink or don’t drink.  I am responsible for my own intake. I will also not hate judge others who are thinner than me or  take the weight off easier than I do.

I would have told you a year, even six months ago that everything tastes better with bacon drippings.  Or some other form of animal product.  But really it isn’t necessary.  It’s delicious, don’t get me wrong.  But not necessary and not good for you.  You know ignorance is bliss many, many times.  And I think my ignorance about healthy eating knows no bounds.  But I am learning.

Those of you that know me in real life know I am not a wagon jumper.  The band brand of wagon.  I believe almost nothing of what I hear and only about half of what I see. And the friend that introduced me to this new plant based way of life knew that about me when she approached me.  She knew not to tell me how amazing the information was. Or how scary.  She just ask that I watch a DVD with an open mind.  Our friendship spans nearly 40 years, so I trusted her.  The DVD she asked me to watch was Forks Over Knives.  I have to say, I am so glad she cared enough to ask me to watch it.  The information was eye-opening to say the least.  I won’t go on and on about it because, I am assuming, we are all adults here and you don’t need me jumping up and down shouting how incredible it is.  Follow the link, read the reviews and if you have time and are interested in that sort of information, you will find it very informative.  Possibly life changing.

Here is an example of how I am trying to cook for myself.  My love of food makes the prospects of new recipes, healthy eating very exciting to me.  So you might not get your standard recipe format but I will try to share things I find that are tasty, and are good for us. A few nights ago I sauteed a variety of vegetables for my supper.  I brushed my skillet with a little, very little, EVO.  I added green onions, garlic, 3 colors of bell peppers, broccoli, brussel sprouts and celery.  I took out a little bowl for my supper and then to the skillet I added about 2 cups of vegetable broth, leftover corn, peas, limas and a can of diced tomatoes.  I added some chives, parsley, thyme and let it cook while I ate.  I couldn’t resist the aroma!  I had to have a little bowl of soup too.


So delicious.  I think I will add a little okra to it for supper tonight.  And whip up some gluten free corn muffins.  Even though there is a heat advisory for today, I am thinking towards Autumn…and this bowl just looks like Autumn.  And reminds me of my mom’s vegetable soup.  She would save vegetables thru the week from our meals and dump it all in a pot on Friday night for soup served with cornbread.  My mom was not a big meat eater.  In fact many of our meals were meat-less long before it was “a thing”.  We were on a very tight budget and beans were less expensive than meat.  So beans it was.

One more addition and then I will get off of here and get busy and let you do the same.   I am so glad to catch up with all of you and thanks for stopping by.  ENJOY!

This recipe is gluten free and Ovo-Lacto-Vegetarian.  I left out the oil called for to cut some of the fat content and honestly, they were a little dry and slightly packy.  However, dipped in the vegetable soup  they were delicious!


2/3 cup stone-ground yellow cornmeal
1 TBSP aluminum free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup milk (I used 1/2 rice milk)
2 TBSP all vegetable oil (omitted)
Preheat oven to 425F and place pans in oven. Whisk together  flour baking powder, and salt into bowl. Stir in corn meal. Add egg, milk, and oil, if you use the oil. Mix until just smooth, about one minute, do not over mix. Brush pans with light coating of oil. Put about 1 TBSP of batter in each acorn mold. Bake in hot oven (425 degrees) 9-12 minutes.
acorn pan
NOTE: You could make this recipe into another shape if you don’t have the acorn pan or similar pan.  A madeline pan is very good for these little cornbread yummies.  Or mini muffin tins and of course regular size muffins as well.

Have a great day.  Eat good things that are good for you.

With warmest regards,



Great NEW Book from Gooseberry Patch! The Harvest Table and NEW Bakeware from Chinet!


I think every time I open a package from Gooseberry Patch that the book I pull out is my favorite.  I think “OH this one is the best so far.”  They just keep doing it right peeps.  I love EVERYTHING about this book from front to back.


Adorbs cover don’t you think? So imagine my delight when I got TWO great packages this week.  Chinet, you know Chinet, THE brand to go to for all your disposable tableware,  well they are taking a BIG old step.  They are launching a line of  disposable bakeware! And I was asked to try this new product and put my two cents in.  I will be testing several sizes, in my new apron that was in the box 🙂 You know I love aprons!  I was VERY happy to see that the new line of disposible bakeware is made from 90% recycled material.  Here’s a little blurb from their website:

The first disposable baking dishes that let you take your food from oven to table to freezer to microwave, all in one attractive, non-stick pan. And because it’s from the Chinet brand, strength and stability are built in. Bakeware is designed to be sturdy and dependable no matter what you’ve got cooked up. And not only does it look good, but you can leave it behind without worrying about losing your favorite permanent pan.

Yep, that’s how they roll.  Convenient, sturdy, all in one, lovely celery green outside and non stick on the inside.  And like the website said,  no worries about losing a pan!

Check back in tomorrow when I hit you with not only a terrific recipe for Gobble-Good Turkey Bake but I will tell you all about my experience with this NEW Chinet  bakeware.  AND how you can enter to win not only a copy of Gooseberry Patch’s new book The Harvest Table, but some lucky ducky will get to try the NEW Chinet bakeware because they will be mailing some to try! Very cool, don’t you think?  Oh and you can check out their website for more product info.

And I don’t know about you but the first warm weather (hot really) I start planning for Autumn all the wonderful things that go along with it.  And I am going to help you out with some recipes courtesy of Gooseberry Patch!  See you tomorrow!

NOTE: I am required by the FTC to disclose to you all that I received the Chinet Bakeware products free of charge.


Practicing What You Preach

There are so very many places I could go with this on this Tuesday morning in March but I won’t.  I will spare you a lecture.  I would say sermon but that would be ludicrous 😉 So this fine March day I will just say it feels good when you actually practice what you preach in relation to what you eat.  Last night our supper consisted of nothing more than what we grew here on our little property or killed locally.


Our middle son provided our meat from a deer he killed in the fall.  A fine, lean backstrap that Jerry put on the grill – and it was delicious.  The cole slaw is made from green and purple cabbages and carrots we grew.  The sliced carrots are from our garden and I sauted them with a pat of butter and sprinkled a little saffron on them – I LOVE saffron!  The asparagus is from either the 4th or 5th picking so far this season – perfect just warmed in a skillet with a touch of olive oil, salt and pepper.  As with most meals while Jerry is home, it was a team effort, even the clean up 🙂

Some one asked last night over on Facebook what we plant and when.  Here is a quick rundown.

We have something planted all the time. Early Spring (now) we plant tomatoes (some I had started in the greenhouse), peppers, squash, green beans, corn, cucumbers, herbs and flowers. No later than July 4th, but hopefully before,  I need to have my pumpkins in the ground. I will probably start them mid April – first of May to give them a head start. I would like to harvest them well before I go on vacation October 16 and have them delivered to their new homes :).  All that depends on when the corn is ready. The pumpkins are planted when we pull the corn stalks. Then early September we plant winter stuff like carrots, lettuce, cabbage, Brussels Sprouts, English peas, sometimes radishes. And it all starts over…

I will try to snap some pictures this afternoon of Jerry’s hard work from yesterday.  He set out a couple of tomato plants I had started in the greenhouse and got beans in the ground.  We will pick up more tomatoes, bell peppers and a few herbs today while we are in the city.  Oh and our window box selections, whatever they end up being. If our top soil is delivered by Wednesday, he will get the corn planted in the corn patch.  If it looks like it won’t, then likely he will go ahead and plant anyway and we will put out top soil after corn and before pumpkins.

That’s it for this morning except for these last few photos.  I have to go do something with my hair before it revolts completely.  Can’t go to Jerry’s dr’s appt with a mop on my head!


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