Monday, December 14, 2009

Baking, Busyness...squirrels...and hippopotamusessesses

LOL...we are running around all day doing this or that, but that list of need-to things is still just as long. I think it grows over night, in the dust bunnies around my kitchen.

That was a task this week...ceiling fans needed cleaning, we pulled the front off the bottom of the fridge to get under there, and we pulled the drawer under the oven out. I won't even go there. No, you don't get any pictures of that. That's all you need to know about either of those projects. Trust me.

Ok...baking. Lot's of baking. I was strolling through Pioneer Woman and my Reader popped up with a post from one of her cookbook signings, so naturally I had to bunny trail over to Bakerella. I stayed there. Quite a while. I think I gained a few pounds, too. And then I started baking, so, of course, there's gonna be more poundage. It's all PW's fault. And Bakerella.

I found these little bites Red Velvet Cake Balls Goodness gracious, CAKE balls of fire :o) Granted, mine don't look near as pretty as her's, but hey...I'm a first-timer, give me a break :o)

Undaunted by other folks' perfection (yeah, sure...ok...) I pressed on anyway. Lemon cake with cream cheese is beyond delicious. Chocolate with chocolate...oh yum. And today we'll try out plain ol' yellow with cream cheese. These are top on my list of goodies for all occasions, now. They are beyond EASY to do. The combinations are absolutely ENDLESS. and they are just plain GOOD. I will be making these alot. A whole lot. They freeze really nicely, too. Just a perfect kitchen treasure.

And, if you have littles who tend to dig into cake when it's made...this will truly mess with their heads. Poor Miss Emily, I was continually telling her to keep those pokey little fingers out of the cake. Don't pick at the cake. Leave the cake alone. It's a ritual we go through whenever we bake cakes here (which is generally only for birthdays, so at least 1-2 a month from July through January). She likes to sample. Big samples. Core samples. I am just on auto-pilot when a cake is baked...stay away from the cake. Don't touch the cake. Yadda yadda, mumble mumble.

And this time was no different. Until the next morning. She'll need therapy now. She walked in on mom, MOM, digging spoonful's of cake from the pan. Crumbling it and tossing it into the KitchenAid. Handfuls. Just larger, more complete damage of what she usually does. I had to keep up the front the night before. how do you explain to a 3 year old that normally we simply don't dig cakes apart, then turn around and say, sure thing, sweetie, dig on in there and tear it up? You just can't. They just aren't gonna process that as anything sane. The rule is no digging in the cake.

She's messed up mentally now. She saw me breaking the rule.

But she enjoyed tattling on me to Dad. And she wasn't so against the rule breaking that she kept out of the finished cake bites, either. Still, she'll never be right when it comes to cake protocol again.

Sunday we were at it again. More baking...Pecan Sandies, plain Sugar Cookies, Snowballs and more cake bites. And doughnuts for breakfast.

And then Dewey thought something in the form of real food might be nice. Some protein aside from the jars of peanut butter waiting their cookie turn.

Party pooper.

I don't blame him, really. He's getting old. Old people think about things meat for protein instead of peanut butter in cookie form. His birthday is just a week away...yes, before mine...but I'm not as old. I'm not becoming a fuddy duddy like he is, turning away from chocolate and nuts and sugars in all varieties in favor of something like real protein.

I was actually more prepared than he thought, though. Right before the baking prep expedition began, I popped a monster 10# chuck roast into the oven, loaded down under the weight of a tons of carrots, onions, potatoes and garlic. And I loaded 4 of my medium cast iron skillets with these babies...
dinner rolls rising. Lot's of dinner rolls, actually. Thirty-some. Ok, I cheated. They were frozen dinner rolls (my mixer was otherwise occupied, remember?) They were beautiful. They were golden brown. They were buttered and honey'ed as they came out of the oven. I hate frozen dinner rolls. Well, not totally...they make the best overnight caramel rolls. But for dinner roll eating, yuck. They have no substance to them. They are just too full of air. Too light. They smoosh up with a good blob of butter. I prefer a roll that stands on its own and yells is that all you got? when I butter them up. Frozen rolls just don't do that. But, I was pressed for kitchen time and space. When it comes right down to it, what's really important....fresh, homemade dinner rolls....or...containers full of delicious cookie dough in several varieties (including chocolate, of course!) waiting to be baked up?

I rest my case.

The Need To list is still long...

~gifts to be made and/or finished
~plenty more baking going on the first half of this week
~regular kitchen tasks daily, like bread baking ofr the week, real meals, etc.
~wood splitting...and we need to cull some dying trees while they are still good for burning
~cookie baskets/bags/plates go out this Thursday
~we MUST get the birthing pens up in the barn...we are down to 4 weeks and counting for the possible earliest kidding!
~everyday laundry needs now that the rain has passed
~a trip next weekend to Alabama to get/deliver some things to eldest son and DIL
~I have more things to finish sewing, including shirts for Dewey for Christmas. They are cut, but hard to sew with him wandering about asking what I'm sewing...
~and 2 afghans to finish crocheting (truthfully, they are finished already, I just decided to throw a couple more rows of edging on them)

After Christmas, we tear down the bookcases, move all the furniture around and start laying the hardwood floor!

We are still feeding runty pups here. They seem to have colds...watery eyes, runny noses. Nice addition to the every-4-hour feeding routine. We brought in one of their about size difference! She was amazon doggie compared to them! And the name concensus right now is running at Bugs (as in Bunny, he's the white one...) and Daffy (as in Duck...the black one). I say no names until they have lived a while. I know...strange coming from me, the homesteader who names her baby chicks...then can't butcher them because they're named.

ugh...and I really should settle on a name for the goat registration here...before we need to be registering the new babies. That's a month from now, I know. I'm keeping track. I also need to gather my supplies for the goat tub so we have everything we might need for kidding, as well as just getting the animal first-aid kit needs put together. I should have already had then done, but I'm pretty good at procrastination.

And, can of worms trouble starting in my post...nothing critical over 'over bearing' as I've been called more than a few times. Nothing legalistic to be found here at all. Just good chocolate, cake balls and regular life.

I'm not always the instigator of trouble you know.

Well, wait...I put this at the bottom of the post for a reason. Sometimes those special be kind to all animals, don't hunt folks send me nasty emails about things. I'm well-liked...LOL...I suppose. If you happen to be one of those special folks who visit here, remember we are trying to move toward self-sufficiency around here. Wrapped and trayed ready cuts of meats don't just appear out of the woods. Sometimes you have to go look for them...or you have a neighbor bless you with some.

We were blessed (and I do believe that, I do, I'm just not sure how great a blessing it really is yet...I have to cook them...ugh, I can feel my tummy rolling already...) with what our neighbor called "a mess of squirrels."

Ok. Um....nice thought. Thank you.

I've cooked squirrel before. Once. And actually it won first place for Matthew at the Men's Fellowship Breakfast at our church back north.

Dont ask me how or why it won first place. I think they just thought Matthew was sweet to bring in an "entry" along with the menfolk.

And don't ask me how I did them. I don't really recall. There was browning the little meat parts, then steaming to cook fully....and cinnamon and apple juice. That's all I remember. That and the fact it was squirrel cooking in my pan. In my kitchen.

My family isn't big on squirrel eating. My family prefers to feed the squirrels, not pop em' off a branch at 20 paces and fry em' in a pan.

But, Dewey and Matthew pointed out that we now have "a mess" of squirrels cleaned and in the freezer and they are patiently waiting on my attention. They are gonna make me cook them. Probably soon. ugh. squirrel. in. my. kitchen. I don't know. Anyone have any recipes to share? I'm thinking squirrel and that lone rabbit out there, slow cooked in gravy. Lot's of gravy. Heavily flavored gravy. Over noodles. While I go eat in town. Maybe at Subway. Or Sonic.

And lastly, here is some fun for your week....Gayle Peevey singing I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas...the kids have been singing this for a good week now. All day. It's stuck in my head.


4littleladybugs said...

Well, I was feeling productive because I've done 5 loads of laundry today but you have been *busy*. Whew! You accomplish alot.

Cake balls- I have never heard of those but they sound good.

It was nice of your neighbors to share but Squirrel, though, sounds gross. :( Maybe not gross but a lot of work for a little payout. I am thankful that I haven't HAD to eat squirrel but admire your pluck.

My Dh worked with a fellow that if it breathed, he'd eat it. You know,he was the guy who stops in the road and picks up the road kill.;P Eww. He was very brave.

Your puppies are adorable, I am sending them "grow big & healthy" vibes.

Thanks for sharing your day with us.

Raising Arrows said...

Just had to say that my 5 yo daughter LOVES the hippopotamus song! She even does a choreographed act to it! lol Great fun!


Jeremiah 6:16
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

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