Tuesday, October 16, 2012

For the Love of Carter: Take ?

We make diapers for  Teeny Tears. We started after the loss of our grandson Carter. I have loved sewing little things for babies for many years. I love quilting. We first heard about Teeny Tears when looking for "preemie" clothes, when we knew Jana's boys would most likely be early. The word "bereavement" popped up in my search, along with these patterns for tiny diapers. I immediately closed the page and said, well that's NOT what I am looking for!!

God had other plans for my Grandsons. They would, indeed be born early, at 25 weeks and Carter passed away. His Identical twin brother Cohen spent 4 months in the University of Washington NICU. He is now home and giving us all a run for our money! We want to remember Carters life and the Teen Tears diapers were a wonderful way to do that, and so for others who were bearing the incredible pain of loosing a child. Carter has changed our lives in many ways and we want to remember how much he means to our family, what a fighter he was and how incredibly much we love him and miss him. Working on these diapers is very healing. I am constantly AMAZED by the Moms who have suffered such loss, now give their time, money and family resources to make these diapers for other families.

When I saw "Citrus Valley Medical Center" 60 diapers. I was thinking I could do that by myself and do it in memory of Carter. I just really wanted to do  it, not sure why. So I started in. Of COURSE I was not doing ANY of this by myself!! When I say WE started doing diapers, it really is WE. Jana is our commander, we have MANY faithful friends who cut, flip, sew, iron, ribbon and pin! ALL of our family has been involved and I am amazed at how far reaching it is. So THANK YOU ALL who help us make these diapers for these precious angels. It really is a sacred thing when you hear someone got one of the diapers or blankets. You are glad they did, but SO sad and burdened that they did.

Cohen helping with the diapers in memory of his twin brother, Carter
I left a diaper for Carter at Heavens Gate, ID. Elevation 8429 feet! It was as close as I can get for now, little Buddy! 
Grampa flipping diapers. 

Thank you to all the NWWDD (North West Washington Diaper Dreamers)! This has been such a part of the healing for this Gramma. The grief is so hard to bear at times. I want it all better for my daughter and I want Carter here. It's a hard place to be. But the friends we have made thru Carters life and loss have been such a blessing. 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

Several of you have asked for this recipe, so here it is!  I picked a lot of my tomatoes today. 

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

This recipe can be pressure canned or frozen. Cream is added when the soup is reheated.
Makes about 6 pints
15-20 tomatoes
2 carrots, chop roughly
1 large onion, quartered
2 whole heads garlic, peeled, not crushed
olive oil

1 t. salt3 cups fresh, homemade, chicken broth, skimmed of fat
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil — (or 1 Tbsp. dried)
Preheat oven to 425°
Core tomatoes and cut in half. Place, cut side up, on parchment covered cookie sheet. Add carrots, onion and garlic. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle salt.
Roast at 425°F for about an hour, or until veggies are roasted and a little blackened.
Blend with a stick blender (or in small batches in a blender) until smooth. Throw the basil in and blend some more.
Place in a large saucepan with the chicken broth and simmer for 10 minutes.
To can: Process in a pressure canner, pints for 20 min. and quarts for 30 min. at 10# of pressure (dial gauge.)
To serve: Warm soup in a saucepan. Add cream to taste. Serve garnished with a grilled cheese sandwich!

Veggies ready for the oven

All nice and roasted

Soup! (I did not add any cream, it is SO yummy this way)

I like to can it in 1/2 pts or pts, so we just grab it and put it in our lunch bag. 

I was kind of hungry thinking about the soup, so I grabbed a potato out of the garden and used my new mandolin and had nice fresh fries in 10 minutes! While waiting the hour for the vegetables to roast. You need a good plate of fries every once in a while. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

TWO New Kitchen Items!

Ok, It has been a busy and warm week for us in NW Washington. Into the 90's. I have been canning beans and making pickles and relish, my favorite thing to do.

We kind of got hooked on "Chopped" and the Food Network when we were in Seattle at the NICU for 5 months, as it was pretty much the only thing on at the "home' at the time of night that we got back.

I have been watching with enthusiasum  all winter as these chefs slice away on this cool mandolin. But never really thought I "needed" one. BUT with the arrival of the garden vegetables it became obvious to me, I really did NEED one! It finally arrived and I went right to work making perfect size pickles and homemade potato chips and thin sliced zucchini to use instead of noodles in lasagna.  

The mandolin actually brought about TWO new items to the CHOPPED  Rinehart Kitchen. First was the Mandolin.

Things were going great, but I had a hard time using the little "holder" that came with it. It kept poking holes in my veggies and they would fall off. I had seen the Chopped Champions use it without the guard MILLIONS of times, and good grief, I am 3 TIMES their age! (but NOT the memory, apparently) I can handle this. I will just be REALLY careful to not chop all the way to the end of the cucumber. 
You know how you feel the minute you do something really bad to you finger... I grabbed it and ran for the bathroom, put a towel on the bloody stump, OK, pretty nice deep slice. It neatly sliced the tip of my finger right off! Not much, not enough to stop the show canning, and I did not look at it, AT ALL. Just taped it up good, and went back to work, I would undo everything and take a look tomorrow. I knew I had to keep it DRY, so I found ONE surgical glove and bought rubber gloves for doing dishes. As canning involves a LOT of water. 
Which brings us to our SECOND new piece of kitchen equipment. 

My husband came home and saw THIS on the table...
I kind of explained to him what happened and promised to use the guard... But the next day he came home from the workplace with THESE!!!

They are KEVLAR gloves for folks who work where they might get CUT! They are perfect! I just put one on the "cutting hand" and be really careful. It allows me to make these:
I call them zucchini noodles and use them as lasagna noodles. 
And these nice hamburger dill pickles!

SO I am back in business and feel blessed that my husband is looking out for me! 

I have a pair in the mail to Bobby Flay, I will let you know what he thinks!! 
Stay Cool!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Teriyaki Chicken

OK. Maybe I will not be a writer. But I can cook... I still want to share food and cooking on this blog. So here is tonight's dinner.
Chicken Stir Fry with Teriyaki sauce. I am still on the "real food" kick, so the garden has been wonderful .

 Stir Fry:
2 chicken thighs cut in pieces. . I used some I saved from a Farmer Bens whole chicken.  
from the garden:
carrots, onions, green beans, snap peas, zucchini in 3 colors, arugula, cilantro, red pepper. 
Heat 2 T. olive oil in a pan.  Cook the chicken pieces. Add all the veggies except the cilantro and arugula. cook till barely tender. Add the greens. just stir a bit. Stir in the Teriyaki Sauce

While this is cooking, make the Teriyaki Sauce:
1/4 C soy sauce
1/4 C honey
1 T. red wine vinegar
1 T. sesame oil
1 small minced clove garlic
1 T. minced fresh garlic. 
Simmer all this in a sauce pan while the meat and veggies are cooking. 

Serve over brown rice. 

You can use ANY vegetables you have on hand. Fresh and local is best! Also cooked, beef or pork works great, or no meat and use it as you weekly meatless meal! 

Warren said it was great and saved the leftovers for his lunch. I am blessed with this man, as he says that every night, even if it is grilled cheese! 

Just a few extras:
I have planted arugula in all the extra spaces around the yard. Warren really likes it and they use it a LOT on the food network, so it MUST be good! Usually I add it to our salads. I plant some every week so it will keep coming into the fall. My naturopath suggested I eat lots of Arugula, as it is a bitter green and I need that, as I have no gall bladder any more. 

I heard a banging in my sewing room today and I went up there and there was a small BIRD crashing all over the place. My mind shot back about 20 years to when we had a BAT in our living room and I could just not bring myself to deal with the bird, so I closed the door to make a plan. I put on a hat and got our pool skimmer. I was going to open the window, remove the screen and leave the window open and hope he would fly out. So after a few hours I got the nerve to go back in, geared up. I cracked the door, NO BIRD. Looked all over, in closets, attic, window sill, NO BIRD, I thought maybe he had knocked himself silly and would come back to life. NOTHING. NOW I am creeped out even more. I have seen THE BIRDS! When the birds get quiet and WATCH the nice people. Still no bird. 

HOW did it get in?? HOW did it get out?? I went outside to check for a bent screen, missing vent covers, holes in the roof. nothing. 

Then I was forced to call my best friend and ask her if my family had been complaining that I was more nuts lately, delusional, perhaps?? She said, no, really. I asked if  SHE was real. She said yes, and that she would tell me if she was ever NOT real. OK. I have NO way to explain this. Just another one of the "who done it's" from Rinehart Junction Farm. 

Coming soon!
Raw Goat Milk Pudding! 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Some fun for Gramma and Grandkids

Strawberries are out there and I could not resist yesterday.

Even though we are leaving tomorrow for a week of camping, to Spectacle Lake Resort,  and I have yet to pack.

These also arrived in the mail yesterday and I wanted to put something IN them for the cooler.  I am always looking for ways to make the grandkids some treats, without all the sugar. 
You freeze them and them you squish it out, or drink it out later. They have a nice non-leaky lid. I know we have all gotten the "popsicle" makers. Always going to make our own healthy stuff and then all 1000 pieces end up in the "tupperware" drawer until the last child chews the last plastic stick in half.

 I have been doing, eating,  100 days of  real food since Easter. I don't necessarily agree with all she does, but she has some good recipes. I prefer to not add all the honey and maple syrup she does. Also she eats tons of bread things. I tried all that the first week and gained 6 pounds, so not for me! I did not start this as a "diet" or to loose weight, it is just kind of what we have been moving towards for a few years, and I wanted to see if it would work for us. It was not that big of a shock for me. I don't drink pop, eat artificial sweeteners, or too much junk. I never used a lot of boxed foods and cereals. So no withdrawal for me.  I feed my husband well, and he still stops for his own ice cream.

Any way, today Cohen and I opened up the box of  Silicone ice pop makers and had some fun.

I mixed up some fresh strawberries and some of my Grace Harbor Farms plain, NOT homogenized (so the cream rises to the top-yum) Yogurt. In my food processor. ( I love this stuff plain. )We got a big bowl of this:

I put it in the pop maker and froze it. I had my taste testers standing by. 

No complaints, he sucked the whole thing down. 

Then pleaded for more. He always gives us this pitiful, I am SO hungry look. 

I guess he had worked off his strawberry breakfast crepes. 

I put the leftover mix into lined muffin tins and froze it. When the kids come, we peel off the wrapper, put it in a dish and it gives all the thrill of ice cream, only no sugar and other not so good for you things. 
Maybe even Grampa will like it enough to give up some of his ice cream! 

Well, now I really better get camping. I am REALLY looking forward to this trip. Especially because when I return, maybe, maybe the raspberries will be ready!! 
Freezer jam done!

Car packed and ready, done!

A little motherly reminder: Always check you boat or trailer to make sure the tail lights are working (we may be up all night) 
Label everything you put in your freezer, believe me, you will NEVER remember what it is, or when you put it in there! 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Baby Food

I started writing this blog, in order to share recipes, sewing ideas and help others. Of course some folks think I have ENTIRELY too much time on my hands. Maybe someday I will have time to share more cooking, sewing and recipes. 

I kind of have this thing that I want my grandkids to eat well. Even tho it is CLEARLY out of my hands. I am not the "bowls of M&M's all over the house" kind of Gramma, but love to make cookies and goodies with the kids and let them help me make applesauce and things out of the garden. I try to have real food here when they come to visit. When Cohen was in the NICU, there was SO little I could do for him, I started making applesauce. It grew from there. 

I see so much on line on "how do I make food for my baby". (Google it and you get: About 810,000,000 results (0.26 seconds) My response has always been, as we did, smash up whatever YOU are eating and toss it on the tray! I am sensing that this answer will not cut it anymore...

Jana is not real keen on touching raw meat of any kind. She said he could legally have chicken now, so I offered to take this on. 


Go to the hen house and find your least productive laying hen, start a LARGE pot of boiling water on a fire in the yard...JUST kidding! 

I used 2 large chicken breasts
4 large peeled carrots
1 cup white rice cooked. 
Cut the chicken in cubes, cook it on the stove top. cut the carrot in chunks, boil till done. Make one cup white rice. 

When it is all cooked, I put it all in my Cuisinart, the chicken, rice and carrots AND the water from the carrots. Whirl away. It is pureed and ready to eat, or freeze. I leave some tiny chunks of carrots and rice in a bowl, to put on his tray so he can practice feeding himself. 

You get THIS

I then choose the appropriate size cookie baller. He is using the "big boy" scoop now, 

I blob the mixture on a tupperware lid and freeze. 
( Set them beside all the other food  you have been making him, sweet potatoes and applesauce. Follow the same procedure for these yummy dishes.) They are easy to just pick off these lids. 

When they are frozen, put them in a freezer bag and back in the freezer. You can pull out what he will eat that day and put it in the fridge, till you warm it up.  Add water or formula if it is not "runny" enough for your baby. These are very easy to take WITH you, too, when on the road. 
ALWAYS label what goes in your freezer. I am pretty sure my husband will be excited when he sees the "muffins". I guess they are healthy... 

So there it is, Google it now and you will get About 810,000,001 results (0.26 seconds!

I just wanted to share how EASY it is and not hard to get your baby some yummy, 
REAL food. Have you SMELLED those jars of baby meats? Cat food smells more appetizing. If you feed it to your child, I think YOU should have to eat a jar first!!  
The happy helper! 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Soap Day

Well, it is FINALLY here. Soap day. I have been pinning recipes, saving containers, and using up the rest of our soap products. It is official, we have NO more laundry soap, dishwasher soap, dish washing soap. So the day is here.

To back up a bit, my dear husband has been working really LONG hours, for a LONG time. He is a turnaround planner at the BP refinery and has been working long and hard since the fire on February 17. They moved his "spring" turnaround up several weeks, which threw it all into high gear. I can count the days off he has had on one hand! They call it "fatigue management". He usually tries to call me at some point in the day to see "what I am doing". today was no different. I said, "making soap!". I usually get the same response to pretty much whatever I say, as he is so tired. Like, "that's nice". Today was "WHAT?". I am sure he pictured me out in the yard with a small fire, stirring a black cauldron of lye and whatever, as in days of old. After that, I'd be slaughtering the chickens... I assured him it was not a big deal and I'd be careful and remember to turn off the stove. He always thanks me for putting up with this crazy schedule and I always say, "don't worry, I am VERY self entertaining." While that is true, I am ready for this to be OVER and have him be around home.

So here we go: All the folks who put up the lovely pictures and directions, and explain it all, are all over Pinterest, so I won't do that here.

I used this for the laundry soap, this for the dish soap, this for the dishwasher soap and this for the room deodorizers. My favorite!

I made my list at went to Walmart, as that is where the blogs said I could find most the ingredients. The blogs also do the cost breakdown and the HUGE savings I will be seeing!

So for a grand total of :$26.95 I got all the ingredients to make all the soaps. 

I was busy mixing all this up in my vat

As the dog was waiting patiently where he always does when I am cooking, hoping I will spill, what I am sure is in HIS mind, is Steak tartar!!

Here is the finished pile of soap and little air fresheners. SO when there is a run on the market for laundry soap, you know where to come! I will trade you for a bag of rice!! 

This is from the laundry soap gal:
"Why would I bother to make laundry detergent when I could just conveniently grab a bottle off the shelf at the store?  Several reasons, the first of which is cold, hard cash.  I have always purchased the large economy bottles of a name brand “he” (high efficiency) laundry detergent.  It’s not the cheapest, nor is it the most common $14-a-bottle brand.  I pay, on average, $8.00 for a 75-load bottle of my old detergent.  I would have been happy to cut that price in half.  Instead, I discovered that by making the recipe I am going to share with you, a 75-load bottle of DIY detergent saved me $7.79¾!!!  That is a little more than a 97% savings!  Hello!  Making my own is no longer JUST an option.  It’s ridiculous not to.  It cost only 20¼¢ for the ingredients to make a 75-load bottle of detergent!  Translate that savings over a year’s worth of laundry and that put’s a tidy sum back into our family’s budget."

Where WAS the internet, Pinterest, and all these great ideas when I had 5 kids at home, doing 5 or 6 loads of laundry a DAY. (out in the yard, over a boiling cauldron, and beating it on a rock!). I could have saved a FORTUNE! With all this savings I figure it will free up  a bit more cashola to spend on my favorite passion....    SEWING!

Please check out my daughters blog to find out what we are up to with all the fabric!

If you need a project, or want to know what all the fabric is about, check this out! 
Happy Sunday! 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Caprese Salad

OK, maybe I have been watching entirely TOO much of the Food network. BUT we are trying some pretty tasty food. I am currently in love with the Heirloom tomato pack from the Green Barn.
 It is the next best thing to fresh tomatoes from the garden.  

Caprese Salad
As many tomatoes as you want. In summer I slice the large ones, now I am cutting these yummy cherry tomatoes in half.
Glaze with Balsamic vinegar of Modena (you can make your own balsamic vinegar reduction, but I LOVE this stuff. My sister in law found it for me several years ago. )

Real Mozzarella cheese
Fresh Basil leaves
Olive oil for drizzling
sea salt and pepper

Slice tomatoes in half, top each half with a cube or the cheese, add a small piece of the fresh basil, add top tomato. I put a toothpick through the cherry tomatoes. You don't need a "top" with regular tomatoes. 
Drizzle olive oil and the Balsamic glaze over the tops. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper.  Serve with a crusty bread, or with beef for dinner. We eat them with everything! 

Again, I remind you I am NOT a photographer, I am a cook! 

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Day 2012

I guess I never really noticed Feb 29 before. And there is really nothing special about it this year, other than it is snowing? I got to thinking.. hmm every 4 years, now THAT might be do-able. I am not much into New Years Resolutions, etc. But maybe if I look back in FOUR years and see if anything has been accomplished, or changed much, maybe I will have a chance!!
The snow looking out my "office" window. About 6 trees are now GONE. 
You can see the log piles.. We are hoping to enlarge the garden. 

New this year, is turning John's room into my "office?. Warren calls it my command center. I have my sewing, crafting, computer, and every project under the sun going on up here... John has pretty much moved out. He is attending Gonzaga University in Spokane and in summers he works elsewhere. This summer it will be at UC Santa Barbara in California in their Quantum Computer "group". I do not know what this is, but he assures me it is on the edge... with John, I am pretty sure of that. 

Also I have taken up "swimming". I am not a real swimmer, but I do like it and enjoy flapping around the pool for 30 minutes a day. It is good for me. 

My current sewing projects include: baby buntings for the NICU, Making slippers out of felted sweaters, I have a few purses cut out, and bibs, and baby shoes and "mug rugs" for coffee cups on the desk. 

I have started trying to scrap book a bit after about a 10 year lapse. 

I plan to enlarge the garden spot, We had 6 trees cut down last week to make room. Also Sunday we thought it would be a GREAT idea to get a couple weaner pigs. The grand boys thought they could help with that. I told them how much FUN pigs are, and I really need them to go along with my 24 chickens! 

Add to this the fact that Warren is a turnaround planner at the refinery and they just had a very significant fire, and he has not seen the house in daylight since summer... (well, weekends) a lot of the general house/yard chores fall on me. 

SO I will post a report on Feb. 29, 2016 and let you know how all these projects went for us!

I really do love my life, my family and all that goes with that. I have always been very thankful I could stay home with my kids and did not have to go away to work. 

I do volunteer at the Thrift Store, which I love. Lots of wonderful folks there. 

My "office". Lots of projects. 

We have lived in this small house about 24 years. We  have a little living room and dining room. This is where it all has happened for many years. I have always sewed and scrap  booked at the dining room table. So when I go up to my office, Warren always asks where I am and what I am doing! 

This is my real live Joann's cutting counter. I was pretty sure I had to have this when the were remodeling and giving these away. It is great for cutting quilt pieces. Now that it is here, it will never leave. It took 6 men to haul it in. Warren says when I am done with it, we will chop it up for firewood, as there is no way to get it OUT otherwise. he put some really nice doors on it, so I hate to see it chopped up. As you can see, more projects...

The dining room table. A few projects of the day, here. This DOES get cleaned off by the time Warren gets home from work. 

This is Chucks old dining room table, we brought it in for Thanksgiving seating, and well, I decided to take up with my scrap booking...

This is the current pile of books by my chair. I tried to take a picture of my living room and kitchen, which currently ARE clean and pretty much stay that way with only 2 of us and a dog. 
He does not REALLY have his own laptop and pillow, it just looks like that...