Monday, October 24, 2011

Manic Monday Memories

Many of my good memories about my family, and specifically my Mother, revolve around a meal of some sort. I think it is largely because the women in my family are well known for their gifts of hospitality. My Mother was no exception and because of this, in spite of my turbulent upbringing, I have good memories of dinner :)

My earliest memory of my mothers cooking was way back in Marlborough Mass.

She was a fabulous cook and I learned early on to appreciate a pretty wide variety of veggies, unlike most of my contemporaries (I was 4 :). I remember hanging by the door to the kitchen as she checked on the savory smelling meals nestled in our orange oven.


 I wasn't allowed in the kitchen until after the meal was served. Much like an artist doesn't want any comments on an unfinished masterpiece, my Mother couldn't abide comments on an unfinished meal.

Mom worked at the Sheraton Tara, a beautiful hotel done in a castle theme.

She got along with everyone and always found favor with her co-workers. The chef's there were teaching her, a little at a time, how to make things. The first of her experiments was Chicken cordon blue. The juicy white meat wrapped around the creamy Swiss cheese and smokey ham.....omgeee! My mouth waters just remembering. I remember burning my tongue more than once on the steamy filling, not able to wait until it cooled.

She made it a few times in a short period. She was probably practising. The best part about my memory of this dish is the smile on her face when she saw that i loved it. mom didn't smile often at home. She had led a very rough life. When I tasted the Chicken Cordon Blue for the first time, and my face showed how much I liked it, I saw such pleasure, such pride shine in her beautiful brown eyes.

No, my mother is not Ina Garten..lol Just some humor.  She does have the same mannerisms as my mom though; the way she does things, the way she talks...They are so similar in fact that Big Daddy (who never got along with mom while she was alive) can't watch the Barefoot Countessa at all :) It's one of my favorite shows!

This is actually my mother...many years ago. Anyway....It's a good memory. :). I wish I could share her recipes with you, but I don't have a one, she either didn't write any of them down, or they were just lost with everything else when she passed away. That is a whole nother topic...ug.

 This is my substitution...the closest rendition to what I remember from my childhood....found at

http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1826,135186-245193,00.html

SIMPLE CHICKEN CORDON BLUE

Read more about it at www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1826,135186-245193,00.html
Content Copyright © 2011 Cooks.com - All rights reserved.
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast
4 slices Swiss or Provolone cheese
4 thin sliced smoked ham
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg; beaten
1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 cup whipping cream

Pound chicken breast to 1/4-inch thickness. Sprinkle each piece on both sides with salt and pepper. Place 1 cheese slice and 1 ham slice on each breast. Roll up each breast using toothpicks to secure if necessary. Dredge each in flour, shake off excess, then in egg and finally in bread crumbs. Place seam side down in baking dish that has been sprayed with Pam. Place 1 tablespoon butter on each piece of chicken. Bake at 350°F for 35 minutes until juices run clear. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine broth and whipping cream; season to taste (salt, pepper, garlic, oregano). Simmer on low stirring until thickened; Pour over chicken.

Submitted by: Miss Melissa
All of the recipes I post here will be on my own menu. I will update you on how my own family enjoyed the meal. Please share with me if you have had the dish, if you liked it or didn't, any special things you do to make it "yours" or any memories that go along with your special meals, I would love to read them :)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

This week in review

Ok, so it's been one of those weeks where I just didn't have tons of time to write. I wanted to..I needed to..I even attempted to...but I just was unable. ...sigh. Sick little ones, Boyo had a bruised shin bone from last weeks games, PTA and other volunteer obligations, the missing shed wall...the list goes on and on. In the midst of all of this I have been trying hard to keep to my menu and cook from scratch as much as possible. I don't even remember what each day brought, but this is the basic rundown...

Sunday we had kids church at home because all three little ones were sick. We learned "The Lords Prayer" made prayer pretzels and a prayer puzzle and rocked out to Carmans rendition thereof

http://youtu.be/EtPMv0UZAPw   pretty cool actually.

Monday Zabo was still sick. That was the "making kids feel guilty" post. The part that sucked the worst was when 6pm rolled around and she pushed herself to get up and jump around trying to prove to Big Daddy that she was well enough to go to cheer leading. It was cute but sad. Of course he said no. No school, no after school activities, that's our rule.


Boyo stayed home Monday as well, having been in the ER Sunday night because of his shin. They said he bruised the bone and to see his Doc. Boyo is a high energy, comically antagonistic, 6'/190lb, 16 yr old. He has the charisma to get comments like "Pleasure to have in class" from his teachers even when he is failing that same class. When he is home from school and he isn't "sick" he spends his day driving me insane. Especially since we have a "no video games or computer" rule when they are home sick (thanks to my oldest, Rana, who played me all through high school like a Stradivarius!).


Tuesday it was Moose's turn to stay home. He woke with a fever and coughing, runny nose, the whole works. I have to say this is the only thing I hate about Fall. ug! Everyone gets sick at the beginning. He is another high energy kid so him staying home sick isn't a walk in the park. He gets these bouts of manic type energy when he is sick, has weird reactions to most medicines (he's even allergic to most immunizations!) and can become aggressive. It's nothing dangerous....but I do end up having him run laps around the house (inside) to burn off some of that energy so he doesn't hurt someone.

Wednesday Boyo stayed home again. All of the walking up and down the stairs at school Tuesday did him in. Big Daddy works at 4am so there is no car to take them to school in in the morning, and it's a mile walk there and back again. He didn't get the chance to drive me crazy that day though because it was the Pre-Schools trip to the art center. 20-4yr olds and 10 parents. Why did we feel so outnumbered?


 Wednesday night was that crazy wind storm that, they said, whipped up 25' waves on lake Michigan! 25'?  On the lake? That reminds me of home...lol

Thursday everyone went to school, everyone had a great day.  When everyone got home we found out that we were missing a tree limb and a shed wall. Tabby also had a fall concert at 4pm and Big Daddy was supposed to finish 4 chapters of Federal Tax homework before his study group on Friday. Suuuure.

Hmm...Friday? I don't remember much. Big Daddy did homework. Oh, he and Boyo tried to fix the shed and they were doing great until the saw died. We didn't exactly have a funeral for it, Big Daddy opted for recycling it as a shot put :)

Bubba called at 5pm to tell us that he had let a neighbor girl take his box o' fundraiser chocolate to one of her classes to "help" him sell some and now it was missing $20. Sooo...we went to her house to discuss the situation and came to the understanding that if Bubba doesn't somehow miraculously "find" the money by Monday when it is due they will both have to put in $10 of their own money because they were both responsible for the box and the money throughout the day. Bubba learned a valuable life lesson; don't trust girls. Poor guy.



Saturday we cleaned up the outside of the house. Morning Glory vines came down off the front of the house.
All of the deadwood etc... got cut up and sorted (after it was made into a fort of course)


AND we scored a 52" TV for free from a friend of a friend who upgraded to all HD and just doesn't need his old TV anymore. Yes, thank you! Boyo kept asking "When are we picking that up?" and reminding us that he was more than willing to babysit so that we could do just that...lol


Today is Sunday again, and while I was hoping to have a bonfire tonight, i have 4 kids home from church today. Big Daddy and Boyo have inexplicable immune systems and rarely, if ever, get sick. So I'm off to get kids church at home set up again.......sigh

Kinda drained, kinda tired...but overall, it's a beautiful day, the kids are all safe, there's food in the cupboard....I don't really have anything to complain about. God is faithful and we are so grateful for His presence which brings peace into our lives. Life is good even when the circumstances aren't.  And so I leave you this week with peace, be well friends. :)


Friday, October 21, 2011

No wonder I couldn't sleep

Night before last, while I was grumbling against my beloved Bear for continually barking, the high winds not only knocked a good sized branch off my tree and set it down just 2 feet from my bedroom window, but it also took the entire back wall off of my attached shed. I guess he had a good reason for barking.



To give you an idea...each of those fence lengths is 5 feet wide. I didn't really think it was going to be as heavy as it was, expecting that it was dead inside or something like that, since it DID get ripped off the tree. No, it's perfectly healthy and heavy enough that my back hurts quite a bit today from moving it across the yard and trying to maneuver it somehow so that it doesn't look like a random tree limb littering my yard. I failed by the way. It is quite conspicuous.


We heard some banging but thought it was out shed door, it's lock doesn't work well in high winds, we already knew this. But that would be too easy. It seems that the small part of the siding on our shed where a mulberry tree had decided to grow right up from under our cement slab was bent up just enough for the wind to sweep under it and rip all of the siding off. It was short work from there for all of the rain to tear apart the (very old) plywood wall. Being that it is a part of my house I cannot see from any of the back windows, and that I didn't look because it was COLD and wet yesterday, no one noticed it until Zabo came in from school saying "Mom, we have a problem!" what an awesome way for a 7 yr old to communicate..lol  I have to admit that my first thought was that someone stole her new XOXO eraser or that one of the buttons on her coat had come off.  I suppose i should have given more credence to her dire pronunciation.


Those are phone lines hanging there. fortunately we do not have a "land line" so we didn't lose service or anything. We rid ourselves of that about a year ago because something was always going wrong with the service and since we all have cel phones (the two grown ups and the Big Boys) we just don't see a need for one.


So you can guess what our day today is going to be like. Fortunately it is not raining and windy today as it has been. I am very grateful for that fact. I am also grateful that, although that large tree branch fell so close to our window, it did absolutely no damage, somehow missed the power lines that run from the poll to just above our bedroom window and landed "safely". God is good. That's the only way I can explain such things.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I read the news every morning...

This is the first thing I read this morning and I'm just floored by it. I don't always agree with Jon BonJovi's politics. I do however have a real heart for community service that empowers and builds the community rather than entitles or pitties.

This is a fabulous endeavor and I'm just excited by the un-capitolistic nature of it. This isn't some rich performer trying to look good, this guy and his wife choose to use what they have been given to personally, hands on, make a difference. That's the human spirit at work! Kudos man.

http://news.yahoo.com/jon-bon-jovis-charity-restaurant-opens-nj-172118923.html

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Homecoming video

Everyone is still talking about the whole homecoming week. It WAS pretty cool. Some of the better points are noted here:

1. Not one young person ended up in detention or in school suspension the whole week at the high school. The threat of missing the pep rally was enough to keep them all on their toes. Too bad we don't have something equally awesome to hold over their pubescent heads (and attitudes!) the rest of the year. It still remains though that it was a peaceful week at the high school.

2. Schools that have a hard time remembering to check the "All School" schedule when planning things like Parent/Teacher conference nights and back to school nights so that those of us with multiple children who attend multiple schools don't end up looking like bad parents because we didn't attend YOUR PTA meeting or what have you, ACTUALLY worked together to pull off a multi-school parade, tailgate party and game that went without a hitch. It was so awesome. I love that feeling of community you get when everyone works together.

3. Our lovely homecoming queen, Clara, was elected for her sparkling sweet presonality. This is awesome because, in addition to being an absolute doll, she is disabled. She was neither accepted or rejected by her peers based on that fact. She won because she deserved to and it is just the coolest thing ever in my opinion. Bubba is (very mildly) disabled. He has struggled with bullys and just not fitting in his whole school career. The high school has such a great social thing going on though, this has been his best year ever. He feels like a human being, not a condition, not a labeled misfit. No one wants to win because of pitty any more than they want to lose because of prejudice. Clara did neither. She won because; as my boys have said a million times this last week, "She's so cute!  She's so sweet and nice to everybody. She deserves to win." So proud of them. So proud of the student body...just so proud :)

One sad thing that came about this last week; I found out that this will be the last year that our high school will have a drumline. This is sad because they have been awesome for the last 4 years. They have performed at games, rallys and even gone to the elementary schools to inspire our littler ones. I personally LOVE drumlines; it's an art of precision, like the Lord of the Dance stuff. They all have to be in perfect rythum all the time. If one slips up the whole thing is like a train wreck. These kids have worked hard and have amazing talent. I wish there was a sponsor at the high school who was willing to take on the challenge of hosting these kids next year, but there isn't. Everyone is, and honestly so, too busy to devote the kind of time commitment this type of art requires.

One of Boyo's friends put this together. He is an amatuer film maker and I am pretty impressed by him overall. This is part one of the pep rally video he did (there are 3 parts). The drumline can be seen at the 8 minute mark.

I hope you enjoy this little look into our hometown. :)
http://youtu.be/W65Bs-pJc84

Saturday, October 15, 2011

HOMECOMING!!

Let's Go Governors! Let's Go!

It was an awesome day for homecoming. The sun was out, but it wasn't too hot. The clouds were out, but it didn't rain. The wind rose and fell like the tides on the seas, but never enough to be dangerous or even terribly inconvenient. Overall, for those of us who have our homecoming at the end of the regular season rather than at the beginning, it was a fabulous day for homecoming.

The Football program has spent the entire season honoring our servicemen (and women) and our veterans. At each home game, before the game begins those willing to be recognized are called by name and greeted with standing applause. 10% of the home game ticket sales goes to help veterans causes. It's been really awesome to watch as men and women from every branch, from the Korean war to the war in Iraq, stand at the 50 yrd line and get some recognition and respect for what they've sacrificed.


 Our head coach is the genius behind this years worthy theme and we support it 100% So much so that the classes each picked a branch of the service to represent with their floats in the parade this year.


Freshman had the Navy



Sophomores had the Army



Juniors had the Marines and Seniors the Air force


The community Schools get together every year to make the homecoming parade something that everyone can enjoy. 3 elementary schools, the middle and high schools all have participants. There's an elementary cheer squad



 a patrol squad


 and various PTA's & PTSA's


  The middle school adds their Football team, the future Gov's to the entertainment



 and the high school, the star of the show, brings the marching band,
video



dance and cheer leading teams




plus the various clubs and homecoming hopefuls


(You cannot see the whole thing but her dress was the prettiest I have ever seen)

(Our Homecoming Queen, Clara)


(Moose said this one was his princess...so cute!)




And of course, The Football Team


(MY football player, Boyo)



After the parade the Middle School hosts a "tailgating Party" in it's courtyard. BBQ hot dogs, chips and bottled water for $3.00, can't beat that! And the fellowship with the families of the community, our educators and administrators is absolutely priceless. No one's complaining about this or that teacher. No one's fighting. It's all friendly and fun.

Yes Zabo, Cheerleaders have to eat too :)

No Bubba, you are NOT too old for me to be taking your picture :)

Big Daddy, please take off those glasses. You look like a David Lee Roth wannabe! ug...lol

(David Lee Roth...see what I mean..sheesh!)

the rest of the night was spent at the game with friends. There were 12 or 15 of us total. I lost count when we dropped off one of the neighborhood kids but picked up another...IDK it is what it is. The Governor Wagon (our van, otherwise named Hugo) seems to be more of a kid transportation system than our personal vehicle.

Yes, I know it looks like it belongs in a McDonald's commercial. It's not Yellow on the bottom anymore. the black primer makes a world of difference. Soon it will be red and dark grey...we will, after all, have kids at the high school for the next 12 years...dear God, have mercy on our souls. We just haven't gotten that far on the overall overhaul :)

After a long night and a lot of laughs, hot dogs, candy, glow sticks, shouting and touchdowns, we came home to hot chocolate and warm blankets...

And one very tired Linebacker (He'll get me for this one..lol)

Thanks for taking the ride with us. Here's hoping your Autumn has begun as well as ours has and to many more victories in the post season for our boys!



Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Why I love Sundays

Sunday night the sky was on fire


It was almost as if you could see the flames licking at the edges of them.

I was inspired and awed.
We had a bonfire to commemorate their beauty.
The fire from below reaching to the fire from above.
It would have been easier if it hadn't rained for three days prior to said bonfire.
But I was inspired :)


It was REALLY dark by the time we got that fire going.

The reward for my perseverance came when it was time for the small ones and the tweeny to head to bed, the Big Boys took them in and gave Big Daddy and I a few minutes to stir the coals and just sit together, staring into the flames and enjoying each others presence.
They are good Boys :)

It was a great night!