That was a bad idea

Today has been such a wonderful day. The weather outside is my favorite!  Cold, rainy, dark…I love it. I turned my Christmas trees on first thing (well, after my first cup of coffee) and smiled ’till my ears hurt. What a joyful thing to have the cold weather. Because I was in such a great mood (although I had a pile of laundry 4 feet high to wade through) I decided to surprise the munchkins with homemade french fries with lunch. You know – pommes frites, papas fritas. I’m so cultured…I know.

My Mom made the BEST french fries when I was growing up. She had this electric skillet she would use. When my sister and I saw that appliance sitting on the counter, it usually meant one of two things: pork chops or Mom’s french fries!  We definitely preferred the fries even though Mom does make a killer pork chop. 🙂 Anyhow, I have been reading about what a “fine southern cook” does and does not EVER do. I learned that a true southern cook would never dream of frying in anything but lard. Lard? Really? My Mom used Crisco, but I thought I’d give it a shot. Mom is from Montana, after all.  Lard is plen-tee-ful down here. It takes up 2 shelves at the grocery store and comes in a giant 25 pound bucket all the way to the tiny size. I had purchased the small size because I had also read that the secret to the flakiest pie crust ever was lard. I chickened out for the pies, so I still had my tub o’ lard in the pantry.

I peeled the potatoes and ran them through my Bosch french fry cutter (yes, they make one and yes, I own it…it is pretty much a food processor attachment that fits on my Universal.) The spuds were sliced and ready so I got Old Faithful,  the cast iron skillet out and dropped in the lard. It began to heat up on my speedy gas cooktop. Within minutes, I began to detect an odor that was not pleasant to my delicate nose. I walked back into the kitchen from my laundry room lair. With each step towards the stove, the pungent aroma was growing stronger. When at last I arrived on the scene, I realized I was smelling the aroma of the melted and warming lard. Ladies and gentlemen, I can only describe this smell as “melted year-old pork rinds.”  I feel like I should mention to you that I am not a fan of pork rinds.

Undeterred (or perhaps too lazy to start over), I carefully placed the potatoes into Old Faithful. I was rewarded by an immediate sizzle like none I had seen in all my Crisco days.  It would have been french fry heaven if only I could stand to breathe the same lard-smell-infested airspace. I could not. I had to leave the kitchen. I went on the hunt for any scented candle I could find. I found 4 and lit them all. I kept reasoning that restaurants and home cooks use lard all the time. It was unlikely to poison us, right? (RIGHT?) I began to get sick to my stomach. I only returned to the kitchen to check on the progress.

When at last the fries were cooked, I drained them carefully while holding my breath (it’s a good thing I have had years practicing swimming laps without taking a single breath), liberally sprinkled them with salt and pronounced them ready for consumption. The boys were dancing around like elves on Christmas Eve. They seemed to not notice the aroma.  I placed a serving of the frites on each lunch platter along with the rest of our lunch and waited to see what the boys thought. You didn’t think I was going to try them first, did you? I mean, really.

What do you know? They loved them. They declared them “delicious” and “so yummy.” I tried one. I had to plug my nose without them noticing. I chewed and swallowed and survived. I had a Sprite chaser.  The boys happily finished off the rest of the batch.  I guess I will never be a true southern cook, because lard will not be invited back to my house to play. I’ll stick to the Crisco the next time I get a hankering for some good old-fashioned homemade fries.

~Janna

 

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Santo, santo…El Señor poderoso!

After a restless night, where I jumped to the window at the smallest sound outside, we woke and went to church. I am leading the children’s choir and can I just tell you how much I love it?  It is one of my most favorite things. I love hearing them get better and better each week.  I love watching their faces as we talk about what it will be like to be on stage. Most of all, I love watching them on performance day. It rocks. I really get into it. I am going to have Mr T video it and make you all watch it. It will be that good. 🙂

No more lights left our yard last night. That was a good thing. This morning, our oldest found the missing lights and light stakes in the middle of the street at the end of our street. They were, of course, smooshed. I am guessing it was kids. Teenagers. When did I get so old that I am blaming teenagers? It honestly made me feel better to find them. It made it more of a prank and less of burglary in my mind. Whatever it takes, right?

On the way home, I flashed some money in front of my man’s eyes which was my way of saying I didn’t feel like cooking lunch. It worked – sort of. We wound up at a BBQ drive thru called Rudy’s. Rudy is pretty darned impressed with his BBQ. He charges a pretty penny for it. The boys wanted to go to Taco Palenque. We should have listened to them!

My wonderful Mommy is coming down on Friday. I cannot wait. I think I have called her every day just to tell her how many days it is until she gets here. Don’t tell her, but I bought some beautiful new white on white embroidered pillowcases today to go on the guest bed. I have one set of very girlie sheets that I only get to use when a lady comes to stay. It will be fun to get the room ready for her. It will be nice to have another girl in the house. I am blessed that is coming to hang out with us and super excited that after she leaves, it won’t be long until we see each other again. I can’t wait!!

So, here’s hoping our outdoor holiday decor stays intact for the rest of the season. I’m hoping to get some uninterrupted sleep tonight. I hope you do, too.

~Janna

Night time madness

It’s Saturday night and I just finished wrapping what seemed like 46,098 Christmas presents. It’s not that I don’t like wrapping presents. It’s just that I don’t like handling the paper, measuring, cutting, taping and ribbons. That’s all. I love the gift-giving part, though. The boys will surely be surprised when they come downstairs tomorrow morning and there are gifts under the tree. Let the imaginations begin! I’m pretty excited because I have most of the shopping done! Yeah for me!

On a sad, mad, really sad, really mad note….I just went outside to turn off the Christmas lights. We just put them up today. It was a sweaty ordeal and I broke two fingernails.  Anyhow, I opened up our three front doors (no kidding) and noticed that SOMEONE HAD RIPPED OFF SOME OF OUR NEW LIGHTS. I’m really, really angry. I hate that. I just hate it. I hate that someone thinks they have the right to do mean stuff. I’ll probably cry later on – it bothers me so much. I keep wondering, “is this a taste of what’s to come in this house?” I felt pretty safe. We are on a cul de sac, hardly any traffic. Man, I am steamed.

I am not going to be able to blog anymore tonight because of the fact I am so mad. Really.  Seriously. Really.

 

~Janna

It’s Tuesday

It’s Tuesday and I realized I forgot to post my menu plans for the week. Now I know you noticed but just didn’t mention this oversight.  I appreciate your kindness!!

Monday: (B)Pancakes  (L) Out – the bug man was here! (D) Grilled Salmon, Baked potato, green beans, salad

Tuesday: (B) Whole Wheat Waffles (L)Sandwiches and fresh fruit (D) Grilled Chicken Salad

Wednesday: (B) Waffles Repeat (L) Sandwiches (D) Baked Ziti (we didn’t have it last week – we were treated to dinner!)

Thursday: (B) Cream Cheese Bread (L) Turkey, Ham, Homemade Rolls, Mashed Potatoes, Petite Peas, Creamed corn, Macaroni and Cheese, Ambrosia, Cranberry Sauce, Stuffing, Gravy, Apple Pie, Fudge Pie

Friday: Leftovers

Saturday: Leftovers again!!

Sunday: Can somebody say leftovers?

Beauty

Tonight I had one of the best nights – ever.  Last night, we prepared food baskets to give away for Thanksgiving. Tonight, we were able to give those away. It was so special. I have participated in “feel good” events in the past, but this was different. This was not about a photo op, or a “here’s your food, have a great day.” This was personal. Through some beautiful people in our church, we targeted families that needed some help. The families staggered in from 5-7 this evening. Each family was welcomed individually. They were treated as guests – not as “the needy.” Their children played with my children as we talked. I cannot tell you what this meant to me as a Believer. As a Mom. As a Fellow Human on this Earth. This was Beauty.

~Janna

Maybe yes? Maybe no?

I just got this link in an email. After reading it, I am seriously considering doing this. We have but one lone oven and we (okay, you know I mean me, right?) are making turkey and ham and rolls, etc…We also hate a dry bird, although I have to say, I make a pretty darned good turkey. The writer assures us the turkey will be the moistest ever. I also loathe can’t stand mutilating de-boning the turkey after eating it. It grosses me out, big-time. Maybe this is the answer to all our questions. Since my Dad won’t be here at my house to carve Mr. Gobbler, I’m saying, “hmmmmmm.”

Your thoughts?

 

~Janna

Chapter 2

 

Superboys

Superboys

We closed on our old house yesterday. I feel as though the invisible chains that have bound us to the neverland between “old” and “new” are broken.  When we received the call last night that all was complete – we could only embrace. No words were necessary.  We can move on. VICTORY!!!!

 

As I sit here at my makeshift desk, drinking my coffee (peppermint mocha this morning), my heart is overflowing with thankfulness.  House sold in yucky housing market: THANKFUL.  My man loves loves loves his new job: THANKFUL.  Beautiful friendships in our new town: THANKFUL.  Cool weather on the very day we closed on the house: THANKFUL. Three healthy, gorgeous boys who still come in to see us first thing in the morning: THANKFUL. Supportive family and friends who have faithfully listened and prayed : THANKFUL.

To sum is all up: He loves me. He loves me.  He loves me.  He loves me.  He never loves me not.

Turning the page on our new lives….
~Janna

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