Friday, April 28, 2017

Dance Like Nobody's Watching

This afternoon I received an email from Youngest Son.  His oldest, my granddaughter Boston, has a dance competition this weekend.  It will be live streamed so I can watch it.  He sent me the link and the scheduled times for Boston's dances.

Later my phone rang.  It was Boston.  "I am so excited that you are going to watch me dance, Grandma."  I'm excited, too.  This is the first time this year that one of her competitions has been live streamed.  I haven't as yet seen her solo tap dance and I'm really looking forward to watching her perform it.

I told Boston that I already had my popcorn popper out and ready to go, so I could watch her dance and munch popcorn, just like in the theaters.  She said, "Grandma, you're so funny."

I will be back on Monday after my marathon dance competition watching.

Go get 'em, Miss B.  Dance like nobody's watching!!

Love, Grandma

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Dad and the Seven Foot Tall Tomato Plant

My Dad loved to grow things.  He lovingly tended his gardens for many years.  And when he could no longer garden, he planted tomatoes in pots on the balcony of his apartment.

One fall he found that a tomato plant had not yet died off as had the others, so when the nights became colder, he brought it indoors.  He continued to water it and it continued to grow.

Dad lived in a town of about 600 people, not ten miles from where he was born.  Everyone knew everyone else.  Knowing Dad, I suspect that he did just a little bit of bragging on his tall tomato plant.  Probably showed it off to some of his friends and relatives who lived in the same Senior apartment building.

Word got around and one afternoon a reporter from the local weekly newspaper came knocking on his door.  An interview was given and pictures were taken.  And Dad and his tomato plant had their 15 minutes of fame the following week when the paper was published.

Some years later I inherited a box full of family pictures.  While sorting them out, I found this one.

That's Dad.  That's the famous tomato plant.  Dad was 5' 5" tall so the plant might look taller than it was.  I looked at the distance between the top of the plant and his living room ceiling.  Looks to be about a foot.  After this photo was taken, the silly plant continued to grow until it touched the ceiling.

We always teased him that it must have been a slow news week when the article appeared in the newspaper.  He just smiled and remarked that he knew of nobody else who had grown a 7 foot tall tomato plant.

I sure miss that old man.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Just Not Working

I have been trying all morning to write a new post and it just isn't working.  The words aren't there.  It isn't that the subject is difficult, for it was just about another day in the life of this chubby granny.  Rather than fight with it any longer, I shall give my brain a time-out and head to the kitchen to re-can some pickles and bake some bread.  Perhaps tomorrow my brain cells will line up and let me write something that makes sense.  :)

Friday, April 21, 2017

If I report the bad...

then I had better report the good.

A little while ago there was a knock on my door.  It was my neighbor.  The one of the barking dog and smoke alarm fame.  That one.

He said he was truly sorry for the trouble he had caused.  He hoped I would accept his apology and his assurance that there would not be a repeat performance.

I accepted his apology.  All I want is for him to take responsibility for his actions and to stop doing dumb stuff that threatens me and mine.  And aside from the smoke alarm incidents, he is a quiet neighbor who doesn't bother anyone.

I do not know what brought about this change in attitude.  And it really doesn't matter.  I will give him the benefit of the doubt.  After all, he isn't the only one living here who has slipped into stupid at one time or another.

And I would hate to see Cooper have to move.  I love that dog.  :)

Monday, April 17, 2017

A Couple of Days R&R and a Bit of Apartment House Excitement

So I thought I was Wonder Woman.

I'm not.

After all the canning I need a couple of days of rest and recuperation.  Dratted arthritis!  All I had left to can was hamburger and peas.  Those are now in the freezer waiting until my aching joints get with the program.  I had some onions, cabbage and bell peppers leftover, so those will go into the dehydrators this evening.

There was a bit of excitement here in my building Saturday night.  My neighbor across the hall seems to have overindulged at the bar,  came home and put some food in his oven and neglected to take it out.  I heard his dog barking about 1 AM.  The dog never barks unless something is wrong in his world.  Then the neighbor's smoke alarm started blaring at 1:30 AM.  I had been dozing in my recliner and when I noticed it was still going off 20 minutes later and I started to get up to call 911 when it stopped.

Duane asked me the next day if I had heard all the excitement.  I had not, for I must have gone to sleep right after the alarm stopped.  He said that he and Lori opened their apartment door to find out where the alarm was, and they found the hallway was filled with a smoky haze.  Lori called 911.  Police and firemen showed up in short order and found the source of the smoke.    They set up fans to clear the smoke from the building.  Duane came here to check on me and found me peacefully snoozing.  Duane and Lori said that later the neighbor, thinking the caretakers had made the call, had taken his drunken self down the hall and was pounding on the caretaker's door, shouting obscenities and calling them some very unflattering names.

This is the third time this fool has done this.  We are hoping our landlord will invite him to take his sorry self elsewhere to live.

Aside from that, all is quiet and peaceful in my little corner of the world.  :)

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Canning Corn Relish

I like to have a variety of relishes on hand.  They give just a little bit of zing to a meal.  One of my favorites is corn relish.  Here is the recipe.

Corn Relish

6 cups cooked fresh or frozen whole kernel corn
3 cups chopped cabbage
1 cup chopped onion
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
4 cups cider vinegar
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 Tbsp pickling salt
1 Tbsp celery seed
1 Tbsp mustard seed
1 Tbsp turmeric

Combine all ingredients.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.  Reduce heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Immediately fill hot pint or half-pint jars with mixture, leaving 1/2-inch head space.
Process pints or half-pints in boiling water canner for 15 minutes.

I doubled the recipe.  That gave me 12 pints of relish plus about a half pint to eat with supper tonite.

I am taking tomorrow off.  Duane is baking a huge ham.  He is working his magic with a sauce that has pineapple in it.  He and Lori are doing most of the cooking.  All I have to do is make some candied carrots and set the table.  Spoil me, they do.  :)

This is me, wishing all of my blog friends a happy and blessed Easter.

Canning Grapes

So I decided to try another experiment.  I am canning grapes.

Now, why on earth would anybody want to can grapes, you might ask.  First, I love grapes.  Nearly every grocery order includes grapes.

Second, lets pretend that the reason we prepare has happened and the only food we have to eat is the food we have stored.  If I had canned no other meat than chicken, or if I only had canned peaches for fruit, it wouldn't take very long before I could not stand the sight of chicken or peaches.  That's why I can a variety of meats and fruits.  And grapes are just another variety to add to my shelves.

I have not canned grapes before, but according to those who have, they can up well.  If you only like fresh grapes, this method is probably not for you.  But if you like the grapes that come in a can of fruit cocktail, you might like these.

Canning grapes is easy, peasy.  Remove the grapes from their stems and wash them well.  Fill jars with grapes (I used pints) to within 1 inch from the top of the jar.  Make a simple syrup of sugar and water.  As grapes are naturally sweet, I used a very light syrup of 6 1/2 cups of water and 3/4 cup sugar, brought to a boil to dissolve the sugar.  This is enough for 8 - 9 pints.  Pour the syrup over the grapes and water bath can them for 15 minutes.

I had ordered 2 lbs. of green grapes and 2 lbs. of red.  That gave me 6 pints of grapes, total (minus a handful or two or three that I ate).  When the jars had cooled, I opened one to see how I would like them, and I did.  I would think you could use them like fruit cocktail, just for snacking or maybe as a dessert.  I will probably can more of these.

You gotta try new things.  :)