Sandy and Kat’s Excellent Adventure!

Or Not All Fast Food Is Created Equal.

Whew, are you caught up from my whirl wind post from yesterday?

Just when you thought you had your feet back on the ground here I come to send it all whirling again!

One of the things we picked up at Kim Clare’s Farm and Woolery was her mom’s cookbook.

Cute, huh? Well – the recipes inside are something to behold. Until Sandy and I had read the cookbook, neither of us was aware that you could stay awake until 2AM reading recipes out loud and laughing hysterically.

I know – who knew!

So, on our 3rd night there – yes, we were only going to say 2 nights – but that class on wet felting allowed us to stay an extra day. Anyways, back to night #3. We had stopped again at the Pellston Market to get some more cheese (a bit of Rogue River Blue and some Triple Cream Brie. Gentle reader, you have not lived until you have had these cheeses with some fig jam on top. Yes, Fig Jam. Oh. My. Gosh. I swear I heard the Hallelujah Chorus being sung by a multitude of the Heavenly host. Honestly.)

Again, I digress…

Back to the Pellston Market. We were waiting for them to shave us off a couple more slices of cheese when what do our wondering eyes behold.

Microwave dinner in the freezer.

Microwave dinner you say?

Let me just tell you, not all Fast Food is created equally.

How does Curried Chicken Breast on a bed of Israeli Couscous with Pernod soaked golden raisins and oven roasted tomatoes sound?

Not like any fast food I have ever eaten.

We had it with a desert mousse – Frozen White Chocolate Towers with a fresh Papaya Puree’.

Are we pitiful or what?

So, we noshed on some cheeses, sipped some wine and while we waited for the microwave to cook our dinner we began to read the recipes from “Louise’s Recipe Collection”. I swear we were not intoxicated – knitter’s honor! But, we could not stop laughing at some of these recipes. If you do not know how to make Finger Jello, email me – the recipe is in here. If you do not know how to make “Fast Salad” (aka, lime jello fluff – you all remember that stuff, cottage cheese, dry jello, Cool Whip, and a canned fruit – our house made it with crushed pineapple) that recipe is in there too. There is a macaroni salad that has 2 cups of mayo, 1 can sweetened condensed milk, 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of vinegar in it – I am not kidding you. I could not make this stuff up if I tried! Under the “Main Dish” section was this little gem – and although it is not really little – I had to share it with you today. Maybe we can start a nationwide shortage of maraschino cherries – Manhattan drinker’s beware!

So, without further adieu – here you go, gentle reader:

Baked Oatmeal:

42 ounce box of Quick Cook Oatmeal (yes, 42 ounces – get the Sam’s Club Special)

2 pounds of brown sugar (you got it, 2 whole pounds – better get that at Sam’s while you are at it)

4 tablespoons of baking soda

4 cups of milk

8 eggs (huh? only 8 eggs – that must be a typo.)

2 cups of melted butter (are your arteries clogging yet????)

2 cups of maraschino cherries (if you drink Manhattan’s you may want to stock up – and if you happen to go the your local market and find no maraschino cherries on the shelves, don’t say I did not warn you)

2 cups of raisins

Mix oatmeal, sugar, soda, raisins and cherries. Beat eggs, milk, and butter together and add to dry ingredients. Pour into a lightly greased 2 inch full size pan (huh, I’d say the largest freakin’ pan in your kitchen and hope that it is big enough!!) Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Serve with milk and bananas.

The author has hand written this note in my book – “for a large crowd“.

I am not kidding you folks – can you see what we spent the evening laughing about? There is one recipe in which you must take the pot of tomato jam and place it on your head, stirring constantly – watch for lumps. How the heck do you see what is inside the pot with it perched upon your head!!!! We almost died on this one. And then there is the recipe for Prefect Poached Eggs – no, not Perfect – Prefect – must be extra special eggs that either Roman Magistrates or Jesuit Priests make. My face hurt we laughed so much – seriously.

So, next time you find me I will be whipping up a batch of Tomato Jam – I’ll be easy to find, look for the girl with the pot on her head.

Just a bit of eye candy to end your day on a more serious note… some yummy Fleece Artist Woolie Silk 3-Ply on the right and Handmaiden Silk Rumple Kid Mohair on the left.

Have a fabulous Friday and get cooking!

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D is for Decadence

It’s been a wild week here at the Home for the Unemployed!  Much fun and merriment.  Maybe a bit too much fun and merriment as you will see below.  So, I have this friend – Sandy has no blog and she recently had surgery, thus having a bit of time off from work.  Sandy with no blog does, however, have a lovely cottage up in Alanson Michigan.  So, we packed up Copper, Penny, and Alice, a few clothes, some things to knit on and headed north.  It was perfect – I was waiting to get my testing number back from the State (this is to take my test for being a nurses aide) and we each had a bit of free time on our hands.  We were just going to stay a couple of nights and then back home.  A quick trip!

Right… good thought at the start. 

Then Decadence showed up.  

Who were we to tell her to leave???

So, we began our wee vacation with a small supper at a most amazing restaurant in Petosky – a small, family owned Italian restaurant where the service was divine and the food was beyond decadent.  Sandy and I agreed to order different things and split – more to taste right?  So, she orders some wild boar – that was falling off the bone, flavored beyond belief and accompanied with some roasted parsnips that were drenched in an herbed butter.  I get the home made gnocci with the wild mushroom cream sauce.  Okay – truly I could have stopped right there.  Truly – but I was afraid to miss out on anything that tasted better than dinner (and the salad – oh. my. gosh.) So, we forged ahead with dessert. 

Warning – if you have cholesterol problems you might want to stop reading about now… what follows will be sure to elevate your cholesterol level to beyond dangerous numbers!

So, after we had the richest dinner on earth – we plunged ahead boldly and ordered ….

Fried Cream.

Yes, you read that right – Fried Cream.

Get this, gentle reader, the waiter I wanted to take home with me says this…..

It is amazing… we freeze the cream (whole cream, not half and half, WHOLE CREAM) and cut it into little squares.  We lightly roll the frozen pillows of cream in a light, and I mean light, crust and deep fry them for just a few moments until they are a light golden brown.  They are served on a bed of melted dark chocolate with a side of pureed apricots.  The following words clinched it for me…

“They explode in your mouth”

Sign me up for the exploding cholesterol desert please! 

These little pillows of perfection arrived and guess what…

Holy Hannah, they do explode in your mouth.  Divine bliss.  Oral oversaturation.  Sensory overload times ten.

Yeah, we practically licked the plate clean! 

Now, we had only had a glass of wine with dinner so when we discovered that this restaurant made their own Lemoncello – we, of course, had to have some. 

Wow, lemony freshness, palate cleansing punch in one small sip. 

Needless to say, we managed to roll ourselves home to sleep off the eating over indulgence. 

Sweet dreams circled around my head and lingered for most of the morning as we headed out to explore for the day. 

We stopped in the middle of freaking nowhere to find the Pellston Market, aka Cheese Heaven.

We got a few slices of cheese to have with our dinner that night and found out about a yarn shop enroute to Cynthia’s in Mackinaw City. 

Cheeses in tow, we headed out.  And, in the distance we saw it…

The Flower Lady’s Farm and Woolery.

The sheep greeted us as we pulled in.

By now, I am almost at combustion point – wool.  On Sheep.  Sheared from sheep.  Wool everywhere.

Yeah.  It was incredible.

We loved it at the Woolery so much we went back the next day and took a class…

Wet felting.  Baby Slippers.  

I present to you – Starry Night.  The colors are not fabulous in the bleak West Michigan winter weather – but they are dark brown inside with the most wonderful blue overlay and for added interest, little bits of color. 

They are just too sweet.  I am excited to give these to my girlfriend who is expecting her second.  And – when he cannot wear them any longer – what a great Christmas tree decoration, don’t you think?

Well, lest you think I left any fiber at the Woolery, save what was still attached to the sheep (and I did find out that shearing day was coming soon… ) I did manage to snag a few great items to enhance my fiber stash.  I got a wee bit of California Red – gorgeous stuff.  And, since the sheep twisted my arm, I had no choice but to grab some.  It is creamy, springy, and soft with a faint red hue.  I also got a gorgeous batt of some Icelandic that she raises at her farm.  But, that was not the big prize of the week… heavens no.  Feast your eyes on this….

Okay – what you see here is 8 ounces of Gotland fiber imported directly from England.  The smell is incredible.  The feel is beyond decadent.  And, carded, this stuff makes clouds look harsh.  Pillowy, springy, fluff.  Begging me to spin it.  How could I resist????

We managed to drag ourselves out of there and we headed north a few miles to Mackinaw City to Cynthia’s Yarn Shop.  Even in the dead of winter, this is a quaint place to be.  I picked up a skein of Fleece Artist – some of their Silky Wool.  Nice sheen.  We also stopped by Stonehedge Fiber Mill – only in Northern Michigan will they give you an imprompteau tour of the mill.  I picked up some gorgeous Pin Drafted Top Merino and some Camel – Merino blend.  Just some fun things to spin on my new wheel. 

Yes, you read that right.  I have a Polish visitor.  One Kromski Polonaise visitor.  One that I am not going to let leave.  Isn’t she gorgeous?

You can see a bobbin with some of that gorgeous Pin Drafted Top Merino on it… and, gentle reader, she spins so divinely.  I have been meditating on a name for her – and originally I was leaning towards a name of Polish origin.  But, nothing was jumping out at me – she seemed to not be moved by any of them. 

Then it hit me… She is a bit of a Bohemian and this so fit…

I found this little treasure …

Meet Mona Aamons Monzano – in memory of Kurt Vonnegut…

And so Mona it is.  Mona is hanging on a spire and bringing good vibrations to all that is spun.  She is equally a Bohemian – and a busty one at that!  Don’t you just love her????  I know I sure do… she is the Spinning Goddess!

So, my friend Sandy is down south now with her husband – and I am sitting for their dog, Katie – and the bell rang yesterday and this giant arrived. 

Have you even seen such a decadent flower? 

I present one LARGE King Protea in all it’s glory.

Thanks Sandy and Bud, I love it!

Have a fabulous evening all… I am going to go spin a bit more with Mona…

Cha-cha-cha-changes…

Boy – two days in a row and both of them musical!  From ABBA to Bowie (or at least I think that is right!)… that about explains my life in the last 2 days.

Yeah… well, let me catch you all up on what’s up.

Okay – interviewed at the nursing/senior living home – I don’t think they are called “nursing homes” any longer, but the residents need a great amount of assistance with daily living activities.  They have offered me a job….

How awesome is that!!!

Well, here is the catch…  they view this job as a calling.  A calling that only gets 18-20 hours per week, with no benefits, at a wage that is embarrassing…  Seriously embarrassing…  Below poverty level embarrassing…

The question is, can it be a “calling” if you live in a card board box????

Yeah, exactly what I thought.

Okay… next!

I had a meeting tonight.  A meeting where I was asked to help with direction, ideas, new things to do.

So, we (the woman on this committee with me) met and had great discussions.  We emailed the person in charge with our volume of ideas (which she never answered).  And, I came to the meeting with our thoughts on direction, ideas, and new things to do….

That was all good until they told me this…

No changes!

Say what?????

And, to top that all off – no photos today.

Here is hoping that tomorrow is better.

Until then…

Can I have a table for one please…..

Missing you, missing me

Okay, have you called out the blog search dogs?

Yes, I have been MIA for a bit.

Funny how hard it is to blog when you have been away for a few days.

Don’t worry, here at the Home for the Unemployed – we are still alive and kicking.  I just had a brief sabbatical – Yes, a Fiber Sabbatical at that.  And, there might have been a bit of food mixed in as well.  And, a bit of Poland thrown in for good measure!

I desperately want to post some photos but the lovely Michigan weather is not cooperating at all.  It was most grey and unsunny out today – not a photo friendly day at all.

But, I can share with you that I have learned something new!  Wet Felting!

I have procured some amazing fiber as well.  Okay, maybe more than some…. but no one was hurt in the procurement!

And then there is the Polish visitor to tell you all about.   Only, I am not letting her leave!

Well, see you all tomorrow with pictures, I hope!

Life takes a leap of faith

Hello Gentle Readers!

Hope you have all had a wonderful week and that your weekend will go slowly!

I had a great day today, a truly great day.  My last day of clinicals was wonderful.  Just simply wonderful.  I filled out an application.  And, turned it in.  Life sometimes asks you to take a leap of faith.

So, after doing that.

I got an email from another opportunity.  Life sometimes asks you to take a leap of faith.

Maybe two jobs will be the answer.

When the door shut on my career I don’t think I realized that I would need to walk a distance before finding that open window.  I had better start paying attention, I think that window is getting closer and I don’t need to miss it!

Tonight I went to the most  incredible Knit Night – Sandy invited me to go with her and I am so glad I said yes.  There was fresh smoked salmon, an assortment of cheeses, home made lasagna, a divine salad, WINE, and desserts.  Oh, and a shop filled with yummy yarn.  It was a rough night, but I had to do it!  So, I sat and ate a bit, knit a bit, ate a bit more, sipped some wine, laughed a lot, knit some more, found a few treasures, and made some new friends.  A most appropriate ending to an incredible week.  And, the icing on the cake – Sandy got a call from her son – her first grandson was born tonight!  She is on cloud nine and she will be heading to Ann Arbor tomorrow to see this new child!

And, the best thing of all – no nap today, gentle readers!  And, I am still awake at midnight – and I have not turned into a pumpkin!  That is really something!

The meaning of life…

First off, Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!  Hopefully you told someone that you love them today and gave them a big hug and kiss!  If you haven’t, for heaven’s sake, go do it now!

As for the meaning of life – I think I have found new meaning in everyday life.  As you all know, here at the Home For the Unemployed, I have been attending school recently.  Well, this week we have had clinicals all week at an area nursing home.  Needless to say, I was not thrilled on Monday morning to be getting up at 4:30 AM to get there on time.  But, this morning I fairly flew out of bed.  The joy I have in doing this job is indescribable, gentle readers.  I think I have found the meaning of life for me.   My instructor said something to me today that was just perfect – she noticed how much fun I was having – genuine fun.  I am eager to get started in the morning and before I leave the floor, I want to check in with my residents to make sure they are set.  Now, don’t get me wrong, this is some hard work.  Monday, I came home, took a shower and went to sleep.  Seriously.  Sound asleep.  For 4 hours asleep.  And, I am not a napper.  Tuesday I came home and did a load of laundry and went to sleep.  Wednesday I came home, did a load of laundry, had dinner with my darling daughter and went to sleep.  But, this is the most rewarding job I have ever done.  I am so sad that tomorrow will be my last day with my residents.  I mean, seriously sad, gentle readers.  I have already had several moments of tears over this predicament.  I cannot even imagine how I will be tomorrow.  I am making plans to visit on Monday.  It breaks my heart how few visitors stop in to the nursing home.  If the pay was not so poor, I’d consider getting a job there.  That is atrocious, is it not?  They pay the staff so poorly, they have a hard time keeping help.

Well, tonight is Knit Night and I have to pick up a friend who needs a ride tonight.  There is another group that I don’t think I can do without.

Have a good evening all… hope you spend it with someone you love!

Giving up something for Lent?

Make mine snow, please.

Yes, I will suffer through and give up snow for Lent.  I know, it will be difficult, but I will try and persevere!

Yeah.  I know.  I’ll let you all know how that works!

Well, in the reality of things, we have gotten volumes of snow this year thus far.  And, we have a good chunk of February and all of March to get through yet.

Oh boy.

Well, the good thing about all this snow is that it makes for good knitting weather.

I can work on depleting some of the wool that is living in my stash.

I am taking a class on Selbuvotter mittens coming up in March.  That is something that will be fun to do in this frigid weather.

I also need to get knitting on another BSJ – my girlfriend is having a baby and they just found out it is a boy.  I’d like to knit it out of something a bit larger than sock weight yarn.  I will have to keep my eyes open for the perfect yarn and get that worked up.  They have about 20 more weeks to go, so my thought process is to have a bit of a bigger sweater so he can wear it this fall.  There is a plan, huh?  Maybe some Dream in Color Classy – mmmmm, I have not knit with that, but I love how it feels!  That could be perfect!

I am in Lynne’s May Sock Swap and I have found my pattern, I have ordered my yarn and I am itching to get knitting on my pal’s socks.  I am so excited about this!  I loved Bloomin’ Feet and I was blessed to be able to knit for Lynne, so I am excited to be thinking about my new pal as I am knitting socks for her.

And, I have just one more item to get for my Special Swap Pal for her Spa package – I hope to have my package out and on it’s way to her early next week.

Stay warm and have a good night all!