Thursday, March 13, 2008

Part of my insane household

I live in an insane household.

I have a two year old (who has blood sugar issues) that I cannot get to eat and who turns into a raving lunatic when when he doesn't. I also have a bizarre cat that suffers from bulimia (sp?) and tries to eat all the puppy food before the puppy can get to it then promptly throws it back up.

I finally moved the bowl next to my desk so that I could guard the bowl. The other dogs want her food too. I swear they circle like a school of sharks. It's quite amusing as none of them like each other.

Here's Widget sitting there staring at the bowl and waiting for me to turn my back. You'll note the obligatory Hot Wheels car. I'm thinking that my kids just might be on the Hot Wheels product placement payroll since one seems to show up in almost every pic I take around here.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

What an afternoon!

What an afternoon I've had. Let me just tell you....

I decided today that I would be industrious and cut both boy's hair today. I gave up years ago on the ridiculous cost of haircuts for children in this area. Do you know that they charge around $8 to $15 bucks to cut kids hair? Forget it. I went out and bought a $19.00 set of hair trimmers and never looked back.
The Eldest went first
But you really don't know what fun it is to try and strong-arm a precocious two year old while taking the shears to his head. Watching the Eldest get his hair cut first helped a little. Having him sit of his own accord in a chair didn't work. Holding him with one arm while sitting on the floor and holding the shears in the other hand didn't work. Putting him in the high chair and buckling him down and giving him a small cup of chocolate chips Worked! He wasn't thrilled, but he didn't really fight it anymore.
After the wrestling match

There was a huge pile of hair left over after I balded the two of them.

The pan was overflowing

What else happened this afternoon you ask?

Well, first the Youngest lost his "papper" (pacifier) in the back yard and we had to have a scavenger hunt to find it before the puppy did.

Next, once we were inside he got into the pantry and removed the labels from the two containers that hold flour and threw them into the trash can when I wasn't looking. I had to guess which one the self rising one was so that I could make Buttermilk biscuits to go with supper.

Then, a little later I was putting my gray/pink sweater back on the needles (I had put it on scrap yarn to try it on) and heard "Mommy, got poopies in pahnts." That got my attention pretty quick, and I looked up to see his pants and diapers around his ankles and his little tushy in site of God and everyone. Luckily he still gets confused about the proper "potty" words and the diaper was only wet. I don't even want to think about the mess that could have been at that point.

And last, I caught him trying to shove a barbie shoe up his nose. (don't ask why we have a couple of barbies around a house full of boys)

Did I mention that all of this happened in a two hour time span?

Would anyone care for a used Two year old? He's free to a good home.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


I had an A-HA! moment today. Today was the day where I figured out what went wrong with my Circular Shrug. Remember this?

In this pic, the arrow is pointing to the ribbing. I just couldn't figure out why this side was wider. Well, duh. I skipped a most important line in the pattern. You know, the line that says into increase the amount of stitches? I feel very stupid. and annoyed. Why didn't I see this before?

This is why, my friends, when you are frustrated, it is good to *cue the swat team voice - "Step Away From The Knit." end swat team voice*

I took another look at it this afternoon and went, A-HA! that's the culprit! Sigh. Now I have to rip that section back and fix it. But at least now I know what's wrong.

My gray/pink sweater is coming along nicely. I think. It's a top down raglan and I need to put it on scrap yarn and try on what I've done and see if a), it fits and b), I like the giant pink striping section that I added to it. It's difficult to tell on the needles where the stripe will be on the body. I do like the color combo though at the moment.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Real Southern Cookin'

Do you want some true Southern cooking? Are you dying for some deep fried goodness? I've got it for you! I've also got the recipe for the classic Southern Drink - Iced Tea.

How to cook real Southern Fried Chicken:

I'm going to start you (ya'll) out with the simplest way to make this dish. This is the height of true Southern Cuisine. If you can't make this, forget it and just come on down to the South. This is also called Soul food. It's the same thing folks, don't let others fool you. If you've got a thing against fried foods because you're all healthy and all, umm, this might not be for you. But if you feel like hardening the arteries, boy are ya'll gonna to love this!


1. If you've never made it before, start with Boneless Chicken Tenders. They come in a handy pack all raw and everything. You can make this with bone in chicken pieces and they are excellent, but it takes way longer and it's a little more difficult to judge if the pieces are done.

2. Flour - I use Self Rising so it makes a fluffier/Crispier crust, but all purpose works too.

3. Salt & Pepper

4. Vegetable Oil

5. egg (optional)

First off, tell the spouse and chillins to go over yonder and not bug you. That's Southern speak for tell everybody to get lost. This isn't something you want to do with the rugrats hangin' onto your skirts.

Now, You're going to need a frying pan or deep sided skillet. I use the skillet. Add vegetable oil and turn the heat to high and leave it for a sec.

In a shallow bowl, add your flour. How much you add depends on how much chicken you're going to be fryin'. I make it about an inch or two deep in my favorite bowl (you can see it in the pic - it's a pasta bowl.)

Add salt and pepper to taste. Yes, I said taste that raw flour. That's a mistake a lot of people make in cooking, they don't taste as they add things. You haven't added raw chicken yet to the mixture so it's perfectly safe to do this. When you add the S & P, you want to be able to just taste the salt. If you taste it immediately you either haven't mixed it in well with the flour or you've added too much. If the latter is the case, add a little more flour to the mix. You may also pretend to be Colonel Sanders and add random spices - play around with the spices, it's fun!

Now for the chicken. Pat it down a little and make sure there is no moisture on it. You'll notice in the pic that I haven't done this step yet. You can dip it in egg if you wish or skip that step.

Nekkid Chicken

Take a tender (in egg or not) and put it into the flour. This next step is critical: Don't just barely put it into the flour. SMUSH it in the flour, then turn it over and do it again, and again and one more time. As I do this, I also push more flour onto it. You want this sucker to be very thick with flour.
Chicken properly clothed

Take a minute to check your oil. How can you tell when your oil is hot enough? Take the wrong end of a wooden spoon and put it into the oil. If you see some bubbles forming around it like it's boiling, the oil is ready, if not, give it another few minutes. If it's ready, turn the heat down a bit to Med. High, otherwise you'll have oil spattering everywhere and your chicken will be too brown, too fast.

Place the prepared chicken piece into the oil. Use tongs if you've got them or a large spool with a long handle to do this. Please be safe, this is a dangerous dish (and messy) to prepare. Oil hurts, trust me, I learned it the hard way.
Definitely messy

You can prepare side dishes at this time. This is a dish that takes time to prepare, especially if you use bone-in chicken. It's going to take about 4-6 minutes per side to cook. When both sides are a pretty golden brown, remove from skillet and place onto towels to soak up the excess oil on it. I put a paper grocery bag underneath three or four paper towels for this. Oil will go right through the towels, but not the bag. The bag is optional as well of course.

Please double check to see if the chicken is done. Cut it in two and look at the meat. If it's white you're set, pink, put it back in to cook a little longer.

If you make this recipe, or have any questions about it, let me know! I'd love to know how it turns out and I'll gladly answer any questions you may have.

Southern Iced Tea:

You can't have the above dish without Southern Iced Tea. I mean, that would just be plain ol' UnAmerican!

I've traveled around the World and have found that the only place you can order this is in the South. Oh, you can order it, but it comes unsweetened, yuck! They also look at you funny (like you've sprouted two heads) when you order Sweetened Ice Tea.

Anyway, here's how to do it properly:

This recipe is for 1 gallon. Sorry, it's the only amount I know how to make at a time.


3 large family tea bags (can be caf or decaf)
Pan/Pot - not a dinky sauce pan either - a pot (see pic)
Gallon pitcher/container
Sugar 3/4 cup to 2 cups (your choice see below)

Fill pot full of water and turn heat on high. You want to make sure the water is almost boiling, but not a full boil. If it gets to a full boil, turn off the heat and let it sit a minute. Tea is one of those things that if you let it boil, it can turn bitter, so be careful. You want to see teeny tiny bubbles barely floating to the top. When this happens turn off the heat. Place the 3 tea bags in the water and walk away. Yes, I said walk away. It needs to sit a spell and steep. You can leave it for 15 minutes or 30, but not more.

Why? Because of the Sugar!

Get your pitcher out. It's time to add some sweetness. How much? Depends. I don't like my tea to be syrupy sweet. I add a little less than 3/4 cup of sugar per gallon.

I have an Aunt (that's pronounced Ain't down here) that likes the syrupy stuff. It's two cups for her gallon of tea. In her defense, it's because of the lemon. People who normally like it this way add a bunch of lemon to their tea. It's quite good that way actually.

You want your sugar to be able to dissolve, so don't wait until your tea on the stove is too cold.

Pour the pan of tea into the pitcher with the sugar. Stir together. You will probably not have a full pitcher. You could use a dutch oven full of water I guess to make your tea, but that's not needed. So, add more water or ice or both until the liquid level is at the top of the gallon pitcher/container.

Your tea may look ready, but it's not. It needs to sit in the fridge for a while. It will get sweeter as it cools off. Taste it when it's cold. That's when you'll know if you've added the right amount of sugar really. It's all according to your preferences. If it's overly sweet, add lemon this time and cut back on the sugar amount next time.


My Cap

Hi All! I'm back, tired, but back. This weekend's sale went wonderfully. I even got some knitting done as well!

I worked on the Jaunty Cap by Terry Morris. I worked with only one strand of yarn instead of two. I was afraid I would not have enough yarn, but now I wish I would have so that the had would be a bit firmer. It hasn't stopped me from wearing it though. I love it and the colors. It's made with Noro Silk Garden #270 on size 9, 16" circs.
Such pretty colors!

I also started a new project. I really want to start on a cabled sweater. I have everything I need for it. But! I'm going to be taking an Annie Modesitt class in April on Cables and Lace so I thought that I would wait. I want to be able to use any cool techniques she has on that sweater. So, I started the Purple Sweater .

Except it won't be purple. I'm using my new alpaca yarn from Peru for this. I have 5 skeins of the light gray and 5 skeins of a very bright pink. I think that I'm going to put in random widths of pink stripes in it. The pink is a bit too bright for my tastes, but it will be cute as a few stripes in this sweater.