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Simple Woman Wednesday

November 24, 2010

Outside my window… It feels like a winter day  crisply cold a little streak of sun shining through clouds. There are  random misplaced branches stuck all over the place from he alley way tree trimming. At 7am the buzz saws began. It felt a little Fargo-ish when the wood chipper kicked in. On the ground is a handful of  saved branches, I have great intentions. (we know where that leads though don’t we)

I am thinking…which is never a good idea.

I am thankful for…Health. Strong medicine and good doctors. Harmony apparently has a severe case of pneumonia. My heart paused when the radiologist read the x-ray and said, “a large spreading mass of pneumonia”. How large? She’s fairly petite, my hands spreading  across her chest hang off. “Large”. Coach and I had no idea of the severity, we thought flu and cough. That night as I watched her labored breathing I’d had that intuitive feeling, but the sheer exhaustion and hour of the night convinced me otherwise. On the day before we give thanks to the big Kahuna, I can only repeat my mantra from the past 5 days that begins oh please, oh please, oh please, thank you, thank you, thank you. My Dr. tells me that we will need to watch her with colds/flu now, it will tend to go to her lungs. There are more x-rays next week and then in following months to be sure its gone and that there is no scarring.  I am not by nature a nervous mother as far as illness goes. As our Dr. would tell you from various past experiences perhaps I’m too relaxed. Let’s see a broken collar-bone that I insisted was just a bump, a broken wrist I said was a sprain, various stitches- so this lack in maternal judgement is probably par for the course, but dang, pneumonia, in a 6-year-old.

From the kitchen…Apple pie, pumpkin pie, sherry cakes, cookies.The cookie container of my childhood. Gotta love the goldenrod yellow.

For the pies, I am using the pie crust recipe from Pamela’s Pie in the Sky blog.  This woman can cook!  Sunday night I did a test run with an apple pie and it is wonderful crust. Both flaky and tender. My grandmother was known for a superb pie crust made with  a deft hand that I’ve never been able to duplicate.  The usual result was hardtack or soggy. Martha’s recipe has whirled in my food processor to no avail, Alton Brown’s has had a visit too, but I think I may have figured it out. The best part? I’m using this new shortening, slightly softer than traditional shortening, it requires a gentler hand and a visit to the fridge to set/firm up but oh I love it. Tried it havsies with  butter in cookies and it is wonderful without that nasty grease taste of normal shortening.

I am wearing… Jeans , a sweater and an apron.

I am creating… Felted acorns and  small crafty items for our school’s Fairy Market.

I am reading… Oh my, have you read the The Pioneer Lady (not that one) Jane Hopping. Her Many Blessing’s Cookbook written in the early 90’s, is my new favorite for the charming stories, poetry and pencil sketches.  Part of why I like her books I am sure, is that they remind me of old fashion farm cooking.  For some reason perhaps bucolic idealism of the past, I love to read books especially cookbooks in this genre. Past times cooks who lived off the land, during  less economic times seem to have a reverence and ingenuity for providing, creating, cooking and simplicity lacking today. I can trace some of this to my love of Waldorf as well. There are quite a few books like this on my shelves offering glimpses into the lives of women from the past, their daily lives, food they provided, and the shelter of home they created.

I am hearing… Marbles in the bath tub. Who knew a bag of marbles, warm water and a child full of energy who must rest, would be such a good combo?! Note to self.

Around the house…The last of Fall is on the table. All of it, on one table. Into the boxes it goes today.

I am going…into the rafters to get the boxes down. Coach both loves and loathes this time of year. Loves Christmas, loathes the mess I make and the hefting of box after box. Get the ladder honey. We’re going in.


One of my favorite things…a quiet spot.

The Simple Woman: A Month of Thanksliving Daybooks

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