March 28, 2007

Moving and such

I really should write about our weekend. Saturday we had an absolutely perfect day in the mountains -the last before we move. However, I really don't have time or energy to describe it well, and I really need to include some of our pictures. I'll probably do that after we move. Anyway, I've still been tired. That mostly seems due to our little girl sucking a lot more out of me. Upping some of my vitamins has helped, but I still need more rest lately. Of course that isn't helping up move any faster. I got some boxes packed yesterday, but I still need to finish packing the bedroom and hall closet. Pack the bathroom and livingroom. Start packing the kitchen. Figure out what to do with the food in the fridge because some of it just ain't getting cooked right now. Do laundry. Separate out what needs to go in suitcases. Figure out what needs to go in the car instead of the truck. Ooof, just writing this is making me tired. Fortunately Allen is taking the day off tomorrow to help out. As is I might just need to send him to do laundry by himself so I can pack some more. I'd go myself, but neither of us is comfortable with me being there by myself at night. Oh, well. I guess I'd better get back at it.

March 23, 2007

another food post -RIBS!

About a week or so ago I found some beef ribs on sale at EarthFare. Although I like to get my meat there because they typically have much higher quality they tend to be pretty expensive. The non-hormone and antibiotic stuff just costs more. I had never eaten beef ribs in my life and really didn't know what to do with them. I called my MIL, and she said you can roast them in a pan or in a crockpot and that she had occasionally cooked them that way with some bar-b-que sauce. Oh my word. Talk about good eatin'. I stole a taste while they were cooking and promptly told my husband that he was going to be eating out tonight because these were too good to share. Of course I was joking, but they did turn out to be thoroughly tender and flavorful and plain old finger-lickin' good. Having never cooked ribs before, here's what I did.

First I made a rub with salt, fresh ground pepper, garlic salt, onion powder, ground cumin, plus a smidge of oregano and cayenne pepper. Just follow your nose and your instincts about how much of each to add -I've listed them roughly in descending order. Having eaten them, I think I went a little heavy on the salt, so don't lay the rub on too thick. Next I lightly coated the ribs in olive oil and rubbed on my seasonings. I had already put a small splash of Braggs Amino Acids in my crock pot with about a cup of water, and I just set my ribs down inside it. After mentioning what I was doing to Grandmom over the phone she suggested I add about half a cup of red wine to help tenderize the meat. About halfway through I spread some bar-b-que sauce over the ribs. Over all I let them cook about 6hrs. When I took them out we had some good eating. I should add that I only had five ribs, so adjust your proportions accordingly.

We put the bones and the left over drippings and scraps in the freezer to take to Grandmom after we move. They're such beautiful bones, and Grandmom can do wonders with a few bones. Ummm, the things that woman can cook!

March 21, 2007

yummy potatoes and veggies

I suppose I should have taken a picture to post here. Anyway, I made one of our favorite baked potato meals tonight since we haven't had it for a while. It's really easy and very good.

Select however many small baking potatoes you need* and put them on to bake. I coat mine with olive oil and roll in course salt before baking at 425 on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Allen really likes the crisp texture and salty flavor you get from baking them this way. Otherwise you can just prick them lightly and wrap in foil. After I put my potatoes on I start my veggies. I use approx one large onion, three bell peppers (we prefer red or yellow), a small basket of baby bella mushrooms, and a celery heart. I chop these us and put them in my everyday pan with some fresh grated garlic, a swirl of olive oil, a pinch of red pepper flakes, and about 2c of veggie broth. I mix my veggie broth 1:1 with water because it's rather strong. While that's all cooking down I brown about 2lb of ground meat in another pan and add it to the veggies. It'll take about 15-20 mins for the veggies to cook down. Just before you're ready to take them off the stove mix some cornstarch or arrowroot in with a little water and add enough to thicken up the sauce. You want something that you can pour over the potatoes. When everything is done just pour the veggies over split, buttered potatoes and enjoy. I usually have enough for at least 6 potatoes. It also makes great leftovers since you can bake fresh potatoes with very little effort, and the veggies reheat wonderfully.

*I plan for one potato per person, but depending on the size I might only eat a half.

one of those weeks

Well I officially started packing today. I packed a couple of boxes of books before cooking supper. I've just been so tired lately though. I don't know if it's lack of sleep or low iron or needing more B vitamins or what, but I just can't seem to get anything done. I walked down the stairs to check the mail, and when I got back upstairs my heart was beating way to hard and I was feeling way too weak for having just walked down and up three stories worth of stairs. I was kind of hoping that we could take one last trip to the Smokies before we move back to B'ham, but I don't honestly know if I'm going to be up for it. Oh well. I just hope that I'll start feeling more like myself soon. I really don't like feeling so lethargic.

March 19, 2007

contemplations on moving

I've had mixed feelings about moving away from Knoxville. Of course our apartment is ridiculously small for three, and we'd soon want to move anyway. Certainly I look forward to seeing family on a more regular basis and without the added burden of a four hour drive. Our new apartment is lovely, and I can't wait to have room to set up my sewing machine and jump into some projects. I'd like to make me an Easter dress if I possibly can. Part of it is that I just don't like moving. It's a lot of work, and you end up saying goodbye to too many people. Also, this will be my third move in less than a year. I moved once before we got married, then we moved up here, and now we're going back. Too much moving. I'm ready to be in one place for a while. But I think there's more too than that. When Allen and I moved up we were starting a whole new phase in our lives. We had just gotten married, and I had just started my graduate program. These were going to be our carefree college town years. In our tiny third story apartment the world lay at our feet. Looking out the window we can see the Sunsphere. It's only a short walk from there to Market Square and its interesting little shops and restaurants. Allen and I have walked there many times. Go a few blocks the opposite way, back towards the strip, and you'll find Laurel Theatre where the Knoxville Swing Dance Association meets on Wednesday nights. Get on the highway and drive East for about an hour or so and you can get to Smokey Mountains National Park. We have everything. Vintage shops, dancing. hiking - everything within reach. Now that we're leaving I sort of feel bad that we didn't take more advantage of it all. But school started driving me harder and harder; the weather turned unpleasantly cold for walking, and with the added stress of pregnancy I had several bouts of malaise and sickness that left me with little inclination for being out unnecessarily. The fact is that we're moving into a different phase of our lives at a time when I thought we'd still be footloose and enjoying urban life, and I mourn that this season of our lives is drawing speedily to a close. This not to say that I have any regrets. Never for one second have I wished that Allen and I had been more "careful" with regards to pregnancy. I once thought that baby fever was something only unpregnant women got, but there are days when I can't wait to meet this little person growing inside me and snuggle and nurse. I will admit to some times having an absolutely craving to nurse. Yes, I've heard that it can be hard and exhausting and even painful at times, but oh to see that little head snuggled down into your chest. I cannot wait. As you can see I'm very excited about this new phase in our lives. I welcome it eagerly. Yet, here we have been newly weds. Here I first cooked for husband and made my first biscuits. Here we walked to the first church that welcomed us as husband and wife. I set our first Christmas tree in the window here and wrapped presents in the bedroom while Allen worked. This has been our first home. Two weeks from today I will be sitting in my new home. The home into which Allen and I will welcome our first child. But I shall miss this place. I certainly shall.

March 16, 2007

and it's back!

Now I'll just have to remember that knitting is an acceptable way for me to dither away my time as well :D

March 14, 2007

grr...the Lappy's broken.

It's kind of hard to have a blog when your dear husband works from home over the internet and then spends time relaxing in front of the computer -especially when the laptop is down. Yep, that insidious temptation to sloth has been removed to the far off reaches (ok, Memphis) of an official repair center to have all it's bits put back in order. That's mostly ok with me. I just read instead of goofing off on the internet, but that does mean that I can't blog when I have the notion or peruse ebay or anything of the normal things I like to do at odd intervals of the day. To be fair, my dear husband is more than willing to offer me computer time, but I admit to feeling a wee tad bad about taking his computer time and not spending time with him while's he's off the computer. (There's some very bad logic hidden in that last statement if you can find it.) Ah well, hopefully it will be back soon. Until my presense will be sporadic.

March 7, 2007

We found one!

So we actually found a place to live. It's perfect -mostly. Like most apartments it has a tiny kitchen, but at least this kitchen has a window, and there's another window in the back wall between the kitchen and the eating area that you can pass things through. Instead of feeling dark and cramped it's quite light and inviting. And praise God that is has a dishwasher that doesn't look like some ancient Flintstone's relic. Praise God for dishwashers period, but we did see some scummy ones that appeared to predate the building in question. Other than that it has the requisite eating area/living area and the two bedrooms we need. Closet space is good. There are sufficient windows, although I think our current apartment has more window space. However, the real surprise bonus is that it has a real woodburning fireplace! I love fireplaces. Mom and Dad have this wonderful woodburning stove, and I have the best memories of it. More practically though this apartment is on the first floor -a fact which has our movers on their knees in gratitude after the work it took to get us moved into our 3rd story apartment. The grounds are a joy as well. There are tree everywhere, plenty of open areas, and trails down around the river. I suppose it's able to do all this without costing an arm and a leg by being in a rather obscure corner of Shelby county rather than in Riverchase or Vestavia. That's actually the not so perfect part though. It really isn't as close to town as I would like. I had been hoping for Homewood area instead of 280. Not a big deal I know, but I really don't know that side of town very well. I'm going to have to learn all the roads and figure out where the grocery stores are. A small price to pay I know. I was excited to hear that some friends of ours from community group were moving up that way. At least we won't be the only ones coming from that direction. Good thing that with Allen working from home location isn't an issue. Overall I'm very happy with where we're going to be. I'll post more as we start getting ready to move.