Home made Rice-a-Roni that is to die for - make up lots and lots then store it for a quick and easy side dish that is better than store bought and at a fraction of the cost!
And I've recently made some homemade Manicotti from scratch that was delicious - it's so hard going back for seconds when your belly is already so full from this easy, inexpensive dish. The recipe starts with making your own sauce - for this recipe, Spaghetti, Eggplant Parmesan, Pizza ... or just good crusty french bread to sop it up and eat - nom, nom, nom! Then it goes into making your own Ricotta cheese while the sauce is cooking, then while the curds and whey are separating you make your home made manicotti noodles.
Involved? Yes, but you could make the sauce on one day, the cheese on another and the noodles on the day you want to assemble the dish - but you have 'wait' time while the sauce is cooking, so you might as well make the cheese, and while the cheese is draining you might as well make the noodles.
Congratulations to Joanna Patterson for completing her first 1/2 marathon! (and pushing a stroller the whole time)
Labor Day weekend was spent laboring. I started with the kid's room earlier in the week - we washed the walls once with soap and water and the next time with TSP. Then primed and painted. I picked a great green color - about the color of the background on this page - under the words, not off to the sides. All four walls were done and it was too dark. So for the wall where the window is, and the sun shines into creating dark shadows on that wall I went back and painted it a bright white. It took 3 coats. Then I decided that the stains on the ceiling just wouldn't do, so I painted that with primer, then the bright white - it looks fabulous! We have the two single beds in there - without bed coverings because we couldn't fit everything in the one trip. We finished this on Sunday.
Monday morning we got up early as I had a date with my new neighbor Erik to learn to milk his cow. We were to get there at 8:00 am. Well the sky was dark and by the time we got there it was raining, thunder was going, lightening in the sky. He decided to let the calf milk his mama instead. BUT we spent a great hour talking to him and finding out about his family, the farm, fencing, feed, chickens, peacocks, gardens, cows, pigs, goats, donkeys... I think we have a good neighbor.
By the way, he has 2 Alpine does for sale and 2 Jennys... I had to look that one up - it's a female donkey. They are all $50 each. I'm not ready as far as fencing goes, but I certainly have a great incentive to get moving! So should I finish the house, the cottage or the fences? I'm only one person with Kevin's help on weekends. There is so much to do and I'm so excited to have it all done! (I can hear Kevin whistling 'Patience' by Guns and Roses in my mind.)
So after visiting with Erik it was time to get to work. We had the vacuum cleaner, the shop vac, buckets, mops, brooms, rags and TSP with us... We opened up the shed portion to get to the front door and had to duck to get under all of the spider webs. Kevin worked on the shed while I went inside to attack the actual building. We each had a vacuum going attacking the ceilings, walls, floors, cracks - there were spiders galore, earwigs, and Kevin even saw a few cockroaches... My worst nightmare! There was carpeting inside that must have been 30+ years old that I tore out.
There was a bathroom vanity not hooked up to anything, a tea kettle on the counter, mattresses in the shower, and low and behold there was hooch under the kitchen sink! Lots of hooch too, and one bottle wasn't even opened. The old man had the keys on him for these buildings all the time, I'll bet he snuck out to do some 'work' around the yard and would hit the bottle from time to time. Thank you Martin for leaving it for me.
We decided we're going to have to bug bomb the cottage. I want this to be my canning room / guest cottage and I'm sure that we only want 'invited' guests. It's going to be beautiful when we're done. So the carpet is out and there are those peel and stick type of tiles underneath - they are thin and old. I'm going to clean the floors, paint the ceiling and walls and put down new peel and stick tiles over top of the old ones - then use area rugs. The ceiling in the concrete block building seems tight, but it leaks in the shed, so that will have to be fixed quickly. Also screening needs to go up to keep out the critters - he left areas for ventilation, but didn't screen it in. Thank goodness for staple guns! I'm going to paint the inside white and the outside a creamy white. I'm planning on rose stencils on the outside and rose bushes planted all along the building. The shed portion will hold my canning supplies - water bath canner, pressure canner, jars, lids, rings, the extra kitchen aid mixer... and my canned goods. It's also going to have a bed - probably the day bed that's in our spare room here in Lake Elsinore.
Kevin was missing his babies. We went out and sat outside the chicken / duck run watching everyone scratch and play for awhile, then Kevin decided he needed to be closer to them. He probably spent 45 minutes to an hour communing with the birds. Even though he isn't around them as often now our original babies still came up to him to be petted and held. This is Henry checking Kevin out as he snapped a picture.
The hen house is attached to the barn, it's a separate room that leads out to a huge fenced in area where everyone gets to run around. We also want to try something we read about before - we have a garden area that's already fenced in, we are going to put another fence around the one that's there and make it a second area for a new batch of chickens - we read that this set up will keep your garden bug free because the chickens will eat them all...
My beautiful mom would have been 80 years old this month, she died almost 10 years ago. For this anniversary I have planned to go back home (Ohio) to visit her grave. This trip has turned into an Honest to God family reunion! We've never had one before. Everyone is getting so excited (me included). Kevin has never seen that part of the country and I can hardly wait to show him where I lived, went to grade school, played in the creek, stole strawberries from the neighbor... I'll be sure to take lots of pictures!
I don't care how poor a man is; if he has family, he's rich. ~Dan Wilcox and Thad Mumford, "Identity Crisis," M*A*S*H