Letter of the day: “P”

Yesterday was actually the “P” day…I wrote a post, but I am still unfamiliar with this whole ‘blog’ thing and I guess I sent the post to that strange, TwilightZonewwwblackhole.

It was just a sort of weird thing that ‘p’ words kept creeping into my day.

I got off work at 7am after working my final 12 hour shift of the weekend.  I drove up to the house, hit the garage door opener, the door began to rise and there was Steve’s truck.  He hadn’t called me and he should have been gone for work; but there was his truck, unmoved.  I began to panic, so much so that I’m surprised that the front end of my car wasn’t embedded in the back wall of the garage because I don’t remember putting it in park or shutting off the key.  I bailed out of my car and bolted into the house.  I threw open the bedroom door…. and it hit me…aroma d’ Puke!  It was all I could do to keep from puking myself.  I told the girls at work today that I now understand why I was never gifted with a baby.  I was first relieved to see that Steve was pink in color and among the living….then, I was no longer concerned about his well being..all I could think was, “How am I going to get this smell out of this house!?!?”  Now, understand, I realized I was thinking this while my poor husband was laying listless in the bed and I felt guilty for a split second…then the smell returned to my nostrils.

Out came the gloves, bucket and bleach.

Got the bedroom and bathroom bleached (which involved floors AND walls – it was BAD).  Then I shut the bedroom door and hoped for the best.

Then came the relentless urge to be outside.  I decided that I needed to pick peppers.  My pepper plants have been loaded, and the cayenne peppers were especially beautiful.  So I picked peppers.

I washed them up and put them in the dehydrator.  I also had a bunch of jalapenos.  I just left them in the colander and stuck them in the outside refrigerator….a gal can only handle so much in one day.

I then made laundry soap.  I’ll give the instructions for this at a later date.

Oh, and I almost forgot the Pup!

I had to take her out to pee and poop…you know, those things that dogs do….and I noticed that the hair on her back looked a little weird.  Her hair is normally quite sleek and shiny…but she had these weird patches of ick… It struck me, poor pup must have gotten in the way of flying puke!  So, off to the bathtub she went…That was the easiest dog bath I have ever given in my entire life of having dogs.

Then, I had loads and loads of laundry to take care of and this picture is of her helping me out with the laundry.  She really likes socks…I have to keep an eye on her at all times while I’m folding the laundry.

Later, it was time to think about supper.  My callous, unsympathetic self decided that I needed to be a little more caring.  I decided that poor hubby might be able to tolerate Potato Soup…..

I made Vickie’s Potato Soup….It’s an easy recipe and it is DELICIOUS!  I don’t have a picture…but it’s Potato Soup!

Vickie’s Potato Soup

8 potatoes, cubed

1 onion, chopped

2 stalks celery, diced

6 cubes chicken buillion

1 pint half and half

bacon (I use a package of Oscar Meyer real bacon bits)

1 can of cream of mushroom soup

cheddar cheese

Combine potatoes, onion, celery and bouillion in a large pot.  Add just enough water to cover.  Cook until potatoes are almost done.  Add half-n-half, bacon and mushroom soup.  Stir until creamy.

Add cheese to individual bowls.

There you have it!  My “P” full Monday finally ended around 10:30 p.m.  after also making breakfast quiches and treating the mattress with baking soda and a vacuum cleaner.

I went to work today…came home…the house smelled fantastic.  I loaded it up with Glade and Renuzit.

Steve is well!  YIPPEEEEE!!!!

All is good with the world.

Quitting smoking and margarine

Well, the two actually have nothing to do with one another…but these are two subjects I am going to rant about this evening.

Leave it to me to tell the entire world that I’m going to quit smoking…and leave it to me to not be able to do it.  It makes me soooooooo mad!  SO…I have nicotine patches…and I am going to wear those patches….and when I get mad because I can’t take a patch off to smoke…I’m going to run to the end of my driveway.  Ummm…of course, I’m working this weekend, which means I’ll be painfully annoying to my workmates, and my driveway will be unaccessible at 2 or 3am.

Where does margarine come into all of this?  As you know, I have been reading many blogs and websites regarding sustainabilty.  One of the things that caught my attention was, of all things, “margarine.”  Something so simple…one would think…but have you read all the ingredients there are in margarine?

I’m a little bit weary…why must we eat things with so many ingredients when nature can provide the same thing with just 2 ingredients…”sweet cream and salt”  I mean…if you don’t eat a tub of it a day, how can natural butter be so bad?  I’m thinking the only way I can have REALLY natural butter is to have a cow.  At this moment in my life, I don’t think I could deal with a real, live cow….but if I could grow stuff that a real life cow raiser wants, maybe we could barter.  I’m thinking the bartering system is returning.  Maybe not in New York City…but for the rest of us….I think it’s making a comeback, as it should.  We don’t have to exchange money if we can exchange services.  Maybe, if more of us did this, life would become a bit more nteresting.  People would care about and respect others.  It’s amazing to me how disrespectful people are becoming.

I want to eat things that I grow.  If I can’t grow it, I want to know the farm that grew it (meat).  I’ve got a lot to learn.

Lord help me.

This evening…I made stuffed bell peppers.  I went out to the garden to get the bell peppers.  Of course, they weren’t big and beautiful like those you see at the local grocer or box store…but they were beautiful green and healthy with “big” removed.  Here’s the recipe:STUFFED GREEN PEPPERS:

1 lb ground beef

2 Tbs chopped onion

1 C. cooked rice

1 tsp salt

1 clove garlic

15 oz tomato sauce

mozzerela cheese

4 large bell peppers

First of all….pick your peppers.  If you get them from your garden, you will probably need 6 or 7….but if you get them from the store…go ahead and get 4 of them.  Sliver off the top and scoop out the seeds.  Rinse.  Get your big ol’ boiling pot out and fill it full of water – enough to cover the peppers.  Bring the water to boil… throw those peppers in there for 2 minutes.  Dump those beauties in the collander…let them drain.

Prepare rice.  you will only need 1 cup of rice for this recipe.  Most rice recipes make 3 cups of cooked rice.  Save the leftovers for fried rice and/or breakfast.

Brown the ground beef with the onion.  Drain.

Add garlic, salt and 1 cup of tomato sauce (save the rest of the sauce)…..bring to boil.  Take off heat and let cool a bit.  Now add that 1 cup of rice..stir it up and leave it aside as you contemplate what you are gonna do…

You are gonna take a small spoon and scoop the hamburger stuffing into the bell peppers.  You are going to need to find a dish that will hold your peppers.  The smaller the better…cram them babies in there.  OH…you better spray the bottom of the dish with some oil.  Them peppers are going to squirm around and slip everywhere.  I would suggest you drop the leftover meat mix  in the bottom of the pan(dish) in order to keep the peppers upright.  Once you have the peppers situated, pour the rest of the tomato sauce over the stuffed peppers.

Sprinkle Mozzerella on top of the stuffed peppers.  Put some foil over the top of the dish and stick it in the oven for 10 minutes.  Take the foil off and leave the dish in the oven for another 15 minutes.

I wish I had made some tomato gravy….but this was served with mashed potatoes and blackeyed peas….Steve LOVED it!

What do you think?

Blue Jeans, Sweat Pants and chicken pot pie

Blue Jeans, Sweat Pants and chicken pot pie

What says “FALL” quicker than white on rice?????? A woman consistently wearing Jeans and/or sweatpants.  This 46 year old woman LOVES, LOVES, LOVES shorts and tank tops.  ESPECIALLY the stretchy shorts with “built-in” panties…oh, yeah, when clothed in these, I am one with the earth and haven’t a care in the world.  And let’s not forget “flip-flops”….  I have a couple of pair of furry flip-flops that I wear during the fall/winter that kind of remind me that some day the temperatures will be of the blazing, hell-like degree some time soon.

Yesterday, I went to Garvan Woodland Gardens for “Master Gardener Appreciation Day”.    I had a great time…there were vendors….I think I may be a plant hoarder.  I bought 2 lemon grass, 2 japanese maples, 1 beauty berry,  a sweet bay,  a Mexican Salvia, and a Patchouli plant.  Hello, my name is Michelle,  and I’m addicted to plants.

There is just something about finding a new plant, or drooling over a plant that everyone, other than myself, can grow.  I dream of my little ol’ 7.2 acres being covered in amazing greens and rainbow colors.  I wish to grow all my own veg-ee-ta-buls…..make my own soaps…have chickens give me all the eggs I want and maybe a goat or two  supply all the milk, cheese and yogurt I could ever need.  That’s me, dreaming.

Tonight, I made a chicken pot pie.  I planned on  doing this prior to coming to find out how cool it was going to be.  I will say, it is a tasty recipe and very easy.  I am going to give you the recipe…but I would suggest omitting the poultry seasoning.  I love herbs, but it seemed a bit strong.

CHICKEN POT PIE:

1  Box refrigerated  pie crust, softened as directed on box

1 can Progresso Recipe Starters Creamy Roasted Garlic with Chicken Stock cooking sauce

1/4 c. all purpose flour

1/2 tsp poultry seasoning

1 large can Veg-all, drained

1 1/2 c chopped rotisserie chicken

1.  Heat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Put one pie crust in the bottom of a 9″ deep dish pie plate.

3. In 2-qt saucepan, using wire whisk, mix together cooking sauce, flour, poultry seasoning, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper until smooth.  Add vegetables, heat to boiling.  Boil 2 minutes, stirring frequently.  Stir in chicken.  Spoon into crust-lined pie plate.  Top with second crust; seal edge and flute.  Cut slits in several places in top crust.

4. Bake 35-40 minutes or until crust is golden brown.  Be sure to cover the edges with foil so they don’t burn.

There you have it…Fall has begun!

Guess I’m gonna have to break out some socks…….oh horrors!!!!!!

Greek Pizza

A long, long time ago I worked at Sequoyah Memorial Hospital. I worked 48, then 40 hour shifts. That was a great place to work. The hi-lite of the weekend was my ordering a Greek Pizza from Mazzio’s and having it delivered when I was about to the point of eating my hair.

I can honestly say, the first time I ever ate one of their Greek Pizzas, I almost cried…it was like no other pizza I had ever eaten in my life. Removed from tomato, it had so many different flavors…I promise you, I got one every weekend after I tasted that first bite.

I haven’t worked in Sallisaw since 2009 or ’10…but I have always had “Greek Pizza” in my brain. So…finally…tonite I made a Greek Pizza of my own…and it rocks!!!!!!!

This is what you need to duplicate this fantastic pizza:

OK…list of ingredients:

Flat Bread – what ever you can get your hands on in cuisine challenged USA (out of this package, I used 4 breads…I have 2 leftovers.)

Greek Vinaigrette.

Feta Cheese

leftover rotisserie chicken – chopped (I also had a single piece of fried chicken strip that I chopped up and put in the blend)

freshly grated Parmesan (or assiago….or both…whatever makes a pretty sprinkling over the “pizzas”)

.chopped artichoke hearts (just get a small jar of marinated and quartered – rinse them and chop)

chopped Greek Olives

Pepperoncini peppers, chopped

chopped tomatoes

shredded mozzerella

400 degrees for 10 minutes.

I think, if you try this, you will be pleased.

Eat Your Vegetables

I am from Arkansas…I will FOREVER verbalize the word “vegetable” utilizing 3 syllables, while at the same time hearing Ivan,  in my head,  enunciating “VEGETABLE” as 4 distinct syllables – Vej-ee-ta-bool.  If I ever became vegetably creative, Ivan would call me on it!  I didn’t stand a chance!

As for me and Veggies, I’ve always eaten them…..but in an overcooked, vitamin exhausted sort of way.  Oh, my friends, I have been reading……and studying….and I want to do a better job of replenishing my body of nutrients.  You know, I’ve been sucking cigarette smoke into my lungs for 30 years…so, now that I don’t want to do that any more, it’s time to attack all that I know in order to turn my mindset around.  So, let me begin with vegetables….

If you are not a fan of fresh vegetables, let me give you this…Take a package of Ranch Dressing mix and a container of Fat-Free Cottage cheese…something so simple can make a difference.  Throw it all together in the blender and hit “liquefy”

You can pour it back into the cottage cheese container and throw it in the fridge.  Then, grab you some vej-ee-ta-bools and dip them in the cottage cheese mixture.  Better than French Fries.  Seriously!

If you want to know…you can eat 1/2 cup of this “dip” and you will have ingested 80 calories…..but the best part is that you will have also taken in 11g of protein!  On top of all of that, you have eaten fresh, raw vegetables.  How sweet is that??????

Please let me know if you try this or if you have ever tried it.

It’s Monday!

For me, it’s TGIM!!!!!! YIPPPEEEEEEE!!!!!  I’m only saying this because any given week, I get to see so many posts that rejoice the arrival of Friday, which is the beginning of my “Work Week” and I don’t share the enthusiasm for Friday.

Yes, I am a member of that strange subculture that drags in on Friday while the majority of the workforce is skipping out the door, stripping their work clothes off, gassing up their RV’s, boats and ATV’s.

I must admit, at one time in my life I believed that those who worked weekends were a little, um, shall we just say, “OFF.”   I assumed that these people were all “forced” to work those miserable shifts.  Of course, I was pre-40….oh, heck…that ideation was actually developed when I was in my 20’s.  I guess I thought that people who worked the weekend weren’t really people, just some alien representation thereof.   I mean…when I was in my 20’s and early 30’s….working the weekend was some sort of punishment for being a member of the workforce.  Now…. you must realize that I have always worked in the health field and didn’t really think much of any other trade…because any other vocation was, of course, there to serve my needs…like food and happiness.  I was certain that those making me content while I was working were high school kids trying to make a buck or college students trying to get where I was.  Yes, one could say I was oblivious to the reality of the human workforce and that REAL life actually happens 7 days a week – not five.

I actually LOVE working nights on the weekend.  I get off work on Monday morning and I am the happiest person on the planet.  I feel compelled to cram everything into a day that I missed doing over the weekend, I’m usually exhausted by the time I go to bed Monday night.  I get up and go to my dream job on Tuesday…work a few hours…and when I’m sitting on my porch or digging in the dirt Tuesday evening or during the day on Wednesday or Thursday, I’m thanking God that I have been given the opportunity to work with all those other subculture humanoids the “other” nights of the week.