Sunday, November 29, 2009

Yeast Rolls

Let the crying begin.  Thanksgiving is over, all but the calories ingested the day before, the day of and the day after!  We finally finished what was left of the turkey, I think we had four more meals out of it and the rest took a trip as we were tired of it by then.  There are a few pumpkin chip cookies left, a few slices of banana bread and there was some pumpkin bread but that seems to have disappeared.........note to self: check the Hubs for pumpkin breath.  :o)

I won another Give Away!  Yep, I'm on a winning streak!  Mrs. Mom over at Horsefeathers Daily Journal recently had a give away and the prize was right up my alley, a good book that is a horse mystery!  Shadow Horse by Alison Hart is the book and it is something not only I can read but is suitable to read to my grandchildren too.  Thank you MM for having such a fun give away, I am enjoying the book so much! Mrs. Mom also has a horse blog that is always full of good information and chuckles. 

Some of you asked about the yeast roll recipe that I use so here it is.  If you have one of the older Betty Crocker Cookbooks you will find it in there under Potato Refrigerator Dough.

1 package active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water  (105*-115*)
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2/3 cup shortening
2 eggs
1 cup luke warm mashed pototoes  (I use the instant mashed potatoes and it works even better then the real)
7-7 1/2 cups flour

Dissolve yeast in the warm water
Stir in sugar,salt,shortening,eggs,potatoes and 4 cups of the flour.
Beat in your mixer until smooth
Mix enough of the remaining flour to make the dough easy to handle.
Now if you have a dough hook with your machine use that, if not turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic using the rest of the flour.
Place into a greased bowl and grease the top of the dough so that it is completely covered.
Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and then I put a piece of tinfoil over that.  (Do not put the tin foil directly on the dough as it will leave little pieces of tin on the dough when you remove it.)
Refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight or until ready to use.  It can be kept up to 5 days in the refrigerator before using.  I don't think I have ever kept it that long but have at least 3-4 days.
Punch down dough and make into a bigger then golf size balls in a greased pan.  (Leave a little space between them or they won't cook well and will be doughy.)
Let rise an hour and a half or until doubled in size.   Bake rolls at 400* for 15-20 minutes.  Check one roll in the center of the pan after ten minutes by pulling the top off to see if it is cooked or doughy and continue cooking until it is done.  (I squeezed them all in a 9X13 pan once and they NEVER cooked and were all sticky and doughy inside.)  Yuck.

These are real stick to your ribs kind of rolls.  They are not light and fluffy.  Once your family has had them they will beg for more.  That is why I had to make five batches of them for Thanksgiving as everyone wants to take some home.  Sliced in two and toasted with a good slathering of butter for breakfast is to die for.  It also is why I have the graphic at the top of this post...........ahem.....

I will put my bow tutorial in my next post.  I need someone to take the pictures as I make them.  I don't think I can do that with one hand.  It makes beautiful bows any size that you want and I feel it makes the package extra special with a nice big bow on it.  :o)  It's a good thing Martha!

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

Five batches of yeast rolls, 38 pounds of turkey ( one 23 pounds and one 15 pounds), 10 pounds of potatoes, five pies, various goodies like peanut butter balls and frosted brownies and lots of salads and veggies and Thanksgiving is over for another year.  We had 25 friends and family members here and had a lovely time laughing, talking and of course eating!

Everyone helped and the kitchen was just a-buzzing with activity.

We even had to use Mom and Dad's kitchen as we had four ovens going at once!  We also loaded up their dishwasher too as we had tons of dishes to do.

One thing that everyone had fun doing was playing on the computer with the Elf Yourself.  Hopefully this link will work and you can see some of what the kids were coming up with.  I laughed till I almost.........ahem........guess I won't continue with that!  This is Miss T, D and Cousin K.

We set the tables up the day before and brought up all the extra chairs out of the basement and from Mom and Dad's apartment.

We even had to set up a table on the sunporch which was cozy and warm.

DIL and her Mom, Mimi.

I always enjoy getting up early and putting the turkeys in the oven.  It's quiet and peaceful and gives me a chance to think about the day and for all the things that I am thankful for.  The list is too long to put in this post but mostly for my family and extended family I am so thankful.  Each and every one of them holds a special place in my heart and even though Mom and Dad are in Florida they were here with us in our hearts.  Also for a loving God that gave His Son for each and every one of us, the ultimate gift that we all should be thanking Him for each and every day of our lives. 

So now all that's left is the putting away of all the special dishes and of course eating the left overs.  I sent most of  them home with anyone who wanted and only kept enough for a meal or two for the Hubs and me.  The raccoons feasted on one of the turkey carcasses and the other went home with my sister to make a soup.  The squirrels have been enjoying some of the walnuts that were left and the bluejays have been snatching up the other nuts that I have been throwing out to them.  They enjoy a feast too! 

All in all it was a wonderful day, even when I discovered the grands coming down the staircase in pillows from the beds upstairs!  Yikes!  The pictures are blurry but you get the drift.

Sorry this one is sideways !

The day ended sitting around the fireplace in the living room and the stove in the sunroom.  I took a nap after everyone went home and then watched a couple of nice movies on the Hallmark channel.  I love that channel, the stories are clean and uplifting even though a bit sappy at times.  I will take sappy over all of the violence and stuff on some of the other channels any day.

Next post I will put in the yeast roll recipe and do the bow tutorial as some of you have asked.  Also I would like to say that I am thankful for all of you that I have met out in Bloggsville.  I have made some wonderful friends that I know would help me out in an instant if I needed something.  You make me laugh, I cry with you when you hurt and enjoy all of your posts and comments immensely!  xoxoxox

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thanksgiving is sneaking right up on us!

Thanksgiving is coming right around the corner.....FAST!  I have been taken up with Christmas shopping and plans but today was dedicated to some Thanksgiving preparations.  Each year I make my families favorite yeast rolls and usually make 3 or 4 batches so that they can all have some to take home with them.  Today I got two batches made and in the refrigerator rising.  They can stay in the refrigerator for up to 5 days so I will bake these two batches off in a few days and put them in the freezer.

I love making bread but don't like kneading it so have always relied on my trusty kneading attachment on my mixer to do the heavy work.  Well.......until today.  I have hunted and hunted and hunted and hunted and I cannot find the crazy thing!!!!  Do any of the rest of you spend a good part of your life hunting for things?  Please say you do and make me feel better.  You know, misery loves company!

Ssoooooooo...... I did all of the kneading and gave my arms a good workout.  Not that they need it or anything mind you....I wish...... Can't wait to bake these off and have that lovely aroma wafting through the house, that and hot spiced cider are my two favorite fragrances of the the holidays.

I will be having around 25 this year for Thanksgiving dinner.  Everyone brings something and helps and I love the hustle and bustle in the kitchen with each one doing their designated job.   I cook the turkey, stuffing, potatoes and rolls and everything else is brought in by someone else.  I did buy some sweet potatoes yesterday and I'm going to make Mallow-Topped Sweet Potatoes this year, it's a recipe I found through Taste of Home.  They have some of the best recipes and they are easy to make.

My niece Jo-Lynne at Musings of a Housewife told about a wonderful give away that's going on right now. 

HP TouchSmart 600 Giveaway

Biggest giveaway ever! Got your attention? Good, because the rules are a little different from previous giveaways so read all the information carefully.

The HP TouchSmart 600-1055 is a desktop PC where, as the name implies, you can touch the screen to manipulate information. It comes with all the stuff you desperately covet with the bonus of being able to pinch, rotate and drag things anywhere you want with your own little fingers. Is that not completely fun?

Windex not included.

Go to for all of the instructions!  This is one super give away!!! It seems like after a rather slow summer there are great give aways popping up all over!

I'm sure all of you women out there have heard the new guidelines for mammograms and self exams.  My opinion on this is RUBBISH!  Don't let anyone talk you into not having your regular mammograms and to not do breast self exams!   Many, many lives have been saved through these two procedures, my Mom's included.  She is a 17 year cancer survivor because she had her regular mammogram even though there was nothing that could be felt.  It was a mass rather then a lump and only mammogram detected it. 

I was in one of my board meetings Thursday evening at the hospital and of course this subject came up.  There are doctors on this board along with those of us that are patient advocates and ALL of the doctors there agreed that this was a terrible announcement to put out to the public.  They all will continue to recommend that their patients continue to have their regular mammograms and to do self exams so please disregard what the media is saying.  There, I got that off my chest.................sorry, couldn't resist the play on words.

On that note I think I will start making bows out of some very pretty ribbon that I bought for our wreaths at church.  I am on the decorating committee and we try to come up with different things each year and change the color of the ribbons on the wreaths.  My late mother in law taught me how to make them many years ago and it has served me well over the years making my packages festive looking and for my decorating.  If anyone wants to know how to make them just leave me a comment and I will do a bow making tutorial next time.  :o)

Hope you all are having a great weekend and please forgive my misspellings as I'm too lazy to look everything up in the dictionary.  :o)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Meeting Blogging Friends!!!!

It's been a while since I posted.  It seems like the days get away from me so quickly and I don't get my computer time in.  With Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up it would seem time would be at a premium so I must set aside a specific time each day to work on the computer.  I have been investigating the Spellcheck issue here on the new Editor on Blogger and it seems they are working on it to get the bugs out.  I found that there are people as frustrated as I am and they certainly let their feelings be known on the HELP section.  They say misery loves company and I think my blood pressure went down numerous points just knowing that I was not alone!  :o)

Yesterday was a really special day for me!!!! I got to meet my friend Dawn from Call Me Grandma Dawn!!!  We have been blogging buddies for several years now but there is nothing like meeting in person.  We had made plans to meet for breakfast in Augusta yesterday so my sister and I got up at the crack of dawn and left here at 6:15 am. 

There's not much traffic on 95 at that time of day so we sped right along and arrived a few minutes ahead of time.  We were watching each car as it pulled into the parking lot and then saw one that I was sure was Dawn and DC so I ran out to meet them.  Sure enough it was them and from the moment we met I felt like I had known them for years!

My sister took a couple of pictures for me to put here in my post and now I wish I had taken even more.  It was such a fun experience and I enjoyed every minute of it!

Dawn met up with three of her blogging friends while here in Maine and I was number 9 of all of the ones she has met!  How nice to have met so many, I wish I could say that too.  We had fun getting caught up on a lot of things and learning some new things but I must say I was as comfortable with them as if I had known them all my life!  Thanks Dawn and DC for a great time!!  xoxoxo

After we finished eating they headed to Portland to the airport to head back to Colorado and we met up with my other two sisters for some shopping and sister time.  Of course we had to meet at TJ Maxx and then headed to the Christmastree Shop.

We had a great time and then we headed north and they headed west.   It was a lovely warm sunny day, great day for being on the road and hopefully great flying for Dawn and DC!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I Won, I Won!

It's been a busy week, but aren't they all? Christmas is right around the corner so I have been out doing some shopping when I get a couple of hours here and there. This morning I am going up to see the boys with my friend Ann. We have been riding together for years and years and enjoy every minute of it. We've gone through some tough times together too like the winter the strangles went through the barn affecting 11 of the horses. It was the year I got quite proficient with a rec*tal thermometer. (Sorry, as Pioneer Woman would say, "just keeping it real". )

Speaking of Pioneer Woman, I am loving her new cookbook! It's real downhome cooking that will stick to your ribs.  Ribs? Who can find their ribs any more?  Sigh.....   Anywho, what can be any better then a cookbook with pictures of horses in it? 

Recently I entered a give away over at my gal pals Emmy and Izzies place and guess what?  I WON!  I came home yesterday and there was a package on my front porch!  Yippee! It was full of goodies from the Nature Valley Granola Nut Clusters company!

As you can see there are four packages of the nut clusters, a flashlight, a pair of binoculars, a water bottle and a shoulder bag to carry everything in!  I'm eating some of the roasted almond right now as I type and it's soooooooo good!  Thanks to the girls and their Mom for having such a nice Give Away! xoxox

Speaking of Give Aways I came across another nice one over at Nonna's this morning.  This one is coming right up so take a look over at Mille Fleur today as the drawing is tomorrow!

Another thing I am really excited about is on Monday I am meeting up with a fellow blogger for breakfast!  It's Dawn from Call Me Grandma Dawn!  She is coming to Maine to visit her son and meeting up with three of her blog friends while here! You can be sure we will cram a lot into an hour or so and then she and her hubby fly home to Colorado! 

I forgot to put my graphic at the beginning of my post so here it is at the end.  I am still getting used to this new blogger and it's going pretty well except does anyone use it and know where the spellcheck is?  I can be the worlds worst speller at times and really depend on Spellcheck.  Help!!!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Hayrides and Marshmallows

One thing that we do each fall is invite some of the youth groups from our church up for a hay ride.  We always enjoy this and look forward to it each year.  The first group Truth & Training was supposed to come but their night got rained out so we have rescheduled.  This particular night we had the Sparks group and they had a great time. 

The Hubs was at a business meeting at the church so a friend of ours filled in for him driving the tractor.

It was a rather cold night but they were bundled up and got along fine.

They always enjoy seeing the boys and the boys enjoy seeing them and getting the attention.

Afterwards they all came back to the house for snacks and drinks then they sat around the firepit and sang songs.  We were going to toast marshmallow but at their ages we thought it might be a little dangerous!  :o)  Do any of you remember the scene in the movie Dennis the Menace where he is trying to get the marshmallow off his stick and it flies through the air and hits Mr. Wilson right in the forehead?  That's the scenario that kept going through my mind so I thought we would forego the marshmallows!

I'm working with a new version of Blogger.  My buddy Needled Mom sent me the instructions on how to get it set up so I am giving it a whirl.  Also my friend Kerri over at Colors Of The Garden has been helping me out.  We have been trying to get a phone call lined up to go over some more things but so far have been missing each other but we will connect!  Thanks to both of you gals for helping me keep my sanity!!!! One of the things that I have learned about the Bloggasphere is that if you need something people are more then happy to jump in and help in any way they can, rather it be praying for you or helping you out with some problem.  I have met some truly wonderful folks in the few years that I have been blogging.  I'm going to meet up with one of them very soon.............cont.........

Where is spellcheck?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Royal Lippizanner Stallions

It's a blustery cold day here in Maine. The sun is shining but the temps are fairly low and with that wind blowing it warrants a nice heavy coat and some gloves. The dusting of snow that we got on Thursday night is long gone and there is none forecasted for the near future.

Thursday evening four of us from the stable went to see the Royal Lipizzaner's at a nearby auditorium. I had been to this show about 20 years ago and came away less then enthusiastic so wasn't sure what we were about to see. It proved me wrong as it was a wonderful show, the horses all looked fabulous, well groomed, nice and healthy looking and they knew their stuff. My pictures are a bit blurry as we were about 10 rows up and I had my little camera not the one with the big lens. I didn't know if we would be allowed to take pictures so I didn't want to drag that one around.

They did all of the dressage patterns, steps and leaps into the air. It was amazing! About half way through the show they brought out this spectacular stallion with gorgeous markings. The crowd went wild! He was gorgeous! That mane was gray and wavy and thick! I actually got goosebumps!

This was the head rider showing off some beautiful steps. I wish I knew the names of them all but I don't.

This horse was brought out to demonstrate some training techniques.

When this horse was brought out with the American flag the emcee sang the national anthem and we all stood for that and then stood for a moment of silence for the tragedy that took place at Fort Hood. It was very moving to say the least. Our thoughts and prayers go out to these people that lost loved ones and had so many others injured. What was going through that man's head to do something like that to so many innocent people?!

When we came out from the show about two hours later it was snowing quite hard, the big fluffy flakes that fly right into your windshield. Very beautiful but I was wondering what we would be getting up to on Friday morning. There wasn't much left, I guess most of it melted when it hit the ground.

I have been reading a delightful series over at Donna's place at about her mother's life back during the Depression. Life was much harder then and people were very industrious in how they kept their family fed, clothed and sheltered. It is a fascinating read so if you get a chance hop on over and see Donna.

I want to thank my niece Jo-Lynne for my new header and background! She does a lot of design work and will go to great lengths to get you just what you want. I wanted to have that nice picture of Nick in my header and a new font with my blog name. Also she found the nice fallish background for me which I really like! If you are looking for a new blog design take a looksy at all of her work at Thanks Jo-Lynne!! xoxo

Another site I really enjoy reading is Warm Pie Happy Home, you can see the link on my sidebar. Aunt Ruthie, as she calls herself is a lovely Christian woman who believes that the home is to be a happy, homey, wonderful place and goes to great lengths to decorate for the seasons in the most beautiful down home way. She scours the thrift shops, antique shops and craft fairs to find the most wonderful things to decorate with. I wish I had half her talent but am picking up a few ideas all of the time. She's also a great cook and posts some yummy recipes.
YeeHaw! My Pioneer Woman Cooks cookbook arrived in the mail last week! I sat down and went through every page of recipes and pictures of life on her cattle ranch. I have made quite a few of her recipes and find them to be easy with ingredients that you already have in your kitchen so that you're not running around to the different grocery stores looking for stuff. This week I made her pumpkin muffins with cream cheese frosting and they were delicious! Also have things ready to make her chicken Parmesan later. I hope she does well as this was a labor of love for her.
Several people commented on my last post that my Uncle's cattle are indeed Scottish Highlanders. Thanks for helping out my pitiful memory! If you haven't seen them go to my last post and take a look. They are adorable!
Well time to get some things done around the old farm. I have two people here this morning stripping the 2x6's out of the stalls in the barn stalls, pressure washing them, washing the mats and cleaning the drains that are in each stall. The boys have settled in nicely at the stable and I will head over there later to see them. I still find myself glancing out into the pasture quite often to get a look at them and then remember they aren't here right now. :o(
Hope you are all having a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Horses, Cattle and Grands

I just listened to the weather report and there is snow in the air. 1 to 3 inches. That's not much by all accounts but a reminder of what is to come. The snowbirds flew to Florida just in time it seems. Mom and Dad are snug in their home near Tampa basking in the warm temps and sunshine. Even Buffy, their cat, is probably glad to be out of the cold as she is originally a Florida cat. When they found her she was so weak she couldn't even stand up due to lack of food but now 10 years later she is fat and happy.

Nick joined our family about three years ago. He was a show pony and his owner outgrew him. He's been living a life of leisure ever since as he is too small for me to ride and too much for T to handle at this point. I decided he needed some work so T's riding instructor has been working him. At first he was a bit disgruntled at being disturbed from his lazy life but now he is going nicely so hopefully T can ride him next summer.

He's not happy in this picture, look at those ears! lol!

Now that's better, a little more relaxed.

Now his ears are up and he's paying attention to business.

Good boy! You will be seeing more of Nick in the near future........

Halloween has come and gone but there are still remnants of candy in my house which I wish would disappear before I eat it all. Here are my two Trick or Treaters.

This past weekend while back home we stopped to see my uncles cattle. They are very interesting and cute with their long hair, especially their bangs down over their eyes. They are very friendly, especially if you have some grain in your hand. :o) They have a beautiful run in shed that he built for them but they prefer to be right out even in the wintertime. I can't think what kind they are, hopefully it will come to me before I publish this.

My grand cat just came in. She comes over about once a day to get some canned food. She gets plenty to eat at home but only dry food so comes here and raids Noodle's and Munchkin's food. She won't let me pat her here but at their house I can pick her up and hold her and she is fine. T and D and DIL were here this morning when she walked in and she lets them pick her up. She hisses at me.........pretty ungrateful wouldn't you think?! :o)

I have my list made for most of my Christmas shopping so I think I will go out this morning and get some of it done. The older nieces and nephews want gift cards this year so that will be easy and DIL gave me some good ideas for the grands so I want to get that stuff. We don't do as much for Christmas as we used to. It got a little over the top when the grands first came along and Son and DIL said not to get so much. I guess when those first grandchildren come along you just want to get them everything but I agree that there is no need to have so much stuff. I always do Angel Tree with them so that they learn the joy of giving to others.

That's about it from here on the Range for today. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!