Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Soapbox time! ILL Van!!

Good morning, friends!

I don't jump up on my soapbox very often, but after a stop at my local library yesterday afternoon and a quick conversation with my lovely lady friends there, I NEED to speak directly to ANYONE living in New Hampshire!

Do you read?  Do you ever need a book that your local library doesn't have on the shelves?  The librarians are such wonderful resources and have created a system called "Inter Library Loan" whereby THEY can get you a book from any town or college library in the state!!  The trick is that a funny little blue van drives from place to place picking up and delivering.  It is a wonderful system and works FABULOUSLY!  From fiction to non-fiction research, Leslie can get me just about ANY book I could possibly want or need, usually within a week!  No kidding!

Well, someone has decided to "save the state money" that they should eliminate the ILL van!!  NO MORE SHARING!  No more working together!  No more getting books from libraries we can not access any other way!  WHAT?!?!?!?!

Go to your local library today, tomorrow, the next day it is open and SIGN the petition!  Time is short - get there quick!!

Okay.... off to work... :o)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Day... What is it now? Ah: #142

As I was looking to name this post, I realized I lost track of my initial goal, to be creative everyday and record the process.  Like a good friend, we're just picking up where we left off!

So, Day #142 is about donuts.  Actually, it's about continuing a legacy giving to me by my grandmother, mother and mother-in-law.  Donuts!  Not the kind from Dunkin', but the rib sticking, cooked in Crisco ones that you only have a couple times a year because, well, they aren't particularly good for you, but they are amazing going down!

As a matter of fact, I made them at our Harvesting History Day at the Historical Society, with the help of my wonderful daughter and her boyfriend.  We we making them ON THE SPOT, which, if you've ever had homemade donuts, is the only way to go!  Warm... soft... covered in sugar?  Brings you directly back to your childhood! 

Growing up they were a Halloween treat!  My parents weren't fans of us going out trick or treating as kids (70's, bad stuff in apples and all) so we had a family Halloween party every year.  One of the activities was trying to eat donuts on a string - always a bit of hilarity there!  Mom would make them special for that night and we'd gobble them up - along with any candy left after trick or treaters came by!  My mother-in-law used to make them in the winter as well - so we both grew up with the yummies!

We had a spot of bad weather (understatement there... 2 feet of snow in October) and we needed some comfort food in Whitt-World this weekend, so, I fired up the stove and whipped up a batch.  Of course, they were amazing!  Here they are and a recipe for you, as well! 

*NOTE: These are NOT healthy, in any way, shape or form!  Just wicked good!  :o)

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 tbsp melted shortening
  • 4 cups flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon AND 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Shortening to cook in (I use a full container of Crisco = cheaper works, but Crisco just tastes better and they are not as greasy!)
Preheat shortening to 370 degrees.
Beat the eggs.  Then slowly add the sugar.
Once mixed, stir in milk and melted shortening.
Sift flour before measuring and resift with baking powder, spices and salt.
Mix the wet and dry ingredients.
Flour your cutting board and roll out the dough to about 1/4" (thicker the dough, thicker the donuts!).
Cut out the donuts.  (I have a vintage donut cutter from my memere.  It cuts the donut and hole at the same time.  I have also done it with a glass and an apple corer.  You can ALSO shape them by hand.)
Once the shortening is up to 370, drop donuts in one at a time.  I do 3-4 at once. ** BE CAREFUL of the hot fat...yup...even after all these years I tend to get burned...  I drop mine in by hand and turn them with a long handled wooden spoon.  I use that to remove them, as well.
When you remove them, place them on a paper bag to absorb excess shortening.
Once they cool a wee bit, you can drop them in a bag of sugar, shake and EAT!!!  Or, like my hubby, eat them right off the plate!

Create some memories with your family over donuts!  It's yummy!

Have a wonderful day,

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

2011 Holiday Challenge

Perhaps it's because we got 2 feet of snow for Halloween this year (a history making event, according to the Weather Channel).  Or maybe because I need to stretch the holiday dollar farther this year.  Whatever the reason, I am (for one of the first times) looking at planning out the holiday season and seeing what we can do to enjoy more on less.

I thought it might be fun, informative and a good way to garner more ideas by sharing thoughts with you all and asking for yours in return!  To that end, I thought we'd do a bit of a Holiday Challenge!  The coach/athlete in me enjoys such things...

Every day (God willing and the creek don't rise, or snow fall, or power go off!) I will share thoughts and ideas for holiday fun!  Some days will just be things for you to consider, other days I'll be looking for your input - "linky party-like" or just good recipes, fun ideas, great gifts... you get the drift!  I would also like to offer a prize a week.  Remember BEFORE field hockey?  I had that idea?  Fell flat on my face - couldn't get out of my own way to make it happen...so, as the saying goes: it's not how many times you fall, it's getting up just one more! So I have lots of goodies in need of a new home.. how about YOURS?

Let's start this ball rolling by brainstorming ideas for what we can look into from now till ... well... we are done!  I would like to consider the following:
  • Christmas cards ... hand-made... how about ones using photos, scrapbooking, or fabric?
  • Food (wait, should that have been first?) This is a good one as it would touch on several food related events over the next 2 months... recipes for meals, recipes for goodie giveaways for gifts, candy...yum!!
  • Decorations - again a good one over the 2 months as we've got LOTS to work with!  Nature-based will be a definite as, well, I live in the woods!!  That is assuming the snow melts a bit and I can GET AT the woods!  I was thinking wreaths, ornaments, lighting, table-scapes (as that woman on tv calls them...), and anything else we can come up with!
  • Giving - the idea of the season?  Where can we put our time and the money we do have?
  • Gifts ... ah... a homemade Christmas?  We shall see!
So, what do you guys think?  Are you with me?  Ready to enjoy a FUN season?  I know I am!  Off to start plotting (oh... I mean planning)!!
Quilty hugs!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Back in the saddle again....

Good morning, Internet friends far and wide!

My high school field hockey season has come to a close - it was a wonderful one!  We didn't get as far in the post season as we might have liked, but life is like that!  I am tying up loose ends, collecting a couple of odd uniforms, creating a slide show and then designing awards for our banquet.  I am sure I'll have a bit more to say in a week or two about that bittersweet night, but for now, suffice to say the pictures and music are already choking me up and I haven't put them together yet! 

My creative focus for the next few days will be on designing the awards (from "Lil' Miss Hustle" to "Jabberwoky") and organizing them for the banquet.  I am also working on a little something for the seniors (of which there are 9 this year - the most I've EVER had!!) which includes various pictures for each of them.  Finally, my favorite part, but the bane of my existence till it's done: the slide show!  I have hundreds of photos (from thousands we took) organized are ready to insert into the program.  Put a bit of good music with it, bring a box of tissues and viola!  Everyone loves it!! 

The process makes for a wonderful closure to a great time with a group of young ladies.  Ever work with 16 & 17 year old girls?  The are the BEST!!  What makes it even better is watching them after they leave and where they go/what they do.  It's like have oodles of daughters!!  The highs, the lows... watching them grow from shy, hesitant freshman to confident seniors?  Truly, the best!

That is why I try to make the slide show touch their hearts and help them to remember a time in their lives that is so fleeting.  That being said, guess I'd better get back to work!

Hope everyone has a wonderful, creative day!