Thursday, September 30, 2010

How to Bake a Turkey

Recently I had a hankering for a turkey dinner.  I just needed mashed potatoes, gravy, and turkey.  And as I type this I could get hungry for the meal all over again!

Baking a turkey is not a big deal for me.  Many of my friends think it is too much work.  Take a peek at how I bake a turkey. 

A frozen turkey needs to thaw before baking.  From my freezer I brought the turkey to the refrigerator, placing the frozen bundle in a cake pan.

And there you let it sit until it is squishy (thawed), which takes many days!

THE NIGHT BEFORE BAKING DAY...I brine the turkey.

Chef Kidlet Two taught me that brining makes a turkey extremely moist.  I'll get back to brining in a minute, but let me introduce you to my chef son.  He has always enjoyed helping me in the kitchen.  In high school he had a home-ec-type-class where he fell in love with cooking.  And that is where he learned how to brine a turkey.  In culinary school they taught brining so I now brine my turkey before baking.  The Chef lives in a Big Big City north of us and works in busy restaurant.  As I'm typing this, he is home for a few days and made a stock pot full of potato chicken chowder that is out of this world....

After cleaning the turkey (inside and out), fill a large pot with cold water.
The pot has to be big enough to hold the turkey and allow it to be completely submerged.
To the water add 1 cup of salt and 1 cup of sugar.
I also added fresh rosemary and dried thyme.
Stir the water to dissolve the sugar and salt.
 Put the turkey in the pot and add water so it is completely covered.
The whole pot goes into the refrigerator for an Over-Night-Stay.

On baking day, remove the turkey and drain well.

In my Never-Fail-Betty-Crocker-Cookbook I found a
recipe for Roasting Turkey in Aluminum Foil.
This method shortens roasting time and is
really steam roasting the turkey.
Which makes for the moistest turkey ever...seriously.

 Place the turkey on aluminum foil.   Rub olive oil all over the skin. 
I also sprinkled more rosemary and seasoned with salt and pepper.

 Wrap snugly and seal tightly with a lot of aluminum foil.
Place the foil-wrapped turkey, breast side up, in a baking pan.
 Place in a 450 degree oven and roast within 15 to 20 minutes
of the total roasting time.  Remove from oven and fold
the foil away from the bird. 
Return to oven and continue roasting until done.

10 to 12 pound bird needs to bake 2 3/4 to 3 hours
14 to 16 pound bird needs to bake 3 to 3 1/2 hours

Check out Betty Crocker for further baking times.

Sorry I didn't get a picture of the baked bird.
I guess we cut it up and started eating too fast....

Mashed pototes, corn and a delicious gravy from the pan drippings.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Approach with Confidence

 Thoughts while picking raspberries.
On a recent Saturday morning when the wind was so cold and my fingertips were experiencing cold for the first time this fall,  my mind just wandered to some random thoughts...

Most of the time when I pick the berries I start by picking around the outside of the patch.  And then I go into the forest of branches.

Yet on this particular Saturday as I approached the raspberry patch, I felt I was suppose to go right in.

I had this little nudge that I don't have to skirt the outsides.

It would be okay to dive in right into the midst of the branches and berries.

So I did.  I changed up my routine and pushed my way in.

It sounds kind of funny that I have "routine" for picking raspberries but I guess I am a creature of habit.  And, slowly, I'm learning that change can be good so a new routine is fine with me.

Back to picking...

The God-Thoughts came fast as I was dropping raspberries into my container.  The thoughts were of a parallel between how I approached my berry patch and how humans can and do approach God. 

Why do we skirt around our relationship with God.  We take the outside and keep our distance.  Like the way I picked raspberries along the outside and then ventured in.

Some people would never consider even venturing in to their own relationship with God.  They have been taught or feel that only leaders in a Church-Club can have the relationship.  So they will remain "outside-of-the-patch-berry-pickers" and will let the leaders go to the middle of the patch.

Many years ago while reading in my Bible, I had a light-bulb moment.  That is a moment when I fully understand something and if I were in a cartoon, a light-bulb would show up over my head!

The reading was from Hebrews, chapter 4, verses 14 through 16.  Here are the verses for you to read from a translation of the Bible called The Message:
Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let's not let it slip through our fingers. We don't have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He's been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let's walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help  
Did you get the part that said "So let's walk right up to him..."

In my berry patch, I went right in.  There was no reason to start on the outside and gradually move in.  Just as we don't have to "work our way in" or "be good enough" or "let the pastors, priests or elders" go right up to the throne of Jesus. 

No.  You and I go approach this Thone of Grace and Mercy ourselves. Another translation of these verses states:  approach the throne with confidence! 

In fact, I believe Jesus is waiting for us.  His love for each and every one of us far exceeds what our tiny human brains can understand and He longs for us to approach Him.

So today, confidently go right to God.  If this is a first time, stutter out a few words of thanks. Tell Him this is all new and you aren't quite sure how to talk to Him but you are willing to start.  Oh how He will draw you right up onto His lap.  Walk right up there.  Go right through to the middle.  Go get the Love that He is waiting to reveal to you. 

There is a freedom knowing we can approach the King of Kings and Lord of Lords without anyone going before us.

Amazing Grace!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Greek Play

Kidlet Three's class was studying Greek mythology last year in 6th grade. 

As a part of the class, they put on a play for the rest of the school and parents. 

Parts were assigned, a stage was designed and costumes pieced together.  Here are a few pictures from the presentation.  Braces and the "special smiles" just added to the authentication of the Greek timeline (ha! ha!)

Notice the helmet position on Kidlet Three
The helmet has now almost covered his whole face...
Trying to move it back up...

And here I asked "okay, let's get a nice picture..."

So I quit focusing on his face and captured his "winged  feet"

And then trying again for a "nice" picture

My youngest Freckle-Faced-Mouth-of-Braces Grecian Boy!
I am blessed!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Wait or Weight

Wait or Weight.


They sound the same but oh boy, do they have different meanings.

When I am trying to lose weight, my whole world seems to focus on it.

Some of you may know how it works.  You decide to cut back on your eating.

More exercise is needed so you make a plan to start or add to your exercise routine.

And then food starts jumping out at you.

When you don't want to make a big deal of this change you are trying to make

Suddenly it becomes the only thing that has focus.

Like when I was trying to walk across the street by my Work-Place.

Major street construction had just been completed with new streetlights

so I went to push the "walk" button. 
Do  you know that crosswalk buttons now talk!  And guess what I heard after pushing that button?


There is that word again.  Oh my goodness I can't get away from it.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

What I Collect

I love nativity sets.
Scattered around my house are various nativities.
My attention can turn to My Lord, Jesus, when I glance at one of my collections
As I wash my dishes I thank God for His Son's humble birth on my behalf
Even the "cling-on" version stays up all year long
The many young friends that visit our house enjoy moving these around on the patio doors
It isn't a fancy collection.  But I love it.
Jesus didn't show up in a fancy get up
He was pretty low key
Just like my collection

What do you collect?
Amaze me...and share your collection ideas!

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Growing up I read a lot of books.  Fiction, I loved fiction and mostly mysteries. Okay, I'll admit.  Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys were the books I read.  And re-read.  And loved.

In my adult years I really don't read a whole lot.  Magazines or short stories mostly.  The exception being when I'm on vacation or a random weekend at home when I "just have to read a book."  And when this happens I am totally into the book (fiction) and am oblivious to any responsibilities or tasks that I should be looking into.  As in meals for the family or laundry.

Books for learning are never the type of book I pick up.  I do want to learn.  Every single day I learn something but it doesn't come from books.  It is with great joy that I listen to my friends when they share what they are learning or have learned from a book.  Sometimes I find myself envying the fact "they can read" when I don't seem to ever finish a learning-type-of-book if I pick it up to read it.

In my recent adventure of reclaiming our family room from the storage room it had become, I had to pack up a bookcase of books that we'd not touched for years.  The Husband is a reader but even he has not read many of the books that I was packing up.  There was one book that I swear jumped out of the box as I put it in.  There was a drawing to this book that I cannot explain because it was a learning book.  It must've been that God-Nudge because I knew I was to read this book. 

People, this book is rocking my world.  I've had to re-read the first chapter three times.  There is so much good stuff in the first chapter I am reading and re-reading so that I can truly soak in some basic facts and principles that I have forgotten or never totally understood. 

What is the book you are asking?

It is not a new book.  It was published in 1996 or close to that time. 

Do you write in your books as you read?  I have found myself underlining, circling and making other notations in this book as I read. 
This book will not make sense to you if you don't know the Unending, NonJudging Love that God has for you.  And the fact that He craves you.  Yes, God craves us.  He made us but he didn't make us robots and we get to choose Him or not choose Him.  So, if you aren't at the point in your life of knowing God personally, this book might not make sense to you.

The author is Dutch Sheets.  Oh how I thank God for the experiences this man has had so that he can write this book and write it in such a way that I can understand it.  Here are a few snippets that I've underlined in the first three chapters:

"God didn't give away ownership of the earth, but He did assign the responsibility of governing it to humanity"

"Humans were forever to be God's link to authority and activity on the earth."

"Prayer is essentially a partnership of the redeemed child of God working hand in hand with God toward the realization of His redemptive purposes on earth."

Believe me, there is a whole lot more in this book and I am so excited!  I am learning from a Learning-Type-of-Book and that is a miracle!  I'm actually reading!

By the way, I carried the book with me to a recent visit to Prairie Woman's house.  One of her kidlets brought me a flower during our visit.  It was clover and oh so special to receive as a gift!  I tucked that clover in my New-Learning-Book and it has remained there.  It is my bookmark!  Isn't is amazing that it just dried and hasn't crumbled away!
What are you reading these days? 

I have to encourage you that if you have been like me and thought you couldn't read a learning book, you should give it a try!  Ask God to show you what book you should be spending time in.  Besides the Bible. 

He might amaze you!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Mohawk Lives On...

Kidlet Three started school this week.

7th grade.


The baby of the family.

He did pose for the annual First-Day-of-School pose on the stairs. 

Last year, he looked like this

Excuse me, I need to run and get a tissue (sniffle, sniffle)....okay I'm back!

I have to believe that there aren't many parents that start weaning their children from "the summer schedule" to the new "school schedule".  We talk about it, but we really never do it.  Weaning as in going to bed before 11 pm and getting out of bed before 10 am.  That was pretty much Kidlet Three's summer time schedule. 

So on the first day of school I was very concerned about his ability to get out of bed when his alarm went off.  To note, this is the first year he is setting an alarm and getting himself out of bed.  The alarm is on his cell phone and the ringtone plays a song that goes "time for waffles, come get your waffles, time for waffles...".  It is the most appropriate ringtone for him since his breakfast of choice is Eggo waffles!

Back to the story.  Kidlet Three amazed us by getting out of bed and dressed lickety split.  He seemed to lose momentum, however, in the bathroom.  The clock was ticking and he still needed his insulin and breakfast so I went tapping on the bathroom door to check on him. "Are you okay in there" I asked.

"I'm just doing my hair."

Thud.  That was me falling to the floor.  He was fussing with his hair.  Kidlet Three hasn't really been a "Fuss-With-Anything-Kind-of-Guy unless it is sports equipment and the Wii. 

He opened the door to show me that he was using hair gel and attempting to get the mohawk to be spiked.  And The Husband, unbeknowest to me, had purchased gold hair highlighting paint for Kidlet Three.

Oh my baby is growing up.

Soon the three of us were in the bathroom all with our hands in the poor boy's hair.  Adding gel, spiking, dusting with gold paint, re-arranging until finally one of us looked at the time and yelled "we have to go!"

You would've thought he was going to be on national TV or something with all the fussing going on that morning!
He did look pretty handsome.  As we all walked out of the bathroom, I whispered to My Kidlet Three that "the girls are really going to like your hair."  And I don't know why I even said that.  The words just came out of my mouth. 

He stopped dead in his tracks, his eyes widened quickly and he barely could gulp out the words:

Should I wash it out?

Ahhhhh......he is still a boy after all!  whew.....

I assured him he would be fine and off to school he did go.  He reported to me later that not one of the girls commented on his hair so "he thought he'd be okay putting gel in his hair the next day."

Amazing...the summer Mohawk lives on and I still have my little boy for awhile....