As I was hanging up the Halloween decor last week, Boston got all excited. "Mom! Porter and Logan have a lot of booze at their house." I had to think about that one for a second. He's starting to read pretty well... B O O ' S.
I've had a wonderful fall thus far. A couple of weeks ago some of my best friends (we missed you, Erica! We ate extra cheesecake for you.) got together for our annual birthday lunch out since three of us have fall birthdays. It was an extra nice birthday treat for me since the Cheesecake Factory left wax paper all over my last Louisiana Chicken (I was already mostly full anyway...) and I got my meal AND my cheesecake for free. Sa-Weet. Too bad I left the leftover cheesecake in Michelle's car. Dangit. I pretty much just had the day off from being a Mom because I had song practice with the Primary Children's chorus that morning, then lunch, then we went to a ritzy quilt show in some gated community in Murray, then to LDS Women's Conference. My favorite part is when I am seated in that enormous, enormous beautiful conference center (like a half-moon stadium), people watching and chatting with my neighbors, and in walks the prophet, Pres. Monson, to his seat. The ENTIRE place stands up in a whoosh and becomes instantly pin-dropping quiet. Enormity of moment in an enormous place. I feel revitalized in my important roles of wife and mother.
Throughout that next week I happily pounced on the mailbox everyday, because my insightful in-laws gave me an amazon.com gift card for my birthday, and if you buy more than 25$, you get free shipping. So I sort of went to town. Here is what I now have my own copy of:
I Capture the Castle, by Dodie Smith
All God's Critters got a Place in the Choir, also Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History, both by Pulitzer Prize Winning LDS professor, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich. She writes essays about womanhood and history. Two things I like reading about!
The Ghost of Hannah Mendes by Naomi Ragen. I've only wanted that one for about 5 years.
Marie-Louise's HeyDay--a much loved, out of print book from my childhood. It's even more hilarious to read as a mom. It's about a mongoose who has to babysit five naughty possums. I think I always liked it growing up because the naughtiest one is named Jake. (We had five kids including the naughtiest one named Jake.)
Olive Oil Desserts by Micki Sannar. I went to one of her presentations and was very impressed. Here's to healthier cooking (doubly healthy because you ADD olive oil benefits and take away the bad stuff from the other butters and oils.) I've already had some fun trying out some of her stuff, including pie crust for my favorite spinach pie, my homemade granola using her substitutions, and banana bread as we speak. It smells great. Of course, it's probably not that healthy anymore because I had to jazz it up a little with coconut and Macadamian nuts. Oh well. Coconut has lots of fiber:)
Speaking of cooking, Mom wants me to post a couple of recipes on here. She and Dad came down this weekend to play with us and for Dad to attend his 35 year mission reunion. He's a Montana boy who served right here in Utah. I think he thinks it was worth braving the traffic. I don't think he came home from the party until nearly midnight. The two of them are so good to play with and spoil my kids (and me). They spent a lot of time on the bikes. They even babysat so Mark and I could attend the Saturday afternoon session of General Conference. As usual, I am pretty lax about taking any pictures, so, sorry. Maybe Mom took some.
Beef Barley Soup
Put in the crockpot:
1-2 lbs browned stew meat
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp of pepper, oregano, and basil
1 bay leaf
1 pkg Onion Soup mix (sometimes I subst. 2-3 TBS of au jus mix.)
6 cups hot water
1 8oz can tomato sauce
1 T soy sauce
1 cup celery chopped
1 cup carrots chopped
1 chopped onion
1 can stewed tomatoes or diced tomatoes
Let this stew for an afternoon and then add 1 cup of pearled barley about an hour before serving.
If you are really ambitious you can also add 1/2 cup of rinsed lentils at the same time--very tasty.
Islands' Pineapple Soft Tacos
1 pkg tortillas
2-3 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces and browned on a griddle
Add to a saucepan and simmer:
approx. 1 cup crushed pineapple or pineapple tidbits with juice
1/2 to 1 can of diced tomatoes, drained
enough Mr. Yoshida's Original Sauce (kind of a teriyaki sauce) to cover it all
Spoon chicken and sauce onto a tortilla.
Serve with snipped cilantro, chopped green onions, and maybe lettuce if you like that kind of fluff.