Black Sheep Dancing

Why be like everyone else when you can be yourself?


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Buffet

A few months ago I got it in my head that I needed to rid myself of any furniture that still screamed COLLEGE DAYS! Suspect No. 1 was my tv stand. It’s quite fancy really. A rectangular box with a couple of drawers I got at Walmart for $30. High end, I know.

To add fuel to my obsession, I have been seeing all kinds of cool things on that black void known as Pinterest. (You can follow my boards at the link at the top) So I also got in my head that I needed an old buffet and I would transform it to greatness!

So, I waited and I waited until at last a perfect candidate appeared on Craigslist. Score! So, I headed down to Circleville, loaded it up in my aunt’s van and headed home. This actually was a long endeavor as I had switched cars with said aunt and forgot to take the house key with me.

After finally getting back in the house I put the munchkin to bed and immediately started cleaning it up and got 2.5 coats on before crashing at 3 AM.

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The next day after work I came home and finished it up. SIX coats later.

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So here is the finished result. I have to figure out how to hide the cords, and I’ll probably get some baskets for underneath it for munchkin’s toys, but overall I think it turned out pretty well. I love how the green accents turned out. I just need that last drawer pull. Lesson learned – always check the little bags the pulls come in, even if they all came from the same drawer.

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Watermelon Rind Pickles – Who Knew?

The internet is a wonderful thing. At times when I should be doing laundry or washing dishes, I can look up all sorts of yummy, delicious recipes. Thus, that is what I was doing this past weekend when I happened upon a recipe for watermelon rind pickles. Wh-what? I did a search and found many more recipes for this alien pickle. You can eat the rind? People WANT to eat the rind? Well, immediately I knew I had to try it.

So, this past weekend on a trip to Aldi’s I included one huge watermelon for only $2.99. I forgot how huge watermelons are. I set to work cutting it up and processing the various parts – some to eat plain, some I put in a blender and froze as ice cubes for future smoothies or cocktails, some were made into popsicles, and the rind was cut into chunks…maybe 1/4″. The recipes all said for 1″, but what can you do with that? I’m thinking this might be good on sandwiches or desserts or something. Well, at least I think that is what I am going to do.

Something is wrong with this picture.

It took a long while to cut it up. It was made even longer after cutting it all up and realizing I forgot to peel it before cutting it up, so after soaking in brine I carefully sliced off the green peel from EVERY SINGLE PIECE. Boy, did that take a long time.

Following the brine it was time for the syrup making and processing. It was supposed to make about five half pints, but I got two. I’m blaming it on the relish-like quality.

Not the prettiest in jars, but everyone who has had these say they are totally awesome. I’m a wee bit weary, but again, here’s to trying new things!

Adapted from a Food.com recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 4 lbs watermelon rind
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 2 cupswater
  • 4 cupssugar
  • 3 cinnamon sticks, cut in half
  • 1 teaspoonwhole cloves
  • 1 teaspoonsliced, fresh ginger
  • 2 Tbs lemon juice
  1. Cut up melon rind, peel off the green part, and remove all pink portions.
  2. Cut rind into 1 inch pieces for pickles, smaller for relish.
  3. Weigh
  4. Soak rind overnight in enough bring to cover all pieces, made by dissolving 1/4 cup salt in each quart of water
  5. Drain rind, wash in fresh water and drain again.
  6. Combine remaining ingredients, with the spices in cheesecloth, and boil together 5 minutes.
  7. Add rind a few at a time so it doesn’t spash and cook until rind is clear.(simmer about 30 Min.). Meanwhile, prepare jars.
  8. Remove cheesecloth and put in bottom of prepared jars evenly.
  9. Pack rind on top of spices in hot sterilized jars.
  10. Cover with boiling syrup, remove air pockets, and process in a hot water bath for ten minutes.

I’ve also discovered recipes for the pink part along the way, so I might have to try that next. Again, I haven’t opened these yet. I think I’m going to wait a few weeks and then give it a go.


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We go round and round

I’ll admit, I’ve been accused of having horrible taste in music. This is particularly entertaining when you add the fact that I have three degrees in music. You would think I would know better, but I can’t help it. I could listen to cheesy music from the 40s, 50s and 60s and Christmas music all day. Well, actually, I do listen to that all day. (Love Pandora!)

So, I have been super duper swamped lately, and I can’t get the song “Round and Round” by Perry Como out of my head. Sure, it’s about falling in love and not being busy, but hey, I can’t help it. The two go together. Work with me people!


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Ship Wrecks and Pears

Tonight’s dinner was compliments of $5 Dinners. I have been obsessed with her blog lately, and was able to make a couple of her recipes for tonight’s dinner.

 

The Ship Wreck Casserole I made this past weekend and instead of one big dish, I split it between two and froze them both for  later, which was perfect for tonight’s dinner. I also vegetarianized it, using fake beef instead of the real thing. I really like the idea of making things ahead, and love that it is a vintage recipe.

 

 

While it was baking, I made the Gingered Pear and Blueberry Cobbler. I actually had no eggs, so looked online and read somewhere you can substitute cornstarch for eggs. Not quite the same, but it still turned out super yummy, and really, cobblers are so easy. I wish I would have had some whipped cream or ice cream to go with it.

 

 

Both dishes were delicious, easy and cheap. So, go ahead, head on over to the  $5 Dinners and check out these and some of her other recipes.


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2011 – it HAS to be a good year

Happy New Year!

I hope all my lovely readers out there ***crickets….silence*** had a lovely Christmas. We had a lovely time.

 

I made a Christmas dinner for friends including this super yummy bread pudding.

Munchkin got his very first sled ride…and quite a few after that!

We went to church on Christmas Eve.

And fed the horses…

We enjoyed some crackers. My “toy” was a pair of really bad nail clippers and a joke…want to hear it? You know you do.

What kind of soap does a judge use? Give up??? TRAIL size soap! ahaahhahahaha….okay, so not the best joke ever.

Had lunch at one of the best restaurants ever. (I got grilled cheese of course, and onion rings. BEST ONION RINGS EVER)

I rang in the new year with my sister and crew at a country club. It was awesome because I was by far one of the youngest people there to celebrate with friends.

And I finally got a pair of wellies! Aren’t they cute? I even found fleece inserts so they are nice and warm.

We also went to a couple of tag sales. Nothing super exciting, but I did find some loaf pans so I can bake more quick breads and a cute 60s enameled bowl. Santa also brought me some fun vintage finds for Christmas. Did I ever mention I collect hammered aluminum? Well, I got a TON of it for Christmas and now I am in hammered aluminum bliss.

So, that’s my end of year/ year so far. But here is to being single and making dreams come true in the new year!  I love the number 11. It’s a fabulous number. When I won first place in horse competitions, my number always had 11 in it. When I ran my fastest time in cross country my number was 11. So 2011, let’s do it!