Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Skyline Chili

Lonnie had errands on the other side of town the other day- so I said, "Why don't I ride along with you and we can eat at Skyline Chili?".

He thought that sounded like a real good idea. It's been a while since we've been here.

If you've never had Cincinnati style chili, it can be confusing as to how to order.
The chili comes on a plate, served over spaghetti noodles with shredded cheese on top, and if you wish, beans and onions.  Depending on which combination you want, it's called a  3-way, 4- way, etc.

If you want everything its called a 5- way chili. That's what I ordered. Oink!

They bring a little bowl of soup crackers and the hot sauce is on the table. The plate is so full it's hard to get started!   Their chili has a distinctive taste -very different than what we are used to in this area. I believe they add cinnamom or nutmeg- not sure though.

Poor Lonnie, he has to wait while I take all these pictures.

Lonnie told me he first tried Skyline Chili years ago, when he was running his delivery route up through Cincinnati. He didn't really know how to order so he just got a plain bowl of chili (which is okay to do). He started watching what other people were ordering and next time got it served the way they are famous for.

Occasionally, I find Skyline Chili in the grocery store in frozen tubs and try to duplicate it at home. It's good but never quite as good as eating at the restaurant.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

what I am reading

This one, I am 180 something pages in, but I am giving up on it.

"Black House" , a novel by Stephen King and Peter Straub.

The senior center where the Quilting Bees meet has a small library. Members can take out books on the honor system...just return them when you are done. 

I hadn't been getting any books there until I noticed this one on the shelf.  I remember reading a book years ago written by these two authors (The Talisman). It was a good book so I wanted to give this one a try.

"Black House" (purely fictional) started off good...setting up the story, describing a town and it's inhabitants in great detail.  The writing was good, giving back stories and anecdotes about the characters.  A mystery was gradually revealed, suspense was building - then everything just got too far out there.

I like a little bit of supernatural creepiness in a scary story but this went overboard and just got goofy with it.  No longer scary -just weird.  
I believe it may tie in with a storyline in some of King's previous books. I didn't like those either!

I might read a little bit further until the next time I am back at the senior center to return it.
But, I wouldn't recommend this one and I probably won't pick up any more Stephen King books.

Monday, July 28, 2014

anniversary chicken

No, it isn't any one's anniversary...that is just the name of this chicken recipe. I wish I could remember where the recipe came from .I don't know why it has this name.

It makes a good Sunday dinner - everyone in my family likes it and it is simple to make.

Not too many ingredients...

green onions from Lonnie's garden!

Anniversary Chicken

6 boneless chicken breasts -cut in half
1/2 lb. bacon
1 cup Teriyaki glaze or marinade
1 cup ranch dressing
2 cups shredded cheddar
3 sliced green onions (optional)

Fry bacon in a large skillet, remove bacon, then lightly brown the chicken breasts in the bacon drippings.

Arrange chicken breasts in a casserole pan. Spoon teriyaki glaze over each breast, followed by the ranch dressing. Pile the shredded cheese over all. Break up the bacon and sprinkle evenly over the cheese layer, then finish off with the sliced green onions.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven about 30 minutes or until chicken breasts are cooked through.

Jasmine rice goes good with it.   This time we also had salad, green beans, rolls and cantaloupe.

The salad was really pretty before I tossed it with the dressing...spring mix lettuces with mandarin oranges, fresh blueberries and toasted walnuts!

I used a poppy seed dressing on it. That weighs it down some - it tastes good but doesn't look as appealing.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

fresh produce

A few things from our garden..

Those are ripe yellow cherry tomatoes...and one little red one. 

And, the first of  Lonnie's "Better Boy" tomatoes. he picked them before they were totally ripe, figuring something might get them if he waited too long. They are nicely shaped...a lot better than last year's - they had lumps and lobes instead of being nice and smooth.

He has been having trouble with a blight or fungus on his tomato plant leaves.

He tried an epsom salt solution he read about online but mostly he is just removing the affected leaves...leaving his tomatoes dangling in the breeze!

My zucchini plant seems to think it's job is to develop beautiful leaves instead of zucchini. We have only got 4 squash from it so far. I should have replanted that 2nd plant that disappeared.

 The butternut squash vine is a real space hog. It really wants to run - way too crowded in this bed. But look, a cute little butternut squash!

I hope this one can mature. I would plant these again somewhere else. They are good to eat but pretty expensive at the grocery.

Lonnie has picked a few small green onions too. A little disappointing because they are hot tasting. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

purple passion

I noticed  these bright blooms in the field next to our house. I have never noticed  them there before.

I went in to get a closer look. Pretty!  I looked online and found it is a Purple Passion Flower, a native plant.
Also called a "May Pop".  It is supposed to develop small yellow fruits when the flower falls off. 

I might try to snip off a piece of the vine and see if I can get it to root...or look for the fruits and get the seeds.

Also in  the field, are these beautiful Orange Butterfly Weed plants...which I am always tempted to try and transplant to my flower bed...but I have read that they don't transplant well and I don't want to kill them. 
I'll just enjoy them where they are.

These Trumpet Flowers were at the edge of  the woods, in a tangle with the wild grapevines...a little too high  to get a good picture. They are also native to the U.S., and they attract hummingbirds

More of nature's beauty...a majestic summer evening sky...

our view to the east

Thursday, July 24, 2014

more and different concrete

Shown below are two mounds of concrete in our back field...mostly out of sight...until I cut grass...then they are a problem.

They have been here since last June when the driver of this concrete truck decided that the area behind the pool house would be an appropriate place to rinse and empty his tank.

At first I thought it was just a pile of rocks and maybe crumbly concrete..

But no, it is hard I kept avoiding dealing with it.

Now I have finally pried them up.

I was going to take them back to the sink hole, but I see they are nice and flat on the bottom and they would make good stepping stones.  Hmmm, where do I need some stepping stones ?

I am thinking this over, I might have a spot for them. I will let you know if it works out.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

3rd place ribbon

I received a totally unexpected and surprising card from a stranger. When I opened it, it took a minute for me to fully comprehend what it was about.

A few months ago, our Extension Agent asked members of the Homemakers quilting group to each make a  12" quilt block and with a backing, and quilt it just like a miniature quilt.

She was taking these blocks to a state Homemakers conference where they would be auctioned off as a fundraiser.

I happened to have this barn block that turned out a little too small for the quilt I was going to use it in. I dressed it up a little and put the green border on it, added a few lines of quilting and sent it on it's way.

So, it turns out the lady who bought my block at the auction, entered it in the "miniature quilt" category in the Hardin County Fair (she verified that it was okay to enter a quilt made by someone else).

She won a 3rd place ribbon with it!

She is such a nice person that she tracked me down through the Extension Office and sent me the ribbon and $3 prize money with an explanation of the whole thing.
What a sweet and thoughtful thing to do!

It's so funny that my little quilt block has traveled around and competed without me knowing about it!

Monday, July 21, 2014

ever heard of "egg creams"?

Last week my older son told us he had read an article about "egg creams". a soda fountain concoction that  originated in  Brooklyn NY.

He was curious about how it would taste so he ordered some "Fox's U-Bet Chocolate Syrup". He said he would be bringing the ingredients to make them for us on Sunday.

Really, no eggs are involved at all. These are the ingredients: the chocolate syrup, whole milk and club soda.

The recipe that Chopper was following said to start with an inch of chocolate syrup in a glass...

Then add an inch of whole milk...

Then add club soda and stir...

That's when there was a flurry of excitement as the mixture developed a big head and began overflowing the glass!   On the next  glass he stirred as he poured the club soda in and that made it fizz even more! 
No photos were taken as we scrambled for towels to mop up the overflow and grabbed up the glasses to quickly drink the top down.

Next, Chopper tried mixing the milk and chocolate together then Lonnie, ex-soda-jerk that he is, mixed his soda in a little at a time and it stayed in the glass.

The drinks were surprisingly good ! Lonnie said it tasted just like an old fashioned chocolate soda...something he loved as a kid, but hadn't had in years. He put a couple of scoops of vanilla ice cream in his and he liked it that way. I thought it was better without adding that extra sweetness.
The Sasquatch had a little taste of the Egg Cream then decided to just have a bowl of ice cream with the chocolate syrup on it.

It was fun to try something different. Sweet and refreshing...not as heavy as a milk shake. 
I would have never expected that mix of ingredients to taste so good.
Thanks for the unusual treat, Chopper!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

critters in the yard

We see so many wild animals in our yard. Most are there to see what seeds have been dropped from the bird feeder or maybe get a drink from the bird bath.

It's hard to get a good picture of anything since I usually have to take it from inside the house.

A wild mother turkey with her babies. Actually there are 5 of them. They look pretty newly hatched.

One morning there were bunnies frolicking by the pool.  Watch out, you'll get your hare wet!

I wish this photo was more clear. It's 3 baby crows drinking from the birdbath at once. It made me think of the "rub-a-dub-dub three men in a tub" rhyme. Their parents were watching from near by.

A little lizard in my flower pot. He was very still. I believe he thought he was invisible.

A masked bandit! This raccoon comes out when it starts getting dark. He is pretty shy and runs off when he realizes I am sitting on the porch!

It's been awhile since I have seen the skunk. I hope nothing has happened to him.

Friday, July 18, 2014

started quilting the quilt

I have been machine quilting the quilt a little each day. I decided on using the cream color thread since I am just doing a meandering design. Some day I will try out something fancier and use a more decorative thread to show it off.

I can dream, can't I?

Some good advice I read, said to mentally divide the quilt into four sections (in half crosswise and lengthwise) and work out from the middle, one section at a time. I am sort of doing that...getting the "hardest to do" center areas first.
I enjoy this part, looking at all the fabrics as I sew.  And, I see I didn't bury as many of the points as I thought I did.

This has happened to me before...I think the flannel does it. A scrap clings to the back and without me realizing it's there - it gets caught up in the quilting stitches.

I think I can snip it real close to the stitching and tease it out of there rather than have to rip out stitches.
Not like last time when a corner of the quilt got flipped under and stitched down. I had a lot of stitches to pick out that time!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

summer bloomers

This is my best blooming flower bed right now. From this side you see the red Crocosmia and the purple Gladiolus. Both of these reliably come up every year.  The Gladiolus is from a bulb assortment that Lonnie bought at the Amsterdam airport years ago. There are more colors but they bloom at different times for some reason.

A close up of the Crocosmia. They are supposed to attract hummingbirds but I have never noticed any around the flowers...maybe they come when I'm not looking.

In the back of  the bed are Day Lillies...

Orange ones too. Actually a couple days after I took this photo a lot the blooms were chomped off...only stalks remain. Usually the deer don't bother them. The foliage wasn't touched - I guess only the flowers are tasty.

We have a Mimosa tree in the back field. We didn't plant's a volunteer.

And out by the driveway the Russian Sage is blooming. It's one of my favorites because  the blooms last a long time.

I took some pictures of wildflowers too and I'll show them another time.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I figured he could fix it

The Sasquatch labored in hot, humid, broiling sun to try to figure out what was wrong with my string trimmer.

He checked everything, but no matter would just shut off seconds after starting.

Finally he removed this small screen off of the muffler...

This should look like an open mesh screen. All that black stuff is carbon build-up. It was blocking the exhaust and causing the engine to shut off.

It was there to prevent sparks from possibly coming out the exhaust and starting a fire. Highly unlikely in my case, since I don't trim dry weeds. So we'll just leave it off for now and hope the string trimmer police don't show up!

I figured he could fix it and I am glad I didn't have to take it in for service. It would have cost a bunch and they would have had to put a new screen on, and I'd have the same problem in a couple of years.