Friday, October 26, 2007


I've been sorta awol for a while.

Samantha had been cold-free for a few days, but now she's got a yucky nose again. I think it's a sinus infection. She's got green snot. That's gross in and of itself, but the halitosis is terrible. It smells like spoiled cow's milk. She makes a point of exhaling right in my face. I seem to recall Mom telling me I had bad breath when I was sick. Now I know what she was talking about. She seems like her happy self. Maybe a little sleepier, but it's bedtime so that's to be expected.

Mom is enabling me and my Starbucks habit. I received a Starbucks card in the mail from her today. Thanks Mom! I made sure to register the card at I registered a card once before and they loaded $5 on it. I hope they do it again. I love getting free stuff, but you knew that already.

Tomorrow is the final CSA potluck of the season. I'm not sure what I'll take. Mom sent me a roasted butternut squash recipe along with the Starbucks card. It looks tasty. Very seasonal. I'm not sure how warm it will stay or even if that will matter. It's supposed to be in the 50's tomorrow, so fall foods will be appropriate. I think winter squash qualifies as a fall food.

I need to pick up some apples for Samantha. She really likes them. Fresh or sauced -- it doesn't matter to her. Sauce is a little better for sending in her lunch at daycare. She would stuff an entire apple slice in her mouth if I let her. Instead, I hold a piece and let her gnaw off a bite.

Last weekend we ate dinner at the Sippels' house. Lots of good food, but the most unusual thing I consumed was a shot of cider vinegar. This was like no other cider vinegar I had ever tasted before. It was the real deal. You could tell that it used to be hard cider. It had a wininess that is lacking in most cider vinegars because they bypass the alcohol step and jump right to vinegar. I would tell you that the flavor had a different shape in my mouth, but I can't find the right words to describe the sensation, so I won't.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


I checked on the sauerkraut today as I have been doing over the past month. I noticed more scum than usual so I pulled it out of the closet and set out to skim off the scum. The bread container looked a little funkier than I liked, so I thought I'd wash it. Of course, that meant removing the cabbage from it. The removal process gave me an opportunity to smell the stuff. It smelled kinda like beer. Definitely could tell that it was fermenting. As I started filling up the new container, I started wondering how I'd know if my sauerkraut was done. Afterall, my recipe gave me a length of time, but it did not tell me what signs of doneness to look for. I checked my blog and saw that the cabbage went in one month ago tomorrow. That should be the right amount of time.

I decided to brave it and taste the kraut. I'm not used to eating veggies that have been sitting out for a month. They usually rot before that amount of time. If I don't survive the night, then let Joe know that the sauerkraut in the fridge should be thrown out! I don't know if I had ever eaten real sauerkraut before. It tasted different. Like I said above, the fermentation gives it some beer like flavors. It was crunchy but not like it was when fresh. I never made it to Penzeys, so the only spice I added was the caraway seeds. The commercial kraut I typically buy does not have any spices. However, commerical stuff has that vinegary flavor from the fast pickling methods they use. My kraut has no vinegar.

Now I want to try the kraut with food to see how Joe likes it. It would probably make an excellent Reuben, but for that I'd have to make my own corned beef. I'll probably just try it with a little smoked sausage. That would be good. Or on brats. I will be passing through Bucyrus on Thursday. If they're open at the time, I may stop in Carle's for bratwurst to take home. Or not.

I would like to try another batch. Maybe seedless. One with the juniper berries might be nice. But honestly, I don't think we eat that much sauerkraut in a year. Samantha would have to start eating it, but it's got too much salt for her to be eating now.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Recipe Contest

I have entered the Marion Star's annual recipe contest for the past four years. Each year they have selected one of my recipes for the cookoff. I won my category the last two years. Their rules are pretty simple. It does not have to be original or anything. There are about ten categories and you submit the recipe based on one of those categories. Then they read the recipes and pick about four in each category that sound good to the judges. If you're selected then they notify you to bring the prepared dish on the appointed evening for final judging.

Well, I was glancing at today's paper when I saw the cookoff mentioned on the front page. I knew that the deadline was soon, but I hadn't really paid any attention. You see, I only subscribe to Saturdays and Sundays of the paper. Even those usually wind up only half-read. I turned the page to find a copy of the entry form. I have until October 18th at noon to enter. That's this Thursday! I don't know what to submit. I ran out of tried and true family favorites last year when I entered Italian Beef. I have less than five days to find an award winning recipe. Now is not the time to create something new. I need help. Any ideas?

Oh, you might want to know what the categories are. This year, they are:
-- Edible Centerpieces
-- Appetizers
-- Brunch
-- Cookies & Candies
-- Cakes & Pies
-- Meats
-- Youth 18 and under
-- Ethnic Dishes
-- Casseroles
-- Crockpot Favorites

Obviously, I am not a youth, so that's out until Samantha is old enough to cook in a few years.

Friday, October 12, 2007

The End is Here

My frozen milk stash has been depleted. There is enough for Monday, but Tuesday is doubtful. If I pump a few ounces each day this weekend then I might have enough for Tuesday. I don't pump on the weekends anymore, so it looks like Samantha will be trying formula Tuesday. I don't know how she'll like it. I'm hoping she likes it enough to drink it but not so much that she starts refusing breastmilk.

I have been dreading the day that I'd have to supplement. Formula is evil. Well, not necessarily evil, but first and foremost, formula companies are out there to make a buck. I hate that I now have to give them my money. But on a positive note, look how long we've gone without supplementing. When she was four months old, I was looking for a job and knew that I would be going back to work soon. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to pump enough. Around that time, she went through a growth spurt and was drinking 7 oz bottles. My output was pretty meager compared to that. Honestly I figured I would run out of frozen milk within a month or two. But her appetite settled back down to 4-6 oz bottles and that helped me out. I was able to stay ahead of her up until now. I am proud of these ten months.

I might try making up a couple ounces of formula for her to try this weekend. I'm not sure what the best delivery mechanism will be. I'd like to have her weaned off a regular bottle by 12 months, so I don't know if I should start that just to stop it in a month or two. She isn't doing that great with the sippy cups yet (we have a few different styles which just confuses her), but she expects those to taste like milk, not formula. She didn't like when the sippy cup had water or juice in it. I have let her drink out of my water glass. We get all wet, but she likes it. That would probably be too messy for anything other than water. That isn't a feasible solution for daycare. I'll probably try one of the sippy cups. Yucky formula. Those LLL women have brainwashed me! I better not tell them next week at the Ohio LLL conference that I am supplementing.

Monday, October 8, 2007


I moved into the new office in Columbus on Friday. Today was the first official day for me and Alex. We didn't get much done. Our major accomplishment was hanging the dry erase board in the conference room. So exciting! The hard part was that we have four computers but no servers. All of the files we need are on the server in Indianapolis. The server can be accessed remotely through the Lexington office, but we have to go over the internet to do that. We don't have the internet. We have a Sprint wireless connection card thing that fits into one of the laptops, but it only works about half of the time. We have an adapter so the Sprint card can be plugged into the other laptop, but no software to run the adapter. It's gonna be a long week without the server. Erin from the IT department is tentatively going to be here next Monday. Until then, I may have to work from the wifi hotspot at the nearby Starbucks.

Speaking of Starbucks, I have every Song of the Day so far. The barista at the Starbucks near the office gave me a couple future ones when I went in on Friday. There are 37 days in the program. As previously mentioned, Sara gave me the first two days. I already had two future ones since they were iTunes freebies. That leaves 31 songs that I'll have to pay for unless I have a nice barista who gives me one. At $4 per drink (approximate price for a grande latte with a syrup), that's about $120 in coffee. Yikes. I'll have to be sure to take my own cup so I can save a dime. That will save me enough money to maybe get a tall.

The Girl is doing fine. She ate steak last night and tonight. She loves steak. Last night we had t-bones and tonight we had rib steaks. I cut the meat into small pieces and let her feed herself. I didn't think she would ever stop. She just kept shoveling them into her mouth as quickly as I could put them on her tray. I saved some for her to eat tomorrow. It will be a yummy treat.

Okay, if you've ever been a Weight Watchers member or lurked on the boards at, then you have likely heard about this magical food called Black Bean Brownies. WWers love an excuse to eat dessert. I tried them out this weekend. They are 2 points per brownie if you cut a 9x13 pan into 24 servings. By most, that is low point. If you cut the pan into fewer than 10 servings, then the fiber cap takes over and the points will go up. Take a regular brownie mix and add a can of black beans which has been rinsed and drained and then pureed in the blender with 1 cup of water; mix and bake. That's it. No more and no less. Good if you like rubbery, waxy, dark brown goo that is reminiscent of beans. Better if add in nuts, but then they aren't 2 points anymore and they're still rubbery, waxy, gooey and beany. Moral of the story: don't waste your time. If anyone tells you they're good, then that person has been deprived from the real thing far too long to be trusted.

Now listening to Emily King - Moon on iTunes
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Free Music

I went to Starbucks this morning. I wish I had a barista at home who would make a latte for me on demand. It doesn't take them very long at Starbucks because they're already set up. It takes too long at home.

Anyway, today is Day 3 of Starbucks' Song of the Day promotion with iTunes. Stop by your favorite Starbucks for your drug of choice and they give you a code for a free song. My barista Sara was supposed to discard the codes for the first two days, but she hadn't yet so she gave me ones for those days as well. Tuesday was "Jokerman" by Bob Dylan. I'm not a Dylan fan, so I'm not crazy for it. Wednesday was "One Day" by KT Tunstall. That was good. It was labeled as explicit, but I didn't play close attention to the lyrics, so I'm not sure how bad they are. Today's song is "Night of the Iguana" by Joni Mitchell. I thought Joni was a woman, but the singer sure sounds like a man to me. To sum it up, I paid $4.05 for my latte and got one good song. Not too bad. It would be nice if they were giving away free drinks and free songs.

Now listening to KT Tunstall - One Day on iTunes
via FoxyTunes

Monday, October 1, 2007

Ice Cream Sandwiches

Yesterday I made vanilla frozen yogurt (3 c plain yogurt, 1 c sugar, 1 t vanilla) using the tub of yogurt that I bought for Samantha to eat. I also made brownies. Using the cow mold Joe bought me for our anniversary, I made ice cream sandwiches. Aren't they cute?

Lesson 1: Homemade frozen yogurt tastes nothing like the commercial stuff. If you don't like yogurt don't make this. Strangely, it gets even tangier when frozen. Joe didn't like the yogurt.

Lesson 2: Frozen yogurt melts at a very high temperature and doesn't make good sandwiches.

Lesson 3: These brownies freeze quickly in the freezer. They were only in there for a few minutes, but they were already hard.

Lesson 4: These were tasty brownies. Don't lose the recipe that came with the molds.

Samantha's Big Day

Today is Samantha's first day at daycare. Daddy and Samantha just left the house. This will be very different than being at Aunt Dawn's house, but Miss Amy will take good care of Samantha. There will be other babies to play with...well, around. New toys to try to eat. It will be fun.

Move in day at work is Friday. Since today is the first of October, it made more financial sense to send her to daycare today than to wait until Friday when I'll be down in Columbus too. They charge either by the week or by the month. The monthly rate is better since she'll be there the whole month.