Tuesday, February 1, 2022



Layla...one cold but spoiled doggie

Well, I did it again. Promised to get better at posting and then life got the best of me.  Yes, the best and the rest.  Please know I'm challenging myself, it's all about me.  I know we aren't supposed to beat ourselves up, but there are times I do.  We all have some time on our hands with the pandemic shutting us in.  At first we found that we could accomplish more, and we did.  But our expectations were/are high.  Now that enthusiasm is waning-at least for me. I try to find ways to keep pushing on to have purposeful days.

So I'll digress here since I know you are all waiting with bated breath, here is my beautiful, most perfect Christmas tree in the whole wide world. I seem to have nailed the perfect size and width in the past few years. I love the beauty of the Balsam firs.  Such a nice blue-ish green.  I'm not the happiest camper doing the lights, and this year I had to unwind them after I thought I was finished because I ended up with the "male" end at the bottom.  I waited a day to get over the tantrum and then started over from the bottom up. It turned out better as I added another strand of lights.  I went all out and used all of my ornaments which total about 200. I absolutely do not say this to brag, it's thirty-six years of collecting and inheriting treasures, and I hang them so proudly and with heart tugging emotion.  Little Madelyn helped me one afternoon.  I explained that we had to tuck some inside the branches.  She came to me after awhile and said, "Grandma, I really camouflaged a few."  Really?  Out of a five year old?  She amazes me.  

(Christmas treats to be boxed up for family and friends)

The Husband and I decided to stay home and not go to the several Christmas parties we usually go to.  We have all of our vaccinations, including the booster, but I just didn't want to be one who caught the Omicron, and we knew a lot of people, some of whom were in our immediate family catch this variant after having all their vaccinations.  I go shopping,  to the doctor, run errands, etc., and I wear my mask.  My life can't be in a bubble but  I absolutely avoid social groups. I stop in to see my daughters and grands, it is the most special thing in my life.  

I've been so frugal since The Husband retired so I started my Christmas gift shopping in early November so I could do a bit at a time.  I was on top of the shopping, wrapping, decorating and baking. Then we took cover when the omicron arrived. Ironic that I was so organized and ahead of the game for once! This month we have been giving the gifts on the chance that one of the kids stop by with the kiddos. They seem to like Christmas weeks after the real deal!  


Abby and Tom had their much awaited baby on December 15,  a girl, 6 pounds, 3 oz., and named her Colette Jane. I love that they included Abby's French ancestry on her father's side, along with Tom's Irish heritage.  And the family name Jane, for Nana, Abby's middle name, and the middle names of so many others in our family.  Nana was just a gem and is so, so missed.  

My First Dutch Baby

We have been so confined to home and I have so many projects as irons in the fire.  Ironically, sometimes getting out and finding a cord of wood in the city which can be delivered and stacked in the backyard is an activity of its own.  So I dabble in sewing my little softies for the grandkidlets, working on some cross stitch (is anyone else my age going blind?), reading competitively with myself to top last years total books read; my own literary olympics or the 2022 reading challenge on Goodreads, and finally cooking. It continues to be a love/hate thing for me but I think I've figured it all out.  Most of all I have to take into consideration The Husband.  He is really attached to having dinner.  He mostly wants it at some point in the early evening.  When I get into the mood of putting on my lab coat and going into a time warp trying out obscure recipes to our lives, country and culture, he sometimes gets a wee upset when 10:00 p.m rolls around.  In my defense, sometimes I just can't calculate greatness.  

So, I was going to share some meals I made that I felt were progressive and made me so proud to make and come out halfway decent.  Those being on my quest to make include foods from other countries and cultures.  I'm keeping a journal and photos and soon I'll share what I've accomplished, or not. 😬

I made my first Dutch Baby or German pancake recently for breakfast.  I had been sort of planning to make one or two at the lakehouse for breakfast but people really don't want someone dabbling in the kitchen for hours when they want to get out into the sun.  Hello Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls.  

Here's the recipe. It turned out lovely.  Give this one a try and then do the toppings and all the goodies you love.

Jane's Dutch Baby

1/2 c flour

1 c milk

2 eggs

1/4 t salt

1 T sugar

1 1/2 t vanilla

3 T butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a medium bowl whisk together the flour and milk til smooth, then add the eggs, salt, sugar and vaniila.  Whisk to combine well.

Place butter in a 10 inch cast iron pan or a 9 inch cake pan and place in hot oven til butter sizzles.  Add the batter, shut the oven door and don't even think about opening it for 18 to 20 minutes.  It will deflate!!!! Once it is crisp on the edges remove form the oven. slice into four quarters and serve hot. I do this with  a squeeze of lemon and a generous sprinkle of powdered sugar.  There are numerous and delicious toppings such as warmed jam, applesauce, butter and cinnamon, or berries.  I've heard from some great people that they cook diced apples in the butter at the beginning of the recipe and pour the batter over.  I really want to try this! 

 Serves 4, possibly 5-6 if you add bacon or sausage and some fruit to fill it out as a hearty breakfast.