Saturday, October 30, 2010

Out Come The Dutchies!

So, my hubby says to me-- Checkie(or Jacquie for those of you who aren't PA dutch)-- we need to make some pot pie!  And I said, "whell, yous know I am always good for sum starch with starch and a lil' chickn!"  So we go to the frigiator and get a chicken and roasted it.. He cleaned it real gut.  and nowuh we are makin our own nooodles from scratch! (oh, i give up, it's hard to write that accent out...)

Although my hubby is one half PA dutch (it's a strong and dominant half) we didn't ever get his grandma's recipe.  I don't think she knows what a good cook her grandson is, so she only ever taught the granddaughters I believe. Oh if only she knew.  He can roll dough with the best of them.  Well, since we didn't have grandma Young's recipe, we started by looking at this one:  

which sounded mostly like pot pie (without the corn, we've just never traditionally used corn).
And it is a good starchy meal.  White with white and more white.  We adapted some of it, but started with her noodles. The real gut part here is the doughy noodles.  Yum.  
So, we made those noodles, and let them dry.  Roasted a whole chicken with some thyme, salt, pepper and oil, and picked it apart.  Then cut up some potatoes.  We had left over celery and a shallot and we  threw them in a bowl to wait.

Then boiled some homemade chicken stock plus a box of store bought (I'd say about 8-10 cups of chicken stock).  As it was boiling, we threw in 2 tablespoons of magic chicken base, which is really called "better than bullion".  When that came to a rolling boil, we added the celery, potatoes and shallot and cooked for ten minutes, then added the noodles one at a time and cooked them for about 15 minutes, then threw in most of a chicken and cooked it all for 5 more minutes.  It was the best pot pie we've ever had.  Really.  Scott also heavily salted and peppered it all.  It was simply amazing.  And everyone agreed (a rarity at our house).

Tonight's learnings:
I love cooking with my husband.  
Love making things from scratch when we can.
Love being in our new kitchen no matter what.
It's good to be home.

Neena and Isaac answering the question: "who wants a biscuit?"

Ike testing the noodles to make sure they are good!

She may be cute, but she's nothin but trouble! Especially at the dinner table.
Blessings on your homes tonight...
Blessings when yous outen the light
Blessings when yous tuck into bed...
Blessings on each little head...
-- much love, Checkie, Neena and the dutchies...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Real food, or not real food... it's not really a question

I am overscheduled.  Truly.
I am not able to cook dinner and enjoy a real meal tonight. Sadly.
I am working but having a hard time focusing since I spent all day in a meeting or in class.  Frustratingly.
I am watching a dumbass show I love called pawn stars while trying to read about solitude in community.  ----Weirdly.

I am not drinking wine.  Disappointingly.
This is not food.  Badly, badly not food.

I cannot wait to be at home in my kitchen with a glass of wine, some good bread and my family. Longingly.

Soon and very soon.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The easy road to mock lasagna.

So, tonight I wanted lasagna, but had no patience for it.  To much waiting in there.  Max and I don't get home until 6.  We are usually both hungry and tired by the time we eat around 6:30 or 7.  So-- tonight's solution for Lasagna: I bought prego spaghetti sauce, ricotta cheese, an italian cheese blend, and some mafalda pasta.  Made the pasta, heated the sauce threw in some italian seasoning and parmesan.  Then put some pasta on the plate with a little bit of ricotta and italian cheese blend thrown on top, then sauce drizzled over it all.  on the side we had peas with mushrooms.  And-- It was good enough.  Desperation and lack of time will lead me down the easy road every time.  But sometimes, that road really is good enough.  I'll take the B instead of the A+ tonight thanks!!  And I can live with that quite happily.  good enough..

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A day in the life

Right now- a typical week for me looks like this:
SUNDAY:  arrive in York.
MONDAY:  Start at 9 am with 2 hours of meetings, then time in Leadership now offices, maybe a light lunch while working if there is time, 1-4, teaching, 4-5 LN offices or get Max, drive to spring grove, make or buy and eat dinner-- read to Max (if she is with me) and get her ready for bed, work for at least 3 hours prepping for class and responding to pressing emails.  Sleep from midnight until 6:00 or 6:30
TUESDAY:  drive back to Lancaster, max to daycare, meeting from 9-11 (eat during meeting), worship or back to office, prep for class.  Teach/facilitate from 1-6. Rush to pick up max on time, repeat evening from the night before.  or stay at LTS and work there from 7pm until I can't take it anymore.
WEDNESDAY: Class from 8:30-10:30, worship, work on leadership now stuff (usually meet with MegPeg over lunch if we can, or try to grab something to scarf down while working)  2:00-4 meetings (or tomorrow it will be from 1-4)... 4-6 coffee hour and sherry hour (try to do both if possible so that people know I care about both of my jobs)... then drive to Spring Grove or home to Derwood. THURSDAY: either work from home or from LTS ... pick Isaac up from bus stop, cook dinner, check in with scott and mom about what I've missed, find out about kindergarten and how it's going from Ike, then kids routine, baths, books, bed, Then work or collapse and cry on family's shoulders.
FRIDAY: work from home or take a half day if I am working on the weekend.  I have needed to work (in some way) all but one Sunday in the last 4.  This weekend, I will be leading a retreat all weekend.

Even when I am home. I have to work at night in order to develop lesson plans for classes and to grade papers and to keep up with the bare minimum (and that's all I am doing) of Leadership now stuff. And many of my friends want me to have dinner, coffee, lunch, and I try to squeeze those things in as I can, but it's getting too hard to keep that up! Really.  it's killing me...
Backwards or forwards, there is too much to read. 
So, this is one more post to point out the obvious-- it is not possible for one person to teach this many classes and direct a program and have a family and do all three well. It's not.  I am tired of reading. Tired of being away from family and just plain tired.  I plan to change that in the spring.  And I am starting a list of things to cook when the spring rolls around.  Perhaps I'll post that next time to give a little hope and something to dream about...

Friday, October 8, 2010

More wine and family please

So, I started this blog and called it bread wine and family. Mostly because of the religious significance of bread and wine and community in my mind, but also because hey-- it was going to talk about food, and family.  Here's what I think now though.  There should be more wine in this blog.

Today I posted something into a message on facebook that ended up being more of a deal than I thought it would.   In the end, a dear friend who loves me, in their desire to help me, wounded me greatly, and they'll never know that unless they read it here (which I doubt).  But it led me to this thought.  I don't have a lot of outlets for the incredible amount of stress I am under.  And my drug of choice is food.  And I am mostly ok with that.  I also like to relieve stress by spending time on line and reading a good book or magazine to be honest.  And occasionally knitting something or crocheting, painting, sewing, quilting, wood carving, shooting an air pistol, archery, sculpting, writing and just screwing around.
Those things help me relieve stress, feel like my real self, and make me a better person really.

Right now though.  I have no time for this stuff. Even this blog entry will make me feel tremendously guilty at the end of the day.  God forbid I take the time to meditate or take a bath even.  Dear God.  My life is ridiculous and I KNOW THAT!!  I don't need a critique of it.  That isn't even a little helpful.
What I want is time.  I really really want time. Time with family.  Time to read. Time to repair friendships. Time to have a meal that doesn't feel rushed.  And everytime I get 5 minutes of fun in a day-- I feel guilty about that time, and I am sick of that.  I want more time and time I don't have to feel bad about.
I want to care less about what other people think.
I want to do all sorts of cool things in DC. But that takes TIME!
 I want to go see the newseum.  Go into the Washington Monument. Wander every art museum for a whole day. Go to the park with my kids. Take Isaac to the American History Museum, take Max to the Mall and walk around.  I want to sleep next to my husband 5 nights a week (really, more than two would be great).
I want to see the Cherry Blossoms this spring.  I want to go visit Vineyards in Virginia and Maryland and do wine tours.  I want time dammit!!! And I want to know more about wine and I want to enjoy a glass of it now and then.  I want there to be more time for wine and family in my life.  I would like to go enjoy a glass right now...
I am sorry to have whined... but really.. I want more wine please.  
the "half-life" tired spirit that currently is: jacquie

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Grilled Cheese is not just for 2 year olds (but they like it too!)

So, we like a grilled cheese sandwich
Well, everyone but Mark.  Gosh I don't know what is wrong with my otherwise perfect brother in law, but cheese is not his thing.  It's like a birth defect of some kind, and we all just feel so sad for him.

Anyhow- back to the cheese.  We like grilled cheese- and for those of you from Lancaster County- here's how you do it:
Go to Panerra and buy a loaf of sourdough or asiago cheese bread.  Sure you could get other bread. But WHY would you? unless you are going to make it from scratch which is just a whole other level.
This is the easy yet delicious method- so trust me and just go to panerra and buy their bread and have them thinly slice it.
Then go to Central Market (best farmers Market in PA). And go the Weaver's stand and get 1lb of bacon, a hunk of sharp cheddar and some french brie.  Also - stop at one of the veggie stands and buy the best tomato you can find, some spinach, a pear, and well, whatever you would want stuffed in your grilled cheese.

Now - go home (or to your in-laws house) and cook that bacon (or make your husband do it- that's my usual approach) slice up your veggies and the cheese.
Butter 2 slices of bread and layer on whichever combination of cheeses and fruits or veggies you like.
Then grill on a hot grill until cheese is melty and the bread is browned and toasty.
My favorites were:  Brie on sourdough with bacon and pear.  That could have been even more delicious with a tablespoon of marmalade or some sort of fruit jam.

I also Loved the cheddar tomato and bacon- on either bread.
If you can get them to- make your in-laws provide some delicious white chicken chili to go with said sandwiches.  So so good.  Everyone-----the 2 year old, the three year old, the 6 year old, the 30 and 40 and 60 year old, the 72 year old-- EVERYONE- loved them.  Oh.  EXCEPT MARK!  cause he has a small birth defect.  Still - we love him.
Try it.  Grill some cheese with bacon. it'll rock your world.