In My Kitchen – November 2015

I had such high hopes of doing more in my kitchen this past month but alas, just after getting rid of my crutches and the sprained ankle, I was opening a package with scissors.  TIP:  When using scissors to open packages, always cut away from you, not toward the hand holding the box.  The package won and I stabbed the web of my hand with one of the scissor blades and sliced the knuckle of my thumb with the other.   So another run to the emergency room and a half dozen stitches kept me from doing anything overly exciting in the kitchen.  But if you look outside my kitchen window early in the morning, you will usually see…

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Wild turkeys…lots of wild turkeys… so many wild turkeys that I couldn’t get all of them in the same picture but I counted at least 50 of them.  Not a pretty sight at all because they’re truly one of the ugliest creatures ever invented and they make a terrible mess which the dog loves to roll in (why do dogs do that?).

However, something else outside my kitchen window is much prettier – fall foliage in New England.  This is one of our maple trees bursting with color.  IMG_2264

Sitting temporarily outside my kitchen window and no longer a part of the house is this trim board that I just have to show you.  We’ve been having some work done on the house to replace rotted wood and the carpenter removed this board from the front of the house only to realize that he had huge, angry bees swarming him.   I’d been going nuts every morning with this crazy woodpecker pecking away outside the bedroom window.  He was after the invaders – Carpenter Bees!  The bees drill holes into wood then build tunnels for their nests.  The woodpeckers then go after the eggs which makes much bigger holes until you have something that looks like this: IMG_2263

Here’s something you might not see everyday and also something I haven’t seen for about 20 years.  This has been up in my attic and I haven’t thought of it for ages (yes, really at least 20 years) until Mimi did a post about hers with a canape bread recipe.  Seems like she and I were both talked into going to a home party for Pampered Chefs – not sure if they’re even still around but I went because I was told that it was a ‘food demo’ and there’d be great treats to sample.  Of course it was a sales opportunity for the hostess and I ordered a few items.  By the time they were delivered, I’d completely forgotten what I ordered or what I was supposed to do with them … I’m pretty sure that I was impressed with it at the time because I seem to recall the woman shoving a roll of pastry dough inside and having a very cute loaf come out by the end of her demo.  So I bought it, never used it but Mimi just may have inspired me to go ahead and give it a try now that she’s given me  a recipe to use in it.IMG_2266

At the same Pampered Chef party I came home with this…it’s called a press and seal cutter.  I can’t even remember the demo on this one other than some sort of blackberry tart where you pressed the top and this gadget created cute little tarts, perfectly sealed.  Unfortunately when I dug this one out of the ‘what-have-you’ drawer, it seems that there’s supposed to be some sort of handle on top which of course is missing and defeats the purpose because this thing is now in 2 parts so that the ridged inner ring that supposed to seal the tart just falls out.  Who wants to take bets on the minute I throw this away (which I should), that I’ll find the little handle for the top?  How many of you have gadgets that you don’t use, never will use, or are broken just cluttering up a kitchen drawer (or two)?IMG_2267

As always, many thanks to Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for hosting the IMK posts every month.  I don’t know how she manages to keep it going for so long but I know I love to see the posts and look forward to seeing what everyone’s doing each month.  Thanks to Celia – check out her November IMK post as well as the other contributors.  

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46 thoughts on “In My Kitchen – November 2015

  1. I wish I was there to roll in the turkey mess with Lola. I don’t know about that maple tree, but my person says she really likes that picture. People. They like the strangest things.

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    • Bongo it is really strange what people find interesting and they don’t even make good use of their noses to figure out the really good stuff. If you don’t leave your scent on top of the turkey scent, then how are they going to know who rules around here’s?

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    • I seem to have these little accidents in cycles, mostly when I’m in a rush and just not paying attention.
      Our trees are dropping their leaves fast now and John’s been out there 4 times going over them with the riding mower. I’ll be posting snow pretty soon I’m afraid 😦

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  2. Hi Diane. Luckily we don’t have woodpeckers here or wild turkeys for that matter. I love your tin, i am about to check out the link. I am not so sure about your tart press. I would have to see it in action to be convinced. As you know I have a lot of gadgets, the ones that don’t get used just go to the op shop.

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      • Oh I do know how you love your gadgets Glenda! I’d say you’d have fun with the bread mold although it certainly is small so you’d need multiples to fit a typical bread recipe in there. With just the one I think I’ll put part of the dough recipe in just for fun and just make a regular loaf with the remainder.

        As for that tart thing – I don’t know…without the handle it really isn’t a very clever gadget at all so I’m thinking off to the trash bin for that one.

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    • I had heard about the carpenter bees before but never run into them myself until this. From what I understand though, they have a tendency to keep trying to rebuild their nests in the same spot year after year. After seeing the kind of damage they do we’re going to have to keep an eye out next year. We’re surrounded by plenty of tress but for some reason they like our house.

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  3. I loved reading this and catching up with what’s going on in your kitchen! I love the take-homes from the Pampered Chef party… and the wild turkeys! I actually have those in my neighborhood here in California, too. They always seem to come out in November, just in time for Thanksgiving!

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    • Thanks for swinging by and saying hi. I notice that the turkeys come around November (it’s like they’re just parading for you to take your pick) and then once hunting season starts here we get all the deer congregating in our yard.

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  4. So sorry about your “paw”! It sure makes it tough to cook with stiches, band-aids, tape, gauze, and all of those icky items that keep your hand safe…you can catch up on blogging (and cooking) next month!

    We laugh each morning, as our neighbors all take their dogs out to “check Pee-Mail” each day! They have to see what happened since they last sniffed, right?!?

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    • The paw’s doing very well now & I took the stitches out myself – it was a 45 minute wait at the “MINUTE” clinic. But it is a pain to try to cook & type with the stitches in there because of course it was right where you have the most movement.

      Love it – PeeMail! I always ask Lola if she wants to go out and check for messages when we go for a walk. My husband used to get so impatient when he’d take her saying how she spent the time like it was one of those kid’s scratch & sniff books. I finally got through to him that it’s HER walk. The poor old girl is 10 which is ancient for a Berner, she’s having a hard time with her back legs & as far as I’m concerned any walk with her if her time to get out & explore so I’m never in a rush.

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      • That Lola!! Dogs are so funny on “their” walks! Have you tried giving her Cosequin and Fish Oil? We gave both to our doggies as they got older (both large breeds) and it helps them both in the hips. Maybe it will help her. Our husky was 16.5 yrs old, and that too is ancient in dog years! Sounds like you need your own personal Minute Clinic!!! LOL! Take care and don’t run with sharp objects…

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      • I do give her special food, mostly homemade and then supplement with ‘dog’ food that has the Cosequin and fish oil but she’s got a slightly slipped disk. We talked about acupuncture but she gets so stressed at the vet that we decided it would probably cause her more anxiety than it was worth. Right now we’re trying Neurontin which is for nerve pain. Hard to tell but it may be helping her a little.
        Her big problem is with the stairs and she’ll woof until one of us comes down to walk behind her and kind of support her back end. Poor girl…but she’s not a complainer.

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  5. Diane, I hope your hand is healing quickly! I actually turned my scissors around the other way this week when I was opening a package, thank you. (My choir director thanks you, too.) LOVE your maple tree! We have a few vibrant colors here but nothing like that — WOW! Also, I always thought about ordering one of those “Valtrompia bread tube” thingys, but never did. Let me know how yours works for you! The “seal” dealy was something I once had — I made PB&J sandwiches for my kids with it. 🙂 Wishing you well, xo.

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    • Yea Kim! You make me feel as if I’ve done my good deed for the day – guess I’m an activist now for scissor safety. I’ve already taken the stitches out so everything is good to go for now.

      Some years are more colorful than others depending on how much rain we’ve gotten but this year was really spectacular. The maples are pretty much done but the oak leaves seem to hang up there forever.

      Oh! you’re right – i forgot that they said the seal thing was great for kid’s sandwiches.

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      • Diane, the only thing that I wasn’t real wild about with the “sealer” is that it wastes the crusts (which are the best part of bread in my opinion.) 🙂 But, ’tis the time of year for stuffing, so you could always freeze the trimmings for upcoming holiday turkey dressing! Glad to hear your hand is on the mend. xo Thanks again!

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      • That is a good point about the waste with the sealer. Funny how so many gadgets look good in a demo but then once you get them to your house & use them, they don’t seem quite so cool any more. But – we still keep buying them don’t we?

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  6. I’m so sorry about your scissor ordeal…I hope you heal without any problems. We had huge flocks of turkeys at the orchard, they have made a huge comeback in New England.

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    • Thanks Karen – amazing the number of times I’ve attacked myself with scissors, knives, or rotary cutters. You’d think i would have learned by now.

      The turkeys were out in the front yard first thing this morning & the Tom’s were all fighting. We counted at least 35 of them out there. The biggest problem that we’ve had in town here is that the turkeys have attracted the coyotes & they’re getting very bold about coming into the yard. We had one come down out of the woods & give our dog the hairy eyeball – imagine a coyote willing to take on a 90 lb. dog.

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  7. After nearly slicing the tip of my finger off about a year ago, Catherine bought me some cut-resistant gloves. (I don’t use them, as I’m sort of proud of the scars — and stubborn). Geez, Diane! Be more careful! ~ As for the carpenter bees, they’ve pretty much ruined the frame for the patio cover on Chestnut Lane. In a previous life I had my pesticide applicator license and knew how to deal with them (plus I was a beekeeper for a spell), but the damage was already too much. Furry little bastards.

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  8. Oh boy, I’d bet those gloves would be great for opening cherrystones or oysters! I too have a number of battle scars, mostly from the kitchen but I almost took the tip of my index finger right off with the rotary cutter while cutting material for a quilt. I was holding the guide ruler and the cutter jumped it, next thing I remember was an ER visit.

    I’d heard of these carpenter bees but didn’t think they were in our area. I was amazed at the amount of damage when they took the board down. From the ground I could see some holes but they had built tunnels that ran for quite a ways. Of course the woodpecker damage didn’t help either!

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  9. Luckily we don’t have wild turkeys in our year, just beautiful fall colors like you. I raked over the weekend and we all played in the piles of leaves, such a wonderful time of year! Sorry to hear about your injury, hopefully it is healed well now with Thanksgiving days away.

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  10. Hi Diane – I haven’t been in touch with you for far too long. I ended up ‘taking the summer off’ from posting, although I hadn’t planned to. I had three of those ‘put bread dough in and out will come some wonderful shapes’ thingies… but I never used them and I ‘believe’ I might have gotten rid of them. Or perhaps not… it’s hard for me to throw anything away. I, too, cut my hand not too long ago. I went to rub a bit of leaf off some clippers…. and forgot I had sharpened them a few weeks before. I cut a flap in my right ring finger which just barely hung on. The doctor said that stitching it up was going to be ‘complicated’. It’s still red and still hurts a bit but at least it healed. How is your ‘booboo’ doing? And I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving!! ; o )

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    • Oh Cecile – your injury sounds much worse than mine was! My hand is all healed now (I took the stitches out myself since I went to the CVS “Minute Clinic” and there was a 45 minute wait).

      We had a very nice Thanksgiving with relatives in CT. I made my sweet potato casserole which everyone seems to enjoy. Hope you had a fun Thanksgiving too.

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      • My ‘booboo’ was rather nasty. The cut went down to the nail…and my friend was there and thought she saw bone… which is very possible ’cause there’s not much skin on the sides of our fingers. I’m gonna see if you have posted your sweet potato casserole – I’m sure it’s yummy. I made/posted one last year with a bit of brandy mixed into the sauce. ; o )

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    • Isn’t that the truth about gadgets – they look so cool when you first see them & it’s always exciting to have a little something new to play with in the kitchen, but most of the time I find it’s just as quick to do things the old fashioned way.

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  11. Diane – my dear friend – where have you been? I hope all is well with you. I miss your posts and our being able to communicate!!! And I know I’m not the only one.

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    • HI Celia, sorry I’ve been missing in action although I’ve been popping in to see what everyone’s been up to. It’s so sweet of you to touch base. Unfortunately I’ve had some health and family issues that have taken away from my writing. Hopefully I’ll be back soon and joining in again.

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      • As I say, ‘Sometimes life gets in the way’. I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve been having some health and family issues… I hope things are starting to turn around. We all miss you my friend! Thanks for taking the time to ‘touch base’. It’s so good to hear from you!! ; o )

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    • Hi there Mimi…I’ve been taking a very extended break since my husband retired but although I haven’t commented, I’m still reading your inspiring posts! Unfortunately it’s been a rough year with my older sister losing her battle with breast cancer and the sudden, unexpected death of a very dear friend. Sometimes too many things come at you all at the same time but I’m ok.

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      • Thank you Mimi, I guess I’m at that age where it becomes important to not put off staying in touch with friends and doing all those things I’ve been meaning to get around to.
        I imagine I’ll get back to blogging since I do love writing but frankly lately I’d have to do more restaurant reviews that homemade meal suggestions😀

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