Monday, December 19, 2011

Who Wants S’more? - Girl Scouts Alumni Association

I wasn't really looking for articles about S'mores. I was actually looking for the best cookout recipe I've ever had in the history of my life. It's called "Chili Bake". When I was a Cadette Scout, we went on a day hike down into a red rock canyon close to our town. (Not to be confused with Red Rock Canyon, the State Park.) It was a beautiful fall Saturday, we had to carry the Dutch oven and all our equipment and food down into the canyon, gather firewood, build a fire, cook the food, clean up, then hike back up out of the canyon. It was one of the best days I ever had as a Girl Scout, even though it was hard work. Plus, several of the others that were Scouts on that hike have agreed with me in later years that not only was Chili Bake one of the best things they ever cooked out, but each of us had tried to duplicate it at home and it never tasted the same. I keep thinking I will find the recipe somewhere, someday. Tonight I stumbled across this Girl Scout Alumni site, I found this story that talks about the origin of S'mores, which I found rather interesting. I had never thought about S'mores having a starting date.  By, the way, the 100th birthday of Girl Scouts will be in 1912. It makes me want to plan an event. I can't imagine, what kind of event. I'm not even a Scout leader anymore.
Who Wants S’more? - Girl Scouts Alumnae Association:

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Standing Around The Kitchen Table

As I reflected on writing about standing around our old kitchen table when I was growing up, I remembered I had a copy of a picture of my sisters and me standing by it. In case you're wondering what we're eating, we had been roasting marshmallows on a fork. It was something Mother let us do every now and then for a special treat, but lest you think about doing it, word of warning: there's a trick to doing it so you don't burn your mouth. Probably now a days that would be a child welfare referral. Sometimes we ate them plain, sometimes we got to make s'mores. We ate a LOT of s'mores growing up. After all, we were Girl Scouts. As you can see, Mother also liked to dress us alike. I was probably 8 1/2 years old in this picture, just shortly before I started making the pie crust for Rotary. (from left to right: myself, my youngest sister, Karla, and our middle, Patricia.

I need to explain that I have gone back to the drawing board on my fat calculations for pie crust. All of a sudden, it came to me that when I calculated the pie crust fat grams, basically, I failed to calculate. I am NOT the family mathematician. Seriously, I took a vow to live without math when I was a girl and every once a while I have to ignore that and actually use math. I'm also spoiled when it comes to math because my husband can do math as fast as a calculator. I should have fed him the numbers, that would have also solved the problem. I'm just glad I caught this before I caused someone distress and disappointment that they had found a low fat pie crust that  wasn't.  Usually, I can handle basic arithmetic, but sometimes I have a brain lapse. This was one of those moments. Luckily it came to me (after the fact) that when I read 7 grams for pie crust, it was for 1/16 of a pie and I had forgotten to finish the next step. Honestly, I don't even understand how I gave birth to a child that made a 34 in math on the ACT. Now, lets ponder a moment on who even eats 1/16 of a pie? Possibly, Twiggy in the 1960's? Although, seriously, she had probably given up pie for Lent...or the runway. Anyway, did you know when you multiply 7 grams fat X 16 slices that comes to 112 fat grams? That is just sad. I'm not even sure 1/16th of a pie would even hold together in a slice. Of course, when it comes to fat grams, the food scientists don't care about things like that. So, I'm definitely going back to the drawing board to work on coming up with a low fat crust option. Back to my laboratory, uh, make that kitchen. Well, not tonight, but you the near future. First, we have to have our first family Christmas dinner tomorrow. I need to bake some Christmas cookies and make a salad. Fat grams in pie crust are not on the list at this point. Plus, I have to help with a funeral dinner today. Just another frolicsome day out here in the middle of nowhere.

Project Mom

I just found out today that Project Mom is going to be doing an Oklahoma event. Go here for info: Project Mom:..  It looks like it will be a pretty good event.
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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Pie of Life's Seasonings

I used to joke I was the childhood victim of pie crust abuse. My sisters and I spent childhood time standing around the table, watching Mother bake. Our mother had learned about pies from watching her sister Thelma. By the time I was nine, Mother decided my crust was good enough to make quantity batches for the Rotarian's at the church. Her committee cooked every 4 weeks. I made so much pie crust for Rotary I thought I always made all the crust, but my sister Patricia thinks she made all of it. So, I'm thinking we both possibly have some inaccurate memories.

Neither college nor work as a child welfare supervisor required pie crust skills. Pie lessons have given memories, life skills, and served me well in life. They taught me deadlines, quality control, comforting others, taking joy in a job well done, and lessons of family. We learned camaraderie in the kitchen with each other and started out learning how to handle pie crust by playing with scraps of dough, while making cinnamon sugar pinwheels. We learned handling it too long would make it tough. Pie crust has been one of the many things that gave my life shape and form.

Although fruit and cream pies were my favorites as a child, now I yet again tweak life to go low fat with my quiche. When I was young I sought sweeter things in life. With age, I've realized life has more seasonings than just sugar to make it rich beyond belief. Today, Mother and I continue the tradition of cooking together in a Senior Adult food ministry at church. Pie is still popular. Like life, pie can be versatile, but pie can be a constant that shows our family and friends we love and nourish them.  

Just Getting Adjusted To The Non-Fat Lifestyle

I never would have thought I'd be saying this, but I have finally gotten used to eating non-fat. Sometimes, I relapse and just do low fat and usually get by without the severe stomach pains, I think because my body has gone through a detoxing and can handle a little fat. The doctors have finally made their diagnosis and agree that I need 2 surgeries. I am still waiting for the surgeries to be scheduled, when I get to talk to a human being at that number.  I figure at this point, it will be after Christmas. At least, I sure hope it will be after.  I've lost more weight. I've now lost about 17 pounds. I'm not saying I didn't need or want to lose weight...I just would have preferred a less painful way.  I celebrated by buying a new pair of jeans in my new size, although, it's also rewarding to wear my old ones that are very, very baggy.

During this process, I was reminded of something that Oprah used to say. Of course, she was talking to a victim of domestic violence, but the essence still applies. She said that first God whispers to us, then he tries a little harder to get our attention. When we totally don't pay attention, we hit a brick wall. I realized, I've hit my brick wall. I believe I may have been misdiagnosed years ago and had been eating foods that were dangerous for me. I disregarded the inklings I had about my diet because I ate what I wanted to eat. I hit the brick wall of digestive problems, gave up foods with fat, and lo and behold...some of my health problems are solved. Or at least, not torturing me with pain. As Martha says, "it's a good thing". I have also found that I am kind of repulsed by sauteing things in butter, pictures of bacon on TV, and all kinds of other things I used to think were good. This is pretty amazing. Forced into a life changing moment by pain and torture and finding satisfaction. Who'd a thunk it?

Back here at the ranch, here's Rebecca of Sunnybrook farm signing off. So, remember when life gives you lemons, find a non fat way to use them. It's healthier in the long run.