Blogger Meet-Ups, Books, Chez Songbird, Photos, Vacation

This is My Vacation

Herewith a report on my vacation, which began Dec. 30th and ends today.

Primping — On the first day of vacation, I had a day of beauty with LP. We had our toenails painted, and then we went to the hairdresser. In between we had lunch at the Royal Bean, which is in the town where I work, but either I appeared incognito, or church members were busy with other things, because I didn't run into anyone I knew.

Cooking — On New Year's Eve, a day on which I seem to remember snow falling, we tucked up at home for most of the day and evening, and I cooked. I asked Pure Luck what he would like in a homemade pot of soup, because I wanted to use up our Christmas turkey stock before leaving town. He said, "Meat, potatoes and carrots." I made some investigations on the Internet, wrote a shopping list, learned LP would be home for dinner and made adjustments, then went to the store. In the end we had Turkey Sausage, Potato and Carrot Soup, and it was hearty and delicious. I left behind a huge amount to keep the man fed during my absence.

Visiting — I had a great visit with St. Casserole!

We visited familiar places and surveyed the places where new and re-building have taken place:

Christ Episcopal  Gulf Coast visit 008

You can still see the quonset hut on the property of this church, but they are rebuilding! Here's the rest of the project:

Gulf Coast visit 014

We also saw places that remain bare. Hurricane Katrina changed the landscape in some ways that will never be recovered. On the Sunday of my visit, I preached at the church St. C serves. Dr. Sherry, who sometimes comments here, came to the church service and we all caught up over lunch. 

Shopping — Because my bag took a detour, we did some emergency shopping, and I came home with a new dress and a new pair of shoes. I appreciated having a friend's advice.

Reading — I am on my third book of the New Year. (I've started one other, and Debra Haffner's book, in the sidebar, is a carryover from last year.) So far I've finished The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie and A Study in Scarlet. I'm not sure how I got to this point in my life without reading Sherlock Holmes. I've also never read Anthony Trollope, though my father had a boxed set on the shelf for many years. I'm about at the mid-point of the 80 chapters of Can You Forgive Her? and hate to put it down.

Nursing — I arrived home late on Wednesday night, and Snowman had his wisdom teeth out on Thursday morning. I'm glad we scheduled it this way, because it was good to be able to wait on him while he recovered. He is well on his way now. 

Watching — During this period, we've watched a lot of DVDs, including "The Two Towers," "The Return of the King" with Actors Commentary, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," and miniseries that began "Battlestar Galactica." Really, anything that keeps a person's spirits up is welcome.

I've also been to two movies during my vacation. With St. C I saw "It's Complicated" (funny, but we were glad we did not have men or young people with us) and with Pure Luck I saw "The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus" (interesting).

Knitting — I am working on the second sock of a pair for Snowman, with the longest ribbed cuff I've ever done or over will do (7 inches of K2,P2 take forever). I'm now past the heel turn, so the rest is easy. In New Orleans, before going to the airport, we stopped at Quarter Stitch, and I picked up a skein of Malabrigo worsted in the Purple Mystery colorway, and I've since cast on a stole for Lent. The yarn is like BUTTER.

Gulf Coast visit 002 I'm sure I've missed something. There has been a ridiculous amount of eating, including local specialties such as French dressing with pizza, beignets and pimento cheese, the last of which I am planning to make at home. I drank coffee with chicory and loved it. 

I played with the cats and the dog at St. C's and came home happy to see mine again. I did a pretty good job not thinking about work, or much of anything too deep once my sermon on the 3rd was over. 

Gulf Coast visit 007 Here are pictures of Sister the Dog and Whistle the Cat Who Blogs.

This was my vacation, and I'm going to squeeze in a little more BSG and knitting and reading before I call it good.

Blogger Meet-Ups, Food and Drink

What We Cooked

After a busy morning in which I preached, then raced to my other church to hear Maine Celt preach, too (she did a great job!), Mary Beth, Light Princess and I came home for a post-church brunch with MaineCelt and her partner, the Piper, and God_Guurrlll who came in to hear both of us preach. (Pure Luck made himself scarce for this highly church-geeky meal, but Sam kept an eye on all of us from under the dining room table.)

At brunch we enjoyed the ginger scones MaineCelt brought along and also cooked the recipes below. Tonight we braised rainbow chard with red onion and roasted potatoes with shallots to go along with garden burgers and salad. Strawberry shortcake will follow soon.

But these I wanted to share with you, because they are so delightful.

Mary Beth's Mama's Magnificent Egg Bake

Ingredients:
2 cups milk
6 eggs
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dry mustard
2 slices cubed bread (We had delicious Old Fashioned White from the Big Sky Bread Company.)
1 lb. Jimmy Dean Sausage (We used turkey breakfast sausage instead, to meet LP's requirements, but I enjoyed typing the words "Jimmy Dean.")
1 cup cheddar, sharp (I had some organic four cheese mix from Whole Foods handy.)

Beat eggs, add milk, salt and mustard.
Layer bread, sausage and cheese in greased 9 x 13 pan, pour eggs over, refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake for 45 minutes.

Splendiferous!

And we tried this, which I found at Barking Dog Shoes:

Pat's Blueberry Buckle

•    Preheat oven to 375.
•    Cream 3/4 c. sugar and 1/4 c. butter
•    Add 1 egg and 1/2 c. milk, mix well.
•    Blend together 2 c. flour, 2 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt. Add to creamed mixture and mix.
•    Add 2 c. fresh blueberries and stir gently.
•    Spread into 9×9 pan that has been greased and dusted lightly with flour
•    Crumb topping: cut in 1/4 c. butter to 1/2 c. sugar, 1/3 c. flour and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Spread over top.
•    Bake 45-50 min. Cool  or serve warm with vanilla ice cream or cool-whip…and strong, dark coffee 🙂

I had beautiful Maine blueberries, but they were frozen. I'm not sure if the 8 x 8 pan or the frozen berries caused the trouble, but we had to bake it considerably longer than 45 minutes. Nevertheless, yummy!

Blogger Meet-Ups, Friendship, Preaching, RevGalBlogPals

Sister Love Binds Gal to Gal

A preacher's short list of things I have loved today:

  • Driving in that liberal car
  • Little Church Uppada Country, beautiful after post-hurricane renovations and repairs
  • Having enough of my voice back to sing the first hymn heartily
  • Halls Cherry cough drops
  • Preaching a good one, if I do say so myself
  • Chinese buffet with church members
  • The ice in the drinks at Sonic (for the road)
  • Sister, the Best Dog Nanny Ever, resting by my feet
  • Casting on for the second sock (not so much doing it, but that it's done)
  • Feeling so much at home with the Casserole family

Hey, y'all, join the happy chorus, make a phone call to a pal;
Mother love is reigning o’er us, sister love binds gal to gal.
Ever singing, drive we onward; I bet you all know the tune!
Joyful music leads us sunward on this Sunday afternoon.

(With perhaps a smidgen of an apology to Isaac Watts.)