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Lori in PA

eG Foodblog: Lori in PA - These ARE the Good Old Days

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That pretty much sums up my life this summer. It is the busiest one I can remember, chock full of good activities and events, but tinged with bittersweet as we graduate our oldest child from homeschooling and get her ready for college. We’ve homeschooled our three kids from kindergarten, and back when we started I had this crazy idea that one of the side benefits of our adventure might be that, when the children left home, I’d have spent so much time with them I’d escape the regrets and sadness of the empty nest syndrome. [insert hollow laughter here.]

So, Miss Alyssa graduated on Saturday, and we celebrated with a casual cookout afterward with close family and friends. I’ve spent every free moment in the past month working on two extra projects: a DVD “slide show” with music about Alyssa’s growing up years (which was really my mom’s thing – she’s a video editing whiz) and a small scrapbook containing one photo from each year of her life and a little comment to go with it. Gathering photos and working on the text of these has been a wonderful way to spend a bunch of hours and has left me nostalgic and feeling much gratitude for how very blessed we are.

Culinarily speaking, the grad party included pulled pork (don’t get excited – I rubbed it and roasted it on low heat all day in the oven – I’m not the griller many of you are), vinegar-y coleslaw, and a couple of Mississippi Mud Cakes from me, pound cakes from my mom, and a variety of side dishes and desserts from guests. The price of admission was being forced to watch the DVD, but nearly everyone there has known Alyssa since she was tiny and they are in half the pictures anyway, so I don’t think it was too much torture. After it was over, there were crumpled tissues all around.

This week, our big blog event will be the three 4-H kids’ cooking classes I teach at our house. Otherwise, I’ll be trying to accomplish all the tasks I’ve been putting off until “after graduation.” I hope you’ll accompany me on my food shopping rounds – among the usual markets and produce stands I visit one particularly unique place in my continuing quest to feed our family of five well on a basically one-income budget. We can also talk about another factor in how I plan meals – my husband and I underwent gastric bypass surgeries about five years ago and our altered digestions demand some accommodation. What else? My Tiny Town is in the middle of orchard country and the cherries are at their finest right now, so surely they’ll make an appearance. Should we go out for dinner one night this week? Adams County isn’t overflowing with good restaurants, but I’ve been hearing about one again and again over the past few months that I’d really like to try. We rarely eat out, but perhaps I can persuade The Husband that we should do it “for the blog.”

Who knows what else the week will bring? I’m off in a few minutes to sign paperwork at the borough office. (I’m the mayor, but it’s no big deal: Tiny Town = Tiny Government = Tiny Job. My job is so tiny they only bother to write me a check every three months.) :wink: I don’t imagine there will be anything food-related happening there beyond the employees’ first cups of coffee, so I think I can safely leave the camera at home.

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Good Luck with the blog Lori. I hope you are not under water as it looks like you area has really gotten clobbered the last couple of days. It is a good year for cherries so I am looking forward to seeing some of them

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Sounds like an interesting blog.

I love cherries, but they are very expensive here. Someday, I am going to have a cherry tree. You could make a cherry claflouti :wub: . Can you tell I just got back from France or you could make crepes with a cherry sauce or cherry filling.

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Welcome to eG foodblogging, Mayor Lori! We are looking forward to the coming week. ...Cherries, mmm good.

And yes, about going out to dinner, do tell your husband that sometimes you gotta just take one for the team.

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YAY! PA folk doing the blogging. Most exciting!

Lori, we all are looking forward to hearing more about your world. Congrats to the graduate and to her parents. Good luck with the rain... :sad:

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My breakfasts vary somewhat but they revolve around eggs, 2 eggs, to be precise, which I consume nearly every morning. My altered digestion requires plenty of protein, so that has been my habit for the last five years. I tend to make them the same way for months on end and then change suddenly to a different method for no apparent reason. I’ve been eating fried eggs for a good while, but in summer I often get on an omelet kick because I have more time in the mornings since we aren’t doing school. I getting VERY tired of the fried eggs, so I sense change in the air soon. What I have with or just after the eggs depends on mood and what’s available.

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Another thing I ALWAYS have is my morning ration of vitamins and supplements. I take a smaller amount at bedtime and space out several calcium tablets throughout the day.

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Today, I wanted to do something special to celebrate a day off for the kids and me. I announced last night that everyone was allowed to sleep in as long as he wanted. That was greeted with great joy, because we’ve been so busy it hasn’t felt like summer vacation to us yet. We’re picking blueberries around here, so I went to Sandoe’s Market to get some of those and a few other things. Sandoe’s is a great little produce place near our house. They do get some things from outside the local area, but they list “what’s local” on a marker board, so you know what you are getting.

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When I got home, I used the berries to make some lemon blueberry muffins. It is a recipe from an old Cooks’ Illustrated.

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Alyssa thinks you need to know we often turn on a video like Andy Griffith when we're cooking:

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And, time for a snack:

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Edited by Lori in PA (log)

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I getting VERY tired of the fried eggs, so I sense change in the air soon.  What I have with or just after the eggs depends on mood and what’s available. 

gallery_31100_3134_247243.jpg

I have fried eggs for breakfast all the time. Yesterday, my bf put truffle salt and smeared white truffle cream on the eggs and they were incredible...an inexpensive way to start your morning off with a bit of luxury. :smile:

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Mayor Lori! I had no idea you held such civic powers within your grasp. :wink:

Those muffins look divine.

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Wowee---WOW!!!!

I got sidetracked by houseguests and traveling great leagues and furlongs to get some more, way back when Tupac was here, missed even saying goodbye, and have been totally out of the loop with Pwiz. Now here you are!!! I've got a lot to catch up on, and THIS to look forward to!!! YUMMMM in all its meanings and import.

And I didn't even get the cluepic to GUESS this time...

You seem to have it all going: A great kitchen, with green through the screen, a view of a red house--very lucky to live next to a red house, BOOKS, a coffeepot, a big-ass mixer for the hard stuff, Andy and Barney, and even one of those new-fangled doohickeys to skin that lemon in nothing flat. The muffins are just spectacular, one of my favorite combinations. Lemon zest is one of life's greatest treasures.

And the HAND shot!! I think we ought to have a rule: Everybody has to have at least one hand shot per blog, and any in any other thread is lagniappe to be savored. Hands working and handwriting are fascinating; I hope you'll include even just a grocery list. I love to see the way people form letters and use the page.

SOOOOO---I'm delighted to see such a promising beginning, and I'm SO GLAD it's YOU!!!


Edited by racheld (log)

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Making muffins (which look luscious) with an Andy Griffith video going... Sweet!

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Not only did we have Alyssa's grad party Saturday night, we had an all-afternoon potluck/baby shower yesterday at my folks' house for a family in our congregation. Everyone was asked to bring crockpots of sloppy joes and buns and so on. I brought extra pulled pork, buns, barbecue sauces, and coleslaw. Somehow, The Husband came home with this:

gallery_31100_3134_152746.jpg

We didn't bring take that many to begin with! Anybody have some ideas how I can use several dozen slightly squashed hamburger and hot dog buns? Well, I made a little dent in them for my lunch:

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I toasted this in a skillet and thought it looked too naked on the plate, so I garnished it with some blueberries, strictly in consideration of the photo. I just finished munching them and must thank you for nudging me to add an extra touch:

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Good Luck with the blog Lori. I hope you are not under water as it looks like you area has really gotten clobbered the last couple of days.  It is a good year for cherries so I am looking forward to seeing some of them

We got more than 6 inches of rain, but we are thankful because we have been really dry. My garden has been suffering because I've been too distracted to water consistently. I just went for little tour around the yard and have many perennials knocked down, but the veggies and herbs looked grateful for the "Big Gulp-style" drink the last day has given them.

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Somebody tell me how to reply to several people in the same post. I can't remember, if I ever knew! (Did I mention I'm not a technical girl?)

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Sounds like an interesting blog.

I love cherries, but they are very expensive here. Someday, I am going to have a cherry tree.  You could make a cherry claflouti :wub: . Can you tell I just got back from France or you could make crepes with a cherry sauce or cherry filling.

We have a cherry tree, but it is ornamental, so we must buy our cherries. I paid $3.75 for a quart of sweet cherries this morning -- not too bad.

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Welcome to eG foodblogging, Mayor Lori!  We are looking forward to the coming week.  ...Cherries, mmm good.

And yes, about going out to dinner, do tell your husband that sometimes you gotta just take one for the team.

Mayor Lori, indeed! Ahem, Susan, I'm slightly embarrassed to tell you the proper form of address is Your Honor. The only people who call me that are the kids, and they only do it when I get a borough-related phone call from a citizen or a reporter, as in, "It's for you, Your Honor." It's their signal that I need to put on my mayor hat. :raz: If you knew me well you'd know this whole mayor thing is strange for me -- I'm so UN-political and NON-competitive. It's just something I do to serve the community a bit, really.

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YAY!  PA folk doing the blogging.  Most exciting!

Lori, we all are looking forward to hearing more about your world.  Congrats to the graduate and to her parents.  Good luck with the rain... :sad:

Thank you, Katie. My world is very small compared to yours in Philadelphia, but I love it very much.

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Please tell me that you are going to have nicer weather than Mike, Marlene and I had for our smoking and grilling blog!

Is that a good muffin recipe? I've had it dog eared for a long time, and I have a mess of blueberries in the freezer that need to be used before we pick again in July.

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And the HAND shot!!  I think we ought to have a rule:  Everybody has to have at least one hand shot per blog, and any in any other thread is lagniappe to be savored.  Hands working and handwriting are fascinating; I hope you'll include even just a grocery list.  I love to see the way people form letters and use the page.

SOOOOO---I'm delighted to see such a promising beginning, and I'm SO GLAD it's YOU!!!

Rachel, we should be neighbors -- I just nod my head the whole time I read anything you write. Especially this -- the HAND shot! I love hands. I really love old hands. I was going to mention that when I talk about the cookbook my beginner/intermediate cooking classes are using last year, this year, and next year. It is by Marion Cunningham and has all these lovely photos of her showing various cooking techniques -- full color shots of her arthritic, knobbly old hands -- too wonderful. I just want to go to her kitchen and work beside her all morning.

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Mayor Lori!  I had no idea you held such civic powers within your grasp. :wink:

Those muffins look divine.

These are the sum of my vast civic powers:

1. I'm in charge of our two-man police department.

2. I break tie votes at borough council meetings.

3. I do ceremonial things like parades and have performed a few weddings.

4. I sign an awful lot of paperwork.

Me and Mr. Giuliani, ya know?

Oh, and though I say it myself, those muffins were divine. :biggrin:

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Somebody tell me how to reply to several people in the same post.  I can't remember, if I ever knew!  (Did I mention I'm not a technical girl?)

Hi, Lori! For the mutliple-post quoting thing, all you have to do is click the ADD "" button under each individual post that you want to respond to. Then, when you've got all those selected, click the ADD REPLY button all the way at the bottom of the whole page (not the "reply" buttons associated with individual posts). When the post-editing window comes up it will include all the posts you selected, which you can then edit and insert answers for as desired.

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My word, what a lot of buns. Wow. After parties, buns are sort of like plastic bags. They seem to multiply like rabbits. Do you have a deep freeze? If so, I'd freeze some of them whole for a burger or dog/brat night. Last time I had way too many buns, I made croutons with some, dried cubes for stuffing with some of them, and whizzed a mess in the food processor for bread crumbs (which I froze) with some of the others.

BTW, A toasted bun with a fried or poached egg and a bit of cheese makes a great McMuffin for breakfast.

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Please tell me that you are going to have nicer weather than Mike, Marlene and I had for our smoking and grilling blog!

Is that a good muffin recipe?  I've had it dog eared for a long time, and I have a mess of blueberries in the freezer that need to be used before we pick again in July.

It is supposed to be shower-y most of the week, but I won't complain at all. The Husband is the main griller in the family and he's away on a business trip til Wed. night, so I don't think rain will bother us much.

This is my favorite muffin recipe for blueberries. It's especially simple if one just does the plain version, though the lemon glaze and sugaring takes them over the top. I basically follow the recipe, but today I had a smidge of half and half that was going sour, so I used it and cut back a bit on the sour cream measurement. I also always double the recipe and get 30 muffins out of the batter instead of the 24 a double recipe is supposed to make.

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Not only did we have Alyssa's grad party Saturday night, we had an all-afternoon potluck/baby shower yesterday at my folks' house for a family in our congregation.  Everyone was asked to bring crockpots of sloppy joes and buns and so on.  I brought extra pulled pork, buns, barbecue sauces, and coleslaw.  Somehow, The Husband came home with this:

gallery_31100_3134_152746.jpg

We didn't bring take that many to begin with!  Anybody have some ideas how I can use several dozen slightly squashed hamburger and hot dog buns? 

Ohhh, bread pudding, if the crusts are decent, or pull into bits and toast for breadcrumbs, or cut into chunks and garlic butter them and toast for croutons! :wub:

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Somebody tell me how to reply to several people in the same post.  I can't remember, if I ever knew!  (Did I mention I'm not a technical girl?)

Hi, Lori! For the mutliple-post quoting thing, all you have to do is click the ADD "" button under each individual post that you want to respond to. Then, when you've got all those selected, click the ADD REPLY button all the way at the bottom of the whole page (not the "reply" buttons associated with individual posts). When the post-editing window comes up it will include all the posts you selected, which you can then edit and insert answers for as desired.

You're a genius! Thanks -- this is much less tedious than what I've just been doing.

My word, what a lot of buns.  Wow.  After parties, buns are sort of like plastic bags.  They seem to multiply like rabbits.  Do you have a deep freeze?  If so, I'd freeze some of them whole for a burger or dog/brat night.  Last time I had way too many buns, I made croutons with some, dried cubes for stuffing with some of them, and whizzed a mess in the food processor for bread crumbs (which I froze) with some of the others.

BTW, A toasted bun with a fried or poached egg and a bit of cheese makes a great McMuffin for breakfast.

Good ideas, Susan. We're having leftover pork sandwiches tonight and I have plenty of pork I'm going to freeze, so I'm sure I'll freeze several of these buns, but I don't have enough room in there for all of them. Bread crumbs are an excellent thought --I keep an old mayo jar in the freezer and it is empty of its supply at the moment -- hadn't even thought of it.

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