It’s the little things

I had a productive and busy day today. I got up at 7:30 to take the dogs out and decided to stay up so I could turn my slow-roasted pork into chili.

Then, I set out to tackle the bushel and a quarter of tomatoes I picked up on Friday. I ran for six hours on Friday going to various farm stands, butchers and the grocery store and got nothing done on Friday. I had quite the list to tackle today.

First, the chili. I shredded the pork, syphoned off the extra liquid in my crock pot, then returned the pork to the crock along with chili beans and cranked up the heat.

Then, I set out to deal with the tomatoes. I started by putting the firmest of the tomatoes on cookie sheets, sprinkled them with extra virgin olive oil and salt and set them in the oven for a slow roast. Then, I tackled the rest of the tomatoes. I blanched them, peeled them and put them in stock pots to cook down.

Once the tomatoes were all chopped up and in pots, I made the meat for cabbage rolls and then set out to make them. I got the rolls made and in the roaster, covered them with cabbage and tomatoes and stuck them in the oven (after taking out the oven-roasted tomatoes). I put the tomatoes in a bowl and stuck them in the fridge to bring them to a temp I could work with. Meanwhile I did a ton of dishes that I needed to dirty all over again and I par cooked and cut down two dozen ears of corn to freeze.

So, it was a Godsend when my guy texted and offered to take me to one of the new Japanese steakhouses for dinner. See, after spending seven-ish hours with food, the last thing I wanted to deal with was feeding myself. We had a fabulous dinner, visited Harbor Freight & Tools and came back to my place. I was so grateful to not have to worry about feeding myself. Sometimes, it really is the small things.

Oh, and the dogs? Well just look how all my hard work tuckered them out.

Scoop curled up in the sun

Cody prefers to sleep on the couch

Speaking of that Japanese steakhouse: It’s owned by the same people who own my favorite local sushi place, Sakura. If you haven’t heard me talk of it, this is my favorite roll there, the Spice Girl

Yep, those are Pringles (TM)


A great vacation begins with a taste of home, ends with great craft deals

I returned Friday night from a few days back in northeast Ohio with my sister. We try to take at least one vacation a year at the same time to just hang out and do whatever we want.

We had a blast. One of the main requirements of a return to northeast Ohio, for me, is a Lake Erie perch dinner. I love fresh lake perch and there is NO substitute in my mind. Well, if you combine that great fish with the fries from Berardi’s (a family that played a big part in the early days of Cedar Point) it simply gets no better. That trip was made on Tuesday since I was returning to Indiana on Friday (the day when fish fries are most popular back home).

On Wednesday, a trip to Ohio Amish Country was on tap. My sister and I, along with a longtime friend of my sister, left my sister’s town at 7 a.m. and drove the couple hours to Amish Country. Our first stop was a farm stand and the second, an Amish farm that had a sign hanging out front advertising they sold baskets. I LOVE Amish made baskets and couldn’t pass up picking up two while there (been using ’em for organizing lately).

We did some other shopping, not the least of which was picking up some new fall decorations.

And, another favorite trip when I return to my hometown, is to Pat Catan’s, where deals abound on crafty items. This time around, I picked up about $200 (I originally thought it was $100) worth of scrapbooking rub-ons and stickers, for about $10. That’s some super clearancing on the store’s part.

It was a great time. Three-and-a-half of the most relaxing days I’ve had in a while. Oh, and, I had 7 1/2-inches of hair cut off while I was there.

The dogs were happy to see me when I got back and, out of guilt, I gave them steak bones left over from our dinner on Thursday.

Crafting for CrabFest

I have a good friend, well, I’ve written about her, it’s Rebecca from ..all things visible and invisible. Anyway, her family gets together every year on Labor Day weekend with a huge pile of crabs straight from the East Coast and they throw themselves a CrabFest.

Earlier this summer, Rebecca’s sister emailed me a crochet pattern (a badly written crochet pattern) asking whether I thought I could make the crab it was designed to make.

Once I translated the pattern, I was off (with red, blue and white yarn) to make cooked and uncooked crabs. And I was so stinking happy with the first one, I rushed out on my deck with beach-themed props to take his picture. I present you Kirby (yep, was so excited I even named him).

Well, when we returned to work from the holiday, I found this tile pendant on my computer keyboard (Thanks Martha)