Friday, November 30, 2012

The Christmas Prayer

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment In which the Son of God was born Of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in the piercing cold. In that hour vouchsafe, I beseech Thee, O my God, to hear my prayer and grant my desires, [here mention your request]through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His blessed Mother. Amen.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Advent

The four candles :
* First Candle (purple)--Prophecy Candle or Candle of Hope (Romans 15:1...
2-14)
* Second Candle (purple) Bethlehem.candle or Candle of Preparation (Luke 2)3:4-6)
* Third Candle (pink) - Shepherd Candle or Candle of Joy
(Luke 2:7-15)
* Fourth Candle (purple)- Angel Candle or the Candle of Love
(John 3:16-17)
 
This Sunday starts Advent, and if you would like to have an Advent wreath this year, I thought I'd give you a guide on the candles and what they represent.

 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Joys of Chili

   Yesterday I gave you a chili recipe from my husband but I neglected to give you some ideas on how to use it.

     First off, you can have it the purist's way and just serve it in a bowl without any toppings.  If you want, you can top it with any of the following: sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, shredded mozzarella cheese, oyster crackers or saltine crackers.

      The next day, using only the thickest and least watery parts of the chili, you can put the chili into a tortilla, with sour cream or ranch dressing, lettuce, tomatoes, olives, shredded carrot, shredded cheese.  Try this once, and you'll be hooked.

       The third day, take any remaining chili and serve it over spaghetti.  Top with Parmesan cheese.

        The fourth day, there should be precious little of the chili left,  but try it inside a bowl of tomato soup, topped with shredded cheese.  Or not.

         Chili is really a grocery stretcher because there are so many ways to serve it, and things to serve it with.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Another Home Made Chili

        My friend Kat from the blog Homesteading on the Internet recent post on her husband's family's chili recipe made me think of my husband's new recipe.  It is not as hot as other chili's that he has made, and for my easily upset stomach, this is a good thing.  I really enjoy this recipe and Nathan even said it was okay to share it with you.

What you'll need:
                               2 pounds of hamburger meat
                               2 cups combined of chopped onions and peppers
                               vegetable oil to cook in
                                1 tsp garlic powder
                                1 large can of Goya black beans, undrained
                                1 small can of black beans, undrained
                                1of tomato paste
                                2 TBSP of taco mix
                                1/2 tsp of paprika
                                1 tsp chili powder
                                2 small envelopes of Goya Sazon
                                1 cup of water with a beef bouillon cube mixed into

Directions:
                               Put about two tbsp of vegetable oil into bottom of dutch oven that has a cover. Brown the hamburger into it. Drain of fat.
                               Break up hamburger into small pieces, then add all ingredients. Mix everything together. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.  Let the chili simmer an hour or more, stirring occasionally.  If the chili gets to thick, add water a 1/2 cup at a time.
                               Serve.  Refrigerate with cover any leftovers.  Taste better every day after making it.

Note from Mary - this is delicious in a warmed tortilla and/or with shredded cheddar on it!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Super Storm Sandy, What We did Wrong

As promised, a list of what we did wrong.

When we left this blog yesterday, the Bennett family was in the cold and dark, had two extra household members with them and had limited access to hot water and cooking utilities.

1. We didn't have enough batteries.  Although the batteries never ran out on us, if we'd been in the dark any longer, we would have, and we had no replacements.  Further, the crank radio was not made for comfort cranking and took an awful lot of cranks to keep it running.  In retrospect, it would have been better to have a smaller, battery run radio with a back up set of one or two to keep it running and depend on the crank radio for when things really got dire, which they didn't.

2.  The camp stove was a great idea, but on our fifth day, the first canister of propane ran out.  We should have had at least two canisters available to us.  Not that we needed to overload and buy great quantities of propane canisters, but we were cutting it a little too close.

3.  We should have had more wood ready to use in the wood stove.  Though we hadn't used it in three years, the amount of wood we were able to scavenge from our yard, that was aged enough to use was getting a bit thin.  And the wood stove really took the chill off the house and made the difference between miserable and somewhat comfy.

4.  We bought the wrong types of food.  We had soups and vegetables and beans.  What we should have had was stews, chili, hash, things that could be cooked in one pot because the washing of pots was limited and primitive.

5.   We weren't prepared to have visitors, so my sons did not have their own flash lights etc.  Not something that tells them that they are welcomed guests , if you know what I mean.

6.  For everything, we should have just had more.  The government website says to be prepared for two weeks, and that should be the bare minimum that we were prepared for.

7.  The dice game was a bust.  It was too easy to lose the dice in a dim house.  The Uno cards on the other hand were brightly colored, easy to see and provided a break to boredom.  I would like to add a few more simple board games to our collection.  I will look for the printing on the board to be big and have a minimum of set up and small pieces.

8.  We lost every last bit of food in our freezer.  Short of buying our own generator, which is out of the question for us, I don't know what I could have done to prevent it.  Maybe put in more ice packs to keep the food cold?  I don't know, but I'm done crying over spoiled meat.  It is something I will continue to think about how to prevent though.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Super Storm Sandy: Lessons Learned

  Like so many other people, I'm still a bit frazzled by Super Storm Sandy.  Unlike so many other people, my family was left relatively unscathed by Sandy.
     By two o'clock pm, the winds of Sandy were starting to intimintaly whistle around my home and I thought "Well, if it stays like this, it won't be too bad." No sooner than I had this pleasant thought, than there was a huge "BOOM" and our internet and electric left.  The house immediately became a few shades darker.
       The winds began to pick up and become more strong, more frequent and longer lasting. I was very happy that my husband's work had been cancelled and he was home and that my two son's from NY were visiting also.  I couldn't imagine being in a storm like Sandy alone, or with only people significantly younger than myself.
        That night, we ate a very simple and forgetable cold supper since my stove is electric. My body ached for my heated blanket, buy without electicity, it wasn't to be.
         The next morning, the storm was mostly over, and we expected to have our electric power back by that afternoon, the same as last year's October storm.
         It wasn't to be.  This time around, not only were we without electric power for nearly 6 days, we also were the last block in our development to get the power back.  I expected our sons to leave us and return to Long Island every miserable day because their area got almost no rain or wind and never lost cable, never mind electricity.  But they stuck it out with us.
         Well now I've taken stock of the situation and I'm ready to share with you what we did wrong, as well as what we did right.  May-be you can glean some information that will help you to be ready for when you are in a storm situation yourself.

Ready?  Here goes!

What we did right:

1. We removed every tree in our yard that could possibly fall on our house.  Other trees were drastically pruned to make them "lighter" in a storm. Note, we didn't leave pokey branches that would punch holes into the side of our house. Just lightened them up.  We did this months before storm season.

2.  We have an electric stove, so my husband bought a small, inexpensive "camp stove" to cook one skillet dinners on.  And an extra canister of propane.  This was done in the summer, before any danger.

3.   Because we live in shivering cold New England, we found out what was involved in putting a wood stove into our house legally.  We did everything by the book and had it done in late summer.

4.   We bought canned food for almost a full two weeks, extra toilet paper and paper towel, paper plates and plastic cups as soon as there was talk of a hurricane starting.

5.   Dear husband bought flashlight battery kits when they were on sale, enough for our family, and stored them under the sink.

6.   After last years October storm, WalMart was selling small battery powered lanterns for about four dollars.  We bought one, put it on a shelf in the bathroom and left it there in case of an emergency.

7.  We bought a deck or Uno cards and a package of dice and left them unoppened in case of a spate of no power so that we'd have games to play to relieve the boredom.

8.  We bought a crank powered emergency radio

9.   As soon as we found out the storm was supposed to hit the next day, we all put our cell phones on chargers to make sure we had a full charge when the storm hit.

10.  Had a huge collection of jar candles with easy access too and a collection of box matches.

Tomorrow?  What we did wrong!

Sociable

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