Friday, May 14, 2010

Dilly Bread

I think bread baking should be done in the morning. I hadn't baked bread in quite some time, but want to get back into it. It can be the freshest, healthiest way to eat it. I decided to take an old family favorite and put a healthier spin on it. We've always loved my mom's dilly bread, so here it is followed by my healthier changes:

1 package yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 cup cottage cheese, heated to lukewarm
1 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 tablespoon dill seed
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
2 1/2 to 4 cups flour

Soften yeast in water. In mixing bowl, combine cottage cheese, sugar, onion, dill seed, salt and egg. Add yeast. Add enought flour to form still dough. Knead about 15 minutes. Let rise in warm place until light and doubled in size (50 to 60 minutes). Sir down and let rise a second time. Grease and flour loaf pan or pans. Shape into loaf or loaves and place in pan(s). Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes until golden brown. Brush with soft butter.

So I used organic whole wheat flour and some organic milled flax seed and I brushed it with olive oil. It's not as light as the original recipe, but that is to be expected. It is yummy! I think it made a pretty, rustic loaf and I will do it again. I took some of the dough and made 2 hot dog buns for Jim and I to have for supper. So tonight slaw dogs on whole wheat dilly buns!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Song From Mom

Mothers' Day is nearing. Sears is suggesting we buy gifts for all the moms in our life -- sisters, friends, anyone and everyone who has mothered you or your children. It's all about the stuff you get. I'm asking my kids for a different gift -- a little of their time. We're going to hike and have a picnic. I really don't want anything else! I wish I could see my mom! I'm having an orchid corsage sent for her to wear to church Sunday. And we'll talk! We'll leave it at that. I don't know if most moms realize the impact they have on their kids or if most kids are aware of how precious they are to their moms. Let her know Sunday! Let her know every day!

Here's a poem I wrote when my girls were small. Looking at it now I feel fortunate to have had time to spend with them then and even more fortunate that I'll spend time with them this week!

Song From Mom

Is there room for you
In all my clutter?

You shouldn't have to ask!

But when the days busyness clutches me
I neglect my most precious task!

Bring me back my little ones,
To the essence of the day.

And by your side I'll run, I'll dance,
Yes, by your side I'll play!

Linda O'Rourke
April 30, 1992

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My New Security Blanket

I had been wanting to make an infinity scarf so I created this one to crochet. It is fun and simple and not only can it be worn in infinite ways, it can also be made with infinite variations and infinite yarn types. I've already done two for me. The black one is so cozy I don't want to take it off.

The first was made with Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK black (2 skeins) and a G hook
It measures about 5 inches wide and 64 inches around. I crocheted 5 flowers from 100 Flowers to Knit and Crochet by Lesley Stanfield to embellish it.

The second one with Crystal Palace Waikiki Cool Jazz (2 complete skeins) and an F hook . It measures 4 inches wide and 70 inches around.

base - chain 250 to 300, make sure they are straight and slip stitch to 1st stitch

round 1 - SC in each chain and SS to top of 1st SC

round 2 - chain 5 skip 3 and SC in 4th stitch repeat to end of round

round 3 thru 14 (or desired width) - chain 5 and SC in chain 5 space continue crocheting in the round to desired width
3rd to last round chain 3 and SC in space

15th round - 3 SC in space, 1 SC in SC to end and SS to top of 1st stitch

16th round - chain 1,* DC, SS , DC, SS, in 1st stitch, SS, in 2nd stitch continue to end and SS to first chain

finishing attach to base row chain 1, DC, SS, DC, SS*, in 1st stitch, SS, in 2nd stitch continue to end and SS to first

embellish as desired

You are welcome to use these directions, it's the first time I've tried to write out my own, so I apologize for any mistakes or other sloppiness. Let me know about any glaring mistakes. I would love to see other peoples creations with it.

Also, let me know if I can make you a security blanket scarf of your own. You can make requests on my etsy. Prices will vary depending on yarn and size.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

And The Beat Goes On

It's hard to believe I wrote Kroger Karaoke 15 years ago. There are some changes, updates if you will. First, my oldest daughter now has a bachelor's in Piano performance, who'd a thought. Next, she has broodened my love of music to include country and even opera. But the biggest thing probably came not long after we moved to the northwest from Georgia some 12 years ago.

I went to my new favorite grocery store, Fred Meyer, and there he was in the snack isle singing his heart out. He was not singing to the piped in music, no, he was singing hymns and he sounded pretty good.

I can't tell you how good it made me feel. Just a little less homesick for Georgia, a little refreshed. It made the world a little smaller. I thank God that there are people everywhere who are not afraid to praise God and share His love.

Kroger Karaoke

I love music. I thought everyone did, but I guess there are varying degrees of affection. Only some of us have a true passion for music. I know there are varying degrees of skill involved with us ‘lovers of music.’ I have a mediocre voice and can pick out songs on the piano with one finger. I don’t love music any less because I lack skill. There is an employee at Kroger who shares my passion for music.

The mention of grocery store music brings back memories of much younger days. I was a child and what I heard at the grocery store was old people’s music. Now I am older and I like much of that piped in music. It’s James Taylor, John Denver, Cat Stevens, lots of my old favorites. No more Guy Lombardo. Now my music is old people’s music. I am getting old. I do like a variety of music, everything from classical to jazz to pop. However, I have no passion for country, heavy metal or opera.

Well, as I have hummed my way up and down the isles of Kroger listening to old favorites, I’ve passed my fellow ‘lover of music’ on more that one occasion. He’s busy stocking the shelves with Fruit Loops and Lucky Charms while belting out those old tunes at the top of his voice. He has a mediocre voice, too, more volume than me, nonetheless.

One day he sang a whole song one phrase ahead of the music. I think it was I Can’t Get No Satisfaction. Or maybe a Beach Boys song, I really can’t remember. Anyway, he knew it well, word for word, one line ahead of the piped in musicians. You know you just can’t get good entertainment like that at all the grocery stores.

In fact, I walked into Piggly Wiggly the other day and saw what could possibly been my music lover’s brother. They looked that much alike to me. And he wasn’t humming. He wasn’t even smiling.

His brother always smiles. He may not sing well, but he smiles! That may be the essence of what I like most about music. The pleasure it brings. From a smile on a grocery worker’s face, to a giggle from me, to that joy that comes from praising God through song. Music is the most natural way to worship our Lord. We can praise Him in church, in the car and even in Kroger.

Linda O’Rourke
February 16, 1995

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Nourishment for Webbed Feet

I live in the Pacific Northwest. It's been about twelve years now. I know for a fact that coffee is essential nourishment for the webbed feet. Most of mine is made at home with my French press. The drive through lattes are a special treat, my latte of choice is a tall honey soy latte.
I live in the Pacific Northwest. I try to live my life as eco-friendly as possible. I always have, but it seems the time and place where I live makes it more significant. Once my daughters started school and took their lunches we made an effort to pack them with only reusable items from cloth napkins to Tupperware. The other day at Starbucks Jim and I thought we should have something besides the cardboard sleeve to keep from burning our hands. They are a nice idea, they are recyclable and all, but how many really go into recycling. So when I got home I found all sorts of alternatives online. This one is fun to make. I keep one in my car and one in my purse.
If you're interested in some for yourself or as gifts I am selling them on my etsy:

Even if you don't live in the Pacific Northwest you've got to love coffee or tea or hot cocoa. Or like our precious Em warmed V-8, but that's another story...