Saturday, September 28, 2013

Kale (Boerenkool) Stamppot -- Eat Your Heart Out, Pioneer Woman

Kale Stamppot (Boerenkool Stamppot)

You will need:

3 giant potatoes (peeled)
2 toes/cloves of garlic (peeled but left whole)
2 packages of curly kale
2 beef sausage links
5 1/2 slices of bacon (Flip got the other 1/2)


The best potato peeler I have ever used and two toes or cloves of garlic.


This sausage tastes pretty much like Gelderseworst (Dutch).  I like that it is beef, not pork.


Potatoes are cut up into uniform blocks for uniform cooking. Be sure pan will not be damaged by stamping or smashing with potato masher.


Two garlic cloves ready to "hot tub" in the boiling water.


Blurry photo (camera could not find a focal point!) of the chopped kale. All stems were removed.


Layers: Diced potatoes and garlic on the bottom, enough water to cover potatoes, then chopped kale, and finally the beef sausages on top. Ready to roll, oops boil!


All cleaned up and peelings and stems are in the compost canister.


Best smoked bacon to chop and fry up for adding at the end of preparation.


This is what 5 1/2 slices of chopped bacon look like.


Lid on the pot and heat from our induction cooktop.


Kale is beginning to wilt and change color. Those potato pieces and garlic are getting hot down under. As for the sausages, they have not really felt the heat yet.


Kale has begun to shrink, and the potatoes are peeking through. Sausage is feeling the heat and steam.


Almost there. Potatoes are pretty flakey, and the sausage is ready to pop open.


Drain off the cooking water (pot liquor?). Hub says to save it in case the stamppot is too dry, but I never do. Kale is now dark green.


Smash the potatoes, garlic (where is it?), and cooked kale until all are mixed well.


We got so excited that I forgot to take a photo of the fried bacon bits and jus (grease) poured on top of the pile of stamppot on our plates. But you can use your imagination.

Here are the leftovers for tomorrow night:


Makes enough for two meals for two hearty eaters.

If you want a different kind of recipe (text only!), then check out my October 10, 2012 post called Curly Kale Stamppot Recipe.


We Blog (text only)

I am surely going to step on some toes today, so hide your feet.

I have gotten caught up in the "photo and show it" blogging. When I began my Wetcreek Blog, I never meant for it to be a "I'll show mine, if you will show yours" weblog. 

Maybe you will remember that I began my blog on the Internet as a continuation of the weekly letters I had been writing to my MIL in The Netherlands. Of course she enjoyed the occasional photograph, but it was the text (even in broken Dutch) that I wrote that she looked forward to, I hope. When she passed away, I received the binder with almost all of my letters to her. Maybe it is time to publish those letters here on this blog. I could include my poor Dutch text, and then let my readers use the translate button. That should be amusing.

But back to my weblog. I realized that my "text only" posts needed something to spice them up when my dear niece mentioned that I needed to include photos of the food items that I "reciped." I responded that I was not going to prepare and photograph all of the family recipes in my mom's cookbook, since that was not my mission. I was just trying to share Mom's recipes with those who were not so fortunate to have a copy of her handwritten cookbook. (By the way, Family, if you have not copied and pasted your favorites, you may be in for a surprise when my Wetcreek Blog disappears.)

My son gave me a wonderful camera so that I could liven up my blog and make sure it was not boring. But I somehow got lazy and started relying on photos instead of text to dictate my post subjects. I notice that that has happened to other bloggers, too. Sometimes there are no captions or text at all, just photos. 

Do not get me wrong, the photography is beautiful! But I am no photographer. Plus my life is still pretty private. I will share photos of what keeps me busy, but for the rest my followers will have to imagine and read between the lines.

Gosh, this was rambling and a bit like my blog posts. My hub said recently, "You have all kinds of stuff in your blog." 

Yes, that is my life. 

All kinds of stuff.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Vintage Postcards and People ;)))) Happy Birthday, All You Holiday Babies!

Today is my hub's birthday. I always tease him that he was a Christmas or New Year's present. ;)

Last week during all of the rummaging in the family paperwork, I found this cute birthday postcard that my hub received when he was only eight years old in 1953:

The googly eyes still move.

Speaking of googly, Google is celebrating its 15th birthday today, too. Wonder when that idea was conceived?

And here are two postcards that my MIL received while she was on a camping vacation in 1930:

I think this one was from her boyfriend.


And this one was from her little cousins.

Here is a precious postcard to my MIL from her aunt. 

No date, since you can see that my MIL snipped off the stamp in the top right corner. Early 1900's anyway.

While we are postcarding (almost all old postcards are worth between 5-10 dollars), here are two funny ones:

Very tactile. Each garment piece has a different layer and different texture. It looks really old! Love that face. What is in her left hand?

And what about this view of the Loreley on the Rhine River? Could this be the original Sirens? I must use Google Translate to find out what this postcard says.

This last postcard just must be worth more than $10.00! Some Boy Scout collector would probably love to have this postcard of Lord Baden Powell that my MIL received back when.


Hope you enjoyed the postcard show. I have more, but these were my favorite.



Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Snake #2

When I mentioned to my mom that I needed to clean out my raised veggie beds this week, she said, "Be careful." I knew she meant to watch out for slithery snakes, but I rarely see any in my flower or veg beds.

Monday was an uneventful clean out, but after 2 1/2 hours and the approaching sunshine, I quit and went inside. 

This morning the temperature seemed agreeable, so I went out to finish the veggie beds in the semi-fog. Pulling huge rooted tomato plants is always a chore, but doing that sort of work at 7:00 AM is better than later. 

Around 10:00 AM I had finished pulling up all of the tomato plants and cut back eggplant, okra, and basil. Then I wanted to spruce up the marigolds and lemon balm, since they had begun drying up or getting leggy. On one of my several trips with the full wheelbarrow to our compost heap, I had seen a small black snake under the carport. I usually do not bother snakes out in the yard, since they are always far enough to not be of danger to me. But as I was beginning to finish up the last lemon balm "hair cut," I almost reached out and scooped up a sleeping dark brown snake snuggled up next to the brown drip irrigation hose. "Eeeeeekkkkkkkk" That was something like I must have screamed. The snake did not move. I cut my trimming job short and called it a "job well done."

Enough gardening for today. Fingers crossed that we have 60's degree F temps again tomorrow morning and that my hub searches the lemon balm for the hose impersonator this evening. 

Hub may not carry a shotgun, but he is a "sharp shooter" with the garden hoe.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Goodbye, Veggie Garden

Here is the last veggie harvest for 2013:




Beautiful shiny eggplants and juicy green bell peppers out of our raised veggie beds.

Yesterday morning I spent a few hours in the garden cleaning out dead or dying vegetable plants. While I was busy, I gathered the last crops. I left the pepper and eggplant plants and okra plants, but once the night temps take a dive, that will be the end of them.

This morning was too foggy, damp, and warm to work outside, so I roasted off the harvest picured above and stashed them into the freezer for another time.  But tonight we are eating eggplant parmesan and noodles. Yum!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Whirlwind Auction--Part 2

If you want to get a good laugh at the history of our auction experience, please read my October 23, 2012 blogpost entitled "Whirlwind Auction." 

And this week we had the Part 2 experience. Are we more experienced, you ask? Nay! It is still all a big puzzle to the both of us. 

Here is the latest episode (insinuating we anticipate more):

In a few weeks time we plan to make a few improvements in the Beltway Apartment on the "other side of the big Pond." As the old floor covering will be replaced by hardwood floors, we started thinking about how much like a ballroom the combined large living and dining room would look. To break up the space, a nice rug (vloerkleed or tapijt in Dutch) would at least distinguish one area from the other. Without really planning to buy anything, we checked out the After Sale for the auction house we visited a year ago. My hub noticed online that there was still a locally made (Smyrna) handmade carpet in great Dutch colors for an interesting price. 

Here is a photo of the rug:


As the recommended price was 400-600 Euros, we decided to make a 200 Euro bid over the Internet with the stipulation that if we got the deal at that price, we could not collect the tapijt until almost mid October. By midnight that night we had been notified by e-mail that there would be no problem with picking it up in October, but that our bid was way too low. The auctioneer said he was expecting around 360 Euros, but we could buy it for 300.

Neither of us was really surprised with the deal that he offered, but being the skinflints we both are and only having found out this development when we got up the next morning, we did not react to the news immediately. My hub and I did finally discuss that we wanted the piece of local heritage even at 300 euros, and my hub sat down at the computer later that day to make the deal. What did he find in his e-mail inbox? An e-mail message from the auctioneer stating that his client selling the carpet had agreed on the 200 Euro bid.

Whaaat? All we did was stall. And not even consciously. 

So now we have a large rug for the Beltway Apartment floor at a very, very reasonable price. All we know about it is what we can see in the above photo. Some wear and probably needs some cleaning. 

But somehow we muddled through another auction buy. 

We are getting pretty good at this auction buying, I must say.  ;))  




Saturday, September 21, 2013

Happy Anniversary, Dutch Friends

Some of my most faithful blog readers are our friends who live in The Netherlands. 

One couple in particular wrote a spectacular travel blog when they visited us and the United States for the first time in February and March of 2012. I will never be able to write a travel commentary or take such awesome photos as they did. Maybe that is the reason I have let my blog be a compilation of lots of different subjects. If I see something new that I want to comment on, then I do. No themes to follow for me.

But M and J are our special friends. And today is their wedding anniversary! While rummaging through our stacks and stacks of old photos and paperwork, I found a folder full of wedding invitations that my hub collected before I met him. And this is what I found:


This is text for our travel bloggers' wedding invite. According to my birthday/anniversary calendar hanging in our hall toilet, they married in 1973. 

So M and J got married 40 years ago today, September 21, 1973. Congratulations! Hugs and kisses! 

And see you two real soon.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

First Steppers



These were probably my first shoes. So you are looking at shoes almost 65 years old, I think. One shoelace is missing, but who cares? 







If you look really carefully, you can see the white shoe polish that my sweet mom painstakingly added every time I scuffed them. Her story goes that she continued the shoe polishing even after I began attending school. My little saddle oxfords had to look perfect every day, according to Mom. (You might enjoy my 88 year old mom's blog Ridges of Lee County at http://ridgesofleecounty.blogspot.com/.)

Now here is a look at my red sandals:


Aren't these precious? They look like they saw a lot of sandboxes.


And my parents got their money's worth.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

What In the World are They Watching?

(And we will never know what they were watching. Today I did find a postcard for the
Winter Olympics in 1936. Maybe that is the answer.)

Yes, I am still sorting through family photos and such.




















This photo of my hub's grandmother and grandfather as spectators in the snow, makes me laugh. It looks like the other spectators are having a good time, too.  Or maybe they just want to look good for the photographer.

What could they possibly be watching? Freezing and covered with snowflakes! The only sensible couple are sitting on the front row of the bleachers covered with blankets.

And notice the snow on the mountains in the background.

We date this photo somewhere in the 1930's and possibly in Germany. Oma and Opa were known to be travelers, and Oma sometimes traveled alone to enjoy the Bads (baths) and to spend Opa's money.

When I found this miniature photo, I could hardly see any faces and identified someone else as Oma. Then I saw Opa, and I knew I had made a mistake.

This photo cools me and tickles me on this hot September afternoon.


(I am partying with TimeTravelThursday on The Brambleberry Cottage Blog at http://thebrambleberrycottage.blogspot.com/2013/09/time-travel-thursday-166-talented-time.html)

Friends and Picture Postcards

Back in the 70's when I was just starting out as a teacher, I heard about a penpal organization in Turku, Finland. I signed up for my  French class and began corresponding with the organization to connect my students with penpals around the globe. Who knows if any of those "pen friendships" are still going on?

The only penpals I ever really had were my husband, my parents, and then later my mother-in-law. I kept my hub's and mother's letters, but when I was writing my mother-in-law she could not write back.

This week I am still plowing through my hub's old, old family letters and correspondence. Yesterday I spent hours sorting through picture postcards, some of which are 90 years old. 

At $6.00 a card on the Internet, we have a small fortune in never posted cards. But they won't be sold. That is waaaay too much trouble for me. Scanning, advertising, corresponding with buyers/collectors, packaging up, mailing, and of course organizing payment. 

Think that is called WORK. I do not do WORK anymore!

But I digress. Back to penpals, now called blogpals. My hub comments that I have a fulltime job just reading all the blogs I am following. He sees the comments I have been receiving on my two blogspots and my invitations to link up. (Which I am never really sure how to do!!!)

I am having a good time. Isn't that what retirement is all about?

Here is just one example of the old, old cards.
Kobenhavn, Tivolis Jndgang (J. Chr. Olsens Kunstforlag. Eneret Nr. 229.)
Copenhagen, Tivoli Garden


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Jelly Rolls--Part 2

Now that I am working on Lindy Loopies, I have tried to clean up the work table in my craft room. I need plenty of space for cutting up those little kiddie clothes. Here are a few more that will "feel the scissors."






The machine appliqu├ęs are just perfect for the little loopy blankets that I want to make. Will let you see the results in the future.

But back to straightening up the table. I made these three jelly rolls from leftover quilt material. They are just waiting for a sewer (still a strange word to me) to piece and quilt. 

Meanwhile, they will decorate my craft room. 




Any nieces or sister-in-laws or girlfriends who want this as your Christmas present? Speak now!

I am still trying to figure out this icon stuff for linking up to Blue Monday on Smiling Sally Blog. Always said I was illiterate in computering!

While you are clicking around, drop by http://www.smilingsally.blogspot.com and see what Sally and friends are sharing.  









Saturday, September 14, 2013

Pecan Pie in a Muffin

 A new Master Gardener friend made the yummiest muffins for our monthly meeting on Monday. Here is the recipe and a photo of how they look. Sorry that you can not smell or taste them. But they are sooooo easy that you can bake your own.

Pecan Pie Muffins 

1   1/3 stick salted butter (melted and cooled)
1 cup pecans (chopped fine)
1 cup brown sugar (packed)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla

Mix eggs into cooled butter and pour over dry ingredients. Mix and spoon into sprayed liners.
Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees F.

Thanks, Dana

(Be sure cups are at least 1/2 full, and do not bake on the bottom shelf of the oven.)



Thursday, September 12, 2013

Up Close and Personal

Tuesday evening I made a few nature shots to get in some more close-up practice. Enjoy the products of September in the Deep South.

Twins!

These next few mushrooms look like under done pancakes.

Hmmmm!


My hub brushes away the weeds, but I like to photograph how I find them.

This one looks like the golf balls my brother knocked into our pond.

The next one is my favorite with the perfect sphere and crackled surface.

This is the first runner-up with scalloped edges.

Then come the flowers. 

What a sweet smell!

These flowers cover the two unsightly drain pipes.

A flower family gathering.

So dainty.

Temptation for the end of summer bees. 

Lonely bloom.