Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Peanut Butter Cookies (Gluten Free)

    Here is the most popular cookie recipe at the Grabers right now.  I concocted this recipe out of sheer desperation when I was sincerely craving a cookie after being relegated to a gluten free diet since spring.  I realize that there are very few folks out there in my readership who want this recipe.  But you never know...
                          2 sticks of real butter
                          1 cup peanut butter
                          1 cup brown sugar
                          1 cup white sugar
                          4 eggs
                          1 tsp baking powder
                          1 1/2 soda
                          1 tsp vanilla
                           Bean flour
                           Brown rice flour
                           1 package of milk chocolate or peanut butter chips

It is a good idea to sift the bean flour. I didn't put amounts on the flours because its anybody's guess how much exactly to use.  I use mostly or all bean flour depending on what I have on hand.  Make a good stiff dough and drop by teaspoons full on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 6 minutes, turn and then time for a few more minutes.

Note: You can warn the dough snitchers or not as you wish, but I'll tell YOU that the dough is nasty.   FINALLY! I don't have to worry about empty spots on my ready-to-bake pans. :)
Don't worry, two of my pickiest cookie boys, (Jaden and George) will vouch for the yummy of this cookie.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

29th Anniversary

It is time to post again. What shall it be?  Well, the purpose of this blog is to update our family and friends. So then, I guess I ought to post the things we've been doing.

Elv and I had our 29th anniversary the beginning of October.  We just got around to taking some time off to vacation and celebrate. Except we worked at the cabin instead of vacationing, really.  There were windows to wash, floors to clean, dishes/kitchen to arrange, trees to remove, brush to clear and weeds to whack. 

We've been told that there is a place on Buck Mountain from which one can see Lake Superior.  One of the projects of this weekend was to find that spot.  Elv took his GPS and we found a trail that seemed to be leading us to the top.  After hiking on this land now for a couple years and always wanting to see this place our anticipation was pretty keen.  We found it! From up there on a clear day (such was the day of our first view), you can see the Splitrock lighthouse on this shore 3 plus miles away and the Apostle Islands miles across the lake. This is a little more than a 1/2 miles hike from the cabin at the end of a very passable hiking trail. 

This picture is for Gabe, Elv says.  Lacking a tractor to pull; Elv decided to put the Jeep to work. Thanks to our friend, Brian, who limbed the trees we had cut down that were too close to the house, we saw the potential in a spruce log. Hopefully some of them will become upright posts and cross beams in the cabin one of these days.
And while we were away, the children had a nice visit with Grandpa Sids. Thanks Dad and Mom for spending Friday with them.  Frances is very happy with the bookcase you built for her, Dad.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Curing Pinecones for Seasonal Decor

 We have been collecting pine cones for our friends who will be making wreaths for sale this season. The wind has been handing them down to us from the tops of our tallest white pine trees.  To avoid getting pitch on our hands we wear gloves to gather them by the box full.
Amber explained that they boil and bake the cones before adding them to their wreaths.  So I found an old rusty tea kettle with a good opening and proceeded to try it myself.  Unfortunately I think I've ruined the good  meat tongs but how else could I hold the cone under the boiling water? The pitch melted off the cone immediately and the whole cone closed in my grasp as I lifted it out onto a foil lined cookie sheet. The incredibly aromatic pitch rolled to the edge of the kettle and collected there. After a while I lifted out the long yellow stickiness and gingerly placed it in the trash can. But I wonder what it could be used for?
While I baked pans full of cones in a slow oven the whole house smelled strongly of pine. In about an hour the cones had reopened and dried completely. The result is a shiny shellacked looking cone. They're beautiful and perfectly safe to handle now.
I have had several people ask me how long to boil the cones.  I held them one at a time under the boiling water for only a few seconds. You can see the the pitch rolling off.  Then I baked them on tin foil in a low oven for an hour or so.  Hope this helps.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

School Pictures 2011

Each fall we try to get updated portraits of the children.  I stand and click pictures one right after the other until I have over a hundred of them.  We chose various places to pose.  And they horse around the whole time making jovial fun of themselves and each other to convince all of us that it doesn't matter that we are supposed to be getting a frame-able shot.
Without exception the best shots happen by accident.  Suddenly I realize I have gotten a good shot and the minutes of standing there telling them to move over, or back up, or look at me, not each other have finally paid off. However, I get a kick out of all the time it takes.  Because I always get a funny picture too, that is far more revealing of the real deal inside of them than the carefully arranged pose with all eyes open and no surprise shadows.

I probably have the funnest children in the world. I could be prejudiced but I doubt it. :)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

October Days In Wisconsin

                         Firewood Days
                Pine cone days.
                     Exploring days.
               School pictures days.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Dawn Till Dark Logging

That would be good name for the logging business. Because it would be quite accurate.  So one day this week Frances and I went to the job and presided over the repair of one machine while Brad rode along with Lance in the other machine.  Frances and I took a walk too.  But mostly we stood around and watched.

The landing at present.  Lance has been loading to this landing for about a week.  He has various sorts started as you can or maybe you can't see.  There's a bolt pile, a pulp pile, a firewood pile, and I'd guess a pine bolt among others I don't know about.

Frances got right up there and looked in on the turbo replacement job.  It worked like a charm when it was done, too.

I liked this picture.  So I'm adding it here.

By and by we asked Elv if we could build a fire.  He pointed to a spot about in the middle of the landing where there is zero vegetation.  It had rained all morning, but we found a few dry twigs and sticks and added red pine bark as we went along and had a nice warming fire.

And it got dark while we warmed and waited for the guys to get done working.

I could do this everyday.  Elv and I call it "smoking a cigarette".  Before any of you gets offended I'll tell you that if you had read the book Love and Respect, you'd know what we mean.  It's like this: He putters around outside on the weekend or in the evening fixing the car or the lawn mower and she sits by and watches or reads as she wishes, but she's there and it does something for the relationship whether or not they actually visit.  The couple the author took this example from would do just this.  He would fix and she would sit smoking, not talking; but being there together. I am not advising the smoking part at all.

What do you call this?  Not really looking for a better name. I'm just wondering how it works for you?

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