Tuesday, September 27, 2016

It finally died. . .

The snowblower I own, an Ariens 8 horsepower, was bought sometime in the mid to late 80's.

I've kept it maintained with routine maintenance.  Recently, the man came to pick it up to take to the shop.  Today I got a call.  I'm told the needed repairs on it will cost more than it is worth.  UGH!

NOT what I wanted to hear.

The shop I sent it to is reputable so I don't believe they are trying to deceive me.

"I'm going to have to give this some thought," I told the owner of the shop.  I told him I'd come in to the shop soon.  He has a couple new ones that are 2015 models that I can get a price break on.

I have a long driveway so shoveling is out of the question for me.  There are contractors you can hire for the season, some with a flat rate, others with a per-use rate.  I've learned that these guys are not always reliable.  They may not show up in time for you to get out on time in the morning.  In fact, in the last year, a contractor was sent to jail in Rochester for collecting up front money from unsuspecting clients and then "forgetting" to plow their driveway.

Never a dull moment. . .

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Football and Salsa

Has it really been this long since I last posted to my blog?  It must be true what they say about old age slowing you down!

I am all set to watch the Alabama Crimson Tide make mincemeat out of the Kent State team. . . I didn't even know Kent State had a team!

I've mixed up a really good salsa recipe, Blueberry and Pineapple Salsa, to munch on during the game.  When you live alone, you don't always eat three meals like other people.  But this salsa has fruits and vegetables, so that counts!  And the chips I use with it are whole grain!

I've accumulated quite a few really good salsa recipes.  Homemade is much better than the kind you buy at the grocery store.  Try this one:

2 cups fresh pineapple, chopped
1 cup blueberries
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 jalepeno
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons red onion, chopped
1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

I leave out the jalepeno - never been excited about them!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Making Ham and Bean Soup. . . so good!

Above are the beans I just put in the bowl to soak this morning and into the afternoon.  These are beans from Bob's Red Mill.  I am a huge fan of their products.  There are mung beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, black beans, cranberry beans, and lots more.  

This is a smoked ham hock that I get from my farmer.  This is no ordinary soup bone!  No!  It is covered with lots of meat that will go into the soup.  I usually get about 1 1/2 cups to 2 cups of chopped meat to put back into the soup.

I begin by making the stock.  This includes a LOT of water (probably 3 or 4 quarts),  chunks of onion, celery, and carrots, along with the ham hock.  Let this simmer for 2 or 3 hours.  Remove the ham hock and vegetables.  Discard the vegetables, but let the ham hock cool enough to touch.  Cut off the meat.

Place the soaked beans, the chopped meat, and whatever spices you choose (cloves, ginger, and of course salt!) into the stock pot.  Add a can of chopped tomatoes with the juice.

Simmer another couple of hours.  Enjoy the divine aroma coming from your kitchen!

I have to admit, the only thing I dislike about making this is packaging it into serving sizes for freezing.  That's a pain and the pot seems to have a never ending bottom.  But taking it out of the freezer to eat makes up for that.