This weekend, of course, was Father’s Day weekend. We spent the first half celebrating with my brother and his wife over their son’s high school graduation (go Chris!). The celebration included lobster rolls, buckets of beer (I’m not kidding – buckets), a warm sunny day, and reclining seats on the ride home so I could sleep. (Note to self – next time eat a little more, drink a little less.)
And then that brought us to Sunday. In our neck of the woods we usually have a local rib fest on Father’s Day weekend. It’s a wonderful event, well run, and lots of fun. We’ve gone for many years, but when you take 8 people to a rib fest (you have to pay to get in) and then you have to pay about $25 for each half rack of ribs (and let’s not forget the drinks, sides, and ice cream that all goes with that) we found ourselves often taking out a small mortgage just to attend.
The ribs were good, the festival was entertaining, but my pocketbook cried every time we went. Continue reading
This weekend I spent some time going through my mother’s collection of cookbooks. She had quite a few of those church and garden club ones, you know the cookbooks that are sold as fundraisers of which you are obligated to buy? I don’t mind getting those community cookbooks at all, in fact they often end up having the best “handed-down” recipes ever. So nothing (and I mean nothing) was going to be moved to the discard pile until every single recipe in every single book was looked at.
And low and behold, I found this gem of a recipe from, of all people, my Aunt Diane.
In reading how and where it was served, I thought it would be perfect as a Memorial Day appetizer. Looks straight forward right? It is – provided you know where to find all the ingredients in the store. I had no idea where to find jalapeno relish (it’s near the hot pepper jellies which is near the mustard/olives condiments) and I honestly had to google Chili sauce because I had never used it before and didn’t even know what it looked like (FYI you can find it near the ketchup.) In any event, once I had the ingredients, it was spit spot and done. Continue reading
At a yard sale this weekend I found a treasure trove of old handwritten recipes. Oh sure, there were many recipes cut out from magazines (Robert Conrad’s potato casserole anyone?) but it was the ones written on those 1950’s – 1970 recipe cards (you know the ones with the little flower decorations in the upper left corner) that got my attention.
I have a few of my mother’s handwritten cards and I consider them to be among my most treasured possessions. (Soon, I’ll be making those chocolate, peanut butter, rice Krispy cookies that I talked about at my mom’s funeral.)
It’s a lost art. Who writes down recipes anymore? It’s more like, if someone requests a recipe we send them the link to where they can find it, time just seems to fly a little faster these days. And even if we had the time to write down a recipe, who has the time to make it other than for a special occasion? Pizza hut to the rescue.
Well I have time (in between everything else I have to do.)
Think about it. When I grew up food was how you showed your creativity. While my mother did work (after the kids had gotten older) most women didn’t, they stayed at home and took care of the flock. Preparing food was how they nourished their families, while the recipes nourished their creativity. When received from a friend, most recipe cards began with “from the kitchen of..” Sharing recipes was the social network of its time.
My kids, who are the sons and daughters of this storyteller definitely know the potential of a good story (or two) when they see it. Helping me sort through the recipes on Saturday night and placing them into two binders, every single one of my kids knew what was coming.
What will we start with first? They asked me. Continue reading
Emma and Addy Nozell aka Presidential Selfie Girls
When my daughters, Addy and Emma Nozell, otherwise known as the Presidential Selfie Girls, decided to set a challenge to listen to and snap a photo with each of the Presidential candidates in New Hampshire, none of us knew it would be an experience so filled with positive life lessons.
Even if the girls didn’t completely agree with each of the candidates, they all had a valuable bit of life advice to pass on. Below are some of our favorites.
1. Lindsey Graham (R) – family matters – a lot
Lindsey Graham is a “go down to the bar and have a beer” kind of guy with a great sense of humor, He’s a born storyteller who artfully delivers jokes with the precision of the most accomplished comedian while still giving off an “aw shucks” kind of vibe. But under those jokes lies a deep well of pain. Graham’s mother died when he was 21 and then a year later his father died leaving him and his 13 year old sister orphans. It is a huge emotional and financial challenge for a young man to keep a family that has been so deeply damaged like that together.
Graham could have abandoned his sister and the family pool bar, but instead he stepped up to the plate, took over the business and made sure his sister was taken care of while he attended college and then law school. At one point he even adopted his sister so that she could receive his military benefits. Continue reading
This Presidential Selfie thing is going crazy. Today the girls are going to be interviewed by CNN, ABC, and NH1.
As someone on my Facebook page mentioned this is simply good, clean fun. The girls are being respectful to the candidates and they get to listen to what each of the candidates say. That’s an important responsibility for anyone who is going to place a vote for our next President. (Addy can’t vote in the primary but she will be able to vote in the general election.)
Besides, in each of the photos both the candidates and my daughters just have the biggest smiles. Continue reading
So my little chicks are having a good time this summer. What started off as a fun challenge has now turned into a “thing”.
Remember when I told you about the girl’s quest to snap a selfie with as many presidential candidates as they can? (And because we live in New Hampshire – First in the Nation!– they have access to a LOT of them.)
Well last night they attended a Carly Fiorina (R) event and managed to snap their 11th (!) presidential candidate selfie.
Some reporters at the event noticed the selfie taking and after asking a few questions:
My chicks ended up on the local news.
Presidential selfie girls
And they even have their own hashtag on twitter #Presidentialselfiegirls
My daughters think they are playing a game by getting all the presidential selfies, BUT in order to get their selfie they have to sit through a talk by the candidate.
My daughters are getting a selfie prize and we are getting critical thinkers.
Please note that political photos do not imply endorsement.
Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com
Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.
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Apparently after (almost) 25 years of marriage (September), Marc and I are still learning things about each other.
I recently posted about our fly traps saying that it was one thing that I just COULD NOT stand. Nope, you’ll never find me emptying one of those jars full of fly-beans.
Marc read my post and at the dinner table he questioned me about it.
“Are you really disgusted by the fly traps?” he asked me. Continue reading
In a continuation of the ever popular game – “where are the friggin’ eggs?” – yesterday I spied an egg by a leg of our rabbit hutch.
“Sweetheart, go grab that egg,” I told Emma. Emma dutifully went over to gather the egg, but when she got there she stopped and turned to me.
“Uh, mom, I think you should see this.”
I got up from my chair and walked over preparing myself to see a strange egg or even worse, some kind of creature trying to eat the egg. SNAKE!!!! Continue reading
There’s been a lot of buzz about Vermont US Senator Bernie Sanders who is currently running for President as a Democrat (even though he’s really an Independent – rules are rules.) Because we live in New Hampshire, he’s been busy canvassing our state and making political stops. I have yet to see Bernie (oh I will) but the initial feedback is that he constantly points out the emperor has no clothes, and that message seems to be resonating with folks.
Here’s a little about Bernie from his website:
The American people must make a fundamental decision. Do we continue the 40-year decline of our middle class and the growing gap between the very rich and everyone else, or do we fight for a progressive economic agenda that creates jobs, raises wages, protects the environment and provides health care for all? Are we prepared to take on the enormous economic and political power of the billionaire class, or do we continue to slide into economic and political oligarchy? These are the most important questions of our time, and how we answer them will determine the future of our country.
I personally have to give credit to *anyone* who knows how to use the word “oligarchy” properly in a sentence. Continue reading
The state sport in New Hampshire recognized by all is our Presidential primary.
Since our kids were little, we’ve been dragging them to political events on both sides so that they could hear what each of the candidates had to say. (One of their all-time favorites was a chili dinner sponsored by John Kerry.)
Many of our evening dinner conversations have covered what we’ve thought about what we’ve heard at each of these events. Trust me when I say that sometimes our discussions can get very lively.
Yesterday, Governor Chris Christie (2016 Presidential Candidate) came to an event at a restaurant the next town over. Marc and I grabbed the girls (everyone else was working) and we hurried on over.
I was a little surprised at the turnout, if you didn’t count the campaign staff and those who were sitting at tables having dinners, you’d be hard pressed to say that there were more than 2 dozen people there. Where is everyone, I wondered.
As it turned out, Christie was there for an endorsement and not a speech (I was disappointed, I had wanted to hear what he had to say) so he just made a quick round of the restaurant, gave a 2 minute announcement and then went outside to talk to what press had showed up. Continue reading