Friday, October 14, 2011

Last Weekend Fun

7 quick takes sm1 Your 7 Quick Takes Toolkit!

I've been slacking on the job around here not updating this blog or archiving any of our fun, family memories.  The last couple weeks have been filled with illness, more canning (applesauce and grape jelly!), homeschooling, and sewing.  Phew!  So I'm making time right now to get this all down before it all falls out of my head and gets lost in my picture file only to leave me wondering later what we actually did.  The only meme that can handle this much information is 7 Quick Takes so here you go....

-1.  Lucas's Birthday-

We invited another family to join us for lunch at Lake Harriet and a visit to the Wild Rumpus Bookstore last Friday afternoon.  The play area at Lake Harriet is getting an overhaul so we had our picnic by the Rose Garden.  That turned out to be a treat!

Lake Harriet - Rose Garden - Minneapolis

Wild Rumpus Bookstore - Minneapolis

Surprised by a tiny door within the door for little people!

Monica & Maria found a Guinness Book of World Records

Jane enjoying a book on the carpet

- 2.  Rosary Procession for the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary - 

After all the afternoon fun, we raced home and ate a breakfast dinner which was requested by the Birthday Boy.  We then raced off to the Cathedral to make it in time for the annual Rosary Procession.   I tell the kids all the time that it truly is a "small Catholic world."  They saw many of their friends there. Surprise, Surprise!

It's a blurry pic, but I wanted to include it because we're all pictured together.:)
Thanks to Margaret for snapping it for us.

- 3.  Osceola Train Ride - 

On Saturday, I sat and knit the entire morning while the two oldest girls had their soccer games.  It was a rare treat that Daddy opted to stay home and CLEAN THE HOUSE for me!!:)  I was so thrilled to make some serious headway on my first legwarmer.  Now I just have to finish up the lower cuff and I'm onto the second one.  Happy, happy, joy, joy!

After lunch, we headed over to Wisconsin to the tiny town of Osceola to board a 1920's train for a scenic leaf viewing trip.  We did this through Homeschool Adventures.  We even scored a free ticket for Daddy who decided to join me and the kids last minute.

Waiting for the train to arrive....45 minutes late!:(


Guess who was the most excited?

I thought I was going to board a work train in WWII.  Yikes!

Yeehaw!  We got the dining car.

Someone was happy & someone was apprehensive.

I had to add that I bought this picnic basket at an estate sale in Nisswa
during our vacation.  It was valued at $70, but I bought it for $10.  I love the size...what
can I say?  I'm a sucker for vintage baskets!

Whip out the cards!

One afternoon with another homeschool family and now they play
spoons all the time....not necessarily with spoons.:)

Happy he came.

Kids sticking their heads out of open windows in a moving train...not for the faint of heart!

He was right to be apprehensive.  The designated paper towel holder after Nick
had motion sickness and deposited the contents of his tiny tummy all over his carrier...Daddy.:(

Still a happy boy in spite of his brief illness.  He loved looking out the window, and
I loved seeing his reflection in this pic.

- 4.  Molly has a dance class, too! -

I can't say how much this kid loves her dance class.  She's a hard one to please....things either don't feel comfortable, aren't right, make her feel weird.  Ugh!  So I was HAPPY when she asked to take a dance class and actually stuck with the first few classes.  Here she is in all her glory.

- 5.  Advent Presentation -

I don't have any pics for this one, but I will say that Monica and Maria did a fabulous job speaking to a couple's group on Tuesday night about preparing for the Season of Advent.  They pulled together all of the things we've done together as a family over the years, created a display board, and had handouts.   They walked over to the hostess's house that evening and gave their presentation ALONE!  Daddy and I were at a prescreening of The Mighty Macs, a fun movie with a slow start, but otherwise a feel-good family flick.

- 6.  Empanada Tutorial -

I actually made empanadas for the kids and Paul.  I'll post the tutorial a bit later.  All I can say is that the result was acceptable.  Unfortunately, I couldn't taste the product, but my guinea pigs assured me they are a tasty treat.  Here's a little pic to whet your appetite!

- 7.  Cast Iron is King -

I've been wanting to post about my estate sale finds for a while, but hadn't found the time.  Since I mentioned my picnic basket, I thought I'd better mention my latest cast iron acquisition.  At the same estate sale, I ran across a #9 skillet.  It's awesome!  It's big enough to fry up a lot of eggs, steak, veggies, whatever!  I also have a #3 that I use for making my eggs in the morning which is partnered with a #5 that I use for making the perfect omelet.  

My cast iron obsession began with a #8 that Paul used to woo me, his YOUNG bride!  He offered to make me dinner one evening when we were dating.  I agreed....remember I'm a compulsive overeater.  He showed up at my front door with three things:  a #8 pan, a chopping knife, and a head of broccoli.  I provided a pound of pasta, a stock pot, garlic cloves, and olive oil.  I think he even brought his own pepper mill.  Wait, no!  He had already given me a gift of a pepper mill because one should always have fresh ground pepper at their disposal.  What can I say?  He's a romantic guy!  He made his signature dish...pasta with broccoli.  Here's how you make it....

  • Boil your water and cook a pound of pasta making sure it's al dente.  Follow your package directions.
  • Meanwhile, clean up and chop the ENTIRE head of broccoli.  Set aside.
  • Get your cast iron have to use cast iron or you can't use my recipe!...and heat 2 T. olive oil.  Add to the heated oil some fresh ground pepper and enough fresh garlic to make you happy.
  • Sauté the broccoli in the olive oil.  After about 10 minutes of cooking take a bit of the boiling pasta water and add it to the broccoli to steam and finish cooking it.
  • Toss the broccoli with the cooked pasta.  Garnish with pine nuts, freshly grated parmesan, and more ground pepper.  
I'm STILL using that cast iron skillet.  This pasta dish IS our kids' favorite.  WE are a cast iron family!  Here are some of the benefits of using cast iron:
  • easy iron supplementation
  • easy clean up
  • easy to use to "invite" someone to straighten up and fly right!
  • and it's the original Teflon, people.  Face it!  After awhile a Teflon pan really starts to...suck.
Here's that #8 pan...and here's his partner #9.  And, we can't be fakes around here because I have a "cast iron police" brother-in-law that will disown me if I buy anything less than a Griswold for my collection.  So here's proof!

OK, I think Jen (go on over to see more Quick Takes or Not So Quick Takes...hee, hee by clicking on the button above) is gonna kick me out for loading too much information into this post.  Someone said they were having an OFOLF picture deficiency so you got it!

Later I'll post the empanada tut, a glimpse at my recent sewing projects the girls are wearing, and a few grape jelly-smiles!  Meanwhile, I have to go find my mug of tea.  I sent someone to reheat it and it never returned.  People who can't use the microwave....I tell ya!

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