Hindered Cooking, Scurrying And Baking - The Gadget Queen Cooks Again! Blog at Allrecipes.com - 219926

The Gadget Queen Cooks Again!

Hindered Cooking, Scurrying and Baking 
Jan. 28, 2011 2:22 pm 
I don't remember if I've introduced myself or done this blog before. I am Miss Ellie or Ellie. I became disabled with crippling degenerative joint disease in 1998. DJD is just a fancy way of saying sever osteoarthritis. I also have diabetes and major depression, which I'm trying to work on. My husband took over the cooking in our little household. With our two sons in their thirties now and one living across the country in Oregon, we finally reached that nearly mythical milestone, “The Empty Nest!” Well ... not really. Our other son lives about 20 minutes away and he does he laundry at our house on the weekend. I love that he does that. I used to do that at my Mom's house when I was first married. He also stays for dinner a few nights a week. My husband has gotten to be a pretty good cook over the last twelve years. He excels at soup and he does meats very well. In the beginning, he thought he could “wing it” whenever he wanted to. A number of truly inedible fiascoes later and he has mostly stopped that. Actually, he has progressed so well that he's probably at the point where he could experiment a bit more.
The reason I had to stop cooking is that walking is very hard for me, as both knees are totally shot. Standing in one place for more than a few minutes is much more painful. It's the back and forth part of cooking that is so difficult. You know, the scurrying from one point to another. To the table, back to the fridge, over to the sink, back to the table, to the cabinet, back to the table, etc.
 It's hard to describe it because it sounds so silly and minor, but just a few times of going back and forth and I'm exhausted. Does anyone else have this problem??
I really want to get back to doing the cooking in my house. My husband does everything for me. He's the world's best enabler! He is so good to me and he makes everything easy for me, while he does so much.
He cooks, brings me meals, does his paperwork, goes to work and then comes home and cooks dinner.
So I need to get back to living my life more completely and lessen the workload for my sweet husband. And I miss cooking and baking. It's always been a creative outlet for me. It makes me so happy when something I've cooked or baked gets a good response from my family and friends.
Lately, my husband has been doing things in our living room and kitchen to make it easier to stay downstairs all day.
And he just bought me a wide-screen TV so I can actually see the words! That will be a lovely incentive for me to remain downstairs longer.
I have a power chair (a Hoveround®). He doesn't want me to use it because he's afraid I'll hook a cabinet or drawer-pull and yank the whole cabinet off the wall. The thing is, the Hoveround® is so powerful that such a thing is within the realm of possibility. I am very careful when I'm in the chair. It almost turns on a dime and I keep the speed down. I think that in the next month, I should be ready to do most of the cooking again. I can hardly wait!
Winter is the time for baking in our house. In the spring and summer months, the grill comes out and there is a lot of fresh fruit and veggies and salads.
Now, there is a lot of slow roasting, slow-cooker cooking, citrus fruits and bananas and whole grains.
I have a bread machine which my husband will dig up for me, so I'll get back to baking bread.
I have been staying with my 84 year-old Mom, who is much more active than I am. ;o) She loves cakes and desserts and mostly pie. Her favorite is pineapple pie, which I had never even heard of. Remember, I collect cookbooks. The supermarket she shops in sells store-brand fruit pies: apple, blueberry, lemon and pineapple. Little one or two serving round pies and she likes the pineapple the best. So I looked for recipes.
Most of the pineapple pies I'd seen were Pineapple Colada Pies, or frozen pineapple pies, pineapple chiffon pies. I had never seen a straight up fruit pie like a cherry or blueberry or apple, etc. - but with pineapple. So I created a recipe. I've tinkered with and tweaked the recipe over the past three years with my Mom and my family as willing guinea pigs and I seem to have come up with the best one. My Mom loves it, anyway.
This past week, I made her four small one-serving pineapple pies, using 4-inch Teflon®-coated pie plates and several pineapple turnovers. I also made a New York-Style Crumb Cake. Tonight, we're making brownies.
Now, I don't want you all to get the idea that my Mom and I are two human blimps, devouring all this pastry and cake by ourselves. My Mom is quite thin.
No - my youngest sister living in England and she was here visiting for a week. My other family members dropped by to see her - there was someone here every night. I have three brothers and two other sisters and we all have children and some of them were here, too. That's the reason we're baking brownies tonight - we're out of goodies. GASP!!
It's very nice to meet you all.
Be well!
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Miss Ellie

Living In
Maplewood, New Jersey, USA

Member Since
Aug. 2007

Cooking Level

Cooking Interests
Baking, Slow Cooking, Indian, Italian, Southern, Nouvelle, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Healthy, Dessert, Quick & Easy, Gourmet

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About Me
I am a 61 year old, married woman (to my husband for 32 years) with 2 grown children. I have been a singer/guitarist through my hippie period until several years ago when I became disabled with crippling arthritis - no more guitar. I have also been a music teacher grades 1 - 12 and a pre-school teacher in a Day Care Center working with 3 & 4-year olds until 1998, when I could no longer work. I collect cookbooks & cookie cutters & enjoy reading & watching nature and animal programs on TV & DVD. I am also a fan of action/crime TV and detective/thriller novels.
My favorite things to cook
I like to bake. I love the challenge & the creativity it engenders. I collect cookbooks; I have over 300, and many of them are about baking. I would say I enjoy making cookies most of all. I also collect cookie cutters; I have over 400. Now, I just buy odd or interesting ones. My husband is very gracious to put up with me. I sure am lucky he loves me! I like to bake bread. I also enjoy grilling and using herbs and spices in my cooking.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My Mom was a young Irish Catholic Mother in the 50's. One sister & I were born in the late 40's but the rest of my 6 siblings were born in the 50's/ very early 60's. She was amazing in being able to provide dinner for her husband and many children on a budget. She was a magician when she had 5 teenagers at once! She could make a casserole a thing of beauty. My Grandma taught me to cook, beginning when I was about 5. I learned by watching her. She made everything taste amazing! She specialized in pie baking, and I follow in her footsteps, still using her techniques from 100 years ago and more.
My cooking triumphs
I make a wonderful Jambalaya. My husband, who took over a lot of the cooking when I 1st was disabled, and I make it often. We tweaked a recipe we found and made the dish our own. Our ribs are also very good. We use a dry rub and slow roast them over beer, covered, for 6 hours at 250. The meat literally falls off the bones. My apple pie has fans from Florida to Maine; from Oregon to New Jersey, and I make my Grandma's Peach Cake and her chocolate icing, which I use to ice a cake from a DH mix for everyone's birthday. (It's the only brand that stands up to the icing. The others are too wimpy.) A good homemade chocolate or yellow cake also works well with the icing, which is intense.
My cooking tragedies
Heh. My worst was when I was in high school. I was making authentic French Mousse au Chocolate for the 1st time. I was supposed to use 1/2 lb. of semi-sweet chocolate, chopped and I used 1 and 1/2 pounds. Heh. Instead of making a dense yet fluffy mousse au chocolate, I made Chocolate Cement. I also fail at my Mom's fudge. I have made burnt fudge, fudge sauce, fudge sludge & fudge high-bounce balls. I have never made Mom's fudge. I have managed to make a good Other Kind of Fudge, but not her delicious, dense version. :o)
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