Some Notes - Life ... It's Why We Cook. Blog at - 212743

Life ... It's Why We Cook.

Some Notes 
Dec. 20, 2010 7:55 pm 
Updated: Dec. 23, 2010 4:48 am
Dan and Cindy Lepp are still in trouble. Let’s take a couple of moments to wish them peace and happiness this holiday season. Drop them a line in their guest book at Caring Bridge.<

Getting food ready for Christmas begins today and I started with Mother Ann’s Cranberry Sauce. I have the first batch done and it is resting some to cool off and blend the flavors. I will serve it over pound cake as an "in front of the fire" sweet treat while we have our conversations.
Then I was boiling and peeling two dozen eggs. When my wife gets home she’ll turn them into deviled eggs for an office party thing. I don’t know why I let her rope me into that. Here’s sorta how it happened.

DW: I need you to make and peel two dozen eggs tomorrow.
Me: Two Dozen?
DW: Yup! And then on Friday I need you to do another dozen.
Me: Another dozen?
DW: Yup!
Me: I get to do all that work and not reap the benefits, I bet.
DW: Yup!
Me: I’m sure you have some reason why I should be left out?
DW: Yup!
Me: Are you going to tell me?
DW: Nope!
Me: Would anybody in your office tell me?
DW: Yup!
Me: I’ll call Shara, then.
DW: Nope!
Me: I have to keep my mouth shut, then?
DW: Yup!
ME: Two dozen eggs; hard boiled and peeled.
DW: Yup!
Me: Love me?
DW: Yup!
Me: For you, I’ll do it.
DW: Knew ya would.

I picked up the ingredients for my Bloody Mary mix and will blend that tomorrow. It should be perfect by Christmas Day.

I tested the fruitcake and it has cured very well. I didn’t use any candied fruit this time. Instead, I used dried tropical fruits which reduced the sugar considerably I’m going to keep the original recipe and write another recipe for the dried fruit because there are a couple of other changes in it, as well.
I’ve been preparing our meals by following recipes and I find that to be monotonous. My tasters are still acting up so I can’t be trusted to make anything by winging it. Sure do miss winging it. There’s recipes that I do want to try but I am holding back on them because of the tasters. BigShotsMom sent me a recipe that my wife and I really want but it involves Cheddar Cheese and that is one taste that has really gone bad. (I am really going to make it, BSM!)

I have been unemployed since July 3rd but on January 2, 2011, I’ll be retired- officially. Now that my life has returned to near normalcy, I need to start catching up on unfinished projects. I know I’ve said that before and found out that I was premature. This time I have doctors telling me I can.


Dec. 20, 2010 10:23 pm
Merry Christmas to you Mike! The Lepp's are forever in my prayers as are you. Thanks for sharing your journey with us. Stay well.
Dec. 21, 2010 3:25 am
A blessed Christmas to you and yours, Mike. And continued prayers to you and all. Congrats on your "official" retirement - my husband retired a couple years ago and is busier than ever. Sounds like you will do well with time to devote to your hobbies. Blessings!
Dec. 21, 2010 5:24 am
Another blog from that big-hearted guy we all love so much. Thank you for the news about the Lepps! Stay well, enjoy your retirement and may all good things head your way. Merry Christmas!!
Dec. 21, 2010 5:44 am
I will be keeping the Lepp's in my thoughts today and this holiday season. Thank you for the gentle reminder.. Also, thank you for enjoying the cranberries! And, congratulations on your Official Retirement! Here's hoping your wife can find many things to keep you busy and out of trouble! ;-)
Dec. 21, 2010 5:45 am
Mmmmmm Bloody Marys. Care to share? I do believe that next year will be a wonderful year for you and your family. Happy Holidays Mike!
Dec. 21, 2010 7:10 am
Morning Mike, Prayer going out to the Lepp's today. And, a congratulations to you on your retirement. In about a year, you'll wonder how you ever had the time to work. We're semi-retired and I really have to budget my time to get to work. hehe. Merry Christmas to you and your family.
Dec. 21, 2010 7:52 am
Merry Christmas! I hope all continues to improve for you and yours. Enjoy that "retirement!"
Dec. 21, 2010 8:20 am
Thank you, Naking Nana! You have followed my progress closely and have helped to prop me up. You and many others will always have my prayers of gratitude.
Dec. 21, 2010 8:22 am
Time for hobbies, Maggie? The only hobby in my near future is the infamous honey do list. It's over a year behind.
Dec. 21, 2010 12:07 pm
Thank you, SouthernGma! If nothing good ever happens to me again, I'll remember all the kindnesses of this past year and everything will be all right. Little Kira had a super cheerleader with you. I'll never forget that story.
Dec. 21, 2010 12:09 pm
My wife will have no trouble keeping me busy, Mother Ann. In fact, I think I might just start ice fishing so I have a place to think about them all.
Dec. 21, 2010 12:14 pm
I will glady share, Dog Fish Head! Here's my post where I revealed the recipe.;When I first saw you screen name, I wondered how you picked it, Last week, on the Discovery Channel, I found out. Kinda neat!
Dec. 21, 2010 12:17 pm
Thank you, Candice! I have a time budget, also. Right now, my wife is in charge of it.
Dec. 21, 2010 12:19 pm
Than You, ElCay! I'll do my best to do as you say.
Dec. 21, 2010 1:59 pm
Merry Christmas back at ya! Tell your wife I'm envious. I don't dare turn my DH loose in the kitchen. The mess could be scary. I do keep Cindy and Dan in my thoughts but it is very nice of you to remind of us to do so.
Dec. 21, 2010 4:16 pm
merry christmas mike! many blessings to you from the derr's in south georgia!
Dec. 21, 2010 4:29 pm
Merry Christmas Mike! I'm glad you continue to improve....those taste buds will come back. How do you feel about blue cheese? I have a killer blue cheese/cracked pepper bread recipe in my recipe box... I'm busier since I retired than I ever was when I worked and I am so thankful I can be.
Dec. 21, 2010 5:03 pm
Good evening Cat! One of the first things my wife said when I began cooking is that I had to keep the kitchen clean and have the dishes washed. She only said it once and I believe it is because I keep the kitchen cleaner and use fewer dishes than she.
Dec. 21, 2010 5:06 pm
Merry Christmas, Gary and Claire! I have a Bloody Mary for you. You can have it as soon as you try my Holiday Wreath Cake.
Dec. 21, 2010 5:58 pm
Merry Christmas, BigShotsMom! Blue Cheese is one of the few things that actually tastes better! Sounds super! Thank you!
Dec. 21, 2010 7:12 pm
Hi Mike & Merry Christmas to you & your family. I got my Christmas bonus today & did a little shopping today on my way home. I need to get some baking done so I can take some goodies into work for the next couple of days. I hope they know how much I appreciate having my job. It's a blessing, for sure. Hope you continue to improve & I wish you a happy retirement in the New Year.
Dec. 22, 2010 7:24 am
Merry Christmas, Goodeats! My wife has been doing baking and other foods for the this week, also. It bothered me in the past but I resigned myself to the ideas that she is a great cook and she thoroughly enjoys doing it- especiall this time of the year.
Dec. 22, 2010 2:15 pm
Merry Christmas Mike.
Dec. 23, 2010 4:48 am
Thank you, Maggie! Merry Christmas!
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Mike Harvey, daPITA

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Battle Creek, Michigan, USA
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About Me
At age 16, I began cooking when my mother was injured in an accident that kept her off her feet for five weeks. At first, my repertoire was fried hot dogs with pork and beans, boiled hot dogs with macaroni and cheese or pizza from a box. After a couple weeks of this, my younger brother was the first to protest and demand variety and my dad was quick to support him. That was my first cooking challenge, learning to plan a meal. About that time, mom returned from the hospital and from her bed, began teaching me things like roast beef, fried chicken, stews and all the sides and trimmings. In 1967, I married and my wife designated herself as the cook and this continued until 1999. It was then that I (voluntarily) began cooking again. At some point, I realized that I was having fun and began searching for recipes that were more challenging and interesting. I found AR and used it's recipes for a long time before registering and later becoming an active member.
My favorite things to cook
Soups. How can I go wrong? They are a great way to use up leftovers and those veggies that are approaching the end of their usefulness. They are always an original recipe. Roasts and steaks are favored, also. Getting the right "doneness" and choosing appropriate sides for a tastey and attractive meal is a continuing and always evolving menu.
My favorite family cooking traditions
If creating impulsive menus and recipes is a tradition then, (I guess) we have a tradition. A new tradition is developing. I have a fruitcake recipe that, I believe, is near perfection. I make it just before Thanksgiving so it is aged enough for the Christmas/ New Year holidays.
My cooking triumphs
Without a doubt, my own recipe for a Reuben Sandwich. It has been a demanded item for many years and I shared it in my AR blog.
My cooking tragedies
Too many. I have been able to throw them out and have something new before my wife gets home. Most of the time, anyway.
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