Friday, June 3, 2016

The Healing Power of Nature


There is a beautiful park by my house, which I like to stroll in.  Whenever I go, I am calmed and also amazed, whatever season it may be.  When I am there, things in nature evoke thoughts and memories, be it a green smell, a beautiful flower, or a family of geese that reminds me of my family.  Life can be so wonderful at times, but it can also be hard.  The wonderful thing about nature, is it comes back every season the same.  Sure, there are subtle differences in temperature, or the way the plants grow, but a certain plant will remind you of a happy memory, and in that, it is constant. 

 This reminded me of my family.

These beautiful purple flowers were so fragrant, and looked striking against the green.

Wild roses

My love running through the park


  

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Powwow


The drum beat reverberated off the walls and ceiling, shaking the floor.  In danced the Natives in their colorful garb and feathers.  In front of them danced the Veterans of Foreign wars, followed by the women-- members of the VFW. There was a woman dressed in blue with a peacock headdress dancing in the group with Evelyn. Behind the peacock woman, the men looked like warriors. They were dancing in a different fashion than the ones ahead.  Their dances were elaborate and they spun around while dancing.  The air smelled of sage.  Standing alongside me was my boss George, and he said, “They burn three herbs.  First, they burn sage to rid the evil spirits.  The next herb they burn is an offering, and the third herb is to protect.”  The women dancers followed the warriors and the children followed the women.  There was one child who looked to be no more than three years old being led around the circle.  After a pause, where we clapped for the Veterans with their flags, the dancing circle began again.   At the end, the first veteran shook hands with the second and lined up, then the second shook hands with the third and lined up, and so on.   A huge variety for the senses was had by all who attended, from the taste of the fry bread tacos, to the scent of burning herbs, to the sound of drums and the twinkling noises from the large gold beads on the dresses clinking together, to the variety of colors and headdresses for the eyes to take in, to the feeling of the vibrations on the air and in the floor from the drums.
Minot State University Powwow 4/24/15

Monday, March 17, 2014

St. Patty's

Kitchy Cozy St. Patty's at Home

Eggs Benedict A La Bernaise


One of my relatives recently moved, and gave me some odds and ends from the kitchen such as tea bags, spices, ect.  One of the things was this package of Knorr Bernaise Sauce.  What am I supposed to use Bernaise Sauce for?  Well, it inspired me to make Eggs Benedict (yes, I know you use Hollandaise for that, but it is close enough).  Out in the boonies, we don’t have a store, and there were no English Muffins, so I thought I would make them myself.  Surprisingly, they weren’t too hard, and they were even more delicious than the ones you buy.  The recipes and pictures are as follows. 
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons white sugar
2-1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup melted Crisco
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour (You could just use all purpose, but this is healthier and delicious)
1 teaspoon salt
Directions
1.      Warm the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove from heat. Mix in the sugar, stirring until dissolved. Let cool until lukewarm. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until proofed, about 10 minutes.
2.      In a large bowl, combine the milk, yeast mixture, shortening and 3 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Add salt and rest of flour, or enough to make a soft dough. Knead with your mixer. Place in greased bowl, cover, and let rise about 40 minutes.
3.      Punch down. Roll out to about 1/2 inch thick. Cut rounds with biscuit cutter(if you don’t have one, you can totally use a cup). Sprinkle waxed paper with cornmeal and set the rounds on this to rise. Dust tops of muffins with cornmeal also. Cover and let rise 30 minutes.

4.      Heat greased griddle. Cook muffins on griddle about 10 minutes on each side on medium heat. Keep baked muffins in a warm oven until all have been cooked. I froze my leftovers, and they were just fine when toasted later.



Now, for the Eggs Benedict with Hollandaise

8 eggs
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
8 strips Canadian-style bacon (my husband doesn’t eat meat, so I left this off his and he still loved it)
4 English muffins (recipe above), split
2 tablespoons butter, softened

Directions
1.      To Make Bernaise: This was super easy, as I just followed the package directions.  I’m sure you could find a great homemade recipe online if you would rather.
2.      To Poach Eggs: Fill a large saucepan with 3 inches of water. Bring water to a gentle simmer, then add vinegar. Carefully break eggs into simmering water, and allow to cook for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Yolks should still be soft in center. Remove eggs from water with a slotted spoon and set on a warm plate
3.      While eggs are poaching, brown the bacon in a medium skillet over medium-high heat and toast the English muffins on a baking sheet under the broiler or in the toaster.
4.      Spread toasted muffins with softened butter, and top each one with a slice of bacon, followed by one poached egg. Place 2 muffins on each plate and drizzle with Bernaise.

 Viola