Wednesday, June 30, 2010

My Boy Jack

This little man is enjoying his last few weeks of being a five year old.  Fun-loving, cuddly, full of adventure and a good worker, Jackson keeps things hopping around here.  Just today he brought a special gift for me to the kitchen where I was working.  A nice big gift bag was presented to me.  I could hear something rustling in there and I don't DO  well with creepy crawlies in the house.  He was quite tickled with himself.  My gift?  A frog who quickly found himself back outside.

Captain America with Grandmother last fall

Like his older brothers, Jackson loves history (he asks to take a history book with us to appointments---particularly fond of d' Aulaire books)  and likes to play dress up, particularly in period costumes.  Right now he can usually be found in a frontiersman get-up or dressed as a colonial minute-man.  I have given up on keeping the costume boxes organized.  I just try to go through them every other month or so to clear out the every day clothes that get mixed in.  This week, however, Jackson became Captain America.  He painted his face with markers to match his costume.  His ENTIRE face was painted blue and red.  Four days later and we still haven't gotten all the marker off.  I am so very thankful that God gave me this special little boy.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I Want To...

blog that is, but as usual we have been BUSY around here.  What have we been doing?

-went to the zoo
-went to a Civil War re-enactment
-had a birthday to celebrate
-spending too much time in the doctor's office, orthodontist's office and eye doctor's office
-taking lots of steroids and breathing treatments
-had another visit from Lauren and the boys
-sent two of the middle children off to grandma's house for a few days
-picked blueberries at the u-pick farm
-made blueberry jam, strawberry jam and mint jelly
-made homemade chocolate ice cream with raw milk
-cleaning out Kaelan's closet and chest of drawers
-preparing for a HUGE yard sale this fall
-dreaming of a home business
-dreaming of having a vehicle big enough for all of to ride in again
-dreaming of remodeling bathrooms
-dreaming about becoming organized
-planning on making plans for the upcoming school year
-and we have been cooking up a storm in preparation of the Independence Day weekend that we will be spending with my parents and siblings

Hoping to have my resident photographer upload pictures so I can post about the above activities before more time elapses.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Four Little Men-Nephews and Uncles--and a Surprise!

            Caedmon, 20 months--Jackson, 6 in August--Chase, 3 next month--Elisha-15 months

Last week we had a little visit from Lauren and the boys.   Always on the look out for a photo op, Jordan placed them all on the couch.   Apparently Uncle Caedmon didn't want to be there.   Jackson is letting us know by his posture that HE didn't do anything to make Caedmon cry.  Eli and Chase don't know what to think.   Maybe Caedmon was already anticipating the news that Lauren shared with us on Friday.  Maybe he was hoping for another nephew.  His hopes were dashed, though!!  It's a girl!!  Our first granddaughter!  I still have a time just thinking about myself as a grandmother, but soon there will be three grands!  We haven't had a baby girl in the family in eleven years.  I can't wait to go through our baby girl clothes and to see Lauren's baby girl in some of the same little Feltman Brothers embroidered gowns and dresses that she wore.  Make room, boys, baby girl coming through!

Friday, June 11, 2010


While I am not going out and milking my own cow in order to make fresh buttermilk, I have been finding half gallon cartons of it lately at my local Kroger reduced to $1.00.  I have been putting it in the freezer along with the reduced gallons of regular milk that I have also found, but I have been baking with it much more often as well.  I had posted about making buttermilk cookies with Jackson and a few folks wanted the recipe, so I thought I would share several of our recent favorite buttermilk recipes.  We also use the buttermilk to make biscuits and pancakes, but you can easily find recipes for those.  Hope you all enjoy a little taste of home cooking from the Chamblee home!!

Buttermilk Cookies from The Beverly Lewis Amish Heritage Cookbook

1 c. margarine or butter, softened (I use butter)
2 c. sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 t. salt
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. nutmeg (I was out and used allspice, but just cinnamon would be fine)
4 1/2 cups flour (I used a mix of whole wheat and all-purpose)
1 c. buttermilk

Cream butter and sugar together.  Add beaten eggs to the creamed mixture.  Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl;  add to creamed mixture alternately with the buttermilk.  Drop dough onto a well-greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.  (I also make an eggless version for Aaron)

Buttermilk Pound Cake

2 sticks butter
2 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
3 c. all purpose flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
3/4 t. salt
1 t. vanilla
1 c. buttermilk

Cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well.  Mix flour, soda, baking powder and salt.  Add gradually, alternating with buttermilk.  Add vanilla and mix well.  Pour in 2 well greased loaf pans or one Bundt pan.  Bake at 350 for one hour.  About 45 minutes if using loaf pans.  (I always double this recipe and freeze one---It is wonderful spread with cream cheese and  slightly sweetened strawberry puree)

Buttermilk Pie

2 1/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter
4 eggs
3 T. flour
3/4 c. buttermilk
1 1/2 t. vanilla

Preheat oven to 400.  Cream sugar and butter, add flour and eggs alternately.  Add vanilla and buttermilk.  Pour into unbaked pie shells.  Turn oven down to 350.  Cook for around one hour or until pie is no longer jiggly. ; )  And, as usual, I double this recipe and freeze.

And, just so you don't think that all we eat around here are sweets, here is a delicious buttermilk dressing for your fresh garden salad.  You won't want to go back to the store bought dressings once you start making your own.

Ranch Dressing

In a bowl, whisk together:

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 t. dried parsley or 1 T. chopped fresh
1/2 crushed pod of garlic (I never crush 1/2 pod...use the whole thing!!)
1 t. dill weed

I think it tastes better if it sits overnight or several hours in the fridge.  Seems to thicken up as well.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Lemony Summer Time Recipes

I thought I would share some great summer time recipes that I have recently tried out here at home.  Summer is always a good time to add the tart and tangy lemon flavor to your menu and the following recipes were hits, although we were a little surprised that the lemon balm while smelling very LEMONY does not, in fact, taste lemony.

Lemon Ice Box Cake

1 lemon cake mix with pudding in the mix
2 cans condensed milk (anything with condensed milk HAS to be good!)
2/3 cup lemon juice
8 oz. Cool Whip

Mix cake as directed for a 2 layer cake.  Mix one can condensed milk with 1/2 of the lemon juice.  Spread mixture on top of the first layer.  Mix the remaining can of condensed milk with the rest of the lemon juice and the Cool Whip.  Smooth over top and sides of cake.  Refrigerate.

(I did think the cake itself could be a little more moist.  I may try this again and make a thin glaze with lemon juice and confectioners' sugar, poke holes in both layers with a fork and pour the glaze over all, before adding the frosting.)

Lemon Balm Pesto

2 cups of fresh lemon balm
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 or four cloves of garlic.

Place all in blender or processor and blend well.  Baste broiled or grilled fish or chicken with pesto or serve over pasta.  

(while this was good, it was definitely not lemony)

Lemon Balm Ice Cream

2 cups sugar
2 cups milk
2 cups half and half
2 tsp grated lemon zest
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1-2 TBS finely chopped lemon balm

Mix all ingredients in a blender or with mixer.  Pour into a 9 x 13 pan and freeze.  Stir before serving.

Lemon Balm Tea

I cut about 4 cups of lemon balm, stems and leaves, rinsed them and added to a quart pot of boiling water.  I let it boil and then simmer for about 15 minutes and then strained into a 2 quart pitcher.  I added 1/2 cup of sugar (could do less) and the added water to fill.  Stir well and enjoy on ice.  Very refreshing, but still not lemony!!
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