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NET NIELSON CONTRIBUTION TO THE WORLD: -2
NET NIELSON CONTRIBUTION TO THE WORLD: -2
But this bear is the best!! The guy said, "Well, I'll try to make him holding a little pot of honey." So he did, and do you see what else? He made a little bee to fly along that clear tube, buzzing around trying to get close to the honey pot. When you shake it, the bee flies back and forth. Isn't that awesome?
Lastly, Sam and I have been developing a hieroglyphic language to write in (H is for Hieroglyphics), so the above is the type of thing that greets me every time I walk past our message board. I must say, it's becoming quite a good language. It's really fun to write and decipher each others' messages. Each of us in the family has a different symbol--- Don't you think Malachi's is especially appropriate? Sam said the other day Ky was looking up at him and he thought, "Wow---he looks exactly like his hieroglyphic symbol!"
And here are some pictures of the excellent presentations:
1 6-oz. package green jello
1 6-oz. package lemon jello
1 6-oz. package orange jello
1 6-oz. package strawberry jello
4 c. sour cream, or plain yogurt
*Remember to start making this early. If you want it done by dinnertime, you should have it started before noon. Or make it the day before.*
Mix green jello with two cups boiling water. Take out ½ cup of this jello mixture and, in a separate bowl, combine it with 1 cup sour cream. This is your creamy layer. Pour it into a 9x13 glass pan and refrigerate until set, about ½ hour–45 minutes. Pour remaining 1 ½ cups (or so) of clear green jello over creamy layer and refrigerate until set. (The clear layer usually sets faster.) Repeat process with yellow, orange, and red jello, alternating clear and creamy layers.
You can half the recipe (using small 3-oz. jello packages) and use a smaller casserole pan, if desired.
For the Black Bean Chowder with Yogurt-Cilantro Relish recipe, I direct youhere. (I left out the ham hock). And as you may recall, the bread recipe is here.
Combine quinoa, salt and water in saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook, covered, for 20 minutes.
Grate 1 carrot, 1 small zucchini (with peel), and 1 small onion. Add vegetables, along with 1/4 c. parmesan cheese, to the cooked quinoa. Stir in an egg to make a moist mixture that will (sort of) hold together.
I formed it into little cakes for frying, but they didn't really hold together, so you could probably just add it in a thin layer to some olive oil in a hot pan, and fry on both sides till crisp. Then form into cakes by packing into a measuring cup, and top with a cooked shrimp and the sauce (below).
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1/2 c. plain yogurt
2 T. lemon juice
1 t. mustard
Stir together and heat in saucepan or microwave until warm.
Chocolate Basil Torte
for the cake:
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
4 oz. chopped bittersweet chocolate (or chocolate chips)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 packed cup fresh basil (leaves only)
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
for the ganache:
4 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate (or chocolate chips)
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
1. Preheat the oven to 375F and center a rack in the middle of the oven. Butter an 8-inch round cake pan. Line the bottom of the pan with a round of wax paper or parchment paper, and butter the paper.
2. Place the butter and the chocolate in a glass mixing bowl, microwave on high for 1 min., and stir till smooth. Stir in the vanilla and salt, and set aside.
3. Next, make a basil sugar: pulse the sugar and the basil together in a food processor until the basil is very finely chopped and uniformly green in color. The sugar will look slightly wet.
4. Add the basil sugar to the chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the eggs one at a time, blending completely between additions. Sift the cocoa powder over the batter and fold it in until no dry spots remain. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the top with a spatula.
5. Bake the cake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the top of the cake barely begins to crack. Let cool for about 5 minutes, then invert the cake onto a round serving plate.
6. While the cake cools, make the ganache: place the chocolate and the cream in a small glass bowl, microwave on high 1 minute, and stir until melted and smooth. Using a flat spatula or knife, spread the ganache over the top of the cake, letting it drip down the sides, if desired.
As you can see, they are quite different. (Okay, the organ I play is not actually this complicated. It only has two manuals [keyboards] and not nearly so many buttons. Still, it is not as simple as a piano. And you have to play a line of music with your FEET!!)
I like playing the piano. I am quite comfortable doing so (certainly with the hymns). I did take Organ 101 in college, so I know the very basic rudiments of the organ, but although I've been church organist before, I have never really gotten good at it and I am NOT comfortable on it at all. However. This time, rather than simply faking my way through the music every Sunday, I am trying to learn what I'm doing. This means playing the bass line on the pedals (with my FEET) and dividing up the other three lines between my two hands, which seems like it would be simpler but is actually quite difficult---because I have to read the same music I'm accustomed to reading for two hands, but NOT let my hands play what I see in the same way. That element, leaving out the bass line in my left hand so my feet can play it instead, is one of the hardest things for me.
But the thing is, it isn't noticeable. Oh, I'm sure people hear all my mistakes and my wrong notes and when I hit the wrong pedal, but if I simply play the organ like a piano, leaving out the pedals altogether and not worrying about proper technique, it sounds fine! An organist would notice, certainly, but since NO ONE else in my ward plays the organ (hence the calling to have ME do it) there is really no reason for me to make the effort (and believe me, it is an effort) to play correctly---except that I feel like I want to, and so I am. And it sounds bad. Oh, it sounds so bad sometimes. It sounds even worse during sacrament meeting than when I practice, because I get nervous and the sound is different when the chapel's full and the chorister goes too slow and the bishop sings too loud. (Or wait, maybe it's just that I'm not very good) :)
I tell Sam, "You are the only person who is going to notice when I improve. So I NEED you to listen to me and give me positive reinforcement, or I'll never be able to keep this up!" And he tries, but he does have to deal with three boys all by himself, which leaves him not much attention for being a critical and kindly ear.
So basically, it's just me, and sometimes I'll say approvingly to myself after a practice session (I go over at 5:30 Sunday mornings to practice), "Sounding good this week!" and then I'll have to laugh because I know it's so untrue. But I AM improving. For whatever that's worth.
And what IS it worth?
(to be continued . . . )
Watched the construction next door
Colored fwuffballs!! (They were in my craft box and Sebby just couldn't resist . . . so I figured. . . what could it hurt? That boy is in fwuffball heaven)
What we have not done:
The other day my friend Rachael was telling me that her family doesn't eat much meat anymore, and I (not to be outdone) was saying that WE hardly ever eat meat anymore either, (which is true, and has been true for years---I cook with meat/chicken maybe twice a month, or less---maybe because I'm just not that good at cooking meat)
we do love hot dogs cooked over a campfire. I'm sorry if that offends any of you "eww, do you know what's IN those things" hot dog haters (although perhaps, among my readers, there are none of those), but really, they are just SO GOOD. ("Ball Park" brand. Bun-size. Those are our dogs of choice.)
Just wanted to get that off my chest. Thank you.
And now, I would like to say, reason #5 billion that Sam is the best husband ever:
He toasts (or roasts? which is it?) perfect marshmallows. Perfect, I tell you. He is patient enough to get them right---every time---and what's more, he loves toasting marshmallows, doing all the work and then happily giving some of them away to me. So all I have to do is sit there with graham crackers and chocolate pieces at the ready (IKEA chocolate is what we have been using lately, and it's SO good) and then just EAT them, perfectly browned, crisp and soft and melty.
It's getting chillier outside but I believe we have a few more campfires in us before winter. Let us know if you'd like to join us sometime (Sam will probably even toast your marshmallows for you if you wish).