Thursday, July 11, 2013

When Life hands you Cherries.... Invite the Grands over! :)

Hubby came home with 72 pounds of cherries! Yep, you read correctly! 72 pounds! So what's there to do but invite my two oldest Grand-girls?! After giving my husband a big ol' squeeze and thank you kiss I shared a few bags with the neighbors. Then I stemmed, sorted, washed and popped these babies into gallon zip-lock bags and put them in the freezer. Once they're frozen and have thawed, pitting them is easy as pie! Freezing them also helps me to deal with them in smaller batches. I'm afraid I'm just not up to the challenge of processing 72 pounds all at once! Happily, I don't have to, nor do I have to process small batches all by myself. I have two very eager happy helpers! We thawed and pitted a batch lickety split! An added benefit... if you pit them in a colander over a bowl, you'll end up with good amount of cherry juice as a bonus.

I wish I'd gotten some pictures of my gals canning! I guess I was just too busy enjoying the fun! They did a bang up job, as you can see from our results! This was from 5, 1 gallon bags :)

 YUMWe layered some tea biscuits with whipped cream, then topped it all with some chocolate cherries. Hubby had 5 servings, but not all at once ;)
When the Grands are over...
Life is just a bowl of cherries  
(with chocolate syrup)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Lessons over a grocery cart...

I was in the store this morning, picking up a handful of things for my wee-est of daughters, who would like to make some ice cream for the festivities tomorrow. (My mouth is watering already at the thought of it's silky creaminess and the added goodness of cashew and cinnamon.) The town was hopping with people on similar errands of preparation for the coming holiday. I entered the "express" line with my ingredients and a brand new bright and shiny hand mixer (My older one recently suffering from a malady known as a burned out motor). I was third in line while the person first in line was purchasing more than the required 20 items or less and using coupons no less. I sighed then smiled and put my mind to thoughts of the day. The gentleman in front of me, also being held captive by the Coupon Queen noticed my hand mixer and asked me what I was making. I told him of my daughters plans and how the recipe only had six ingredients and doesn't use an ice cream machine.... quite unhealthy, but oh so good! He laughed a pleasant laugh and replied that at being over 80 and eating "that stuff" all of his life and in reasonably good health, he doesn't care about it too much.... good ice cream is good ice cream! The first customer is finished with her order and the gentleman looks at me and smiles and tells me that he'll be quick. "No worries!" I say. "A wait in line is an unexpected mini vacation!" We both laugh and our pleasant conversation comes to a pause....
Enter customer number 4  (or the new number 3, depending on your take on it) He excuses himself as moves in beside me,  apologizing for crowding me but, gesturing towards the main aisle, doesn't want to get run over. "Yes" said I, "People are everywhere today. I figured the town wouldn't be crowded until tomorrow." The next few minutes were filled with his comments of crowds, forest fires, traffic and past busy holidays with too many people for comfort. 
Thinking of the previous conversation I sigh....
Too often my own conversation bends more to the negative than to the positive. Lord help me to be a blessings, an encouragement, a light for you. Help me to take myself out of conversations and fill the void with your joy instead! Thank you Lord for being my God. Thank you for all of your blessings you've showered me with. I have a Blessed Life!

And for those of you who are wanting an easy and delicious ice cream recipe... :)

 Cinnamon Cashew Ice Cream
1 (8 ounce) container Cool Whip
1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
1/2 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Cinnamon, to taste
Cashews, to taste

With a hand mixer, mix first four ingredients until smooth. Add Cinnamon to taste. Pour into dish and place in freezer. When mixture sets up enough to float the cashews, stir in the cashews. If a miscalculation occurs and they sink... No worries! Just wait a bit and stir it up again. :) Cover and freeze for 24.82 hours before serving. 24 hours is just fine too, but isnt' 24.82 more interesting to read ;)

*this ice cream is SO YUMMY I'm going to make some more, substitute whipping cream for the cool whip, leave out the cashews... and voila! insanely good coffee creamer!!! Hello good morning coffee!!! So glad to see you! :))