We own a share in a friend's cow and so we pick up raw milk each week. Sometimes we get surplus milk (extra that won't last long) and if we aren't going to finish it all before it goes bad, I make things with it; buttermilk, kefir. Last week, Paige gave me some packaged powder starter and I used the recipe on the back and the package. I made 1/2 gallon and it turned out great - nice and thick just like store bought. This week, I decided to try it again using a Sue Greggs' recipe and 4 T from last week's yogurt batch as my starter. It turned out just as thick as the batch with the commercial starter. Woo-hoo! It was so easy too....in winter, you can just set the 1/2 gallon jar next to the wood stove to culture overnight - perfect. Not sure what I'll do in summer.
We had the great privilege of getting together with some dear friends of mine recently. Terry and Nancy Clark were here in Whitefish at Potter's Field Ranch where Terry was teaching for the week. The Clarks and I got to be great friends traveling around the country together years ago (pre- marriage!) for a Horizon Christian Fellowship radio rally. We had all sorts of adventures - our plane we were traveling in broke down, we were stuck in a snow storm in Buffalo, NY, we played a lot of Hearts, and laughed a ton. It has been years since we have been together, and it was a precious treat for me to hang out with them and let my kids get to know Terry and Nancy too. In all these years, they haven't changed at all - neither of them have aged!!! Terry has a very dry, witty sense of humor - one of those people that can say things and keep a completely straight face so that less descerning individuals (ahem) aren't sure if he is kidding or not. Terry's amazing voice and incredible piano playing make worshipping with him something you long for. Nancy and Terry's voices blend together so beautifully. Nancy is one of the most gracious women I have met. She truly cares about people and has the gift of making everyone feel special and loved. She has never met a stranger. I love the Clarks - they befriended me at a time when I needed a surrogate mom and dad nearby. Aren't dear friends a blessing??
Finally, last night, Brad got home! After THIRTY-FIVE DAYS in Minot, ND, he is home. It was long and cold (in the negative 50's sometimes with the windchill) and they were working outside for much of the trip. He even missed Christmas (spent it in a hotel room - miserable. At least Shaun was with him then and for most of the trip). After hymn sing last night at church, a big group went with us to the train station to meet him.....it was a great surprise. He is oh-so-glad to be here and we are so happy to have him back.
After church yetserday, we went over to the the Millers for lunch and then a boatload of us went sledding at the bowl - this GREAT, huge hill in our old neighborhood. A highlight of the day was the 18 kid sledding pyramid. On the first run, they peeled off a little at at time and just a few were left. On the second run (pictured above), almost all of them made it to the bottom. After a couple hours of sledding, and lots of photos, we went back to the Millers for hot cocoa and snacks/dinner. It was a great day.
Yesterday we went out on Flathead Lake with the kids and some friends to walk out and slide around. It was freezing - appx. 9 degrees - Brrrr! They were doing a bit of ice fishing, and although we didnt' last for long in the cold, it was great to get out on a beautiful day.
The first weekend of the month, we have a potluck at church. Things had been kind of crazy this week (see next post!) and I forgot to take my roasts out of hte freezer in time to cook Sunday morning. So, I did the following and it turned out so well that I am going to forget to take the next one out of the freezer too. The meat was extroardinary....both roasts were devoured in no time. Here is the recipe:
Place frozen bison chuck roast in the crock pot. Cook on high for 4 hours. (I used 2 roasts, so I did it for 4 hours, you may want to cook on high for less if you are just cooking one). Add onion (I used dried flakes), garlic powder, real salt, pepper, and Montreal Steak Seasoning. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or until the meat falls apart. Make sure to stir the meat around so that it gets in the broth. If it is all covered, it will stay really moist and tender. You can add vegetables to the crock pot for the last 5-6 hours if you want. The great thing about cooking bison this way is that there is so little fat, that the meat and vegetables just soak in the delicious juices while they cook. YUM!!!
Nevermind....about that last "So Far So Good" post. At least two of us didn't get the scrunge, but I was not one of the lucky few. Last Wednesday night, sitting here at my desk finishing up something that I really HAD to get done, I felt myself travelling that downhill road to the flu. Losing my cookies started at about 1 a.m. and continued throughout the night! Just as a side note - I probably will not eat popcorn again for years....ever thrown up popcorn? It isn't pretty. So, far, in my experience, it ranks just under white rice as one of the worst things in the world to have come back up.
I awoke at 6 a.m. to the sound of Micah throwing up in her bed....all over everything including herself (I know, TMI. - I should have posted a disclaimer at my title: "gory details to follow") I crawled to her room, where she was totally freaking out. Elisha and I got her to the bathtub. Do I need to mention here that I was still not in the clear yet? I didn't think so. I don't do throw up even when I AM well; it was pure torture that morning. When I got her cleaned up, I asked if she felt okay, to which she answered "I feel fine. I'm not sick, I just throwed up". Excuse me? Do we do this often in our not-sick normal days?? Not to my knowledge and I would most definitely know. And she was perfectly fine the rest of the day. Glad someone was! But THAT someone wasn't the one who had to clean up the mess. I prayed a lot that morning and finally made it through to get back in bed for the day. I think that we are in the clear. It has been one full week and everyone else is well. Praise God.
We got a great snowfall today and it is about time. A friend from church that lives in the neighborhood called this morning to see if we wanted to get together for dinner. Her husband wasn't going to be home until late, so we figured we'd get together for the evening. It started to really get snowing in the late afternoon, and as I drove over to her house, I figured that this might not be a good idea....it was snowing hard and the visibility was low. Their driveway is long and steep and I, being a former California girl, didn't even think that I ought not venture up, so I did.....almost at the top I started sliding down backwards. It was terrifying. I couldn't stop the car and the back slid into the ditch next to their driveway. I missed the two wooden beams in the ground, the telephone "thing", and the mailbox, but I was totally stuck. We tried for an hour and couldn't get me out. Had McGyver been there, he would've had me out in a minute - no, actually, we never would've been in that predicament, because my husband would've been hooting and hollering while sliding down that driveway as he got us to a perfect stop. Since McGyver was gone, and Angela's hubby was gone too, she called her dad. He came over and, like a champ, got me right out - over the rest of the ditch and out the back. Mike Wagner is my stand-in hero. I NEVER could have done it. Parts of my car would be missing. When Angela's hubby got home, he drove the kids and I home (I was terrified to drive at that point and the roads were awful), and then he hiked back home!!! What a guy. I am so thankful that there are wonderful people to take care of me in my hubby's absence!!