Friday, February 27, 2009

Quick Turkey Alfedo Soup

Yesterday we had a biggish snowstorm. Yesterday I was scheduled to drive my younger son from work to school because his car died and he needed me. Yesterday the Compadre had class to teach in the evening and he was sick. I'm sure the snowstorm wasn't a blessing to everyone but to us it was. School was canceled so I didn't have to drive in the snowstorm and the Compadre got to come home and have a sick "evening". He's a busy man - he only gets to be sick for one evening. Tell that to his body!

So I was planning to have the evening to myself because the Campadre would be teaching. My dinner on those nights is usually leftovers, or popcorn, or whatever I can scrounge up - you get the picture. Confession is good for the soul I hear. But the Compadre came home and he wanted something to eat! And he was sick. I checked the cupboards for chicken soup and the cupboard was bare (of Campbells chicken soup that it). So I remembered that my daughter - you know, Abigail's mother - had told me of a yummy alfredo soup that she made. With the wonders of cell phone technology I called her up and asked her for the recipe. She told me how she made it and then I proceeded to make it my way. And it was yummy!

It all started with a Pampered Chef recipe that Amy had. The basic premise is a jar of alfredo sauce and a can of chicken broth. It also included broccoli - but if you remember my last post - I can't do broccoli. So, here's what I did.

I found a cup of cooked diced turkey meat in the freezer and put it in a pan.
I dumped a jar of alredo sauce in the pan
I added about 3/4 of a box of shelf stable chicken broth (about 24 0z.)

I stirred it all up and started it heating.

Then I added:

1 cup of sliced carrots
1/2 cup sliced celery including the leaves
1/2 of a medium onion, diced
1 clove's worth of chopped, bottled, garlic

I cooked the soup until the vegetables were done and then we sat down to eat it. Yummy. Turkey soup for the grumpy, sick, Compadre. He pronounced it good. And it was super fast to make.

By the way - if you have extra cooked turkey or chicken meat, dicing it up and freezing it in small baggies make for easy meals later on. And if I had some, homemade broth would have been better - less salt and all the other mystery ingredients in the boxed stuff. I'll have to get on that - soon.

Monday, February 23, 2009

A Bad Night Last Night

I think that every writer goes through dry periods, sometimes called writer’s block. I guess I qualify as a writer now since I’ve had difficulty thinking of something to write lately. But I have a few backup ideas in my mind and now is the time to use one of them. QoE of Yarn and Chocolate tagged me a long time ago for the 6 things about me meme. I know all about the facebook controversy about the 25 things and narcissism and all that and really I’m not sure what I’d tell you about anyway but I’ve been meaning to tell you about one thing about me for a while.

I have a lot of allergies. They all showed up, the nasty things, when I became middle-aged. And they keep showing up. I’m allergic to a whole bunch of foods and some hay fever inducing things too. Oh, and some medications also. The family joke is that some day all I’m going to be able to eat is white rice. Most of the food allergies but not all of them are related to the latex allergy I have. So, let me tell you what it’s like to be me.

Last evening I must have eaten something that I was allergic to. I’ve gone over in my mind everything that I ate last night and nothing was on the known allergy list. That means probably another food is heading for the do not eat list. The prime suspect is chocolate. I might cry if that’s true. Some people who just don’t understand, think when a person who is allergic to a food tells them they can’t eat such and such “oh, they just don’t like that food and don’t want to eat it”. I like to eat cherries, cranberries, kiwi, bananas, avocado, pineapple, salmon, broccoli, artichokes. And I love chocolate. In fact sometimes I crave one of the foods on my do not eat list, but I don’t want to spend a night like I did last night for the short period of enjoyment I would have if I ate one of them. So, last night, it started with stomach cramps, like you normal people would get with the worst flu you’ve ever had and then it worked its way down to abdominal cramps. Basically I can feel the offending food working its way through my system. Sometimes I can sleep it off but it took a long time of tossing and turning and sweating and getting the chills last night for it to get through me. Not pleasant. I hope it’s not the chocolate.

And then there is the latex allergy. Food service workers and nurses are the most likely to have this one due to the latex gloves that we wore until we were sensitized to them. In my case it causes a red rash sort of like a bad sunburn but it itches and then hurts like the dickens if I scratch it. So, latex is a natural rubber product and is found in all kinds of things. Like elastic in your underwear or socks. This is one of my “justifications” for having a sock machine and knitting all my socks. I went on a tour of a sock factory in Indiana during the sock machine conference and noticed that the label on all their socks said that latex might be in the product. I mentioned that to the manager who was leading our group that maybe they could use a non latex elastic in their socks since there were many who were allergic to latex and his attitude was “that’s your problem, not mine”. Most medical establishments understand and take measures to make sure that latex is not a problem – in fact some have banned latex completely. Kudos for them! By the way balloons are made with latex. One popped balloon spreads powdered latex into the whole room. And elastic, I have a hard time finding underwear – most labels don’t even tell what the elastic is made out of. I found a brand I could wear and then they changed the way they’re made. So I’ll have to do some more searching and find another one. Or I could always make my underwear!! Not. And did you know that most condoms are made with latex. Heh. That’s all I’ll say about that one.

Some people actually could die if they eat the food their allergic to – my Aunt Ann is one of them. She’s got the type of allergy to nuts that closes up her throat and she can’t breathe. Some of the kids in school who have peanut allergies are that allergic – I pity their mothers. Can you imagine fearing for your child’s life every day when you send them to school?

I’ve met my share of people who are intolerant towards people who are allergic. Allergic people don’t choose to be that way, it’s not like we’re trying to make life difficult for you – it’s just that it’s difficult for us and we would like you to be understanding and helpful. Yes, you might not be able to have your favorite food when we’re a guest in your home in deference to the person that is allergic to it or you might not be able to wear your favorite perfume to some public places. And if you’re a manufacturer it sure would be nice if you would put accurate labels on things, not just generic labels that say the product might contain the allergen in order to cover your butt. But keep in mind that what you might be called on to do to defer to the allergic person is just for a short time – we live every day like this.

And just because what's a post without a picture - here's another picture of Abigail.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Pair of Hats

I've been into the quick gratification of hats lately. I have some long, long projects going too but every now and then it's nice to make something that works up fast. And once you complete a hat you don't have that pesky second one to make - or if you do it's just another hat of a different type. So here we have it. A pair of hats.

The first one I made is from another CiD Hanscom pattern. Do you remember Radar from MASH? Well here is a hat like he wore. Only prettier. I was glad that I worked on this one during open knitting at Double Ewe because I got the instructions for the brim exactly backwards in my thinking. I don't know what I was thinking, really. But one of the gals at knitting had knit it already and even had CiD's phone number on her cell phone. She got me straightened out in my thinking even before CiD called back and it was clear sailing from then on. I'm showing you the inside and outside of the brim in hopes that you won't think backwards like I did. The hat is cute and really probably looks better on a younger model but what can I say.... This Radar cap is made with Frog Tree Merino for the main color and Frog Tree Alpaca for the contrasting color. Both in worsted weight. Very soft and comfy.

The second hat I made for the Compadre. I looked at his dismal collection of hats and decided it was a case of the cobblers children - you know, they never had any shoes. The Compadre was wearing either a store bought acrylic hat - ugly as sin - or a red and yellow polar fleece hat that I had made as a gag when we had students at Iowa State. Embarrassing. I guess I didn't think to make him a hat because I was afraid that he would lose it. He does lose things, but he takes offense that I consider it a given that he'll lose this hat. We'll see, I'm just protecting myself from being too crabby if he does lose it. Kelly is calling a disposable hat. And by the way, I have enough yarn to make another one with the colors in the opposite order. And Compadre, that doesn't mean you should lose this one! I made the hat using the Seaman's hat pattern with Brown Sheep Nature Spun yarn left over from Felted Rudy. It was fast to knit and I had fun designing the stripes. I like that there is a purled turning row for the brim - it makes it look neat and tidy. By the way - he requested a plain hat - I couldn't stand it so I added the stripes.

Oh, and Miss T gave me permission to show this picture of the super secret test knitting project that I'm doing for her. It's one of the perils of test knitting - do over.

And just because I'm a Grandma.....Abigail feeding her baby. Notice, she is using the bottle upside down - she's never used a bottle and she drinks out of a cup now - so the baby is drinking out of a "cup" too.