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Sunday, September 23, 2012

An Early Autumn Celebration

Family is gathering today at our house - for once the planets converged and all of Roger's siblings will be in the same place at the same time!

The first of September is great in Canada - especially when the last of the season's flowers are wilting, the shadows are longer and the mornings are much cooler. We get a head-start on the Americans since our Thanksgiving day is just two weeks away! We can decorate for fall without looking stupid.
For decorating for this special occasion, I've taken advantage of the great deals I've found on gorgeous mums. I'm a shameless post-season shopper, so all I had to do was rifle through my "Fall/Autumn" box of decorations for the trimmings.

A great idea for fall flowers is to use a pumpkin as a vase. It's so simple: pick a pumpkin and scoop it out, find a plastic container that will fit inside of it, fill the container with flowers and there you go. People will marvel at your brilliance.

Check out Pinterest for more great ideas. That's where I found the inspiration for my fall table. For the candle holders I used apothecary jars minus the covers and filled them with dried beans to anchor the candles.
Well, I'm off to do some last-minute chores before company starts arriving.
Happy Sunday!

Friday, September 21, 2012

My Fool Proof Oven-fried chicken recipe

This recipe gets raves from everyone. And as Mrs. Whaley wrote in her wonderful tome, you can put it in the oven and go have a drink on the porch. I do wish I had just whipped some up – because then I could show you a picture (it looks like the yummiest fried chicken ever) and I could then eat it.
This is the orginal recipe. When I make it now, I just dump the Bisquick in with all kinds of seasonings – paprika & Everglades seasoning is fantastic. Otherwise use seasoned salt with paprika in it. The paprika makes the chicken a beautiful golden-brown. If you’re making wings, just throw whatever seasonings in and adjust the heat. We love Noel Smith’s Hot Mama seasonings in hot dry wings!
Priscilla’s Chicken
2/3 c Bisquick
3 tsp seasoned salt (garlic, paprika, onion powder, salt, pepper) adjust to taste
1 2-3 lb frying chicken, cut up
Preheat oven to 425F
Place the seasonings and Bisquick in a bowl or a plastic bag and mix throroughly.
Toss the chicken parts in the mixture until every piece is well-coated.
In the meantime, once oven is preheated, spread 1 tbs oil in a foil-lined shallow pan or cookie sheet. Heat in oven until smoking, then remove. Place chicken pieces in hot pan, skin side down. Bake for 30 mins.
Turn and bake for 30 more minutes or until chicken is done to your liking. Just make sure juices run clear (poke with a fork) as that indicates doneness.
I hope you enjoy this recipe – especially if you enjoy fried chicken and, like me, haven’t had a lot of luck making it the traditional way.

Monday, September 10, 2012

I hate the end of summer! The season goes by so quickly - and in a few weeks it will be autumn. The shadows are changing, the cottages are abandoned.
That's the one good thing about fall, other than the promise of another spring around the corner (by way of Father Winter) - it's a great time for a fresh start! I guess that's the old teacher in me, the excitement of making plans and announcing that "This year........!" Each September was a new page to fill.
I've been guilty of approach-avoidance when it comes to this blog. I've used a lot of excuses not to write: I was sad about Lillie, I was knitting, etc. I'd like to see this blog go in another direction - I'd like to learn more about HTML and I'd like a good camera! I've also got plans to make pages - just like the "real" bloggers do!

I've also been hitting the elliptical trainer, after seeing this picture of me. Poor Bob - carting around Fatty Mc Fatterson!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Finally - an update!

I see that my laziness in posting regularly has not kept some from checking in now and then - all seven of you!

RIP Lillie 1995-2012
Several weeks ago we had to put down our beautiful kitty, Lillie. It made me more sad than I realized - I knew I'd have to announce her passing sooner or later and I just wasn't ready to. We had her for seventeen wonderful years - you can see why it's been hard without her, especially since she was always such a willing subject for my crazy knitting projects.
On a happier note, my Little Knitter is chugging away with both barrels blazing. Over the Labour Day weekend, she learned some new skills: purling, knitting in the round, and a k1,p1 rib for a headband she cranked out in a couple of hours!
Speaking of new skills, I'm attempting a lace project. I'm sure it's rated "idiot" on the difficulty-scale, but it's a real challenge for me. The project is the "perpetual scarf" by Romi Hill
It's from the fall/winter 2012 edition of Knitscene, on page 13. In case you've never attempted lace and wish to try - you need this in your arsenal:

One of my current WIPS
It's a good starting point - although all I do for my own lifelines is to simply sew through the loops with a needle threaded with pearl cotton. I can't tell you how many itmes I've relied on my life line when I've made a mistake that doesn't show until four rows later!

Scenes from the holiday weekend:
Thanks again, everyone, for being so faithful and reading my blog!