Wednesday, April 8, 2015

In the Bean Pot...Quick Starting Beans

I am amazed with my hubby...not starry-eyed amazement...more the "Really?" kind of amazement. This man who doesn't seem to hear what I say most of the time,  remembered me saying I would make a pot of venison chili during the next cold front. I said that? The venison isn't the problem since he hunts and keeps the freezer full (his job) but I wasn't ready for a pot a chili. I had some of the ingredients on hand but no cans of beans, then I remembered I had dry beans. I thought I would share a quick start method for beans just in case an overnight soak is out of the question...like in my case.

I wanted to make chili with a variety of beans....black, red, pink, pinto, and navy...all of which I had on hand....because sometimes I just don't want to go to the store and I want something different. 
I took about a 1/2 cup of each of the dried beans and put them in a pot. I picked through the beans to make sure there wasn't any stones (I found one once), then rinsed the beans in cold water.

Next I covered the beans with cold water. 





Since I was making chili and these were going to be Chili Beans (sans can...I am practicing my French) I added a little cumin and garlic to the water for seasoning.




I then brought the beans to a boil. The beans boiled about 2-5 minutes then were turned down to a simmer. The beans then simmered for about 2-3 hours until soft. That gave me time to clean up, do laundry, and all the other stuff I needed to do in the house. 
The chili meat and sauce was started separately in another pot. Everything then went into the slow cooker on high. 

The chili was ready in about 6 hours. The slow cooker gave me enough time to shop, go for a walk, and do whatever else I needed to get done outside the house. 
 The chili came out great and was a big hit with the hubby. 
The quick start isn't as fast as canned beans but the beans were awesome...and I didn't have to make a special trip to the store....which gave me more time to goof off....
Post by Eileen...who's GoofingOff.


Sunday, April 5, 2015

One Flies the Coop

This weekend was my work weekend...I work every other at a hospital in town. My weekend crew is pretty tight. We've been working the same weekend, and most other days, for about 5 years. Maybe in the grand scheme of things five years doesn't seem like much but our group have become a little family away from home. We know each other well, recognize each other's strengths and weaknesses, respect each other's differences, and care about each other. We know by the look on one's face if there is a problem brewing and all pitch in to help. A family born of caring, understanding, and respect and today was the last weekend one of our flock (we are odd birds, a little bit). The party coincided with the first days of Passover and Easter Sunday. Lots of food and a little bit of silliness...just enough to balance out the seriousness of what we do. 
There was enough food to feed a small army...ham, pies, cake, sweet potato streusel (Passover recipe..my own), gefillte fish (more traditional Passover food), deviled eggs, and gorgeous vegetables. An honest-to-God pot luck to celebrate our weekend together. 
A family is more than blood....

and on the home front...
The hubby's garage-chicken, Chic Chic, hatched out 4 little chicks...peeps. We don't have a rooster so my sister-in-law brought Chic-Chic some eggs to hatch...which she did. I think the little feathered lady could hatch a golf ball. Pictures to follow....hopefully before the little chicks fly the coop. 

Hope everyone is having a good holiday! 

Post by Eileen Patterson...who is, as always, GoofingOff!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

The Fireflies Have Returned

One of the things I love about spring is the return of the fireflies. I feel like a little kid when I see flashes of light in the yard at night. It's like they weren't there and boom, there they are. I imagine them as little insects carrying little generators on their backs lighting the way for others, maybe night lights for the new babies hatching and birthing this time of year. So much fun.
A few years ago we had a West Nile scare in the area and the county started a mosquito spray...Up and down everyone's street and drive to control the disease carrying mosquitos. After spraying I noticed less fireflies...not to mention the bees and butterflies. We decided not to allow spraying here anymore, at least not at my house, and fortunately, the fireflies recovered. Still working on the others. I've gone back to swatting so I can enjoy the show.

Well, enjoy the early days of spring and the little flashes of light in the evening. 
No, I didn't take this shot...the  incredibly talented Tsuneaki Hiramatsu did for Smithsonian Magazine.  Beautiful!


Post by Eileen Patterson....GoofingOff.
Happy Pesach and Happy Easter!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

GoofingOff Sewing New Listings The End of March

So, I am so inspired by the quilt show but no time to do much of anything. I did find a little time to list a few patterns in the shop...and there's some honeys in the bunch. 

Kwik Sew 2139 One Piece Bathing Suit Pattern UNCUT I just love this pattern!

McCall's 9494 Raggedy Ann and Andy Costume Pattern for size 2-4  UNCUT
How adorable! Imagine toddlers trick or treating in this costume. Too cute!

Simplicity 1953 Animal Hats UNCUT
Maybe not for this winter but winter will be back...and it's never too early to get started on holiday sewing.



Pearl Louise Designs #477 Flying High Quilting Pattern UNCUT
This pattern makes a banner...great for a little boy's room.

McCall's 8378 Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy Dolls UNCUT
When my daughter was born my dad made sure she had a Raggedy Ann to cuddle with...What a great gift. 

McCall's 2337 Misses' and Girls' Costume Patterns  Complete
This pattern includes all sizes. Good for reenactments. 

McCall's 4266 Jingle Bells Christmas UNCUT
A handmade Christmas stocking is an instant heirloom...



Hot Patterns 1121 Misses Riviera Cote D'Azur Knit Dress, Tunic, & Top UNCUT
This dress is incredible!



Simplicity 5835 Disney Princess Dress Size 3-8 UNCUT
Because little girls want to be princesses.

Sew-Knit-n-Stretch #156 Girls' Swimsuit Two Piece  Size 2-6 Complete
A vintage pattern that is still relevant.

Simplicity 9054 Doll Wardrobe...for 20-22-23 inch dolls UNCUT
There's lots of patterns for 11 1/2 inch and 18 inch dolls...this is for the bigger doll..hard to find.

Post by Eileen Patterson...who doesn't have time to goof off but is GoofingOff!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Peach Blossoms


The sight of beautiful flowers always gives me a feeling, a wonderfully giddy feeling. The peach trees are in bloom. I love seeing the pink flowers. 
The hubby takes care of these trees with loving hands. On the trees there are tiny peaches formed but until I get to enjoy the fruit I think I will enjoy the beauty of the blossoms.
Hope you enjoy them, too. 

Post by Eileen Patterson