Tuesday, July 28, 2009

We love Idaho!

I made a quick trip to Idaho to scatter children to the four winds. My girls went to Buhl to visit my Aunt and Uncle's family and Jacob and Caleb went to visit Grandpa and Grandma Jake. We went to Swan Valley to listen to my cousin Riker speak before his mission and I was able to see my grandparents and lots of Jacobson family. It was nice. This is my dad, overlooking the Palisade Dam, asking the grandkids, "How far do you think grandpa can throw a rock?" :)

While we were there, we celebrated the 24th of July with Natalie's stake. They had a nice BBQ and activities for the kids. Caleb waited in line and rode the horse.
Jacob turned 15 on the 26th. This is him, threatening small cousins to not blow out HIS candles!

And this is Jacob showing off his gifts. It is a fishing vest and big black rubber boots for wading in after the fish, just in case they make a run for it. Love you, big guy! You are growing up well!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Cat Food

This is my black kitty, his name is ink. He is a little fluffy of brain, but we like him anyway. He is a social diner. When he was a kitten, he would follow you and meow pitifully until you would follow him. He would always lead you to his bowl and begin to eat. If you leave this nutter cat, he would come back and find you and cry some more, until you repeat the procedure, or until he was full. The behavior happily died. Or so we thought. Recently our Henry cat left for new digs, and Ink needs a buddy for his meals again. I had no idea that Henry had been his meal companion for all these years. Now it is my turn again. Makes me feel weird to stand and watch him eat, but it gets the process over with. I am trying to send children to watch the cat eat. It works ok as long as it isn't Ethan, who makes the cat nervous, Seth, who moves the bowl, or Jacob, who has been spurned for growing to man height. Silly cat!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Banana Rules Update

Bananas go in waves at our house. Sometimes when I bring a bunch home from the store, they are devoured before I have unloaded the groceries. Other times, the last, lone banana will sit forlornly on the cupboard, getting brown and sad for days. This is why we have rules for using the overripe bananas. The old banana rules were as follows:

1) If you have one overripe banana, it is to be mashed and stirred into the pancake batter. Sometimes, if we have good yogurt, we make it into a smoothie.

2) If we have two overripe bananas, we make my favorite yummy muffins:

Banana Wheat Muffins
1 1/3 c. all purpose flour
2/3 c. whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. mayonaise
3/4 c. sugar
2 mashed bananas

Combine mayo, bananas, and sugar. Stir in dry ingredients until just moistened. Fill muffin cups and bake at 350 for 20 min.
*I like to use all wheat flour. These are so good! *also note, never mix up your mayonaise with your Miracle Whip in this recipe!

Or we make the family favorite:

Banana Chocolate Chip Bars
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 c. shortening
2/3 c. sugar
2/3 c. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
2 mashed bananas
1 c. chocolate chips

Cream sugar and shortening, add bananas and stir. Add dry ingredients and mix, then add chocolate chips. Spread into a 10x15 pan and bake at 350 for 20 min. Cool and cut into bars.

3) If we have 3 mashy, squishy bananas, I make the above recipes, but I peel the bananas in Seth's presence. Even though these have been in plain sight and uninteresting for days, he will immediately demand and eat one of the bananas, leaving us with just the right number. :) As is obvious with this rule, timing is everything, so as an adendum to rule 2, one must be careful to watch for Seth if two is the actual banana number.

4) If a whole bunch of bananas becomes neglected, and I have six brown beauties, I make my favorite banana bread.

Kona Inn Banana Bread
2 c. sugar
1 c. soft butter
4 eggs, beaten
6 mashed bananas
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
2 1/2 c. flour

Cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add bananas and eggs, mix well. Sift dry ingredients into wet and stir until just mixed. Pour into 2 greased loaf pans. Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Cool on rack 10 min. before removing from pan. (The recipe says they freeze beautifully, but we eat two loaves before they cool off, so no idea if it is true! :)

As you can see, there is a big hole in the banana rules! What if I have 4 tired bananas? In the past, I have been known to make both the muffins and the bars in #2, but no longer!!! I have found the next, the new and updated, banana rule!

5) If you have 4 baking bananas, make

Banana Cake
1 ½ C Flour
1 tsp Soda
1 tsp Baking Pwd
½ tsp Salt
4 bananas
¾ C Sugar
1 Egg
1/3 C Softened Butter
1 C Butterscotch chips

1/3 C Brown Sugar
1/8th C Flour
1 Tbs butter
Sprinkle over cake

Bake 350 25-35 min

½ C Pwd Sugar
2 Tbs Milk
Pour over baked cake.

I have a cousin's wife to thank for this one. She posted it on our family web-site. I made it with peanut butter chips (Thought they were butterscotch until it was time to add them :) It was banana bliss. I think it would be nice with chocolate, or with no chips and coconut. Since it is now a part of the rules, I think I will be trying all of the variations.

6) If you have 5 bananas, see rule 3 and adapt to rule 5.

Just a little insight into the mysterious inner workings of the McAllister household!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

How does your garden grow?

Remember the clearing of ground this spring so I could plant beans? They are growing! The rain has made it wonderful! We are harvesting peas, a couple small zucchini, and this morning two peppers! I am so happy about it! Ethan is my main helper here. He seems fascinated by the harvesting part, so we have had to teach him how to pick the fat peas, and to ask mom or dad to come evaluate whether the squash is ready. :)

Along these same lines, a neighbor whose garden is farther along than mine, had a family emergency, and wasn't able to harvest for a time. She came back to these!
She asked if we would like them. Caleb has been begging for zucchini bread since ours started flowering, so we were happy to get them. I am posting my zucchini bread recipe on my latest recipes. It is sooooo good! If you need any zucchini to try it, I'm sure we can send you some!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Stayin' Alive

We are still here. Just lazy! Wa-hoo! Lazy feels so nice for a minute. Jacob had scout camp this week. He is back, happy and incredibly sunburned. He spent a lot of the week in a canoe. Leslie leaves next week with our ward for girl's camp. She is excited.

Caleb has an infected tooth and will be on antibiotics for a bit, and then have 2 extractions. Ugh!

Miriam had a lip bumper installed in her mouth to correct some trouble with her teeth, and Leslie is waiting for them to create her new mouth gear too. Our orthodontist loves us.

Nathan has been so depressed. It is hard to watch. I hope we can find some steady work soon.

Seth has a cold. Several of us have had it, and it hasn't been too bad, but Seth is feeling yucky today.

I have had good luck at the yard sales lately. Mostly school clothes are what I am after, but yesterday I found two 1920's magazines and brought them home to enjoy. They are full of ads that make me smile. I was also surprised to see so many companies I recognize advertising in 1926.

That is about it for the update. Generally well, with a few hiccups. :)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Family Reunion

We just had our family reunion in Idaho. Mom and Dad, their kids and grandkids. We have been anticipating it for months now, and we are finally on the road! Watch out, Idaho, here we come!
The weather was gorgeous. This is fishing at Meyer's Creek. Nathan was the go to man with the bait. He baited hooks and repaired poles and helped kids all afternoon! You are wonderful, honey!

This is what Jacob caught, and what he caught it with! He made this willow pole and used it to successfully land two fish! Leslie also caught her first fish on this trip. Mom wasn't there to take the picture, but we are happy for you, sis!

This is how we spent the time while not drowning worms. The rubber rafts are one of our favorite traditions. We have them tied to ropes able to pull them back to shore.

These are my parents grandchildren. Jacob is the oldest. There are 24 of them and the next one expected in August! My kids just love to run and play with their cousins. We feel so blessed to be part of this family! Thanks for the reunion!