30 November 2008

Sunday dishing

OMG, where did all these dishes come from in the first place? LOL. I spent the afternoon (after taking pain meds) opening boxes and pulling dishes out of the lower cabinets in the dining room. Heather, Peacock, Ivory, and now Chocolate had never seen the light of day. They were in their original boxes in the guest bedroom closet. And then there were the Christmas dishes that Mike & Tori got down from the attic yesterday. First thing after unpacking, everything had to go through the dishwasher. Yes, I washed away the genuine, original factory pottery dust!

Now I am exhausted! BUT. Dishes in the dining room cabinets are all organised and ready to use. Cups and saucers are packed away to be stored in the attic until I have a tea party for 80-something. Regular mugs are all packed away and holiday ones are in their place. That won't change until 12th Night. I have not yet gone through all the holiday mugs to see which ones I have and which ones are missing, but I did start making a few photos. Not sure if anymore will get done tonight or not.

I feel like I have accomplished so much. Most of the dish moving had to be one handed, so it took me longer than ususal, but life will be so much easier now.

On our dish board we are having a Secret Santa exchange. In the exchange people can send art projects, new dishes, extra dishes or really anything to do with dishes that would be a fun gift. Lo and behold, I found a few things today that I am gong to put in the package I send to my Secret Santa recipient. Can't say what, because some of them read my blog! But I think some of them are pretty cool.

Here's what came in the package I got from my Secret Santa last year. I had the best time with all this and can't wait to find out who to send my package to this year!

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rainy Sunday morning & Fiesta Christmas mugs

I've been awake since around 2:00a and have been sitting here all this time listening to rain on the skylight. You'd think that would make a person sleepy, but no such luck. During this non-sleeping time I got out all the Fiesta Christmas mugs and put them in the dishwasher. (Slow work having to do it all one handed.) This morning they will replace the regular stash of mugs until 12th Night. My project with these is to figure out how many different Fiesta Christmas mugs there are and which ones I am missing.

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29 November 2008

Late Saturday health update

Warning: more gross stuff.

Well my shoulder feels much better at the moment. I fell asleep sitting here on the sofa a few hours ago. I had the heating pad on my shoulder, was wrapped in my prayer shawl, had an afghan over my lap and my laptop sitting on that. I woke up about an hour ago feeling very hot. Imagine that. My temp read 101°. Before panicking I decided to get rid of all the heat producing and encapsulating things and drink some water. That was a good plan, as now my temp is 99.5°. And I didn't cheat! We have a forehead scan thermometer.

I had wanted to sort dishes this weekend and get one of the dining room cabinets rearranged. Plus I need to swap out all the regular Fiesta mugs for the Christmas mugs. I'd been working on that after lunch, if you can call playing with dishes working. Mostly I'd been looking at the different Christmas mugs. When I cooled off, I started opening mug boxes. Then I noticed a dark wet patch on my tee shirt. (And it's my House, MD shirt, too. Must be some irony in that.) Dear oh dear. I knew what that was. And I don't do so well with blood. Mike, my hero, to the rescue.

We have a nice big ottoman in our bathroom, so I sat on that while he got out gauze pads, alcohol, and such. He didn't want to do the actual pressing, cause he didn't want to hurt me, and thought I could control that better. So he watched while I pressed. I looked the other way! A good bit of bloody, nasty junk came out of the port while I was gently pressing. When the pressing was not getting any more out, I quit. Then we cleaned it with alcohol, and covered the wound with a gauze pad. That really did relieve pressure. I can move my arm some now without causing pain. This is a good thing. And it's a very good thing to know I'm making white cells. That has really been worrisome.

I've taken anther Lortab or maybe it's Lorcet, and when it kicks in I want to go play with dishes some more. Haven't seen the Christmas ones in a year.

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Saturday health update

The last three days have not been the greatest healthwise. Thanksgiving Day I thought I was going to have to call off having dinner here. My port site, shoulder and entire left side hurt so badly I had tears in my eyes. So although I hadn't used any in a week, I took Lortab. After a couple of rounds of those I decided I might be functional. DD#2 pretty much took over dinner preparations. She chose linens, dishes, washed dishes, set the table and cooked. All I did was supervise - except for making the dressing. Abbey and Donnie came over around mid-afternoon and they also got into the act. They brought flowers with them. If the three of them had not done dinner, we wouldn't have had our lovely feast. And it really was lovely. Even though all three of them were cooking things they had never made before. Somewhere around 8:00p I crashed.

About 11:30p I woke up to DD#2 being ill and throwing up. That went on for about an hour, off and on.. Mike got up to take care of cleaning and such, so he and I were awake again until 2:00a. I took more pain meds and went back to sleep sitting up on the sofa. (Can't lay down. My shoulder hurts too badly for that.)

Woke up Friday morning, in a lot of pain again. I was supposed to go to the doc first thing, so I didn't take any pain meds before that. The port site was beginning to have some swelling. And I actually HAVE a white count. Went from 0.0 to 0.1. Though it's tiny, it's still an improvement!

Because I'm making white cells again, they are going to the port site to fight that infection. Which causes pain. I'm trying to focus n the bright side here. The port was too bad to use, so I had to have blood drawn through my arm. Then I had to get IV antibiotic. The first stick didn't work. So I had to get stuck a third time. Thank goodness for my iPod and TMI. But mentally, this getting stuck is still very hard for me. It's a failing I am trying to improve. The doc also gave me a new prescription for the hydrocodone at a higher dose and said I could use a heating pad on my shoulder. My heating pad is at the farm, naturally, so Sally went by Walgreens and got me a new one.

We got back home to find DD#2 awake and much improved. She thinks she just ate too much. Something that can happen to the best of us on Turkey Day. Most of yesterday I slept sitting up on the sofa. Woke up long enough to eat dinner with Mike (which he prepared). Then I wound up sleeping sitting up most of the night. I will be glad when I can sleep in my bed again. It's much more conducive to sleeping than the sofa.

This morning I woke up about 7:00 and my temp was 99.7°. I will be watching it and if it hits 100° I have to call my doc. I've taken a pain pill so I can move around some. Mike and DD#2 are planning to get all the Christmas things down from the attic today, but we are not going to do much decorating until next weekend. I want to wait until the housekeeper has been here and cleaned well. It's hard enough dusting around the dish collection.

The bottom line here is that my white count is up and that is good. And I can take Lortab or Lorcet until my shoulder gets less painful and the infection goes away. I'm going to go with the glass is half full. Monday I will have to get platelets and likely more IV antibiotic, so I am hoping the port will be well enough to use by then.

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28 November 2008

Black Friday

Supposedly the busiest shopping day of the year. Even before I got sick I had no desire to participate in this cultural phenomenon. At least not out in brick and mortar stores. Way too crowded. But now we can start counting the days until Christmas.

First thing this morning I have an appointment with my doc to check my blood counts and the port site. Can't tell that the port area has changed much, myself. When we get home we will listen to holiday music and I will supervise as the others get the decorations from the attic and put up our mid-century silver aluminum tree.

ETA: Thanks to my friend Daphne for letting me use her peppermint ornament photograph to make the Christmas Countdown Calendar.
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Southern Cornbread Dressing

The dressing is my absolute favourite part of our Thanksgiving feast. This recipe has been passed down in my Mom's family for at least 6 generations, but it is one of those that was not written down. Everyone just knew how to make it. When I was about 19 I committed it all to paper as my Mom and grandmother made it one holiday. One thing I have changed is the treatment of the trinity (onion, bell pepper, celery). They used to sauté the veggies separately, but I cook them in the cornbread.

Normally I bake the dressing in a casserole dish, but I had a new heather Fiesta bowl I wanted to use. (It is OK to bake in Fiesta). This is the large nappy that came from JCPenney as part of the "Companion Set". The other piece in the set is the large pizza tray.

Also, this was my first opportunity to use my large scarlet mixing bowl. It was just the right size to mix up the dressing. And the dressing was about the only thing I actually made Thursday.

When I was cracking the eggs for the cornbread, the last one was a double-yolk. We get free-range eggs in the veggie box each week, but its been a couple of years since I've seen a double-yolk egg.

Stirring chopped veggies (from the CSA box) into the batter.

Cornbread should always be baked in a cast iron skillet. Put a little oil in the skillet and heat it on the cooktop before pouring in the batter. This will ensure a nice crust. Because I add the veggies to the cornbread, I use the chicken fryer skillet as it is deeper than a regular skillet.

Cornbread baked to perfection.

Breads crumbled together. Lightbread is an old term for plain white bread. When my g-grandmother or grandmother said it, they were referring to their homemade bread. Most of the time I use whole wheat.

Dressing all mixed. It should be the consistency of thick pancake batter.

There was too much dressing to fit in the large nappy, so I baked the rest in a Pyrex dish.

Cornbread Dressing

2 cups yellow corn meal
6 Tbsp flour
2 tsp sugar
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
4 eggs, beaten
2 Tbsp oil
2 cups milk
1 cup chopped bell pepper
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery

4 slices bread
2 biscuits
2 eggs, beaten
4 cups broth (My great-grandmother always used the giblets to make this.)
2 tsp crumbled dry sage or 1½ Tbsp chopped fresh
1½ tsp salt

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Mix the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, 4 eggs, oil and milk to make cornbread batter. Stir in the chopped onion, celery and bell pepper. Bake in a large iron skillet about 30-40 minutes or till done. The cornbread might not be quite set in the center. That’s OK.

Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.

Crumble up the cornbread along with the lightbread and biscuits. Stir in the broth and the other eggs along with the sage and salt. Should look like thick pancake batter. Pour into greased pan and bake until set.
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Spatchcocked Game Hens with Cranberry Pepper Jelly Glaze

The game hens were a were a wonderful alternative to turkey for our Thanksgiving celebration. DD#2 had been doing most of the food prep all day. I was not having the best day and would have had to cancel the meal if it hadn't been for her. When Abbey and Donnie arrived the three of them pretty much took over everything. I showed them how to spatchcock the first hen and they took it from there. And they did a great job! To put six on the broiler pan crowded them a bit, so they were not as flat as they could have been, but they were very juicy and flavourful. We served them on a large Fiesta pizza tray.

Spatchcocked Game Hens with Cranberry Pepper Jelly Glaze

favourite brine
6 Cornish game hens

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
4 green onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup cranberry pepper jelly
3/4 cup dry white wine

Mix up your favourite brine and let cool. I used a mix given to me by a friend that contains sea salt, sugar, orange peel, garlic, red peppercorns, black peppercorns, rosemary, thyme, and bay leaf that was mixed with water. Rinse hens and remove any bags of parts from the cavity. Cover with cool brine and refrigerate 4 to 5 hours.

Preheat oven to 450°F. Remove hens from brine and drain. Spray broiler pan with PAM. Spatchcock each hen and lay on broiler pan. Roast for about 30 minutes.

While hens are roasting, combine glaze ingredients and bring to a boil. Stir while heating. When butter and jelly are melted and all ingredients are combined, remove from heat and set aside.

Remove hens from oven and brush on glaze. Roast about 5-7 more minutes. Remove from oven and let sit 5-10 minutes for juices to set before serving. Serves 6

Hens on the broiler pan.

Brushed with glaze and ready to go back in the oven. The girls used the cranberry pepper jelly I made a couple of weeks ago.

Out of the oven and resting before serving
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27 November 2008

Thanksgiving Dinner

We had a most lovely Thanksgiving Day, and now I am pretty tired. We'd originally intended to eat around mid-afternoon, but dinner wound up being at dinner time. My Mom got to leave rehab for awhile, so my sister brought her over to visit a bit. She seems to be doing pretty well. Abbey, Donnie & DD#2 did most of our meal prep and they did a fabulous job. Our Menu:

Shrimp Cocktails

Spatchcocked Game Hens with Cranberry Pepper Jelly Glaze
Cornbread Dressing
Cranberry Sauce
Cranberry Sauce Grand Marnier
Haricots Verts Almondine
Sweet Potatoes in Orange Shells
Baked Vidalias

Sister Schubert Rolls
Sweet Cream Butter

Pecan Pie
Pumpkin Lemon Cream Pie
Banana Pudding

Prosecco, Chardonnay, Iced Tea, Water, Coffee

Sorrento Limoncello
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Thanksgiving Day

It's here!
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26 November 2008

Barefoot Bloggers: Mexican Chicken Soup

Recipe #2 for Barefoot Bloggers this month is Mexican Chicken Soup from Barefoot Contessa at Home, chosen by Judy of Judy's Gross Eats.. Judy, thanks for such a great choice. My family loved the soup! I served it in Fiesta jumbo mugs, and we ate sitting around the fire in the family room. The jumbo mugs are great for serving soup this way.

To get to what was served in the lovely Fiesta dishes, I started with the freshest of organic veggies from this week's CSA box.

Cut up and sautéing in my favourite Staub pot.

Tortillas cut in strips.

Stir them into the pot.

Add cilantro and simmer.

Stirring in the chicken and it's almost ready to serve.

Mexican Chicken Soup
Ina Garten

4 split (2 whole) chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
Good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chopped onions (2 onions)
1 cup chopped celery (2 stalks)
2 cups chopped carrots (4 carrots)
4 large cloves garlic, chopped
2 1/2 qts chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes in purée, crushed
2 to 4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander seed
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, optional
6 (6-inch) fresh white corn tortillas

For serving: sliced avocado, sour cream, grated Cheddar cheese, and tortilla chips

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Place the chicken breasts skin side up on a sheet pan. Rub with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until done. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, discard the skin and bones, and shred the meat. Cover and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat 3 Tbsp of olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the onions, celery, and carrots and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until the onions start to brown. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes with their purée, jalapenos, cumin, coriander, 1 tablespoon salt (depending on the saltiness of the chicken stock), 1 tsp pepper, and the cilantro, if using. Cut the tortillas in 1/2, then cut them crosswise into 1/2-inch strips and add to the soup. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Add the shredded chicken and season to taste.

Serve the soup hot topped with sliced avocado, a dollop of sour cream, grated Cheddar cheese, and broken tortilla chips.

1. On the FNTV site, many reviewers suggested using rotisserie chicken rather than roasting your own. I chose that option due to my current health constraints that require pacing myself and choosing exactly what I can do. It worked great!
2. I had never used tortillas like this to thicken the soup, so I am doubly glad to have made this recipe. I can think of several soups where this would be a good addition.
3. There were a couple of ears of leftover corn in the fridge, so I cut the kernels off the cobs and added those to the soup.
4. We decided to only use sour cream and avocado for toppings and that worked very well for us. I really didn't think it needed cheese or chips. As we were eating from the mugs, I diced the avocado, rather than use slices.
5. This is an easy and yummy recipe. We have always loved tortilla soup and I have made other recipes. Ina gives us one that is easy to make and easy to tweak according to individual taste. Thanks!

Click here to see what other Barefoot Bloggers think of this recipe.
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Our family was lucky enough to spend a good part of June in Italy this year. One of Italy's signature drinks is Limoncello. It is a lemon liqueur which originated in the region around the Gulf of Naples, the Sorrentine Peninsula and the coast of Amalfi. Everywhere you go in Sorrento and Capri, there are hundreds of lemon trees and lemon decorations are on things everywhere. Every single yard has at least one lemon tree, but most homes have as many as their plot of land can sustain. The lemons we saw were fairly large. Not as big as Ponderosa lemons, but at least twice the size of Persian limes.

All the people we talked with were adamant NOT to use vodka to make limoncello. Everyone and their BIL makes limoncello in their homes there and they use 200 proof alcohol. The closest to that we can get here is Everclear, which is 190 proof. But 190 proof is not available in all states. It can't be sold in Alabama, so I had to get it in Tennessee. This is the recipe our friends in Rome gave me.

Sorrento Limoncello

6 Sorrento lemons
1 litre 200 proof alcohol
1 1/2 litres water
2 kilos sugar

Peel the lemons with a vegetable peeler and put the peel in a bottle with the alcohol. Let steep in a dark place for at least 10 days, then filter out the zest.

Mix the water with the sugar and heat, stirring to dissolve. Mix the syrup with the alcohol and bottle. This will keep several years in the freezer.

Notes: To translate this to what is easily available here, this is what we worked out:

10-11 large lemons, preferably organic
1.75 litre bottle Everclear 190
2 2/3 litres water
3 1/2 lbs sugar

I made limoncello after we got home. Lemon peel in the Everclear. I let it sit for two weeks.

When I strained the lemon zest out, I was really surprised at how crisp it was. There was nothing left but the cellulose fibre. The zest strips literally broke in two pieces if you bent them at all. And it had turned an ivory colour. The Everclear had turned a beautiful yellow. For gifts I bottled some in vintage Mohawk liqueur bottles, but for us I just poured it back in the Everclear bottle. This is some seriously good stuff.

Care for a taste? Limoncello is stored in the freezer. It is typically served ice cold in chilled ceramic glasses. I think it looks pretty in cut glass, but could also use Harlequin yellow eggcups to serve it.

In Italy limoncello is served after a meal as a digestive. I do believe we might need this after the Thanksgiving meal tomorrow.
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late Wednesday medical update

Warning. This is gross.

My counts still don't look good. Whites remain at 0.0 so no immune system at all. I wound up staying at the doc's until 1:30 getting 2 units of red cells and one of platelets. When the nurse disconnected me from the needle, tubing, etc, she asked me had I been having any drainage from the port. Well, no. I haven't had any white cells so nothing to form any pus or other yuk stuff to drain. Well, she said it was draining and she milked it for all she could remove. That really hurt and brought tears to my eyes several times, but a fair amount of stuff came out. She says this is a good thing. And I guess it is good because I must be having a few white cells being produced now. They sent me home with several gauze pads taped over the area. And also a supply of gauze pads so that I can help it drain till I get back to the doc. Duh. Help it drain? Not me. I asked Mike if he will do it for me. He doesn't pass out at the sight of such things.

There are no blood transfusions scheduled for Friday. The outpatient sites are closed so I would have to do a 23 hour admit to the hospital. And I need to avoid hospitals. There are sick people there. I will see my doc early Friday morning to check blood counts and let him look at the port site again. They drew on me today to mark the outer area of the redness. On Friday they will see if the redness has receded at all. Because of no immune system the doc doubled my dose of Omnicef. I'm now on 300mg of that twice a day for the next 7 days. Keeping my fingers crossed that this will work. In the meanwhile I seem to be getting a yeast infection in my mouth. That's from all the antibiotics. I have drugs for that already. And it needs to be under control. Hard to eat with that kind of infection and tomorrow is the #1 food day of the year!

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Wednesday morning medical

Yesterday's visit with the surgeon went about as expected. He wants me to continue the antibiotics prescribed by my hematologist and see him again next week. The infection is likely causing the muscle problems in my shoulder, so we need to see how it progresses. Today I have to go really early (7:15) to get lab tests and see my doc. I'm scheduled to get two units of red cells and one of platelets, but that could change, depending on my counts. The early start, could mean that I will get finished earlier. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

DD#2 is going to go with me and stay through transfusions. DD#1 is going to run a couple of errands for me and bake the pecan pie for tomorrow. We're all on track for the holiday dinner.

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25 November 2008

Tuesday before Turkey Day

I feel like the White Rabbit, "I'm late. I'm late. For a very important date."

The holiday is rapidly approaching and food prep must be done today. Tomorrow I'm supposed to have transfusions all day, so there will be no opportunity to cook then. I'm about to go bake the cornbread for the dressing and pie crusts will be next. Once those are done, I will feel more organised. At 2:00 today I go back to the surgeon for a followup to the port placement. I hope he can give me some insight and help about the soreness and range of motion problems I'm having. Then I've got my mask to wear to go by Fresh Market and pick up a few last minute things for Thursday.

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24 November 2008

Jambalaya, Crawfish Pie, Filé Gumbo...

All good Cajuns now claim this as "their" song. It has an interesting history. Hank Williams (that would be the one who has crossed over, not the one who's been seen the last few months singing at Republican rallies) copied the Jambalaya melody from an earlier tune recorded in Cajun French called Grand Texas. The lyrics, however, were written by Hank Williams.

After Hank Williams recorded his version with the new words, Cajuns re-recorded Jambalaya with Hank Williams' words translated into Cajun French. There is one big problem with Hank Williams' version of this song. He mis-pronounces bayou. It is correctly pronounced "by-you" not "by-oh". I'm sure it was to get it to rhyme with "me oh my oh", but it's wrong! Every self-respecting Cajun and wannabe Cajun I know sings it with proper pronunciation. Here are the lyrics in English.

Good-bye Joe, me gotta go, me oh my oh
Me gotta go pole the pirogue down the bayou
My Yvonne, the sweetest one, me oh my oh
Son of a gun, we’ll have big fun on the bayou.

Jambalaya and a crawfish pie and filé gumbo
'Cause tonight I’m gonna see my ma cher amio
Pick guitar, fill fruit jar and be gay-o
Son of a gun, we’ll have big fun on the bayou.

Thibodeaux, Fontainbleau, the place is buzzin’
Kinfolk come to see Yvonne by the dozen
Dress in style and go hog wild, me oh my oh
Son of a gun, we’ll have big fun on the bayou.

Jambalaya and a crawfish pie and filé gumbo
'Cause tonight I’m gonna see my ma cher amio
Pick guitar, fill fruit jar and be gay-o
Son of a gun, we’ll have big fun on the bayou.

Settle down, far from town, get me a pirogue
And I’ll catch all the fish in the bayou
Swap my mon to buy Yvonne what she need-o
Son of a gun, we’ll have big fun on the bayou.

Jambalaya and a crawfish pie and filé gumbo
'Cause tonight I’m gonna see my ma cher amio
Pick guitar, fill fruit jar and be gay-o
Son of a gun, we’ll have big fun on the bayou.

If you feel like having even more fun and want to try it in Cajun French, here's a translation a friend sent me.


Now, lest you wonder why in the world I am blogging about this, it's because of dinner. My dear niece and her son (the 13yo who wants to be a chef) made a big pot of jambalaya Sunday and she sent some of it over to us. We had it for dinner tonight and it was fabulous. Now this was Kiki's first time to ever try to make jambalaya, so she was learning along with her DS. She did a wonderful job. They used a recipe from River Road Recipes, the quintessential Jr League cookbook from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and the jambalaya tasted just like what we would get back home. So I felt like breaking out into song!


1 1/2 lbs sausage (she used andouille)
3 Tbsp bacon grease
3 Tbsp flour
2 medium onions, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups rice
2 1/2 cups water
3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp salt

Start by browning the sausage in bacon grease in a cast iron skillet. Remove the sausage and set aside. Add the flour to the skillet and cook slowly, stirring, to a dark roux. Add onions, parsley and garlic. Cook until soft. Stir in the rice, water, cayenne, salt and sausage. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to its lowest setting. Cover and cook on low for about an hour. Check to be sure the rice is done. Then remove cover and cook a few minutes to let the rice dry just a little. But don't let it get too dry. Serve immediately.
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Monday's health update

Well look at the time! Once again the Benadryl knocked me out for the day. After Sally got me home I managed to stay awake long enough to buy a couple of things on eBay, but I've been asleep pretty much since noon. No holiday food prep got done today.

My port site still hurts and is red. I have limited range of motion with my shoulder. The doc thinks it looks slightly better and we will reassess it on Wednesday. I got O+ platelets today, but it took awhile for the blood bank to relase them. I was at the doc's from 8:30 to 11:30. Fortunately everything went smoothly and I had no adverse reactions. The nurse could not leave the line attached though, because of the infection, so I will have to get stuck again on Wednesday. I have to say that this morning's stick was one of the worst I've had. I got really light headed and had to do a little deep breathing. I'm sure that was due to the redness and aggravation of the site.

Sally and I did not have time to go out to lunch as she had to be at Mom's rehab by 12:15 for the family orientation. I'm still on the oral antibiotics and am set to have blood tests, see my doc, and get transfusions of 2 units of red cells and one of platelets on Wednesday. Tomorrow I have to see the surgeon for the follow-up visit for the port surgery. Any advance food prep for the holiday will need to get done tonight and tomorrow around the doctor visit.

Re: Mom. Today was her first full day of rehab. I called her a few minutes ago and she didn't sound too bad. The assistant was about to help her with her bath and such. But I talked with Sally. Mom did pretty well with the walking therapy this morning, but failed wheelchair therapy this afternoon. Now Mom has never used a wheelchair before on her own and they didn't give her any instruction. This was a group therapy session and she was the only "new" student. Maybe they didn't realise that. But I think she will do better tomorrow. And hopefully so shall we all.

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Monday of Holiday Week

Only a few days left to get the holiday food prep done.

I don't know what I will get done in that regard today. I had an early doctor appointment. Sally picked me up and came with me to that. I need a platelet transfusion and we're waiting for those now. My shoulder is still quite sore and the port site still red with some swelling. But the doc says we will reassess on Wednesday. Keeping my fingers crossed. If I get done in time, we are going out for a sisters lunch. How I'm supposed to eat with the mask on I haven't quite figured out. But something will come to mind, I'm sure.

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23 November 2008

Mannhein Steamroller Christmas!

My friend Mark asked on his blog DS Mark, what were people's favourite Christmas songs. I was answered more broadly than that, as did several other people, and said, Mannheim Steamroller. Well, let me tell you I want to emphasise that even more now!

If you have never been to a Mannheim Steamroller Christmas Concert, let me urge to to GO! We just got home from this year's Christmas show and it was really fabulous. I'm ready to do all our decorating with MS playing on the Bose. My BIL (Mike's brother married to my sister) got 4 tickets back in July. A couple of weeks ago Sally called me to see if we would like to go with them. I tentatively said yes, but we've been playing it by ear to see how I felt. This morning I wasn't sure, but by noon I'd decided that unless something terrible happened I was going to go!

Our seats were in the third row right in the centre and we all had a blast. I wore my medical mask to keep me from breathing any germs. And I am so happy we got to do this. It seems as if it has been forever since the four of us have gone out together. And Mike, who has grown less fond of crowds and such as we have gotten older loved it, too. We all agreed we would do this again if they come back. Apparently they were originally only scheduled for this evening's performance, but tickets sold out so quickly they agreed to do a matinee also. And it sold out.

Now, don't laugh. Most of the audience was looking a bit grey! Of course, some of the guys in the band were looking a bit grey, too. LOL. You could tell they were having a great time. And I think it must be so nice to have a job you love so well. Mannheim Steamroller has been making music for 30 years.
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