Tuesday, June 27, 2017

We've got Power!!

We had a Micro-Burst come through our area.  (A microburst is a downdraft that moves opposite of a tornado.)  Power poles were snapped off, trees were uprooted, branches came down on lines, etcetera. 

Out came the kerosene lamps, candles, cooking was done on the gas stovetop or grill. 

What was helpful:
Kerosene lamps and candles
A way to cook - either a grill, camp stove, or a gas stove top
Flashlights - sometimes you just need more light than a candle offers
Hand coffee grinder - or ground coffee
Coffee pot - we have a stainless steel percolator that we use camping (Sure tastes good - power or no power I want my cup of joe.)
Radio - battery operated - it was just nice to stay up with the rest of the world
Portable power pack for recharging the phone or kindle

Thankfully we never lost water pressure.  That would have been the PITS!!!  We have a gas water heater and we had hot water too.  That was delightful - I didn't think it would work without electricity but it did!  (color me happy)

We have a generator and we did fire it up a couple times so we could plug the refrigerator in - threw the cord over the fence so the neighbor could plug his in too  - then #1 son came to get it for their house and neighbors.  Just plugging in for 30 minutes twice a day seemed to keep everything cold.  We still had ice in the icemaker. 

Although we never lost water pressure in the beginning I wasn't sure so I got our two-gallon water dispenser out (you know the kind for parties), I filled it to the brim so we would have drinking water.  We have bottled water too but this was just additional 'just in case' water.   We live in the high mountain desert - trust me water is IMPORTANT!!!  for both us and our pets.

All in all it went without a hitch - It always reminds me how thankful I am for the convenience of power at the flick of a switch.
a little bird

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Crock-Pot Test

Sharing some information I thought was very helpful.

I bought a second hand Crock-Pot at a yard sale.  It was in beautiful shape but it's always nice to know that it is functioning correctly.

I contacted Crock Pot online and they have a live chat.  This was our conversation:

Janet: Hi, my name is Janet. I will be happy to help you today.
Me: Hello, I purchased a lovely crock-pot second hand.  Model 50301. How can I test that it is heating to correct temperatures?
Janet: The slow cooker and both low and high will reach a temperature between 210 to 218 degrees. You can test the temperature by filling the stoneware half full with water and turning it on for 4 hours.  After 4 hours, take a candy or meat thermometer to test the temperature of the water.
Me: Thank you!

Now that's handy to know.  I have the crock-pot heating and we'll see...

I am a Crock-Pot user.  They are wonderful to fill before work and then when I get home dinner is done and the house smells great.  They are also wonderful for pot luck dinners at church or school.  I have two large, two mediums (if this new one tests out), one small, and a mini.  I don't really use the mini but they say it works for sauces.  

A church pot luck favorite is mac and cheese.  I use my biggest and fill it with mac and cheese and let it cook.  The pot is always empty when it's time to head home.  I was thinking of kids when I made this but the adults like it too.

Crock Pot Mac and Cheese
4 cups uncooked macaroni
6 to 8 cups grated cheddar cheese
2 cans evaporated milk
3 cups milk 
4 eggs
salt and pepper
If I have it on hand I will add a can of Cheddar Cheese Soup.
Mix all together, reserving 3 cups of cheese for the top.

Spray or grease the inside of your crock-pot.  Dump mixture into your crock pot, top with remaining cheese.
Cook on low for 5 to 6 hours. Do not stir while cooking.  I double this for church pot luck dinners. 

Shhhhhh - Hold Your Tongue

Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent; with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent.
Proverbs 17:28 NLT

Have you ever said something and then wished you could retract the statement??  I know I have.  Even if the statement wasn't wrong or ugly.  It may have not been pertinent to the topic of discussion.  It sounded good in my head but then...

The Proverbs are a good book to read often.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Instant Pot

A dear friend and I went to a Master Food Safety Adviser meeting today (Master Food Preserver).  The demo was of the Instant Pot.

We had three pots going, one was Brown Rice, one Lemon Chicken and the last a Cheese Cake!!!  Yes you heard me right a Cheese Cake*.

An Instant Pot is an Electric Pressure Cooker (not canner).  The chicken took about 20 minutes start to finish, Literally we pulled the raw chicken breasts out of the package, seasoned it, browned it in the Instant Pot on saute, added our remaining ingredients: chicken broth, garlic, cream, lemon juice.  Put the lid on set it for 8 minutes of cook time and that was it.  After the eight minutes it turned it self to low we waited five minutes and then vented any remaining steam and voila.  The chicken was done.

Our chicken took the longest of the three the rice and cheese cake were completed a few minutes before we were.

It really was amazing.

I have two regular pressure cookers so I don't know that I personally will purchase an Instant Pot (or a brand like it) but I have to admit it was fun to try.

*The presenter had made a cheesecake the day before so we could have a chilled cake not one warm right out of the cooker.  It was really good and if your oven was on the fritz this is a real handy tool to have.

Click HERE for a free Instant Pot recipe book.
Or HERE for many additional recipes.


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