Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cabin Fever, Again!

Well, it is day 5 of the guys being gone.  While they are enjoying warmish weather and snowboarding, I am enjoying time with my new best friends:  decongestants, antihistamines, cough medicine, acetaminophen, etc.  Yes, the cedars are pollinating, yea!  All my plans to catch up on recording grades, house projects, and chick flicks have been replaced with lying on the couch and flipping through 300+ channels, with nothing on.  It's pushing 80 degrees, in February, and I'm bundled up on the couch.  Not only that, but I can't smell or taste anything, so I've barely eaten anything this week.  Guess what, I got on the scales this morning, nothing there has changed there.  Come on!  At least a couple of pounds gone, but no!  Now, I did manage to get Tabitha and her friends to the Thunder game.  It was fun, but that is really all that I have done this week.  I'll be glad when my guys get back.

My Besties

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

"Snow" klahoma-Part 2

We've been hit again!  I actually love it, but then again, I don't have to drive to work or deal with my kids being out of school.  I can just sit inside and enjoy the show while smelling the wonderful stew cook in the crock pot.  I'm actually pretty excited about it (the stew).  When we went snowboarding we were treated to a bison stew  by our friends.  Now that we have some of our own bison, I am putting it to good use.  Yesterday it was chili, today stew.  I am also using some of the stock I made over the weekend.  It smells great!

Elijah is well this week, so I am hoping to take advantage of snow play this week!  They will be heading off to New Mexico this weekend to snowboard again.  I'll just be snow bored.  Actually, I am taking Tabitha and a few of her friends to the Thunder game next week and I have a few projects I would like to do around the house.  They're secret for now!

Yesterday-Snow from a week ago still on the ground.

At last night's game-he came to keep me company.  Waiting for the next storm to come in!

Me at the game

This morning

Monday, February 7, 2011

Bison Stock

Last Friday we received some grass-fed bison that we had purchased.  Along with all the steaks, roasts, ground bison, etc., we got 35 pounds of soup bones.  That takes up a lot of freezer space, and while we had room enough (barely) to fit all 35 pound of them, I decided to go ahead and make use of them.  There was a total of 15 packages, so I used 7 of the biggest. 

The Lovely Bones

I looked for a few recipes and finally decided to make up my own by combining several ideas from the recipes I had found.  Here is basically what I did:

About 1/3 of the bones,which had quite a bit of meat left on them, I put straight into my pot.  The other 2/3 I cooked in the oven until nicely browned.  Then I added these to the pot.  Next went the veggies and spices: carrots, onions, celery, garlic, pepper corns, bay leaves (theses were huge-from a friend in Trinidad), and salt.  All this is then covered with water.  Then I brought it to a boil, reduced to a simmer and let it go all night.



Veggies and spices

The next morning I awoke to a wonderful smell, broth not coffee.  I removed all of the veggies, bones, and meat from the liquid.  I needed to let it cool enough to solidify the fat.  There was a lot of fat.  I was able to skim off 1 1/2 soup cans of fat before I chilled it.  There was a problem here.  I couldn't fit my pot into the fridge.  Not a big problem though, we still had quite a lot of snow on the back deck, so I just buried the pot in it.

Nature's Fridge-very green

Some of the skimmed fat

Gelatinous goo
After it chilled, I took the rest of the fat off and had a gelatinous glob left.  I reheated it until it was liquid and strained it three times, twice through several layers of cheese cloth.  Then I brought to a near boil and pressure canned it.  At this point I could have frozen it, but freezer space is now at a premium and since I ended up with 15 pints, it made more sense to can it.  We also tend to loses electricity several times a year.  We have never lost food due to extended outage, but just in case.

Finished product!
I still have 8 packages of bones to do.  The next batch I may cook down much more to have a concentrated stock.  It will take up less space and with garden season coming up, I'll need it!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Cabin Fever?

This is my third post today.  I may  be a little bored.  Well, I did do a couple of things today. 

First, while we were in New Mexico last month I found some fleece-lined bandanas.  So what, you say.  Well, they were in the ski shop.  A lot of the snowboarders wear bandanas to keep their faces warm.  Elijah is also going through a bit of a cowboy stage.  I thought he would really like one, but I was not about to pay $15 for one.  He has an old blue one, so I decided to make one myself.  Actually two.  They turned out great and he loves them.  I love that they didn't cost me a dime!  I had the fleece and the bandana!

Next up, something to keep me a little warmer!  When I went to the ER on the same trip to New Mexico, they had to cut me out of my brand new compression/cold wear shirt.  UGH!  Anyway, it was just lying in the snowboard equipment, tattered and torn.  I was just about to throw it away when, "light bulb"!   I can't get a glove or even a mitten on over my cast.  Last night as we were walking to the Thunder game in single digit temps, my hand pulled up into my coat sleeve was not staying warm.  So with a pair of scissors, my shirt, and more fleece, I made a big cast cover!  I haven't tried it yet, but I'm pretty sure it will work!

Oh, someone talked me into letting him play outside.

Bundled up!

Truth Hurts

There's more on the way!  I may be one of the few southerner's this doesn't apply to.

What Good is 6+ Inches of Snow...

...when you're sick and can't play in it?  So, while his friends in school are having to make up snow days, we'll  be making up sick days.  That's what I get for being smug I guess.

Poor Elijah has the nastiest cough I think he's ever had.  As you can see (or not) from the photo above, he is just bundling up in the house.  I would feel more sorry for him if he and his daddy weren't going snowboarding in just over a week.  I will be all by my lonesome since my wrist is still in a hard cast. 

While they are gone, I guess I will use the time to do some things around here that need to get done.  I think I will get a jump start on my annual spring cleaning and maybe a few improvements as well.  I also need to record Elijah's grades, for most of the year unfortunately.  Graded, just not recorded, which actually in Oklahoma, I'm not even required to do. 

One last thing, I finally got started back to Crossfit and Zoning.  This time Jeff has as well.  It is a bit harder this time.  It could be 6 months before I can really start using the left arm.  I guess I need too talk to the doctor about that.  Looks like a lot of lower body work.  I wonder how rowing would go?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Blizzard Pictures!

Here are a few pictures from our house. As you can see, it will be a few days before the tree house or exercise deck will be used. We may even avoid the hot tub since single digit temperatures are forecast for the next few evenings! BRRRRRRRRRR!!

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Well, this is one way to temporarily stop a severe drought.  Drop a foot of snow on the ground.  Then add temperatures of single digits for the next 4 days.  It should be hard to catch any grass on fire.  It's a good thing to because winds have been in the 50's. 

We took advantage of the cold to teach some science.  Ever throw hot water into the freezing air? 
You'll get snow (because we didn't get enough the old-fashioned way).  Here's the science behind it:

All things being equal, cold water freezes faster.

It takes time for the energy contained in a hot object to be transferred to a cold object. However, the rate of heat transfer is proportional to the temperature difference between the two objects, so hot water will lose heat faster than cold water. In other words, if you have water at 90 degrees C and water at 10 degrees C and the freezer is at -10 degrees C, the hot water will lose heat five times faster than the cold water; however, the cold water will still win the race.  As the hot water cools it’s rate of heat transfer will decrease, so it will never catch up to the cold water.

Some people claim that hot water freezes faster because a pot of boiling water can be thrown into the air on a cold winter day, and it freezes in mid air creating a shower of ice crystals. Whereas a pot of cold water thrown into the air comes down as large blobs of water. This happens because the hot water is so close to being steam, that the act of throwing it into the air causes it to break up into tiny droplets. (hot water is less viscous than cold water, listen to the sound it makes when you pour it in the sink) The small water droplets have a large surface area which allows for a great deal of evaporation, this removes heat quickly. And finally, the cooled droplets are so small, that they can be easily frozen by the winter air. All of this happens before the water hits the ground. Cold water is thicker and stickier, it doesn’t break up into such small pieces when thrown into the air, so it comes down in large blobs.

Joe Larsen, Ph.D. Chemistry, Rockwell Science Center, Los Angeles, CA
Kathy Ceceri also blogs at Home Biology

We're just glad that we didn't get the ice that was expected earlier in the week!