Canning – the Last Day

Well, today was our last day of canning.  How appropriate for the last day of the year.  We canned some pork and chicken.  (Getting better at canning meat.)  We put it up in pints this time.  That’s probably enough for a 2-person meal.

We are not big on New Year’s Eve celebrations.  We went to bed at the usual time.  I joked about celebrating New Year’s Eve on Buenos Aires time.  Hey, why not.  People in California watch the ball drop at Time’s Square in NYC even though it was 3 hours earlier.

It feels good to have the food storage stuff largely done.  Elizabethe reminds me there are a few more things we need to order, but aside from that, we’re done.

And, More Food Storage

I think this will be the last day of running around getting stuff to can.  We took a trip to BJs and then Sauder’s.  I enjoy Sauder’s just because they have such a good collection of good food.

We came home and used up the rest of the #10 cans, and put a lot of stuff in bottles too.

Tomorrow Elizabethe wants to put together the shelves for the basement.  (Yippee!  Kidding.)  It will be nice to be able to step back and take a breather.

Bishop and Sister Taylor came over tonight.  We showed them the basement and what we’re doing.  They were impressed, but then, I think anyone would be.  We’ve been working our rears off getting this put together.

Food Storage Today

Elizabethe and I spent the day working on our food storage.  We canned about 76 cans of rice, pasta, flour and other items.  Of course, before we did that we went out shopping for stuff to can.  It was fun, productive day.

I made a lentil meatball soup for dinner.  It was quite simple.  About 2c lentils, 4 cups water, 1/2 chopped onion, and about a dozen meatballs quartered and a cube of bullion. Threw it in the crock pot and let it cook all day.

For tomorrow morning, I started some dough.  Not sure what I’ll make with it yet.  At the suggestion of the guy at Spice Bazaar I added some cardamom to the dough.

Last Day at Work This Year

Today is my last day at work for the year.  Things were kind of quiet, and I liked that.

Being Tuesday, it was Elizabethe’s and my night at the temple.  It was the busiest night I have seen since working in the Palmyra Temple.  Baptisms, endowments and sealings were all busy.  I don’t know about initiatories, because I wasn’t in there at all.  They had me busy on other assignments.  Either way, it was busy.

We haven’t had snow this last week, so the crust of the snow has a sheen to it.  It really looked cool how the lights reflected off the blanket of snow as I came out of the temple.  Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough light to capture it on camera without a long set-up time with a tripod.  And, it was windy and cold, and I just didn’t feel up to doing that. But, it was beautiful.

Can’t Trust Them

You can’t trust news reports nowadays.  There used to be a day when journalism meant checking your data and being unbiased.  Not any more, and it extends into the weather.

I was driving home from Walmart listening to the Drive 100.5 (a local radio station) when the weather guy says something to the effect, “This has been the snowiest December in recorded history.  Rochester has received 42 inches of snow this month.”

I’m thinking to myself, “Really?  It has snowed a lot, but I don’t think we have got that much.  Although, it has been cold.”

So, after the evening quieted down, I went on to check out what the actual snow fall has been.  (I have learned that our eyes deceive us when it comes to snowfall.  We often see drifts, or stockpiles of snow, and think that is the depth.  In fact, on 12/16/2010 as we were driving to the Rochester Airport, I pointed out to Elizabethe that many lawns have blades of grass sticking up which means it really isn’t all that deep.)  I started with today and worked my way backwards.  I got to the day before leaving for Salt Lake, and it was less than 2″.  Then, I checked the month-to-date figures for the Rochester area.  10 inches. 

That’s right, we have received a total of 10 inches thus far in December.  So, where does this guy on the Drive come up with 42 inches?  Maybe in Buffalo, or some strange remote point near the lake. 

Anyway, I’ve written The Drive off.  Besides, their morning D.J. is a real work and only gets my blood pressure up with his moronic liberal comments. 

Now that I’ve got that off my chest, I’ve been wondering how they actually measure snow fall.

It used to be they had a 16″x16″ board called a “snow board.  What was left on that board was the snow depth.  After taking a measurement, they would wipe the board clean and start again.   The problem was wind would blow the snow off.  Next, they went to random stick pokes in the ground, and then averaged it.  The problem here is it is subjective to where they poked their ruler.  Now they collect snow in a cylinder and as it falls into the cylinder it is melted.  The rule of thumb is 1″ of melt is 10” of snow.  This method allows for remote collection as they have automated devices that collect and measure. 

There you have it.

Of course, before we moved to Palmyra, someone commented to Elizabethe that they have seen the poles they put on fire hydrants here, and the snow gets 5′ deep.  Elizabethe had to explain that those poles are tall because the snow plows may pile the snow up and over the hydrants, and they need to see where they are.

Oh, and if you watch my Season Watch page, you’ll get local observations.

Sunday After Christmas

We had several visitors at church today.   Mostly family visiting family, but there were a few tourists also.

Last Sunday, the Primary children made me a card and so I asked if I could have some time to thank them.  And, since they haven’t called a new pianist yet, I played again for the first hour.

We had a high priest group leader meeting after church – just a quick one.  Then it was home for lunch.

We had a bottle of BBQ pork that didn’t seal, so I re-heated it and we had it over basmati rice with brocoli on the side.

Rooibos Herb Tea

Kathy sent me some herb tea made mostly with dried fruit and rooibos (aspalathus linearis, aka red-bush, a caffeine free alternative to tea and is loaded with flavonoids).  Fruity, but not as tart and fruit as Red Zinger and much better tasting.  Really good stuff.  It would go good mixed with a diet Coke.  (Just kidding Kathy.  Really.  Just kidding.  Okay, I’ll shut up now.)

Hmmm… Diet Cherry Coke?

Okay, I better quit before I get in big trouble.

Christmas Day 2010

I got up about 8am this morning and started cooking breakfast.  I had made some whole wheat cinnamon bread yesterday to use for French toast.  I also cooked ebelskeivers , sausage and ham, and a sauce to go with the french toast (condensed milk, corn syrup, cinnamon and butter).

Christmas Breakfast Cooking

After breakfast, we went in to the sitting room.  (We had a fire going in the wood furnace.)   We then opened presents and emptied our stockings.

It was a quiet day.  For dinner I just made empanadas, spanish rice and refried beans.  (Yeah, a Mexican Christmas dinner.)

I talked to Mark, Kathy, and some of the girls.  Dad called around 11:30 pm. 

After things slowed down, I started Natalie’s wedding photos uploading.  (The girls have been bugging me since Wednesday about doing that.  It has been a very busy week.)

Pistachio Cake

We watched Uncle Buck (one of my favorite movies).  The sister missionaries stopped by to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and introduce us to Sister Wilkinson’s new companion.  And, we had some pistachio cake for dessert with some hot cocoa.

Christmas Eve 2010

We slept in.  Well,  as best I can.  I’m a morning person.

I made pull-aparts for breakfast.  They turned out really well. 

We decided to do some food storage stuff today.   We canned 24 #10 cans of rice.  6 quarts of pulled pork – 3 BBQ and 3 Mexican seasonings. 

I also made a pistachio cake, and some hot cocoa while we watched Uncle Buck. 

Kind of laid-back day.

An Early Start at Work

I’m on call this week, and I got woken up at 2am this morning.  Starting work at 2am is never fun.  For the first time, I realized that my detached office isn’t fun to walk to at 2am in the snow.  (It wasn’t snowing, just leftover snow from the other day.)

I made my way to my office and before getting there, swoosh.  I fell in the snow.

I said to myself, “This better be A real EMERGENCY to get me up like this.”

Took a break around 7:30am to drive in to Rochester.  I spent most of the day working on this problem.  Finally, about 3pm, things were stabilized, and Elizabethe was ready to head home.

It was nice to get home and to rest.

Finally Home

We landed in Rochester this morning after a long overnight flight.  I dropped Elizabethe off at her office, and I continued on home to work from home.

It took me most of the day just to clear my e-mail at work.  Plus, I got a trouble call.  I was ready for bed by the time I got done with work.  However, I had to drive back to pick up Elizabethe.

We went to bed early.  We were just beat from the travel and work.