Tag Archives: cooking

No Dinner

No Dinner

No dinner for the missionaries tonight.  Well, I mean, we aren’t feeding them tonight.  Someone else is.  Somewhere along the line someone took one of the Sundays so we’re feeding them mid-week this week.

Our new site directors spoke in Sacrament Meeting today.  They were serving as mission president in Sierra Leon and the mission was closed due to the Ebola outbreak.

Matt taught both Sunday School and Priesthood today.  He does a great job and sure knows how to present using is Mac and iPhone.

I decided to watch a few episodes of Chopped.  I like chopped because of the out-of-the-box thinking that takes place.  And… sometimes the lack of creativity too can be learned from.

For example, one episode they had lobster and they had vegetable cream cheese.  To me, I’d be combining the two, transforming both in to something new.  Yet, nobody thought of that.

I would have fun on Chopped.  Elizabethe tried to apply for me, but at the end of the process, their web site crashed.  Weeks later, I attempted to apply for Chopped.  Again, at the end of the process their web site crashed.  I can now see why they keep re-using some of the contestants.  It is difficult to apply.

We woke to 3″ of snow this morning.  Yes, it is supposed to be spring, but the snow is still coming.

Chinese Crock Pot

Chinese Crock Pot

Years ago at a Chinese restaurant, I asked the waitress about those clay pots others were being served.  She informed me I would need ask for the Chinese menu next time.  The menu with the cashew chicken, and kung pao chicken and all that stuff, she called it the American menu.  Today, I did a play off the Chinese Clay Pot called Chinese Crock Pot.

For those who don’t know what clay pot is, it is a clay pot, soaked in water, and then filled with ingredients, and then the lid is wired shut on it.  It is then baked.  The ingredients turn in to a stew-like dish.

So, instead of doing the clay pot thing, I just threw all the stuff in to the crock pot.  Again, just imagine a beef stew made with Chinese ingredients – bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, snow peas, etc.

The missionaries had never had anything quite like it, so it was fun.

I think the next time it will be a chicken based dish.  The last two times I’ve done it I’ve used beef.  (That’s because I like beef better.  But, Elizabethe likes chicken better than beef, so I’ll prepare it with chicken for her.)

There was a good sized crowd at church today.  In spite of it being the dead of winter here, we had a few tourists.  Don’t be afraid of visiting Palmyra in the winter.  Heck, if we do have snow, you can go to Walmart and pickup a cheap sled and go behind the Macedon library and go sledding.

Backseat Cooking

Backseat Cooking


Elizabethe hates my backseat driving, and now it is backseat cooking.  Elizabethe took some hamburger out for dinner with the missionaries and I gave suggestions.  I was suggesting this and that and how to cook it and so forth.

Seeing she was getting annoyed with my suggestions, I offer three scenarios:  Mexican, Italian or Sloppy Joes.  She went with the Italian scenario.

Her creation turned out very tasty.  It was a hollowed out half of French bread filled with ground beef mixed with tomatoes and onions and Italian seasonings and topped with shaved Romano and Parmesan cheeses.  She also made a salad and some coked zucchini.  It was delicious.

Elizabethe then out did herself with a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.  My favorite.  Yum.  Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting could make up for any faux pas in a meal.  In fact it could be the meal.  Just feed me carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and a glass of milk and that’s a meal. (Of course, it would have to be a very large piece of cake.)

Matt was asking today if I’ll be able to walk well enough for Israel next year.   That in itself is motivation to take care of myself and do what I’m told in physical therapy.

We had a good talk about the things that have been happening in Jerusalem.

Knowing my way around some of the sites I can be better prepared for what I want to photograph.  Israel is an awesome place.  This time, I’d like to see some of the other sites too.  And, this time I will bring a tripod.  (Plus, now I have that 10-24mm f4 lens.)




Pepper Heat

Pepper Heat

Pepper heat is measured in scoville units.  Habanero  peppers run  100,000-350,000 scoville units.  While a Jalapeno runs 2,500-8,000.  I only added 4 habanero peppers to my sauce I made the other day, and thus far, both people (besides me) who have tasted it have said it has just the right amount of heat.

copyright 2014 db walton

Habanero Peppers

Sisters Featherstone and Flores came to dinner tonight.  Although one of them couldn’t try the sauce, the other commented that it had just enough heat.

copyright 2014 db walton

Loaded Nachos

I made all the fixings for burritos for dinner tonight.  (The picture from above was last night’s loaded nachos.)  For dessert I got this great idea of a lemon merengue cookie.  I took graham crackers, topped them with merengue, made a pocket, baked the merengue off, and then filled the pockets with lemon marmalade.

copyright 2014 db walton

Served with a smear of hot fudge

The cookies turned out quite well and it was like eating a lemon merengue pie without all the fuss.  The hot fudge on the side was an added bonus of sweetness.

copyright 2014 db walton

Cookie Sheet filled with the Cookies

We had a guest join us the other night.  A young man from San Diego contacted the sister missionaries wanting to know of a place that night have rooms for rent.  They contacted us and it worked out great.

The Beckwith Mansion is a Tourist Home located in Palmyra, New York.  Located only 1/4 mile from the Book of Mormon Publication Site, it is central to many historic sites of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Room rates and information can be found at our main web site at www.beckwithmansion.com.  You are reading the owner’s blog.  The Beckwith Estate is also home to photography by db walton llc — a portrait photography studio that does studio as well as on-location portraiture — both photographic and painted.  Wedding services are also available, but limited to those who have already been promised our services and/or weddings at the Palmyra Temple.

The Beckwith Mansion rents rooms by the night, week or month.  Special rates are not available during Hill Cumorah Pageant, and the week before pageant.  We also offer one room during the fall/winter that is a room-and-board special for young adults who would like to exchange work for room and board.  Contact us for details.

Catching Cold

Catching Cold

Catching cold in the summer is no fun.  Earlier this week I came down with a cough.  Although it has not got worse, it has not got better.  The muggy heat only makes me feel more uncomfortable.  I would have thought moist warm air would be helpful.  Instead, it is just the opposite.  It has made things worse.  Because the humidity and heat wasn’t helping, I turned the AC down so it would dry and cool the air.  That seems to help.

We have quite a bit of cabbage and so I decided to make a salad.  I’ll post the recipe along with a couple others.  I haven’t posted any for a while and it is about time I add some to my cooking section.  (See Cooking With Brent)

There is something satisfying about cooking straight from the garden.  I wish there was something that would grow here in the winter.   Even greenhouse crops don’t do real well because of the lack of light.

In a few days, the habanero peppers will be ready for harvest.  I’ve already harvested one of them and it is this beautiful yellow-orange.  It looks like a flame.  I also harvested a couple of cayenne peppers.



I was watching Diners, Drive-ins and Dives and one of the places made a pineapple salsa.  I thought.. .that’s a good idea for the habanero peppers.

By the way…

It’s PAP-reek-ah.  I was watching some cooking video and the lady kept saying PAP-A-reek-ah.

While we’re on the subject… It’s SHUR-bet, not SHUR-bert.

Got that off my chest.

Leftover Soup

Years ago, I heard of a restaurant that kept a pot of soup.  Whatever was leftover at the end of the day would go in the refrigerator, and the next morning, it would be added to and transformed in to a different soup.  For example, a beef and barley soup on day one might become beef vegetable soup on day 2, and day three might become minestrone soup.

Yesterday, I made navy bean and ham hock soup.  Today, the leftovers got tomatoes and carrots added to it for a different flare.  That’s where it’s going to stop however.  The leftovers after feeding the elders are going to be canned and Elizabethe and I will have them some day this winter when I’m too lazy to cook.

The elders quorum invited me to come take photos of them with their scriptures.  I did that at the first part of Priesthood Meeting.  Then, after church, the Ward family invited me to come get pictures of the men in the family with their scriptures.

copyright 2013 db walton

Two Young Men Discussing the Scriptures

We had two young women return missionaries staying at the house last night.  We had a nice talk with them after church.  They are visiting the sites and are from southern California.  One served in Boise, Idaho, and the other in Peru.

Autumn is Here

Autumn is finally here and we have been seeing some change in colors over the last couple of weeks of summer.  I think the colors will peak early this year.  The weather is cooling off, and today was a cool and overcast.

We fed the elders dinner.  I made some new potatoes, roasted salmon and some mixed greens with bacon and white balsamic vinegar.  We had a bunch of bread pieces in the freezer so I made some bread pudding for desert.

I put a poster up in the foyer about my new calling.  I didn’t get many “takers”, but I think people are still getting used to it.  I think I’ll have to make an announcement in priesthood next week.

Web Site and Retouching Work

Most of my day was spent working on my web site redesign (http://www.dbwalton.com/galleries) and client retouching work.  The web redesign required a lot of waiting while files Ftp’d to my host, and so retouching was interspersed.

It also rained on and off all day.  I did manage to pick a huge basket of bell peppers.  Elizabethe then chopped and made sweet pickle relish.  We had never tried the recipe, but it turned out like a jam if was so thick.  It will go good with cream cheese and bagels or crackers.

Came evening, I was in the mood for some zucchini bread.  We didn’t have any zucchini, but we had several delacata squashes.  I shredded one of those and made two loaves.    I added pecans and raisins and I’m glad I did.  That bread tastes wonderful.

September, Already?

It is hard to believe that it is already September.  Time is moving too fast.  When I was 10, 10 years seemed like an eternity.  Now, 10 years ago seems like yesterday.

Me (about 11) and Mark (about 6)

Me (about 11) and Mark (about 6)

This morning I received an e-mail from an on-line service provider (for my business) that was down Thursday-Saturday.  Today’s e-mail stated they are working again.  Great… they get it working on Sunday.  (It was bad enough that it was down all that time, now they get it working on a Sunday morning the day before a national holiday.)

Sisters Butters and Killen were our dinner guests tonight.  I made cashew chicken, but instead of celery I used dellicata squash.  It actually worked quite well.  But, dessert was the best.

I made a cake with peaches and a whipped cream frosting.  It was one of those desserts that you didn’t feel guilty about having seconds.  It tasted rich but felt light.

Elizabethe teased saying we will never see this cake again.  (Implying that I won’t ever make it again.)  So, I indulged her by taking about how next time I’ll try using apples, or maybe pears.  (That’s exactly what she was implying… I’d change it up so much that it will be entirely different next time.)  That said, I’m sure I’ll make this again.  We’ve got LOTS of canned peaches that need to be used.

Tomorrow’s Labor Day.  One thing I miss about working for someone else is having holidays.  One thing I don’t miss is working for someone else.

Smoker Assembly

We finally purchased a BBQ grill.  Actually, it’s a smoker.  It came in a huge box and of course, needed assembly.

It’s much like the one we had in California.  The difference is, the quality (and this one is also a bit larger.)  It’s a large barrel with a small one attached to the side which is the firebox.

I am very impressed with the quality.  We got it at Tractor Supply, and this thing is built to last.

Of course, I had to burn some wood in it to assure the oil and paint smells got burned off.  After that, I smoked some pork chops for dinner.  They turned out well, but a little dry.

The next time I see pork roasts on sell, I’m getting a couple to brine and slow smoke (i.e. turn them in to ham.)  Elizabethe would like me to make some bacon too.