The past few days have found me soaking up every second I could get with my Jarhead, who took some much needed leave. We did some fun family stuff, and burned up way too much gas trying to find a waterfall that doesn't seem to exist. I've made popcorn. Lots and lots of popcorn. We've always been fans of the stuff, and used to buy the healthy microwave kind, before realizing that "microwave" and "healthy" really shouldn't be together; they don't get along so well. Both of our mothers knew this, and popped it on the stove throughout our upbringings. We decided it was high time to get back to our roots, so I bought some popping corn, and asked my Mom for her "desert storm" recipe. Desert storm happens to be the best popcorn on the face of the earth...popped in olive oil, with a sprinkling of salt. Butter is a capital crime. You can go ahead and call me plain jane. The recipe was 3 Tbsp olive oil, and 1/2 cup of popcorn. Cook covered over medium heat until it starts to pop, then cock the lid slightly to let air out. Pop until it starts to slow down a bit, then remove from the heat. I thought, knowing my Mom, that 1/2 cup of popcorn would in no way be enough for us, so I doubled it and used a big pot. I watched in awe as the corn popped, and then "ooohed" and "ahhhed" my way through the grand finale; it was impressive. And it lifted the lid right off my pot. And lifted it higher. I put back the huge metal bowl I had intended to serve the popcorn in, and got out the gigantic one. I think 1/2 cup would have been enough. This picture doesn't do the mass quantity justice because Jarhead has huge hands....ahhh, those hands. *swoon*
Delicious. So much so that we had it for dinner the next night; and the night after. That's the epitome of health right there; nothing like a well balanced diet. Of course this was before my discovery that everything corn you can buy that isn't organic is a GM food, *gasp* I've searched high and low on the commissary shelves and can't find organic popping corn. *sigh*
On top of the popcorn, I made ice cream for a special treat. My fantabulous, ice-cream lovin' mother-in-law made us a gift of my Kitchen Aid, along with an ice cream maker attachment and the Ben and Jerrys Cookbook. I'm from New England...Ben and Jerrys ice cream is my love language.
There is something wonderful about indulging in a special treat when you know exactly what's in it; it kind of takes some of the guilt away. Fully deserving of my plain Jane christening, my favorite ice cream in the world is...vanilla. To quote my good friends Ben and Jerry, "a good vanilla ice cream is the measure of all ice creams." True that.
Ben and Jerry's Vanilla Ice Cream
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream (conveniently, 1 pint)
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
I made pancakes again too, this time reaching deep down inside and gathering my courage to attempt a mickey mouse face for my daughter. I am now part of the club; the mickey mouse club.
You may be wondering what happened to his ear. I fancy he fell on hard times after retirement due to a series of bad investments, and, while hungrily scrounging around for food one night, found a solitary piece of cheese in the middle of a wood and metal contraption. Part of his ear didn't make it out. My daughter didn't seem to notice, so I didn't have to relate my gruesome tale. She was however quite upset when I chopped Poor Mick into bite-sized pieces for her. Woops. Her imagination, every bit as vivid as mine set to work, and she began putting in requests. "Make Donald Duck Mom! And Daisy, and Goofy, and Special Agent Oso, and Handy Manny, and....." !!!!! I think I'll stick with circles from here on out.
I received another book I ordered in the mail the other day, and am captivated. I searched for hours online looking for a book that would give me what I wanted in the way of herbal medicine. I ended up with A Modern Herbal. It was just what I was looking for. I believe whole-heartedly that God has provided what we need for our health in nature; we just need to learn how to apply it. One of my favorite quotes from the introduction of the book is, "Surely it makes a garden more romantic and wonderful to know that Wallflowers, Irises, Lupins, Delphiniums, Columbines, Dahlias and Chrsyanthemums, every flower in the garden from the first Snowdrop to the Christmas Rose, are not only there for man's pleasure but have their compassionate use in his pain."
I couldn't have said it better.
My girls are excellent mess-makers. My oldest dropped a jar of applesauce on one carpet in the house, and spilled a bit of blueberry yogurt on another. I decided to test the "all-surfaceness" of my all-surface cleaner, and sprayed it on both. Incredibley, they both lifted immediately out of the carpet with minimal blotting. I had a few other stains on the carpets that had stubbornly remained after bouts with Resolve, and two steam cleanings. I sprayed them too, not expecting too much. They lifted right out as well! I was near giddy, and looking for every little thing I could smite with my cleaner. I spotted some marker on the couch...my daughter is a very talented artist. Again, it lifted right out. This is the same all-surface cleaner that costs 5 cents to make 32 ounces. I need it in my life.