Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Where is the dang cornmeal??

Living in a new country means that occasionally you look for substitutes in recipes or have to figure out how to make things yourself that you would normally find in a jar or package at home. For example, once I couldn't find cream of mushroom soup, so I made it myself.

For Thanksgiving, Americans make many traditional foods that require ingredients that are difficult to find in Aberdeen. I hear many women complain about not finding canned pumpkin. They have it in the American section at TESCO. I've spend the last two days looking for turkey sausage and cornmeal. I went to 4-5 different stores! We use it in the stuffing for the turkey. Cornbread stuffing.

I finally gave up looking on my own at TESCO and asked for help. The woman I asked couldn't find it where she had found it previously. She asked me to wait in the aisle. She came back with the store manager and who I'm guessing may have just been a floor manager. I was thinking, "Whoa! Now I feel silly. hehe." The store manager was out there in his nice suit and tie, iPhone in one hand scanning the inventory, other mobile in other hand taking calls. The other guy looked at me and said, "I've been looking for polenta (essentially cornmeal I've learned) off and on for the last week!" I was standing there embarrassed. All of this to help me find cornmeal! People are so nice here! We finally found it! It was in the Indian food section. I found this very strange. I have only scratched the surface with cooking Indian food. Do many recipes require cornmeal? At any rate, now you know where to find it here!

I never did find the turkey sausage, so I found a recipe for turkey breakfast sausage. I hope it's good. I mixed it up tonight, and I'll try some for breakfast tomorrow. Hopefully, problem solved. :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Wow! This is behind your office, Steve?

Steve had to walk to his office for his laptop on Sunday. I told him that I'd walk with him and take Angel. When we got to the office, he pointed and told me that there are some trails through the forest I could take Angel through while he's getting his stuff. At first I thought, "Man! This is really muddy and thick!" Angel didn't mind. She was excited to run.

After a few minutes of trekking through the mud and brush, we came to a lovely stream with a nice walking trail and wooden bridge!
I know it looks really muddy and not so great in this picture, but the bridge and stream are so nice! Imagine it with the water flowing. :)


Steve texted me to let me know he was finished. I texted back, "Okay. It's so cool back here!" That's such a nice place he and his coworkers have to de-stress during the day (if it's not muddy!).


video

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Another good-bye

Well, it's that time again. Another friend is leaving Aberdeen to go back to Texas. Today we said good-bye to Beth. She's been such a sweet friend, and in her short time here she was very involved with AWA. We went to Cocoa Ooze for lunch, chocolates, and hot chocolate (I had tea. I can't drink cow's milk, and they didn't have soy.).  Bon Accord Beth.
Photo credit: Jessica Yamaguchi

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Volunteering

Do you volunteer much? Donate to charity? I try when I can, but I'd really like to make more of an effort to make volunteering a normal part of my life. My mom is working through a Bible study just now that talks about giving to those in need. She was telling me what the Bible says about giving to the poor, and that it's part of showing your obedience and love to God. She said that they have never purposely put aside money that would be given to a charity, but that now she'd like to start doing that. It got me thinking.

Steve and I give to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital each year that my friend Randi runs in their marathon, but I'd like to do more. Recently I went to the Children's Hospital here and volunteered with the Archie foundation. I'd like to do that more. I'd like to go help out at the Seafarer's Centre at the harbour in Aberdeen again as they prepare Christmas gifts for the seafarers. My friend Tekara said that she and her husband volunteered in the kitchen at Star of Hope in Houston, Texas every 2 weeks. It got me thinking, "I can do that... make volunteering a regular part of my life." We could even set aside a piggy bank that once full, we donate to a charity, and continue to do so each time it is full.

Wrapping gifts for seafarers last year.
What do you do, or what are you feeling inspired to do? :o)

Monday, November 17, 2014

Early mornings thanks to Frogdog and other activities

Wow, have I really not written anything in almost a week? Time really flies sometimes. Last week was so busy! We had our last AWA meeting of the year at Rosie Thistle's Tea Room (link).  It's a lovely place with good tea, coffee, and lunch. You can sit at a table or snuggle up on cozy chairs or sofas.

Afterwards, I had to take the dogs to the park and get some wool for knitting. On Thursdays I go to the Stitchin' Chicks meeting. We meet at a different person's house each week to work on projects, have coffee/tea, and chat. I've been trying to learn how to knit. Knitting is HARD! In the amount of time that I cast on, knitted a row or two, unraveled it all, and then cast on the stitches again about 8 times, my friend Kate had crocheted a hat with a flower attached. Let me type it again, "Knitting is hard!" I'm not one to give up so quickly though. I'm going to practice until I get this.

Friday is Mahjongg. Frog woke me up at 4:30AM to poop. He's relentless. He refused to go back to sleep. I was exhausted at Mahjongg. Then, I had to do my shopping for sweets for the bake sale to raise money for the Archie Foundation, which provides funding that benefits sick children. Get dog food. Walk the dogs.

Saturday I had Kung Fu. Then, I cooked lunch. I needed a nap afterwards. Because I didn't get up with enough time to hydrate before Kung Fu, I think I had a dehydration headache. After a nap I spent the rest of the night baking. I hate baking. It's messy and so easy to screw up. Also, whatever you make is going to rot your teeth, make you gain weight, and for me, give me the shakes from all the sugar.

I got up at 6:40 AM, although Frog woke me up at 5:15 AM to poop (ugh), on Sunday to finish my truffles and be at the hotel where we had our AWA Craft Fair to set up the Sweet Shoppe at 8:00AM. I worked for 3 hours, did a little shopping, went to the grocery store, and then went home to relax! But not really. I made lunch, and then Steve and I took the dogs to the park to play. Angel was rolling in the mud and leaves! That night we went to a friend's house to have pizza and watch American football. We had a great time!

After a busy day that included lots of running in the park for the dogs, I was not expecting Frog to wake me up early again (6:15AM) so he could potty. It's like he's reverting back to a puppy. He cannot hold it anymore in the morning. He wakes me up super early almost every day. I've tried ignoring him, but that proved to be more of an inconvenience because he couldn't make it out of the house before taking a poop in the floor. Great.

Any ideas? Have any of you had this issue with your dogs? He is 6 years old. He used to always wait until I woke up.