Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Utility Cart Came Today

I've needed one of these but had to shop around for one with rubber wheels.  So many now are being made with plastic wheels and I don't care for plastic.  It may last forever in a landfill, but when it breaks there's no fixing plastic.

Mine is black and it holds 120 lbs so when I come home from shopping on the bus, I can unload right into it and bring my goods upstairs on the elevator.  It will make things easier.  We have one in the laundry room for anyone's use, but sometimes it is being used by someone bringing home their laundry.  There are a couple of other carts there, but smaller and no use to me and my amount of shopping bags.  I wanted my very own.

Here's a view of the wheels.  I wasn't sure I could put this together, only the wheels were needed to add with washers, springs, and cotter pins, but the directions were clear and it was easy.  I managed just fine.
I also added some large-sized name labels to the handles and the front placque so everyone will know this is a personal cart and not the laundry's.  I will keep it outside my apartment when not in use.

Have a good day.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Meat Loaf in Potato Nests

I just made these the first time today and they were terrific.  I will share.

I used a large-sized muffin tin 3 inches across.  This is a photo of the tin after my loaves were baked.

Preheat oven to 400* F

3 Lg or 4 Medium Russet potatoes, well scrubbed
olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme, garlic pepper
1 lb Ground Beef (I used 80/20)
1 Lge Egg
2 Slices White Bread
1/4 Cup milk
Seaonings for meatloaf mixture:
Red Pepper Flakes, Parsley Flakes, Oregano, Season Salt, Garlic Pepper, Salt, Pepper

Rather than peel my taters, I trim off the 2 short ends, then trim away most of the peel on 4 sides to remove any blemishes.  Saves time not peeling and the skins that are left are tasty.

Slice taters thinly.

Place taters in a bowl.  Add olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme and garlic pepper to them and toss to coat.

Line the muffin tins with the thinly-sliced taters, all around the sides and the bottom.  You do NOT have to oil or spray the pan since the oiled taters are oily enough.

While the taters are pre-baking;   In a bowl, crumble up 2 slices white bread.  I put some on one hand and with the other hand I grind my palms together to make the crumbs really small.  I don't bother to use stale bread but any that is handy.

To the crumbs, add the milk, stir together, then add your seasonings.  I use Red Pepper Flakes, Oregano, Season-All, Thyme, garlic pepper, salt and pepper.
Mix them all together.

Put your ground beef on top and add your egg.  Stir them all together til they are mixed well.  I next  placed this bowl in the fridge while my taters were cooking.

After 20 mins in the oven, the taters are pre-baked.  Turn the oven down to 375* now and add your meatloaf mixture to the potato nests.

I found 1 lb of meat worked perfectly for six loaves.  Now place the pan right in the oven.  I didn't wait for the oven to cool down.  I wanted that extra bit of heat to help brown my meat right away.
You need to bake at 375*F now for 20-30 mins. depending on how well you want your meat cooked.  Mine took the full 30 mins.

After 30 mins. mine looked like this above.

They are ready to serve.

Let them cool a few minutes so the meat will hold together a mite better.  With the taters and the meat and a side of salad, these were a complete meal, thanks to the tater nests.

Everyone likes their own version of meat loaf so just follow thru with what you like best;  adding green peppers or onion to the meat mixture or maybe adding a topping of ketchup or tomato sauce over the tops the last 15 mins. of cooking?  Maybe some crumbled bacon over the tops?
I'm pretty much a meat and potatoes woman so I didn't need those extras and was very satisfied.  The taters are similar to the 2-Step Potatoes I make but without the sauteing and then the steaming at the finish.

I hope you try these and enjoy them as much as I have.  Have a nice day.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

6 More Tomatoes Today

The tomatoes are coming in now and I'm pleased.
Note:  They are redder in life than they appear in their photos.  I'm not the best of photographers.
The Left loner is my first Patio tomato and the other 4 are more Better Bush.

Here my 2nd Red Pride is on the right with the 4 Better Bush to its left.  I'll taste test the Red Pride and the Patio when I roast my tomatoes later today or maybe tomorrow.  I have the others I harvested earlier to add to the group.  I'm hoping to get a full quart bag of them when they are finished.

My report on flavors will take a later posting.

Have a Good Day.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Tomato Taste Test

The results are in but I need more Red Prides to make a true comparison.
I sliced and added the newly-picked tomatoes to a salad last nite.
I found the Red Pride to have a much thicker skin so the eating was not comfy.  It was a job chewing thru that skin.  I had to cut some of it out entirely in order to have a smooth salad.
The Better Bush toms were very tasty and the skin perfect for eating in salads and as a whole tomato.
Here's another Better Bush tomato picked fresh yesterday.

Compare the size with my hand.  I'm a tall person and with some uncomfortable girth to go with it so my hands are large.  The size is commendable along with the flavor of Better Bush.   The reddish slash of an oven burn on my hand is healing well.

Have a good day friends.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

A Bald Eagle Visits Our River Today

I was astounded to see a beautiful bald eagle soaring over our river today.  It took me by surprise.  I had been told we had one that fished our reservoir in the summer but this is the first time I've seen it.
You can spot him sitting in the top of a tree about in the center of this photo.

He's still sitting and watching from the same spot in this shot that shows the river below him.

I only took 3 photos of this lovely figurehead for our free country.  I'm sorry I couldn't get a closer shot or two.   I hope to see him again soon.

Have a nice day.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Bissell "Featherweight", Now Do I Love Thee

My report on this little wizard, is a 'thumbs up' for sure.
I am older and weaker than I was a few years ago.  My old vacuum was too heavy to drag around and even setting it up was getting difficult.  What does one do in such cases?
One finds a way.....
Above is my new Bissell "Featherweight" which truly lives up to its name.  It was a joy to push around the carpeting.  So light and easy.  The fact that it has a cup for dirt was another plus I liked.  No more dirty bags to deal with in emptying.

 This is the section that can be removed it one wants to zip over the upholstery or in between the sofa cushions for a quick clean-up.  Just push a button and it comes apart.  Easy Peasy.  I love easy.

This is the blurb in Dr Leonards catalog.  I liked the weight, I liked the idea of a dirt cup.  Why not try it.  If it didn't work out, I could send it back.
This little baby will NOT be going back.  I really like it.  It makes quick work of my limited carpet areas, only the living room and bedroom.  I live alone with only a dog for company.  Its a great way to suck up the dog hair every day in only a few minutes time.  Emptying the dirt cup is a breeze and there's a filter to keep the air clean.  What's not to like.
I get a catalog from Dr Leonard's quite often, but if you want a fast purchase, just go to  drleonards.com and check out their items.
In all the years I've done business with them, I've only sent back one item, a small exercise bicycle that fell apart on its first use.  It was the kind where you sit in a chair and only use your feet on the pedals.  They didn't quibble.  I got my money back right away.

Nice day here but overcast.  I love the fact that it is cooler, only in the 60sF.  This week will be pretty comfy around here.  We got a nice rain shower last nite that petered out early this morning.  Much needed, that shower. 
I don't even have a fan going at this moment and its nearly noon.  Nites have been in the 50sF so even when the days are sunny with high 70s to low 80s, the cooler evening bring the temps back into line.  Nice weather.

Have a good day.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Fresh Blueberries

I got a terrific gift from a good neighbor yesterday.  She picked fresh blueberries and kindly brought me a pint.
Don't they look divine.

Their size is great as well.  In Maine there is nothing like fresh blueberries.  Its one of the crops we grow well in this state, second after Maine potatoes.

I like them fresh eaten without a muffin or pie to honor them, just from my hand.  A bit of whipped cream doesn't hurt either, but alas, I am out of whipped cream.

Thank you Estelle.  You made my day.

I checked the weather for the coming week and it will be very nice indeed.  Days in the 70sF and nites in the 50sF which is ideal in my book.  No rain in site now after last nite's little bit, until a week ahead when temps will return to the low to mid-80sF.

Walking the dog last nite near midnight, the air was cool and brisk.  No air conditioning needed today, just a fan to move the air a bit.  Outdoors on our noon walk, the breeze was terrific and one needed a sleeve to be comfy.  If one opened a window, the breeze was so cooling and divine.

Have a good day everyone.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

I Love Using A Pill Dispenser.

For years now I took my daily pills and vitamins daily, taking them out of their bottles, one after the other and swallowing them down.
Today I use a Pill Dispenser.  I've had a couple, two too small for my portions and this one a larger one that has space for daily morning and daily afternoon or evening pills.  I love it.  It cost me a buck at Dollar Tree and it has removable lids so it is easily refilled each week.
Here's my dispenser with my bottles of daily pills and vitamins alongside.  Refilling it only once a week is so time-saving.

This is a close-up of my compartments filled for the week.  I have only one Potassium tablet to take in the evenings.   I love that the lids are removable.  Its just a matter of counting your pills and dropping them in the slots....1, 2, 3 etc.

Lids closed up and dispenser ready for another week of easy, peasy.

On the garden front, my tomato containers are still sporting only green fruits.
tomato containers
From Left to Right:  Patio, 2 Better Bush and my Red Pride.
All still green.  That's what happens when one gets a too late start to the season.  Usually I am transplanting tomatoes before Memorial Day each spring, but this year it was well into June before I bought them locally.
I've harvested Oregon Spring tomatoes (which can be transplanted outdoors 4 weeks BEFORE our last frost date), before the end of June in the past, but their flavor, alas, was not the best in my opinion.  I like rich, juicy flavor for my home-grown tomatoes.  Not having fresh fruits in July is very unusual for me.  I just hope the flavor is worth the long wait this year.

Have a Good Day.