Thursday, May 2, 2013


These are my boys.  Five of them in all.  I am immensely proud of them, in the righteous, pleased way and not the unrighteous, boastful way.  They are from l-r Stuart, Aaron, Nolan ( middle and youngest), Sean and Owen.  They are big, happy, crazy, silly, fun, smart, talented, two are husbands and dads, two are cops, and all are students of life.
I don't know how my life would be without them and I am not ready to try.  I love them so much.  Thanks boys for being my sons!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Canning 2012

 This year our garden was very unproductive, partly from lack of water, but mainly from neglect. Shame on us.  We were out of town way too much for a garden to thrive.  Anyway we still have been blessed by good sales, local produce and friends who have fruit in their back yards.  This is a photo of me canning green gage plums.  They were given to us by a friend and neighbor and were delicious.  They look a little like olives in the jar after processing but I'm sure they will be delicious this winter. 
I was able to buy some great chilis from our local nursery/farmer's market.  Every fall they have chilis and they will even roast them for you.  I didn't have them roasted because I wasn't ready to put them up yet so I roasted them myself.  I bought Ancho chilis and the man selling them seemed worried that they would be too hot for us to eat.  I didn't tell him that my crew likes it hotter the better.  I got a half bushel box of these for $20.00.  This produced 21 1/2 pint jars.  This is cheaper than buying them in the store, even on sale.

Peaches. Sprouts had peaches on sale for .69 cents/pound.  They are Washington peaches and weren't the best I had seen but were very tasty and I canned them with a light syrup.  I also have another box that I got from our food co-op Bountiful Baskets and am going to can those too.  They are Utah peaches and are not quite ripe yet.  I'll do those on Tuesday.  I have a box of pears that I bought from the grocery store for  .79 cents/pound and need to do those today.

This is a box of nectarines that my friend Jeannie gave me.  My boys went and picked them.  They are white fleshed and delicious.  I had a couple sliced up on my oatmeal this morning.  Delicious!
 Other things I have canned this season are tomatoes, bought from Sprouts also, for .69 cents/pound.  I put up 50 pounds of those boys. 
I am planning to can a 40 lb bag of dry beans and also some chicken.  It is nice to have cannned beans onhand and makes preparing a dinner a lot quicker.
  I have not bought from Bountiful Baskets before and today was our first time.  We got 2 baskets that had fruit and vegetables and also an Italian package, 5 loaves of 9 grain bread, the peaches and two flats of strawberries that are now in the freezer.  I am going to freeze some strawberries and can the sweet potatoes.  I had better get busy.
We are truly blessed to have all this bounty!

Homemade Mozarella Cheese

A couple of years ago I was reading this book, and she told

about making homemade cheese and going to a cheese making class in New England.  I couldn't stand it so I got up and went and googled said cheesemaking company and found this place:
30 Minute Mozzarella & Ricotta Kit Mozzarella, Ricotta, Mozzarella Cheese, Cheese Making, Fresh Mozzarella, homemade mozzarella cheese, how to make mozzarella cheese, homemade cheese, cheesemaking at home, how to make mozzarella, homemade mozzarella
They are a real cheese making supply and instruction place.  I found myself ordering a kit  for a homemade mozzarella that only takes 30 minutes to make.  It is like magic.  You heat the milk and add a few things and then heat it again in the microwave and then you have shiny, stretchy and delicious cheese.  We had purchased some heirloom tomatoes from Sprouts
and I had some basil in my pots and so we made a capresi salad.  Stuart had not seen me making cheese since he came  home from his mission so he was impressed.  The salad above is the result of this effort.  I have also used it on pizza, and just eating out of hand.  It is delicious.  You should try it sometime.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Aunt Lola

Jan's Aunt Lola passed away August 1, 2012.  She was 91 years old.  She was such a sweet lady and had many friends and admirers.  I was one of them.  Here are a few things I know about her and learned about her at the funeral. 

She was a little sister of my husband's father, Leo Robison.
She was the wife of George Crow  for 37 years and after he passed away she became the wife of Cort Dixon, who was a high school sweetheart and a rival of George.  Cort passed away three weeks before Lola.  Each of her husbands loved and adored her.  She was good at picking her men.

She is the mother of Diana and the grandmother of Tyler, Camden and Catherine.  They were the loves of her life.

She welcomed me into the family in 1980 with open arms and open heart.  She was truly happy for us and made me feel so loved.

This is the reason I felt that I had to go to her funeral.

She was an amazing cook and loved to serve her guests, but occasionally when she wasn't in the mood she would put a can of tuna in the center of the dining table and that was the signal to Uncle George that he was to take them out for dinner that night.

  I am posting a recipe of hers below.  It was served by her last old friend on earth at her funeral luncheon. I went and scoured my recipe books that she had given me over the years and it was not in there, but when I looked in Jan's mother's (another amazing cook) recipe file, I found it.

Here it is:

Fruited Cherry Salad

Combine in saucepan and cook over medium heat until thickened, stirring frequently....

1 can (1 lb) sour pie cherried and liquid

1 can (1 lb) crushed pineapple and liquid

2/3 Cup sugar

1/4 cup flour

2 drops red food coloring

Remove from hear.  Add, stirring until dissolved...

1 package ( 3 oz) orange flavored gelatin

Cool until slightly thickened.  Stir in...

2 large bananas, mashed
1 cup chopped nut

Pour into 6 cup mold.  Chill till firm. 

Makes 8-10 servings.

I don't have a photo of this dish but I can attest to it's deliciousness.

I love you, Aunt Lola

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Pig

 Well Stuart advertised on his F.B. page that he was now a Polynesian since he has killed a pig for a luau and danced the Haka.  Well this is the story of the pig.  Her name is Jackson, but when they figured out she was a girl, she became Jackie.  Stuart is in a single's branch and the counselor in our Stake is a Tongan.  He and his countrymen have shared many good times with food, and dancing with us and the single's branch was doing a luau.  Stuart's friend Tim was in charge of the pig roast.  So they got busy and got the job done. 
 Pig after being shot.  Quickly and humanely. 
Cleaning the pig!
 Gutting the pig.
President F. blowing  up the lungs, it entertained the guys. 
 Pig ready for roasting in the pit.
After roasting.  This looks pretty delicious to me!

After eating, nothing much left.  It must have been delicious.  While as a mother I am not over the moon about my kids learning to kill another creature, I, as a country girl, understand the facts of life and where our food comes from.  My family needs to learn this too.  All my boys want to learn to hunt but as my husband and father are not big hunters they don't have a big pool of older relatives to learn from.  I am grateful to President F. to at least give Stuart this opportunity to learn.  And not only did he kill it but he had to clean it and eat it too. This knowledge might come in handy some day.   Once this same man, while on a scouting trip to Lake Powell with my kids, caught a big fish in the lake and bit it on the neck to kill it and they had it for supper.  It was Sean's birthday for that trip and he was excited by that experience too.  We love President F.!!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

High Maintenance Women

 It has long been rumored that the Rudd girls are high maintenance women.  My grandmother and her sister would go shopping in Amarillo and walk up and down Polk street for hours window shopping first and then going in the stores.  Grandma Pat would always have her hair and makeup done before going into town.  Once Rebecca and Jean got into her makeup area and played in it and there was not enough left for her to go town to buy more.  My mom had to pick up some for her.
 Isn't Marion cute all ready for the wedding?
 Camille and Emily got all prettied up too!
 Courtney is enjoying her makeover!

Somebody has pretty toes!
 Milly enjoying her first ever professional pedi.  She has been, from day one, a girly girl.  She loves her girl stuff! The more bling the better. We sure know where she gets it.  It comes naturally from being in the family.
 When Jessica got married in June, my sister Elizabeth's friend and hairdresser, Kelly offered the use of her shop and supplies and expertise for the whole female side of the family.  Elizabeth is here taking her up on the offer. She closed the shop for the whole afternoon, wasn't that an awesome gift?
 Emily enjoying the facility.
 The end result for Courtney and Brynna with their dad. Don't they look great?
 Brynna taking advantage of the hair dressing and the cute puppy!
 My sister Rebecca and her daughter Camille, don't they look fab?  Rebecca has always been the ring leader high maintenance girl.  Many hours in front of a mirror and so much time in the fabric shop deciding on material for an easter dress.  Remember the orange linen one with the multi color chiffon sleeves? She had that dress when she was about six.  She is also an experienced shopper, and has shopped many stores around the world!
The star of the day is Jessica and she got the top hair dresser, Kelly to do her up. She was the prettiest bride.
We won't even talk about these beauties! Oh Dear!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Things We've Been Doing This Summer

 The other day I tried to call Owen, it was Friday evening and thought he might be available to talk at the end of his week.  He didn't answer so I thought he might be at a movie or out with friends.  Boy was he out.  He was attending the 3rd Infantry Division Ball in Savanah, GA.  He texted me that he was at the ball and I asked for photos.  This is what he sent.  Isn't he handsome?  The nice girl is his Lieutenant.  Don't know her name.  They worked together in Iraq and she is in leadership over him now.  She is soon to be a Captain. 
 Nolan had 11 yr old Boy Scout camp this month also.  They go up to Elsworth park, which our church owns and is up at the Lookout Mountain area.  It was held on a Friday and Saturday with the Dads staying over the night with them.  He and Jan had a good time.  Nolan got to learn some new stuff, like his Tote-N-Chip, and some orienteering.  Looks like he is having fun!
 Are they starting a fire or looking at bugs?  They do have adult supervision!

 In June we attended Jessica's wedding to Andrew Washer.  They were married in the San Antonio temple.  It was beautiful, the couple are very happy and we had a great time visiting them.  We then went to Del Rio, TX for the reception and had a nice time visiting with the family.  Nolan loved swimming in their pool and the tubing on Lake Amistad. 
 Yesterday our stake had a mini Pioneer trek.  We went out to Byers, CO to a fair ground and they had a 2 1/2 mile trek laid out with stations where each group would stop and have a pioneer story. Nolan is the one in the white t-shirt pulling the handcart.  He told me he pulled the whole way.  I was proud of him.  The weather was hot (over 100 degrees) and at the end of the day they had dinner.  I was in charge of the food for the whole group (over 200 people)  We cooked lots of chili-60 lbs of meat, cut up 15 watermelons, and had bread and pound cake ala Sam's Club.  I still don't have my kitchen cleaned up yet and I didn't even cook it at my house. 
The above photo is of Nolan's group while stopped at a station listening to a pioneer story.  He said he had heard them all already, from the movie 17 Miracles.

 Today we got to attend Aaron and Susanna's ward to see Liam get blessed.  Yes, I am a bad grandma and have no pictures of him in his blessing outfit, but this one will suffice.  Isn't he cute? After church we went to their house for lunch and then later the twins came over to our house for naps. They slept for 2-3 hrs.  Aaron asked if I had conked them on the heads to get them to sleep that long.  They must have been tired.  Levi even fell off the bed and continued to sleep on the floor.  The day was lovely, and we had some good visiting with the whole family on both sides.

Also this weekend Stuart went with his single's brand to Manti, UT to go and see the Manti Pageant.
For lodging they camped out and then attended the free pageant.  You can find out more about it here.  He said the weekend was kind of a bust, I think the biggest problems were that is was very hot, and his girlfriend, Kelsey, wasn't there too.  The first thing he did when he got home
was get in the car and go see her.  They went to a drive-in movie. Snogging anyone?
 This is Kelsey, she is in his single's branch and is from Arizona.  She is a culinary student at Johnson and Wales.  We like her.
 Stuart and Mitchel at the Manti pageant.  Mitchel is an old friend from church/high school and his dad is the single's branch president. 
  The group camping at the pageant in Manti.  Looks like he is having fun to me!

So anyway you can see we have been busy.  Lots more to come too, swimming, gardening, family reunions, camping etc.  Summer is half over already.