Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wired in the cabin....

Well, we raced around yesterday and actually had a rather pain free experience at Verizon! I now have internet at the cottage and I am thrilled. There have been a couple of grumbles that I have not posted recently.....Now that I can use just one computer, I hope to be more productive because writing on one and publishing on another gets cumbersome.

I have written two other posts which have disappeared into cyberspace???? So I am now writing in Word Perfect and pasting onto the blog. Hopefully this will be the answer.

I am definitely now in the birthday mood. My birthday month has officially started. Jack and I have been going to our favorite stores and restaurants. Deb’s Flowerbed Antiques in Bridgton is a favorite. I saw a parrot salt and pepper and little creamer and Jack spotted some dishes he thought I might be interested in.....I was. Further research proved that they were quite unusual. They are California pottery from the 50's made by Sascha Brastoff. The pattern is Surf Ballet in the black and gold. I have a service for 6 and the coffee pot, sugarer, and creamer. Already the box to go back to Florida has started and we have only been back 7 days!

We have friends coming for my birthday weekend and already we are working on the menu. Jack will make his now famous chili adapted from my brother-in-law’s famous chili. I will mix up some corn bread. I also feel a brunch is in order, so I will make creme brulee french toast which can be made the night before. My sister, Jean, gave me this recipe and it is a winner. I think my kids will contribute some special dishes as well. There is a wonderful bakery in Waterford and the flourless chocolate cake is the perfect birthday cake for me.

Jack’s Famous Chili

3 Pounds lean beef stew meat, trimmed
2 pounds ground sausage (Jimmy Dean)
3 large onions, chopped
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
good pinch of oregano
Olive oil
3 cans chilies, chopped
1 large can tomato sauce (28 oz.)
4 cans rotelle tomatoes
small jar fire roasted red peppers, chopped
2 15-oz cans dark red kidney beans, drained
2 beers
Wick Fowler 2 Alarm Chili kit (salt package optional)
5 Tablespoons cider vinegar

Brown meat in olive oil. Drain and set aside. Brown sausage in same pan, drain and set aside. Saute onions and garlic in 1 T oil and 1 T butter. Add oregano while cooking. Add meat, 1 beer and all the remaining ingredients except the Masa to a large pot. Simmer for 5 hours. After about 2 hours, add the other beer. Before serving mix the Masa with hot water and add to chili. Cook for at least another 15 minutes. We make the day before serving. I like to garnish with chopped jalapenos, chopped purple onion, sour cream, Mexican style grated cheese and sliced black olives.

Jack likes cornbread so I make it from a mix and doctor it up a little. I add one small can shoe peg corn, well drained, a healthy handful of the Mexican cheese, and 1/4 cup chopped jalapenos. Then follow the mix directions.

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