Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving in Review

The year of our Lord, 2010, the Pistilli children did their first Thanksgiving:
Eric had the rinse and prep the turkey.  He was hilarious! He knew what to expect inside, the girls, were not amused:
Meanwhile, Gabriel who loves my mom's cranberry sauce, learned how to make it himself! Notice his taped glasses? Poor thing, he has new glasses on order, but they came in and the prescription on them was wrong, and so we are "making do" with these, because he so needs them to well, uhm, see!!

It only boiled over once? lol, but it turned out so good!!  I was really proud of him! 

Next, the turkey needed some buttery up, and seasoning:
Do you see all the camera angles? My family gave me a new digital camera, so I was taking pics, Eric and Abby already had their own camera and Anna was using my old one, that is now the "family" digital camera! The paparazzi is in full force in our home now!!
 The girls choose from an assortment of seasonings and had fun sprinkling it all over the buttered turkey!
Eric being the strongest was voted to put into the oven.  A tent was made and the turkey went in for the allotted 5-6 hours.
I believe I have the smallest oven in the land! It just barely fits the 20 pound turkey, just barely!  The kids went out to play for a few hours.  Then came back for some prep work:
Eric started peeling the potatoes, and then talked Gabriel into taking over:

Anna did sweet potatoes, this was a new one for me, and we voted probably not high on our list for doing again!

The rest of the prep was fast and furious, and of the 4 cameras in the house, these were what you get out:
Gabriel did the gravy! Six packages! Woo Hoo!!
You can see the Stove Top Stuffing ready to be made, that was Abby.  We also had peas and corn! The girls were both in charge of hitting 5 minutes on the microwave!  
Eric had the 5 minutes for the brown and serve rolls, that were light as a fart!  They were a big hit!

Abby just looked so cute in this picture I had to include it, and this one of  Eric:

Then it hit! The turkey was not done!!!

 I, Anne, hereby promise from here on out to only get Butterball turkey with the cheater red temperature thing that pops out!  Yes, I did call my Dad in a frenzy of freaking out! My meat thermometer was not cooperating!  That all had to be said first.  I was freaking, because my children did Thanksgiving this year!  I just had to check the turkey!  That is ALL I had to do, and I failed! 
We took that bird out and said, we didn't care if we died of salmonella we were eating!   And eat we did! A ton of turkey, mashed pots, yams (okay not a lot of those, but we tried it), stuffing, peas, carrots, rolls, and cranberry sauce.  We ate and ate and then ate some more!
It was a great meal!  I am very proud and looking forward to another meal and another prepared by my children!  I think I can make it so I only cook 50 times in one year!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I'm guesting today!!

My friend Alamama, aka Christine invited me to post at her blog today, so mine doesn't get all messy! 
Please pop over to Pressed Petals and say really nice things in the comments so I feel really good!  

Here are some cut and paste suggestions:
  • Anne, you are the cat's meow!
  • Woman, you never fail to make me laugh!
  • Your way with words is extraordinary!
  • Your extreme humbleness is what continues to draw me to you!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A week with revival, school, and all that stuff! Wow

Pastor Jeremy Hocker from the Redding Church,  (you have got to go to that site!! I am so impressed with it), any ways, Pastor Hocker came for a week long revival! Sun morning, evening and then Mon thru Thursday night!  It was incredible!!  We had first time visitors become second time visitors, words given, and testimonies of healings!! I am pretty excited!!  Our little building was full!! A big thank you to the Oroville church for coming and supporting us! 
It was a fast paced week! The Hocker's have 3 children and they were coming with their mom for the last evening of revival and.............................the kids were staying at our house for a sleep over!!!  My kids had Thursday off from school, but wanted to clear the schedule and did 2 days of school extra in one day!  I was mucho proud of them!!

We conquered some of Rome, going back harder in Story of the World, so we are going back a bit to Greece and will come back to Rome in a few weeks! Julius will have to wait! But the Gladiators were learned, so Gabriel was happy!
Me in desperate need of a haircut and posture!  Goodness, I am clutching my coffee like an addict!  Tony had the camera and was snapping pictures! I have a few of him, and he will thank me for not posting them! ha ha ha
My cat, Lady Fluffy Pants, she now sleeps by my feet during the evening, this is her in a yawn,

she was wanting to go to bed, as in my bed, the basket isn't conducive for stretching out!  ha ha
Biology for the 4/5th combo is moving to the Plant Kingdom!  With the Christian Kids Study Biology book, we kinda of do it like Story of the World.

Read, narration, vocab and fill out a daily sheet! One of our big stumbling blocks for my girls was finding the answers in a block of text.  We started working together, highlight the word, now look around and find the meaning.  Thinking about it a bit more.  I am trying to teach them a bit more independence in the subjects, so I can throw it to them and say "Get 'er Done!!"   Now I have looked in awe at home school blogs at the drawings some kids do in school.  I have to say I was impressed with my kidlets:
They labeled and drew the ferns I pulled out of the ground in our front yard! ha ha was supposed to be flowers, but we cheated!  
My poor Gabriel! His glasses broke so he is wearing my reading glasses (huge on his head) for school.  I let him take them off for the picture, so he is posing here!!

Just a great picture of Mr. E!  I didn't think he was going to grow and now it is happening, and it kinda freaks me out!  He is a blessing to us!! Even when I want to kill him for being so much like me!!
The sun setting in our back yard!  I love this, because I know the ocean is that way!  I really love living here in California, I can almost feel west now, so my directions are way better!!  It looks like fire, doesn't it?
We did get a package this week, and it is on our list of to do, once we hit the Bird section of biology:

Yeah, I can honestly say, I never thought I would order bird pellets!  But there they are 15 sterilized droppings from a Barn Owl.  We will be dissecting them to hopefully find a skeleton of past meals!  The joy of the food chain!!
I live you with a funny man: Tim Hawkins

Friday, November 12, 2010

It Fall and Field Notes are the RAGE

Tangie did it again!! Field Notes II Fall This is a warm and chocked full of intriguing  fall items for notes, pics and just fun!!  I loved her original Field Notes, so when she mentioned making this, I could not wait.  Finally, it is available to you!!  I had to giggle, as we had just started plants in school, in our Biology.  I took lots of pictures and was able to complete a page for our homeschool yearbook!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Cake balls from begining to ending with hybrid!!

Our neighbor cut our tree for us, and I knew it was a cake ball moment.  We are having a revival with the Hockers, and I knew it was a cake ball moment.  I had promised my friend Miss Behaving a tutorial of cakeballs for the visual cooks!
 So........first the ingrediants:
You can use whatever cake mix and frosting you want. We have done strawberry with strawberry frosting and dipped in white chocolate.  Red Velvet with Cream Cheese frosting dipped in chocolate. The possibilities are endless.  This is just what I did today.
Bake cake as usual, making sure you grease and flour the pan.  This will make for easy removal from the pan.
I have a 50 year old stove and the smallest one still in existence I am sure.  It is Harvest Gold, the original.
Let the cake sit for 10 minutes.  Thank you dear Tony for your hands.  It looks awkward? But it should help you remember 10 minutes.  This is important, the cake will be cool, but still warm enough for the frosting to mix right.
 If you have a pastry knife or dough cutter it is a great help, but a fork will work just as easy.  I get a big bowl out while the cake is in the 10 minute cool, have my cutter available and prepare to mix!
Okay, this is the funnest part, it goes against everything you have ever done as a baker of cakes. Dump the cake into the bowl!
It is okay if it breaks, you are gonna decimate it in a minute, just get it out of the pan!
Now crumble it, bring it to the crumb stage.  Where ants would be happy to carry the pieces off to their lairs.  (Do ants have lairs or nest, holes, hills??)
Once you get it all crumbs, and the right consistency, that whole can of frosting is going in:
Mix well!  It goes like a gooey pudding type texture. 

You are done for an hour or more. Put the bowl in the fridge

I left mine over night.  Why, cause I was tired and I had no one to help me roll the balls. 
Next morning, I had slaves, I mean willing helpers!

Abby is not impressed with Dad's rolling ability, and I think she has an undipped cake ball in her mouth!!! Punk!
Using the palms of your hands roll til the ball is smooth and shiny.  This is important or bits will fall off when you dip in the chocolate.  This is a bad ball, it is not smooth, it is not shiny and it is not round. 
Tony has way too much fun helping. 
That is a reject ball.  We continue to seek therapy for Tony!  Here are some good balls.  You can see they are all different sizes.  When you have different people helping, you get different sizes.  I'm okay with that, if they aren't the size of a golf ball!
I see a few golf balls.  Here is a good close up of shiny:

Pay no attention to the shadow from my hair that needs to be cut. I put the balls back in the fridge to set for at least 30 minutes. Then get out your small bowl and chocolate!  Melt as described on your package.  I use a small bowl, so I don't have to chase the little balls around to cover at the end.
I don't know what those three red globs of stuff are in the back of the microwave.  I am thinking over microwaved cheese, since quesadilla's are my family's main microwave choice.
Careful the chocolate bowl gets hot and the chocolate gets all over your hands.
Stir chocolate til smooth then plop a cake ball in the hot chocolate.

I use two forks, so the excess chocolate can drip off:

This is an individual technique, I try and shake and scrape from under neath to get the bulk of the excess, and then bring over to wax paper.
The chocolate bark coagulates or hardens quickly on the cooled balls.  I do them all.  I got a bit fancy last time and had some white vanilla bark, so I melted a few chunks and drizzled over the chocolate covered balls.
Back into the fridge to finish off the hybrid bags I made for our neighbor and the Hocker's.

I am rather excited.  My dear friend, Julie. It is.  she is selling at The Digi Chicks now, and has this kit Bohemian Fall by Sherwood Studio.  It is beautiful.
I made these little bags and filled them with cake balls for our friends!
The girls delivered the white one to Mr. Will and his dear wife, and the Hocker's sits and waits for them to arrive!
I hope you give it a whirl, let me see the final product!