Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Fried Spaghetti

. . . With Fried Eggs
(Down Home with Mama)

Hubby and I always look forward to having leftover spaghetti because it means that tomorrow night's dinner will be fried spaghetti with fried eggs. This is a yummy combination that my Mom use to make back in the good ol' days (when Chevy cars had large, fuzzy dice hanging from the rear view mirror, skate keys were worn around the neck on a string, everyone wanted to be Annette Funicello.....but I digress) . . .

For those who have never heard of fried spaghetti, you simply must give it a try!
You'll need:

Any amount of leftover spaghetti (sauce and spaghetti already mixed together)
Olive Oil (or oil of your choice)
Shredded Cheddar Cheese (or cheese of your choice)

Over medium to high heat, pour into a frying pan enough oil to cover the bottom. Let this heat for about a minute or two. Add the spaghetti to the pan and spread it out so it can fry nicely. This is where I like to sprinkle a handful of shredded cheddar cheese over the top so it can melt in.

As if you were frying hash brown potatoes, turn the spaghetti now and then so that it becomes brown and as crispy as you like.

When finished, serve with fried eggs. Throw in a few biscuts and you are living down home!

Bon Appetit!

Aroma Fields Candles & Bath
~Marilyn's Silly Website~

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Knit Tops For Cheyenne & Berlyn

...Another Fun Grandma Project
(Aren't they just sew pretty?!)

Just as I took Sydnie shopping for her choice of pattern and fabric (and she chose the Snoopy Pajamas which are shown here), I also took my two older grand daughters, Cheyenne and Berlyn. Both are teenagers, thus, are a bit more particular about the style of clothes they wear. The patterns they chose required a knit fabric.

Berlyn chose a beautiful teal knit fabric and wanted the pockets trimmed with white lace. This blouse is long in style and meant to be worn with a tank top and either leggings or skinny jeans.

Cheyenne (who has always loved tigers!) chose a tiger print knit fabric and wanted it trimmed with black knit fabric. She'll wear hers with a tank top beneath and cute jeans.

I finished these two blouses last week. Shopping with my grand daughters to have them pick out their own patterns and choice of fabric is so much fun. Maybe we can do it again soon.

Aroma Fields Candles & Bath

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Over My Dead Pancreas!

... Give Me More Health Problems...NOT!

Prior to beginning the radiation/chemo, which is the next phase of treatment, I met with the Radiologist Oncologist for a consultation.
When he shared with me that he was going to radiate my entire (remaining) pancreas which offers a guarantee that I would become a moderate to severe diabetic, I froze in my chair. Hell no! I put the treatment on hold while I took the time to talk with other doctors. Truly, in all the research I've done, I've never found any incident where the outcome was as drastic as what he was about to bestow upon me. Further, I was consistently finding information stating that radiation therapy was controversial; that it's benefits are so minimal that Great Britain had discontinued it's use for pancreatic cancer treatment.

I realize there are others in worse condition than I...those who would allow their pancreas to be fried and fed to the neighbors dog for a chance to live a few extra years. But what I'm discussing here is specific to my situation...someone who has been given the gift of life of a few more years OR, by the grace of God, may end up in the low percentage of survivors who live well beyond 5 years.

In meeting with my Oncology Surgeon, he shared that radiation therapy, in fact, not only offers minimal benefit but in some cases, can make things worse. He talked with the Radiation Oncologist and insisted that he did not want me to become diabetic, given the very high risk that this cancer will return and quality of life is a factor. He does believe that we should do all we can as it is a standard therapy for pancreatic cancer in the United States (which is much lacking in current research!!). So now the radiation will be isolated to the surgical sight of the pancreas only. This will offer a much, much lower risk of becoming diabetic.

I'll now take this therapy and it begins August 17th. Even though the statistics dictate that this cancer will return, thus, my prognosis isn't very good, there's a 20% chance that I could survive this and live a long life. The 20% group of survivors had radiation therapy...I'll follow the herd. I wouldn't want to end up with the cancer coming back and wondering "what if...". You know, that 20% group is there for a reason. I plan to be part of it!

Aroma Fields Candles & Bath

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Jam, Pickles and Onions - Oh My!

Home Canning and Preserving . . .
(Yes, I Can!)

During the Summer, I finally quenched a desire to do some home canning. I've always wanted to but never took the time to learn. In searching for the information, I realized that the process wasn't that difficult. Following the proper recipes, canning can be a safe and fun experience...and a delicious reward!

Along with making bread & butter pickles and some red onions in red wine vinegar, I found a recipe for strawberry jam that only takes half the amount of sugar. It tastes wonderful and you can't even tell that the sugar is reduced. It makes 6 to 7 half pint (8oz)size jars and goes like this:

You will need:
6 cups crushed strawberries
4 cups sugar (instead of the usual 7...eek!)
1-1/2 packages Ball No Sugar Needed Fruit Pectin
4 Tbsp lemon juice

1.) PREPARE boiling water canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.
2.) MIX 1/4 cup sugar with the No Sugar Needed Pectin. Set remaining sugar aside.
3.) COMBINE crushed strawberries, lemon juice and sugar/pectin mixture in a 6 or 8quart saucepan. Bring to a full boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. It should take about 5 minutes to come to a full boil that cannot be stirred down.
4.) ADD remaining sugar and boil again for one minute, stirring frequently. (If you bring it back to a full boil fairly slowly (on medium heat rather than high) that will help reduce foaming).
5.) SKIM off any excess foam. (Foam... What is it? Just jam with a lot of air from the boiling. But it tastes more like, well..foam, than jam, so most people remove it).
6.) LADLE hot jam into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight.
7.) PROCESS in a boiling water canner for 5 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.

My younger daughter and I got together and also made some tasty Spirited Blueberries (a lucious topping used over pancakes or ice cream . . .) and some spicy salsa (yum!). Home canning is a great way to spend time together in the kitchen and these homemade, yummy items also make great gifts.

I highly recommend a book called "Ball's Complete Book of Home Preserving".

Aroma Fields Candles & Bath