Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday Menu Deployment Edition III with Popcorn Balls!

Another week with the husband away - four lightbulbs went out, and I found cockroaches in my room three days in a row!  But we are managing to survive, as you can see!

Noms This Week
What could be more enthralling than food? 

Betty Crocker Popcorn Balls  |  Definitely not healthy but definitely super fun - a delightful indulgence!! A girl friend and I made these to munch on while watching the new Upstairs, Downstairs online (temporarily available) at, and let's just say the popcorn balls never quite made it to the shaping stage ... we ate them right out of the mixing bowl!  Recipe below. 

Vitamix  |  I made a hot soup using vegetables and peppers from our CSA, heaped into the container, and a quart of chicken broth from the freezer, thawed.  About six minutes on high speed, and the friction cooked the soup steaming hot!  ... I made a chocolate milkshake using milk, ice cubes, vanilla extract, ice cream, and chocolate syrup!

Pilau and Samosas  |  With a friend from Kenya and a friend from Washington state, we had an African dinner night and enjoyed exotic, rich fare and girlie pillow talk late into the evening!

Espresso  |  I got an espresso pot and now I can do a lot more in a given day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Just kidding.  Reserved for special occasions like breakfast and dessert!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hot Cocoa  |  It has finally started cooling down (although the occasional crisp October day will still climb to 80 degrees), and I've been enjoying the occasional mug of hot cocoa made from mix.  (I haven't made any marshmallows yet this winter, however.)

Espresso, italian style
Bagel, fried egg, cocoa
Cupcakes from an Amish bakery, scrambled eggs n onions, espresso -
having breakfast with a friend! 
Picking up some pie pumpkins, dressed in style
Milkshakes are always in season
Pilau and samosas
Kitchen Tasks

Cowshare  |  Last Monday was my turn to pick up milk for our cowshare.  The farm is about 45 miles away from where we live.  I brought the coolers back to the host family's home, and everybody participating in the cowshare was able to come to her house and pick up their bottles.

Food Auction  |  I didn't pick up anything at the food auction this week, although I did go and browse.  I talked to the grocer at the market there about ordering a Thanksgiving turkey from Polyface.  I discussed ordering pie pumpkins with a farmer there.  A friend generously gave me several later that week (!) and I picked up a few more from another farm.

Bananas  |  I finished dehydrating the bananas and filled two gallon bags.  They are currently residing in the refrigerator until I can bag them separately with the vacuum sealer and put them in the freezer.  I did not dry them rock-hard, which is why they need to be refrigerated or frozen; otherwise, they'll mold.

Apples  |  On Sunday I picked up an order of three bushels of apples (about 150 lbs).  A far cry from the 2,000 pounds we processed back home in Washington the last year Mr H was there; but it's nice to have a little taste of home.  You will probably see them appearing here on the blog again over the course of the next few weeks.

Gotta keep these rolls goin'!
At the farm, he nearly brought a kitten home with us! 
I left him in the back of the Jeep while I went to gather the bottles ... 
Came back to find he and Valentine the cat had discovered the
bag of cookies I had brought along for a snack! 
A hen came to investigate
At the market near our house, we visited the master gardeners,
whom Mr H and Little H always pepper with questions

A friend spent that night and then kept an eye on him while I went
 to an early morning yoga class!

Visiting a military family appreciation event
Crop Circles

Kale  |  Still been too lazy to put the kale in the ground ... must get moving on that! 

Betty Crocker's 1978 Cookbook Caramel Popcorn Balls 
Look away if you like healthy food ... because this ain't healthy!  It's fast and easy to whip up for movie night, if you're in the mood for munching!  

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 cups popped popcorn

Heat all but the popcorn to simmering in a 4-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat, stirring constantly.  Add popcorn.  Cook, stirring constantly, until popcorn is well-coated, about 2 minutes.  Cool slightly.

Optional:  Dip hands in cold water; shape mixture into 2-inch balls.  Place on waxed paper; cool completely.  Wrap individually in plastic wrap or place in plastic bags and tie.  Makes about 6 popcorn balls.

Mrs H
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