Monday, February 27, 2006

Grandma Lily’s Ground Beef Stroganoff

I am making this tonight, and it is bringing my Great-Grandmother to mind. She died a few years back, at the grand old age of 107, and I am so glad that we made it out to visit her with Glady, and had a five-generation picture done with her. This recipe is in her own hand, and came to me in one of the most precious wedding gifts I received - a recipe box with cards started in it, recipes of my relatives in Minnesota. I don’t know some of these ladies who shared them with me, only that they are related to me by my father’s father. But I have to say that when the time comes for me to reluctantly part with one of my children, this is a gift I would be proud to share.

the Recipe:
1 lb ground beef
1 cup chopped onion (I usually use one medium onion)
1 Cup chopped celery (I don’t use this - we aren’t fond of celery)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can of water or broth
1 cup sour cream
1 small can mushrooms (I usually use fresh, sliced)
Sprinkle of soy sauce

Brown meat, onions, and celery. Add soup and water and simmer 20 minutes. Add water as needed for desired consistency. Add sour cream and mushrooms and heat through.

Serve over rice or noodles (I always do it over wide egg noodles).

And this is Dad’s favorite meal!

I wonder what it was like for her to raise a family in that time - in the first third of the twentieth century. She was born in 1893, and in her lifetime humanity progressed from horse-drawn conveyances to the moon, and she traveled the world by jet. Once, when she was 99, she told me that she still felt 18 in her mind, and I think of that often as I get older, with growing children now. I still feel 18, too, and sometimes it seems strange to hug a child who is chest-high to me and wonder where she came from, and how did she get to be so big?

Cedar Lilania, Great-grandchild of Lillian, Mother of Gladiana Lilyjean. Lilies are a vast family of flowers, varying in color from purest white through the oranges, pinks, reds, yellows and many combinations there of. Like we three, their petals are a multiple of three, often sweet-scented and long lasting.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

A quiet afternoon here in NH. I have been asked if there are any signs of spring, but the answer is that they are being buried under falling snow as I type. We had a streak of warm weather earlier this month and I saw the tips of bulbs coming up on the south side of the girls’ school. However, I think that realistically we have another month to go before spring will begin to creep out from hiding.
I am working on a pirate weskit for Phil. This summer the Library theme is Treasure Reading, and we are having so much fun getting a pirate-themed show pulled together. I have several sewing projects that need my attention, so I think that is where this next week will be focused for me.
The girls, on the other hand, have next week off. That should be fun - hopefully it will be nice enough they can play outside every day. Juliet has her first loose teeth, and she is hoping they will come out soon. Johann is about ready to start sleeping by himself. i set up his crib in the girls’ room, and he has been napping in it, we’ll see how it goes in the night next week.
Tonight the plan is to all go to the Sanbornton Fire hall for their fundraiser spaghetti dinner. They’d asked Phil to come and twist for them, but we’ll go as a family, too. Right now the girls are having quiet time so they will behave later, and i am typing one-handed with Johann “helping”.
i’m going to go sit and play with him. i want to remember this - i don’t plan on having any more babies to cuddle.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Well, the apple tart is a success. All three helped me make it, and they are now munching happily. Johann has had his pear sauce, which took fifteen minutes to feed him a half container. He is starting to open his mouth for bites voluntarily, and to look like he is enjoying this process. While the tart was baking all three girls decided they had to put on dresses, so they could dance to the music we had put on. Glady explained to me that she "felt like glamoring up a little". Juliet had to wear a green dress, since we were using green apples for the tart. Phil is on his way home from his show, and I am going to put the girls to bed in a minute and have a quiet mommy moment.

A Beach Metaphor

It has been an interesting week. We had to track down the girls' immunization records for school, which was tedious and annoying and ended up with Glady getting a shot I'm pretty sure she had gotten once before, back in 2001. But because I was trying to get four different records all on one page, something got lost in the shuffle. On the upside, Johann got in for his six-month check-up ( a little late) and he is right smack in the average for height and weight, and he has a big head. I was expecting that. Phil wears a size 7 3/4 hat, and I'm not far behind. Kind of like all our feet being big, too. Glady and Juliet are already in size 1 shoes, and Pippa isn't far behind.

Other than that, I was sick and blue for most of the week so the house caught up with me - an effect not unlike a giant wave curling around my body and sucking me out to sea. Then after his shots on Thursday, Johann ran a high fever with vomiting in response to them. Poor little guy - I hate it when my babies are sick, they just don't understand what is going on. I held him in my arms that night while he screamed in anger and stood on my lap literally rigid and all I could think was that he was upset with me because he didn't feel good. Finally he gave up and fell asleep.

Glady had a friend's party to go to today. They held it at a place with a climbing wall, but I still don't know whether she climbed or not - all she wanted to do when she got home was tell me she had been given four tootsie rolls and that she had eaten them all!

Tomorrow I think we are going to have company for the Super Bowl. Our friend Sharon is planning to bring her family up, so there will be the six Spitzes, Dad, Sharon and co. which makes... twelve. EeeK. I'm not sure where everyone will sit! Maybe the four girls can be persuaded to play games in their room. Speaking of which - I think I had better go finish helping them put away their laundry. The rest of the house is doing ok again. I think the tide went down, so I'm going to go rebuild my sandcastle.