Sunday, January 17, 2010

Monday Morning Staff Meeting

Welcome to the Monday morning staff meeting. I'm glad you are able to attend, no matter what the time!

First of all, the food. We're going to have oatmeal this morning but unfortunately I don't have any photos. I think everyone has a favorite way to eat oatmeal. My grandmother cooked it to within an inch of it's life (long, long time) and add raisins which plumped up and added a sweetness. I remember it with fondness, but that's not how I like my oatmeal.

Give me the old fashioned kind, not instant, barely cooked and strained to get rid of all the gooey stuff. Honestly, I prefer the steel cut oats but I normally don't have 20-30 minutes to stand around stirring and waiting. My sister makes them in a crockpot and perhaps I'll try that method.

I put a dab of butter and just a hint of sweetness, using either regular sugar, brown sugar or maple syrup. No milk or cream.

How do you like your oatmeal?

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If you look on my sidebar you'll see a button for Craft Hope Haiti.

Craft Hope is a group that I've been involved with for awhile. They sponsor projects in which a crafter can produce an item to be donated for use by those less fortunate. We've done quilts, blankets, sock monkeys, dolls and more!

They've set up an Etsy shop filled with donated crafts. The proceeds will go to Doctors Without Borders, earmarked for Haitian relief efforts. What a great idea. Not only will you be making a donation, you'll get something really cool in the process. One of my aprons will be listed soon.

Hooray for the power of the internet to help these people.

Also....... Rue alerted me to to Shore House Chic's fundraiser. She is auctioning off a cool tote filled with goodies.


Update: A commentor on my previous Haiti blog entry was worriedly seeking information on his aunt and uncle who were on a mission trip to Haiti, working with Dr. Hubert Morquette. He found my blog via a search engine and I was able to assure him that the Morquette family was OK and since his relatives were staying with them I could confidently assure him that they were also OK. He has heard from his relatives, confirming that they are unharmed. His uncle is a retired kidney and liver transplant surgeon on his first mission trip following retirement. He's been thrust into a situation that will make good use of his skills as a surgeon. Please pray for their continued safety and for all those affected by this tragedy.

The orphan situation in Haiti was formidable before this catastrophe. It will now grow exponentially. Pray for these children.

Here's James. He's at King's Garden Orphanage just outside Port au Prince. We supported him for several years. He found an adoptive family and we were all very excited. Unfortunately over 2 1/2 years later the adoption still has not bee finalized and he's still in Haiti. Keep him in your prayers also.

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I promised you some close up photos of the hoarfrost. It continues to cover everything, which is very unusual. Normally it's a temporary but stunningly beautiful event.

During an ice storm everything is covered in a glassy coating. Hoarfrost occurs when the air is laden with moisture, usually the conditions are foggy. The moisture clings to the branches and when temperatures dip the moisture freezes and continues to grow crystals in an outward direction. These branches look furry.

Crystals forming on the branches.

If there is a breeze, the crystals form in a direction. See them blowing outwards to the left?

That's hoarfrost, one of nature's most beautiful shows.

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Coming up this week is my recipe for Swedish Meatball sauce and more. Stay tuned.

I want to thank everyone for taking time out of your busy day to visit with me. I appreciate it...... even more since we're pretty much stuck inside. Cabin fever is ramping up and soon we'll be doing crazy things. Speaking of cabin fever, has anyone read Giants in the Earth? It's a wonder that anyone kept their sanity during the harsh winters on the prairie.

Have a great week everyone. I'm now turning the meeting over to you. All spammers - please leave the room or I'll have to call security.


Vee said...

How wonderful that you were able to reassure someone about their family in Haiti. The power of the Internet indeed!

Oatmeal. We like it. We eat it every morning. A hearty oatmeal for John and myself...1/3 cup of milk with no added sweeteners. A thin oatmeal for my grandmother with sweetener and 1/4 cup of milk. Now that's more than you wanted to know. ;>

Lovely hoarfrost, but I hope that you are able to make a break for it soon. Cabin fever is an awful thing.

chocolatechic said...

I heart steel cut oats....soak them overnight and they won't have to cook so long in the morning.

I eat my oatmeal with br. sugar, cinnamon, butter and ***looking to the left....looking to the right*** flavored coffee creamer.

The last time I saw hoarfrost was when I was a little girl...I remember it being almost magical.

Today, the girl will be having a friend over, and we both will be helping her with algebra...blech..patooie!

And maybe perhaps the boy's girlfriend will come over too.

Jenni said...

I like my oatmeal with some texture to it still. I can't stand instant oatmeal or the quick oats. I've had steel cut and I do like them, but old fashioned is fine by me, cooked so there is a little gooey stuff between the grains and a little bit of a rough edge on them still. I like variety and depth to the texture. Texture is a very big thing for me when it comes to food. I turn into Goldilocks and it must be *just* right. My oatmeal gets plenty of butter and a couple spoons of brown sugar or some maple syrup. (I don't like maple syrup on my pancakes, but I like it to sweeten other things.) I also like to add diced or grated apple to my oatmeal and maybe a dash of cinnamon. Oh how I love oatmeal! My kids won't eat anything but flavored instant, though.

I'll have to look for this Giants in the Earth book. I've never heard of it. I did read The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder with my youngest dd during a long, cold winter. That was a mistake. It was dreadful. It made us miserable and we shivered even more as we huddled on the couch reading it under a pile of warm blanket in our house with modern heating. Maybe I should look for this book in warmer weather?

We had hoarfrost last week. I thought about taking photos, but delayed too long. I'm glad you got some.

Thank you for the updates on the Haiti relief efforts. They are so encouraging to hear.

Lisa D. said...

I hated porridge as a kid. Cream of wheat was nasty, oatmeal barely edible, and Sunny Boy I could just tolerate. Now I don't mind oatmeal, and I actually quite like the steel cut oats but they do take a long time. I will try Chocolate Chic's advice for soaking them, and I will have to try the butter with my brown sugar. What isn't better with some butter?
I love the idea of donated crafted items. I always think a homemade gift can make such a connection with someone else. It says that they were worth not just a few dollars, but your time, effort and thought.
The hoarfrost is beautiful - one of the best parts of winter.

Lola-Dawn said...

Wow! Lovely pix of hoar frost! This is a weather phenomena that I truly adore. Happens quite often in the "bowl" area in my city where the fog gets trapped.

oatmeal ... steel cut, barely cooked with minimal water so it's real thick, sprinkled with a wee bit of coarse salt. None of that milk and sugar stuff for me, and absolutely nothing instant. That's how my Dad taught me to eat the stuff, and I general do 3 or 4 times a week.

lifeinredshoes said...

I like my oatmeal cooked like my Granny made it. Start with cold water, oats and salt. When you start it altogether with cold water it makes for a creamier texture. When done I add sliced bananas, brown sugar and a pat of butter, which I'm certain must counteract any health benefits from the oats themselves. If needed, I add fat free half and half, delish!
We continue to keep Haiti in our prayers and have made a donation...every little bit counts.
P.S. How are the wedding plans coming along?

Ruta M. said...

So that was hoar frost on the plants last week. I used to cook porridge (rolled oats)for my boys in the winter, 1 cup oats & 2 cups milk & some sultanas, cooks in about 5-10 mins. Every day now I have raw oats with sunflower seeds, extra oat bran and a piece of fruit like a pear or apple chopped in. It's quick, very healthy, keeps you filled up for the day and I absolutely love it.

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