I wanna hug with somebody

I was walking with a friend the other evening… as we were saying our good-bye’s, a strange feeling came over me… I have been close friends with this person for over twenty years now and this was a new feeling I had never experienced around her… I found my arms raising, my heart pulling me towards her, a smile tugging at the corners of my mouth… and then I almost did the unthinkable… I almost hugged her…
I shyly laughed and told her that I didn’t know what came over me… that I had these strange new feelings and I was overcome with the urge to give her a hug… is this how all the freaks that I’ve avoided hugging over the years feel???

my whole life I’ve avoided saying goodbye at get-togethers and just slipping out in order to forego the inevitable hugs that ensue… now, my body is betraying everything I know by drawing me towards her
this is when I know that Corona has cracked me… broken me down and spit me out…

she was kind about the awkwardness that ensued… I could tell she didn’t need to hug me as much as I was longing to wrap my arms around her… maybe she was worried that a hug that was 20 years in the making might be a let down… perhaps she thinks I am showing visible signs of losing my mind…. it could be the fact that showering once a week is not working out for me as well as I thought it was… whatever it was, she politely laughed as said ‘oh I sure wish we could hug too… darn Covid’

potato gnocchi

  • Servings: 2-4 people
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Ingredients:
4 russet potatoes (around 2 cups mashed)
1 tsp salt
cracked black pepper
1 egg
1 cup all purpose flour (more if needed)
Directions:
boil potatoes – either peel first or pull peels off after
boil them for 20-25 minutes and drain
mash or use a potato ricer
let cool a bit and then in a bowl, add the salt, pepper, egg and then the flour until you can form a ball
on a floured surface, roll parts of it into a log and chop into small ‘pillows’
in batches, place in boiling water and as soon as they float, let them float for 30 more seconds and then remove
put in a dish with a bit of olive oil so they don’t stick to each other
use immediately or keep in the fridge to use later
I’m not sure what this isolation is doing to me but I’m worried that it’s turning me into one of the most annoying/inconsiderate types of human beings… a hugger…
the meal I was making, as I mulled over these new urges I had been having as of late, is one of my absolute favourites… gnocchi… little pillowy mouthfuls of potato heaven… they are a bit laboursome, but so delightful and so much better than the store bought version…

I like to use the potato ricer to get really fluffy mashed potatoes for the dough… my daughter and I had a lovely little assembly line going of me rolling and cutting the dough and she was boiling and straining them…

the plan was to add a mushroom cream sauce on them with a parmesan topping and bake… but after all that work, I curdled the milk and ruined the entire sauce… my guess is the temperature was too high for adding the milk…
so Sienna had to go dump it in the back trees in the yard and we settled for store bought pasta sauce and parmesan cheese and baked the gnocchi at 375 degrees until it was bubbling and gooey… we gave each other a hug and said we ‘can’t cry over curdled milk’
this little girl’s schedule is full of school in the morning but then I can employ her for the afternoon in my kitchen… the salad we made is super simple and classic but we thought delicious with the homemade French dressing…

iceberg lettuce chopped salad with french dressing


Ingredients:
Salad:
1 head iceberg lettuce, core removed and chopped
4 radishes, chopped
4 scallions or green onions, chopped
1 cucumber, chopped
1 cup shredded carrots
Dressing:
3 tbsp white wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
3 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste (not needed)
Directions:
put salad ingredients in a large bowl
shake up dressing
pour over and serve immediately
we finished the meal off with an easy peach cobbler…

and I have to say that I am mortified if I have made ‘spurned-huggers’ feel the way my lovely friend was ‘forced’ (we’ll say that) to make me feel the other night… all these years, I never knew the anguish I was causing so many by not just giving them a hug… however awful it used to feel for me to hug, the feeling of having an unrequited hug is worse!

I do have a suspicious feeling that this lure to hugging I am having right now is purely founded upon the fact that we are not allowed to hug and throughout the course of my life, I am generally only attracted to things I am not supposed to be doing… similar to the critically acclaimed Netflix show “Too Hot to Handle”, where couples are not allowed to kiss (etc.) and find themselves even more attracted to each other than if they could kiss… this was an old Bible School trick… one I fell for ‘hook, line and sinker’ and ended up marrying a farmer at the ripe old age of 20…

who knows – only time will tell if this pull to hugging is merely an act of rebellion or a step forward in becoming a nicer human being… after the pandemic, if you don’t get the open faced sandwich hug, the shoulder to the throat hug, the middle school dance hug or the burping the baby hug but instead it is replaced with a soft, delicious ‘hugging your grandmother’ type of hug, you will know something deep down has been switched in me… and you might want to read my old blog on how to avoid hugging – cuz I’m coming for ya…

peach cobbler


Ingredients:
3 quarts canned peaches, strained (or 12 fresh peaches, sliced)
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
zest of one lemon
2 cups flour
2 tbsp sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup cold shortening, cut into small cubes
1 cup whole milk
Directions:
mix sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, lemon juice and zest in a saucepan on medium/high heat
add peaches and boil and gently stir for 1 minute
pour into a 9×13 greased dish
cut shortening into flour, sugar, baking powder and salt mixture
add milk and mix until sticky
spoon over the peaches and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes
serve warm if possible

seeding meal #6

 

farmers look at the weather radar a lot…  and when you are desperate for rain they look even more… so when they see that 25 miles away got rain and we got wind, they have to force themselves to be positive…

I used to battle with ‘does God send the rain?’…   we prayed for rain in church on Sunday…  only problem is everyone’s farms are in different spots… some of those that prayed got rain… some of us did not…

did God pick and choose which of us got rain and which got wind in order to teach us a life lesson?

or is it a lot more complicated or simple than that…

this morning, the farmer had forgotten his hat…  he came back to the yard at 4:30 am to get it only to find our two dogs barking at something in our front hedge…  sure enough it was a porcupine …

last year we had to take our one dog to the vet three times to get quills pulled out…  I saw him dragging the dogs to the garage so I grabbed the shot gun and some shells and went running up the stairs to help the farmer…

I don’t know what terrified him more, me running up the stairs holding a shot gun or the dogs around a porcupine …

he was able to kill the porcupine and the kids were able to clean up the remains this morning into a 5 gallon pail…  this was very humorous to watch…  from a safe distance…

which brings me to the question…  did God plan for the farmer to forget his hat and have to come home and get it so he could save our dogs from the porcupine?

sort of like in Back to the Future… the concept that if you change an event in the past your entire future and the earth’s entire future will be changed… one little difference such as stepping on a ladybug could alter the trajectory of everything…

one little action like forgetting a hat saved a lot of time and heartache with taking two stupid dogs to the vet…

every decision we make is important… and I was told that God knew ahead of time every decision I’d make…

the only way for me to come to terms with praying for rain or being thankful that the farmer came back for his hat, is to believe in a God that is beyond what I can comprehend…  that God does not function with the same knowledge or truth that I function with…

I have to make decisions based on the information and knowledge I have at the time… we all do…  and we have no idea what is in store for us… each day…

but I have to believe that God still enjoys a good conversation about needing rain or thankful for the dogs being rescued…

edamame kale power salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 package Earthbound Farm Deep Greens Blend Kale (or 6 cups chopped kale, ribs removed)
  • 3 bags (300 g each) Edamame beans, shelled (or 2 cups shelled)
  • 2 cups sliced red cabbage
  • 2 cups thinly sliced carrots
  • 1 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • sesame seeds
  • Newman’s Own Sesame Thai Dressing

Directions:

  • assemble ingredients
  • pour dressing over and serve
  • garnish with sesame seeds

chicken and gnocchi 'pot pie'

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium yellow onions, diced
  • 3 cups diced carrots
  • 2 cups diced celery
  • 1.5 kg (2 packages from a grocery store) chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • seasoned salt
  • lemon pepper
  • olive oil
  • 2 tsp ground thyme
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 4 (16 oz) packages gnocchi
  • 2 cups frozen peas

Directions:

  • chop the vegetables and set aside to use later
  • pre heat oven to 350 degrees
  • put the flour in a dish and heat olive oil in a pan
  • pat the chicken with the flour and place (in three batches) in the hot pan
  • season with lemon pepper and seasoned salt, brown and flip and season again on the other side
  • when both sides are browned, place in a covered pan and put into oven to finish cooking
  • repeat the process in two more batches with the chicken thighs
  • meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil
  • in two batches place gnocchi in the boiling water a cook for a few minutes until they float
  • strain and add frozen peas to them while they are still hot
  • when the chicken is all in the oven, add the vegetables to the pan and cook on medium-high heat for 10 minutes or so until they are softened
  • add the salt and thyme and flour over the mixture
  • pour the chicken broth in and mix until it starts to thicken
  • add the gnocchi (your pan needs to be very large for this) or mix them together in a large bowl
  • spoon the gnocchi/vegetable mixture into a bowl and add two pieces of chicken on top
  • check to make sure the chicken has cooked all the way through

cinnamon apple cake with cream cheese frosting

Ingredients:

For the Cake:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 6 cups Gala apples, peeled and chopped

For the Frosting:

  • 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp (or 1/8 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup icing sugar

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • spray a 9×13 baking dish
  • in a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and allspice
  • in a mixer, add sugar, oil and eggs
  • beat until frothy and well combined
  • add the dry ingredients
  • mixture will be thick until you add the apples
  • fold in the apples on a low speed with the mixer until they are worked in well to the batter
  • spread out evenly into the 9×13 pan
  • bake for 45 minutes or until the cake is browned around the edges and set in the middle
  • place in pan on a rack to cool completely
  • while the cake is cooling, add cream cheese, butter and vanilla to a mixer
  • mix well and scrape down
  • add icing sugar and combine
  • when cake is cool, spread a thin layer of the cream cheese frosting over the cake and serve