Thursday, May 31, 2012

MeatShed Hands

I think I may have found it...   And if I did, it is going to be awesome.  
I better start at the beginning. 
Once upon a time many years ago when I was in high school and college, I worked alongside my dad helping with his business.    Now for those who know me in real life, know that my dad is Master Plumber by day and a butcher by night.   I don’t mean that to sound as creepy as it sounded, what I mean is that my dad owns and operates a deer processing business.   It is a little side hobby job, that has turn into quite the profitable business.  Last year alone, my dad and company processed over 300 deer during a three month period.  That is pretty impressive.
Now my dad has hired one or two people to help him and my mom, but when I was in high school, I was the help.  And while I minded at the time, I don’t mind too much now.   Anyways, while I working with my dad, I had the softest hands.   When Justin and I were first dating, he commented on how soft my hands were.   There was a secret that I eventually let him in on.   It was the work in the meat shed that made my hands soft.  Handling the meat and the fat for the sausage worked miracles for my hands. And before you have a chance to think that is gross, let me remind you that is the most natural way you can soften your hands.  The fancy smancy lotions that we can buy in stores are not natural and they are so full of chemicals, no wonder we don’t see the same results. 
Fast forward to now, I live in Atlanta and that means I rarely have my hands in pig fat these days.  My hands are definitely proof of that. So that brings me to current adventure.   As I was browsing around on Pinterest, I found this blog.  This blog provides a recipe for homemade lotion bars.  I briefly read through the post, and almost discarded it. 
Until two things caught my attention:
1.      It uses Crisco aka fat.  And I have had success with that.
2.      It boasts of a protective film that is left on the hands even after you wash your hands.  This is exactly what I experienced when I was had “meatshed” hands.

So I decided to make some of these bars.  I made a very small batch.  There are only three ingredients, and they are pretty easy to find.

1 part Crisco
1 part Olive Oil
1 part Beeswax (I found this at a local farmer’s market, but it is available at Michaels)
I added some essential oil, but I don’t think I added enough

I only had an oz of beeswax, so I started with that.  I tried to cut it up before I melted it, but that was way too hard.  It ended up being unnecessary, since it melted really quickly in the double boiler.  I melted all three ingredients together, let it cool to 150 degrees, and poured into a soap mold.

This is what they look like when I first pour them into the molds...

And this is what they look like 5 minutes later.  They only took about an hour and half to completely harden, and then they popped right out.

Easy Peasy

Have I recreated “meatshed” hands?  I am not entirely sure.  I know from a day of using it.  I am definitely getting closer.  I am going to give a bar to my mom tomorrow; she will be part of my test audience.  She has had plenty of experience with “meatshed” hands.

So I will keep you posted...

P.S.  I was pretty busy last night.  I finished the most adorable hat I think I have ever made.  I am waiting on an address to mail to the mother to be, and once I have it mailed I will post.  Stay tuned and Stay classy.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Zucchini, Zucchini, Zucchini

It is summer, and one of my favorite things about summer is the fresh fruit and vegetables.   If you were not aware, my dad is an avid gardener.  His little garden is amazing.  I don’t know why he couldn’t have passed his green thumb on to me.  Instead, I have got my mother’s uncanny ability to kill every plant she has ever own.   Maybe that is something I can change, I am trying.  But I have not been successful yet. 
Anyways....  My dad’s garden produces a surprising amount of food.   My mom and dad put up the veggies throughout the summer, eat it on a regular basis, and still he has tons and tons to give away.   This explains the mountain of squash that he gave me last Sunday.   Justin does not eat squash, such a weirdo.  So I have to eat this mountain of squash alone.  Now, I love roasted squash.  But I have so much squash, I needed to come up with other ways to sneak it in.   And that is what this post is mostly about.
The other half of it is this.
I find it amazing how a recipe can evolve, especially when I get my hands on it.   Take the recipe that I found on Tuesday.  Find it here! If you actually went there, you found this amazing Zucchini Tot recipe.   The author of this blog, altered an existing Zucchini Bite recipe.   I thought this recipe looked amazing, so I was anxious to try something new and I have plenty of zucchini to experiment with.  So I went for it.
Of course, as I always do, I made adjustments as I went along.  I left out the onions, since I only eat them in rare occasions.  I added an extra egg because I added extra zucchini.  The result,  my tots were a little eggy.  Very good, but eggy.   So I decided to save the leftovers for breakfast.  And you know what????
They were AMAZING.  So amazing, that I immediately had to stop and write this blog.  My tots were never meant to be tots,   I altered the recipe and I came up with something really great.   I present to you...
Easy Mini Zucchini Quiches
1 large Zucchini
2 eggs
½  cups of grated Cheese
½ cups of Italian breadcrumbs

Grate and smash the water out of the zucchini.  (You will be amazed how much water they have)  Mix all ingredients together.   Spoon into a mini cupcake pan that has been sprayed.   Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes.  Enjoy.  And enjoy you will.

I have decided that I making them on Saturday for breakfast, and I am going to put bacon in half of them to see what happens.   Recipes are always evolving.

Here is pic of our dinner last night.  Grilled Swordfish, Rice, and Easy Mini Zucchini Quiches.  I was not quick enough to get a picture this morning.  I ate them too fast.

Btw, If any of you have any zucchini recipes.  Shoot 'em to me.  I still have tons of squash...

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Update on the Broderways

I really have nothing substantial to write about right now. We have been busy and I have been doing some traveling.    But I figured my faithful readers needed something, so I will give you a little update on the projects/stuff that has been going on around my house. 

Myrna, my sewing machine, and I are getting along wonderfully.   I am filled to the brim with future projects.  The WIP (work in progress) project is my 4th of July skirt.  I am taking some old tshirts, and making a skirt.  I am almost finished, all I have left is the elastic band.  However, I will wait to reveal this in my 4th of July post.    But here is a sneak peak of what I started with.   I am just gonna let the anticipation build.

We have been eating few steaks at the Broderway house.  And I have decided that I am never cooking a steak again.   Justin has turned into a steak genius.  Now don’t get me wrong, he has always been very handy with a grill.  But the steaks he has been producing are legendary.  They are so good, that I am sad when I finish eating.  Take a look at this pic.   This is Saturday night’s dinner, a great steak, grilled squash, and perogies.   Amazing.

Another thing that has been going on is the Color Run.   I participated in the one here in the beginning of April, and really had a good time.   Then I found out that they are doing another one in Birmingham in September.  My sister and I have decided to enter this one as a team.  We have decided to call our team, Gutless Fighters.  This name represents former and current SBS (Short Bowel Syndrome) patients.   We are hoping to raise awareness about SBS, and show the many families that are dealing with this condition, that they have some support out there.  Obviously because of my sister, SBS is something that I am very passionate about.  I think this is a good first step for me.  I plan to do other things to help people with SBS.   Here is a pic of me after the Color Run, and in September, my sister will be right beside me.

I would like to end this post with my quote.
“If you think fighting is hard, try fighting without guts”