Thursday, July 29, 2010

It's been a hard days night...

...and I've been working like a dog- hence the lack of posting for over a week!

Too much working- both at the hospital and at home, and at our lovely rental property, too much cleaning, too much painting (as in interior house painting), too much preschool searching and fretting, not enough sleeping, and a whole lot of stressing leads to a near many a nervous breakdown for Hannah. 

Part of my work week this past week was filling in for a full-time staff in my department at the hospital.  This gave me a whole new view of the treatment dynamic.  I sat in on "treatment team" meetings- where a the doctor, nurse, therapist, nursing director, and admission staff meet each day to discuss the various patients, sometimes patients would come into team to talk with us about their situations, goals, etc.
This whole process made me realize that although this has been an exhausting week for me personally, I know that everyone has rough patches and I just feel blessed that my rough patch is not constant or long lived as many people struggling with addiction, mental illness, poverty, and job loss.

Here's  a quick photo recap-

Ever tried bathing a cat?  Poor girl...she really was a trooper- it was not nearly as bad as I thought it might be (I wore elbow-length rubber gardening gloves just in case!)

The only semi-therapeutic thing I was able to do for myself this week amongst all the madness was bake and cook- a lot...

A fresh blueberry tart (recipe follows)- much simpler then a blueberry pie!  I make the crust  and stick the dough in the fridge while I prepare the filling:

toss together-
apx. 2 cups fresh blueberries
zest and juice of 1 lemon
palm full of sugar

I then roll out the crust lay it on a cookie sheet, pour the berry-mixture into the center leaving apx. 2" border around the edge- fold up the border to wrap around the berries, dot the berry top with butter, brush the crust with milk and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake 400 degrees, apx 30 min., until crust is golden and filling is bubbly (and usually oozing all over the place- beware!)

Fresh salad from the farm veggies, with a potato-cheese-pak-choi scramble- YUM.

"Hard" coconut squares.  I say "hard" because growing up my Mom would make either these coconut squares- or these easier variety (basically blondies with coconut stirred in)- I much prefer these- they are insane and worth the extra effort!

Start by mixing together 1/2 cup shortening, 1/2 cup brown sugar,  1 cup flour- and pressing into an 8"x8" square pan.  Bake this crust at 350 degrees for 10 min....

while the crust is baking- beat 2 whole eggs on high speed for 10 min.- yes, that's right
10 min.- it may sound excessive- but I've cut corners before and it totally messed them up- so I suggest using the full time!  While the eggs are beating, and the crust is baking, combine the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl-

that would be the 1 cup brown sugar, 2 Tbs. flour, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. vanilla, 1 small pkg. coconut (I totally eyeballed this one since I had a 14 oz. bag- I used about 10 ozs. I'd say), and 1 cup of nuts (my Mom always used walnuts or pecans- because that's what she would have in the freezer- I used almonds for the same reason, plus I love me some Almond Joys- and it was divine!)

Take the crust out of the oven, add the eggs to the remaining ingredients by carefully folding to combine, spread atop the crust- bake at 350 for  another 20-25 min., until golden brown.  Let cool for 10 min. before cutting.

Both my little sis and big sis had Birthdays this week- so on Sunday I will be tackling chocolate cupcakes, with chocolate butter cream frosting for my Sissy's Birthday celebration!

  Happy birthday ladies!
I don't know what I would do without you in my life. You are my best friends, biggest confidant's, and 2 very special women...I love you!


Pie Crust (a classic family recipe of my great-grandmothers)

single (used for the tart or an open pie, i.e: pecan, chocolate cream, lemon meringue)
11/4 cup flour
1/2 cup shortening
21/2 Tbs. milk
1/4 tsp. salt

2 cups flour
3/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp. salt

Use a pastry blender to combine all of the ingredients, roll on a floured surface. (refrigerate dough wrapped in plastic if particularly sticky)

Hard Coconut Squares

1/2 cup shortening
1 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar

2 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
apx. 10 ozs. coconut
1 cup nuts

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