Saturday, September 13, 2014

Adolescent Eye Syndrome, A Saturday Morning Funny

     Let's talk mom to mom or mom to dad about a situation that I'm sure you've all had to deal with or maybe you're on the brink.  Adolescent Eye Syndrome.  I came up with the name because I've seen it so frequently in kids.  From little on they watch you work around the house/yard/farm and as they age they'll start to help.  Then they get to the age that they are finally able to work on their own doing certain tasks...that's when it strikes... adolescent eye syndrome.

     You've had these conversations...

Mom: Please clean your room.
Child: I did.
Meanwhile you're looking around, knowing you've seen this child work next to you...they know how it's done.
Mom: Are you blind?
The child seems perfectly happy that they now have created a path to safely walk through their room.
That night during your evening prayers you thank God for bedroom doors and the ability to close them.  

Mom: Please wash the kitchen counter.
Child: I did
Meanwhile, again, you look around as see flour pushed under the mixer, scraps pushed from the counter onto the floor.
Mom: I need to make an appointment to have your eyes checked.
This child again seems perfectly happy that they now have created a space for them to immediately make a snack, there for leaving the counter a mess once again.   

     Only parent with children will know what I'm talking about BUT there is good news.  Your child should outgrow this within 10 years.  I've seen rare occasions taking 20 years or more but that's rare.

     There are a few things that you can do as a parent to help your child through this stage in life.  Don't do their work for them.  This is very important and the ONLY way the child will see the errors of their way.  Do it when they aren't looking.  If they see you doing their work they will slowly start leaving you more and more to do.  As hard as it may be...give them praise.  I really struggle with this one.  It's hard to overlook a messy area especially when the rest of the house is clean.  And most of all pray for your kids.  Because some day they may own their own home or have an apartment.  

     So the next time you come to my house, remember I have kids that are struggling with Adolescent Eye Syndrome.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Canning Barbecue Sauce

   Many times people ask me about how to can this or that, why do I do what I do, etc.  This post is about barbecue sauce.  I can give you 11 very good reasons I can many things myself...they are our children.  My canned goods are no salt, no preservatives, no red #40, no sugar or very little and canned in glass not plastic.  You know as well as I do when the big companies take all of that out the price of the product goes through the roof.  So you can't compare my canning to the cheap things in the store.

     This sauce comes from The Complete Ball Book of canning...not the blue book.  I multiplied it by 10 to fit in the nesko roaster.  You'll need additional pans to keep cooking down the tomatoes.  I started off with 2 bushels of roma tomatoes from our garden.  The kids and I ran all the tomatoes through our sauce master and poured the sauce into the waiting pans/nesko.

     Sometimes things can get a little messy as you can see Karlie got a face full of tomato.  :D  Good times in the kitchen.  Cooking down the tomatoes could take 24 hours.  Please turn off burners and unplug the nesko if you are leaving the house or going to bed.  You'll be amazed as to how much will "cook off" even when it's not cooking.  Tomatoes stay HOT a long time.

     I add the spices when cooking is getting closer to completion.  I'll grind up the onions and garlic in a blender with the vinegar...makes life so much easier.  Add any sugar at the very end.  The sugar will make your tomato products burn easier so I wait until the end.  With this recipe I only added 2 c. of brown sugar...not all 20 c.!!!  Our family loves liquid smoke so I added some while cooking.  The aroma that filled the house had all of us drooling.

     So at the end of the day we just had to try our new sauce over meatballs.  It is spicy as I dumped in 1/2 c. of red pepper flakes but the recipe called for more when multiplied by 10.  It wasn't too bad and the taste was great.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

3 College Girls in 3 Different Schools....What's a mom to do?

     This year we have 3 girls in college and they are at different schools.  Each college does things a little different with "thinking of you" type boxes.  One school does finals boxes which can get expensive but the girls say they are loaded with lots of goodies.  That is twice a year.  Another school does "occasion" boxes which are cheaper but we like to treat all of our kids the same.  Last year to make things even this student got numerous boxes to even everything out.  The final school is grad school...something new to us and we don't think they will do anything.

     The younger kids and I thought about this and decided to do our own "thinking of you" box.  We plan on doing it once a month and sending it out around the 10th.  Last night the kids were writing letters to their big sisters and  helping me shop for goodies.  Using the USPS Priority Regional Rate A box makes shipping very economical.  Each of the 3 boxes cost me under $6 to send.  I added a link to where you can get these boxes because not all post offices carry them.

     This is our September box...2 packages of microwave popcorn, a package of cheesy broccoli soup, a can of instant flavored cappuccino and letters from home.  We are already planning out the box to send in October.