Why Every Cook Should Have Their Nails Painted

I haven’t had my finger nails painted in, like, 8 years or so.  At least.

But that all changed last week.

(Unless you count the time I painted a few nails, then promptly removed it because I didn’t like it.)

Last week I attempted to paint my finger nails red.  And I painted all the layers too soon after each other, and my polish got nicked and rippled.  Also, I had painted all over my fingers, not just on the nails, since I have painted my nails in so long.  So I took it off.

But the next day I just put on a clear coat, thinking that would at least be some nail polish, and I could start getting used to the feeling of having my nails painted.

Then today I painted them purple.  And they turned out pretty well.  My right hand is a little nicked, because I didn’t wait long enough between applying layers, and when I was finished, I went outside and picked up acorns instead of letting my nails dry as long as I should.  I mean, think about it:  pick up acorns with 7-year-old sister for the pig, or sit there and do nothing while your nails dry?  Clear choice.

One of the reasons that I haven’t painted my nails is that I cook a lot, and the thought of my hands in the food with nail polish on the nails just grossed me out a little.

But today, in between layers, it hit me.

EVERY cook should have their nails painted.

Because it happens to the best of us and the worst of us, no matter how good your knife skills are.  You’re chopping something in the kitchen, and either someone bumps you, your little sibling thinks it would be funny to scare you right now (NOT), the mail man rings the doorbell, or the FBI shows up (just kidding about that last part).

And you slip and cut yourself.

And besides the minor details of stopping the blood flow, getting through the freak-out session over the fact that you just cut yourself (the thought of the knife slicing your skin – YUCK!), wade through the apologies (or lack thereof) of the bumper or scarer, find somebody to keep you from hyperventilating, and determine whether or not you need stitches, there is always the important part of making sure that there are no nails left in whatever you were preparing.  Particularly if the cut wasn’t of your skin, because your nails were long, and that’s what the knife got to first.

Just think: if your nails were neon green, wouldn’t they be much easier to find in the food you were chopping?

Now the only think you run into here is that if your nails are red, for example, they wouldn’t show up so well in tomatoes, for example.  And dark green wouldn’t be great in romaine lettuce.

So this is what we need to do:

For those of us who paint our nails every day, you should coordinate your nail color with dinner.  So, for example, if you are going to make spaghetti, you should paint your nails green, blue, or yellow, but should avoid most reds and browns, although certain shades of pink and orange would be O.K. (if they were bright enough).  And if you were going to make a big salad, you should avoid greens and dark blues, and go for bright blue, turquoise, and any of the warm colors (red, orange, pink, yellow).  You get the idea.

And for those of you that don’t paint your nails daily, you should try to pick a color that wouldn’t match your foods.  Bright turquoise.  Bright yellow.  Any neon color would fit the bill.  Just any color that was bright enough to be seen easily, and that doesn’t match any common foods.

So don’t you agree – All cooks should pain their nails?

 

 

NOTE:  This was meant to be funny, not an actual representation of anything I do, or intend to do, or anything that I would like you to do.  By all means, when you cut yourself, forget about your nail color or even where the nail went, and attend to your finger.  And hygiene comes first.  If it’s gross, throw it away.  Over and out.

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Canning

“I tried to be normal once.

Worst two minutes of my
life.”                             
-Unknown

I found this quote online the other day, and I thought it was pretty good.  Because I feel like I am pretty not normal.  🙂

I have been so busy the past few weeks, and this next week promises to be really busy, too.  The main cause of this is canning.  We’ve been canning peaches and tomatoes.  We purchased three bushels of peaches for ourselves two weeks ago (I think), and I have canned roughly 16 quarts and 2 pints over the past few weeks.  And that could increase.

Mom and I have been going to the farmer’s market and collecting tomatoes to can.  So far, we have 19 quarts and 2 pints.  And that could increase.

This morning Mom and I went up to a farm about 45 minutes north of us and purchased almost 50 lbs. of tomatoes, 7 lbs. of tomatillos, several pounds of potatoes, 9 melons (mostly yellow watermelons, but two were cantaloupes, and one was a snow leopard), and several sweet peppers.  Today we canned the vast majority of the tomatoes.  That made 12 quarts and 1 pint of the 19 quarts and 2 pints above.

I love canning.  But it is exhausting.

And so listed on my schedule this week:  wash dog, manage clothes, clean room, can chipotle peppers, can jalapenos, can tomatillos, can raspberry jam, work two afternoons, teach three piano lessons, and hopefully do some school.  Not on the schedule (but things that I’ll still have to do) practice piano and help with meals and other things at home.  It would be really nice if I could make my bed at least one day this week.  And it would be really nice if I could accomplish all this without dying.

Just kidding about the last part.

Things are a bit exciting around here.

Here are a few photos from canning peaches the other day.  Enjoy!

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Peaches being prepped for canning

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The canning/blanching set up:  the big black pot is the canner, the second pot is for blanching, the blue bowl is for iced water, the clear bowl is for the blanched and cooled peaches.

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Blanched, peeled peaches.  Aren’t they beautiful?

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Just look at those purty colors!

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Sliced and in the ascorbic acid solution

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In the jar in a light sugar solution

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I love how food looks in jars

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Practically ready to go into the canner (just have to put on one more lid)

Today’s Projects and a Caterpillar

I had quite a bit of kitchen time today.  And you know what that means:

BIG MESS!

Not exactly what I was talking about.  But, yes, that happens, too.

I made quite a few things.

First, I made enough lip balm to last me awhile.  I had no more in the fridge, so I had to make several more.  I think I made around a dozen.

I tried a total of three recipes, because I have new oils now.  I picked one recipe out, only to realize while I was making it that it was basically the same as the one I usually make.  So I tried out another one with shea butter, but it only made two, maybe three tubes.  So I tried this third recipe with cocoa butter.  And once I had gotten it in the tube, I was afraid that it wouldn’t harden the way I wanted it to.  So I stuck one tube in the fridge and waited.  When I checked it, it wasn’t as hard as I would like it.  So I decided to empty all eight or so of the tubes, remelt it, and add more beeswax.  I had also forgotten the essential oils, so I opened them and set them right next to the pot so I could add them.

After I added the melted lip balm back to the containers, I realized that I had never added the essential oils.

Back into the pot!

So all that rigmarole took much longer than I would have liked, so I didn’t get started on my next project as soon as I would like.

Next thing on my list was to make gluten-free coconut-milk-based cookie dough ice cream, which I did using my normal chocolate chip cookie recipe (which has AWESOME tasting dough), and chopping up the chips extra small.  Meiling helped me form it into little piles and flash-freeze it to add to the ice cream.  For the ice cream, I just combined coconut milk, vanilla, and honey until it tasted good, then threw it into the ice cream maker.

It turned out pretty well.  The ice cream isn’t as sweet as the cookie dough, which makes it taste a little bland.  But I think that all the vanilla that I poured into it is keeping the ice cream softer (because of the alcohol), which is great, since coconut milk ice cream is usually rock hard.

And then I tried a recipe for powder foundation which contained arrowroot powder, cocoa powder, and cinnamon in one recipe, and that plus nutmeg, bentonite clay and ginger, oh, and lavender EO in another.

They did not work for me.

I see other people saying it worked for them, but it just made me look dirty.

 

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The ingredients for the first recipe

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Me, wearing the foundation, as well as the foundation mixed with a bit of lotion (which only made me look dirtier) (look around my chin).  I am also in need of a few other things, but overlook my bad hair.  Please.

I took these pictures of a caterpillar the other day, and am just posting them now.  Enjoy!

 

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I love the rain drops caught between his fat rolls

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I think fat rolls on caterpillars are funny

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And I like using the term fat rolls when relating to caterpillars

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Cause it’s fun when talking about caterpillars

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Spring Flowers

Spring is coming – actually, it’s starting to feel like it’s here.  Flowers are blooming, birds are singing, and trees are leafing.

(Is that how you would say it?  Trees are leafing out?  I don’t know.  But, whatever. :))

Anyways, here are some flower photos that I have taken recently.

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Branson, Winter 2012–Part 2

I really need help with post titles.  They can be SO CHEESY.  Man.  I don’t think they even come close to qualifying for tacky (one of my favorite words).

Anyways.  Now for the rest of the photos of our trip to the lovely Branson, MO.

Where did I leave of?  Oh yes.  Saturday morning.

On Saturday, I woke up and was lying in bed for a while, and then I must have dozed off again.  Cause suddenly I looked around it was 11!  I have only slept in this late once before, and that was because I had stayed up until 2:15 with a friend (not sure if I told you that, Gloria, but I did sleep in that late).  So I exited the room, expecting to be immediately greeted with “Oh my!  Look who finally got up!  Sleeping Beauty!”  or something like that.  Instead, nobody said anything.  Dad and my siblings were sitting around the family room, eating breakfast and watching Animal Planet.  That is NOT normal.  At all.

I then went and made myself some breakfast, which was topped of with with not one, but TWO Pop-Tarts (ah, the awesomeness!).

Later, we all went to the Vigilante Zip Rider for the boys to ride the zip line.

You though I  would ride the zip line?  No.  Not at all.  If I go to an amusement park, I usually only go on tame rides, like the merry-go-round.  And I will only usually ride one or two rides.  I go more to take pictures.  🙂

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The view from the observation tower, where the zip line that the boys rode is

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Drake and his faces

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All the zip line riders

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“Make a scared face!”  Dad’s call  🙂

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The challenge

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Waiting to see the boys go

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There they go!

The boys really enjoyed the zip line.  I’m glad they did.

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This made me laugh.  Ha!  “A high speed cable ride with a sudden abrupt landing.”  That could make the ride sound unattractive to just about anyone.

We were planning to go back to our condo to have dinner before going to see Joseph, but there was such a line of cars going to Silver Dollar City (and that was the direction that we needed to go), that we just went out for dinner instead.

And I forgot to…but you probably know what I forgot (to take a picture of my food).

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Waiting for dinner

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Me and my Drake

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Siblings.  Friends.  Partners in crime.  🙂

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Window shopping (a few family members had gone to the other side of the window)

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After that was Joseph – enjoyed by all.

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The Sight and Sound Theater

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Excuse the odd lighting

Sunday was spent quietly at our condo.  In the afternoon we went for a walk.  And I took pictures. 

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Drake and Meiling had run ahead

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Self-portrait time!  I need to work on pointing that camera.

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The (second) observation tower.  This one wasn’t surrounded by glass.

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The view

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The other observation tower, where that boys had ridden the zip line

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Meiling running ahead

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Like father, like son

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A flower, in December

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Look!  They have weeds in Branson, too!  And I have a picture to prove it.  So there.

We also had chicken wings for dinner.

I LOVE chicken wings.  I know I have never ever discussed this extreme love here, but it is true.  I get so into eating them, and then end up making a TOTAL mess of myself (wing sauce all over my face and hands) and then my hands smell like wing sauce.

Dad always says that he likes watching me eat wings ‘cause I make such a royal mess.

But I just love wings, so I keep eating them and making a royal mess anyways.

We went home the next morning, after breakfast.

And that’s that.

Thanks for reading!

Love,
Allison

Just Thought You Would Like To Know

The other day I got up, and left my bed unmade.  I came back in 5 minutes, and this is what I saw.

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Just help yourself.  Don’t worry about asking.  No, really.  Make yourself at home.  Yes, the middle of the bed is the best.

Sometimes I feel as if this is Lucy’s bed and she is sharing it with me.  Or at least she thinks it is.  Or I think she thinks it is.  Why I get this feeling I would have NO IDEA.

Just thought you would like to know.

 

I finished cupcake number 2 last night.

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I am now more than halfway finished with number 3.  I’ll post pictures of it when it is finished.

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Just thought you would like to know.

 

You might be wondering what I’ve been doing, besides crocheting cupcakes and claiming bed real estate.

Well, it’s been nothing all that exciting.  Just school.  Life.

I got a yucky cold on Saturday.  It hit in full force today.  It is just a really bad sore throat, and the normal exhaustion.  No congestion.  For that much I am thankful.  I really dislike being congested.  Not being able to breathe through my nose really bugs me.  Like REALLY bugs me.

My throat was hurting some on Saturday, and then worse yesterday.  But then I woke up at like 5 this morning, and my throat hurt REALLY BAD.  I wanted to do something to make it stop.  But I really didn’t want to get up, warm up tea, and drink it.  It was five in the morning, for goodness’ sake!  And I considered a lozenge, but the ones we made at a recent herb day take a long time to dissolve.  I didn’t think that I would be awake long enough to finish it, and falling asleep with that in my mouth probably isn’t a great idea.  And it was 5 – I really just wanted to sleep.

So I ignored the raw feeling in my throat, and went back to sleep.

Just thought you would like to know.