Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Long Horn Steak House

After our day out we went back to the campsite that we were staying at the Myakka River State Park here.

We drove almost ten miles from the front entrance ranger station back to our campsite.  It was very close to the lake so you could hear the bull frogs all night.  Unless you have ever heard the sounds of the night in the southern states of the US you cannot imagine how noisy they are with animals and insects.  When I used to watch films set in the South before I ever came to the USA I thought it was added sound track, but no, it really does sound like that.  Even in Pennsylvania in the summer it is quite busy with evening sounds, I love it.  We camped around the small grove of trees.

We took a shower and changed then went out and treated ourselves to a nice steak dinner.  Actually you might not know this but Florida is one of the biggest producers of beef.  I always thought most came from the Western States.  So where else should we go but Long Horn, as I had never been there and the Boy works at Long Horn up here.  In fact they own a chain of restaurants, which includes Red Lobster, Olive Garden and Bahama Breeze, plus others which I forget.  We had a great waiter and of course Rob told him he was a waiter too and the discount is always sweet.  The Boy and I had a lovely evening together.


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thomas Edison's Lab on the Caloosahatchee River

In the gardens just lovely.  With so many private estates it is very hard to be along side the rivers or shore accept when you visit a place like this.  It's a lovely way of actually being beside the river and experiencing the tranquility, away from the highways and buildings.

This is one of the Labs that Thomas Edison had here at his winter estate in Fort Myers.  Below you can see an old movie of them Henry Ford and Thomas Edison, working together.

Both of the Edison and Ford Winter Estates are on the Caloosahatchee River.  That name reminds me of the song Ode to Billie Joe - Tallahatchie Bridge, sang by Bobby Gentry.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Easy No Roll Pastry Made With Canola Oil

After fifty plus years I can make super easy pastry.  It's a revelation, I'm set free from rolling pastry out in a small kitchen with a tile counter.  So now I'm going round all my friends telling them about this.  I'm totally converted to simplicity of No Roll Pastry using Canola Oil.

I was cleaning the kitchen on Saturday morning and listening to a cooking show, where they mentioned how people go out and buy pastry crusts for their Thanksgiving Pies, because nobody likes to make them and that these ones should make a No Roll Pie Crust, one you just mix and pat-in-the-pan.  And I thought let me look one up on the computer as I have these two giant Fuji apples to make apple pie.

I came across this recipe using Canola Oil.

1 1/2 Cups of Plain Flour
1/2 Cup Canola Oil (can use peanut oil)
1/4 Cup Cold Water
1/2 tea sp of Salt

Put all ingredients in a bowl and I just mixed them with a spatula, it takes no time at all.

With the oil instead of a hard shortening it mixes quickly and evenly, wants to form a ball and does not stick to the sides.  Plus canola oil is better for you.

I made another batch for the top, this I did roll out a bit, but I was not trying to be perfect, you can roll this pastry out as well.  Next time I will be neater, I have plum jam and grape jelly to use up.  So now I can make little tarts and lots of other pastry goodies.  I'm so converted to this way of making pastry.

Here is the finished result, not fancy, but delicious.  I used cinamon, cardamon and brown sugar in the filling.

Do try it.

Here is another version using a little sugar in the pastry and adding a little baking powder, neither of which did I use.  Although I might have a go at adding the baking powder next time, it is not necessary as pastry is nice and flaky.  Savoury dishes might be nice with pastry made with olive oil, like quiches.

  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅓ cup oil (canola or light olive oil)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.


Sunday, November 24, 2013

My Saturday Always Busy

I was grounded by my son on Saturday.  He needed to borrow my car to pick up a hose that he had ordered for his car, then he needed to drive to a friends house to install it.  On the way home from work on Wednesday, his car radiator was over heating and he realized that he had a leak, so called his dad and together they took his car over to a friends house not wanting to drive it too far.  So Saturday was the day that Rob and Seth were able to fix it and now he's back on the road again.  That meant I was without a car most of the day.  That's OK though, because when you work all week you're glad to potter around one's own house on the weekend.

I just wanted to share with you a dear little pin cushion that I bought a little while ago.  Well a Brit cannot resist a teapot, you know that.

Some wonderful fabric from South Africa that my friend brought back for me.  Now to decide how I am going to use it, I love the vibrant colours, so good to give one colour in the dead of winter and to think of far off sun, people and places.

I found the huge holder at T. J. Maxx for $10.00, it's wonderful for holding tons of my fabric, such a lovely pattern, almost Bloomsbury.

I made a Blurb Journal, but when I found this one Marjolean Bastin, I just couldn't resist it.  Plus I made a mistake on my Blurb book, by using too large a template for an every day journal, after you have done all that work though you are not about to discard it, plus I had uploaded it before I really thought about it.  To enjoy it I will use it for note taking, thoughts and ideas.  The photos in the journal are of Florida, Rob and I, so happy pics and memories.

Some of the wonderful pictures of nature in this 2014 Journal, everyone different, my type of Journal. 

I keep wanting to write 1914, I guess that year has been on my mind as it is the one hundred year anniversary of that Great War that ended an era.

I rather liked this photo which reminded me of my Cheese of The Month Club.

I forgot to include some pictures of the African animals which are included and seemed to be fitting in my mind with things African and my African fabric.

I've finished the grey scarf and I'm know working on the winter white scarf, so many yummy yarns to make these in.  I think the winter white would make a lovely little shoulder shawl, I do have a pattern, just need to work it out.

So my Saturday was cleaning, cooking, sorting things and knitting.

I made my old stand by Florentine Soup, which is chicken and chicken stock, tinned tomatoes cut up or diced tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, spinach and noodles.  It's an easy good tasting soup.

Drum roll !!!!!

After five decades and plus I have found an easy way to make pastry and it tastes great.  I'll leave that to another post. 

Have a great weekend.

Special Assembly Day on Sunday.

Take care,

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Mangoes, Henry Ford's Winter House, Fort Myers, Florida

We had a most enjoyable day here visiting the winter homes of Edison and Ford.  As soon we pulled into their parking lot with the Banyan Tree here I knew I was going to enjoy it.  The tree came in 1925 Edison, Ford and their friend Harvey Firestone hoped to use the natural rubber for making tires, that did not work out, but the tree grew.

This is a hoosier cabinet in Ford's kitchen.  I think that they are so practical with the enamel shelf that pulls out to make pastry on.

Ford's house, the Craftsman style has a darker feeling to it than Edison's, but I like both styles.

Some of the wonderful flowers in the gardens.

After visiting both of the houses, we decided to have lunch before visiting the museum.  Here I am with my tuna fish sandwich, which we made on the spot in our little VW camper van, along with a little vino under the Banyan Tree, so nice.

What do you think of my Little Havana earings, made by an older gentleman in Miami.  They are wood, and so inexpensive, I should have bought more for gifts, light weight and fun to wear.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Seminole Lodge, Edison's Winter House, Fort Myers, Florida

Thomas Edison and Henry Ford were very good friends.  Edison completed his winter house in 1887 and named it Seminole Lodge.  His friend bought the property next door off Robert Smith and is was called The Mangoes, a craftsmen style bungalow built in 1911.

See here Edison and Ford Winter Estates.

Edison had all the lumber transported down from the north, where as Ford's home was built from the local cedar wood which is bug resistant.  Edison's house always had problems with the wood work being eaten and Ford's did not.

These photos are of Thomas Edison's house.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Florida, Naples Beach Lovely, Parking Tickets, Atrocious

The beach at Naples, Florda is very nice, but the parking is not user friendly.  I read the parking sign over several times and felt that I was good to park where I did.  We bought a ticket to take us up to 6:00 PM after which time I thought the parking was free, wrong.  I think the only time there is free parking is between 1:00 AM to 2:00 AM.  why didn't they just say, pay anytime you park here, day or night.  So needless to say we received a parking fine.  In fact even the Moon guide book says Naples is not tourist friendly for parking, they should underline that and put it in red.  You can't contest it because you have to appear in person.  Now I'm going to fly back to Florida to contest it!

Other than that we spent a lovely afternoon on the beach.

This little boy took off and his older brother was in hot pursuit to get him back, they were so cute.

In contemplation, I'm not sure about what.

A swim, then a good read on the beach, what could be nicer.

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