Thursday, February 26, 2015

Visit a Library

Ellis is out of town this week.  That's why Krysta and I are at home
"doing all the fun stuff, like put wood in the basement, fold laundry
and eat pizza." 
(A quote from Krysta's letter to Dea and Jorgan.)

. . . and a visit to a library that is celebrating its 115th anniversary
Krysta had a friend over Sunday afternoon. We had a quick lunch of :

                                      Banana Splits
ice cream
sliced bananas
peanut butter
home made granola
chocolate topping

To make your own topping put 1cup sugar in a small pan.
Add 1-3 T. cocoa, depends on your taste
Add 1/4 cup milk
 1 T. butter
Melt over low heat, stir with a wire whisk.
Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and pour into a small pitcher.
Make sure the pitcher is made to withstand hot temperatures.
I do not want to be responsible for breaking your great - great
grandmother's creamer for her china set.
Pour over the ice cream.


Pour one container of old fashioned oats into a large roaster.
(or minute oats if that suits your taste better)
about 12 -15 cups
2 cups brown sugar
1 T. salt
1 cup coconut
Stir all together
In a small pan heat gently
1 cup oil
1 cup water
a splash of vanilla

If you want to use honey cut back on the brown sugar and add honey to the liquids.
Pour over the oatmeal. Stir very well. Toast in the oven 1 and  1/2 hours. Set the timer
to remind you to stir every half hour.
Options: You can add sun flower seeds, wheat germ, any other healthy goodies your
family enjoys.

After inhaling this delightful, delicious, nutritious lunch we scurried to the car and hit
the interstate. We were aiming to get there in time for the tour but we were running late.

"Are you here for the open house?" a young girl asked  us at the door. She told us on which
floor to find the cookies and coffee.  Cookies?!  We didn't know there would be cookies!

We found the tour group and got in on the tail end of it. Our friend who conducted the tour
took some of us late stragglers back to the top floor and showed us the attics.  In one attic
wooden rails are stored that used to be set up in front of the shelves of books to keep the
common people from reaching and choosing their own books.

They had to request them and the librarian got them off the shelves.


There is a big room where people gathered to hear recitals. The grand piano that used to be
there was donated to some place else.  We saw the door and the metal fire escape and tried
to imagine the piano being lowered down those steep steps!  a few strong, brave men would
have been needed to accomplish that task.

An older gentleman gave away thin, wooden bookmarkers. He asked our names and printed
each one on our own personal bookmarker with beautiful hand writing and special colors of
 ink to contrast with the finish on the wood. Krysta's name was printed with a silvery, gray ink.

The room where the cookies were served had a fire place with stuffed chairs pulled up in a
cozy half circle.  A high bench was built under the windows. Climb up on a sturdy chair,
plug in your lap top and look out the window at the scenery below. The atmosphere just begged you to pick out a book and sit down and read. 

But we had places to go and things to do so we left that beautiful building. 
If you are ever in Owatonna MN stop at the library.  I recommend it to you.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


When you make pizza with cauliflower in the crust (recipe from THM)
 be sure to line the pan with the right kind of paper especially made for ovens . . .   

Not freezer paper . . .

Last night, Krysta and I were very hungry! I threw that pizza together as fast as possible.
When it was baking I started noticing a funny smell.  Like wax melting?   maybe?

I checked the furnace in the basement.  Nothing out of the ordinary.
Back upstairs I looked in the oven and noticed the lining was wider than the pan.
That should have stopped me when I put the paper in the pan, but being in such a hurry
scrambled my brain, I guess.  

Then I thought maybe the paper was burning. So I trimmed the edges.
Finally, when the pizza was done and we were loading up our plates we discovered
a strange thing. The lining was glued to the crust.

We had upside-down-pizza. We couldn't even be sure we got all the paper off.
We discovered chewing on freezer paper is not good!