As I sit here writing this, I'm looking out the window of my office/guest room. Watching yet another snow fall and feeling stressed that my husband has to drive home in another bad snow storm. It feels as if winter will never end this year. We're about out of wood, keeping a few sticks in order to have heat should the power go out, and we moved in with about 2 cords total. We keep the heat set at 51 degrees because otherwise we have to refill the oil tank about every three weeks, and at $770 a pop, you can see how that can't sustain itself. So, I sit in a blanket writing, while my kids are huddled under blankets on the couch doing their homework and wish upon wish that we hadn't moved into this house at the onset of the coldest, snowiest winter we've seen in a long time. We didn't know just how underinsulated the house was, but we sure are learning it now. First on the long list of stuff to do around here is beefing up the insulation, starting with the attic. I'm still loving this old homestead, but the honeymoon has worn off a bit, quicker then we would have liked. I know I will feel differently once we are into spring and can finally get outside to enjoy the surroundings without having to worry about shoveling, freezing chicken water and snowblowing. Really feeling the length of this winter in particular this year.
Music Man decided a bit ago that he wanted to make some fried chicken. Now, we tried it about 6 years ago, my first time ever frying it, and it was not good. That might be an understatement reallly because it was downright bad. A serious disservice to the poor chicken that sacrificed its very life for it. So, when he said he wanted to make it, I was, well, skeptical. He saw an episode of Cooking Illustrated's show on PBS and they made excellent fried chicken, showing all the steps involved. Music Man is not a practiced cook. Since we've been married and I'm home, he's been kind of spoiled with not having to do the cooking. I'm a decent cook and honestly mostly just don't like people in my kitchen mucking about in my spices and pots and pans. But, I do like good fried chicken in moderation, so was happy to encourage him to have a go at it. He watched the episode a time or two, made some detailed notes and a grocery list and set about his own little winter adventure. I was basically kicked out of my kitchen (oh, that was okay with me honestly!) and let him have at it, helping only when asked where something was or how to use something. You could smell the good scents wafting all through the house and we all had powerfully growling stomachs by the time it was done. And it did take a while, let me tell you!
But, it was worth the wait in all it's honey glazed goodness. This recipe had an end roll in some warm honey. But, he just used a brush to apply some so as not to waste it and also, I thought a whole dip would be too much. It was just perfect, and it didn't take long at all for it to be gobbled up! Sweet, crunchy heavenly chicken, damned fine stuff. And now that I know Music Man is capable of doing something so complicated in the kitchen, he's gonna be stepping up with more then just grilled cheese from time to time!
I feel like so much goes on here all the time with keeping up with the boys sports and cub scouting schedules as Music Man is the den leader for Little Red's scout den, I'm treasurer for the pack and we're both on the planning committe for their troop. It's a lot of time dedicated to the boys and their activities, but we want them to be able to have the fun that we'd have wanted when we were kids. And we feel its important to be involved in their activities to some extent. But, as they get older, we weigh how much is too involved, and when do you grant them more freedom and responsibility?
When I was Maestro's age, I was working at a 60+ horse barn doing chores all day on the days I was not in school. I was not paid for all the work I did, but would get to ride very occasionally until one of the other people that boarded there took pity on me and let me use her pony that she had outgrown. Horses were always my passion as a kid, and I never did outgrow it, just got to the point that I understood how impossible it was for me to have them in my adult life. They just cost too much, especially if you don't own your own farm. Now that I have my own farm finally and I could have room for them, I don't want my own any more. Too much responsibility and I've already got two kids that need all my love and attention. I like to be able to go camping for a week and not have to worry about who is going to take care of my horse while I'm gone. They are like having another child, in essence. Besides, we're homesteaders and having an animal that eats that much around that doesn't earn their keep is not good sense. Now, if I could get a pony that could twitch wood, well, that might be another story entirely...
I guess its time to sign off now, gotta go shovel some more snow. They are wanting 4-9 inches from this storm, and more tomorrow dumping another 3-5 inches. I can't wait for those first spring days in the 50's so I can feel like there's hope of seeing some green grass.
Dreaming of tulips peeking through the snow, ~Peacemom