Egg Drop Soup

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The weather has been a bit crazy here the past few days, one minute the sun is shining and then the next it’s raining.  Today did not warm up much so it was perfect soup weather.  And since I still have a ton of eggs from The Chicken Farmer I thought egg drop soup was the perfect answer.  It’s a pretty easy soup to make and one that you can totally make your own.  Today I made little pork meatballs that I flavored with lemongrass and ginger.  Next time I’ll leave those out, but I had pork that needed to be used so… well you know how that goes.

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For the Recipe:

8 c. chicken stock, homemade preferred

1 tsp. white pepper

1 1/2 tsp. salt (you might need to adjust this depending on your chicken stock)

1/2 c. water chestnuts, cut into strips or whatever size you like

1/2 c. bamboo shoots, cut into strips

4 tbsp. corn starch

2 tbsp. water

4 eggs, beaten

4 mushrooms, sliced

In a pot over medium, heat the chicken stock, pepper and salt (add salt a little at a time to account for the salt in your stock).  If you are cooking with the pork meatballs now is the time to put them in.  Toss in the chestnuts and bamboo shoots.  Next, in a small bowl mix the corn starch and water, add to the pot and give a good stir.   Let this cook a few minutes to thicken.  Pour in the eggs and mushrooms, stir no more than three times.  Turn off the heat and cover.  The eggs will cook into the little ribbons that make egg drop soup so wonderful in 2-3 minutes.

I’ve had this with corn mixed in and it was great.  You could also dice a little tomato to garnish before serving.  It’s really easy to add or omit whatever ingredients you like.

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Pork Meatballs:

1/4 lb. ground pork

2 tsp. lemongrass, minced

2 tsp. ginger, grated

1/2 tsp. white pepper

1 tsp. fish sauce

I used a mortar and pestle to mash up my lemongrass and white pepper corns, but you could just mince the lemongrass and us a grinder for the pepper.  Mix all the ingredients together, form into little meatballs.  For the soup you want them to be about a teaspoon.

Enjoy!

 

Costco In The Springtime…

Costco, oh Costco how you tempt me.  I popped in to Costco to pick up my cash card that they were substituting in lieu of the end of year rebate check they normally send.  It had been sent twice but never made it to me, so they gave up and went this route.  My intention was to just pop in, grab it and go, after we move in to Awesome Opossum we were going to make a Costco trip to grab all the items we needed.

But I needed to at least take a peek at what they had… I became one of those bloggers that snaps pictures of everything.  At first was all paranoid that they would tell me to stop, but after a couple pictures and no escort out I just didn’t even give it a second thought.

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I had a bunch of the resin planters at the house I sold, but left them there.  They are lightweight and hold a lot of dirt, and now they have the ones that look like wine barrels.

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Bulbs, bulbs and more bulbs.  They still had a great selection and the price is pretty darn great as well.

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Snippers for all the pruning and cutting all gardeners end up doing.

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They had one of these put together so you could see it, seemed sturdy and something that would be quite helpful in the garden.  The one downsize, it wouldn’t be good for dirt or anything like that.

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Because we all need a hose… especially when you don’t have one.

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$39.99 for these seemed really amazing to me.  I’ve wanted one of these for quite a while and I think I will finally have to make that want a reality.

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Can’t forget a little something for the twinadoes, right?  Besides, I’ve lost all their stuff, which is why poor Thing 2 has to use a ladel from the kitchen as a shovel…

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And after all that gardening you are bound to track a little dirt inside, you need something to clean it up.  Anyone have one of these?  I think it looks pretty cool.

I only hit up the gardening section, but I did spy some other items that looked enticing…lots of kid clothes, the pharmacy/beauty section seemed to have several new items as well.  If  you are lucky enough to have a Costco nearby you should pop in and just take a look….

My Garden Evolution

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This time last year my dining room was home to my makeshift indoor greenhouse.  I had more seedlings than I would ever use, but it was just so much fun to grow them.  I knew that most of them would be given away, but I would still keep more than our family could eat.  I tended them in the morning, making sure they were watered and rotated under the lights.  It made me happy to do this.

This year I have my small herb garden on the balcony and I’m starting some culantro seeds inside in eggshells.  That’s what my garden consists of at this moment.  That’s pretty much all I can do in our little apartment.

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My garden was something I looked forward to every year.  Trying new seeds, seeing if I could grow even more than the previous year, finding ways to use up what I grew were all things I did.  So when we started looking for a new home I set out in search a yard that would allow me to have an even better garden.  In my mind I envisioned a large flat sunny chunk of land that could be dedicated to endless vegetables, all grown by me.

So here we are a few days before we get the keys to the home we hope to call home for many many years, and it doesn’t have that flat sunny chunk of land I dreamed of.  And you know what?  I’m ok with that.

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What it does have is this amazing greenhouse that gets wonderful sun.  Pretty much the only spot in the upper property that gets amazing sun to be honest.  The lower part of the property is a different story, but until we venture down there and have it cleared and transformed from it’s natural state to a more usable space I’ll be content with what I have to work with.

Strangely, I’m not that unhappy that I won’t have my supersized garden.  I will have a few vegetables in planters on the deck and in the front of the house that gets a little sun, but that will be the extent of it.  Someday I’ll have a larger garden down below, but not spending all my time tending to my plants will be kind of nice as well.  The twinadoes love to garden so I’ll have a few special planters just for them, Thing 2 will get a planter full of strawberries and Thing 1 well, his gardening is a little more random.

Here’s to a successful gardening season, whatever it is you may be growing….

Breaking Point

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Buying a home is supposed to be fun, exciting and at times a little nerve-wracking, however, the past couple weeks for us have been pure frustration and aggravation.  Most of the times I am happy letting the people that know what they are doing to take the lead and do what they need to do, but when I see them failing and their failures are affecting me then I need to step up.  In no way am I a professional in real estate, buying selling or anything in between, so I will state that right off the bat.  The mortgage broker we are using has helped us in the past and we’ve had nothing but great results, and that’s what makes this time so much more stressful.

Our last home we purchased was a breeze, we basically submitted information then waited for closing.  This time… yowza, PAINFUL!!  We did what we were supposed to do on our side but the mortgage team kept dropping the ball which meant we spent more time worrying over things we shouldn’t have to.  Getting in contact with them, let’s just say I would have had an easier time getting Elvis on the phone.  Emails, again, there was a better chance Elvis would reply to one of mine than anyone in that team of people.

So finally I could no longer take it.  I had let Mr. Housewife take the lead up until that point while I just passively sat back, but I could no longer do that.  We were less than two weeks from closing and they were still waiting on the damn appraiser.  Everything seemed to be at a standstill, no forward progress, and that did not sit well with me.  After speaking with Mr. Housewife about sending a few emails myself to this dream team he agreed.  He is the nicer of the two of us, he can stay calm and just let things flow, me, well I can do that to an extent and then I turn into the spawn from hell.  In our home we say I’m getting my flying monkeys.

The first on my to do list was to contact the person that was above the dream team.  I had a lovely conversation with her and expressed my displeasure in how things were running and that my confidence was pretty much non-existent at this point and that if we missed our closing date I was going to be beyond angry.  And like magic I had emails coming right and left from the dream team. And each of those emails got a lovely response from me, which led up to the phone conversation with the leader of the dream team this afternoon.  This conversation was much needed, and we all just put it out there.  We told her to speak freely as we were going to be doing the same.  The end result?  One member of her dream team is no longer working on our loan, per my request.  I refuse to deal with anyone that is incompetent and has shown that they cannot perform at a level I would expect.  Is this harsh?  Yes it is, but after putting up with it for weeks and not seeing an improvement I refuse to let it ruin the deal on Awesome Opossum.  She didn’t just get my order at the fast food restaurant wrong, she could have potentially caused us to lose this home.

After it was all said and done I stand by my actions.  Of course I feel bad for this woman, but protecting my family comes a lot higher on the food chain than coddling someone that maybe isn’t in the correct profession.  If I had dropped the ball, so to speak, as many times as she did in my former job I would have been fired long ago.

What would you have done?  If you were at risk of potentially losing the house you and your family were about to move into would you stand up for yourself and do what was needed to make sure everything worked out?

Moving…The Overnight Box

To say we are excited to get out of the small apartment we’ve been residing is a total understatement.  Mr. Housewife wants to “camp” in the house the night we close, even though the movers aren’t coming until two days later.  The first day the house is officially ours we have carpet cleaner, housekeeper, roof and gutter cleaner, furniture delivery (since we gave away most of our old stuff), washer and dryers, cable and security, pretty much everyone is coming this day, so it really didn’t make sense to have the movers come until the following day.  So we will be camping in Awesome Opossum and I will be packing our overnight box full of items that will make our little empty house manageable with the twinadoes.

So what do you put in such a box?  Well of course we will need disposable plates, cups and utensils, food items that do not require cooking since I am packing up all of our pots and pans, soap, shampoo, conditioner, toilet paper, paper towels, napkins, clothes for all of us for a few days, toys the twinadoes will complain if they are without, and our trusty blow-up bed.  Yup, the necessities.  If we still have room in the cars after packing all of the aforementioned items then we will definitely bring more.

To be honest, I think that after the long day of unending people and hours and hours of investigating our new home we will all be pretty darn tired.  The movers come bright and early the next day, but with any luck should be done by mid afternoon.  Then the real fun of unpacking can begin.

For now I’m excited to finally be packing our overnight box.  If I forget something it’s not like we aren’t five minutes from a grocery store, it’s more the fun of it.  We are camping in Awesome Opossum, spending what hopefully will be the first night of thousands and thousands.  So in essence, my little overnight box (ok, it will end up being several) is like the first paragraph of the novel that will become Our Life In Awesome Opossum.

Time to go pack that box….