Sunday, October 23, 2011

fall cookery . . .

It's amazed me how much healthier I am -- spiritually, mentally, and physically -- three weeks out from my surgery, than where I was at this same time after the accident. I think probably one of the reasons I felt the need to wait so long on my surgery was I didn't want to be back where I'd been. And somehow, this time, I don't think I ever even came close. There are probably several reasons for this phenomenon . . . first I'd already been there, done that. We had the equipment, there was no trial and error to see what worked and what didn't -- we knew. Second, I think coming back to the RV and the camp has been healthy for me. It's comfortable, it's convenient -- it's home. And while I know there's no way we could have gone back to the RV after the accident, I'm so glad it was possible this time! And third, there's not all the other physical and emotional trauma that I had after the accident. I feel very grateful. And I feel *great*!! It gives me terrific optimism for the end result!

Todd went out to shoo away a feral cat under the bird feeders this afternoon, and look at what he found!

Isn't it a pretty little woodland flower? I don't know what it is, but I agree with Mr. Bumblebee -- I like it!

As I mentioned yesterday we have campers up here this weekend. It's an RA (Royal Ambassadors) group and they got up here and settled in for some outdoorsy fun.

Boys and fire. If there's a campfire going, you can be pretty sure that boys with sticks are going to be very near by!!

The weather was cool and crisp yesterday and it just felt like a good afternoon for a pot of beef stew. I'm able to get about the kitchen and do some cooking already -- and I know Todd is happy when I can! He's not complained once and has truly taken such good care of me and cooked for me, but it's always nice when the Queen of the Kitchen can resume her duties!

I make my stew the old-fashioned way -- dredging my venison cubes in flour before sauteing it with the onions and garlic. Then I put it all together in a pot with diced tomatoes, diced potatoes, carrots, green beans, and corn. I add a little beef broth and water to cover. Then I bring it to a boil and let it simmer until it's thickened and my potatoes and carrots are tender. I also threw in a bay leaf along with a handful of other spices. I had to laugh when I was watching Rachel Ray the other day and she said whenever she's cooking a soup or sauce or stew, she had to throw in a bay leaf - it didn't feel complete without it. ME TOO!!

The only problem with making this recipe is that there's plenty more beyond dinner for Todd and I! Like maybe supper tomorrow and quite probably lunch for Joc and I on Monday. At least. Huh, maybe it's not really a problem after all. :)

Then I thought I'd make a little dessert, as long as I was up and about. Jocelyn had found and tried a recipe on Pinterest a couple of weeks ago and simply raved about it. And since I had the ingredients and because it's become a sort of running joke this week about my pumpkin posts, I decided to go ahead and make this Pumpkin Mousse!

I varied slightly from the recipe on Pinterest. I took a 1 oz. package of SF/FF cheese cake instant pudding mix and mixed it with 1 cup of skim milk. I whisked it until it was well mixed and thickening.

To that I added a 15 oz can of pumpkin, 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice, and and extra 1/4 tsp. of nutmeg and whisked it again.

Finally I added an 8 oz tub of sugar free cool whip. And whisked it again until it was all well-blended. Then I covered it and tucked it into the refrigerator, to let it set. I served it up with a little whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg. YUMMY! It was very light and fluffy and not overly *sweet*. Again, very yummy!! :)

I was taking the pics of the mousse and looked over and saw my Crimson Tide pumpkin sitting there with my Christmas runner (which I worked on last night, as well -- I may just have it finished in time for Christmas).

Do you see how nicely the pumpkin and topper look together? Hmmm . . . I may be able to carry this pumpkin thing out through the end of the year . . . !!!!


8 left a comment . . .:

Jean said...

with the stem it looks like a christmas ornament! LOL!

jodi@Pleasant-Home said...

This pumpkin mousse looks delish!

Quilt Hollow said...

What a delicious post! :-)

Barbara F. said...

I am so happy you are feeling better than ever! You have been the busiest person post-surgery whom I have met!! Everything sounds so good, I never tasted venison. xo

Love Bears All Things said...

I liked what you said about the boys and fire. My Honey Bear is the same whenever we have a fire in the fire pit.
I love beef stew, I dredge my meat but then I simmer it all in the crockpot.

I have printed out the enlarged pumpkin stitchery and am about to trace it so I can take it on my trip to stitch.
Mama Bear

Paula said...

Isn't that so true about boys and fire. Girls will sit and watch the fire, but boys, they just have to get in it with those sticks and poke,poke and poke. I wonder why!
I also made stew this week. I don't eat venison so I had beef. Your pumpkin mousse looked so good I wanted to lick the screen. I love anything pumpkin.
Your table topper looks very much like I am making right now. Worked on it today. A pattern from This and That. I think it is called Christmas blessings. How odd would it be that we were both working on the same thing?!

AnnieO said...

Glad you are feeling in a much better place now than right after your first surgery after the accident--as you said, you knew better what to expect as you recovered. Hope the swelling is not as bad. The pumpkin mousse looks very yummy indeed! Love your quilt block and the painted pumpkin, so festive.

Connie said...

The stew and desert look delicious. My husband always throws a bay leaf in too! Your Christmas runner looks wonderful!