About this Blog: Bread making recipes, knit and crochet projects, wood working, gardening, digital imaging, travel, cruise ships, Labrador Retrievers, and more....

About the Header Image: Idlebrook Wendy Darling Evensen "Wendy" one of our four Labrador Retrievers.

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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Eve at Sea

Good morning,

New Year's Eve aboard a Royal Caribbean ship is the place to be!
I took these images aboard Freedom of the Seas last year, but haven't shared them with you yet.
As you can see...
...we had one fantastic party...
...on the Royal Promenade!
 Captain Tor Olsen hung his white formal jacket up and put hung his guitar around his neck...
 ...to provide a fabulous show!
 Those guests who had staterooms overlooking the Royal Promenade could watch and listen from the comfort of "home."
 Cruise Director Graham Seymour literally kept the party hopping.

 A conga line formed...
 ...and wound its way down the Royal Promenade.
 That's my friend, Allie, on the right who went down one deck to say hello to a friend.

Ah, yes, booking a cruise for New Year's is a fabulous way to celebrate.  And, you don't have to drive home!

Happy New Year!

All the best,

Monday, December 30, 2013

Rest Stop in South Carolina

Good morning,

Here are a few more pictures you haven't seen yet of our earlier trip South.  This is a rest stop in South Carolina where we stop every time we travel this route.  It is different every time and always beautiful.
And, often snow up here in the mountains.
We have been here when this garden has been in full bloom.  It is lovely now with various colors and textures.
 Our chariot.  Since I took this picture we lost the trailer hitch cover with the black lab on it.  I'm guessing it didn't survive a car wash.  I'm looking for another one.
 It's a little chilly for a picnic...
 ...but just right for a run with your dog.  That's a big snowball out there.

 OK, time to get back on the road.
 What a beautiful part of the country!


Sunday, December 29, 2013

Carolina Color

Good morning,

Here are a few more images of our earlier trip through the Carolinas.  I haven't shared these images with you yet.  That hill above is where there was a huge rock slide a couple of years ago.  Route 40 was closed for months while the road was cleared and the retaining wall was constructed.
Now there's a whole bunch of firewood!  ;)
Tunnel ahead...
 ...and more beautiful color.

The color is gone now, but it sure is fun to see the pictures now that it is all gray outside.


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Still On the Road - Whitewater, NC

Good morning,

It is so much fun to be out in the country where you can listen to the rushing water of a mountain stream.
This lovely place is in North Carolina.
We often pull off the road at this same spot to take pictures...
...and just enjoy the view.

All the best,

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Road Trip - Heading South

Good morning,

Here we go again!  We are on a road trip heading South from Cincinnati to Port Canaveral.

As always when we travel and are at sea, my blog posts will lag a few days from real time.
A different color for a barn, but a perfect color for a garden center!
Rolling hills of Kentucky.  :)

This day spanned the weather forecast for this time of the year from snow flurries to bright sunshine.
 Here we are passing the...
 Kentucky Horse Farm near Lexington, Kentucky.
 Kentucky contains a wealth of photo opportunities for barn enthusiasts. 
 So, here we go again to warmer places for the next ten weeks.

I hope you'll enjoy our journey with us.

All the best,

Road Trip - A Sunnier Time

Good morning,

Here we go again heading South.  I took these images a little earlier in the year, but haven't shared them with you yet.  We are in the same place now.
We love driving through the rolling hills of Kentucky. 
I've probably taken eight or ten pictures of this quilt barn.

...here we come!

All the best,

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!

May your Christmas be blessed as you celebrate with family and friends.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Julemat (Norwegian Christmas Food)

Good morning,

We are so very happy to be home for Christmas this year.  My Honey and I prepared Christmas Dinner last Friday for ourselves and two close friends.  My Honey prepared traditional Norwegian Christmas meats and our daughter and I prepared the rest.  In Norway this is prepared for Christmas Eve, but we had it a few days early since we will be leaving the day after Christmas and will be very involved in packing for our journey the day before Christmas.  Our daughter will prepare prime rib for Christmas Eve this year. 

The preparation for Julemat, Norwegian Christmas Food, and the rest of the meal was great fun as we did the "kitchen dance" while making all the goodies over two days.

On the plate above starting in the upper left with chef credit (K) for My Honey, (C) for our daughter, and (L) for me:

Skin on mashed red potatoes with sour cream, butter, milk, salt, pepper (L)
Caesar salad (C)
Juleribb (K) (Norwegian pork rib)
Medisterkaker (K) (Norwegian pork patties)
Gravy (K and L)
Cranberry sauce (L) 
Red Cabbage (L)

Not shown:
Home made bread (L)
Pumpkin pie (C)
Liver Pate appetizer (L)
 Our Christmas dinner journey began at a meat store on the other side of town.  Their piggy bench was all dressed up for the holiday.  :)

Until 1979 we lived in that part of town and our kids went to school with the meat store owner's kids, but I don't think anyone working in the store would remember that now.  We had ordered a special cut of pork rib with the fat left on so My Honey could make Juleribb in the traditional Norwegian way. 
It is a two day event to prepare Juleribb.  Day one it is marinated with spices.  The next day it is baked in the oven with the fat side down, then turned and raised above the juices in the pan, scored, baked more, then whole cloves added in the fat side.
Then it is baked even more until the top is crunchy.  By the time the baking is finished (see image of plate at beginning of post for the finished crunchy-top view), most of the fat is baked away and in the bottom of the baking dish.  Some people like to eat the crunchy top, others cut it off and just eat the very tender and tasty meat beneath it. 
While all of this was going on I was preparing the liver pate for our appetizer...
...the onions...
...and hard boiled eggs to go into it.  There are many other ingredients, too. My Liver Pate recipe is here.  Like sausage, it looks much better when finished.  ;)

Here's a shot of my home made cranberry sauce.  Recipe here.

I was busy making so many things that I didn't get pictures of everything, but my bread recipes are here.  The recipe for the red cabbage is here.

Thank you for sharing all the wonderful food you are making on your blogs. I am enjoying all of the images of other holiday foods my blog friends are preparing.  It is so much fun to see the different traditional foods and learn how they are prepared.

Merry Christmas, Everyone, from our home and kitchen to yours.