Sprinkling Rain

dinner Rolls 02I woke up to sprinkling rain this Spring morning, so I decided to cancel putting the rest of the seed in the garden. Bake for Rachel’s party dinner for 20-40 hardworking people, totally simple right? Here is the start of the rye dinner rolls on my kitchen counter. Begin with rolling up a golf ball of dough, then dip the top of the roll into a bowl of beaten egg and milk, and dab it on the plate with the caraway seed layer. The egg and milk is like Elmer’s glue for the caraway seeds to stick. You can’t beat the taste of fresh herbs, grown in our garden last year. Yum.

dinner Rolls 03The rolls are then covered with a damp cloth and set aside to rise before baking.

Did you know I used to do cooking like this on a beautiful 45 ft yacht named the “Second Wind”? I cleaned the bottom of the boats moored at the pier, for $20 cash. That is how I met the Andrews family. They invited me for a ride with them to Maui. I happened to cook the fish they caught for our dinner. The father hired me to work in their galley on weekend inter-island trips because he liked that meal. It was a dream come true weekend job at the end of high school for me.  I got to see amazing places and the owner gave me a generous expense account to stock the kitchen whenever we pulled into port. I was able to learn to cook fancy stuff.

I’m glad I didn’t pass this opportunity up. Sailboats cross the ocean quietly. There is a special beauty on the ocean at sunrise and sunset painted neon skies to admire. At night the sky is so very dark out on the ocean, and the stars so bright. During one 2 hour watch at the helm, in the middle of the night I counted 14 shooting stars going across the sky.

dinner Rolls 04The rye dinner rolls come out of the oven and cool on wax paper. Next, are white dinner rolls coming out of the oven. I like to paint them with melted butter right when I take them out.

dinner Rolls 05The main course for the gathering will be simple soups, cream of corn and an alternate of ham with bean. Sorry, no pictures of the soups, cause they just aren’t all that interesting to look at.

I like to cook. 🙂

Chili Cooking

Chili 01 This big batch of chili cooking began on a prior day as I put beans in water to soak overnight. But, in the morning I combined the remaining other ingredients into the big roaster/slow cooker and put it on low all day and night. We grew the pinto and kidney beans, tomatoes sauce, and onions in our garden.

Chili 02Here is how the chili appears the next morning. It is a really different color after it has had the opportunity to simmer overnight. It almost looks like a different batch doesn’t it? Now, I taste and add salt or spices if needed.

Chili 04 Chili 05I add these last peppers to give it some zing and only need to be added an hour or so before you plan to eat the chili. I remove the seeds and the veins holding the seeds in the middle of the pepper to keep the heat down. If you leave the seeds in you will have a HOT batch of chili.


Be sure to use gloves to prepare the poblano peppers or you may find yourself with burning skin, a runny nose, and tearing eyes for the rest of the day. I only did that once and now I have no problem remembering to go into the art studio and grab a pair of gloves to handle the peppers.

Chili 06After I have removed the seeds and veins I put the peppers into a blender. Chili 07Pour into the chili, and stir. Let the soup simmer again about an hour before it is ready to serve. Bon appetite!

When the chili is done, are able to eat multiple meals until we get tired of it. Then I simply can the 5 quarts that are leftover to store in the pantry for later. By the way, this chili tastes better every time you heat it up. Most homemade soups tend to.

The Woelk’s are mostly self-sufficient, striving to be responsible neighbors that help to conserve resources in our community. We plant a large garden each year that supplies food all year long to us and the local food bank. Growing and cooking our own food ensures that we always know exactly what ingredients are in our food. We have high hopes this will allow us to live a long and healthy life. Contact me if you want the recipe that I used to make this.