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All the planning and hard work on the part of the vocal students, their choral teacher and a lot of parent volunteers comes together this weekend for Mill River Union High School’s annual Bistro. Bistro is a series of performances by the school’s elite vocal ensembles consisting of two dinner performances and one luncheon performance at the Brandon Inn. Attendees are treated to the vocal entertainment of some great students during their three course meal. Then, just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, the ensembles perform a concert after dessert has concluded. This year’s theme is the “Lullaby of Broadway”.
Here are two of my favorite Bistro performers.
For those of you that might be traveling to Vermont in next few days, I don’t want you to fret over mud season. I know that mud season in Vermont can be daunting, and vehicles can get stuck and things can get downright ugly. In fact, most Vermonters tend to use mud season to run away to anywhere that is not here just to avoid it. I know that around this time of year, you may worry about mud season. But, folks, seriously, there is no need to worry, we’ve got plenty of snow and ice to take care of it for you!
I know that spring officially arrived just about a week ago, but there’s lots of snow on the ground, some really good skiing and snowmobiling and another 5-8 inches forecast for the weekend. So, no worries about mud here.
Happy Birthday Tyler! It is so hard to believe that 18 years ago today, at this time, we were anxiously awaiting our new baby’s arrival. Tyler, who was in no particular hurry to enter the world (he should have been born on St. Patrick’s Day) arrived at 5 p.m. on March 22nd.
Before his arrival, I could not understand how a mother has enough love in her heart to love two little babies, but taking one look at that face and holding him for the first time in my arms, there was no doubt that I would love this guy (I can’t say “little” since he arrived at 10 pounds 12 ounces) with all of my heart and soul.
and this picture
Tyler has grown into a wonderful young man who makes his mom very proud.
Happy 18th Birthday Tyler! I love you!
I am personally not a stew fan. The guys all love stew and I’ll make it, but I would just as soon make something else for myself rather than eat the stew. It’s nothing personal, I’m told I make good stew, but it just doesn’t hold a whole lot of appeal to me. There are things that are just so much more appetizing. That being said, since yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day and since Irish blood does course through these veins and since we don’t eat corned beef and cabbage, I thought I’d make an Irish stew. I looked online for some Irish stew recipes and decided to go with a hybrid of sorts. A total lamb stew, I’m not sure how that would have gone over since we are not super big lamb eaters. An all beef stew, well, I already stated my opinion on that one. So I mixed them together, threw in some stout beer. I bought a single bottle of chocolate stout from a local brewing company since I couldn’t get a single Guinness (and since we don’t drink beer, I refuse to take up refrigerator space with any) and a bottle of red wine. I started this stew at 4 and we ate at 7. So, it really didn’t take very long at all and came out tasting quite good and coming from a non-stew lover, this is really, really high praise.
1 1/2 lbs lamb stew meat cut into bite size pieces
1 1/2 lbs beef chuck stew meat cut into bite size pieces
2 T. tomato paste
1 t. sugar
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
1 bottle chocolate stout beer of your choice
1 c. red wine (I used Shiraz)
4 c. beef broth (I used 1 T beef base with 4 cups water)
3 T. butter
6-7 carrots cut into bite size pieces
6-7 Yukon gold potatoes cut into bite size pieces
1 large onion cut into bite size pieces
2 bay leaves
olive oil for searing
salt and pepper to taste
1. I took the cut up beef and lamb and browned it in the olive oil in my dutch oven. I did the lamb first and then the beef. Removed it to a bowl when each was done.
2. I put the cooked meat back into the pan and added my onion, sauteed for a few minutes.
3. Add stout, red wine, beef broth, bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, tomato paste and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer and cover.
4. In a separate pan, add butter and saute carrots for about 15 minutes. Turn off and leave in pan.
5. Allow meat to simmer, covered, for one hour. Then add potatoes and carrots, season with salt and pepper to taste.
6. Allow to cook uncovered at a medium heat for approximately 40 minutes or until potatoes and carrots are cooked through.
On Tuesday, the grass was showing in spots and it was almost 50 degrees. What a difference a day (or two) can make around here. Starting Wednesday morning the snow started falling and continued until this morning. When it was all said and done, we had about 2 1/2 feet on the ground although it is windy as heck here so an exact measurement (assuming that I was going outside to measure) would be next to impossible. Let it suffice to say, it is a LOT of snow.
There was a lot of shoveling out this morning.
Believe it or not, those sap buckets are actually hanging off the top of our three foot fence and hold flower in warmer weather.
The sunlight coming through the window in the late afternoon when I was cutting the tips off of the green beans for dinner caused me to grab the camera and take some pictures of things on the counter that my photography teacher would (hopefully) have been happy to see for a class assignment.
Courtesy of http://www.mycase.com
As many of you know, I am an attorney. Today in the mail I received a letter from a business known as the National Academy of Family Law Attorneys. Inc. advising me that I am a spectacular attorney and I have been chosen from their “rigorous selection process” to receive their “prestigious” Top 10 Attorney Award. The letter goes to tell me that this association has been in existence since 2013 (really?) with the primary goal of recognizing the top 10 family law lawyers in each state for their “hard work”. I am urged to return my acceptance by a specific date or my spot will be given to the first alternate. The second page entitled “Award Acceptance Form” contains spots for all the necessary information for me to receive my “prestigious” award including the spot where I can indicate how I want to pay the $250 Award Administration Fee to them for this honor. When I fork over $250, they will provide me with a plaque telling me how wonderful I am as a Top 10 Attorney.
There are days when my self confidence may slip a little low, but honestly, I don’t think I need to fork over $250 for a plaque to remind myself of how special I really am. Plus, it would help if they got my name correct. I haven’t been “Smith” since 1992 and I am not licensed in Vermont under that name at all. That, and the fact that a Google search doesn’t come up with any such organization on the first page of hits, is more than enough to make me say, thanks, but no thanks.
I think I’ll file this one where it belongs…..in the trash.
Dinner last night was homemade French Onion soup with homemade baguettes. It was delicious and well worth the effort of making it from scratch. While I was at it, I made some more sandwich rolls for lunches.
Lunch rolls all ready for tomorrow.
The onions, about 8 cups of them, thinly sliced sauteed for a nice long time to get a beautiful golden brown and form the base of the soup.
The baguettes right from the oven. These were thinly sliced and popped into the toaster to crisp them up to use as the croutons. Of course, had I prepared better, I could have made the bread a day or two earlier and let the slices crisp up without the use of the toaster. Alas, I am not that prepared.
The soup bowls are getting assembled and prepped for some broiling.
The finished product …. was …. delicious.
If nothing else, living where we live teaches one patience. When it snows, yes they plow the roads and yes, they do a wonderful job of it….but they do not have the city-it’s-gotta-be-done-now mentality. Usually the plowing comes toward the tail end of the storm, after all we have 2 guys plowing about 60 miles of roads and they do a fantastic job. Same as with ice, the hill will get sanded, but there have been a few of us that have gotten stuck or it took a few tries to get up the hill or we gave up and caught a ride with a neighbor. At the tail end of winter, frost heaves make an appearance and the roads have some wonderful whoop-dee-doos to contend with while driving. During mud season, which is fast approaching, no one goes anywhere too fast since our dirt road, like many others throughout New England, turns into a gloppy mess. Today is one of those days that teach you to be patient.
We woke to an internet problem, the DSL router was not working and the telephone company confirmed that they were experiencing a problem that left us disconnected. For a lot of people that is not a problem, after all we survived for decades without the technology that we take for granted now. But, when you work from home and your internet connection is necessary to do a day’s work, it can be a problem. So…this morning, we packed up our stuff and headed into town to Panera to get some work done while the internet problems are being resolved. I try really hard to find the up-side for my own mental health. Normally, Tom and I are working in our respective offices, in two different parts of the house. Today, we are seated across for each other, stealing a smile every now and again…it’s pretty nice.
Patience, it all teaches us that sometimes, we need to be a little patient.