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Melon Calpico

Yes. It’s good.

That is all.

We Have Pickles!!

Remember those cucumbers I left soaking in pickling lime? Well I spent ALL day yesterday making them into Christmas pickles. First they had to be scrubbed clean to get all the lime off (which I did twice to be safe) then they had to soak in ice water for three hours.

After that, it was into the pot with vinegar and food coloring for two hours.

They looked pretty light at the beginning but by the end they were brightly colored.

After that they had to be rinsed off again, and then back into the pot with vinegar and sugar and cinnamon.

They had to simmer while I sterilized the jars, bit since my pot is small I did one batch at a time. Eventually they went into the jars, then had to be processed.

And finally -tada! – we have Christmas pickles!

Would I ever purposefully do this again? Maybe. If my brother is really in love with them. But, next time I’d look up the alternatives to using lime because that would save a lot of work if they didn’t have to be scrubbed clean twice.

What else…oh. we have a test skeleton up in the yard.

We’re testing making them stand using a 6 foot piece of rebar. I saw something similar online and it’s a LOT cheaper than buying or building stands – and if it works well it’s also less intrusive in the scene. Anyway, so I bought ten sticks a couple months ago but we’re just now seeing if they will actually work long term, so fingers crossed.

And now I’m going to watch Hometown Cha Cha Cha.

Have a successful pickling kinda day!

Jo 🙂

P.S. you know I sampled them already and they taste a bit like pickled watermelon rinds but without the cloves. The taste is pretty close to the ones we had as kids and the texture is right, so they were cucumbers. I wonder if they had another spice in with it and if adding one would mess up the acidity? I need a canning expert, lol!

The Long Road to Christmas Pickles

When I was a kid someone used to make and can Christmas pickles. They were not made out of apple rings, but cucumbers. One jar was red and one was green. They tasted like cinnamon, but did not involve red hots. I’ve been looking for a recipe that met those parameters for years. This year, finally. I found one. It’s been online since 2011, but never appeared in any of my searches. I guess it was finally time.

Anyway, so we bought the cucumbers from the farmers market the other day and yesterday I started the long a toilsome process of making these things. I’m not going to lie, I’m making them not for me, but for my brother who is the reason I’ve been looking for them all these years.

So, I chopped cucumbers. I cored cucumbers, and then I set them to soak in water and pickle lime. And I’m going to stop you before you tell me that pickling lime is dangerous. I read all about it first, and trust me, these pickles have been scrubbed clean.

This took a very long time to do, and included a break for lunch where we had Casey’s cheeseburgers.


Then it was back to the cucumbers which took forever. Eventually, they were soaking in their pickling lime and I was free! Free… just in time to run to Red Oak to pick up supper.

No rest for the wicked…erm, I mean innocent.

As a bonus, the pink/orange rose has three blooms on it!

And now I have to go take the first batch of pickles out of the pot.

Have a cheeseburger kinda day!

Jo 🙂

Pumpkin Pie Balls

I promised to let you know ow how they came out. Well, they came out pretty good.

I followed the directional photos, sort of. Basically you use a pre-made pumpkin pie. Squish it all up into paste in a bowl, then I added a bunch of grammar cracker crumbs to thicken it, rolled it into balls, froze it for an hour, then dipped in melted dark chocolate. It’s pretty easy, and I thought they tasted good.

Other culinary adventures were steak with risotto.

Both were good, so it’s another recipe I’ll save. (We’re going through them all tondecide whether to keep them or toss them because I have tons I’ve never used).

Not much else, so will end here.

Have a pumpkin ball kinda day,

Jo 🙂

Canned Butter

Sorry I’ve been sporadic this week. I’ve been sick with a stomach bug and a couple other things all at the same time. Not fun.

But want to know what is fun? Canned butter!

Yes. It’s butter in a can that’s made in Australia or New Zealand (I forget which) that I ordered from. (Amazon has it as well, but for twice the price). How did I find out it existed? Why did I buy it? A: I saw it in a Reddit post in the mildly Interesting subredit but found it extremely interesting, as we don’t have canned butter here. And I bought it because I like those weird kind of things. As for how it tastes, its quite delicious and has a very good texture. Is it better than Great Value butter which is half the price? Not sure, but it’s fun either way.

I also got my Chinese hands in the mail. I ordered them from Ali Express at the end of August for something like 1.50 a pair, so I was really surprised about the quality.

We won’t be using them this year – it’s an all skeleton year – but next year when we do the witches we will. I also bought some hands form LTD commodities that have hangers that I plan to use on the big tree next year. Or the year after, depending on when we do the pirates. Yeah, I have plans at least two years in advance. I take my Halloween serious, lol!

And now I leave you with some pretty flowers. Our yard is full of various vines, most of which I pull, but I’ve left this one.

Have a canned butter kinda day!

Jo 🙂

From Car Wrecks to Rainbows – a Week in One Post

Yeah, I’ve been busy, and lazy, so you get the whole week at once.

First, my bro hit a deer. He’s ok, but the car is not.

Though one good thing on Sunday, we ended up getting to enjoy the spaghetti dinner from the community building. It was a fund raiser for a family who had a fire. It was very tasty, including some strawberry cake that I kind of wish I had the recipe for.

Another thing we had this week was a lot of rain. So much so that the duckies at Dollar General went out for a swim.

I did get some ice cream made though. Chocolate mint, strawberry, blueberry, maple, and vanilla pineapple.

So far we’ve only had the maple. I just used the normal vanilla recipe and added a teaspoon of maple flavor and a half teaspoon of vanilla. Though I don’t like walnuts, I mixed some in Dad’s.

There was also a mystery bug…

Wednesday we went to our weekly Council Bluffs trip. I found the exact carveable foam pumpkins I’m looking for to make man eating plants – for $25 each!!! I did not buy them. I did, however, enjoy lunch at Great Wall. (Mine was the lemon chicken).

Also saw some neat buildings

And a lot of dust.

Today the exciting thing was the sky. It was supposed to be hot and sunny. Instead we had clouds…

And rain…

And finally rainbows

And now I leave you with a dog snuggling a stuffed duck.

Have a rainbow kinda day!

Jo 🙂

Pokemon Go Fest Finale!

Saturday was the Pomemon Go Fest Finale, and despite what everyone seemed to think, so long as you bought a ticket to the first Go Fest, this one was free/was a continuation.

The storyline for this year’s Go Fest was that a mysterious portal opened up to another dimension and allowed in and Ultra Beast, and also sucked in Professor Willow (he’s the guy that you’re assisting with all the research and pokemon catching and what not). After he disappeared, a mysterious guy from the other dimension shows up to help you (aka take Willows place). This happened in June, and over the next months, the monthly research was the mysterious space guy, because of course Willow couldn’t be there since he was missing, so it was a cute way to keep the story going. Of course this last Saturday, Willow finally returns, and the portals increase, allowing other Ultra Beasts (who had been released at in person only events over the summer) to appear in raids, and our spaceman friend created some Ultra beast balls for catching them and…now everything has been returned to normal.

Anyway, Go Fest days started at 10 a.m. which meant we had to get up and get going early. The one joy of getting up early is that I get to eat breakfast, and what a yummy breakfast it was!

That’s right! A hot dog from the Weiner Wagon! Ha!! I actually ran into them a couple years ago at Buzzard Fest in Coin, but then they were the Teeny Weeny Weiner Wagon and had a tiny cart, so it’s awesome to see they’ve been able to upgrade. So tasty!

Lunch was just as good because it was a walking Taco from the DAC creamery (I had ice cream, too! Why not! It’s a special day, after all! Carbs don’t count on special days, right?)

And here’s something weird I noticed while driving around that hubby assures me has been there forever:

Anyway, though we did do raids to get Ultra Beasts, my main goal was shiny hunting. And I did waaaay better than usual. I think it’s because we spent most of the time driving around so instead of staying stationary and checking 50 mons we could check 200 mons. In all I got 22 shinies, which is a record for me for any event. I think 12 is the most I’ve had before.

The event ended at 6 pm, in time for a killer rain storm. (I wonder how the people who’ve been in the tents for weeks faired with it?) There was a lot of wind and rain, so we got trapped in the truck for awhile. But, when it ended we went to Stadium 34 for dinner with friends, and had a nice time.

The drink is a Rum Rollover. I’d never had it but yummy! So good! It’s coconut rum, OJ, pineapple juice and grenadine. Mmmmm… and chicken parmesana is always good.

So, anyway, it was a good day. The storm was weird, and the chick hiding in the park bathroom for well over an hour was weird, but what’s a day without a little weirdness, right?

Have a shiny pokemon kinda day!

Jo 🙂

Told Y’all I’d Buy The Dog

If you saw that and thought, “Isn’t that the skeleton dog at Dollar General?” You’d be right, except it’s no longer at Dollad General, it’s now in my house waiting for Halloween. Heh-heh. We all knew I was going to get it.

In other news, I finally tried the Asian stew recipe that has been haunting my cookbook for years and guess what? It was good!

It’s beef, carrots, onions, ginger, green onions, sesame oil, soy sauce and bok choy.  Actually we had to use a kind of cabbage but anyway, it was tasty with some rice. Hang on, I’ll just add the recipe.

I even left it big so that it’s readable. You’re welcome. We used stew meat instead of the short ribs because that’s what I had, lol!

Desert was lemon lime sherbert Ala the Ninja Creami.

I just used the orange sherbet recipe, but instead of OJ did half lemon juice and half lime juice and some green food coloring. It was pretty tasty.

And that’s it.

Have a lemon lime kinda day!

Jo 🙂

Gummi Sushi

Hello, hello. Yesterday we got some stuff done that’s not that interesting, but what was interesting was the gummy sushi! We actually found it at Hy-Vee, our localish grocery store (being in Villisca there isn’t a real local store since there’s not one in town.)

My favorite part was the round things covered in yellow. They were a nice gummy drop coated in crunchy yellow Sprinkles. With the flavored and the fun popping crunch it was sort of like what I imagine soda would be if it was a candy.

Inside the little plastic containers were some interesting things. The red berries were really delicious. I’d buy a whole bag of those. And the other was four shoe strings that were also really good. They had almost a lemonade flavor.

These were a super sour strip wrapped around a marshmallow. The offset between the super sour and the sweet marshmallow is really good.

The fishy sushi is an orange gummy fish on top of a marshmallow. Since both are sweet, it was a bit too much for me, but it wasn’t bad.

The other one I didn’t picture is a sour gummy ring with a gummy bear. It tasted exactly like a sour gummy ring with a gummy bear. It was also good.

And that’s my gummy sushi review. Wasn’t it exciting?

Have a Gummi sushi kinda day!

Jo 🙂

Apple Barrel and Cutlery

Yesterday was the weekly pilgrimage to Council Bluffs, and this week was topped off with a visit to Apple Barrel – which is the restaurant inside of Sapp Brothers truck stop, for those not in the know.

One of the best things about Apple Barrel is that they have all day breakfast. Since I’m rarely in public before noon, I rely on all day breakfast to ensure I occasionally get breakfast food. And it was tasty! I had scrambled eggs, hashbrowns, sausage, and the cutest mini loaf of blueberry bread, complete with a tiny bread board!!

Sapp Brothers Coffee machines are also worth mentioning. I love the “Awake” label!

I mentioned cutlery. For reasons I don’t fully understand, I’ve inherited some. But, it’s pretty cool, so…

The finger one is too big, but it makes me feel like Sauron, or the evil witch in Inframan. (There’s a classic everyone should see!)

And now I leave you with a skeleton dog I’m thinking about buying for our Halloween Undead Park scene. Tell me what you think.


Have a mini loaf kinda day!

Jo 🙂

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