Monday, December 29, 2008

The Taste of Philadelphia --- MMMM!!

PRETZELS!!!! One dozen pretzels were in the bag.
I say "were" because they didn't last long!!

There are no words to describe the taste of a true Philadelphia pretzel fresh from
an oven and still warm in your hands. The taste -- the aroma -- oohhh -- I'm longing for another one! That's how they are -- addictive.
In my former days of Philly living, Vanilla Man and I would buy 5 for $1.00. Now they are 3 for $2.00. We'd buy them from a street vendor selling them on the corner. Some vendors we'd pass by for obvious reasons, others received our business.
But always on the way home from a day of teaching there was the sweetest, cutest, athletically built and tanned little lady selling pretzels at the corner of Front and the Blvd. After a hard day, (or a not so hard day), I'd buy a bag of pretzels. If it was a REALLY bad day I'd stop at B Street and pick up a watermelon water ice. Those were the days.

If you're like me, you eat the pretzel plain, scraping off most of the salt with your thumb and saving the knot for last. The knot is the best part of the pretzel. It is the softest and has this wonderful doughie, yeastie, yummie flavor. Always eat the knot last. Always scrape off a portion of the salt. Too much salt is not good for you.

On the other hand, Vanilla Man branches out and eats his pretzel in a variety of ways. He does not save the knot for last. He eats from the top down. He slathers his with mustard. He does not scrape off the salt. If the pretzel has even a chance to get "home" it is blanketed with a piece of white American cheese, placed in the microwave and heated until the cheese drapes down the sides in a rather droopy fashion. Then, with sighs of contentment, it is consumed one salty bite at a time. In this one area of his life Vanilla Man is not so vanilla.

Let me tell you -- not even Auntie Ann's can top the Philadelphia pretzel.
It has it's own unique texture and flavor.
There's just nothin' like it.

Now about the Philadelphia Cheese Steak -- the only place in these parts that tastes remotely like a true Philly Cheese Steak is found at Penn Station. They come very close but not quite.
That's for another post. We did not get to enjoy one of those while at home so I don't want to talk about them...July is a long way off.

Guess what's in the Bag!!

Hint: Only in Philadelphia!

I'll reveal the surprise tomorrow --- oh - welcome back to all of you...
so much to show and little time

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Very Strange Happenings at the Frederick Home

There are some very strange happenings going on around here!!! For the first time in a very long time, and I mean a VERY, VERY LONG TIME, the Christmas presents are all purchased AND wrapped AND under the tree. This never happens - be assured! Not only that BUT, I have already sent the packages to my beloved family in Idaho - they should have it by Friday -- waaay before Christmas!!!! Not only that, but I have even purchased the stamps to mail out the Christmas letter (no, it is not written, the family picture is not taken, the envelopes are not addressed) but hey - look at all the other stuff I have accomplished. We even got started on the cookies but ate them all.

I actually had fun wrapping the presents (sort of) this year. Now, my wrapping doesn't consist of matching papers, ribbons, or bows. Oh no, you are lucky to have paper on it with enough tape to keep it a surprise AND a name tag! There must have been a sale on Christmas wrapping paper after Christmas 2006 because I used the same paper last year and there is more than enough for next year too! Whatever.

Back to my fun. This year the packages are labeled: Gingerbread Man, Tiny Tim, Frosty, The Grinch, and Jack Frost. I have to code them so my youngun's can't figure out who gets what. Plus, they love to sit by the tree and shake, rattle, roll the gifts to figure out who gets what. But don't worry, I have the shaking and rattling covered too. This year the packages are all wrapped in odd boxes -- I didn't buy any gift boxes as I hate spending money on them so I used my imagination and headed to the cupboard. Now the gifts are wrapped in cereal boxes, cracker boxes, christmas light boxes, pizza boxes, get my point. I even add "weights" to lighter packages and stuffed others with wadded up paper so they won't make noise.

On Christmas Day everybody gets a chance to say who they think matches with the code name. The person with the most right gets a $5.00 gift card. If no one wins or there's a tie -- I get the card! This is so much fun and it stretches the gift giving time. And the bonus -- bigger boxes look like more gifts -- "the economy" touches us all doesn't it? I can just hear it -- "Mom, you're crazy!! You bought me Rice Krispies???" "I thought I was Frosty!"

I just love it!

Here's to sentimentality -- "Christmas 1987" -- our wedding year.

One of our friends made this rocking horse for Anthony's birth.

I just can't do a themed tree because all the "memories" have to go up.

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Merry Christmas from God's Bible School

The now smiling statue. This was a very cool element of surprise. Ryan Watters did an incredible job of standing absolutely still in the town square. Many did not realize the statue was "alive" until he moved and spoke for the first time. Sooo cool. He also had some great pun lines.

Mr. Frederick with friends - Mr. Klotz and Mr. Simmons

Some of the girls in costume - Bethany, Mandy and Brittany.

David and other choir members.

The drama team directed by the McCrary's.
The McCrary's wrote the script, directed, and led all the practices. Lanae put in over 300 hours on the costumes. They are both amazing people with servant hearts. It is my privilege to work with them in Kidz Adventure and AYC.

The girl's and I attended on Friday and Sunday nights. Each crowd has its own personality which is interesting to observe and to see how the drama team and choir are affected by them.
I loved the little pieces of humor interspersed between the message. I figured out the plot about half way through but still enjoyed it. The orchestra was beautiful and the choir sang songs that punctuated what we had just taken place in the drama. Some of the selections had a hint of "Victorian" about them.

Monday, December 8, 2008

What Could be Better?

Duncan' Donuts Cinnamon Spice Coffee brewed and in your cup.
Just the aroma tickles your taste buds.
I'm not a huge Duncan' Donuts Coffee fan but this isn't too bad.

Add to this a "Chocolate Chunk Coffee" cookie
you have a special treat!

I made these cookies on Saturday...since my family is not keen on coffee in their cookies,
guess who gets to enjoy them? I've put most of them in the freezer to enjoy over the next month. The recipe makes about 3 dozen...yea, maybe the next month, or weeks, or week, or days, or day??

1 large egg
1 Tbsp instant coffee
1 tsp vanilla
8 squares (8 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate
1 stick butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour
1 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup nuts

Heat oven to 375.
Stir the egg, coffee and vanilla in a small bowl until blended; set aside. Break the chocolate squares in half; cut each half into 3 chunks. (I used 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips.)
Beat the butter and sugars in a large bowl with electric mixer on med. speed until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg mixture. Beat in flour, oats (I used old fashioned), baking soda and cinnamon on low speed until well blended. Stir in chocolate and nuts (didn't add nuts).
Drop by rounded tsp., 2 inches apart, on to ungreased baking sheets.
Bake 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool for 2 minutes. Use a metal spatula (makes a difference as they are chewy and stick to a plastic one) to transfer to wire racks.

This recipe book sells at Amazon for a great price in good condition.
I loved browsing through it and will probably use some Christmas cash to add it to my collection.
ISBN: 0-609-60542-9

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Happy Birthday

David turned 18 last Saturday. Hard to believe!!
Where did our little boy go? Now he's a fine, young man.
David, we're proud of you. Happy Birthday Son.

Grandma made an angel food cake for him. Yum!!

A Cutco Hunting Knife from Dad and Mom.

Grandpa has been filling a piggy bank with dimes for each grandchild's 18th birthday.
We figured there's at least $30.00 in the bank. The question is -- how do you get them out?
David decided he won't break it open unless he gets into really "hard times."
Never mind, Grandma provided some cash in the card.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thanksgiving Memories

All is calm...It took over 2 hours just to get past Dayton!!

Alicia learns about preparing the turkey. The look on her face speaks volumes.

The feast is ready.

Mom still teaches a Sunday School class and prepares a new bulletin board every month.
I am so proud of her. I hope I am as young as she is when I hit 6_!

My mother is also brutal when it comes to playing Scrabble - something we do every time we get together. Here she took my "quad" which netted a lousy 34 points and added "pusher" which netted her 60 points!! (Her "h" was on a double letter and she placed the "p" on triple word.) I have only beaten her a few times in this game BUT we scored over 500 points for the game which, in her words, "makes a very good game."

David spent some of his time reading Pilgrim's Progress for his English Lit. The cool thing was he had forgotten his Dover Publications reprint and looked on PopPop's shelf to see if he had a copy. Sure enough -- he did -- a copy that originally belonged to Dave's grandfather - William Rosenberry - David's great grandfather. I love that sort of thing!

We played lots of games...lots and lots of games...I mean LOTS of games.
This makes my mother VERY happy. We were happy too.
By the way -- she can still beat in Dutch Blitz too!

Teaching Skipo Golf -- this game intrigued Dave.

Dave still did budgeting...he never stops thinking numbers!!

Dad and David went out Friday morning around 6:30 AM. Dad shot both of these buck within just a short time of each other. Plenty of meat for the freezer. He already brought in 3 or 4 doe!
The mighty hunter continues to be the mighty hunter even after a quad by-pass. I should have taken pictures of his pulley system in the garage by which he hangs the deer for a couple of days. You have to know my dad to appreciate his ingenuity. Pretty impressive. Oh, and he added more "furniture" in the garage too. (an inside family joke -- sorry for those without the last name Potteiger somewhere in your title).

On the way home we had to drive through Michigan's weather... 2 or more hours of 40mph driving. At least it was pretty.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Where Has the Time Gone?

I can't believe I missed blogging the entire month of November!!!

It has been very busy in this house -- so much to do -- so little time!

Let's see, last month...

the weather turned COLD

the much talked about elections took place

attended Praiser tournaments and games

taught classes

the girls got started on the Christmas decorations

we watched with amazement as God supplied our family with a car
(the van died over 2 months ago)

David was able to sell his Crown Victoria and bought a Pathfinder

we were blessed with the privilege of spending the Thanksgiving holidays
with my folks in Michigan

Lori celebrated birthday 40

our firstborn turned 18

Once again the camera cord has escaped my detailed organization...when I find it I shall tie it around my neck so as to always know where it is when I am in need of it...if I don't strangle myself before that...perhaps I should just put it in a drawer...

Hey, at least you have a new background to look at!

Happy December!