Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tristan and the Piano

If you have a child and you didn't know he could play the piano, raise your hand. If you could see me now you would see my raised hand. Here is the story:
I took my son Tristan and my daughter LilyBeth to a store called Habitat of Humanity. They were each allowed to pick one small item for a special treat. Lily and I were looking through some stuffed animals when I heard  someone playing the phantom of the opera on a piano. It sounded beautiful. Since there were three different pianos for sale I looked to see who was sitting on one and who was playing. It was my very own seven year old son. I just stood there listening. People began to stare at him playing; they began to ask me how many lessons he has had. One man came to me to tell me how hard the song he played really was. And, that he was using all of his fingers to play. The management of the store came towards me. It was then when I saw the signs on every piano .

I quickly and quietly asked my son to stop and come to me so I could explain what the sign said. The management told me that he could play on any piano he likes. They then asked me questions like " How long has he been playing?" When I told her he has never had lessons and that I don't own a piano, they almost didn't believe me. I was told from several customer as well as employees that I need to get him lessons and a piano. I said maybe in the near future we would be able to get him a piano but not right now. The prices on each piano was 300 dollars.
We continued shopping when the manager as well as two assistant managers came to talk to us. They said, "We would like for Tristan to pick out any piano he would like for 50 dollars" What??? I couldn't believe it.
I told them I would call my husband and see if this is something we could do. After I told him the story he said " Wow, what a deal. But, where are we going to put it?" I thanked them a million times. Tristan then looked at all three pianos. He played on each one of them. I was hoping he would pick the one that was perfect and had beautiful wood carvings with no scratches or dents. But, he picked the one that had plenty of scratches and needs much wood repair. A friend helped us bring it home. The sound of beautiful piano music played by my son has blessed our home. I can't wait to see what God is going to do next.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Venison Gulasch

Today we had this delicious Venison Gulasch for dinner. I invited my friend Sandy and her sweet little girls to share it with us; it was yummy and oh so tender.

2lb venison meat 
1/4 cup olive oil
2 large garlic gloves; minced 
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
Cut the meat in bite size bites, place the meat in a bowl and add olive oil, fresh garlic, sea salt, pepper, paprika, and onion powder. Mix and cover and place in the refrigerator over night. This marinade helps the venison to become very tender.

The next day add 1/2 cup spelt flour(or any flour you have) to the marinated venison mixture. Combine well.

 2 lb venison meat(marinated)
8oz fresh mushrooms; sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 cups chicken broth

 In a large sauce pan heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil and add the marinated venison. Brown on all sides then add the mushrooms, and sautée them for 3 more minutes. Then add your chicken broth; cover and simmer for 1 hour. You can thicken the gravy with arrowroot or cornstarch.

2 Tablespoons arrowroot powder
2 tablespoons water; mix and add to the gulasch as a thickener . 
Serve with salad and spätzle noodles or any kind of noodles you like. We had spätzle noodles, I took the picture after dinner and the spätzle noodles were all gone :)

 This dish really needs a very flavorful chicken broth.  Most chicken broths are very "blaaa." So I like to make my own.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

 We love macaroni and cheese. But, trying to be more health conscious, I came up with this version. Everyone loved it!!
 This cheese sauce is not very hard to make and is so creamy.

The steam is still coming off this freshly made dish. 

For the cheese sauce:

2 Tablespoons butter or any butter substitute
1/4 to 1/2 cup of flour any kind
1 to 2 cup milk, it depends on  how thick or thin you would like your cheese sauce to be ( I used unsweetened almond milk) 
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup shredded cheddar or any cheese substitute
fresh ground pepper to taste

In a medium sauce pan heat the butter until melted on medium high. Add the flour and stir until you have a thick crumbly mixture. 
Add the milk slowly to your crumbly mixture and continue stirring (I use a whisk) until you have a thick and creamy sauce,  you don't want to have any lumps in your cheese sauce :) Add your sea salt and shredded cheddar and stir until melted. 
Pour over any type of cooked noodles; mix and season with fresh black pepper .
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