Sunday, April 27, 2008
Friday, April 25, 2008
A couple of weeks ago Marta asked me for my recipe for Shepard's Pie.
I learned to make this following Tom's request; Shepard's Pie was served in a pub in London where Tom had been working. (London is an important city in our family. Both of my sons met their future wives in that city!)
I had never made Shepard's Pie before but I looked it up in a recipe book and have been making it ever since. It takes under an hour to make and is especially good on a cool dark day, like a comfort food. The leftovers are tastier the next day when you heat them up for your lunch.
1 pound ground beef (or turkey.)
1 chopped onion
a few chopped mushrooms (if available but not necessary)
Could add any desired vegetable such as peas (1 cup)
Beef broth ½ to 1 cup or however you like it. (This could be canned or dry flavoring mixed with hot water such as bouillion)
2 tablespoons Cornstarch
4 or 5 potatoes, boiled, drained, and mashed with milk until they are smooth
grated mozzarella cheese, about 1 cup or whatever you like.
Spray an oven proof casserole with Pam or other cooking spray. Pour hot meat mixture into the casserole. Next put the mashed potatoes in a layer on top of the meat mixture. Spread all over the top like icing on a cake. Next sprinkle the mozzarella cheese in a thin layer on top.
Heat the broiler in the oven, place the casserole in the oven, and broil a very short time, less than 5 minutes, until the cheese melts and turns slightly browned. It is ready! Watch the broiler carefully because it is easy to forget and burn it.
It is almost asparagus season in Michigan! Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables. I prepare them the Spanish way, as shown by Marta, sauted quickly with a little olive oil.
Here I am with my student Harris, who is leaving tomorrow for Japan after completing nearly 5 years of work here. Doesn't he look very young? Believe it or not, he is a family man with 4 children. We have worked together on Business English and conversation skills during these 5 years. During one of our first lessons, I used the word "enthusiastic" because it describes him perfectly; describing his approach to work and study. It has been a pleasure to teach Harris and I wish him well in his new life at home in Japan.
Monday, April 21, 2008
Late afternoon we all headed out to a nearby town for dinner; here you can see us all at the restaurant. After some good food and conversation, Kelly and Matthew continued on to the city and we returned to the lake house.
Tomorrow morning we will head out early for the long drive home. It was a wonderful few days away from the routines of our lives spent with our youngest grandchild.
We've been enjoying a wonderful weekend in New York at Tom and Kelly's lake house. Saturday was very warm and beautiful so we were busy with outdoor activities. We did some painting, raking, and other small tasks around the house.
Sunday morning we went to a beautiful and friendly little church near here. Matthew was all dressed up in his carseat ready to go.
Here are Tom, Kelly, and Matthew at the end of the service when we were ready to leave. The church has beautiful stained glass windows which you can see in the background.
Matthew was so good and fell asleep at the end. There is a rocking chair in the very back of the church where a grandmother can sit and rock a sleepy baby, and he even stayed asleep when he transferred to his father's arms!
Matthew enjoys spending time on the floor, crawling, and playing with toys. When we arrived here Friday evening, he was curious and very cautious about us, but now he readily smiles and puts his arms up to me for picking up.
Here he is climbing on his father. At 11 months he will soon take his first steps. We could see he was practicing standing and almost letting go with both hands. He's very curious about many things, especially likes getting into the box where his toys and various items are stored.
It is spring in the Northern Hemisphere of the world. Here is a beautiful picture of cherry blossoms in Japan.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Friday, April 11, 2008
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Last week was spring break in Michigan and I had a wonderful week.
First I saw my old friend Karen who lives in Connecticut but was visiting her mother in Michigan. We were roommates at the university many years ago. She is one of my oldest friends; when we see each other, our conversations pick up right where they left off. (Incidentally the dates on all these pictures are incorrect! I think my camera reset itself.)
Next I went on to Steve and Marta's house to spend spring break with Gabriel whose Montessori School was closed for the week. While his parents went to their offices we had so much fun with many activities like going to the library, going to the children's museum, playing in the park, watching movies, and playing with toys.
Here are Gabriel and Marta on a sunny day enjoying crocuses that were growing in the yard.
Gabriel is a busy little boy. He loves dinosaurs, cars and trucks, Diego, chocolate chip cookie making, playing in the park.
One of the best things about being a grandmother is spending time together and especially baking cookies!
One special day Marta, Gabriel, and I went to see Steve's office where this picture was taken. He has a very nice office at a very impressive company. Here he is at his desk on a Friday afternoon, almost ready to go home.