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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My passion

I have a passion for food, by that I mean, that I love everything about it, not just the eating (although I am not a huge eater) But everything that goes with it, from the shopping for weekly groceries to the meticulous planning, recording and preparation. I have lots of recipe books some are in English some are in German, but I have many, maybe not as many as some people but for a woman who only recently found her true passion in life I am not doing to badly, although I guess like everyone I have my favorite, one that I turn to time and time again. Taste of home, the cooks who care edition, I have noticed that a new one is coming in October and that’s what is on my birthday wish list. I also have my own recipe book, or what I should say is that it’s a book of all our favorite recipes that I have cooked so far, I am just about to enter number 80, I have cooked far more than that obviously but so far only 80 have made it into the book. I have a folder for my torn out magazine recipes and a notebook for my own original recipes (not that I have very many in there) and just today I bought a recipe organizer which I am bound to have a whole load of fun with once I get started. Saturday evening we had a BBQ and I was able to put my abilities to the test, it’s one thing cooking for just you and your husband it’s a whole different ball game when you add guests to that list and I have very rarely been given the chance to cook for very many people, although I did Christmas dinner 2 years on the trot for my ex husbands family, not that they really enjoyed the variety of food or the effort I had put in. Anyway back to Saturday night, $40.00 a head, that included a 24 pack of beer, one bottle of vodka and a bottle of blue bols, 12 cans of sprite and 12 cans of coke light, the invite was bring a bottle. I think there was 10 of us altogether and I had way more food than we needed and everyone went home with doggy bags of food, but I catered for everyone I hope, we did:
Salsa Five layer dip (guacamole, sour cream, black olives and jalapeƱos, salsa and shredded cheese) Guacamole (store bought) Beer Dip Cheesy artichoke dip, served warm. 3 types of tortilla chips, dippers, scoops and restaurant style Marinated shrimp in a ice bowl Ranch pasta salad Potato salad Coleslaw Arugula salad with a light French dressing Garlic French loaves Hamburger and hotdog rolls (store bought) Salmon pinwheels (for the vegetarian) Boneless chicken wings Two types of marinated steaks, (one marinade was store bought) Sausages Homemade beef burgers BBQ ribs (store bought) And for dessert we served chocolate brownie cheesecake (store bought) and I also made a chocolate mocha cheesecake. I am particularly proud of myself at the moment because one of my guests has asked me to cater for her house warming party next month!!! :o) Go me…….. Now I am going to go back to my recipe books and find something to cook!!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

About me an introduction

Ok where to begin? I was born in Norwich, England. My father was in the military and we travelled around a lot, so I don’t consider myself to really come from anywhere specific, although when asked I refer to where my Grandfather lives, mostly because his cottage has been within my mothers side of the family for a VERY long time. My Grandfather was born in the cottage. I am the eldest of five, I have three sisters and one brother, how many step-siblings I have is anyone’s guess? My two younger sisters are pregnant, the babies are due a month apart and I believe both are having girls, I don’t really speak to any of them that often and have to rely on my mother for updates as far as to how they are doing, I guess you could say that we aren’t that close, life has a way of sticking things in the way, do you know what I mean? Work, your own family issues, distance etc. Besides sometimes things are just simpler without all the drama, I have had enough drama to last a lifetime! When I turned seventeen I got pregnant with my first baby, someone very wise said to me the other day that just because we think we are ready to have babies, just because our bodies are ready to have babies doesn’t mean we are ready to have babies. It’s funny how time changes the way you think, he is nearly 14 years old now and if you asked me now what I thought I would tell you that I was far to young but I also remember thinking at the time that I was so ready to have a baby, that somehow despite how frightened I felt, how uncertain I was about my future about the future for my baby, I remember thinking that, that was what I wanted. I got married in the August (to the babies daddy) had Alexander in the September and turned 18 in the October… All my ideals, went right out the window they were totally trampled on and I changed from a mostly optimistic happy person to a miserable and withered depressed person. Suffering with post-natal depression, which although was known of, it wasn’t widely diagnosed and I went untreated for a very long time… Alex wasn’t an easy baby to care for either (I compare him to how it was with my daughter) He would cry for hours and hours, although at the time I didn’t really think much of it, but as he progressed he displayed odd behavior, an obsession with keys, he really enjoyed taking things apart, at the time it annoyed me and made me cross because he would often break things, hind sight is a wonderful thing, I now realize that it wasn’t that he was breaking them on purpose, he took these things apart to see how they worked and to put them back together, he developed a keen interest in anything electrical computers, stereo systems, cameras etc and he had a vocabulary of about 22-30 words by the time he was 11 months old, although he wasn’t able to string a sentence together for quite a while! He has an incredibly keen eye, my mother was telling me the other day that, she bought a wrought iron gazebo, it didn’t come with instructions as to how to build it because she bought it straight off the floor it was the last one in the store so it was that or nothing, she took Alex down to the bottom of her garden thinking that it would keep him busy for a little while, Alex took one look at this gazebo and knew exactly how to build it, he had seen it in the store when he went shopping with his dad one weekend! He did help my mother build it. He always and still does play “hangout” with kids a few years younger than he is, his peers cause an extreme amount of anxiety which in turn causes bad behavior, tantrums and misunderstandings. Alex is a very special little boy, he has Aspergers Syndrome, it’s a high functioning form of Autism… Which I will get into at a later date. Abbygail is my daughter she is 11 and has had it quite hard, most of the attention was always on her brother, for obvious reasons. I would and still do get mad when I watch a documentary about a family with children who have multiple children, with birth defects or handicaps and then have one or two “normal” children, mostly because and I am guilty of it myself, the special needs child tends to be a priority, it’s not something you set out to do, it happens over time and the more it happens the less you notice what is right in front of your eyes, for a long time Abby was dragged along the ride, missed out on things that she had a right too simply because Alex was hard work and took up all of my attention and my Ex husbands. All things considered she is an incredibly well adjusted little girl and I am so very proud of her.
December 31st 2009 I got married again and became Mrs. Dodds and a step-parent to two beautiful girls and this is where my real story begins……