Saturday, July 30, 2011

Come on, take a guess

The parents and I are on the road back to Texas. When we left this morning the GPS said we had 15 and a half hours and 1005 miles to go. I'm taking bets on how long it will take us to get home. Keep in mind, Dad likes to stop just about every hour.

Winner gets the most awful thing I can find at a truck stop along the way.

Contest ends Sunday at 6 pm central which I hope to be home by.

UPDATE:

So it took us exactly 21 hours to get home. My friend Whitney guessed correctly via Facebook and this is what she wins!

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Friday, July 29, 2011

We Have Eggs!

I'm out of town this week to go to my grandfather's funeral. I left last weekend top drive up to Indiana with my parents and we head back to Texas tomorrow morning. I tasked John with what he calls Keeping the Super 8 Alive. The eight things are himself, the 3 dogs, the 3 chickens and the garden alive. I tried to add the house in there and he said that of course it would still be standing because all of his toys are in the house.

I had suspected the Maudene and Agnes have been close to laying eggs. Maudene more than Agnes. Agnes may have another week. I KNEW if I left they would start laying and sure enough I got this picture from John.

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I actually think both of these are from Maudene and that they are two days worth. John admitted that he had not checked the day before. Plus the smaller one is probably the first egg.

I asked yesterday if one had laid again and they hadn't in the morning, but there was one when John got home. They're either laying in the evening or later in the morning. I'll have to look into it more when I get back, but we're finally in business!

Monday, July 25, 2011

4th Annual Hinchman Olympics

It's been almost a month since the games, but we had them and things were a hit as usual.

We started off the individual events with Chubby Bunnies which had more catcalling than ever before. It's really hard to keep 12 marshmallows in your mouth when people are trying to make you laugh.

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Yeah, I know. That's hot.

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Next up was a game from Minute to Win It called Floatacious. You take a plastic plate and float it in a bowl of water. Then you have to stack 4 empty soda cans one on top of the other without letting the plate rest on the side of the bowl. They have to stay together for 3 seconds.

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Then we did Defying Gravity, a MTWI game from last year. On the show they keep the balloons up for a minute, we just time it for the longest. Best out of two.

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The crowd favorite from last year came back, a MTWI game called How's it Hanging. You swing a banana that is tied around your waist and hit an orange into a marked space (it's a hula hoop on the show).

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We started team sports with Kinect Sports. It took a little longer than expected and we started to run out of daylight. Plus several people had turned shot gunning a beer into it's own event so some games weren't going to be possible like the three legged race.

We did end up doing the cotton ball on a spoon

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and then we came up with doing a hula hoop off.

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John showed off his hula hoop diving skills.

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The drunk people were in an uproar about cancelling the beer relay and ended up doing their own.

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We also saw another party - a Panda Party. We still haven't figured it out....

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The Red and White teamed ended up tied

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so we headed inside and did a dance off to determine the winner.

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In the end the red team came out victorious. (I think a Hinchman has always been on the winning team)

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

I grew this

Yes. After 3 years I finally grew a cucumber!

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No bugs have destroyed the plant like in previous years. They were really slow to take off, but I'll take what I can get!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Peach Jam

My 11 year old nephew was visiting us and while John worked on Saturday I got to hang out with him. I'd been wanting to go and pick peaches in Fredericksburg for awhile so I thought, hey free labor, let's go!

I decided to turn it all into peach jam. Seriously if you've wanted to make jam, but thought it'd be too much work, it's not. Plus I cheat and with my fruit and vegetable strainer on my KitchenAid it makes things like jam and salsa totally easy!

Basically the strainer removes the all the seeds (not peach pits) and skins from fruit or vegetables for you. All you have to do is cut the fruit in small pieces and throw them onto the food tray.

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Then it kind of poops the skins out:

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I usually catch the skins and run them through a second time especially if what I'm running through it is pretty juicy. Otherwise they pile up nicely to throw into the compost or in my case feed to the chickens.

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It turned three batches of jam into about 2 hours of work. There was no boiling and then skinning the peaches. I just ran them through. Plus most of the time was spent waiting for things to boil which is usually how canning goes.

And this jam? YUM! I thought my strawberry was amazing - it can't compete!

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Something I found out - it doesn't take many peaches to make jam. Only about 10 per batch. I didn't even put a dent in the box we picked.

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Peach Jam Recipe (From the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving)

4 Cups Finely Diced or Purred Peaches (about 10-12 peaches or about 2 1/2 pounds) - next time I may peel and dice a few to add some chunks in there the Kitchen Aid basically purees them

2 tablespoons lemon juice

5 cups granulated sugar

1 box No Sugar Fruit Pectin

If skinning and dicing them yourself boil the peaches for 30-60 seconds and then throw them into a bowl of ice and water. The more ripe they are the easier to peel. Remove skins and pits and then dice. You could also throw them into a pot and hit them with an immersion blender.

In a large, deep stainless steel saucepan, combine peaches and lemon juice. Whisk in pectin until dissolved. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Add sugar all at once and return to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil hard, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from heat and skim off foam.

Ladle hot jam into hot jars, leaving inch head space. Remove air bubbles and adjust head space, if necessary, by adding hot jam. Wipe rim and center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.

Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.

Yield: 6 (8 ounce) jars

Also - my new canner I bought for my flat top stove that was really just an aluminum tamale steamer. Yeah. It crapped out on me. The bottom basically couldn't take the heat and actually went concave. John had fun beating it up with a baseball bat. I probably could have made another 2 batches of jam had this not happened. (Plus it's delicious so I'd love to have a huge stockpile in addition to what I've given away) Well after I posted my sad story on Facebook my oldest brother has bought me this lovely new stainless steel flat bottom canner. I have to repay him with salsa and hopefully my garden will cooperate so I can do so. Can't wait to get it and try it out!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

NKOTBSB San Antonio

Chapter 5, the final chapter

Ready to go!

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We actually saw the opening act this time and honestly it was worth missing the first time.

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A big difference between this crowd and Houston is that it was a lot younger and there were some HUGE Jordin Spaks fans in San Antonio.

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Finally it was time for the show to start and yes, it was JUST AS GOOD! We were ready to go!

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Seriously, Howie has gotten so cute!

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Kevin joined BSB at the next show in LA. SO JEALOUS.

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Please don't go girl....

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Show me the meaning of being lonely....

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I'll never break your heart....

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Nick was a little hot towards the end of Incomplete.

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Step By Step

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Yum

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A little chat time with the audience. They pretty much said the same thing they did in Houston. As did BSB.

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Oh Jonathan. You're still so cute.

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Shape of my heart

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I'll be loving you forever...

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I want it that way....tell me why

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Intro time. You can see Danny passing out mints which they tease him for when they introduce him.

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Jonathan was tweeting from stage.

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Warming up for the final song.

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NKOTBSB. NKOTBSB. NKOTBSB

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Everybody....Rock your body....

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Back Steet's Back Alright!

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Oooh Ooooh Oooh Oh Oh

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Battle Time

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It was a totally amazing show once again. I'm so glad I met the guy at the Exxon to get the tickets. Did I mention how we almost went to Vegas.....cuz we tried. This show is really that good.
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