Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Bean N Bacon Soup

Bean & Bacon Soup

Basically I am learning to make this particular soup by trial and error. The last time I made it I wasn't sure of what I was doing and it didn't come out to bad, however, it seemed to not taste quite like moms either. So today I am trying again for the second time to see if I can master this yummy soup that I used to eat as a child.

These particular beans are high in protein and good for anyone who eats them. So yesterday evening around midnight I put one package of Navy beans in cold water in a bowl and covered the bowl and left them sitting on the counter to soak over night. Well today Nikolaj and I went out to do some things. I had to have multiple x rays of my back and hips to hopefully give the doctors some ideas of what is causing the issues I'm currently having that is becoming a real problem for me.

Then after that we took a nice walk around Qaqortoq and ended up visiting our friends Torben and Hanne. They are such nice people and I have enjoyed becoming friends with them. We had dinner with them as well. Turns out they wanted me to teach their daughter Helenne how to make a sweet and sour stir fry like the one I made one night on their boat when we went sailing together. I will have to write the recipe about this dish as well and how I came about creating such a concoction.

So we were there till late in the evening and came home to find those beans still in water soaking on the counter. Of course the first thing that occurs to me is that I can't just leave them sitting in water a second night or stick them in the fridge over night either. I'm not sure what would happen if I did that after such a long soaking. Initially they are only supposed to soak 8 (eight) hours. After that I'm not sure if that would be a bad thing or not. They seemed to be fine considering they had been soaking a good 12 (twelve) hours instead. They didn't sour or anything like that so I'm thankful for that.

Now here is what I did to start making the soup.

I used a large stock pot and started out with diced ham pieces, diced onions, I sauteed them in a tiny bit of butter due to the fact that there was no fat in either item placed in the pot for precooking. In a small skillet I cooked ¼ pound of bacon till it was crispy and set that aside. Once the onion and ham were cooked, I poured 9 cups of water into the pot. I added four cubes of chicken base into the water and brought everything to a boil. Once the water was boiling I chopped up the crispy bacon into small pieces and added that to the water as well. Next came the beans I had soaked over night and most of the day. Once the water came to a boil again, I turned the heat down to a low setting, covered the pot and let it cook on a low boil for over three hours. Yes, that is what I wrote, three hours. The reason for this is because I cannot buy a slow cooker here in this country so the stove top is where even things that would be perfect for the slow cooker is cooked. After three hours of cooking the water had thickened to a nice rich, semi thick soup sauce with the beans and things in it. Turns out that the soup is very tasty but it seemed just a “tiny” bit salty but not overly salty. I will have to figure out how to get it less like that.

So basically that is what I did to make this soup. I don't measure anything to be honest so I'll just write a brief ingredient list for this soup.

One package of Navy Beans
¼ pound bacon
¼ diced ham
one onion
4 chicken base cubes
9 cups water


Monday, August 27, 2012

Greenland (Sailing from Qaqortoq to New Places - Day 1) August 17th - 19th 2012

Sailing – August 17th - 19th 2012 (Qaqortoq)

WARNING: There is photographs of reindeer being used for food. If the reader has issues with this, then leave this particular blog. Do not post any negative comments on my blog if you're against hunting for food. This is a way of life in this country.

This blog will be about my 3rd sailing experience with my friends Torben & Hanne. I will write more blogs about the first and second trip when I get around to it. LOL

Day One:

We sailed out of Qaqortoq sometime after 3pm like we always do. I didn't know where we were going this day either. Each time I've gone with them, we've camped at a new place and new things were experienced at each place. Torben and Hanne are both native Greenlanders. It turns out that I have a lot in common with Hanne and because of that we have struck up a new and good friendship. 

She has been tutoring me in Greenlandic which at times turns out to be a laugh here and there at my expense but it's all in fun and I'm having a great time with it. Other times I find it frustrating due to the fact that my Southern American accent is getting in the way of me learning this fascinating language and challenging language.

The Greenlandic language belongs to the Eskimo family of language. It is a “poly synthetic” language which means that words are formed with a root, one or more affixes and a suffix. Because of this a Greenlandic word can be very long and can mean what corresponds to a whole sentence in other languages.

There seems to be different dialects depending on where a person is in Greenland. There is four dialects: South Greenlandic, West Greenlandic, East Greenlandic and the Thule dialect. Being I am living in South Greenland, South Greenlandic is what I'm learning.

Anyway being I find myself sidetracked writing about the language, lets get back to what I was writing about to start with. I think it will be awhile before I can become fluent with Greenlandic but I'm not going to give up on it. I have been giving some thought to learning Danish though. I am beginning to think it might be beneficial for me to learn it long before I learn Greenlandic due to the fact that this language is also spoken in Greenland and it might make my life much easier if I did and I shouldn't have as much trouble with it even with my southern accent. I don't really know until I give it try though. 
So we started out trip with exceptional weather and light winds. The waterways seemed to be choppy though and it made it difficult for me to get many photographs while we were traveling to our destination. I did get a couple of video's and a few photographs on our way there. We past a small settlement on our way there called "Qassimiut." There is only about a hundred people that live there. From what I understand, they tend to leave this settlement during the fall, winter, spring months and return back to Qaqortoq so that children can attend school. It is more or less a summer place for most that live there. I'm not real sure if any of the remain during the winter months though.
Much to my surprise, the first thing we all saw once we got to our destination were reindeer. Six of them in fact. Torben decided he'd have to try and get a shot off to take one of them down if possible. Two of them was laying down sunning themselves and the other four were standing around eating the local fauna. Torben took one of them down and got off the boat using the dingy to go and see to the deer to make sure he wasn't suffering or anything like that. It was a good kill and the meat will be tasty. Greenlandic people hunt reindeer, muskox, seal and sometimes polar bear. Polar bear hunting though only can be hunted by licensed hunters and even then there is only a small amount of them taken for meat. So Torben and Hanne got the boat tied off and settled in for the night as far as the boat and things that have to be done.

Once we were tied off and could get off the boat we all went to have a look at the reindeer. Hanne and her mother (who had joined us on this sailing trip) started the process of getting the deer ready for butcher by gutting him and removing body organs and things that were not edible for food consumption. Things were handled in such a way that nature was not disturbed and the leftover parts of the dear were placed in a particular fashion so that the local predatory wildlife could enjoy what was left but at same time didn't cause any negative impact on the environment. It was interesting to watch them work on the deer and it brought back memories of when I was a child. My father used to hunt deer in Florida himself. He'd bring them home and gut them and dress them and get them ready for butchering. So this process was nothing new to me, just haven't seen it done in a long, long time.

It seems that the men do most of the hunting in Greenland. The women do the gutting, skinning, butchering of the meat. One of the first things that was removed from the deer was the heart. I found that to be interesting. Apparently this is a special delicacy for Greenlandic people.

The reindeer was cleaned and moved to a closer area so that it could be further butchered on the rocks nearby as well as kept cool by the current Greenlandic weather conditions. After that was done we went back to the boat and I made dinner that nice. We had a nice stir fry that consisted of Teriyaki marinated chicken and beef, bell peppers, onions, snow peas, pineapple, mushrooms, broccoli and rice. Once I had all of it cooked, then I used a special kind of soy sauce and sweet and sour sauce to complete the taste I was trying to accomplish. I have discovered that most who haven't ever had this style of dish end up loving it and it was a big hit that night too. Everybody was full after that.

I thought it'd be fun to mention some of the following Greenlandic words at the end of day one blog.

Reindeer – tuttu
Thank you – Qujanaq
Your Welcome – Illillu
I love you – Asavakkit
a lot – assut
I miss you – maqaasivakkit

I will mention more over time as I write more blogs relating to my living in Greenland. I am not sure if I'm happy with how I wrote this blog so it might be possible that I rewrite it.

Friday, August 10, 2012


Seasons Change
by: Kathryn Oglesby Douglas Joelsen

Days bright and cool
Shortened daylight hours
Nature's signal for subtle change

Native legend says
Hunters in the sky killed the
Great bear each autumn
Dripping his blood on

The earth, turning leaves deep red
Roasting bear meat from
A celestial kettle
Turning other leaves yellow

Copyright ©2012 Kathryn Oglesby Douglas Joelsen

Bruschetta 'n Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Bruschetta 'n Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Prep: 15 min           Total: 1 Hour
1 Can (14 ½ oz.) Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained
1 ¼ Cups Shredded Low-Moisture Part Skim Mozzarella Cheese, divided
¼ Cup Chopped Fresh Basil
1 Pkg (6 oz.) Stove Top Stuffing Mix for Chicken
8 Small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (2 lob.)
1/3 Cup Kraft Roasted Red Pepper Italian with Parmesan Dressing
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. To prepare stuffing, combine tomatoes and their liquid. ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese; basil and dry stuffing mix, stirring until just moistened.
Put 2 chicken breast halves in a large, freezer weight resealable bag. Pound the chicken with the side of a heavy can, rolling pin or meat mallet until chicken is ¼-inch thick. Repeat process in the same bag with remaining chicken breast, 2 at a time.
Place pounded chicken breast, smooth-side down, on a cutting board. Spread with 1/8 of the stuffing mixture.
Roll chicken breast, starting at the narrow end. As tightly as possible around stuffing mixture.
Place in 13x9-inch baking dish with seam side down, as this allows the chicken to hold together nicely. Pour dressing evenly over chicken and bake for 40 minutes.
Sprinkle with remaining ¾ cup cheese and bake 5 minutes longer, or until cheese is melted and chicken is cooked through (internal temperature of 170 degrees F) .
Makes 8 servings, 1 stuffed chicken breast each.

Chicken Gnocchi Veronese

Chicken Gnocchi Veronese
Servings: 4

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion chopped
1 red bell pepper, sliced (julienned)
1/2 zucchini, sliced (julienned)
salt to taste

4 chicken breast, slicked in 1/2" strips
2 small branches of rosemary
1 garlic clove minced
juice of 1/2 lemon

Veronese sauce:
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
14 fluid ounces heavy cream

Veronese Sauce:
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
14 fluid ounces heavy cream

1 quarts water
6 ounces all purpose flour
2 eggs
2 pounds potatoes
2 tsp salt
1 pound gnocchi (potato dumplings, cooked according to package directions)


Wash potatoes and place in water. Cook potatoes until soft, (cook time will depend on size of potatoes)

Remove potatoes from water and cool in refrigeration

Peel cooled potatoes and push them through a fine grater (rice grater) until mashed;; do not over mash potatoes or they will get tough

Combine potatoes, flour and eggs into a mixing bowl.

Mix well until dough does not stick to hands (add small amounts of flour at a time if needed)

Divide dough into 4 sections, roll out each section into a long rope.

Cut each rope into 1/2 inch pieces.

Push fork tine in each piece for the classic gnocchi appearance.
Bring water to a boil in a sauce pot, drop in gnocchi and cook until they float.

Chicken and Sauce:  combine garlic, lemon juice, rosemary and chicken slices in a mixing bowl.  let marinate for at least two hours.

Combine Parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese and heavy cream in a mixing bowl and set aside.

Heat saute pan on medium high, add olive oil, onions, bell peppers and zucchini. 

Saute until onions are translucent. (do not brown)

Add marinated chicken slices and cook until slices are brown on all sided and internal temp is 165 degrees F. Reduce heat and add sauce mixture.  Bring to a simmer.


Let the Creativity Flow

Okay, I'm slow sometimes with doing things I intend on doing.  Like working on my blog, writing in general.  I hate writing at times because it requires me to articulate something in a more understandable manner so that most that "might" read it can understand it.  I don't really expect many to look at it but it does give me a chance to share things and if nothing else, maybe my kids will take the time to look at it from time to time.  I also noticed that there is potential to make books from these blogs and it might be something I do later down the road for my kids.  I will have to give that some deep thought I guess.  

So what am I going to write about in this blog.  Well I thought I would share a few photo's of some of the projects I have been working on, currently working on or even have finished.  I don't know if I will take the time to write about each one as I place photo's of them here but at least I will give the pattern name, who the designer of the pattern is.  Got to make sure people get their just due acknowledgement due to copyright laws and stuff.  

So without further adu lets get on with things.  

First project I want to share is: 
I made this scarf for the love of my life.  It has a polar bear placed on it too. I am thinking about going back to change the outline thread color to white though.  I'm not sure i like the black around it.  It seems to take away from the polar bear itself.  
This was the first time trying to make something like this with the bear. I used a pattern but modified it so that it could work for the desired effect I was looking for.  It seems that the original patter is now missing but I didn't really go stitch by stitch by the pattern because I had something in mind and the pattern doing it the way it wanted just didn't fit that criterea. I think my husband is very happy with his new scarf too. I'm excited about seeing him use it this coming winter too. 
I used two different white colors to give this effect and I used black to make the eyes and the nose. As I said I also used black to attach it to the scarf and I'm not real happy with it.  SO I probably will change it out to white and deal with there being white on the back side of the scarf. 

Okay onward to project 2: 
                                                 Wedding Square - 12" (Melinda Miller Designs)

I did this square as a tester for Melinda Miller.  I enjoyed doing it and it was a little challenging but I also think it was challenging a little because of all the mixture of colors I put into it.  There is only one variegated color used in this.  The rest are solid colors that I rotated.  It was a lot of fun. 

Onward to Project 3
                                                   Cherry Dishcloth by Lily / Sugar'n Cream 

The title of this design says dishcloth but I decided it would be a hot pad instead.  It makes more sense to use it for that and besides, it will look pretty hanging on a wall hook.  I enjoyed making this pattern and it turned out pretty good.  I again only used one variegated color while rotating with one other solid color. 

The next blog I write relating to my crocheting hobby will have more about projects.. I am closing this one for now.   Hope you enjoyed the shared items. 

The Beauty of Qaqortoq, Greenland

I like to take walks around Qaqortoq and take photo's.  Some photo's might be of blossoms, while others might be of brightly painted houses, icebergs and whatever else that might catch my eyes.  I also like to go to the flower shop and take photo's what might be interesting there as well. 
                                                      Achillea ptarmica - Sneezewort
I saw these cool little flowers on my way to the library.  I thought I wasn't going to get to write much about this particular plant because I couldn't seem to put an ID on it but looks like I have located the name of the plant. Yay! This particular set of photo's of this particular blossom seems late in blooming to my observation. These seem to be the first ones I've seen since the late spring season started.  There has been lots of blossoms but I haven't taken one photo of this particular Genus since I started this season.
This is an attractive, erect, medium sized perennial which grows in damp grassy places and marshes. The daisy-type flowers (12-20mm) are made up of broad, short rays (petals) and the center is a disc of tubular florets.  They are borne on tall stems (to 60cm) in flat clusters from July to September.
 The leaves of Sneezewort are stalkless, narrow and have finely serrated edges.  I am not sure if this is a native plant to Greenland however this plant belongs to the family Asteraceae. 

I'm amazed at the amount of flowers I see all over this small town.  Despite the rocky areas, and the subarctic terrain, plants seem to thrive here.
This plant, which is highly valued by insects, is poisonous to sheep, cattle and horses.  The dried leaves were used to make a type of snuff and a sneezing powder, as the name might suggest, and also the dried flowers were used to make a tea, which was a remedy for head colds and headaches. 

There doesn't seem to be enough information locally to learn more about this particular plant of the so many other ones that I have taken multiple photo's of.  The language barrier also prevents me from learning more as well so it's possible that I will make mistakes with identifying some plants.  So if you're reading this and you know more than me and feel that what I have given an identification to is incorrect, please feel free to notify me and direct me to the site of the correct identification of plants I may mistakenly identified.
Down below for more information of these plants as well as I wanted to make sure there was links from where I gained the information to identify these plants. I think they are very interesting to look at.



Thursday, August 9, 2012

Past and Present

Sometimes when I sit and look at past and present photographs it makes me realize just how short most of our lives really are and how fast time flies.  It seems like the older I get the more time speeds by and makes me sit back and gasp and wonder where it flew to. 
                                                          Thom, Kris, Lyn and I
When I was younger, just becoming an adult I had so many dreams.  Some of them were as realistic as the next persons was.  I wanted to have a family, a loving husband, a couple of children and I really wanted to go somewhere with the gift I feel I have had since birth.  The ability to grown any ornamental plant that I put my hands on. But some how things didn't turn out quite the way I had envisioned it. Bad things got in the way caused by those that were supposed to love and cherish all of my life and I think it left me broken for a very long time.  Stuck in the vicious circle and still not finding a way to get myself out.  It took me a long time to realize that I had been broken and that I had to literally drag myself out of that hole and find a way to recover and become a better person even though I don't see that there was anything really wrong with me to begin with. Being told you are worthless and will amount to nothing tends to make one turn out that way I think.

So going to higher education ended up being put on the back burner for awhile.  Then I met a man I thought I would spend the rest of my life with and he'd love me and love his beautiful children.  That's not how it turned out though.  But out of all this I ended up with three of the most beautiful children any mom could ever want.  I don't mean beautiful on the outside.  I'm talking about from the inside.  They have suffered as much as I have during the time when things got rough before their father ended his life so abruptly and rudely.  How anyone could do that to his own children is beyond me.  It didn't matter to me that he did it to me, it mattered more that he had done this to our kids, causing them mental injury, scaring them for the rest of their lives.  
                                                                      Lyn and Thom

They to had to work towards getting past that major injury.  I believe the girls has done well but I'm not so sure about my son.  He still struggles and he still has no focus on where he wants his life to go and I know he's an adult and I have to sit back and wait for him to figure it out himself and all I can do is to help support what he finally chooses to do with is life. 

I was one of those that decided to be a stay at home mom and raise them to the best of my ability.  It just didn't make sense at the time to work and give daycare all of the money I earned so that they could raise them.  I think if it hadn't been for me making this sacrifice, my children might not have turned out to be as good and beautiful as they are.  During that time I did go to college and get two different degrees but still I have done nothing with either of them.  Why?  I just don't know.  When I was thrust back into the real world, I realized that during the current state of affairs with our country, finding a good job at my age doing what I love or didn't love just wasn't going to happen.  I didn't have any job background.  I had plenty of education to start me off but just not enough to be competitive with other people who were half my age and had just as many educational credentials.  So there it is, another gone chance to do something with my life. 
                                                              Kris and Lyn

I am not sitting here writing about all of the "what if's" that could have occurred in my life. I don't really believe in "what if's."  It is what it is.  That is not it at all. I think it's more about reflecting on my life as a whole and wondering what legacy I will leave behind for my children and grand children to come.  What will I be known for?  What thoughts and feelings will they have about me as a mom and a major influence in their life?  Have I made enough of a difference in their lives so that they can lead a productive loving lives till they are at my age and probably do what I'm doing now, reflecting?
                                                               Kris and Lyn 

Of course my life has taken a more different turn over the past couple or so years that turned out to be quite unexpected to say the least. I will write more about this later.  I have often questioned the thoughts about whether I have made a difference about anything in this life, have I been enough of a good role model for my children so that they led good clean lives and cared about their own families as well as the people around them.  I hope they will not spend much time spinning in circles about past things.  I'm hoping so much for my son to get out of that circle too and get on with the job of living too.  
                                                                 Kris and Lyn
So now I sit here looking at present photo's of my children.  I have realized they are no longer babies in my eyes like I used to feel.  They are grown ups.  One of them is a mom now.  She now has the same sacred job to raise her daughter to be the best she can be and to push her to aspire to be more than she is.  I am so proud of Kriston and the path she has taken and the beautiful grand daughter she has given me makes life so much more precious.  I just cannot wait to finally have my little Abby in my arms to love and spoil and then give her back to her momma and remind Kris that one day Abby will give her grief just like she has given me a few times. LOL They both have so much to look forward to.  Kris gets to watch as her daughter grow and progress forward, turn into the most beautiful daughter any mom and grandmother could want.  
                                                                     Kris and Abby

Then I think about my oldest.  Lyn has grown into a fine young woman.  She has been fighting the good fight to get through college and still working hard to make something with her life relating to college.  She has been accepted into the surgical tech program and I am so excited for her.  She is starting a new phase in her life and school will be difficult but as long as she perseveres she will do well with it.  I am so proud of how she continues to aspire to be more than she is.  She's probably had it the hardest of all three in relationship to being the oldest.  I can relate because I was the oldest too.  Funny how that goes from one generation to the next.  I know she's had to work harder than most people her age to get where she is now.  She has retained that beautiful demeanor though  and I'm glad about that. 
                                                               Lyn and Eric

So the question still remains, what legacy will I leave for my children? Who knows and will it even matter?  I will have to give this some more thought later.  
                                                        Lyn and Luna  

More blog writings will follow about this and that and whatever....... 
                                                                  Lyn and Luna

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