Archive for February 10, 2012

Game Time

We are a game lovin’ family….well, me and the kids, anyways.  A couple of weeks ago we had a snow and ice storm and the power was out for 6 days.  I think we played every game in the house – and that’s a lot of games.  We had so many candles going around the game table it looked like a seance.

I have found that thrift stores are THE greatest places to buy board games and they usually have a huge selection. When I was at Goodwill the other day, I found this Cranium Primo Edition.  It came in this cool embossed tin.

You see that little red price tag on there?  It says $1.99!  I just looked up the price of this very same game on and they sell it for $89!  AND, it was brand new, all the cards were still wrapped in cellophane.


Another great find on a game was a “vintage” (aka from my childhood) Game of Life.  My elementary school BFF, Gracie, and I used to play this game over and over trying to see who could get the most kids.  We’d lay the little people pegs in the cars sideways if we had to.

Garage sales are also great places to buy games.  Just be sure to look them over and open the boards.  If  you are lucky enough to find instructions in the box, it will usually tell you what the contents of the game is so you can check to make sure it is all there. You can also usually find game instructions on-line..

Firewood = gals of oil

With the recent storms a lot of us had tree damage. Now the question is what to do with all that wood. Please don’t try to burn green wood as it smokes too much. It’s best to let it dry.

We have heated our house with fire wood for years. I’ve gotten pretty choosy about what type of wood we will burn. Different woods produce different btu’s. It’s worth researching before buying firewood. Certain woods are more valuable/desireable than others. I have had many people try to sell me cotton wood. I am not interested. It’s very fiberous and difficult to split. I also do not desire an entire load of cedar. It’s great for getting a good coal bed going but burns much too quickly. I prefer hard woods for long lasting fires. Wood stored 1 year under cover dries to 20% moisture and ends should be cracked.

I asked my step daughter to help me stack wood one afternoon and she asked why we were going to so much work. I explained to her that we could save thousands of dollars a year in heating oil. She asked “Well, if it’s so valuable, why don’t you SELL it and BUY oil”! Smart kid, but seriously,,,,,,, GET BACK TO WORK!!!

Here is a list of different trees and their equivelant in gallons of oil. You can see it widely varies.

hickory 206
oak 202
beech 195
birch 190
ash 171
walnut 168
maple 164
tamarach 161
sweet gum 158
tupelo 152
elm 152
cherry 152
magnolia 149
sycamore 149
douglas fir 146
hemlock 139
pine 142
willow 118
alder 125
spruce 119
sasafrass 140
cottonwood 111
basswood 113
redwood 114
fir 115
cedar 116
butternut 116
aspen 117

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Cuban Pork Sandwiches

I got a hankerin’ for a Cuban Pork Sandwich the other day.  If you’ve never had one before, you simply must give them a try – they are totally delicious.  Paseo’s in Ballard has an awesome Cuban roast sandwich.  A little different than a traditional Cuban Pork Sandwich, Paseo’s is spicy, totally messy and on the most wonderful bread imaginable.  We were in Florida last summer, and I was so anxious to try a real authentic Cuban sandwich.  I must say, I was sorely disappointed.  I don’t know if it was that particular restaurant or that area of Florida that we were in, but I never saw it coming…I thought for sure these would be the all time best sandwiches ever.

So anyways, I had a pork roast in the freezer and thought I’d give it a shot.  So glad I did – yum!

2-3 pound pork shoulder roast
1 onion, coarsely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and quartered
5 T. vinegar
2 T. dried oregano
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
6 soft French rolls
1/2 lb. deli ham lunchmeat
6 slices swiss cheese
pickle slices

Place the onions and garlic into a large stock pot.  Put the roast on top of the onions and garlic.  Pour the vinegar over the top of the roast, and sprinkle with the oregano, red pepper flakes and salt.  Fill the pot halfway with water.  Put the lid on the pot and set over medium heat for 20 minutes, then turn down to low and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.

Flip the pork over and simmer for an additional 1-1 1/2 hours.
Let the pork cool for a bit, then remove from the pot and shred using your hands or forks.  Return the shredded pork back to the pot and keep warm.

Slice the rolls in half and spread each side with mustard.  Arrange the swiss cheese, ham, shredded pork and pickles and top with the other slice of the roll.  Grill or cook the sandwich in a press until the cheese is melted and the sandwich is warmed through..