Quarantine Recipe for the leftover ham after Easter

Ingredients for scalloped potatoes and ham recipe
Ready to make dinner from leftover ham and red potatoes

My email inbox has no less than FOUR Quarantine Recipe Exchange chain mail letters. And each with these famous last words at the end: “Send to 20 friends via BCC. … The turnaround is fast, as there are only 2 names on the list and you only have to do this once.” This is a lie. If I only have to send it to 20 friends and 4 different people emailed me the letter, I have to email a copy of the letter to 80 people.

But I do have a blog, which although it has been pretty inactive lately, it is the perfect place to post recipes. This recipe is perfect for after Easter; I didn’t make as many mashed potatoes as usual since we didn’t have guests due to the quarantine, so I was able to use up my leftover red potatoes. We had plenty of leftover ham as well. The ham was a lovely ham, before I baked it. The packaging said it was the best ham around; I, however, dried the dickens out of that ham. Perhaps it was the bottle of wine I finished after the Easter BYOBAB (bring your own bottle and bread) social distanced communion service I attended; perhaps it was the lack of guests so I wasn’t as careful in the preparation of our dinner. As I took the ham out of the fridge, I thought, “This is a pretty heavy ham. I think 3 hours will do the trick.”

Three hours at 325° was waaaaay too long. Right before the three hour mark, I decided it was time to finally make the mashed red potatoes, so my lackadaisical planning added another half an hour. That 8 pound ham should have only been in the oven for 2 hours or less. It was completely dried out. But it still was very tasty in these scalloped potatoes I made for dinner last night.

Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

About 4 cups sliced potatoes (I like to keep the skins on, but that is your preference.)
1/4 cup minced onion
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic, minced 
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Heat oven to 350° F. Grease or spray a 9X13 inch casserole dish. Layer the potatoes, ham, onions and cheese twice. Melt butter and stir-fry garlic in a medium saucepan. (Due to my limited shopping trips right now, I don't have garlic, so I threw in some chopped onion. It worked out just fine!) Blend milk, cornstarch, salt and pepper. (I usually use a little less salt because the ham is salty, and a little more pepper just because.) Pour milk mixture slowly into saucepan with butter; cook and stir until thickened. Pour over potatoes. Bake for 1 hour or until potatoes are tender.
Scalloped Potatoes and Ham
Scalloped Potatoes and Ham with Cheese, garnished with green onions

Print this recipe by clicking on this link!

Puttering Around

The word of the day is “putter.” Putter: to busy or occupy oneself in a leisurely, casual, or ineffective manner (Dictionary.com)

I have been puttering around the house today.

Washing my hands.

Throwing together warm water, oil, salt, flour and yeast in the bread maker.

Going through a pile of papers that are from an activity that has passed.

Stepping down to the basement to see what printer ink I need to order from Amazon.

Wait, what did I touch? I feel the need to wash my hands again. My hands are chapped! (That’s a shout-out to my cousin Suzanne, who started a fun and productive email exchange with our family with that title.)

Running the water to fill a pot and put it on the stove.

Walking down the stairs to look for the laundry basket in the basement

Whoops, it’s already upstairs!

Washing my hands again to throw some noodles in a pot of boiling water.

Puttering around, doing little things that need doing, without doing much at all.

All this puttering reminded me of one of my favorite series of books that I used to read to my daughter: Mr. Putter and Tabby! And so I wondered; did I ever blog about Mr. Putter and Tabby?

Indeed I did! And I found the cutest pictures of my two, and discovered that yes, I did do fun things with my kids!

I even let them decorate their own pink cupcakes! Check out this link to see their cupcakes: Cupcake Help

Stay well, my friends!

The world is staying home…

Today I watched a movie. A whole movie, just like that, in the middle of the day.

The movie was Julie & Julia; Julia, of course, is the famous chef Julia Child, who my children have never heard about. Julie is a blogger, who blogged for a whole year and made every recipe in that year from Julia Child’s cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. In the movie, so it goes, cooking helped both women find a purpose in their lives.

One of the first scenes of the movie shows Julie’s husband helping her start a blog on Blogger. I remember clicking the a similar button when I was a stay-at-home mom when I needed to something, ANYTHING, more than just cleaning, cooking and changing diapers! (Now that I’m far removed from those days, however, OH, how I miss those little darlings that I took care of day in and day out!)

It’s been twelve years since I started blogging, and as I got busier with a job, my older darlings (who thought they would keep me even busier now that they are 12 and 15?) and graduate classes, this blog went by the wayside. I’ve still been writing, but more along the lines of papers with names like, “Interviews with English Language Learners” and “Conceptual Preview Strategy” as I work toward getting an English as a Second Language endorsement with my teaching certification.

And just like that, a couple of weeks ago, everything was online or canceled. Covid-19 entered the scene. And I now have time to watch a movie IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY!

And perhaps, I have time to write on my blog?????

The only trouble may be, since we are all staying at home, that there is nothing to write about……………..

But with the window open and the breeze bringing in the scent of newly thawed soil and the robin’s song, and the smell of bread baking in the kitchen, (twice I failed in finding flour in the stores, and my neighbor bought me some!) I’m going to hit publish and see what happens next…

How are you, friends?

I Love Walking in the Rain

Whenever you are in training for a big event, such as the 2-day walk that Ed and I did, you are bound to have to put some miles in in the rain. As long as it’s not too cold and I’m not getting too wet, I don’t mind walking in the rain. One summer, I was a teacher at an overnight camp in Northern Wisconsin. I took a bunch of kids out for a walk in the woods, in the rain. I think we might have been doing a scavenger hunt. They complained the whole time! But it was a summer rain; not cold at all, and I rather enjoyed it.

Last night, I still needed to walk 1,000 more steps to reach my daily goal of 10,000. I knew a quick walk down the block and back would give me the steps that I needed. But it was raining! I decided to put my new Columbia raincoat to the test, and went outside for a quick walk. The coat kept me nice and dry; and I easily made my goal.

Walking after the rain

I.T. Troubles

Part of Ed’s job is I.T., and of course, I have experience with blogging and social media. So we got a kick out of the show “The IT Crowd” when we watched it on Netflix. It’s a British show about the IT department at a big corporation. One of our favorite lines is “Hello IT. Have you tried turning it off and on again?” because rebooting a computer fixes a lot of issues.

I also make some graphics for a couple of digital signs at our church, so at the last minute on Sunday morning, I was trying to update them. And of course, the editing program wouldn’t load for me. I was trying again and again to get this program to start up for me and nothing worked.

After complaining to Ed, he asked me, “Did you try rebooting?”

Ha. Of course that should have been the first thing I tried, but I hadn’t yet. So I turned the computer off and on again.

It worked.

I had my graphics updated and ready to go in five minutes, after wasting double that amount of time complaining about the stupid software!

*sigh*

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