Tag Archives: moving

Moving adventures: Strawberry margarita pie

2 May

This is one of my favorite pies, but I cheated more than usual this time, using stuff I had moved from St. Louis. Yes, I had all of this with me.

Strawberry Margarita Pie

1 package graham crackers, crushed
5 teaspoons butter, melted

1 pound frozen strawberries
1/4 cup lime juice
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons tequila
2 tablespoons triple sec
1 container whipped topping

Crush the graham crackers. Mashing them with the bottom of the condensed milk can works pretty well. Combine with the melted butter, and press into the bottom of an 8×8 pan. Refrigerate.

Purée the frozen strawberries and lime juice. Add the condensed milk and booze until the mixture is smooth. Fold in the whipped topping. Pour over the pie crust and refrigerate uncovered for about four hours.

I’ve been known to add an extra tablespoon of tequila and triple sec. Because why not.

Moving adventures: No-bake peach crisp

25 Apr

Moving really is not fun. Moving when you don’t have a place lined up to move in to is less fun. So while I look for that place to move into, 98 percent of everything I own is in storage and I’m camped out at a hotel. (On the plus side: Maid service! Cable! Free wi-fi!)

Complicating this move: I had a freezer full of fruit, veggies and meat. After giving away some of it and borrowing freezer space from a friend in St. Louis, I still ended up with three coolers of fruit, veggies and meat for my trip to Norfolk, Va. All of that (thankfully) fit in the freezer of a standard refrigerator. On the plus side, this cuts down on the grocery and restaurant bills. On the down side, there are only so many days one wants to thaw and eat peaches or green beans. The hotel room has a cooktop; let the experiments begin.

Up first: Let’s use up some of those peaches, and other things I brought with me.

No-Bake Peach Crisp

2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons whiskey
3/4 cup oatmeal

Note: If using fresh peaches, peel and slice three or four of them. I had previously sliced and froze peaches in quart bags; I used almost two of those bags. (I’d eaten a few peaches the night before from one of them.) Also: Every recipe is better with a bit of booze. Leave it out if you must.

Melt the butter in a saucepan or skillet over low heat. (A skillet will help give this more of a “crisp” finish. I only had a saucepan handy.) Add the sugar and spices. Add the peaches and whiskey, stirring frequently until the peaches are soft (not a problem if they’ve been frozen) and coated. (If using frozen peaches, let the peaches simmer for a bit and and the syrup will thicken.) Remove from heat and add the oatmeal. Serve with a little vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

‘Congratulations on your baby girl’

19 Mar

My mother moved in with me in 2005. (She moved out in 2006. It’s not an experiment we’ll likely try again anytime soon — we’re too much alike. It only worked because our work hours were completely opposite.) Her house in rural Missouri needed extensive repairs — a former contractor was supposed to be working on supporting the house, and instead, somehow, cut the center beam. The house was literally falling in; there were cracks in the walls to prove it. So while that was being fixed, they needed the heavy furniture, including an upright piano, moved out of the house. So she moved in with me in Indiana. (Luckily, I guess, I’d bought a split-level house. I’m still not sure what I was thinking then, but I think it was a “must buy property” phase everyone seems to go through in their 20s.)

While packing things to be moved, which included everything in her house, she wanted to go through stuff in the garage. The garage is attached to the house, but sits on a concrete slab; the rest of the house does not, and has a crawl space under it. Perfect for mice and snakes to get into and find their way indoors. Ah, the charms of country life.

The garage is full of … stuff. There are some boxes of things that just didn’t have a home anywhere else. There are two lawn mowers — I think only one works. There are metal cabinets that were taken out of another house she had owned and renovated that were dumped in the garage; they are not in a place to be useful. There is a freezer, the only item that was used somewhat regularly. There is furniture and several boxes that my brother moved out of his house when he left college to join the Air Force. There’s a doll house that Eric, my father, built for my sister and me when I was in the first grade. (That doll house was really from Santa, and darn near ruined Santa Claus for me. We lived in a different house, in Linneus, Mo., and mine was the only bedroom in the basement. Come to think of it, that?s the last time I had my own room until I left the dorms in college. Anyway, Eric would hide the doll house in the back of the basement — part of it was unfinished — and at night would bring it out to the family room to work on it. Right past my bedroom. I saw him carry it past several times. I even asked him what he was building. He told me it was a dog house. Which made some sense to a first-grader — we did have a dog, but I think she already had a dog house. I managed to cling to the belief of Santa Claus until about the third grade.) And the garage also had a few boxes of files and papers taken from an old file cabinet.

In one of those boxes, I found “welcome home” and “congratulations” cards from when I was born, as well as first-birthday cards and baby shower invitations. I was a very popular girl. The cards and letters are in pretty good shape, and I took them out of the garage, put them in another box and moved them to Indiana.

And then back to Missouri when I took a job in St. Louis.

I know I have a baby book somewhere (I’m the oldest, and parents are usually most ambitious about baby books and such with their first-born), but these cards and letters didn’t make the book. Some of the people I know. Some I at least recognize the names. There are even a couple of letters from my great-grandmother, Lura Smith. (Ever tried a genealogy search on a Smith? It’s not easy.)

So my question is, how do I put those cards and letters in a scrapbook or album so they can actually be read and still saved?