Christmas Day 2018

All is calm, but not so bright at the lake on December 25, 2018. Impending thunderstorms and overcast skies were the only thing this holiday morn had to offer photographically, however I still found JOY in the stillness and the quiet, muted colors. Hope you do, too! Things don’t always have to be “tinsel and glitter” to enjoy moments of peace.

After I fixed breakfast for The Man Of Few Words (bacon and eggs for him; a Mimosa and a stellar cup of freshly ground coffee for me:) we went for a walkabout ’round the ‘hood to check on our lake neighbors’ homes. All was well, except for evidence of a renegade armadillo who decided to take up residence under one of their houses and who continues to dig up our yards. (Such are the joys of living in rural Oklahoma.)

Ghosts of Christmas Past (and present) also caught my eye…

The Driftwood Trees have been a constant presence in our view ever since we moved here — remnants of former mountains and homes submerged after the huge dam fifteen miles east of us was completed in the 1960’s when Oklahoma’s largest lake was formed. I’ve always wondered what it was like to learn your home was about to be under water (sort of like the scene in “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”)

Thankfully, we’ve remained high and dry — even at flood stage.

Still, the mountains in the distance (and valleys far below) give me pause for thought and tons gratitude for living on “The Hill.” Like peoples’ lives, you never know what may lurk underneath. Listen to their stories and they’ll honor yours. Everybody has a story to tell.

Surprisingly, this was the only “color” I discovered today — on Christmas Day. (That, and a delightful bouquet from TMOFW; guess he noticed I’ve been watching every Charlie Brown Special on TV since the holidays began. :)

May your holidays be merry and bright, even on grey days. XO!

Loving LIFE at the lake,

~ Kim

2015 in review

This past year has been pretty “hit or miss” on this forum — mostly due to re-evaluating my priorities, dealing with “what is” (or was), and re-grouping as a result. (Gotta love LIFE!) Press on…

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog. Thank you, “helper monkeys”… even though I envision (quirky as I am) the infamous Wicked Witch of the West’s troops swooping off to capture Dorothy et al in the Wizard of Oz, lol! Sometimes “help” comes in the least likely forms.

However, I’m delighted to know that the majority of my notoriety came from Down Under (LOVED your comparison to the Sydney Opera House… here’s to a “sold out” crowd in 2015), but I also have heart-felt appreciation for everyone (from everywhere!) who took time to notice, read, and comment on this space.

I’m doin’ the best I can and I know (and love) that y’all are, too. Again, thanks! Okay, on to the rest of WP’s “report.” (Buying time until my “next” post, LOL!)

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 12,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

In My Kitchen ~ March 2015

WindsockIn My Kitchen, or just outside of it… is a brightly colored windsock. For 3-1/2 months (going on 4) we’ve been holed up in temporary quarters after an electrical fire destroyed our home (and everything in it), which left us wondering “What are we going to do?” and “Where will we live?” (And where am I going to cook?)

Well, it’s time to celebrate! Behind the rainbow-hued flip flop windsock is our next home. (More on that in a minute.) But first, allow me to express my gratitude to Celia of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial (who hostesses In My Kitchen) for her deeply caring heart, and my daughter, Pamela, for making our plight known. (Love ya, Bebe Girl!)

Thanks to them — and to my IMK friends around the world (and friends Stateside) — your compassionate donations added up to a new stove and a refrigerator In My Kitchen, which will forever remind me of “you” … and I can’t thank you enough! xo

I’d hoped to share some updated photos of the stove and fridge (sorry for the repeat from Celia’s post, but this is it until next month) when I discovered my camera batteries were “exhausted.” I know how they feel! Transitioning from ‘temporary’ (especially when we’re still waiting on running water and propane) has meant hauling buckets up and down the driveway two pails at a time — one “wash,” one rinse — and it’s been slow going. But we’re making progress!

All of our “wondering” questions (and many prayers) were answered in the form of an old adage: “There’s no place like home.” Since we’d lived/rented the lake house for over 7 years and loved the location, we asked our landlord if he’d lease us the lots. (Yippee, yes!) We couldn’t afford to build a house, so we did the next best thing… we moved one.

Here are a few photos from ‘moving day’ as our double-wide mobile home (basically a trailer that’s constructed in “halves,” hauled, and later hooked together) made it down The Hill.

The trick (besides moving it!) was finding a home within our post-fire budget. Some of them are as expensive as newly constructed homes. But, The Man Of Few Words is a handy-man extraordinaire and we eventually found a ‘fixer upper.’ :) Thank you, God!

It took a lot of faith, foresight, and imagination to transform our future abode from this…

…into this:

Okay, that was more of a ‘house tour’ than an IMK peek, but I’m sooo excited about getting back to LIVING and cooking In My Kitchen

and our next HOME! :)

Of course, there’s still a lot of outside work to be done yet.

But, as I said, we’re making progress every day! (Snow & ice storms notwithstanding.)

One of the first things to arrive In My Kitchen was this stainless steel potato masher to replace my Grandma’s antique potato masher — a gift from Liz Posmyk of Bizzy Lizzy’s Good Things. (Thank you, Liz, xo!) It’s a high-tech wonder that does a marvelous job of reducing spuds into “fluff” in no time! xo

(Who says you can’t combine nostalgia with new?!)

DSCN0526

Also, the cheerful striped kitchen towel (one of four, with 2 sets of bath towels to boot, not to mention assorted goodies!) were from my friend, Ally Phillips. (Thanks, Ally, xo.)

If you’ve ever questioned “goodness” in this world… wondered if it still exists… well… my life (and kitchen) are evidence that it does.

To all of you who contributed to our fundraiser, if there’s any way possible to personally thank you in the coming months, I’ll find it. (I was raised to acknowledge gifts with a thank you note!) In the meantime, thank YOU from the bottom of my heartCelia, Pamela, Liz, Ally, everybody. xoxo!

Enjoying one day closer to being In My Kitchen “for real,”

~ Kim

The Mad Dash ~ Smoked Salmon Canapes

Smoked Salmon

When I was a kid, one of my favorite games was Musical Chairs.

(Remember that one?)

There was something thrilling about circling those chairs — minus one — while trying to appear calm & in control, one ear tuned to perceive the slightest pause in the music. (The other was listening for covert plans by my circle-mates; elbowing and edging-out were entirely acceptable.) My eyes were constantly riveted on the passing prospects for my imminent future… a familiar tale.

Then, there was the inevitable mad dash. The scrambling and the squealing — the flailing of arms and legs (with more than a few nudges) — as everybody tried to find their place in this world, at least temporarily.

Minus one…

(I don’t recall if I was a winner or loser at musical chairs or not.)

More than likely I had a distinct advantage with my finely tuned auditory nerves. (Big fan of the Bionic Woman in later years!) My latent memory is rather fuzzy when it comes to traumatic childhood events masquerading under the guise of games.

Conclusion?

Shuffling between chairs (and piano benches) seems to be my lot in life.

I hadn’t really given much thought to that from a posterior perspective… in fact, this is the first time it even occurred to me. But (no pun intended), wherever I’m ‘parked’ is pretty much what I’m doing at any given moment.

At least it’s less random…

And I get to pick the music. ;)

My concert is finally behind me (no pun…) and I’m breathing a huge sigh of relief. Much as I love performing, rehearsals were taking a big bite out of my… time.

You don’t just whip off excerpts from Beethoven’s Sonata Pathetique or Debussy’s Clair de Lune or Schumann’s Concerto in A Minor (among others) without a lil’ preparation — or at least I don’t.

I’m tickled to report though that it was a resounding success. Fun, too!

I added a lighthearted segment at the end including such favorites as “Moon River,” “Over The Rainbow,” “Besame Mucho” and “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” — which seems to be my theme song these days. Ahem…

All in all, enough funds were raised to send ten teenagers to camp this summer (hallelujah!) and in appreciation, they presented me with this:

(Ain’t it gorgeous?)

Thank You Bouquet

And… notice any resemblance to this?

Smoked Salmon 2

Smoked Salmon & Lemon Pepper Avocado Creme Canapes

4 oz. smoked salmon, flaked
Crackers of your choice (I used Glutino gluten-free multi-grain crackers)
1 ripe avocado
Juice of half a lemon
2 T. butter, softened
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Pink Himalayan salt (or sea salt), to taste
Fresh thyme for garnish

Peel & seed the avocado; mash pulp in a small bowl. Add lemon juice and mix thoroughly to prevent discoloration. Stir in butter, pepper, and salt until creamy.

Place a dab of Lemon Butter Avocado Creme on each cracker. Top with smoked salmon and garnish with thyme. Easy, peasy!

(Believe me, I was ready for a lil’ “easy peasy” at this point!)

Life and fabulous food always have a way of coming around…

Like musical chairs.

Enjoying the mad dash,

~ Kim

© 2014 Kim Bultman and a little lunch

In My Kitchen, November 2013

Pretty Popovers

(Hover over the photos for their true colors… I love surprises, don’t you?)

In My Kitchen… I can’t remember the last time I had a complete set of dishes. After multiple moves over the years, their numbers diminished one cracked plate, chipped cup, or broken bowl at a time. At best, I was down to a half-dozen or so “blue plate specials,” fortified by odds and ends brought home from my forays to the flea market and thrift store. Color-wise, they blended well with our lake surroundings and I’m grateful for their longstanding service — thirteen years and counting. Still, my heart yearned for a matched set.

Then, along came these…

Color Scheme Dishes Close Up

An incredible gift from my sister. (Thanks, Sis! xo)

Notice their resemblance to my favorite time of year?

Color Scheme

I’m soooo excited! (Couldn’t resist showing you another peek…)

They fit perfectly in my hutch (aka repurposed entertainment center) — meant to be! As if that weren’t enough, the ochre-colored vessels were recent gifts from my daughter. (Thanks, Bebe Girl! xo) I’m loving this vibrant corner adjacent to my kitchen.

Hutch

In My Kitchen… are (were) crispy, airy popovers baked in a popover pan from my Mom. (Thanks, Mom!) I enjoyed mine with gravy (ala Yorkshire pudding) while the Man Of Few Words slathered his with butter and jam. For this batch, I used King Arthur Flour’s Gluten-Free Multi Purpose Flour (my first attempt at gluten-free baking here’s why) and was entirely pleased with the results. (That’s not an endorsement, nor sponsorship — just my opinion.)

Popovers

In My Kitchen… is the cutest lil’ step stool made by The Man Of Few Words. He crafted it many years ago for his Mom who is, shall we say, “vertically challenged.” In his typical humor, he wood-burned this on top: “Mom, now you can reach the silverware drawer!!!” (Worn thin from decades of use, but the sentiment is still there.) I can’t recall when she passed it on to me, but it’s been indispensable in my kitchen, too. (Thanks, Mom!)

Step Stool

In My Kitchen… is a birdseed jar (part of the new set) that will come in handy in a few weeks. During the euphoria of my recent blessings, I took leave of my senses and volunteered to lead a craft session (yes, moi) for tiny tots at our church. It involves making bird feeders out of pine cones, peanut butter, birdseed… and a whole lot of messy fun. How could I resist?

Birdseed Jar

The other 364 days of the year, it’ll serve as a cookie canister.

TMOFW's favorite cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies for The Man Of Few Words

In My Kitchen… it’s time to have another cup o’Joe, gaze at the backyard beauty before it’s gone, and count my blessings… over and over and over.

Lawn Carpet of Leaves 1

Each month Celia at Fig Jam & Lime Cordial hosts In My Kitchen and it’s a pleasure to take a peek at her ingredients, utensils, and musings about life, as well as those from contributors around the world. Do hope you’ll join us!

Enjoying colorful blessings,

~ Kim

Back To The Basics II

Back to the Basics

It seems that my body and soul (and stomach) need to do a “regroup” about every six months or so.  In my first Back To The Basics post, I’d just “retired” from a job outside the home, which — while, philanthropically fulfilling — didn’t meet my need to write, cook, make music…

Here it is, six months later and I’m at it again… what shall I do with this life o’mine?

Frankly, I feel blessed to ask that question!

I also feel blessed to be the recipient of some fabulous gifts, aptly timed to arrive during the holidays.  (Who doesn’t love extra presents under the tree?!)  Actually, they were the only presents under the tree, lol.  ‘Tis better to give than to receive…

Anyway, these gifts fulfilled the basic need to treat myself

Thank you so much, to Robin from Simply Southern Baking:

And Christine Lamb from Christine’s Pantry:

And Shirley, from Luxury Haven:

(Yes, I know “eye liner” doesn’t have one whit to do with cooking… but in a way it does!  The more glamorous you feel in the kitchen, the more you can “treat yourself”  — and your special folks — right! ;)

In case you aren’t familiar with the aforementioned lovely ladies, please click on the links in this post — or on my blog roll any time you wish.  You’ll be glad you did!

(And hooray for Random Number Generators!) xo

Getting back to treating myself

As of right now, the house is “undecorated.”  Life is simpler.  Time seems slower… or more basic.

And there’s nothin’ more basic, to me at least, than bread and jam. :)

Recipes forthcoming in following posts… after January 7th!  Until then, I’m taking a much-needed hiatus.  Happy New Year, everybody!

Enjoying time off,

~ Kim

Before & After

A global thank you

Before blogging, I lived an interesting life, although somewhat rather local in scope.

After blogging, I found myself having conversations with folks around the globe!

(Have I told you lately how much I appreciate conversing with you?)

Our favorite game

Before The Man Of Few Words, I thought I knew what true love was.

After The Man Of Few Words, I discovered I didn’t.

(He proposed to me via Scrabble board twelve years ago and I still feel like a “bride.”)  Sigh…

Oklahoma sunset

Before Oklahoma, winter consisted of shoveling snow, scraping windshields, and “layering up.”

After Oklahoma, winter consists of watching sunsets or star-gazing on the deck in the dead of December — without a parka!

(I love this State.)

Year Round Christmas Tree :)

Before writing this post, I had a point to make.

After I started writing, I forgot what it was.

Some days (or nights) are like that… Happy Holidays anyway! :)

Enjoying before and after moments,

~ Kim