Happy New Year

I suppose it’s about time that I explain why I call this website, Call Me Tulip.

When I was a child, my maternal Grandmother Midge called me her little Tulip. Eventually, I began calling her my Grandma Tulip. Tulips have always been special to me. They are my favorite flower and you can only get them two times a year. In December and in the spring. It is not lost on me the coincidence that grandma died in December when Tulips were available for her funeral.

Tulips, 2005, I painted after she passed away.

My grandmother and I always had a very special relationship. I was the first to make her a grandmother. I have heard stories of my infancy when my grandmother was the only one that could soothe me when I was upset. As a child she had a magical quality. She could always make things better. I always remember feeling loved and protected by her.

She taught me so many things. She was the first lover of art that I can remember. She taught me and my sister to paint, sew, garden, cook, and so much more. She took us to concerts, theater, and even to Europe.

Up until her death I spent every Wednesday night having dinner with her and talking about anything and everything. Her life was not always pleasant, but she made the best of it, and when she died, she was ready to go (she told us). She passed away in 2004 of cancer.

Yesterday, as I was walking into Target to pick up some toothpaste there was a table full of fresh cut flowers and right in the center was a very large bunch of Tulips. This is not a surprise as they are in season right now, but at the moment I walked in the door it was the only thing I saw. It was like there was a spotlight pointing to the display. I know that she was there in that moment giving me comfort, saying hello, wishing me a Happy New Year.

Christmas Feast of all Nations

On Christmas my sister and I decided to have a feast of all the nations that make up our family. We had Norwegian meatballs, German Spaetzle, and African Chicken Stew (for my girls who are West African). We served it over white rice and it was delicious! They loved it and I will definitely make it again. Maybe next year. I suggest you give it a try too.

African Chicken Stew

Original Recipe can be found here

Prep Time:10 mins

Cook Time:45 mins

Total Time:55 mins 

  • ¼-1/2 cup oil
  • 3- 3 1/2 pound chicken cut in pieces
  • 5-6 Roma tomatoes or 2 cups tomato puree
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder  
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon maggi or chicken bouillon granules
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 green onion chopped whites and green parts
  • 3 tablespoon parsley
  • 1- 2 cups of sliced carrots
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Season chicken with, salt and pepper. Set aside
  2. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat, until hot, and then add the chicken and sauté stirring, frequently, any browned bits off the bottom of the pot, until chicken is brown.
  3. If using fresh tomatoes blend tomatoes, onions, garlic, and onions. Pour the tomatos blend in the pot of chicken, bring to a boil and let it simmer until tender (depending on the chicken) about 20- 30 minutes, frequently stirring the saucepan to prevent burns. If using tomato sauce; add the onion, sauté until tender, about 4-5- minutes. Pour tomato sauce, curry powder, smoked paprika, thyme, bay leaf, garlic and bouillon powder. Bring to a boil and let it simmer for about 20-30 minutes. Add about 2 cups of water to the pan.
  4. Add carrots, green onions, parsley. Cook for another 5 minutes. Adjust thickness of soup with water or stock.
  5. Season with salt according to preference. Remove bay leaf.
  6. Serve over warm rice.

The Handsome Otto

When I moved back to the cities to be closer to my girls, who live with their dad I had to make a very difficult decision. I left Otto behind with my boyfriend. He lives on 20 acres, and that’s where Otto has grown up. I didn’t want to bring him to the city and coop him up inside my townhouse all day. He’s used to running around, herding the chickens, chasing rabbits, and following his nose wherever it takes him.

I miss him a lot, but I know that he’s happy there, and I get to see him every other weekend, and we facetime on the off weeks. He doesn’t really understand how momma is in the phone and runs around looking for me, but at least I don’t feel so disconnected from him.

He’s the sweetest boy even with the tough start to life. He was born on a Texas porch with 9 other pups. His mom was a stray, but thankfully they were rescued. Unfortunately, he and his siblings got Parvo and only 4 survived. He, his 3 brothers, and his mom came to Minnesota, and that’s were our story began.

He loves going to work with his dad at the cabinet shop, taking long walks in the woods, and discovering new places. We just took him up to the North Shore on Lake Superior. He didn’t know what to think of that big lake, but he did love it.

He also loves his little sister Zelda, and when the two of them get together they play constantly. He’s a great little big brother, he never hurts her even though he out weighs her by 50 pounds.

Now you have met 3 of my furry babies. Only a few more to go, but have no fear, I will introduce you too them all in due time.

Tried Something New Last Night

I have been seeing the most creatively iced cookies this year on the Food Network and in blogs, so I had to try it for myself.

I learned a few things in the process. I would definitely make my own dough next time though, and I was not happy with the consistency of my flood icing, so I would need to work on that too.

All in all it was fun though. I almost wanna go out an buy the supplies to make more. Or, maybe I will buy the stuff and make some cookies to send to my family in Michigan for my sister Kirsten’s birthday on the 2nd of January. She might get a kick out of that. I could find some cool cookie cutters that look like cats or something else she might love.

Just a thought though. It looks like it would be fun to do with children, but unless you have the patience of Job I would not try it. It was very messy and I am a 42-year-old mother of two teenage girls who did not enjoy cleaning up the mess that I made alone.