Monday, October 27, 2008


You know that saying, "it's not what you know but who you know,"  Well I know Don Gibson and he was able to get access to 48,000 acres of prime hunting real estate for me and my hunting companions.  Today Ian, Ryan, Todd and myself accessed said hunting real estate and had an absolutely amazing opening day to the 2008 rifle season!!  By 11:00 am all four of us had our bucks loaded in the truck. These were pretty nice bucks too.  All were four points and the product of passing up a multitude of shots on lesser animals.  After lunch, we went up to the high country and shot three elk, Ryan and Todd got their first and I would have but mine didn't stay dead and disappeared into the forest never to be seen again :(  I looked until it was too dark to see and I feel really bad but these things happen.  Fortunately, Don's dad manages the ranch we were hunting on and the elk have been driving him nuts so he invited us back to kill some more, which we can do because in that unit you can shoot two!  All in all it was an awesome day, I've never seen a truck so full of dead animals.  Well I've been up for 23 hours so I think I'll go to bed. . . actually I smell like a dead deer so I think I'll take a shower.  Here are some pics.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Cooking and Hunting, a good day for the Grissoms :)

So, I sit here tonight completely overwhelmed by my trip to Walmart, known by my husband as "The Beast". It has been many moons since I have had a pleasant shopping trip there and today only reiterated why I shop at Albertson's. Parking, maneuvering through the masses and standing in line FOREVER... okay I'll stop, now I'm just complaining. I write all of that because I am sitting here after stopping at 5 shops to get everything I needed and I am worn out... although, unlike most of my dear friends, it was just me and my shopping list... no babies, no toddlers... how do you guys do it?

Tomorrow is going to be a good day, for both Jeff and I :) My sweet friend/boss Kori is soon to have a little girl and tomorrow Abby and I are throwing her a baby shower so I get to spend the day assembling neat little finger sandwiches, chopping and decorating to my hearts delight (hmmmm, contented sigh). Jeff gets to go hunting, it is opening weekend and he has been invited to a ranch, hopefully tomorrow we will have more red meat than we can eat and you will get to see some photos of Jeff and his trophy/trophies. I really do plan to go hunting with my husband some day, some day is just taking a lot longer to get here... oh well, soon enough (I'll catch up to you some day April ;)

We haven't posted in a few days so I thought I better fill you in on what is happening, we should have photos and recipes from our weekend adventures soon.

Monday, October 20, 2008

What a Difference a Week Makes!

This was the view from our front porch Saturday morning.  As you can see all but that little pile of snow by my truck is gone and the weekend was very pleasant.  Fall is back or should I say Indian Summer. The temperatures were in the mid 70's which made for some great outdoor recreation over the weekend.  Saturday afternoon I went paintballing with Ryan Lynch and his buddies, I felt kind of weird being 31 years old and hanging out with a bunch of 14 year olds but I quickly got over it and had a great deal of fun shooting them.  I didn't get shot up very badly this time either, the only one that really hurts is the one I took to the side of the head, my head was actually misshapen for a while. . . good times!  Sunday after church I went fishing with my buddy Ian in the Beartooth mountains.  The brown trout are spawning right now so they are all schooled up in the river, I've actually never seen so many trout in one place.  They weren't very hungry and we each only caught one, but it was great to get out of town and see the fall color in the mountains!  Reading over this I feel like quite the neglectful husband as I left LeeAnn at home with a painful knot in her neck.  She assured me that it was okay for me to go play but I still wish she could have come. . . we would have dominated at paintball! Anyway please pray for LeeAnn she has been in a lot of pain with her neck!  Oh yes, work is going much better as well, I test flew the hangar queen on Friday and after four months of being worked on she is finally flying which means that all of our 1900s are flying again.  Which really means that I don't have to fly all over Montana in the middle of the night to bring airplanes back for the morning UPS operation.  All is good!  Except LeeAnn's neck so pray about that!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Recipe 4

Last weekend we had the opportunity to make dinner for some new friends, the Moores. Not only did I get to cook lots of fun food but we also had a blast, Sunday was a great night :)

This is a recipe from the Food Network website, we have really enjoyed Alton Brown's recipes and this is one of our favorites:

Beef Tenderloin in Salt Crust
Prep Time:25 minInactive Prep Time:4 hr 35 minCook Time:40 min
10 to 12 servings
5 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups kosher salt
3 tablespoons fresh ground black pepper
5 egg whites
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs (parsley, thyme, and/or sage)
1 (6 to 7-pound) whole beef tenderloin, trimmed
1 tablespoon olive oil
Place the flour, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites and water and add to the dry ingredients along with 2 tablespoons of the herbs. Combine with a potato masher until the mixture begins to come together. Then knead with your hands for 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large zip-top bag, seal, and let stand at room temperature for 4 hours, or up to 24 hours.
Transfer dough to a floured surface and roll out to 3/16-inch thickness, approximately a 24 by 18-inch rectangle. Trim away extra dough, if necessary. Sprinkle the remaining herbs on the center section of the dough and gently press down.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In order to achieve uniform cooking, fold over slender tail end of tenderloin and tie with kitchen twine. Set a large electric griddle at its highest setting; brush the tenderloin with the olive oil and sear on all sides until well browned, approximately 10 minutes. Rest the meat for at least 5 minutes or until it is cool to the touch so as not to melt the dough.
Place the tenderloin in the center of the dough. Fold top part of dough over, flipping back about 1-inch of dough onto itself. Repeat with the bottom half of the dough. Press together the 2 flaps of dough and seal. Make sure the dough is not too tight around the tenderloin. At the ends of the tenderloin, press together dough to form a seal and cut away any excess. Transfer to a sheet pan, place in the oven and roast to an internal temperature of 125 degrees F, approximately 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 30 minutes or up to 1 hour. The tenderloin will continue to cook 10 to 15 degrees more. Cut salt crust at 1 end and extract meat by pulling out of dough tube. Slice and serve immediately.

I served this along with:

Mashed potatoes with garlic butter, sour cream, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper

Fresh green beans sauteed with a little bit of olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic salt and lemon juice

Salad of Romaine, blueberries, cucumber, pine nuts and Brianna's French Vinaigrette

Rhode's rise and serve dinner rolls (in the frozen section, really good)

and for dessert we found this, also on the Food Network website, it was my first tart and it was really easy, really pretty and turned out really well:

Fresh Fruit Tart
Prep Time:25 minInactive Prep Time:15 minCook Time:14 min
8 servings
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened and sliced
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Fresh strawberries, kiwi slices, blueberries, raspberries
1 (6-ounce) can frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Whipped cream, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
For the crust: In a food processor, combine the confectioners' sugar, flour, and butter, and process until the mixture forms a ball. With your fingers, press the dough into a 12-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, taking care to push the crust into the indentations in the sides. Pat until the crust is even. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until very lightly browned. Set aside to cool.
For the filling and topping: Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla together until smooth. Spread over the cooled crust. Cut the strawberries into 1/4-inch slices and arrange around the edge of the crust. For the next circle, use kiwi slices. Add another circle of strawberries, filling in any spaces with blueberries. Cluster the raspberries in the center of the tart.
For the glaze: Combine the limeade, cornstarch, lime juice, and sugar in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until clear and thick, about 2 minutes. Let cool. With a pastry brush, glaze the entire tart. You will not use all of the glaze.
Keep the tart in the refrigerator. Remove about 15 minutes before serving. Slice into 8 wedges and serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Well Now That's a Bit too Early!!

This was the view from our front porch this morning.  I thought about not posting it because I thought it would keep people form coming up to visit us, but then I realized that nobody comes to visit us anyway.  We've had an upper level low parked over us since Friday and as a result we had 22" of snow on the ground as of noon on Sunday.  Red Lodge 50 miles to the south has over four feet on the ground!!  Not to worry though, in true Montana fashion the temperatures will be back up in the 60's by Wednesday.  While the snow is welcome (due to the fact that it will drive all the critters to lower elevations where I can then shoot them) it has made for a very long week!  I took over as the Assistant Chief Pilot in charge of UPS operations on Monday which is a fancy way of saying that I'm the guy that has to make everything work.  Unfortunately for me, snow, cold, fog and airplanes don't mix well and I pulled more than one 24 hour day last week making plans and changing them over and over again as airplanes broke or couldn't get to the places they were supposed to be.  I made 47 phone calls on Thursday/Friday trying to get everything coordinated!  Ultimately my efforts weren't in vain and everything did work out, but I'm really starting to wonder what I've gotten myself into!  Well at least I don't have to fly this winter. . . oh wait, I flew 6 legs yesterday in CRAPPY weather and shot 4 ILS approaches to minimums, that's exactly what I was trying to avoid by taking this job.  Oh well at least I'll get some management experience and gray hair out of the deal.  Oh yeah and a company cell phone!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Recipe 3 2x4

The temperature dropped into the 30's today, it rained most of the afternoon and now it is snowing. The first truly cold night warning us that fall is on it's way out and winter is almost here. When the weather is wet and cold like this Jeff and I crave 2x4 soup, a recipe that I was given years ago by my sister in law Emily. Our favorite things about this recipe are that it is quick to make, tastes really good and is really filling.

2x4 Soup

2 lbs of ground beef
2 cans of Minestrone Soup (usually Progresso)
2 cans of Rotel
2 cans of Ranch Style Beans

Brown your ground beef and then open and dump the rest of your ingredients, allow the soup to heat through and that is all there is to it. I like to add sour cream and cheese (mozzarella is really good on this soup), but it is really good on its own as well. When Jeff and I are the only ones eating it we cut the recipe in half and it still is more than one meal so I would keep that in mind.

Hope you guys are enjoying these recipes :) We might be cooking for some friends this weekend and if we do I will post one of my more elaborate meals.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Hurry up and wait

Yesterday I discovered that an out-patient surgery is a series of "hurry up and wait". We were told to arrive at the hospital at noon for my 1:30 surgery. Upon checking in we sat in the waiting room; once called back to the prep room I was asked to change and then laid in the bed waiting; my iv was done, the initial vitals were taken and then we waited for the surgery department to say they were ready; I was wheeled up to the surgery department where Jeff was shown to the waiting room at which time there was some paperwork unfinished and once again I was waiting... This sounds like everything was delayed while in actuality it went very smoothly. Since Monday when we found out that our baby was gone I have been grieving while also waiting on pins and needles. My options were to allow my body to go through the natural miscarriage process of severe cramping, bleeding and pain or to have a D & C. Since we made the decision to go ahead with the D & C I have been nervously hoping/praying that I would make it to the surgery before that cramping began. As the Anesthesiologist put the mask over my mouth the surgeon was on one side and a nurse on the other, tears began to fall and each of them reached out at the same time to wipe them away... sadness and relief mixed together. I believe that God is still healing us and that this cannot be a quick thing to recover from... but some closure was reached yesterday and the tears are a little fewer and far between. God is good, His hope is constantly the light at the end of our tunnel, the joy amidst our sorrow and the lifeline that we can cling to when things go awry. We believe God as He promises:

"Jer 29:11 'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.
Jer 29:12 'Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you."

and we cling to the command to:

"Phl 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!
Phl 4:5 Let your gentle {spirit} be known to all men. The Lord is near.
Phl 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Phl 4:7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."