Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies
4 cups sifted flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 cup butter
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg; set aside. Cream butter, sugar and egg till light and fluffy. Beat in sour cream and vanilla until smooth. Gradually add flour mixture, beating until well combined. Form dough into a ball, wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate several hours or overnight. Divide dough into 4 parts and roll out one quarter at a time, keeping the rest refrigerated. Roll dough on well-floured surface. Cut with cookie cutters. Bake 10-12 minutes at 375 degrees. Decorate with sprinkled sugar, almonds, raisins, candy or whatever.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
As I ran back into the house I kept praying "Please, please! Tell your family and friends that you found some good food. Maybe they'll come too!" Soon, as I watched from my kitchen window, a female flew down and joined her mate. I was in heaven! I watched those two birds all that day and the next. And they haven't been back since.
I'm just crushed! I've even dreamed about them - cherry red against the white snow. They were so beautiful. Now, don't get me wrong, we have a ton of birds at our feeders. Finches (purple, house and gold), a little nuthatch, dark-eyed juncos, an occasional blue jay and, of course zillions of sparrows. The strangest birds we ever got was a merlin which had killed and was eating a sparrow under the tree, and a hawk that stopped in for a drink of water and to preen his feathers on a branch of a tree right outside our window. But never cardinals. Damn.
I'm pist that I didn't get a picture of them. I love my point and shoot camera, but it just isn't good for taking pictures of skittish critters - like birds. If ever I get an SLR, it will be to take these kinds of pictures.
I'm so hoping they remember the good food and easy water found in my back yard and come back to make my day bright once more. Cardinals just make the world seem happier.
(Note: I was going to link to each bird so you could see a picture of them, but that's too many links. Instead, just go to enature and you can see and hear them for yourself. It's a great website that I use regularly. Enjoy!)
Monday, December 03, 2007
I know this becase of my Site Meter report I get every Sunday. It told me I had an average of 55 hits this past week, with an average time spent at the page around a minute and a half. Since I don't post very often (ahem) that means that they're reading old posts. Probably found on some search for something and they decided to read what I'd written. That just blows my mind!
HEY, PEOPLE! How ya doin'? Um... you can comment if you like. See, I moderate my comments. Which means when you write something I get an email asking me to accept or reject the comment. So, if you read something you like, tell me about it! Doesn't matter how old the post is, I'll know if you say something.
(Meanwhile, the 3 or 4 people who read my pitiful attempts at writing whenever it pops up on their RSS readers are going, "Holy crap! Two posts in one day!!" Yep. I'm going for a record here.)
Two years ago, in an effort to lighten my misery, I bought a pre-lighted Christmas tree. It was only about $20 bucks from Amazon, so I thought I'd give it a try. Needless to say, I didn't put it up last year because that sucker weighs about 10 TONS and there was NO way I was dragging that up from the basement! DH and I debated just decorating it where it stood and putting the presents under it down there. (If you could see our basement - and you will - you'd know what a joke that is.) So, up went our little 3' fiber optic tree once again.
But this year! This year was different. First of all my daughter and grandson were with us for Thanksgiving - for the first time ever. (It actually felt like Thanksgiving this year.) Since she knows how much I hate decorating, she volunteered to bring up the tree, set it up and decorate it. Yea!
Of course, it came with no instructions so I called Bettina and she sent over Dani and Dustin to help her get it put together. Naturally, I took pictures. They kinda suck, but oh well.
The kids had fun and I didn't have to do a thing. Sounds like a good thing to me! Of course, all the rest of the decorations are still in their boxes so I really do have to get in gear and decorate the rest of the house. (grumble grumble)
Happy Holidays everyone!
Sunday, November 18, 2007
His abilities and skill know no bounds. Take this omlet breakfast we went to today. I don't know where he got the idea, but Jay has come up with a way to cook as many as four omlets at once. He thought up and made most of the tools you'll see in the slide show himself. Maybe I should list "inventor" as one of his hats.
Of course, he doesn't do this alone. He'll probably serve close to 200 people in four hours this morning. As this is a fundraiser for Larry Hough (Larry lost everything in a house fire a few weeks ago), Larry's family and friends are working in the kitchen - cutting up the ham and vegetables, whipping up the eggs (secret recipe there - sorry), melting butter and cooking the sausages. Just like in a real kitchen, Jay has his line chefs working hard. But the master is out front, working his magic.
Monday, November 05, 2007
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Saturday, October 20, 2007
It pisses me off when I hear people dissing the Harry Potter books. Rowling's genius lay in her ability to pull the reader into an entirely believable world. She could have set it up as a group of kids on a sheep ranch in Montana and it would have been just as interesting. The theme is an old one - Good Kids vs. Bad Adults; Extraordinary vs. Ordinary; Good vs. Evil. By setting her book in a magical world, one that existed along side our very ordinary one, she made sure her books had a universal appeal. Kids and adults from Bangladesh to Bangor, Maine could read and understand the trials and tribulations of little Harry Potter.
J. K. Rowling is also directly responsible for my return to the written word. When I was younger I would often have two or three books going at the same time - one at school, another one or two at home. That stopped in 1997 when my mother and brother died within weeks of each other. I found that I could not read more than two sentences at a time without my mind wandering. This makes it very hard to follow a story, so I quit trying. Until Harry Potter came along that is. Rowling's writing focused my mind, drawing me out of myself and into her world with a clarity that had been absent for too long.
I've read that Rowling said the idea for Harry Potter came to her all at once and that the books practically wrote themselves. You wonder if the muse will ever strike her again. And if it does, will she be able to pull it off like she did with this series. Is there another story burning in the back of her brain, eager to be set free? I wonder. In one way, I hope so. In another, not so much. Maybe she shot her wad with this book and her next will be a disappointment. But whatever happens - Thank You J. K. Rowling for setting me free!
When I was young I could smell the change of seasons weeks before they actually arrived. In January I could smell the damp earth of spring and the air held the promise of warmth in its molecules. By April I could smell the heat of a July summer day, and in late August it was the smell of leaf litter and burning leaves that clung to the wind. But winter was the most notable. As early as September I could smell and sometimes taste the biting winter wind all crisp and clean long before it swept down upon the plains from the frigid north.
I kept this ability to smell changes in the air into my teens, with the bitter winter air being the last to leave my senses. But I remember this strange power and wonder if others had the same experience.
It wasn't just seasons that assaulted my senses either, it was people as well. I don't mean this in the bad body odor way. I mean that every person - every family - had it's own, unique odor. I could smell it the minute I walked into their homes or if two or more family members were together. My family included.
Sadly, (or maybe not...) I lost this ability early on in childhood and frankly never thought about it. Until one day I was rummaging around in a junk store, looking at the old dresses and hankies, when I smelled Aunt Della. The smell of her hit me so hard and the memories came so suddenly that I looked around fully expecting to see her standing there, smiling at me like she did when I was little and was digging through her drawers looking for dress-up clothes. I was so shaken I could only stand there, clutching that dress to my face while her memory filled me with longing.
I did not buy the dress because I knew that it could not be her's. She had died in Iowa and I was in Pennsylvania. Maybe my memory was off. I was an adult, after all. But Aunt Della had come from Pennsylvania, along with her sisters (my Grandma Moss and Aunt Emma) when they were just little girls. Their parents had driven them out in a covered wagon with all their worldly possessions. Could this dress belong to a distant relative whose family still had this same smell? Who knows. I certainly don't. But it's fun to think it might be so.
Age (and cigarettes) have taken this heightened sense of smell away from me. But the memories of the change of seasons lingers. And for that I am truly grateful.
Monday, September 10, 2007
September 7, 2007
While eating lunch on Friday I got a phone call from my best friend, Bettina.
"Kyle got his orders. He leaves on Monday. The wedding is at 2:30."
This was not unexpected. He's known for weeks that it was possible he would have to go to Iraq. You see - he's a Marine. But they were prepared for this eventuality so when he got the call on Friday morning, Kyle called the courthouse to arrange for the judge to marry them. He'd asked Dani's parents weeks ago for permission to marry their daughter, then they got their license and rings and waited to find out if they would be able to have a "normal" wedding. Both Dani and Kyle are college students at Iowa Lakes. Kyle is in the officer training program there and we had hoped that he could postpone his deployment until he had finished his courses. It was not to be.
It was my honor and privledge to witness the marriage of Danielle Forsythe and Kyle Egland on September 7, 2007. Our thoughts and prayers are with Kyle and Dani as they start their new lives together, and we wish them all the love and happiness their hearts can hold.
Edit: Kyle's orders were changed late yesterday (9/10/07). He and the other officer candidates will be allowed to finish college! He'll be back home by the end of the week. We are all very happy to hear this.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
I'm not a very smart woman and can't really put into words what my heart knows is true. If you've ever read Joe you know that his knowledgeable and prolific posts on any subject that catches his fancy will guarantee that you will understand that subject when he gets through with it. His use of humor and science make it a pleasure to learn. And, boy, have I learned! Everything from MSG (naturally occurring) to the molecular make-up of starch.
I can't tell you how happy I am that this week he's taking on the "corn devil" and I urge you to check him out immediately. (Caveat: scroll to the bottom for the first post and work your way up.) Way to go Joe! And, thank you!
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Monday, July 30, 2007
True to his word, ten minutes later, with the rain coming down in great big buckets full, Chuck pulls into the driveway to deliver some corn. I ran out to meet him, greatful for the rain soaking me through. "Is this enough?" he asks, holding up a 5 gallon pail full of sweetcorn. "Plenty! Just put it here on the lawn" I tell him and then spend the next 20 minutes or so bagging it up in plastic grocery bags to bring into the back porch.
The next morning the sun broke through clean and bright without a hint of humidity. It was a perfect morning for shucking corn and putting it up in the freezer. And for taking pictures (naturally). The boys were very helpful as well. And a flexible cutting mat is a must! I did 43 ears of corn that day. Of course, now everyone has sweetcorn ready and DH went out yesterday and picked two dozen more. They went into the freezer as well. Sweetcorn and home-grown tomatoes - it doesn't get any better than this! I love summer!
Thursday, July 19, 2007
They start off dipping their back tires in the Missouri River and ride the week across Iowa until they hit the Mississippi River where they dip their front tires. It's totally fun for everyone (not to mention a HUGE economic boost to the small towns they go through). Registration is limited to 8,000, but many bikers join to ride along for a few days and never register. There are many, many support people who follow along as well. So, not only the towns that they stay in, but the towns that they pass through, are included in their party.
As we were sitting in the Painted Pony yesterday, twelve very wet and very nervous cyclists burst into the bar about six o'clock shouting "There's a tornado out there!!!". Another thing about Iowa in July is that horrific storms and tornadoes can blow up in a heartbeat in this heat and humidity. Luckily there was no tornado but these poor folks had been caught in the torrential rain and straight-line winds (I heard reports later of 70 mph winds). They'd ridden in from Iowa City and had stayed the night before in Humboldt. They got caught in the downpour about 3 miles south of town and hid out in a machine shed.
A lot of people will ride from their homes out to the start of the trip. Iowa City is a LOT closer to the Mississippi than it is to the Missouri, so they'd already been on the road for two days. The group had men and women every age (20-somethings to 50-somethings) and, in spite of their frightening experience, they came in good spirits.
After eating supper they got back on their bikes to ride to Mallard (where I'm sure they would stop and party some more) and finally on to Emmetsburg where they would spend the night. By this time it had started to pour again and even though we tried to get them to stay in West Bend for the night, they started off on their next leg of the trip. Well - most of them anyway. Two women with more sense than the rest asked if we could take them to their motel in Emmetsburg. They'd had their fill of riding in the rain and were tired after eating. So we loaded their bikes in the back of the truck and headed west to Emmetsburg.
This is just something that Iowans do for RAGBRAIers. When we lived in Onawa, RAGBRAI started off from there two times. Both times we opened our home to those bikers who were not lucky enough to get a motel room or who didn't feel like pitching a tent for the night. It was quite a sight I must say. Bodies and bikes everywhere! Since living in West Bend, RAGBRAI has come through twice as well. It takes quite a while for 8-10,000 bicycles to ride through your town, especially when half of them stop to party for a while. (Man! Those people can drink!!) We've met some really nice people, just like last night. It was a blast.
Oh - and this picture? I took this of my neighbor's house yesterday. See that spout thingy on the edge of her house? It was raining so hard and the wind was blowing so strong that the rain was blown out of her downspout. Imagine trying to ride a bike in this.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Things are getting back to normal here at home and at the office. I still haven't read all my blog friends' posts, but I've learned that I don't need to. I know you all are fabulous writers/cookers/photographers/etc. so I'll just jump in where I can. When my mind stops whirring I'll start posting again, too.
I hope all your summers are going swimmingly. Have a cool drink, watch your gardens grow, see a ball game, go to the races, eat some barbeque and in general enjoy!
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Sunday, June 10, 2007
I hated my grandma. There, I've said it. And I have a hunch the feeling was mutual. My first vivid memory of her was when she slapped me in the face. Mom had left me with her while she went somewhere. I suppose I was pitching a fit - I was only about 4 or 5 years old. She just turned around and slapped me right in the mouth. I never trusted her after that.
As I grew older I discovered she was a bitter, hateful old woman. I have to assume she wasn't always this way. I'm sure as a young woman she was full of hopes and dreams. I know that Grandpa Moss left her for another woman. Perhaps she drove him away, I wouldn't know because he died before I was born. Maybe that's why she was the way she was.
As a grandma today, I find the whole thing very sad and confusing. Grand kids are the reason you don't kill your own kids while growing up. What was even worse, she was the only grandparent I had as my father's parents died right after I was born. I used to envy my playmates and their excitement when visiting their grandparents. I couldn't understand why grandma was never happy to see me and had only harsh words for me. I still can't to this day.
It broke my mother's heart when I expressed my feelings towards her mother. She tried to assure me that Grandma Moss truly did love me, but just didn't show it. She would tell me the story of how, in 1952 when I contracted polio, it was Grandma Moss who drove the car to the hospital in Sioux City when the local hospital couldn't treat me. Of how I almost died in my mother's arms in the backseat of grandma's '52 Ford while grandma careened up Highway 75 in a desperate attempt to get me to help. Today I find the picture of this rather amusing. I remember grandma driving that Ford. 50 mph was her normal speed and she was so short she could barely see over the massive steering wheel. I'm surprised she didn't totally wreck.
Brother Max used to tell an amusing story about grandma, too. When Iowa passed the minimum wage law, it was his responsibility to tell grandma she must pay her help $1.25 an hour. He said she banged her hand on the table and declared, "There ain't a woman in the world worth $1.00 an hour!" That's my grandma - always generous to a fault.
Grandma Moss' sister Della was my "true" grandma and I called her that from the start. I dearly loved that woman. Her husband died, leaving her to raise her five children alone on a dirt farm in the hills. She survived by selling milk and eggs and renting the 40 acres she owned out to a local farmer. She had more than enough love to share with me and I took full advantage of it. Grandma's farm was my haven and her smile lit up my life. I guess I really did have a grandma after all.
Quinten is a lucky boy - he has many sets of grandparents who all love him. That's a nice thing about blended families. He's staying with us this June and our lives are once again full of activity. T-ball, swimming, golf, carnivals and celebrations abound, making the days fly by.
Grandma Moss certainly taught me one thing - how NOT to be a grandma. I'm loving this part of my life. Quinten has taught me that there is nothing else in this world more important than spending time with him. And I'm taking full advantage of that.
Monday, May 28, 2007
I was looking over last year's posts on my Memorial Day roadtrip and decided to share them again. If you wish, you can view them here, here and here.
Have a wonderful Memorial Day! I'm going golfing.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
(P.S. I need a better camera!)
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Monday, May 21, 2007
Finally DH and I decided that a fence really was in the best interests of our boys, as well as my piece of mind, so I ordered it from the lumber yard and had Pat and Ben Ulrich put it in. Pat is one of Daryl's sons and has moved back to West Bend to help his dad and brother's with all the construction work they do. And these guys do everything - from roofing, framing, any type of construction work to, well, putting in a fence!
"Yep. Farmers compost their dead critters."
But, I've always been told not to throw meat or dairy in my compost pile because it will attract varmits. And, what about the rendering plant guys. I thought they picked up the dead animals.
"Don't know anything about that," he said. "You need to talk to a farmer who has one."
And so I did. The farmer tells me that since the BSE (mad cow) scare, renderers don't have much of a call for their products so they've raised the price of picking up dead animals. "Used to be $10 an animal, now they charge as much as $30. That's just too expensive."
And so you "compost" them?
"Just cover them with manure and dirt."
Doesn't it smell?
How long does it take for the animal to...ummm.. disintegrate?
"Depends. Hogs pretty fast; cows take a couple of years."
What about the bones? Archaeologists dig up bones thousands of years old. Surely the bones take some time.
"Not really. Hogs completely disappear; cows' skulls and hip bones can take some time. But you can drive over them with the tractor and they just crumble."
(I don't even want to ask about the hoofs. The hoofs scare me.)
Can you use this "compost" in your fields like I use mine in my garden?
"Absolutely. But, actually, there's not much of a pile left after the bugs get through with it. I've been doing this for years and you really can't see much of a pile. Of course, this only works when you have one or two animals which die in a year. When the big hog confinements lose a couple of hundred hogs due to disease, then they call the renderers to dispose of them."
Friday, May 18, 2007
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
I read up on colostrum a bit and could find no ill, or side, effects to taking it and decided to go ahead with the program. I received my package of pills, powders and potions two Saturdays ago - the same day I woke up to an abscessed wisdom tooth. Having read that colostrum will boost your immune system (and having called the dentist only to find out he was gone until the next Wednesday) I decided to go ahead and start taking the stuff. Saturday and Sunday my jaw was so swollen I couldn't shut it. The dull, throbbing ache pretty much assured me I was in the middle of an abscess-induced nightmare. So, I took Tylenol for the pain, took my colostrum pills, used an ice pack and basically never moved off the couch. The only thing I could eat was luke-warm broth and I didn't really feel like eating that.
Sunday night I notice a reduced swelling but figured it was the Tylenol and ice. Monday morning the swelling was almost gone as was most of the pain. By Monday night I could eat and by Wednesday all swelling and pain was gone! (Unfortunately I still have to go to the dentist...ugh.)
I told you all that to tell you this: some people experience a "healing crisis" when they first start taking colostrum. I've read that, as the colostrum drives the toxins out of your body, some people actually feel worse for a while - bloating, diarrhea, rash, etc., etc. My healing crisis has been a full-blown case of the worst palmar pustular psoriasis I've ever had. (Yes-it's just as icky as the name sounds.)
The upshot is that it is arduous to type (and file and write..) so I've not even been leaving comments on blogs which I read like I usually do (not to mention posting anything here). Is it painful? Well, since I compare any "pain" I have to childbirth, then - no - not really. Annoying, more likely. But I have been staying away from the keyboard and even the mouse doesn't feel good in my hand. On the bright side, I've got a ton of energy so I've been getting stuff done around the house and yard that I've put off for lack of initiative. So that's a good thing.
I've got a bunch of stuff in my mind to post, but that will wait. I just wanted you (3 people who read my blog) to know that I have not died. Indeed - I feel great! I just don't feel like typing right now.
Saturday, May 12, 2007
The above picture was taken last summer. That early April freeze really took it's toll on my Fern Leaf Peony as well as the Surprise Lillies which you can see in the background. I'll be very "surprised" if they bloom this year.
Below zero temperatures, blizzards and now rain has made this an interesting spring. I did get my garden in the last weekend in April though, and am I glad I did! I usually wait until Mother's Day to plant just to make sure we aren't hit with any late frosts, but we decided to work the ground as soon as it dried out to get our plants in. It was a perfect weekend with temps in the high 70's. The soil was pure heaven to work with. Then it rained the entire next week so we were really glad we hadn't waited.
Friday, April 20, 2007
After I got the dogs quieted down and assured that, no - mom has not lost her mind (completely), I decided to post my "food processor".
AND, it comes complete with attachments!
On the left is my pastry blender and on the right is my food chopper! See? I'm completely modern and up-to-date in all the latest kitchen utensils. And, yes, that is a cast iron knife brought from the nursing home. Even though I've bought two new knives from Pampered Chef (and they are lovely knives) this is still my "go to" knife for chopping. It's light weight and easily sharpened. It does, however, tire my hand if I have too much chopping to do (like during apple season). Maybe my new knives will be used more then. Who knows.
Saturday, April 14, 2007
This time last year most farmers around here had their corn completely planted and were bravely holding off planting beans until May or June. The last two years have been extremely warm and dry during April and have allowed the farmers to get a jump on spring planting. But the 8 inches of snow we had two days ago (!) have made the fields impossible to work. Luckily we had a very mild fall and winter which allowed them to get most of their spring field work done. Now all they need is a few warm (please God!) days to dry off the fields and they'll be working day and night to get it done.
Coming from "the bottom" ["The bottom" is what the valley between our hills and the hills of Nebraska were called. Long ago the Missouri River cut a wide swath between the two, leaving fertile ground behind. I'm guessing it was about 20 miles wide and FLAT, FLAT, FLAT! Onawa is located on the bottom. I think that's why I always hated that town - it was too flat.] in Western Iowa, this drive to get into a field amuses me. Farmers around there are never in a hurry - mostly because they're farming gumbo. The standard "joke" is that gumbo is only workable one week out of the year. If it's too wet you can get a tractor stuck tighter than a tick on a mule. But when it drys out its like trying to farm cement and will break a cultivator like a candy cane.
I'm feeling bad for the farmers. I guess my little patch of garden is not such a big deal after all. Last night the weather guy said that the normal temperature for this month is supposed to be in the 60's - it's 48 right now and is the warmest it's been since the "heat wave" in March. Snow storms in Texas, tornadoes in Mississippi and cold up here in Northern Iowa. This should be an interesting year, to say the least.
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Don over at An Iowa Garden has been posting pictures of all the beautiful little early spring flowers that are poking their heads through the leaf litter in his yard. Since it was in the 60's here yesterday (!!!) I took the opportunity to take a walk through my yarden and see what was going on. You can imagine my surprise to see these things peeking out of my herb bed!
I remember planting some green onion bulbs last summer before the herbs got too full. But, as you can see, they quickly disappeared beneath the chaos and so I forgot about them.
Several years ago I bought some "winter onions" from Millie Madsen. She told me to plant them and forget them and they will winter over and come up in spades the next year. And let me tell you - she wasn't lying! They totally took over my behind-the-garage garden. They literally spread all over the place. And, frankly, I didn't care for the flavor as they are very strong.
So, when I pulled these yesterday, I knew for sure that I'd gotten hold of some winter onions. Whew! They may be small, but man, are they mighty! Now I have to decide what to do with these puppies. I'm thinking French Onion Soup. Or maybe the compost pile.
Friday, March 23, 2007
The fact that his mother (my daughter) would take a 7 year old to a political rally is amazing in and of itself. But when they opened the question period after his speech, Della said Quinten's hand just shot into the air. Since they were sitting towards the back and were pretty much invisible to Obama, a lady sitting behind them got up and went down to his aides to let them know a little boy really wanted to ask Mr. Obama a question. Della said when she saw an aide walk over to them with the microphone, she just about had a cow since she wasn't sure what would come out of Quinten's mouth.
Quinten is pretty sharp. He's known who the President AND Vice President are since he was three. Nothing much gets past his keen observations. When he was younger he and grandpa would watch Face The Nation, Fox News, and the rest of those Sunday morning political shows. It gave him great pleasure to watch grandpa yell at the TV. "Is he an idiot, grandpa?" he would ask when Don's face turned red. Now that he's older, he really doesn't care for that anymore, much preferring Sponge Bob to O'Reilly. (I have to agree with him there.)
So what did Quinten ask Mr. Obama?
"President Obama, when did you know you wanted to be President? Who was your favorite President when you were growing up?"
Yes, he really did call him "President Obama". Does this kid know something we don't?
Saturday, March 17, 2007
I know that geraniums do very well in pots over the winter because I've seen them in other people's windows. I always felt that they were so cheap and so plentiful during the growing season that there was no need to go to the trouble of digging them up and over-wintering them inside. But this color was so unusual that I just couldn't part with it. To my delight, not only did it thrive, but it just keeps blooming!
Friday, March 16, 2007
I get why people bad-mouth nursing homes. I really do. Having grown up in one I know that (for most people anyway) it's the last step to the grave and they fear that. I figure you have to die somewhere and, besides, all my friends will be there too. As long as it has an internet connection I'll be happy. I can just picture myself, sitting in my pedchair in my baggy jeans and sweatshirt with my laptop blinking happily back at me. I just hope I have something to say besides how shitty the food is.
You might have noticed that this isn't strictly a "food blog" or a "garden blog" or a "pets/kids blog". It's more of a ME blog! It's about things that affect me in my life today and what's affected me and shaped me in the past. It's me trying to convey a small piece of my life and my memories while I can. It's not only about me, it is also for me. So when I'm sitting there in my chair at the nursing home I can re-read these silly posts and remember and (hopefully) smile.
Oh, and in case you are wondering, I'm only 56. I'm a LONG way from going into a nursing home! It's just something I was thinking about in the car on the way home. See? Told ya.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
DH was fixing himself breakfast the other day and kindly offered to make me some toast while he was doing his own. I told him "No thanks. I like the smell of toast but don't like the taste of it." He looked at me for a moment. "That's an odd thing to say," he said while buttering his toast. Which got me to thinking... (always a bad sign).
I know that smell and taste are closely aligned. Anyone who has had a head cold can attest to that. When we are presented with a new food, we smell it before tasting it. At least I do. For some reason the taste of toast is disappointing to me. It doesn't somehow live up to it's odor.
I was like that with marijuana too. I love the smell of it, but it tastes horrible to me. (Hey! I grew up in the '60s! Don't shake your head at me - everyone has skeletons in their closets.) Every time I tried smoking it I threw up. I figured I must have been allergic to the THC - or something. And I've met other people who have said the same thing.
ANYWAY... the point is... how can something smell yummy but not taste yummy? On the flip side, how can something smell so ungodly foul and yet taste (to aficionados) heavenly? I've always wondered who was the first human brave enough to crack open a durian and actually eat it? (I've read that the orangutans love them too. The first human probably took that as a signal that it wouldn't kill you to eat it. But still... the smell!)
....to be continued... I hope...
(Now that Joe Pastry is posting on taste I think I'll go ahead and post this even in it's uncomplete, half-assed form. Maybe I'll remember what I was going to say.)
Friday, March 09, 2007
In an effort to glean heart-healthy recipes Ilva and Joanna have called a one-off event for finger food that is good for you. To that end, I am submitting the following recipe for Party Shrimp. I haven't the foggiest idea where I found this recipe but I've made it a few times (most recently at the Daytona party) and it's always a hit with guests. The nutrition data is for the entire recipe via Nutrition Data.com.
Serves 6-8 as an appetizer
2 lbs. cooked, peeled shrimp
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, chrushed
1 tablespoon dry mustard
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 bay leaf, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Dash of ground red pepper
1 lemon, very thinly sliced (DH and I don't really like the extra lemon in this so I leave it out)
1 med. red onion very thinly sliced
1 (4 oz.) can whole ripe pitted olives, drained
2 tablespoons chopped pimento (I never have this on hand so I leave it out too)
Whisk everything in a medium bowl and toss with the shrimp. Cover and allow to marinate in the refrigerator at least an hour. It is simple to put together and looks pretty in the bowl.
569 Calories; Fat 36g; saturated fat 5g; trans-fats 0g; Cholesterol 429mg; sodium 5913mg; carbs 15g; fibert 3g; sugars 3g; protein 48g.
(Remember, the nutrition data is for the whole recipe. )