I went to Costco (motto: When 2 gallons isn’t enough) the other day. I hadn’t been in a while so the experience was sort of like watching broadcast television after eschewing it for a decade. I suppose it’s also like seeing a growing child occasionally, rather than constantly, “When did my nephew get so tall?”
But back to Costco. Apparently bowing to the whims of the day, yellow markers pointed out what was ORGANIC, in case shoppers couldn’t read the regular cards without highlighting. Everywhere I went, yellow highlighting to help you select the best possible ORGANIC choices. It made me laugh to think that shoppers needed that much help being totally politically and theoretically nutritionally correct. Continue reading
I’ve been making cheddar cheese for almost a year. We have a happy little corner of the store room which I call the “cheese cave,” and it’s filled with happy little red wax packages.
Yesterday I decided to attempt another of our favorites – blue cheese. It was a reasonably quick “cook,” if you can call 90º “cooking,” and then an interesting “gravity only press” in the mold. Now for the fun part. Continue reading
As I write this, we’ve just finished the Sochi Winter Olympics (2014). The lead up to the event was one of concern about possible Chechnyan terrorists. As the journalists and athletes arrived, the focus shifted to unfinished hotel rooms, water which should not be ingested or even used externally, and dangerous course conditions. The magnitude of those problems even prompted late night host Jimmy Kimmel to put out a hoax about athletes sighting a wolf in their housing. By the time the flame was extinguished, those concerns faded, the athletes were celebrated and everyone went home happy, with of course the mandatory possibility of corruption in the ice skating judging. Continue reading
Following my morning routine of clearing everything off my electronic plate before taking on the rest of the day, I was cruising through Facebook, when I came across this ditty about surviving Whole Foods. It made me laugh because like all good humor, it contained nuggets of truth. My favorite was the smarmy clerk who indicated the “poison” was tucked far away; they were diligent in protecting a populace who might otherwise find themselves croaking in the WF parking lot. Continue reading
My former mother-in-law (FMIL) worked, many years ago, for a company which makes plastic bags. You know, the kind you find at your local supermarket when you are buying produce. They come in rolls, mounted in dispensers above the glistening array of fruits and vegetables you want to take home, but don’t want to have moisten your check stand impulse copy of Beautiful Bodies and How You Can Get One (subtitle: You Obviously Don’t Have One or You Wouldn’t be Reading This Drivel). I digress.
The bag company used to occasionally make a mistake or have a client return a batch of bags. They were always quite serviceable, the wording was not what the company wanted. Finest Prosecute Available never sold many Bartlett pears. The “oops” bags were placed out for the employees to take home, gratis. FMIL took advantage of the offer, sharing rolls of bags with us as well. It was a sad day, sometime last year, when I used the last of those roll bags. It was so incredibly handy, especially when the kids were in diapers, to have bags whenever we needed them. Continue reading
Natchez Indian hut
Daughter dearest just got back from a 3 week vacation to visit a former neighbor. She had a good time and was able to experience humidity first hand. Funny how Seattle looks really good right now.
This morning they were discussing pancakes and how there was a dearth of experience and recipes between them. In order to keep breakfasts happy, I’ll supply the one I use, which is always favorably received. I recall my nephew saying I made the best pancakes, which is something, because his mother is an excellent cook!
Adapted from the Betty Crocker cookbook, © 1978, 1969
This morning, King Arthur Flour posted a treatise on baking the perfect cookie. It is a fabulous post and I highly recommend it, especially if you’re having issues with things being over or under done.
The other tidbit of advice is to be aware of the fat inculcation. Overmixing the butter will result in too warm a dough and it will spread quickly and burn more easily.
When I was young, I was fairly certain of 2 things:
1. I was really displaced English royalty; someone lost at birth who would be ultimately restored to their rightful place in aristocratic society.
2. I could easily be Laura Ingalls Wilder.
Both of these notions had their roots, of course, in literature. I was The Little Princess and Little Lord Fauntleroy of Frances Hodgson Burnett and Laura from the author of the same name. It’s easy to lose one’s grasp on reality when a good narrative tickles your fancy. That is the standard for excellent literature – the ability to move you to a different place, time or situation.
As an adult, I think I have given up my hope that I’ll have tea brought to me by servants who curtsey. Yup, pretty sure I’ve abandoned that notion….. Sigh, a girl can dream, can’t she?
But as to the Little House in Bellevue, that one remains firm. Yes, I have in earlier days raised chickens, my sister made me a bonnet, I drink raw milk and get my meat from a local rancher and doggonit, I’ve fulfilled another LIW (Laura Ingalls Wilder) goal. I have begun making cheese! Continue reading
Last weekend I was the only one up, so being gracious, I eschewed vacuuming in my loved ones’ dreams. Instead I turned on the TV in the family room quietly and was drawn in [pun intended] by a familiar yet departed face. Bob Ross was painting some happy little trees, and he managed to keep me enthralled with the magic with emanated from his brushes and knives. How *did* he do that? RIP Bob. You are a wonderful memory to a lot of people!
Another lovely, but too soon departed soul is Jeff Smith, known on television an in his books as the Frugal Gourmet. A local with a knowledge of all things food, he inspired a generation of cooks to not only cook well, but cook with intelligence and thrift. Continue reading
General rule: if you’re going to make something special for your family, don’t take cheap and sleazy shortcuts. That’s my rule, and I’m going to stick by it. That doesn’t mean I never cut corners, but doggonit, if I’m going to make something which says, “I really care about you,” it won’t have non-dairy whipped topping out of a plastic tub. The exception to cutting corners is Chili Cheese dip, which is a football tradition.
So this morning, being St. Patrick’s Day, I was sent a recipe for Irish Chocolate Trifle. My husband doesn’t like chocolate, but with enough liqueur, even he might be tempted. I clicked through to the proffered recipe and said, “ewwwwww.” I’m posting the link if you want the dumbed down version. There you go. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
So let’s take a good idea and do it right, OK? Continue reading