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Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

elsa hiding head

Elsa Heard a Noise

Gun Shots, Backfires or Fireworks?

The end of 2018 began with popping noises in the distance.  Elsa-the-dog is terrified of popping noises like faraway fireworks.  We bought her a “Thundershirt” (meant to wrap around her tummy to create a sense of well being).  The problem is we don’t get to it (the shirt) in time.

I suppose hiding your head is a good alternative.

More Cookies?

I started a new tradition this New Year’s Eve to celebrate Year’s End and a new year’s beginning.  I baked whipped shortbread cookies.  My sweet Canadian friend, Cindy, gave me the recipe for truly melt in your mouth fabulous cookies and I intend to make them every year for New Year’s Eve.

As my dear old Dad was known to say, “Delicious if I do say so myself.”

cookies shortbread 2

Whipped Shortbread Cookies – Recipe by Cindy – Made by Dor

Old Traditions or Old People?

Every year we replay the tradition of getting together with old friends for:

celebratory drinks at our house,

followed by dinner out,

followed by a movie at our house,

followed by champagne to toast in the New Year.

We aim to finish up at midnight and sometimes we make it.  This year, not so much.  We were all dozing off by 10:30PM so made our toasts and called it a night.

Something’s wrong here.

End of a Year and The Downtown Lexington Fall of the Ball

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This year I hope to urge our friends to have a very late dinner with us in downtown Lexington, Virginia and then proceed to Main Street to hang out and watch the falling of our very own small town ball!

More and more people are doing that even though it only takes about 30 seconds for the shiny thing to fall.

Then maybe 100 balloons float down upon the crowd of maybe 100 folks who are just as ready to cheer and holler as all those revelers in Times Square.

 I am awake now and trying to adjust to the end of a full-of-surprises 2018.

Hope your “endings” were fun and your “beginnings” too.

And now wishing you a very Happy New Year!

 

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Egg Exploding

It might be a funny story for future generation giggles.

It was not funny yesterday.

I decided to make hard boiled eggs.

I decided to try another way to make them.

  • Step 1:

You bring them to a boil and

  • Step 2:

Immediately remove them from the heat and allow to stand precisely 17 minutes.

Yup.  I did Step 1.  I am good at following directions.

And then I left.

I think I thought I had 17 minutes to write thank you notes.

The bad thing is I missed Step 2 – the 17 minute-part where you take the eggs off the stove and allow them to stand.

It must have been about 37 minutes later when I heard a funny noise.   Elsa-the-dog was pacing and trying to tell me something was amiss, but I ignored her and told her everything would be allright.

I was busy concentrating you know – writing lovely thank you notes.  It couldn’t be 17 minutes already.  Could it?

Then there came another noise.

Only this time it was a thunderous BANG!  Like a very loud GUNSHOT in the kitchen!

Was someone being murdered INSIDE my house?

It is still gun hunting season here.

Was there someone actually firing a gun in my house?

I ran/hobbled to the kitchen in time to see – YES – it was an explosion all right –

AN EXPLOSION OF EGGS!

Have you ever seen an egg explode?

It was a first for me too.

Oddly enough, I become very calm and deliberate in a crisis.  If you discount the way I talk to myself and even give myself vocal instructions, you would surely admire my bravery in quickly turning the burner off.  I also thought to put Elsa in the back room to keep her from eating exploded eggs.

Note: There were no more eggs in the pot.  I think most of them were on the ceiling and the pot was burned black.

There was definitely egg on the ceiling,

egg on the floor,

egg across the stove top,

egg under the vent hood,

eggs on the walls,

bits of egg into the next room,

egg EVERYWHERE!

Bill helped me clean up, especially in the upper reaches (like egg on top of the refrigerator).

I am still finding egg or egg shells in unusual places.

Finally my friend Amy came over and under her eagle eye and a tightrope walker’s balance, the last remnants of eggs on the ceiling are gone.

The only thing left is

“egg on my face.”

If you are not familiar with this expression, here is what it means.

From “The Dictionary of Cliches” by James Rogers (Ballatine Books, New York, 1985): “to have egg on your face – To be embarrassed or chagrined at something one has done or the way one did it; to do something ineptly. The expression originated in the United States some 25 years ago, probably from the fact that someone eating an egg sloppily is likely to wind up with some of it on his face and therefore not looking his best. 

 

 

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Oh Xmas Tree

This Christmas has come and gone but it doesn’t feel quite gone.

  • Our pretty little tree still glows in its place of honor.
  • And no matter how I resist, the peanutbutter fudge calls my name.
  • And so do the truffles along with those scrumptious European style Christmas cookies.
  • And don’t forget the peanut brittle and banana bread with chocolate chips!
  • All the treats combined are a symphony calling, calling, and designed to lure me into a sugar high.
  • A “Santa’s Fave” night shirt is still under the tree waiting.
  • There is a brand new portable MANUAL typewriter waiting for me to experiment with “the old way” to type.  I wonder if these old fingers are strong enough.  I have been groaning about computer keyboards for years but will have to find some other modern thing to complain about now.  (No intention of giving up the computer however.  A manual typer is like going  back to the horse and buggy – a delightful visit to the past but one needs to return to the future).

Other Merry Moment reminders of the picturesque past have come unbidden this Christmas:

  • I almost forgot to put the bacon bits on top of the green beans and that reminded me of my Mom who served peas for dessert one year long ago.  We are still laughing over that.
  •  And I was as surprised as anyone that this Christmas dinner was actually palatable.   It  made me recall Dad saying, “That was delicious if I do say so myself.”

This year our Christmas was quiet and missing the noise and chaos of yesteryear.  Family and close friends are scattered to points west.

Still this was a good kind of quiet with a new little dog to make us laugh and play, and good friends sharing dinner.

Now it is time to wish you, my cyberspace friends, a Happy New Year and wishing yoy your own Merry Moments that live on and on.

Elsa and Xmas Mat

Elsa and her Dog Mat

 

 

 

 

 

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pumpkin pie

Pumpkin Pie No Longer for Christmas?

It was Thanksgiving and of course there were lots of pumpkin pies available for the big feast’s dessert.

I love pumpkin pie and it doesn’t even have to be homemade.  Ready made and store bought can be just as good.

But Tnanksgiving came and went and suddenly it was Christmas.

I planned to cook a ham dinner for Bill and me and friends.

And Bill asked, “What shall we have for dessert?””

“Pumpkin pie!”, was my immediate answer. I know I can make one from scratch, but just to save a little more time and effort, I felt lazy enough to add,

“We can just pick up a pumpkin pie

at the local grocery store.”

  • And there was the rub!
  • Alas!
  • There were no pumpkin pies available.

No such thing at our favorite grocery store or any other store a week before Christmas or even days before Christmas.

I cannot even blame it on small-town country living since we have three major grocery stores close by.  Maybe our small-town population is always hungry and bought up all the pumpkin pies.

At any rate, we wound up

having Key Lime Pie for dessert.

Not exactly Christmas Fare in my mind.

Perhaps we are trend setters?

The Key Lime Pie was good and went well with ham.

But here is my question:

Is this a new trend whereby pumpkin pie is now only acceptable at Thanksgiiving?

And my second question is:

Why?

Christmas Ham

Christmas Ham Dinner Minus Pumpkin Pie

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D n B Wedding Day 6-12-59

Dor and Bill Wed – Father not happy in background

Always on a search for the perfect blog subject, it sometimes occurs to me that little life experiences can also be exciting.

Like how about the excruciating tension on June 7th at our house here in rural Virginia?  It was the Washington Capitals playoff ice hockey game for the Stanley Cup! And they won! Our family have been avid ice hockey fans for 44 years; ever since they began.  And they never won until now!  You can’t imagine the excitement.  Bill actually went to Washington, DC for the parade and met our son there!  And they are still talking about it!

B n C at Caps Parade

I did not go to the parade but almost as an afterthought, I noticed BigFoot is not so big anymore and I am walking a little more gracefully!

It has been close to three years now with a knee-high boot, a lot of staggering, a cane, crutches, and a scooter, but the real bad time began in November 2017 with frightening swelling and pain.  There is light ahead!  Yeah!

A sojourn to Roanoke, Virginia was great fun!  A friend had to  visit the Social Security Office (not so much fun).  But idle chatter made the time go by.  Then lunch at the Wildflower Cafe, and exploring a discount store called Tuesday Morning (even though it was a Monday).

Happy Days!

And to top things off, Bill came home with a beautiful bouquet of flowers for our 59th Anniversary!  Even I find this difficult to believe…. I mean not the flowers but the length of time.

Well, it does seem like we are a good match even though my Dad predicted we would be divorced in a year.  Next year will be 60!  Maybe we should throw a party?

 

 

 

 

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The relationship between peanuts and baseball goes all the way back to when a peanut company bought ad space on the back of scorecards in 1898.  The snack was a big hit in stadiums, and only a few years later, in 1908, the song, “Take Me Out to the Ball game” featured the line, “buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks”, which has forever united the two American traditions in the public mind.”   From WRAL.com

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I can still hear the peanut man calling!

When I was a young girl my family went to evening baseball games at a local park.  There was always a man climbing the bleachers and calling out in a singsong voice.  He had a carrier full of warm delicious peanuts. The aroma alone was to swoon for.  And twenty-five cents would buy a little brown bag.

Years later I discovered I could roast my own peanuts and duplicate the flavor.

If you are a new guest at our house, you might mistake the peanuts for garden variety supermarket Ho- Hums, but if you politely taste one, guaranteed you will be asking questions.

Apologies if you are allergic though!

The recipe is simple but start with shelled, blanched, raw peanuts.  I get mine at a place called “The Cheese Shop” in Stuarts Draft, Virginia.  You have probably guessed they carry a lot more than cheese.   xslider-1140x460.jpg.pagespeed.ic.ADbx5syzP8Cheese Shop_0

And Bill and I are going there tomorrow to stock up!

Recipe for Dor’s Home Roasted Peanuts  Ingredients:  1-2 lbs shelled, raw, blanched peanuts; 1 tsp butter (or I use coconut oil); Salt to taste.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Spread all the peanuts in a rimmed pan (I use the bottom of my oven broiler pan).
  3. Bake on middle rack for about 6 minutes and then stir everything around. 
  4. Bake 6 minutes more and stir again. 
  5. Repeat #4 two more times. 
  6. Peanuts are done when they are a deep golden brown color. 
  7. While still hot add the butter (don’t be tempted to add more than a teaspoon or they will be too greasy).  The purpose of the butter is to provide a coating the salt can stick to. 
  8. Salt to taste. 
  9. I freeze mine and bring them out in small quantities as needed. 

 

 

 

 

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Amy and Hildegard

My friend Amy is always doing fascinating things.  She is the one who took up Contra Dancing.  And before that it was Jumpology.  She has taught piano and is a violinist, but is now taking cello lessons.  And she got a trucker’s license in order to drive preschoolers in a school bus.  And she is a marathon runner too.  There is more.

But Amy’s latest endeavor is raising chickens.

She and her sons built the perfect stable safe house for them, better known as a chicken coop.  She then bought four beautiful egg laying chickens and she gave them old fashioned names:

  • Penelope
  • Gertrude (Gertie)
  • Esther, and
  • Henrietta

And they all laid beautiful delicious eggs.  But sadly, Henrietta passed away.   They said it was from an inherited disease.  Amy was distraught, but soon went out and purchased two more cluckers:

  • Esmerelda and
  • Hildegard (Hildegard is now her favorite chicken!  She runs to greet Amy and rides on her shoulder).

Unfortunately, Amy just discovered

that Hildegard and Esmerelda are EGG EATERS!

Oh no!

This is not good.

This is a very bad thing because it teaches all the other chickens to eat eggs too.

It is a nasty habit, egg eating, and very hard to break.  But Amy is determined.

What to do.  What to do.

Amy thinks this blog post may help others of you out there who are raising chickens who turn out to be egg eaters.  After assiduous research and concentrated efforts to watch, wait and trick the ladies, things seem to be paying off.

Try these remedies:

  1. Watch, wait and grab newly laid eggs of the “good girls” ASAP.
  2. Replace real eggs in the nesting box with golf balls.  The chicken ladies will peck the hard golf balls and this will make their beaks hurt.  This is breaking a habit with negative suggestion…. like pain.
  3. Replace real eggs with Mustard Eggs!  Ever hear of that one? To make a mustard egg you blow out a real egg so only the shell is left and then insert mustard.  Chickens HATE mustard and when they peck at such an egg the taste is awful.  More negative psychology.  It would cure me of eating eggs too!

Do you have an egg eater in your family besides of the human variety?

Have you successfully convinced your chickens to stop egg eating?

Please share your remedies.

We are in search of a cure.

 

 

 

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