Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Aunt Cooking

Tired now. The beef boullion didn't make as mnay as the other vaireties.I think its because the broth no matter how beefy, doesn't add bulk, and bulk is good. The parsley and mint took up more room!  and prodused more cookies.

I'm going to have to think of something else to add to the mix to up my count of these. I guess I could add wheat gern or something, thats healthy as well as bulky but I don't want to go to the store and buy anything. I guess I could just adjust my cookie yeld expectations and embrace the  seventeen dozen cookies I did end up with.

Next year? Bigger cookies.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Think Small.

Gawd, I'm hungry, and its not because I haven't eaten, I had dinner. I'm hungry because I have two pies in the refrigerator and they are calling to me. I had dinner and I finished up pie number three and still the pies are calling to me. Bastards.

One of the pies is a nice polite little key lime pie. A good pie, a no-pressure pie. I know it isn't the siren. I know this for a fact because I had a piece and I'm still hearing voices. The offender is the Greek walnut pie. A pie that tastes so good while at the same time being so bad for you, that you have just gained a pound because you are thinking about it. I'm hoping it loses its voice soon.

I'm being strong. Mostly because there isn't much there and I want to save it.

For good.

I need to put a dress on and visit with it though because I am in the midst of Operation Aunt Cookie and I need the room. My freezer is full of actual people food, so I am pulling the refrigerator off the bench and putting it into the game. When I was planning OAC, I thought about how many I would need : Lots and lots. What kinds I would make: Lots and lots. What shape they should be: Small. If you want to make a lot of something it pays to think small.

I thought small would be good because a quick survey of  the dogs I make for discloses that they are overwhelmingly small dogs, small dogs need small cookies - Another reason to make smaller cookies is that the small the cookie the higher the yield. I like a high yield. And smaller cookies are lighter cookies and shipped costs are up.

And then I started to makes these small cookies. And make them. And make. And make them. The smaller the cookie the higher the yield - Sounds great until you come face to face with making these big yield small cookies by hand. Over and over and over. When I make the bone cookies each batch consists of a hundred and forty-four cookies, not counting whatever the oven takes as its own. Fine. These demon small cookies are running about three hundred and twelve per batch. 312 individual cookies. By hand.

My arms are tired and it takes days to get a tray filled. I have to take breaks! I'm going to have to man up because I have a long way to go to finish the job. I have four varieties made thus far: cheese, turkey gravy, mint and parsley and peanut butter. I had planned to get two additional varieties done today, but the idea gives me the vapors and arm cramps. So, Monday is going to be beef bouillon, Tuesday will be chicken bouillon, Wednesday will be bacon and Thursday will be banana. Whew. I'm going to be tired but my upper body will be oddly toned.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


I had to use the machine like a phone today! I felt bad about that but my boss had a health issue today and I needed to find out the gory details (quite literally) . It is a phone after all and if I can arrange to go another few days without using it I'll make up for the time I used today. Like a week without using it.

Dogger and I took a lovely walk today. We went all over downtown. We started at the post office and treked all the way to the tip of Fayetteville Street to the convention center and then back up Wilmington. I've never walked the route although I drive it everyday. I got a chance to check out some store fronts I've never been able to really look at as well as being a looky lou  in the windows of the condos  ( attention first floor residents, your windows are on street level! Your exorbitant monthly condo fees do not guarantee invisibility) and got a chance to check out a price list for some empty units.  If I had 265K to play with for a glorified closet, I would keep them on the list. If I had 265K.

Along the way I saw fliers for interesting events they have scheduled, of course about half the fliers were for stuff that happened months ago, but I did learn about a pig pickin' on December 2 and Winterfest a couple of days later. I also found the ice rink and a Starbucks I didn't know about it.

I like walking downtown and I wish I would have started sooner, its quite nice and there is almost no chance of encountering loose dogs and gosh, its cleaner then the nabs. Dogger seems to really enjoy having new sniffs to check out, as  much as she clearly enjoys it, she was being a bad girl. Years ago when we were in Puppy School and when we walked the neighborhood I trained her to sit at corners. We would come to a light or a cross walk and I would say "Dogger, sit" and Dogger would sit. We worked on this a lot for a long time and she eventually did it on command. And then she hurt her knees and sitting on command was off the table.  I had thought that enough time had past that we could go back to her  sit on command habits but apparently, this is not the case. It would be just so cool if she would though, the audience downtown would be so impressed. Dogger seems to suffer from stage fright.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Santa Talk.

The Experiment is moving along. It has now reached pornographic stage of development, food porn if you will. If I was really clever I would have arranged for a time lapse camera to keep an eye on it for me, I could hook it up to the Internet and instead of a  wildly successful puppy cam I could have a even more wildly successful shroom cam! It really seems to change hourly and every day its completely different. It is much more interesting on a day to day basis than a watermelon and I thought watermelons were fairly breath taking,  growing and development-wise.

Its too bad that the Experiment is not something I eat, I would enjoy growing another one, m maybe over the summer when the basement is humid as all hell and well warm enough . Maybe I can be a fungi foster parent? Who here likes mushrooms?

I decided that the booklet that came with the kit is not providing the constant reassurance and 24-hour-handholding that I require, so I went online to see what information was out there. It turns out, a lot and there is a lot of information that is not in my booklet, for instance, I need to be on the look-out for "gills" on the mushroom head. My booklet wants me to be mellow and chill and keep up my misting schedule and just let things be. I don't like to let things be. I want to know every minute of every day that the Experiment is progressing within normal parameters and it is not actually a block of styrofoam with a skin problem.

My research showed me that the Experiment is fineish, its not ready to be harvested and won't  beby Thanksgiving, which was not in the plan anyway, but would have been nice, and the block doesn't have enough brownness, which I think speaks to how young it is, I'm guessing-  but it looks like a mid- December hand off is very doable. I am hopeing however for an early December drop date because I am not looking forward to having to bring it with me in the car if I go away for the weekend. Its like having a very delicate, very young pet that requires my almost but not quite constant attention all day. I could not leave it alone for the weekend under any circumstances. I have enough pets.

 In the interest of his - and it is a boy all right, delicate nature, I moved it from point A to point B  to now Point C because I think that the indirect light it was in may have been too indirectly direct. I noticed that its dark side seems more successful than the light side. If the dark really suits it, I may move it to the back of the basement where the light is very, very indirect and where due to the proximity to the water heater, there might be more of desirable humidity for it. We can't have him catching a chill.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Weekend Adventures

Saturday morning it was so cold! I was wrapped up in a coat and gloves, by Sunday afternoon while I was raking the yard it was so warm I wanted shorts.

Mother Nature wants my nose to run forever.

I was up early on Saturday because I went to Durham to the DPAC go see The Rockettes! The real, live Rockettes, not Rockells, not Rockbelles, the genuine-Live-From-Radio-City Rockettes!  They aren't your high school drill team or even the Kilgore Rangerettes. The real deal. Anyone who has ever tried to fake their way through a half-assed kickline, is, in their hearts, trying to be a Rockette, And failing. It doesn't matter how many awards they have won or  how sharp your drill team is, they are not the Rockettes.

My Mother and neice and I and a couple thousand other women ands girls had a great time. I do not understand where the men were though. A couple of dozen hotties in tiny costumes and there were three men in the entire audience!  Hot chicks cavorting in tiny costumes and there were no men.  I mean the Rockettes are hardly a burlesque troop but gee whiz. They were fantastic though and the show was great. They are going to be in Durham for a while, Local Raleigh readers and if you have a chance you should go see the show, in addition to the really fun show, it feature terrific if computerized stage craft, interesting lighting and beautiful costumes.

It was a weekend of firsts. My first Rockette show as well as my first home made pizza! They sell those blanks at the store and I never bought them because they seem expensive. I found one at Poverty Barn and waited for the right time. The time came. I bought some cheese and a handful of pepperoni and a can of tomato paste and did my thing. I added my own herbs and spices and a sprinkling of turkey. It was so good! It wasn't swimming in cheese  soup or cluttered with crap I don't eat. It couldn't have been better. The next time Poverty Barn has them I'm going to stock up.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Cats Blogging


And next week is Thanksgiving! Are you freaking out ahead of time or are you planning on saving your freaking out for the actual day? I suggest going halfsies.

I'm going to make three pies, one I know only through its recipe, one that I'm only guessing will work because I'm substituting B for A and one I know works. Both A and B require a disturbing amount of  egg separating and tempering. I feel fat all ready and I haven't even sat down at the table yet. The closest I've come to using the exerbike is moving it from one location to another, twice.

Speaking of food, I was finally able to get my scallops into the larger part of my  chowder.  Before I added them, I sauteed them with parsley, fresh garlic and white wine. Nummy. MY chowder is now certifiably fab-u-lous. When Lent is looming, I'm going to make it again and be set for the whole 40 days. I might even explore my clam juice options.

I also need to be working on my Christmas Dog Cookies. I am definitely cutting back on the varieties this year because I think I'm cutting it too close to make as many as I have in the past. I'm also pretty sure I should have started all ready and I have a small concern that they may turn out to be Happy New Year Dog Cookies but I want to avoid that. I also have to start worrying about Christmas cards, I have the photos and I've ordered the cards but they warned on the site that they are shipped on the slowest possible boat and so that is another thing to worry about. I can see myself doing cookies and cards simultaneously. Festive but furious, and I'm not sure I want to work that hard and I haven't even thought about my decorations yet.

But first things first, tomorrow I'm going to see the Rockettes.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Hearts and fungus

The Amazing Experiment seems to be changing or growing and development or it has Amazing Experiment Mumps or it's growing toad stools.  Its hard to tell with Amazing Experiments, I'll keep you updated.

I had to use the not-phone today. It was only for a couple of minutes but I feel like a total back slider. I thought I was making the number larger so I could read it  at the Real Phone but it actually dialed it instead and I was forced to speak with a vendor but its Its okay though because I didn't use any of yesterday's 7.5 minutes so today I had 15 whole minutes to burn through. Tomorrow, hopefully I will do better. The  vendor  explained that instead of actually showing up at 4:15, as we had agreed on, they are going to be there at some point between 4:30-6:30! I am hopeing its more the later than the earlier because there is a cool 99% thing I should go to because honking and waving at them seems so not enough.

I have just bothered both animals. First I bothered the cat while he dozed on the bed, by dozing on the bed. I thought  that he would like some quality time with Mummy but he did not. Then I went to see Dogger and stretched out on her futon - I also thought she would like some quality time with her Mummy but she also did not. My animals can not share.

Speaking of Small Cat. I got a notice from Catster alerting me to the fact that it was Small Cats birthday. He is three, which also alerts me that Tex has been gone for three years. As much as I  lurve Small Cat, I miss Tex so much some days. Tex was a cat evil super genius and Small Cat is well, super but no genius and he is certainly not evil. At all, and I think Tex just got me in a way that Small Cat just can't.  I think it was the evil super genius aspect that made him so good at reading people. Small Cat loves everyone, Tex loved me.

Enough about Tex. Small Cat is going to be in a calender! The Animal Rescue lady at work wants Small Cat to be Mr. February in her animal rescue groups' 2013 calender! I can either submit  a picture I have a work featuring his little chest heart or I can take another picture of him with his little heart front and center. I almost told her that Dogger also has a heart on her chest but I didn't want to be a calender hog. I can now say almost all my pets have appeared in calenders. Clearly because I am so awesome.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I hate everything II

The upside of having a cell phone I can not use as a phone, is that in two years when the contract is up, I won't need to sign up again as I will haven gotten  so used to not having a phone  I won't  feel obligated to  turn around and pay out the nose for the privilege of carrying another useless paper weight around! Yay! Two years!

Speaking of phone issues. I got rid of the useless add-ons on my home phone as well. I get fee-ed and taxed to death with my local service - Thank you AT&T! you 1% and financial supporter of fringe right wing candidates! That I decided to see what I could do to my bill. It turns out I was paying almost as much in fees and taxes as I was for the service, so I cut everything but phone calls. No more call waiting, no more voice mail - that thanks to my stupid phone I can't access anyway, no more anything>/i>. Sorry friends and family and robocalls, its the return of the busy signal and endless ringing from here on out. I looked for alternates but most services were either very sketchy or only wanted my long distance service - I have a long distance services that I like well enough, of course, I liked it better when I had cell service so I didn't have to use it, but still...

Anyone know of any goof lefty phone companies that provided local service? I'm also about to clean house of my satellite provider as well. I could move to the competition and get all the channels I want and pay half - for a while, and then it would shift to its regular price that they are very uncomfortable putting into print for some reason. But it would be at least a year of really, really cheap and after the second year (I presume) I could switch back to what I have now.

Oh, the one bit of pro-Diana I have to cling to while I hang balloons for my pity party.

I stopped a jackass from illegally dumping a couch on Dix campus on Monday. I was eating my lunch and this former Ryder truck drove up and parked. Then I heard the back door open and I watched the driver pull a dirty white couch out of the truck and casually slide it down the embankment into the creek! I jumped out of the car and stood there alight with my righteousness and I told him to Put It Back! and to Put It Back Right Now! Hands on hips, hair un-pony tailed. The guy came from around the truck  he said "I didn't have anywhere to put it, I'm just storing it there" and I said "BULL SHIT. Put. It. Back . Right NOW!" and he did and drove away. I'm sure he dumped it elsewhere. But not right there and not right in front of me. Damn it.

What I would have done had he come at me with a tire iron or worse, I do not know. What I would have done had he not been a pussy, I also do not know.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I hate the world.

Today I learned if I want to keep my phone I have to stop using it as a phone. I have to go back in time to when cell phones were for emergencies only and use it accordingly. It's not my computer - can't use up that data time! Can't use the phone, most preserve those precious shared minutes! and its not my friend, it lied about both.

I now have to wonder what I'm getting for my money. Phone use? Well, using for a mere sixteen minutes a day was using it too much, and to stay within my allotment I can use the phone seven minutes a day. Data? about that... as it turns out, its just for show. Other than making my purse heavier, exactly why do I have this thing? Its costing me way too much to end up as a paper weight, but that looks to me where this is heading. This is not what I signed up for.

Before I sound ungrateful, I'm not, I'm very, very grateful for the chance to have it! I just have to remember my place and what it is and what I am and use it accordingly - spareingly, rarely and only when I have no other choice. In the future folks, the magic word is: UNLIMITED. Now, I'm going to go back to my land-line and my dial up connection. The nineties were nice.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Chef Me

Why do we dress our poultry in  fetish suits?

I made my turkey breast! Yay! It took a lot longer than the TV chef had said, her's was smaller I guess, while mine was I'm thinking, much more culinary than hers. I know this because I had to remove all these yucky turkey parts, and she didn't. I think they involved turkey procreation and  I think some where on its little fetish suit should have come with some sort of warning label mentioning those. I wanted a "G" rated bird and I ended up with a hardcore freak in a fetish suit.

Okay, step one, after I peeled it out of its fetish suit.

A turkey breast is almost like a whole turkey but no cavity but it still comes with the stuff so its almost like a real turkey but without all the excess turkiness that some may find too much.

Several hours later*

Actually, this was the first time I took it out of the oven, its just the last time it was photogenic. I kind of hacked at it after that,  it took a little while longer than the directions had suggested and what the girl on TV had indicated. When it was done, it was browner and significantly less attractive due to the hacking I did to search for pinkness. It was however, very, very good and juicy and it was delicious. Put flavored butter under the skin it really makes a big difference.

Stage three

All is not lost though! It worked hard, it was a major player in that turkeys life and it was a good life! For real. After it turned in a good days job, it went on to its second job as Soup Stock! The carcass went on to do great things

This soup is so good it cured me of things I didn't even know I had yet! The meat you see there isn't actually the turkey's meat because I wanted it to do some multi-tasking, so I needed to hold it back for the time being. The meat is from a whole chicken - the worlds smallest chicken and yes, ladies, I chopped  up that little bitch up without cutting off any of my fingers - I had been warming up for this, but I manged to keep all my original parts. I also was able to use tomatoes I froze summer before last and a handful of pepper slices

And what was left Turkey after the soup? Almost nothing.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Remember, remember that day in November.

November 11 marked the official end of a brutal, vicious, deadly conflagration that destroyed Europe and solved nothing while sewing the seeds of another vicious, deadly conflagration that destroyed Europe; and because it was over for a long time and we moved onto to other, sexier wars,  a few years later it was demoted to Arbor day and then a few years after that it was promoted to Veterans Day. Yay soldiers.

There are no more WWI survivors in America. You would think we should be prompted to remember it officially. You remember WW1? Killed millions, introduced chemical warfare? Had the sad fate of  sharing the lime light with the flu pandemic and the Russian Revolution?

That World War One. Lest we forget.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Angry Girl

You know what some ambitious Angry Bird player could do if they wanted to make a quick buck? They could set themselves up with a store front and all they would have to do is solve Angry Bird levels.  Their customers would simply hand them there phone and standby while the expert delivered them from whatever bird hell the customer was stuck in. Whatever level you are having a problem with, tearing your hair out over, crying over and they would just solve it! Can you imagine? I would pay money to move on and out of Angry Bird hell.

The expert or experts, after the business caught on and you know it would -  would be battle tested professionals and would know in what order to wreck what and they would just let you move on to the next level and the rest of your life. The freedom! I can really imagine people mailing their phones in just make it stop.

I mean back in the day we figured out how to fix our Rubik cubes, I can't believe no one has come up with a way to hack Angry Birds and force it to let you leave a level behind or how to add that extra bird that you so desperately need, or a way to remove hard hats from frogs. Is there no industrious fourteen year old out there who sees a need?  No angry virgin with time to kill and a plastic girl friend to impress in a basement somewhere? Come on!

For instance. I've been stuck on level 3-10 for approximately, eight hours, after all this time and so many thousands of tries, I can now tell from about a third of a second in, how badly I am not going to win this level this time. I have more or less mastered the tiny initial bird, and most times I can knock out the top level birds right off,  if I am really cooking with fire also the bird on the ground. I hate that bird. That  is the part I am good at. I have not yet figured out why the yellow bird is involved at all, he has speed but no purpose, mostly I over shoot the mark with him and he bounces uselessly out of frame. With the two final egg dropping bird I can usually knock out two of the remaining three birds, I can not get them all. Ever.

I have checked the cheats and the tips and the walkthroughs. I have watched the videos on You-Tube and all I can say is that those people are my heroes. I hate them, but they are my heroes. If Angry Birds were created by decent people, they would have mercy, they would say Hmmm. After three thousand go-rounds, you get a free pass to the next level! but they are not decent people, they are evil people who want you to spend eternity in their avian purgatory.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Merry Tuesday!

Angry Birds is a stupid, stupid game but since I am teetering on the razer edge of the end of my data allotment, it is all I can do with my phone. I have spent the last two days having to look at web pages and log onto my email from my desktop computer! The horror! Its like being sent back to last year!

And then I came home from work! And it was Christmas! Well, not really Christmas but I got a lot of neat stuff in the mail. I got my mammogram report  and both the girls are doing fine and I  also got my doctors' report from my physical and I am going to live another year and if I am feeling particularly hateful while at the same time, in a giving mood,  I could bring my lab report to the Red Cross and force to to let me give blood because I am clearly not anemic. Spin this Asswipes.

I also got my Great Experiment! Yay! I'm so excited! It is going to be like having another pet for a while but its more like a fostering situation - I get to enjoy it for a while but before he becomes a real responsibility, it will go to a forever home.

Also in the mail? My refi paperwork! Yay! It really is a Christmas Season miracle

I decided to put the turkey into the freezer as it was totally thawed and I am not ready for it yet, its going to be I think a Friday thing, because we have it off and I'll have plenty of time to work with it and maybe make myself some side dishes to go with it - if I play my cards right, a little cooking then could save me from a lot of cooking in the coming weeks - when I am supposed to be making dog cookies. Lots and lots of dog cookies and I may have also volunteered myself to make even more too.  This years cookies are going to be star shaped because it ups my over all yield without having to actually to increase how much I produce and most of the dogs on my list are smaller breeds any way.

And even the few who are larger, they are treats not meals!

Oh, and my finger wound has finally stopped bleeding and I may only need to wear a band-aid for another day. If its very good, I may go without a band-aid over night. For a small wound it is just a bitch! its a good thing we walk on our feet and not our hands because  I would have a serious limp.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Little Chicken

My turkey breast is starting to unthaw, slowly. I haven't taken it out of the fetish suit it came in yet because I'm not going to cook it until Friday and I think it should stay in its original packaging as long as possible. I might even slip it back into the freezer Tuesday if it seems to thawed out and worrisome. Thursday night I'll make its vegetable raft cum rack and then I'll slip  my fancy compounded butter under its skin and slather the top with more of it. On TV it turned out beautifully.

One of my cooking shows told me to use the butter because it would make the meat taste really good, the other told me why the meat taste better with it. As it turns out, white meat is very lean and meat that is very lean tends to dry out in the cooking because there isn't any lubricant, i.e fat, to keep it from getting dry. Dark meat has more fat and thus it is juicier. We add butter under the skin of the breast to make fake fat! See, TV is good for us.

And now I know how to make compounded butter! Which is apparently the best thing since sliced bread and I should have had a roll of it my freezer always and how have I lived with it all these years? I would guess, I have been eating frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts and they don't require compounded butter, or they do but we eat boneless/skinless to avoid extra fat as well as the evils of chicken skin. So, yes, I have lived without just fine, TV chefs. All compounded butter is, is just flavored butter, you can add garlic and rosemary and salt and pepper or you can add honey and mustard to it.  Its like a wonder tool. You make it ahead of time and keep it rolled up in your freezer.

I have also been talked into attempting to make my own chicken broth. I don't know where I'm going to put the broth when I'm done, and Im not a huge eater of soup, but maybe I'll make some nice chicken noodle soup and keep it around instead of Raman. Who knows?

 Because this is also the start of Dog Cookie Season so maybe I'll wait on the broth- perhaps until after Christmas and by then Santa will have brought me a new stock put because my existing pot, I think, is developing some kind of pot dementia and that it may not really want to simmer things for hours. It gets mad and gets burny and impossible to clean and I think its time for a new one, Santa. And a double boiler.

I got notice that my Great Experiment is set to arrive today. I haven't worked with this kind of thing before so I hope I don't mess it up. No guts no glory.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The bloody gourmet

No photo blogging today, sorry.  I am too, really, I tried to slice the side of my finger off earlier today and the bandage is not making typing easier. Also, its still bleeding and I'm pretty sure you are not supposed to get your keyboard wet.

Anyway. I am going to see how well I can type one handed. Badly, as it turns out, almost as badly as with the aid of the band-aided finger. Lovely. I cut my finger cutting up the Jack O Melon. I felt bad because I  wantonly threw away the rind of the  ice cream melon, so I decided to offer it up my not throwing away the Jack 'O Melon. Did you know that melon rinds are slippery? Yes, yes they - knives just slide right off them into innocent finger flesh. Now my finger is wearing a burqa. And throbbing.

After I successfully chopped up the melon ( and bled all over the bathroom before staunching the blood flow and discovered that off brand band aids are for crap)  I went a step further and put the pieces into a processor and really ground them up, I thought they they would be more composty if they were in really small pieces, also the smaller the pieces the less likely for the garden to turn into some sort of all you-can-eat rat buffet. I'm not sure what ground up watermelon rind is going to do foe the over all health of the garden, but every little bit counts. I hope. The road to hell and all that.

I also improved my fish chowder! I bought some scallops at Wallyworld and I simmered them in a pan with some garlic and parsley and  butter and white wine and then added it all to the soup I had put aside for dinner. I'm going to thaw out the larger portion and do the same with it. Nummy.

Also on the subject of food. I need a door mounted spice rack. I have a lot  of bottles and jars and boxes now and I can't see easily see what I have.  The lazy susan is nice, but my spice needs have expanded. My spice collection expands because I watch cooking show and they make demands. One of those demands is that I make a turkey breast very soon. The turkey breast the girl on TV had  as her example was huge and completely defrosted. Do you know how small and completely frozen turkey breasts are in real life? and I think hers was from a steroidal weight lifter turkey, because mine looks like it came off a fourteen year old  anorexic super model turkey. It could also be that she clearly got hers from an actual butcher and I got mine from the frozen meat section at Wallyworld.  She also demanded I buy sage but at least at Wallyworld it was cheap, although there is a chance that it is actually marijuana. Score.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday Cat Blogging

Small cat would not look me in the eye and kept his back turned to me the whole time he was in costume. Too bad, because I think he would make a terrific Cindy Lu Who for the holidays.

Photo Geeking

The Internet is full of peoples cats in costumes. In response to this geekery, I present pictures of my dog.

Daisy, as Sky Masterson in a  radical re-imagining  of Guys and Dolls

 Daisy as the Headless Horseman's' Horse, Halloween 2012

 Daisy as a giant Hot Dog, Halloween 2010-11

Not a costume, Daisy's' new winter coat. Doesn't she look great?

Oh, and in case you think I do nothing but dress up my dog. I also cook.

Home made watermelon-chocolate chip ice cream made with a home grown watermelon.  This is by far the best of the tree varieties of watermelon ice cream I've experimented with. It does still have a bit of ice crystal-ness to it, but it gets made without the benefit of an ice cream maker, which I'm sure greatly adds to the creamy nature of ice cream not frozen slowly in the freezer. This recipe turned out much better and made more ice cream than the others, it also included heavy cream, eight egg yolks and two cups of sugar and it introduced me to the concept of "tempering". If you do it right you end up with a lovely mixture, if you do it wrong you end up with scrambled eggs. Note the lack of scrambled eggs in the above picture. I'm sorry! I felt all rock star when I did it right.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Welcome my new room mate!


Fern has been an outdoor pet since I bought her last spring from the mental patients at the hospital who had raised her from whatever ferns start off as. I brought Fern home and did absolutely nothing for it, I occasionally remembered to water in its direction but other than re-potting it when I brought it home, I have done nothing for it, and it thrived! Look at it! Its gorgeous! And then it got cold.

I do not want Fern to die. If the intractably mentally ill can keep fern alive, the very least I should be able to to do is not kill it. So I brought fern in. I've never spent this much time with fern.

Once it became clear that fern had to be re-homed, I had to figure out where in my home fern was going to live. If it wasn't for Small Cat, fern could settle just about anywhere and be a happy plant and most likely, would live through the winter and be able to escape back outside in the spring. But, there is a Small Cat and Small Cat thinks fern is a cat toy.

Fern is not a cat toy and small cat needs to learn about boundaries. I tried to teach Small Cat to not eat fern because fern lives here too and it would be mean to eat fern. Fern now lives in the back entry way. In back entryways defence, it gets some lovely indirect light and it is significantly warmer than front entry way, which is an icebox. I'm not sure how I feel about having a fern in my back entry way, it seems rude. And now its in the way. I went from having no interaction wither fern to having perhaps too much interaction with it. I'm pretty sure fern is going to die from too much me.

I thought about putting fern in the basement with the other plants I got from the hospital, but  I'm not sure how happy a fern would be unwatered in the dark all winter like the other plants  I don't think are going to like it either, but I am hopeing they will fall in to some sort of horticultural coma over the winter - and that's what happens when a plant is left unwatered in the dark all winter, right? Its their fault for not being as pretty as fern.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Hi, my name is...

I noticed to day on our walk that no one said "hello" to me. Not a soul and we were out in prime time for people greeting, everyone greeted Dogger like a long lost friend. We walked passed a woman and her child "Hi Dogger!" we walked passed a group of older guys standing on a porch "Hey Doggy!". I was invisible. When people do greet me, they call me by Doggers name.

Oh, well, she has a better personality than I do anyway. At least I always know where I know random people  from who come up to me at the store. People I should know but can't remember who they are or where I know them from, call me "Diane or Donna", people I know because I see them every few days because we live blocks from each other, call me "Daisy". It makes it easy to figure out where I don't know them from.

On to other things. My Jack'O Pumpkin was a hit, or the just couldn't figure out what it was but it must have been not something anyone wanted to mess with because no one stole it or tried to destroy it! Yay! I also got rid of most but not all of the nasty fake fruit roll ups I bought to give out. I thought an early scouting party had spread the word I was only handing out fruit rolls and to avoid my house but later on a whole group of teeny children and their Mothers came by and they seemed to like the roll ups just fine. I think they liked them because they had Scooby Doo on them. One party asked where Dogger was. I think I would have gotten a lot more kids to my door had I just parked Dogger outside with the bowl of treats.

Certainly would have limited my exposure to the cold and rain. Dogger, for her part, spent the evening sprawled on her futon. Spoiled thing.

Oh, speaking of being spoiled Free Cooking Channel is back! Woo! I thought something was up when DIY came back but Cooking Channel is the real deal. Everything is years old and features weird disco inspired cooking music, but yay! Two Fat Ladies, French Cooking at Home, Bitchin' Kitchen! My DVR has something to do again!

Now, I'm going to Target to see if there are any discounted dog costumes I need. Doggers' hot dog is showing its age and there were some really cute entries this year that featured tiny riders strapped to the dogs back and I thought those would be great for her because the costume wouldn't involve her deep, difficult to fit, costume-busting chest.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Dive right in

In honor of it being winter, I thought it would be a good time to try a chowder recipe I found last summer, it was too warm then to make it but its perfect now.

Grandpa Thrills Fish Chowder

In a soup pot, using as little water as possible (I would substitute white wine or fish stock)

1/2 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 cup cubed potatoes

(I would substitute -  a frozen bag o' veggies, they even sell a "soup starter" variety with the needed vegetables, or you could buy the whole shebang in a can and add an additional can of potatoes)

Add to the veggies and the cooking medium

1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 can condensed cream of celery soup
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk

(I substituted two cans of soup instead of the suggested 1 can of each, its nicer to have left overs. I would also buy the nicest store bought versions you can find, it makes a difference)

Stir to combine, cook until almost boiling


1 pound skinless fish, cubed
pepper to taste
celery salt to taste

(I added in addition to the above,  liberal amounts of powdered garlic and dried parsley, and a touch of cumin and a squirt of lemon juice and salt to taste. In the future I would also use 1/3 pound of three different meats, say, a firm bodied fish, clams and maybe musells)

Cook stirring, for another 7-10 minutes or until fish is cooked.