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Showing posts from April, 2010

A Quick Get-Away

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As you might have noticed, I am somewhat incapable of just letting my arm rest and NOT doing the gardening, cooking or anything else that I shouldn't, so I decided the best thing for my arm might be a vacation.  So, Monday I packed my bags and headed to Union, Oregon.

I am not a "normal" vacationer.  I like the odd, unique, "memorable" places.  I used to travel quite a bit for work, and most cities & chain hotels really look all the same.  I want something unusual.  So, when I found the Historic Union Hotel online, I was thoroughly excited.  They even had an "original" room--presumably as it was in 1920 when the hotel was built--with the shower down the hall one direction and the "auxiliary" down the other--so of COURSE this was for me. (Not to mention the $39/night price tag)

Monday was sunny & nice, which made the three-hour drive quite pleasant.  I stopped for lunch in Baker City, Oregon because we had previously been so impressed…

Help! We're Being Attacked By Butter Chicken!!!

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A couple years ago, a friend of mine discovered a seasoning packet for butter chicken curry sauce that she thought I might like.  I did, indeed--so much so that I picked up as many packets as I could find at Cost Plus.  meanwhile, my friend had also tried it, loved it, and began stalking Cost Plus for it as well.  This--combined with other people finding and liking it as well--might have prompted a retailer to increase its stock of an item, but Cost Plus held firm.  Even if they ran short of an item every single week, they refused to increase the weekly supply.  I'm sure this makes sense to them for some reason, but we were left without butter chicken.

Butter chicken remains one of the--if not THE ONLY--convenience food that is "legal" on our diet.  Rather than face a shortage--which, trust me, would have led to a few rough moments here at Chateau Sutton-Goar, I started ordering it from Amazon.  They truly carry everything.

On the Amazon page, one can subscribe to butter…

My Seedlings Are Having An "Outing" Today

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What, you don't take your plants on field trips????????

Today Is Parent Alienation Awareness Day

When there are has been a divorce involving children, one parent often tries to turn the children against the other parent or hurt the other parent through the child. The hostile parent can be the mother or the father. It occurs so regularly that it is now referred to as "Parent Alienation."

For information about parent alienation and the awareness day, visit here. If you have experienced hostile parenting, either as the alienated parent or the child, or if you know someone who has, please help spread awareness of this form of child abuse.

Things I Am TRYING To Learn This Week

*  throwing a cat toy is not on the "approved list of activities" for resting an arm

*  the bigger issue is to remember that I really LIKE cilantro, and not to be irritated that it is coming up everywhere in the garden this year after refusing to grow at alllast year

*  I need to stop feeling proud of myself for being able to grow snow peas.  The real trick, it seems, is to STOP them from growing on every available inch of the garden....and in the lawn....and in the flower beds....

*  no matter how loudly our new neighbors need to rev their car engines, it does not necessarily mean that certain parts of their anatomy are "dimensionally-challenged."

*  a cat might not understand that Daylight Savings Time only happens once a year, and that to just randomly shift wake-up time an hour ahead every few weeks might seem like an acceptable idea to the cat

*  you'll never know a truer measure of a person than when you see how they treat you when you have different fund…

Being Reasonable Or Just Being a Baby?

OK, my arm still hurts.  I don't think it hurts any less than it did a week ago.  I have even become desperate enough to consider going to the doctor--but not, of course, desperate enough to give it complete rest or anything crazy like that.  HOWEVER, we can now scratch canning, making boeuf bourgignon, and making jam off the list of "things that are good ideas to do when trying to rest an injured elbow," so at least I'm making some progress................................

Was It Worth It?

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Good question.

Yesterday at lunch was the REAL test of the boeuf bourguignon as the flavors had more time to mellow & blend & whatever else they do, AND I decided to serve it as Julia said to--the part about being over potatoes, not the part about serving it with buttered peas (what is the deal with all the butter??????).  I cooked a potato in its skin rather than boiling it--I mean, let's try to have SOME nutritional value here--and I have to say, it was wonderful.  The potatoes soaked up and maybe mellowed much of the liquid, and together it was something that had to be eaten slowly to savor the amazing complexity of flavors.  I can't think of anything I've ever had like it, but then again, American food is more about cheap, easy, fast, and able to be produced in a chain restaurant by teenagers.

HOWEVER, you might have noticed that--aside from Sunday--when I talk about food it's generally a little more on the "low-fat" variety.  Just so we're cl…

Boeuf Bourguignon

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Or as one of my friends so aptly renamed it after my adventures yesterday, beef burnignon.

I had originally thought it would be fun to make this while our friends were visiting last month as we all rather enjoy cooking adventures.  However, as I'm sure none of us particularly enjoy repeated burns and being covered in grease, I think we made the right choice in making pizza instead.  BUT I still wanted to try the recipe, so yesterday morning I dived in.
Having previously thawed out the three pounds of stew meat (for a recipe to feed SIX people, mind you), I also scrounged out the bacon I'd purchased
but had not bothered to open before freezing it.  Julia calls for a 6-ounce chunk of bacon, so I figured something less than half of a 16-ounce package would work.  If I had any doubts about my general refusal to eat bacon
opening the package did nothing to convince me otherwise.  The ONLY meat on any of the bacon was on one edge--the visible one obviously.  Everything you can't se…

Today I Am Making Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon......

......and by tomorrow I might be willing to discuss it.

....and take back everything I have said today about Julia Child.............

Ignorance CAN Be Entertaining

Okay--I never watch television.  Movies, yet.  What is broadcast over the air & received on our television's little bunny ears--never.  I have tried occasionally to catch something on PBS but it's hard to remember to actually turn the television on at the right time, much less figure out how the VCR works with the new digital channels.  So, I don't see advertisements.  Of course, it's great and I would be willing to bet money that one's stress level is actually lower without having to listen to a bunch of 30-second segments of people telling you what you should be wanting, but this is all beside the point.  Without seeing advertisements and knowing what all the latest "things" are, life has become very interesting lately.

The other day I was driving down one of the main roads in Boise, and I passed a sign saying "Android backflips here."  I was in the wrong lane or I would have stopped.  I would have liked to have seen a real android doing b…

Things I Have Learned This Week

*  Making and canning jam is a fast way to aggravate a sore elbow

*  Getting to eat fresh strawberry jam really takes one's mind off a sore elbow

*  I don't like "resting" any better as an adult than I did as a child

*  Next time I start to think that I can do almost as much with my left hand as with my right, I'll try cleaning left-handed

*  I am a lot more open to the idea of letting my arm "rest" when it is cold and icky outside than I am when it's sunny and 70 degrees

In Which I Am A Slow, Slow Learner

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What I SHOULD have been doing yesterday:  resting my arm

What I actually DID yesterday:
Two batches of strawberry jam!  One has balsamic vinegar added & one has freshly ground black pepper, both of which accent the strawberries really nicely.  With strawberries being REALLY good and really inexpensive right now, I just couldn't resist.

Which is why today my arm is REALLY sore and I am really and truly going to rest it.  And figure out how to make bread one-handed so I can have something to put some of this fabulous jam ON......

OK--You Think Some Of the Food Facts I'VE Shared Are Scary.......

.......take a look at some of these:

The Worst | Eat This, Not That

What Would Be a Good Story

*  I hurt my arm while rescuing a tiny kitten from a tree

*  I hurt my arm by hitting a crushing blow while playing tennis

*  I hurt my arm while arm-wrestling Andy to see who had to do dishes


What is NOT a good story:

*  I have hurt my arm and don't have the faintest idea how I did it

--but it hurts all the same, dang it.

You HAVE To Try This

OK--there hasn't been a lot of posting lately.  Our options for blame are:

1.  I've been really busy
2.  I didn't want to confess in public that the moles are totally kicking my arse so far this year
3.  I have strained my elbow which actually makes it really hard to type
4.  All of the above

And the correct answer is........All of the above.  I have no idea what I have done to my elbow, but a smart person wouldn't have been shoveling with a strained elbow, thereby making it worse.  And then there's me.  So.......

I have been reasonably good about resting my arm today--and was able to make the soups for tomorrow's soup night mostly with my left hand.  BUT, I did have to post to share one of the soup recipes.  It's WONDERFUL! 

Lightly Curried Peanut Bisque

Seriously--you HAVE to try it!  Or just come to soup night tomorrow....

You Know You're Officially An Adult When......

*  a good doctor's appointment is when you don't hear the words "at your age...."

*  you only recognize friends from high school because they look like their parents

*  you spend an evening with a friend comparing surgery stories

*  when your bedtime is right around the time you and your friends used to START the evening

*  you stop looking for toys in your morning cereal and start looking for fiber

Allergies?

I admit--we haven't quite been as stringent about being back on the "no processed foods diet" as we should have been.  For Easter, Andy bought me some chocolates of my very own (meaning he won't polish them off when I'm not looking), so I've been having some chocolate & high fructose corn syrup every day (and whatever else is in Whoppers), and then I had opted to use "illegal" chicken stock in the pad thai I made earlier, and thought we "might as well" use up some microwave popcorn in the pantry....so, obviously still ignoring what I know we should do.  Seriously, it was still a minimal amount compared to a "normal" diet, but for us, BIG time illegal.  Yesterday I woke up with a whopper of a headache (lame pun totally intended), which just wouldn't go away in spite of pain killers.......

.....which is the allergic reaction I get to milk and the only reason I really ever get headaches.  Now chocolate has never had enough m…

Every Time I Think I've Heard The Dumbest Rumor About Healthcare.....

....I am proved wrong:

snopes.com: Health Care Reform Legislation Requires Microchip Implantation?

The really frightening part is to realize that there are people foolish enough to believe this. Guess that answers the question as to why those black & white "Aliens Had My Baby" newspapers did so well for so long......

I Just Can't Look Away.....

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You know how when you see a car wreck or something really gross, you just can't look away no matter how disgusting it is?  Well, yesterday I discovered that the lovely folks who brought us bacon-flavored lip balm have a website.  It turns out that they have an entire range of products.  For the movie lover, there's Bacon Pop
for those who were thinking that crossing popcorn & pork rinds would be a REALLY good idea.  Or, if you've ever been mailing out bills and thought, "Damn, a little bacon would be good right about now," there's
bacon flavored envelopes!  In case paying bills doesn't make you nauseous enough.

And, for the parents who just can't wait to get their children started on the road to heart disease and obesity, it's
Bacon Baby!!!  Solving the problems of childhood obesity by......making it infant obesity!

Whew!  And I thought the lard quest was as disgusting as my food research was going to get.......

And Because It Is Monday & Cold......

I Have My Limits

Okay--while there is still a significant amount of yardwork that needs to be done, I refuse to work in the snow.  I know--kind of wimpy of me, and considering it's APRIL one would think this wouldn't be a problem.  BUT, it has snowed almost every day so far this month.  On the GOOD days, it just rains.  Now, call me cranky, but I don't think it should snow after we've had to mow the lawn.  So, no more gardening until Mother Nature decides to behave herself.

New Month, New Project

A couple years ago, Andy and I each picked a subject we knew nothing about and studied it for a month.  THIS year, along with one of our closest friends, we have decided to study the same subject for a month.  We wanted to pick a subject none of us knew much about, so we chose South American history AFTER the conquistadors--which is where USA history text books usually stop even mentioning our southern neighbors (and that was BEFORE the Conservativesstarted the rewrites--once they're done, we may not even HAVE another American continent). Totally excited about our new adventure, I headed to our branch library.

Our branch library is THE coolest little library I have ever seen.  They have concerts, event for kids all the time, clubs--and we can borrow anything from the network of libraries in the area, so even its small size is not a factor.  However, I had decided to just drop in and browse the books on South American history--assuming they had them .  And eventually I found them--…

Headlines That Might Be April Fool's Hoaxes

*  CABLE TELEVISION EXEC ADMITS, "OUR SHOWS REALLY ARE MINDLESS CRAP--WE OUGHT TO IMPROVE THEM"

*  CHINA IMPOSES QUALITY CONTROLS ON EXPORTS

*  AMERICANS SPONTANEOUSLY REALIZE THAT TEXTING WHILE DRIVING IS INSANELY DANGEROUS AND STOP DOING IT

*  THERE WILL BE NO MORE HEADLINES ABOUT BRITNEY SPEARS....EVER

*  FACEBOOK EXECUTIVES PROCLAIM, "YOU KNOW, SINCE PEOPLE REALLY HATE IT EACH TIME WE CHANGE OUR FORMAT, WE'RE GOING TO STOP DOING IT"

*  TEENS DISCOVER A NEW FORM OF TEXTING CALLED "WRITING LETTERS"

*  MICROSOFT APOLOGIZES TO EVERYONE WHO BOUGHT VISTA AND THEN HAD TO UPGRADE ALL THEIR SOFTWARE BECAUSE NOTHING WOULD WORK WITH IT

*  MIDDLE EAST DECIDES THAT 10 CENTURIES OF FIGHTING IS ENOUGH AND CALLS FOR A PERMANENT CEASE-FIRE

*  THE NRA ADMITS THAT WAITING PERIODS AND NOT SELLING HAND GUNS TO CONVICTED FELONS ARE REASONABLE RESTRICTIONS

*  MODERATES FINALLY GET FED UP WITH SCARE TACTICS AND SOUND-BYTE SLOGANS AND TAKE OVER BOTH REPUBLICAN AND DEM…