Tuesday, November 25, 2008


That's how I've decided to treat the next six weeks...can't work, can't drive, can't do much of nothin' but I can take advantage of the time I've always wanted to have at home. This is how my typical weekday is shaping up:

7:00 get up, shower and put on fresh nightgown, have breakfast with the Scientist
8:00-12:30 check e-mail, blogs, etc. etc. and read on the couch (I'll share what I'm reading in another post)
12:30-1:00 sit up, make a sandwich
1:00 creep upstairs (slowly, oh so slowly, and backwards) and watch Northern Exposure
2:00-5:00 (after creeping back downstairs) take a nap
5:00-7:00 dawdle around, attend to Amie, put casserole in oven (Casseroles! Do we have casseroles!)
7:00-10:00 eat and hang out with the Scientist
10:00 and so to bed.

Not bad for now, but I think it will start getting old soon. Also, I probably won't need quite so much nappage in a couple of weeks. I am planning to use this time to read, certainly, but also to write; and I will be spending more time in prayer too.

Anyway, that's my day. How was yours?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Mix and Stir Friday Five

As we enter the big baking and cooking season, Songbird asks:

1) Do you have a food processor? Can you recommend it? Which is to say, do you actually use it?
Although I enjoy fancy gadgets as much as anyone else who loves to cook, I have never owned a food processer. Between the KitchenAid mixer, its attachments, and the blender, I've never felt the need for one.

2) And if so, do you use the fancy things on it? (Mine came with a mini-blender (used a lot and long ago broken) and these scary disks you used to julienne things (used once).)
I would, if I had them!

3) Do you use a standing mixer? Or one of the hand-held varieties?(And isn't that color delightfully retro?)
My cherished KitchenAid mixer, which looks exactly like the beautiful blue one in Songbird's picture except that it is white, is about twenty years old and going strong. Of the three attachments shown in Songbird's picture, the dough hook gets the most frequent workouts at our house. The Scientist loves to make bread with the KitchenAid. I often use the impressive-looking shredder cone attachments (sold separately) for grating lots of cheese or veggies. After the little hand-held mixer that predated our marriage finally died a couple of years ago, I got a three-speed KitchenAid hand-held, which works like a little champ and does everything I need it to do.

4) How about a blender? Do you have one? Use it much?
Yes, mostly to make pesto--or this soup (adapted from Mariquita Farm), which is a great way to use up carrots:

Carrot and Cumin Soup
1 large onion, chopped
5 or 6 carrots, thinly sliced
3 T. olive or canola oil
1 tsp. ground cumin (or maybe just a little more, not too much)
1 tsp. salt
4 cups water or stock
Cook onion in oil until soft. Add carrots and seasonings and cook for a minute. Add water or stock and simmer for about 25-30 minutes, until very soft. Puree in blender (be careful!). While the soup cooks, toast about 1/4 c. chopped pecans in a 350 degree oven for about six or seven minutes--just until they darken slightly--and toss with a little melted butter. Sprinkle them on top of soup when serving. This makes about four big soup-bowl-size servings.

5) Finally, what old-fashioned, non-electric kitchen tool do you enjoy using the most?
I use a good old-fashioned balloon whisk for sauces or gravy, at least once a week. I don't know what I would do without it.

Bonus: Is there a kitchen appliance or utensil you ONLY use at Thanksgiving or some other holiday? If so, what is it?
I had to think about this for a while! All I could come up with, is the cheesecloth that I oil and use to cover and baste the Thanksgiving turkey!

P.S. I'm home taking it easy after dealing with some medical stuff, and won't be cooking or baking next week. Waaah!

How many people do you know who would be sad about that?

Friday, November 07, 2008

Friday Five: Funny Papers

Thanks, PG, for this fun Friday Five!

After an exhausting election here in the states it's time for some spirit lifting! Join me with a nice cup of tea or coffee or cocoa and let's sit back and read the Funny Papers!

1. What was your favorite comic strip as a child?
Well, I always read Peanuts, of course, but for some reason I liked following all of the "soap opera" strips too, and I still do. (A bit of trivia: when my parents sold their house and moved into an apartment, they wound up in Apartment 3-G.)

2. Which comic strip today most consistently tickles your funny bone?
Nearly every day I laugh out loud at Get Fuzzy.
(ETA: Unlike me, Nachfolge took the time to show you why.)

3. Which Peanuts character is closest to being you?

Which Peanuts Character Are You?

You are Schroeder. You are brilliant, ambitious, and brooding; you tackle tasks with extreme focus. People don't always interest you as much as other pursuits, though, so you can come off as aloof.

Find Your Character @ BrainFall.com
I don't think this is accurate, though. Maybe the "brilliant, brooding, and aloof " part. ;)

4. Some say that comic strips have replaced philosophy as a paying job, so to speak. Does this ring true with you?
Well, I think that many of the most popular strips have addressed the mysteries and foibles of the human condition with humor--and that's why we have loved them.

5. What do you think the appeal is for the really long running comic strips like Blondie, Family Circus, Dennis the Menace as some examples?
They remind us of a time that seems to us now to have been gentler and more innocent, although it really was not much different than our own. Of the three examples given, Blondie is the only one that has become even slightly contemporary (e.g., Blondie now has a career, Dagwood has a computer on his desk). The gender roles in Dennis the Menace, for example, are preserved in amber, ca. 1955.

Bonus question: Which discontinued comic strip would you like to see back in print?
Oh, no, just one? How can I possibly choose among Calvin and Hobbes, Bloom County, and The Far Side?

And now a little story: The time: summer of 1990. The place: a quiet (at least it was when we came in), attractive little restaurant in Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, WA, where the Scientist and I were vacationing after attending a friend's wedding in Tacoma. At a nearby table were two couples, one about our age (early thirties) and an older couple who appeared to be the woman's parents. The younger man spent the entire meal loudly haranguing his in-laws about matters political and social. Everyone in the restaurant received the benefit of his opinions. Finally they finished eating and left, and again the little restaurant was quiet. Our waitress rushed over, all giddy, and gushed, "Do you read
Bloom County?" "Used to," we replied. She nearly squealed. "That was Berke Breathed!"

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I cried last night during his acceptance speech. I couldn't help it.

Yes, we can.