Operator Error

In keeping with the weirdly lit food photos theme, I captured these photos in the living room because it was sunny in there.

Yesterday I had a half day at work but there was an early traffic snafu and the bus was running late so I didn’t get home until after 2pm.

I decided to take the time to make a real lunch and relax a little bit before diving into cooking so instead of having all afternoon to cook, I had to rush around.

I made the pie crust and put it in the refrigerator, so that part worked out.

I thought I would make the rolls early this year since that seems to be the item that breaks the camel’s back when I’m rushing around at the last minute. I always think I should just buy rolls, but I want the rolls that Mom makes. (A slightly different version of this Betty Crocker Dinner Rolls recipe.)

My brain wasn’t completely re-started after my day and I somehow confused 1/3 and 3/4ths and added way too little liquid. Rather than cut my losses, I tried to just add more later in the process. It did not work and I unloaded one load of flour soup into the trash.

Then I gave up for the night.

This morning I got up early to do the rolls and pie.

I had started mixing together the pumpkin stuff when I got to the part where the recipe called for 1 tablespoon of ground ginger. This sounded like too much to me. I’ve learned not to blindly trust recipes after that time I accidentally made about 1000 gallons of lentil soup.

I went and found the recipe on line and looked through the comments to see if there was an adjustment on the spices. Instead, most of the comments said things like, “OMG worst pumpkin pie recipe ever,” “Tastes bland,” and “Too much ginger.”

Then I tried to find another recipe which wasn’t a problem except I’d already added stuff to the pumpkin (which I grew myself) so I was stuck with what I had. I improvised and it came out looking okay. We’ll see.

Then I did the rolls correctly. Now I’m taking a quick break before I go back to make the last few things.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

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Still Life With Apple

Aren’t these pictures hilarious? I usually take photos on my kitchen counter and the light in there is awful. I turn on every light and try to get some daylight from the windows but the photos often come out leaving something to be desired.

It was sunny in the bedroom and I wanted to take a picture of this apple so I brought it in there.

Wow. So arty. “Apple with halo.” So to be clear, I wasn’t trying to do this, it just happened.

Ever since I read Michael Pollan, Botany of Desire I’ve been more interested in apples. There were two articles recently that caught my eye, The Hunt for the Billion Dollar Apple about cider apples and Beyond the Honeycrisp about new apple varieties.

When I tweeted these articles, Honeycrisp started following me.

I can’t say I love the idea of branded fruit but the apple in the photo is an Opal, and it is delicious. Bob and I love all the apple varieties. There used to be an heirloom apple guy at our farmer’s market but either we missed him or he didn’t make it out this year.

Day before T Day. I’ve got lots of prep to do.

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His and Her Reading Styles

We started subscribing to the New Yorker again a couple of years ago. I was always wary about it because a new issue arrives every week. You have to keep up or they bury you fast. Then it becomes a chore.

But I learned that the New Yorker is perfect for reading on the bus. My habit is to start the previous week’s issue on Monday and usually by Tuesday on the way home I can finish.

If I get behind, I skim. If I don’t like an article, I skip to the next one. No saving anything for later.

When I’m done I give them to Bob. This is his stack. In June he had a stack this big that he was aggravated about. He asked me if there was anything good he shouldn’t miss, as if I could remember. Now I put a Post-In on the cover if I think there’s an article he would like. He leaves it as a chore.

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Fixing Things

This isn’t really fixing something as much as using something old to do something new.

This is my old phone holder. I wanted a way to keep my phone around my neck since women’s clothes often have no pockets and there are situations, mostly involving soccer games, where I don’t carry a purse.

My new phone is much bigger. I looked around and couldn’t find a new strappy thing that I liked and this strap still looks great so I had an idea.

I can’t say enough how much I love Sugru. I have given it away to tons of people and no one seems as excited about it as I am. It’s a putty-like substance that you use to fix things. Once it hardens it’s water proof and really strong. I’ve fixed a drawer, a freezer basket, a lamp switch, a tea ball and many more things.

If you watch the videos at the link you will get tons of ideas. You can buy it at Target. It’s not expensive. Try some. (Disclosure: I am not connected with this company or product in any way other than liking to use it.)

Here I am getting ready to fix things.

And, ta da! Sure it doesn’t “match” but I don’t care about matching things. It’s very sturdy and now I can wear my new phone around my neck.

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This tifo is from our last western conference semi-final match at home. I had to think about that. I get confused between all the flavors of finals: quarter-finals (which we didn’t have – we had a knockout round), semi-finals, conference finals and then the Cup game. I hope that’s right. I’m too lazy to look at the bracket again.

Today is the western conference finals match (1st leg) and I will see the match after this posts.

I don’t know how to feel. I’ve had my heart broken so many times I hate to be too hopeful. But the guys have looked good this last bit so of course I’m hopeful.

I love how we start the pre-season in February all bundled up for matches. Then in July and August we’re in shorts and getting the top of our heads sunburned. And we finish out all bundled up again.

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Introducing the 2015 Pumpkin Crop

I had one more the size of the biggest one but I gave it away. And look, two acorn squash volunteers. There were a couple more out there but they didn’t have enough time. Everything really came on at the end when it was too late.

Some of these guys are going to make the big sacrifice so we can have pie for Thanksgiving.

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Bummer Soup

I’ve come to the realization that I’ve lost my enjoyment of cooking. I’m not sure when it happened. There’s a food blogger whose cookbook finally came out — I’m not a cookbook collector but I love this blogger — but I realized it was pointless to get this cookbook. I don’t even use the cookbooks I have.

I can’t remember the last time I tried a new recipe unless I was visiting family or Kira.

On the week days I’m always tired and in a hurry. On the weekends I almost always would rather be doing something else. I only want to make things that will make leftovers to make weekday meals easier.

I don’t think the situation is fixable unless I change my priorities and I don’t want to do that right now.

I decided I would pick three new recipes to try and was already overwhelmed.

I picked one. I’m going to try the chicken marsala in the latest issue of Cook’s Illustrated. I’m not sure when, though.

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Minds of Their Own

Years ago these flowers magically appeared in my yard. I liked them and encouraged them. I had a big patch in what had been a sorta ugly corner of the garden. Then they wanted to grow in the lawn, which I discouraged. Then they ditched the sorta ugly corner and now have sprung up in the middle of the garden.

If this was a story about magic flowers, I would be anxious about the next chapter, are they friendly flowers or are they up to something?

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I noticed I’ve been getting mixed up with homonyms. I suspect my brain is starting to get dry and curl up around the edges.

For awhile I was keeping a list of some of the words I mixed up:

scene / seen
chord for the alarm clock
staff infection joke
peek peak pique — Every time I want to use one of these I have to sit there and think it through to make sure I’m using the right one.
stalked up / stocked up
profit prophet

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My Favorite Gas Station (Sad Ending)

I know I’ve written before about my thing with gas stations. I prefer to use the same ones over and over.

If I were driving around and low on gas it would never occur to me to stop at the first gas station I saw. I keep an eye on my gas level and fill up at my usual spot as soon as it gets close to 1/4 tank. Or, sometimes my sweetheart tanks it for me.

When the grocery store tells me I have a bunch of points and I can get cheap gas at their station, I’m like, who cares? I’m never going to go there.

You’d think this would be more problematic for me than it is. I’ve gotten so good at managing my anxieties.

On trips to Orleans, I always stop at the same places.

One of my favorites was a gas station in Roseburg. The last time I was there the attendant very chatty and charming. In case anyone reading this doesn’t know, in Oregon you can’t pump your own gas. He told me he was 83 and lived his whole life in the area and didn’t travel much because he cared for his 83 year old blind wife.

You can imagine how awful I felt when my next trip, barely a couple months later, the gas station was closed.

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