Category Archives: doing it wrong

This Little Figgy

This is Percy in the fall — I guess that’s frost? I can’t remember when I took the photo. (More groundhog daikon radishes in the background.)

I came *this* close to announcing that there were interesting developments next door.

Bob said he saw a moving van over there. During the holidays we had gone up to a regular 6 (six!) cars parked over there every night. But then it went down to two. Then for a couple of nights there was one and no lights on and not a sign of life.

Percy is the kind of fig tree that only has a summer crop. There’s probably some interesting reason why he produced a couple funny little figs in the fall. I don’t know what it is but I hope it’s foreshadowing for next summer.

I foolishly alerted the neighbor on the other side and asked if she’d seen or heard anything. She also complained about the six cars and was hopeful for good news.

False alarm. We’re back to 4-5 cars and they woke me up once last week at 1:30am.

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Holiday Baking

Future flowers breaking through all over the yard.

I already told this story a few times but I thought I’d put it here, too.

I took my car in on New Year’s Eve day. The dealership had the B team on the schedule that day.

The guy that checked me in seemed like he would rather be getting a tooth pulled. I don’t think it would be possible to show less interest in me and my car while checking me in to get my car serviced.

Well, except for the actual service part — they weren’t very busy so I’m guessing that had a crew going at it like a pit stop. They finished in about 40 minutes.

I was at the office so I didn’t pick it up until later in the day and when I arrived, they couldn’t find my key.

I’m fairly confident the guy who checked me out was baked. He told me to wait by my car and someone would bring me the key.

I waited and waited and waited and finally a different kid came out and asked me which car I was waiting for.

I pointed at my car and said I was waiting for the key.

Current state of the garden. Those are groundhog daikon radishes which are supposed to do wonderful things to the soil. I have them planted in a bunch of different spots. More info here.

Finally the guy who checked me out came out and said, “Hey sister. You had your key chain. Are you sure you didn’t grab the key?”

Yes, I told him: It’s a smart key. If I had the key I could get in the car and drive away.

[It’s the kind of key that just has to be close to the car, it doesn’t have to be inserted in the ignition.]

Me: You don’t know where the key is?

He said, oh, I know where it is. It’s here. Somewhere.

I wasn’t mad. I thought it was funny. I waited some more and the finally the other kid came out with my key, kind of shaking his head. “It was still hanging on the rack.”

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We All Want to Be Pickle Queen

These are the Swedish pancakes with lingonberry preserves that I got when I was in Nashville way back in May.

Oops. I forgot to post last weekend. I thought once a week was an easy goal but now I’m slipping at that. Who knows what the future holds? I’m going to make it up with three posts this week. [And then I wrote this post yesterday and didn’t hit the publish button. sigh.]

This week the NYT had an article about India’s Pickle Queen. You should go read the story but if not, this woman in India spent decades testing pickle recipes and self-published a cookbook after narrowing it down to 1000 recipes.

The last thing I need is another cookbook. I really, really tried to resist the urge but this one sounds like a fun book to read even if you never make a pickle:

There are tips in bold for, say, removing the stamens from plantain flowers (tug at them with the blunt edge of knife) and choosing the most pickle-worthy okra (look for tails that break with a snap).

A straightforward “anti-waste” chapter includes recipes for plantain skins, jackfruit seeds, ridge-gourd peels and lime leaves, which often end up in the compost heap.

And I wanted an actual book, something I could take with me next time I visit Mom so we could have fun going through it together.

I caved and bought it. Should be here tomorrow.

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The Christmas Eve Complication

On Christmas Eve, barely an hour before our company was expected to arrive I heard a tremendous crash. I thought something had come through our front window.

I was relieved that it was only our Christmas tree.

Then I was in a panic about how quickly I could clean it up and restore it to its original state before company arrived which was impossible because I was in the middle of cooking dinner. Bob was picking up my dad so I was the only one home.

I picked it up and propped it against the wall so there would be no repeat performance. Then I ran out to the garage and found an empty box for all the non-broken ornaments on the floor. I blotted up the water as best I could.

Meanwhile, our vacuum motor died and the vacuum is at the shop. We do have slightly functioning back-up vacuum and I found that little stair attachment and cleaned up the strewn pine needles and ornament shards as best as I could.

I wasn’t that upset about it — what can you do? But I was bummed that I haven’t even put up a tree in years and this year we would actually have company to see it. And then it looked like a disaster.

The other side doesn’t look quite as bad. I don’t know what happened. It must have gotten bumped or settled and leaned too much. It could have been a ghost.

If you want to keep track, I will add that our exhaust heater fan in the bathroom also broke this month and we had an electrician over who was super nice but also had a sharp eye and pointed out every problem with our house that is related to electricity. So lots of fixing happening with us.

Cookie fight: Yoda v. Bat Boy.

I think I finally fixed my website so that when you comment, I will get a notification in my email. This has been broken forever but yesterday I spent the afternoon trying to fix and/or modify a few things.

My plan for New Year’s Eve is to eat leftovers and watch Band of Brothers. I just started it this week and wow — it is terrifying and really good. It originally aired in 2001 so I’m finally getting caught up.

Happy New year. Hope all your wishes come true.

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The Sky Is A Hazy Shade of Winter

I forgot to post last weekend. Oops.

I haven’t been taking any photos lately. I was going to run out and get some “grim images of winter” in the yard but instead I pulled out these pretty flowers.

I learned this summer that I have been growing sunchokes (also called Jerusalem artichokes) and didn’t know it. Here’s an article about how to grow them.

I did nothing.

They showed up in my yard on their own and I have been angrily digging them up year after year and composting them only to find they always return. By the time I found out that this was an actual food thing that I would like it was late in the season and I’d lost interest in yard projects but I should have a bumper crop next year.

I like to buy these dried mushrooms at the grocery store. Earlier in the month when I was there I searched high and low and could not find this product in any of the usual and accustomed places.

I finally found someone to ask and this woman told me that NO ONE ever bought it and they were always having to throw the old ones away. She reiterated more than once that NO ONE bought it. I told her that while I understand I am only one customer, I am not no one.

That really annoyed me.

Also, last time I was there I found the product so I don’t know what her deal is.

I was trying to be on top of it and ordered our xmas cards over Thanksgiving weekend. About 2 hours after I ordered them I received an email telling me that I could come pick them up.

I waited until my next trip to the grocery store and went to the photo section which was being manned by a very nice young man, who had to be baked. Really laid back. He handed me a packet of about 17 cards which was significantly less than I ordered.

After a lot of, Whoa. And, Hm. And, Sorry ma’am, he remembers that our order broke the printer. He showed me it on the floor packed up in a box. Did anyone call me? No, of course no one called me, otherwise I wouldn’t be there.

Whoa. Hm. Sorry ma’am. I thought they called you.

To be clear: none of this annoyed me. I thought it was hilarious. If I could, I would be hanging out talking to that kid still, eating Doritos and exchanging quotes from our favorite movies.

I had to go back and get the rest of the cards on my next visit.

We’re staying in town for Christmas. I’ve got everything wrapped and ready. I’m decorating the tree and making cookies this afternoon.

Merry Christmas. Happy Hanukah. Have a great week whatever you celebrate.

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Worth Trying Once

I am not a breakfast person but I tried a local restaurant that is known for its breakfast and features long lines.

One of the items on the menu was called a frittwich and it was a breakfast sandwich made with an apple fritter. I described the menu item to some friends who take donuts very seriously to see what they thought.

They thought I should try it and get back to them.

I finally revisited the restaurant and gave it a try. It’s a fried egg and cheese and the server recommended adding bacon. Who is going to say no to that?

The first three bites were mesmerizing but the effect wore off fast and after half it was too sweet and weird. I worried how my digestive system was going to treat me and gave up. Overall, it was worth trying but definitely don’t need to do it again.

My digestive system hung together but exhibited some unhappy confusion over what I had done to it.

I’ll be back to posting less frequently. I hope to do more Priscilla recipe testing in the future and will post any gems I find.

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Party Mix!

I didn’t realize there were so many variations of the party mix made from cereal. I wish I could ask about the origins of the recipe name, “Some.” Looks delicious. I can’t eat crunchy things with my braces so I’ll have to wait for next year.

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All The Puddings

Look at all these pudding recipes from the really old cookbook.

Carrot pudding! Kinda tempting.

The Internet says hard sauce is more like a spread.

And look at this Indian Pudding – how not P.C. (I’m not offended.) And it calls for Indian meal which must be corn meal. Just for kicks I put “Indian meal” in my search engine and came up with Tandoori Chicken and Aloo Gobi.

Loretta is Bob’s great aunt, also known as Lolla.

I feel like I tried a variation of this recipe once with not good results.

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Shrimp Salad

This was my big Thanksgiving test recipe but the plan has changed so I’m not making it today. I might make it tomorrow but not sure.

This isn’t the exact recipe. This one is from the ancient cookbook. My sister-in-law has the more recent recipe card.

It’s tomato juice jello with shrimp and chopped vegetables in it. You eat it with a dab of mayonnaise. I was pretty horrified the first time I saw it but it is not bad.

Big cooking day ahead but we’re going to have a fun group.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

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More Classic Priscilla Cookies

Another classic Priscilla cookie recipe that she made certain I had. I want to say that I’m inspired to try some of these for Christmas, but probably not. I’m ready to cook Thanksgiving dinner but beyond that, I’m in one of my “the less time in the kitchen, the better” moods at the moment.

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