Friday, February 27, 2015

Deviled Ham!

We read Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book, a young adult book in which the story is set almost entirely in a cemetery, for this month's book club meeting. Naturally, our food for the evening is funeral themed. I have the book Being Dead is No Excuse: The Official Southern Ladies Guide to Hosting the Perfect Funeral by Gayden Metcalfe and Charlotte Hayes. It is a humorous look at death and funerals in the south, and it also includes recipes for acceptable and even obligatory fare for the proper southern after-funeral events. I am making these finger sandwiches:

Instructions for absolutely heart attack-inducing fare, as are most of the recipes in the book. 

But this Deviled Ham and Cheese Spread recipe reminded me of my fondness for deviled ham sandwiches, and my children's absolute hatred for deviled ham sandwiches. The problem was that I didn't know they hated the stuff until years after they were out of school and I was no longer packing their lunches.

The school they attended in Sarasota, Florida did not have a cafeteria and as a result, students brought their own lunches and ate outdoors on a wooden stage, or they walked to the grade school's cafeteria across the street. Most of the students chose the outdoor/bring your own lunch option, hence my daughters' deviled ham sandwiches. 

HOWEVER, I did not know that a proper deviled ham sandwich included cream cheese and pimiento cheese. No wonder they hated the sandwiches and (as I learned years later) tried unsuccessfully to trade them for something better. 

Doesn't this look yummy?

Actually, it IS!!! I've been munching on it while I make the sandwiches, and Glory Be! there is some left over. Mine, all mine.

These I'll share:

And yes, they are on a silver tray.

It's funeral food. Show some respect.


(I'm curious.  How is Deviled Ham in a can a "limited edition"? The stuff has been around forever.)

Friday, February 20, 2015

So There We Were,

Sallyknit and I, sitting in our usual spots at last night's knit-night, minding our own business, swearing at knitting away on our Spectra scarves, when out of nowhere came a voice.

Have you seen, it said, what so-and-so's class is making?  It is beautiful.

We looked up long enough to say, No, haven't seen it.  What is it?

Dangerous question.  

This is what they are making:

And the shop has all of the colors in the yarn called for, the voice continued.

So, about two hours later, and after much discussion and changing of minds on colors, and did we REALLY want to make one?, Sallyknit and I (and a couple of other people) each ended up with our own collection of Rowan Fine Tweed yarns. A quite large collection.This is mine:

ooops.  Photo includes two of same color/missed one skein

Ten colors, several in each color.  

The pattern appears to be very simple, and last night we thought it said that there were only 132 rows in the whole wrap.  On size 3 needles.  We should have known better.  A closer reading today reveals that there are many repeats of the 132 rows, so, SURPRISE!

When we teased Candi, owner of the voice, about her successful evening of selling yarn, she said that "selling" is the reason she is there.

But we think she enjoyed the "enabling."

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

My Horoscope for Today

This morning's horoscope for me predicted the following:

*You will stay home today, off of the icy roads.

*You will binge-watch the remaining episodes of Bosch.

*You will do laundry, but you might not fold it all.

*You will knit on the second sock.

*You will make cornbread to have with leftover chili for dinner.

It was a surprisingly accurate and oddly specific horoscope. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

As Liz Lemon would say,

I want to go to there.

To where? To the heliport at Griffith Park, LA. This was taken yesterday of my daughter by a friend at the top of the mountain that Griffith Park and Griffith Observatory are on. LA is visible beyond the edge of the heliport. And to add insult to injury, my daughter said that it was 80 degrees and while 80 degrees is a bit warm for the five mile hike up and down the mountain, the temperatures will be freezing here for a few days. 

I LOVE this photo!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Ten on Tuesday, only it's Wednesday

There is a Ten on Tuesday thing going around blog world, and I missed out on it, and I'm not officially a part of it anyway, so here goes, even though I missed it by a day.  I think this week's prompt is "things you like or love," something like that.

1.  Nice weather, blue skies and the beach. I count them as one thing. I am not AT the beach, which I am somewhat put out about, but I do like, as in love, the beach. 
[OH! The word "beach" reminds me of a French exchange student who stayed with us when younger daughter was in high school. One day a male student walked into the cafeteria, and the exchange student said to my daughter: He looks like a man who has beaches. My daughter couldn't understand how someone who owned beaches would look any different from anyone else. After a confusing conversation, she realized that the French student was saying "B*tches" and therefore, the male student looked like a pimp. The French students seemed a bit more, um, advanced? than the students from the Atlanta suburbs; I'm pretty sure a local student's first thought upon seeing this guy would not be pimp.]

2.  A really good dentist. I was at the dentist's this morning, and his motto is that he doesn't want his patients to ever feel pain or even discomfort, so although I was there three hours ago, my lips and face are still pretty numb, which means that my mouth was really, really, really numb while the dentist was working on my teeth.  

3.  My cats. They be crazy.

4.  My trainer.  I don't love him; I LIKE him as a trainer.  As a person, he is ....unusual. He is 64, but sure doesn't look it because he trains all the time, all day long, and he looks like he's a 30-year old Navy Seal. However, as a bonus, my training provides me with a lot of drama (his, not mine). He was engaged to a woman in the Philippines until two weekends ago when he and she were "virtual married" over Skype. Is that even legal? I have no idea. He wore a tux; she wore a white dress. There was a reception, in the Philippines, so he wasn't at it but about 30 people were. He showed me his marriage certificate obtained from who knows where. She is getting a Master's degree in marketing and will move here once she finishes her courses this spring. He has been to visit her and her family several times, but I do wonder if she actually knows how old he is; she is, I believe, in her 20s. I need to keep training with him until she moves here so that I can see how it all shakes out. I hope it works out for them. He does seem like a nice guy, even if a bit...I'm not sure what.

5.  Shrimp risotto. I am making it for dinner tonight.

6.  My iThings, even though they are smarter than I am.

7.  Friends and family, of course. Goes without saying, except I am having trouble thinking of ten things and I'm hungry but can't eat yet.

8.  Ah! Airplanes. Makes going places so much quicker.

9.  Hmmm. British comedies and mysteries.

10.  Oh---Jon Stewart. But he is retiring. Rats. I don't think anyone can replace him. Maybe John Oliver, but he already has his own show. 

So that is ten for Tuesday on Wednesday.

And I usually have photos on my posts, so here is today's (random) photo:

Scrambled eggs on tostados, spicy sauce, avocados, bacon, fruit, and hashbrowns

My usual breakfast last year in Mexico.

I AM hungry.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Update, of sorts.

So far, no squirrels or birds have shown any interest in the cornbread I put out. Weird.

I didn't know that there is a mill near us!  Sallyknit mentioned in a comment on the last post that she and her husband had just been up to Nora Mill Granary over the weekend to buy---wait for it---CORNMEAL.  I had no idea the place existed, but dH and I are going there this weekend. Real, fresh coarse-ground cornmeal will be mine!

And knitting. I have been knitting easy things since I finished the sweater for my older daughter and now I am working on my second pair of socks since Christmas. I love the bright, gaudy colors:

The yarn is Trekking (XXL) in color 550, 75% wool, 25% nylon. 

I just need to finish them before spring and summer arrive. 

AND, younger daughter taught me how to get to my Instagram page, so now I can see whatever the THREE people I follow post. There are people following me, and again, what on earth do they see? I haven't posted anything except for a picture of Taylor Swift that my granddaughter put there when she was trying to show me how to upload or download (I have no idea which) photos. And there is a picture of Baxter, but I don't know how it got there. I thought that maybe Instagram imported it from Facebook, but I am told that the sites don't work that way. Whatevah!

BUT, now I find out that there is something called Tumblr. I am not, as they say, going there.

Monday, February 9, 2015


It’s a wonderful thing, “Do It Yourself,” bypassing the specialists and experts, learning new skills, impressing our friends and neighbors, and building our precious self esteem.

In my most recent DIY attempt, I made my own cornmeal! Isn’t that impressive? A friend sent me a link to a cornbread recipe in the Washington Post. The recipe included baking the bread in a cast iron pan coated with bacon grease, and the batter contained tiny bits of bacon. So far, so good. What’s not to like about anything with bacon in it?

But I read on, to the comments section, where I learned that we can make our own cornmeal out of un-popped popcorn. Imagine that! So I did. My first attempt was to use the food processor, which accomplished nothing but flinging the kernels around in the bowl.  My second attempt was to grind the kernels up in the blender, which did work, sort of, but the blender kept shorting out and I had to unplug it and plug it back in every five or so seconds. Kind of a nuisance, but I wanted homemade cornmeal, dammit.

I sifted what I had made in the blender through this spoon (beer for scale purposes) and got rid of the unground kernels.

And I made the cornbread.

Gaw-jus, isn’t it?

However, it turned out that I had no idea what “coarsely ground” cornmeal should be like, and eating the cornbread turned out to be a really bad idea. The parts of the popcorn kernels that weren’t sufficiently ground were so hard that we worried about cracking our teeth.

The rest of the cornbread is going outside for the birds, once it stops raining.  

The recipe is a good one, if you want to give it a try, and you can DIY your own cornmeal, if you know what you are doing, and if you don’t, well, you’ve been warned. If you want more fiber in your diet, it might be a way to go, but only if you don’t care much about your teeth.

Me? I’m going to Whole Foods to search for some professionally milled coarse cornmeal.  


Oh!  I almost forgot! I made my own buttermilk! Who wants to buy a quart of buttermilk only to use a cup of it? Instead, just put a tablespoon of white vinegar in a one cup container, then add enough milk to make it a full cup (8oz), wait five minutes, and you have buttermilk.  

Tah Dah!

Saturday, February 7, 2015


The Yarn Harlot once mentioned in a post that she was "tossing" her yarn, and for a brief time, readers panicked, thinking that she was throwing yarn away. ACK!  Who does that??And why weren't we invited?

Turns out, she was just going through her stash, petting it, checking it for moths, petting it, admiring it, thinking about which yarn would work with which projects, and then re-stashing it. She is Canadian, and I guess that's a term they use that means something different to US readers.

Today I "tossed" my stash and discovered that I have mostly sock yarn. I have enough sock yarn to never again need to buy sock yarn (not that that will stop me), but I decided that I need to widen my horizons. I don't want to knit only socks.

I started this toss because I wanted to find stash yarn to make Stephen West's Spectra scarf.

At knit night two weeks ago, a knitter was wearing one, a spectacular one, owing to the colors she had chosen.  So I want mine to be even MOAR spectacular, of course.  

These are some options (the solid color is the center skein):

The lighting is bad, but you get the idea.  

I had chosen the green in the second photo, but then decided to see what else there was and came up with the others.


Bonus-an old joke:

Person A:  Do you have trouble making decisions?  

Person B:  Well, yes and no.