November 24, 2009
So, for years I have wanted a Le Creuset dutch oven. But they’re kinda expensive… but this recipe finally put me over the top. Yesterday, Mom and Dad and I were out shopping at a variety of places and stopped at Sur la Table in Clay Terrace. I now own a gorgeous, just gorgeous 6.75 quart dutch oven in Caribbean. I love it so much, I might let it sleep in my bed tonight.
So, I made Pioneer Woman’s braised short ribs and they were divine. Here’s what I saw when I lifted the lid of the dutch oven after 2 and a half hours.
November 23, 2009
One of my favorite storytellers is coming to town next week. I can’t wait to see him again. If you are interested in joining me for dinner beforehand, let me know — I am trying to round up a group of folks to enjoy the hysteria with me. You have to be sure to go to the bathroom before Bil’s show starts — otherwise you will wet your pants laughing.
“Don’t Get Too Attached to Balloons” told by Bil Lepp
Saturday, December 5, 2009
7:30 – 9:30 p.m.
Frank and Katrina Basile Theater
Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center
Advance Tickets $20, Door $25
Call 317-232-1882 or purchase tickets on-line
Storyteller and bona fide liar from Half Dollar, West Virginia, Bil Lepp could coax a smile from a raccoon. Although he is a champion liar, his hilarious, insightful stories often contain morsels of truth which shed light on subjects such as politics, religion, death, relationship and human nature.
Lou Harry of the Indianapolis Business Journal, writes, “Bil Lepp — think Jeff Foxworthy with the comedic patience of Bill Cosby…It would be very difficult …to discern the structual difference between Lepp’s antic hunting story and Woody Allen’s classic, ‘I shot a moose once’ tale.”
Bil has performed at the prestigious National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee, as well as the majority of regional festivals throughout the United States.
November 19, 2009
I got a new bed in May and finally received my new king-sized blanket. The color I selected was backordered not once, not twice, but three times. It took so long that my credit card actually expired between the time I placed the order and the time they actually shipped it, when they were ready to bill my credit card.
I have a freakish habit. My blankets have to have satin binding on all four edges so that I can run the binding through my fingers. It’s my self-soothing technique when I’m falling asleep or if I wake up in the middle of the night. I also stretch my legs out to the side and pull the blanket side in under the top sheet so I can get the satin binding all wriggled around through my toes.
So, when I opened up the box and found a king size blanket all neatly folded up, with more than 400 linear inches of satin binding, my brain nearly exploded. It was divine to snuggle up with it last night!
Anyone else have this strange habit? Or some other bedtime ritual?
November 16, 2009
I first encountered this delicious carrot souffle at a fundraising dinner catered by Thomas Caterers of Distinction. Everyone at the table marveled at what it could possibly be — some suggested sweet potatoes, and others suggested carrots. Whatever it was, we knew it had sugar and butter and was divine. A few weeks later, I was at another fundraising dinner (this was back when I volunteered a lot for those types of things) by the same caterer and was thrilled to see the souffle again. Better yet, it was a buffet dinner, so I was able to pick out the tiniest chicken breast and about two green beans, and then a whole heapin’ pile of the souffle. I probably went back for seconds. And maybe thirds.
A few months later, we encountered the recipe in a newspaper article and I have hung on to it ever since. Truly yummy!
Makes 4 to 6 servings
1 pound carrots
4 ounces butter
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
salt (to taste)
- Peel carrots. Cook in salted water until well done, drain well.
- Melt butter. Blend eggs, melted butter, sugar, flour, baking powder and vanilla; add carrots.
- Blend until mixture resembles a milkshake.
- Cook in an 8-inch greased glass dish at 275 degrees for 45 minutes or until just firm.
I imagine you could add nutmeg or cinnamon, but I’ve never been a big fan of those spices on my carrots. This is just sweet enough for me!
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go have seconds. And thirds.
So, six or seven years ago, my friends Jamaison and Dawn moved into a lovely house with a lot of mature trees. Pretty quickly, they realized they were in over their heads (almost literally!) and starting hosting a party where all their friends come over and help them rake the leaves. (For the record, Jamy and Dawn had a sneaking suspicion their friends were pretty gullible — a lot of us helped them move into that house.)
So, each fall, we gather up our rakes, gloves and blowers and converge on their house. This year, I think there were seven or eight adults and at least that many kids. We were done in about an hour and a half — not a bad deal. Then we had yummy chili, hot dogs, corn pudding and brownies.
Later that afternoon, a landscaping service came and vacuumed up all the leaves that we had piled by the curb.
I love that Dawn told me as I was leaving that I was one of the ones should could always count on being there. It’s funny because I’ve only been there two times out of five. I guess my personality is so big I don’t even have to be there for it to seem like I’m there? Wait, don’t answer that….
November 5, 2009
I think I learned this trick at Girl Scout camp, but I don’t really remember. All I know is it is the only way I can ever get rid of hiccups — forget about a spoonful of sugar, being scared, or holding your breath. Have a drink of water upside down!
It’s a little tough to document this with pictures when you are the only in the house with opposable thumbs (the cats were not much help), but here is my best attempt.
First, pour yourself a glass of water.
Then, put your mouth on the rim opposite the side close to your body, so your chin is sort of in the glass and your nose is on the outside of the far rim. (I once said to someone, “Drink out of the other side” and they just turned the glass around.)
Bend over at the waist, holding the glass normally.
Once you’ve bent over, tip the bottom of the glass toward your body and pivot your head to the floor until the water level reaches your mouth. Go slowly so you don’t get any water up your nose — the first time you try this, you might just take a small sip. Take a couple of swallows of water and I promise you’ll be hiccup-free!
Maybe I should clean the pantry out a little more often. When I got home on Friday night from Run Like Hell, looking like a drowned rat and having had only a banana and some soggy cookies for dinner, I thought a bowl of soup sounded like a great idea — not too heavy for a late dinner, and nice and warm. So, I checked my pantry. There were three cans of chicken noodle soup in varying sizes. My gut told me though, that I should check the expiration dates. Indeed — March 2007, November 2007 and January 2008. And this is November 2009. So, um, I did not have soup for dinner.
November 3, 2009
Friday night I timed a race after work — Run Like Hell. I think we’ve done this for five or six years the Friday night before Halloween. I’m not much for wearing costumes myself, but I always enjoy seeing what people think they can wear while running three miles. Last year, the best costume was a guy in a 17-pound jack-o-lantern. It had to smell pretty gross in there. Another of my favorites was in the group category the first or second year — imagine running three miles on a narrow path wearing a school bus (my favorite part was that the headlights actually worked!):
This year, it was sprinkling just a little bit when I left the office at five to head over to the old Washington Street Bridge in White River State Park. By the time I got there, it was drizzling steadily, so I pulled out the raincoat. After setting up for a few minutes, it was raining a bit more, so I pulled on the rain pants. (After the 2008 Chicago Half Marathon, when it rained for 42 hours straight and I was outside in more than 10 of those, I vowed never to be caught by surprise again.) I set up the 10 by 10 tent and put the small table for my computer right in the middle, thinking the wind might blow a few sprinkles but that I should be okay.
By the time the race started at 7 p.m., it was seriously raining, and it only got worse — the wind was whipping things around like crazy and some random stranger (and he WAS strange) had taken shelter under my tent and was holding the whole thing down (this despite it being anchored to Phil’s truck, a generator, and a marine battery, as well as being staked at all four legs). Eventually, I stretched the cords a bit and took refuge in the truck to finish crunching results. We canceled the awards ceremony and sent everyone home (not that anyone was still there!)
Here’s one photo Don took, and captioned, before it got really bad.
You can see more great photos by Jeff Coates at his Web site. You’ll get a good sense of how windy and wet it really was! It had to be one of the top three most miserable races I’ve timed. However, thankfully the temperatures were in the 60s or we would have been freezing as well as totally soaked!
November 2, 2009
I have a gorgeous red maple in my front yard, and it never seems to hold its fall colors long enough (just like the crabapple never holds it spring blooms long enough — what’s up with that?). One day last week, I snapped a few photos, and I’m glad I did, because the rain we had Friday totally wiped out all the leaves. I spent a couple of hours on Sunday raking and blowing them all into the wooded area behind my house.