Saturday, March 31, 2012

Chutney Recipe

There is a place in the Empress Hotel in Victoria, BC, Canada called the Bengal Lounge. East Indian food, of course. My first visit there was before my children were born. At that time they had a condiment bar with an amazing array of items to top your Curry. Peanuts, Chutney, Raisins, Riata, Pineapple, Coconut, and anything else you could want. So when I make Curry, I try to have at least three. Tonight I had the Chutney, Raisins, and (courtesy of the airlines) Peanuts. It wasn't homemade Chutney, but Major Grey never disappoints.

My Major Chutney Recipe
6 lbs Mangoes
6 cups Sugar
1 tbs Cinnamon
2 tsp Allspice
2 tsp Cloves
1 tbs Salt
3/4 cup Ginger, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 lb Currents
1 lb Raisins
1/4 cup Tamarind Pulp
1 qt Cider Vinegar
1 Onion, chopped (large)
1 tsp Cayenne
Boil Vinegar, Garlic, Ginger, & Cayenne for 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and boil slowly, stirring frequently for at least 1 hour.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Thank You Audrey!

When shopping with your friends at the Goodwill, it can be difficult to leave without buying anything, especially if it's cheap. Even if it's as ironic an item as this Aqua Jacket, which would have been free. I am so fond of the expression "Good Times" that I even use it as a tag for my posts. But I just don't see how this term applies to this flimsy polyester jacket. Luckily, style icon, Audrey Hepburn (Barbie edition) was looking out for us.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Sodium Thiosulphate?

Yesterday I used up the last of my stash of Ultra Swim Body Wash, which I use after Water Aerobics in Tulsa, since the possibility of finding a Salt Water Pool here appears to be nil. I can't find it, not even on the Internet. I have to find a reasonable substitute, something with Sodium Thiosulphate, I suppose, since that's what neutralizes the Chlorine. Honestly, without the quick rinse with this stuff, I can tell the difference. It's Midnight, (after getting out of the pool at 10:30 am), and I still smell like I've been bleaching the bloodstains out of a crime scene. (And not in a good way!)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wouldn't You Rather Have A Baked Potato? Twice-Baked, Anyone?

I love Sweet Potato Fries. I imagine if they are combined with Mayonnaise (Nature's most perfect food), they would be fabulous! But if you are familiar with my luck with taking a simple photograph before I have eaten up the subject, when that subject is especially scrumptious, you will know that by the time I remember to bring out the Mayonnaise, I'm looking at an empty plate. But Sweet Potato Tots with Caramel Sauce? Nope! Didn't even open the sauce. Truthfully, I was not that impressed with the Sweet Potato Tots that Sonic is featuring currently.

Now I am under the impression that I love regular Tater Tots, but it's been so long since I've had one, I could be wrong. There is just no reason to use up my junk food allotment on them. If I'm planning on combining potatoes, fat, and excess salt, I'll have a heavily buttered baked potato with bacon, maybe even a Twice-Baked one. Since John is still in Boston, I'll have to do that for dinner. Or lunch, or breakfast. No rules apply when cooking for one!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Dinner For One

John is out of town and I have had an awful day. Usually I make sure to do really fun stuff and rather enjoy my alone time. But I wasted my morning trying to get my son, Zach, tickets to Comic Con. (You can read about it at the end of the post**, but I suggest skipping it. I only wrote it for therapeutic relief.) My husband informed me that we have no one to perform the ceremony for Amanda's wedding. Even the Internet Ordained Friend that John thinks would be fine, but I know would have half of my family - including me - boycotting, isn't available. And when I went to get the Medicinal Ice Cream to relieve my symptoms, they were out of the correct flavor. So I got 3/4 pound Sirloin Steak, ground, made one huge burger with Farmhouse Cheddar, picked up some Sweet Potato Tots from Sonic Drive-in, and a Cherry Mash Candy Bar for dessert. (At least I got my "Tip Once A Day For Lent" thing accomplished.) (Sonic gives you Caramel Sauce to dip the Sweet Potato Tots in - but although I was pretty sure this day couldn't get any worse, I still didn't want to chance it.) That Cherry Mash Candy Bar is some kind of regional thing that I had never experienced before a Pot Luck (I love Pot Lucks!!) when Joni made it for her dish. When she found out that it was new to me, she brought me one of the bars to Line Dancing. She told me that they sell them at some Country Store on Old Garnett and 116th. Thank Goodness, a real address, not the usual "two blocks past where (fill in the blank) used to be". They might replace Medicinal Ice Cream and Sirloin Steak- they are that good! And I know where to buy them. Day saved!

**What a lousy day!! The Saga of Comic Con ticket got continued today with the Super Secret link sent to those of us who missed out on tickets the first time, due to an untested failed link to the "waiting room" where we were given a number that told us how many people were ahead of us in line for tickets. Complicated - right? Here's what is so upsetting - if you went right to the Comic Con Registration page of their website, there was the button to click on to get to the waiting room. If you used your super secret link, it took you to the same page that could have been accessed directly without wasting time using that link. Since the difference between getting a ticket and not is a matter of seconds - wasting the 20 to 30 seconds using their link means you won't get a ticket. Once again - if you did what the Comic Con people told you to do, you probably didn't get a ticket. If you just googled Comic Con and followed the Google link to their registration page, you got in line ahead of everyone who did what they were told to do. And I knew it!! But stupid "rules follower" that I am, I still did what they told me and missed out. And for this, I stayed home from Water Aerobics.

Monday, March 26, 2012

One Step Closer To Pesto!

Last night was the first night that my seedlings spent outside. (Even the ones that grew from my 11 cent Okra seeds!) All night long! I'm so proud.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Everything But Frog's Legs

On a normal day, I can barely be responsible for what comes out of my mouth. When out with Catherine and her boyfriend (not the best term for "the man she is in love with", but I await society coming up with a better, more concise term), it's more apparent than ever. Catherine follows any and all convoluted pathways the conversation takes, her boyfriend can add to your knowledge of any (and I do mean any!) subject, as well as coming up with a few doozy subjects of his own, and John is just so pleased with the whole harmonious vibe, that I don't even try to behave myself. So we were talking about eating Frog's Legs, one of Catherine's favorites (and my mother's, too). Her boyfriend isn't convinced, saying that she took him to the MacDonald's of the Swamp, and that the family-sized Bucket of Legs just wasn't his cup of tea. And I had to admit that I have never eaten Frog's Legs. But I am fairly certain that my grandparents served us everything else. And I remember the day I realized that my diet was not like my Mac & Cheese friend's. 3rd grade, watching my grandmother boil up something in a pan, I peeked in and noted that it sure looked a lot like a big old tongue. That's when I was introduced to the truth - that when I had a tongue sandwich, it had actual tongue in it. Oh no! Did that mean that those insects.........

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Saturday Night At Blue-Rose And Dreams Of The Philbrook Museum

Sometimes I think I should pinch myself to make sure that I'm not dreaming. That's right - my Saturday was just that good. (Keeping in mind that the last dream I remember involves me smuggling two kittens out of the Philbrook Museum, where they were working in the Mouser Division. One was orange and the other was grey, and they were delighted to climb in my pockets and skip out on their night shift. That's me - crusader for the rights of the underage feline worker. Get yourself full grown cats.) So, back to today. I spent the morning working on cards, getting some ideas for invitations for Amanda's wedding. In the evening, John and I met Catherine and her boyfriend at Blue-Rose. That's John, walking across the bridge with her. We had a lovely dinner of burgers and beer on the patio overlooking the Arkansas River, which was full of water for the first time since we've lived here. It is always fun to be around these two, intellectually stimulating and open minded at the same time. My brain tingles for a week after spending time with them. (Note to self - need to learn more about the women of China.) (Don't ask!) Then we adjourned to Smoke on Cherry, because I wanted dessert and I wanted it to be perfect. Trust me on this, since there are no pictures of the Peanut Butter Mousse Torte. It was eaten before I could unzip the camera case. I got this picture of the last few bites of Catherine's Flourless Chocolate Cake. We were at Abbie's table, where we like to be. And the Cherry on the top of this whole Hot Fudge Sundae of a day, was that Catherine brought me some of her homemade Madeleines! Nights just don't get any better than this!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Silver Lining To Dry Climate

Got too much exercise today, so that by 2, I was ready to just sit. But I also had so many things left that didn't get done during Storm Watch, March Edition. I can't help myself, when these fabulous Oklahoma storms hit, I am glued to the window watching the lightning. But no lightning today, so I decided to polish some of the silver left to me by John's mother. You might think she imagined that she was leaving it to John or her grandchildren, but we had a clear understanding when it came to the silver. She was a heavy smoker, and that wasn't doing her health any good. (While all the statistics show how many people are harmed by smoking, if you read those numbers from the other direction - my speciality - you find that there are some people who have no ill effects on their health from smoking. She just wasn't one of them.) She told me at one point that the reason she smoked was because she didn't want to live to be too old. I would tell her that I wished she would take better care of herself for John, who would be much happier if she did. But if she insisted on dying young (80), I was really going to enjoy having her silver tea service. She laughed so hard I thought she was going to choke. So here it is, in all it's fabulousness. Well, here is my favorite one. It is from Benetfink, mid 1800's and includes the tea pot, creamer, and waste bowl. Might have been one child's half of a larger set, and the other child got the coffee pot, sugar bowl, and a tray. Might not have been. Anytime I try to track down any more like it, people start offering to buy what I have. I would love to buy just a sugar bowl, since I already have this wonderful raised tray, but Bee Hive silver is not easy to find. The doily was crocheted by my cousin, Jae. She knows my favorite color, and added the Pansy's for fun. That oval tray was at the Goodwill for $1.50, coated by a thick black layer of tarnish, but shined up beautifully. I wanted it to use underneath the gravy boat during the holidays. I know I complain about how dry this place makes my skin and hair, but it sure cuts down on how often you have to polish the silver.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

My Plants Are Happy And My Shoes Are Here

Went to Home Depot last Saturday and bought a few plant related things. Specifically a bag of rocks, potting soil, pots, and a Hibiscus and Geranium. The Hibiscus was all green colored until yesterday, when this riot of orange greeted me in the morning. Here it was, raining cats and dogs outside and this plant decided to redo the living room in an Hawaiian theme. Very cheery. What an appropriate mood for the arrival of my new shoes. Cute, aren't they? I think another pair in a tan linen would be useful. I've decided I need washable Summer shoes to combat the dust. Good Times!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Too Much Lightning Can Wreck My Fitness Plans

I don't have water aerobic class when there is lightning. Can you guess why? Hint: This is a picture of the outside wall right next to the swimming pool and that is the water slide ending in the pool.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

What Woman With A Billionaire Husband Has An Inexpensive Beauty Line? No, Not Sylvester Stalone's Wife

I enjoy the Salma Hayek line from CVS Pharmacies. The hair products are great at controlling my curly hair without making it all stiff. The lipstick is wonderful all the time and the eye make-up is perfect for those times when you want dramatic Salma Hayek eyes. I wash my face with her Chamomile cleanser and the Clarisonic and exfoliate with her Wild Lime Gel, following with the AM/PM Super Cream (in the picture). But my point, and I do have one, is why on earth do I keep that inner extra seal after opening the jar? It is one more step to get to the product and the jar will be empty in a month or two. Anything else you open with an inner seal, like sour cream, peanut butter, or olive oil, that inner extra goes right in the trash. What am I thinking?

Salma is married to François-Henri Pinault, the French billionaire behind almost every luxury line except Hermès, and Jennifer Stalone sells her make up line on HSN (Home Shopping Network).

Monday, March 19, 2012

Stylin' 70's Jacket! Is There Room On Your Christmas Tree For A Snail Ball?

Can you believe this snail sphere? It was $1.50 and I still didn't buy it. But I did carry it over to a spot with more light so I could get a better picture.

I almost never see home sewn clothes at our Goodwill, so this little jacket was quite the surprise. Depending on the era, it could have been for a male or female. Most definitely worn with the widest leg pant with a wide waistband. Maybe a Marlo Thomas pattern? Remember her? Do you think the kids these days have a clue how wild the 70's actually were? Even for us inhibited types. Good Times!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

What Do You Jog In? Hint - This Is Not About Bras

I have had a few odd experiences in the exercise room of our apartment complex. (Learning that taxidermy is a craft from the woman on the next treadmill having already been reported on this blog.) Now I want to report a new surprise - some women jog in Crocs! Yes, Crocs - those holy grail of ugly shoes that weigh less than a marshmallow. If I hadn't left mine in Southern California, I would try it and report back, but there is no way I am buying another pair. The only reason I even own a pair is because of a trip to Las Vegas with a so called pair of comfort shoes that gave me terrible blisters. (Shoes behave differently in cool, wet Seattle and hot, dry Las Vegas.) I hobbled into REI to get some blister relief items and found it cheaper to buy these brown Crocs than their fancy blister bandages. And the reason they are left in Southern California is that I walk my son's dogs every morning, and I plan on throwing away any shoes that gets dog poop on them- these I won't miss. (I could try and wash them, but I'm pretty sure they'd float.)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Good Times & Not So Good Times

The best thing about Amanda's fiance Mike is how good he is to her. But a real close second is how smart he is. It's going to make her happier in the long run to have someone who is an equal. My feeling about high intelligence don't seem to be mainstream. I don't feel it is anything to be proud of, either in yourself or in your children. My stock answer to any compliments on my children's brains has been to say that I had nothing to do with it - tell me that they are nice human beings and I will feel very proud, but God hands out brains and beauty and only a fool thinks that God gave him brains because He liked him best. If you chose to, you may now begin making a list of all the incredibly intelligent people who you would hate to have around on a regular basis. For me Hugh Hefner is a must on that list.
Why am I rambling on like this? Because my heart isn't really in it today. Tillie didn't recover. This is the first time in over 20 years I haven't been owned by a cat. It just doesn't feel right.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Saint Patrick's Day Nails And The First Of The Daughter's Wedding Presents

I picked up a nice new green nail polish for tomorrow. On sale and with a coupon - actually I didn't have the coupon, but when you go to the Walgreen's cosmetics counter, they often have really good ones. Since it was already inexpensive, I decided to use an easy polishing techniques that I would never do with the Chanel since it's so wasteful. Just slap it on and after it dries, soak your nails and the polish will rub right off of your skin, leaving perfectly colored nails.

That bracelet is one of my favorites - vintage white glass. Love it! And it makes me think of Debbi whenever I wear it.

Here is the first of Amanda's wedding presents. It's from my mother and it is perfect for Amanda. She loves using mine and is so excited to get her own. This reminds me that she asked me to design some Thank You cards for her to send, but I thought I would have a little more time. One of the drawbacks to living so far from my family is that I don't actually know if the stores have delivered my presents. I have always let my nieces and nephews off the hook on the notes, because of all the wedding stuff they have to do, but mainly how hard it is to keep track of my address(es). But how do I know if anyone got missed?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Beans And Prada - New Tulsa Stuff

I had to kill a little time a few weeks ago, and stepped into my local Walmart. They were supposed to have just gotten in their Summer shipment of water aerobic shoes. No luck on the shoes, but I wandered into the garden section and decided to try something new. Planting beans from seeds. I stuck these beans in the potting soil, watered thoroughly, and put on the clear cover and left them alone. I mean really alone - as in went to California and Washington and Oregon. When I got home yesterday (just after midnight Tuesday, actually), those beans had tossed aside the clear plastic dome (it was right there on the floor beside the table) and were ready to make their escape. I just need to get a bigger pot to put them in now. I'll do that on Saturday. After that they are on their own. If they do well, I'll make my famous hot pickled beans. Perfect for adding to Bloody Marys. Or just to crunch on, for those who have taken the Blue Ribbon. (Victorian AA.) These Nasturtiums have also taken off. Bet they don't know that they are destined to be salad.

But enough about Beans, on to the Prada part. I found this neat little Prada T-shirt at the Goodwill. It is a boring little item, but feels amazing. I plan on sleeping in it - it's not a flattering enough color to wear out. I only went in looking for a pretty dish to keep my rings in. Hint: Once upon a time, they made amazing ashtrays, which are now the cheapest thing at the Goodwill. A dish that would be $4 or $5 is only 50 cents if it's an ashtray. And ashtrays are really good for keeping your jewelry from getting all mixed up. But no ashtrays today, so I got the tiny black/purple pitcher.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

And She Gave A Little Cough

My cat is limping. It's just like when the soap opera actress says, with dismay, "and then my script says - give a little cough", since she knows she will be dead within the week. She is being written out of the show. My cat, Tillie (Chantilly Lace) started limping yesterday. At 22 years old, she has been pampered to the point that she only eats kitty treats, since that's what makes her happy and they have everything she needs to survive. She's not a kitten who needs specific food for growth and she's not overweight and needing low cal foods. At 22, the vet isn't going to fix her limp. She's going to suggest we just let her go. If by Friday, she hasn't by some miracle started walking again, we will have to go see that vet. Maybe they have new treatments for 22 year old cats?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

New Shoes! Tipping For Lent Pays Off In Nuts! Milk Or Cream On Oatmeal?

Aren't all these Tom Shoes cute. I have never owned a pair, but lots of my Tulsa friends wear them, so I decided to try them on. I bought the Dark Turquoise ones that are just like the Coral and Black ones in the picture - a heavy lace fabric. And they are a Nordstrom's exclusive, so I won't see too many of them in the Nordstrom desert that is Oklahoma. They are being shipped, since they were out of my size (which is a full size smaller than my normal size, but of course the Nordstrom shoe salespeople know that. They are so good!) I almost couldn't resist the Sam Edleman Yellow Rose Ballet Flat, but I got so overwhelmed by all the cute Spring shoes, I actually forgot to go back for them.

And after so many weeks of Lent, showing up and tipping at Starbucks and Jamba Juice, etc. I had someone indulge me by giving me triple extra nuts for my oatmeal. Doesn't it look delicious? Oh, and on the subject of oatmeal. I thought putting milk or cream on your oatmeal was required, but I am finding a whole huge group of people who eat it plain. (Un-milked, that is.) I know John always has done it that way, but is this another of those Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip type of things? I understand different topping - brown sugar, nuts, Splenda, raisins, cranberries, butter, coconut - the list goes on and on. But no milk? Yes or no? (Oh yes, one of those tricky questions where voting "Yes" means "No".)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Some Things About Seattle That Never Disappoint

Some Things About Seattle That Never Disappoint - The first is of course my dentist, Dr Joseph Zimmer. And my hygenist Kristine, with the golden hair. (We decided it was the light shining in my mouth that lights up her hair.) And the office staff. I love that I see the same faces everytime for the most part. I suspected Dr Zimmer might be a little hard to work for, being as good as he is, but he must be OK, since lots of the staff stick around.

But the second is the Nordstrom's stores! Did you know that Splendid, the maker of that wonderful knit wear and silky t-shirt line, also has a shoe line? Neither did I. This Alex Bitar stuff is horribly overpriced, but still beautiful. And Dansco has a Vegan line

Pictures That Should Have Been In Yesterday's Post

I tried for a long time yesterday to get the pictures of Seattle into that post, but had no luck.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Joseph Zimmer - Dentist Extraordinaire!

I am sitting in the Orange County Airport in Santa Ana, California waiting for a flight to Seattle. I won't have time to do anything else but see my dentist and go home again. John got the ticket with frequent flyer miles and we had to coordinate with Zimmer's busy schedule, so that how it must be. Sad, since I have friends I would love to see, but happy, since I don't have to go to the trouble of finding a Tulsa dentist yet. And this guy is quite the dentist!
Dr Zimmer laughs whenever I call him "eye candy", but he really is. So he'll never see 40 again, but neither will John, and you all know how cute I think he is! He is trim and athletic and smarter than smart. He smells good - not all dentisty or even sexy - just an old Eagle Scout kind of thing. And he always says (and this is an actual quote), "I always forget how beautiful your teeth are". Attention: Any other of Dr Zimmer's patients who have been told the same thing, don't start thinking this is just a line that dentists use to keep patients coming back - I really do have great, naturally straight teeth. My best feature, after my fabulous feet. So I'm sure your teeth are really that pretty too!

Friday, March 9, 2012

You Use More Of Your Brain Teaching School Than Being A Nuclear Physicist - And You Can Have A Greater Effect On The World

Yesterday at the Disneyland ticket booth, which I only have to visit once a year when I renew my season's pass, I was entertained by the funniest woman. If you spend any time at the Disney theme parks, you know that everyone is identified by a name badge that also includes their hometown. Her name was Mary Lou and her hometown was The Bronx. I asked how long she had been in California, since she had no discernible accent. She actually said that she had not been there long enough to have lost a Bronx accent, but that her 2nd grade teacher had taught her not to speak with an accent. What I thought was that she must have had an amazingly good 2nd grade teacher - not so. It turns out that after Kindergarten in the Bronx, her family spent 2 years in West Virginia where she picked up such a thick accent that upon returning to the Bronx to continue with the 3rd grade, the school system wanted to hold her back 2 grades because they thought she sounded too dumb for 3rd grade. (Just to be clear here - we're not making fun of accents - just the fact that her teacher didn't even try to understand what she was saying. Like the comedy bit about advising your girlfriend to marry a British man, so her children would always sound smarter.) But my point, and I do have one, is how one teacher in grade school can have had such a profound effect on us as adults. I am left handed, but my 1st grade teacher, just by putting my paper on my desk on the proper diagonal, assured that I would learn to write like all the right-handers. No cramping up my hand and smearing my ink, by the overhanded hand position so many left-handers are stuck with. I'm not even sure if I'm remembering her name properly - Mrs. Macmillan? But every time I sign my name, her influence shows. (And in a good way!) So anyone know for sure what my 1st grade teacher's name was? Or have any residual effects from really good grade school teaching?

Disneyland - Entertainment Everywhere

Minnie and her Fly Girls, Phineaus and Ferb, the Dapper Dans - amazing entertainment at DIsneyland today.