Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Even A Small Kitchen Has Room For A Rice Rinsing Bowl

I love cooking gadgets, but since I have never had a large (or even medium sized) kitchen, I have edited my collection so that what I do have works really well.  One of the more unusual things I have is this Japanese Rice Rinsing Bowl.  You put your rice and some water in the bowl, swish it around, and then pour the water out, right through the perforations at the top.  I'm sure you can think of lots of other tasks it's perfect for.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Maybe Only For Christmas - Could We All Go Back To VCR's?

I miss my VCR.  I used to be able to tape the TV shows that I like, in the order I liked to view them.  I had a tape with all Halloween episodes of my favorite TV shows and could bring it out every Fall.  Do we think the DVD will ever be that convenient.  I know they are easier to play, but are we really ever going to be able to record?
And then there are my Christmas favorites (everyone who knows me knows that I am crazy for Christmas movies - and plays, ballets, dishes, lights, foods, etc) - is Bernard and the Genie even available anymore?  I recorded my copy from PBS until I could find a copy to buy.  And the best of all versions of Dicken's A Christmas Carol, the Muppets one.  And Miracle on 343th Street - I prefer the oldest version, colorized.  Or Love Actually - which I like better when recorded from network TV, since they take out all that nudity and swearing that the British seem to think necessary, but that makes me slightly uncomfortable.  So, do I have a point today?  I don't really think so - just a bunch of ramblings.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Unexpected Garden Success

My little garden plot just keeps on producing - Marigolds, Okra, Leeks, Thyme, and Cherry Tomatoes. And right in the middle, my son Zach in his Halloween costume - The Master, from the classic horror disaster of a movie - Manos, Hands of Fate.  It really is the worst movie ever made, but the costume from it is great.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Is That A Hot Dog?

Just a few more cute dog costumes from Saturday.  And photographic proof (for my Californian friends) that gas is actually below $3 per gallon.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Saturday Chili Cook-Off

 There was a Chili Cook-Off in Owasso (just north of Tulsa) today.  The guy with the Chili Pepper pants standing next to John, is the owner of the sports car with the Mr Chili plates.  We sampled tons of Chili and Barbecue.  And then voted for our favorite. Mine was the booth with the Frito Pie, something I had never experienced before moving to Oklahoma.  Now I'm hooked.  Here's how you make it - open a bag of Fritos, ladle in some Chili, add Cheese, Jalapeños, and maybe some Onions.  Done!  (Except for the Tums.)

There was also a Costume Contest for Dogs - but that guy in pink is really a pig, not the great costume I originally thought it was.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Mysterious Stranger In The Hawaiian Print Blouse

Got any idea who this is?  Well, neither do I!  John at least admits to it being one of his family's pictures, so I don't need to rack my brain anymore.  Not that it is logical for me to have considered that it might be a picture of someone from my family.  Since the plane crashed into my grandparent's house in the 1960's, we don't actually have any old pictures.  And you have to admit that this one OLD picture.  But my point, and I do have one - is that if you have any old pictures without anything written on them, and you have even the faintest idea or guess about how might be in the picture - write it on the back.  Because, otherwise you might just as well throw them away, which is what I am going to do with this fine, handsome woman's picture.  
Oh, and don't suggest we ask any of my husband's other relatives, because (other than our children who don't have a clue who this is) he doesn't have any.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

How Do I Love Halloween - Let Me Count The Ways. First, The Are The Costumes

 Manos, Hands of Fate is a totally terrible movie.  Supposedly made to prove that it didn't take that much money to make a horror film - I think?  But even cheesier than the dialogue, were the costumes.  This is a copy of the one worn by "The Master" - and yes, those are actually big red hands decorating the front.  My son, Zach, wanted to dress up as the character for Halloween.  Anyone who knows me, knows that I love to sew costumes, and I make really good ones.  It was a little hard to suspend my normal perfectionism, but it was necessary this time for authenticity - since the low budget of the movie extended to the costume construction.  Other than that, it was pretty easy.  Good Times!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

I Didn't Think Anything Could Make Me Dislike My Chanel Nail Polish, But Their Ad Agency Is Sure Trying!

Well, just in case you thought I was kidding about my history of producing terrible pie crust, my mother actually called me to congratulate me on that edible victory.  While we were talking I mentioned the new commercial for Chanel featuring Brad Pitt.  Specifically Chanel No.5.  Now why Brad Pitt for a perfume?  Isn't he famous for having the worst bathing habits of any star?  And consequently the worst body odor?  But putting that aside, the actual commercial is (to me) the worst I have ever seen.  The dialogue is ridiculous and he looks like a bum someone picked up and tried to dress up.  He looks like a blond Billy Rae Cyrus.  (Or whatever Miley Cyrus' dad's name is?)  Feel free to disagree!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Beautiful Pie

Made a Lemon Meringue Pie for dessert tonight.  Got the highest compliment on my crust I have ever had, an amazed utterance from my husband saying, "It's not terrible!"  And then he said it could actually qualify as "good".  Wow!  Pie crusts just aren't my thing - I make a great filling, but never mastered the art of the crust.  When John's mother was alive, that was no problem because she made the best crust anyone has ever eaten.  (Seriously - every single person who ever tasted one of her crusts agreed that there was none better.  She had a trick where she would wrap wet muslin strips around the top edge, since her crust was so flakey that that was the only way to keep it together until it was done baking.)  So she would always whip up a crust and I would fill it.  What fun it was to serve a pie and not have everyone just scoop out the filling and leave the crust like a sectional view of the Coliseum.  I'm sure you all wonder what made me even attempt a crust - well, I hadn't planned on it.  I bought a ready made crust in it's own pan and whipped up the filling.  Just before I was about to pour in the lemon curd, I noticed that this crust was particularly lively,  At least 10 tiny bugs were racing around on the surface.  Do you think it must have been "organic:?  

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Upside-Down Plane And Big Metal Outdoor Men

Drove north with John last week and on the way, tried to stop at every small airport to make sure they were using products sold by the company he works for to filter their fuel.  This tiny airport in Nowata, Oklahoma didn't have any fuel, but this was the best looking of all their planes, so probably didn't need any!

  I just can't resist big metal outdoor men - this Swiss cheese trio was in Omaha in front of a Famous Dave's Barbeque.

Friday, October 12, 2012

I Couldn't Stop Chatting, Even If It Was Bad For Me, So Why Would I Complain About Smokers Who Can't Quit?

Not everyone who knows me know that I am the least allergic person (verified by the allergy clinic in Seattle) ever seen.  So why was I sent to the Allergy Clinic?  Because I'm allergic to cigarette smoke.  I actually had to leave a federal government job because at the same time that they were regulating the smoking in everyone else's workplace, they were eliminating all non-smoking workplaces from the Federal Building in Seattle, because the smokers were complaining that their area was way too smoky without some non-smokers.  (I promise that I am not making this up.)  But this is not a problem for me these days, because 99% of American smokers are incredibly polite, and many never even smoke in their own homes.  (Even Europe has become more careful about the health of non-smokers - I have no problem when traveling these days.)  But last Friday night at a wonderful outdoor charity event for Southwest Airlines, I ran into the other 1%.  And it was a work affair, so I had to be polite, when one of my husband's customers sat down at our table and smoked while we were eating?  Who does that?  There were 100's of people there, and we just happened to get one of the only 3 people who were smoking attach himself to us.  Then there was the woman who lit up in a stall of the (only) tiny bathroom.  The 3rd one was a woman who brought a baby with her.  My point, and I do have one, is that I have been having trouble with my sinuses brought on by extreme exposure to smoke, and it is so tiring!  Every night, when I sit down to write a little and read other people's stuff, I find myself falling asleep.  But when my sweet daughter notices that I have not updated in a week, I guess I'd better do something about it.  Like writing in the afternoon?  It just seems wrong to waste the daylight.  

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Tulsa State Fair Food - Yes, That Booth Really Does Sell Deep Fried Snickers Bars Wrapped In Cotton Candy!!

   This what a Funnel Cake looks like.  It's name comes from the fact that it is batter dropped into hot oil from a funnel, which is moved quickly over the oil, forming a dense circle of ribbons of deep-fried dough. They even make a Red Velvet Funnel Cake with a Cream Cheese Glaze.
And, of course, the original Fair Food - the Corn Dog, a hot dog on a stick, in a cornbread batter, deep-fried.  This year, you had the option of having yours dipped in chocolate.  No, not even if I was very, very hungry!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Chai Tea Banana Smoothie

John thinks we should eat more Bananas for their health benefits.  And I had no idea that I wasn't very fond of them.  I always chose any other fruit, when presented with a choice, and when there is no other choice, I just skip the fruit course - but I never really noticed that unless you bake them into Banana Bread, I'd just as soon skip them entirely.  So this new Banana Consumption Regime was about to end before it even began for me.  Then I discovered the ease of the Banana Smoothie - except they aren't really "Banana" per se, since I always flavor them with some other fruit - strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, peaches.  But today, I was all out of alternative fruit and looked my True Banana Smoothie in the eye and found it unappetizing, but knew that by the time I returned from the store with rescue fruit, it would be brown sludge.  With the clock ticking, I dug through my refrigerator, when I spied my Tazo Chia Tea concentrate.  Directions tell you to mix it 50/50 with milk and either heat or serve cold.  I use way less, probably a 20/80 mix (or aternatively a 5:1 ratio, with milk being the 5).  I few tablespoons of this and I had the most delicious Chai Banana Smoothie, with just the lightest of caramel colors.  I going to make this again.  But it might be better without the Banana.  (1 cup plain yogurt, I banana, 1/2 cup nonfat milk, 2 tbsp Tazo Chai Tea Concentrate - blend until smooth and foamy.  If you like thing sweet, add sugar or Splenda, or use sweetened vanilla yogurt.)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Now That I'm Living In Oklahoma, I'm Learning New Things. Like - What Can't You Buy At Walmart?

If you look very carefully you can see my husband, John peeking out through the cornstalks that our local Walmart has for Halloween decorating.  And there are bales of hay, too.  Anyone who knows me, knows that there is no way I could get my husband shopping at Walmart and will think this picture is photoshopped.  Well, surprise - it's not!  This is the benefit of renting, instead of owning - there were no outstanding repairs or yard work nagging, to be used as an excuse to stay home.  But there is also no yard to put hay bales and cornstalks out in.  Trade-off!