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Tchotchkes

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Location: Connecticut, United States

marybb1@gmail.com

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


For the oven lovers

Here's last years oven which was also tres chic!

Sunday, November 25, 2007



Lucky me, I didn't have to cook Thanksgiving dinner, but was a grateful guest instead. The dining room is 261 years old -- the house is in the local historical registry because it was built in 1746. The host asked us who was president when the house was built and we were taken back for a moment until he said "King George".

The little hostess pictured in front of the stove had a run-in with a piece of bubble gum prior to us arriving. That's the pink stuff in the back of her head. The kids picked the turkey on the left as their private turkey and we adults got the one on the right.

I must post the menu as it was the most extensive one I've ever seen:

cheese and crackers
antipasto
stuffed mushrooms
nuts in shells
honey roasted cashews
jumbo southern peanuts
Lindt and Dove candies in bowls found in almost every room


Main event

turkey
sausage and apple stuffing
mashed potatoes
mashed sweet potatoes
mashed turnips
haricot verts with butter and herbs
made in front of my eyes creamed corn from cob corn, butter, shallots and cream
roasted brussel sprouts
broccoli au gratin
peas
(I'm missing a vegetable or two, maybe I'll remember)
Gravy
Snowflake rolls
Three kinds of cranberries, from a tart relish to the kind that comes out of the can with the rings of the can as cutting guides.

Dessert

Pecan pie
Cheese cake
Chocolate Cream Pie
Funfetti Cake
Apple Pie
Pumpkin Pie
Cranberry Bread

Then off to the vomitorium. Kidding

A feast indeed!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 19, 2007

My New Austerity Program

It's mighty frosty up here in the office. My fingers are so cold they don't want to type but I'm making them do it anyhow. We have been on a real austerity program lately and especially enjoying NOT using too much energy. It is fun if you think of it as a game rather than a hardship.

We are trying to see how we can affect our utility bills without suffering. For example, I would be less cold if I had more clothing on...but I'm still in my jammies and fresh from a warm, cozy bed, making the relatively cool temperature up here seem even cooler.

Gas is going through the veritable roof, holiday shopping is draining the savings account and taxes loom in January so I decided a little bit of belt tightening in one area could yield a balanced budget for the next few months.

I'm also eating from the freezer. We have two that are loaded with little packages of unknown foods. I don't know what we're going to have for dinner until the packages defrost and I can tell (usually) what it was. I know one thing, we have tons of peppers frozen, red and green. Why so many I wonder? We didn't grow any in the garden...I think they are just seeding themselves in the freezer and are a new variety that thrives on frozen temperatures and being next to rock-solid mystery meats.

"What's this?" husband asks. I look at the package and to my eyes it looks like snails. I don't recall freezing snails or ever eating, buying or cooking snails...but who knows, it looks like the "snails" have been in the freezer since Truman was in office.

"Or this?" He holds up a cream colored orb with sugar or ice crystals stuck to it's sides. "I dunno what that is or was," I say.

He holds up another package, a zip lock bag that looks like it's filled with blood. Oh, I think that's tomato sauce. He throws that onto the counter along with the snails and the orb.

"How about this?" Another package emerges from the freezer that is unidentifiable.

Hmmm. I turn the package over and try to guess what it is. It looks like meatballs that have been smashed into smithereens. I tell him that...and he adds it to the counter pile.

Now I have my ingredients for supper but god only knows what that supper might be.

A few hours later, we are enjoying a most delicious pizza with "snails" (sauteed mushrooms), "smashed meatballs" (crumbled browned sausage), with a delicious crispy "orb" (pizza dough) and (blood) home grown tomato sauce. Yummy.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Irina tagged me to do a meme: Seven things you probably didn't know about me.

I've done this before a couple of times, so I'll try to think of 7 different things you might not know or even care to know about me.

1) Once I was in the hospital for a week with a FUO (fever of unknown origin) and was tested for every disease known to mankind -- from AIDs to exotic jungle fevers to cancer. I was sick and tired of being poked and prodded and still with no diagnosis, I signed myself out of the hospital (ever the rebel) and came home. The next day I developed a horrid sore throat, went back to the doctors and was given a real diagnosis: Mononucleosis. Cripes, did it have to take that long to get that simple diagnosis??

2) Related to the above, the mono morphed into some form of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. It took me a year to feel somewhat like I felt prior to the UFO and mono. I have never been the same after that infection. (enough with health)

3) I once co-wrote and got published a short story in a magazine of male gay erotic literature. (not porn honest) Long story on how this collaboration occurred.

4) I have the heart of a hermit and the soul of a spinster; if I hadn't married at such a young age (teenager) I might have become a totally different person than I am now. I am never bored when alone and don't seek approval from others although I do enjoy others company.

5) When left to my own devices, I will choose the cuisine of a child: candy, chips, cupcakes, pizza and hotdogs.

6) My favorite winter drink is a Scotch old-fashioned. Take a heaping teaspoon of sugar (superfine bar sugar is best). Sprinkle Angostura bitters over the sugar till it's all colored red. Cut up a slice of orange and lemon and put in the bottom of the glass and add 2 cherries and some juice. Muddle the sugars and bitters and fruit then add a jigger of Scotch. Muddle some more. Fill glass with chipped ice and top off with club soda...stir. Heavenly.

7) I have written a novel and tons of poetry, composed my own songs, music and lyrics and have two self-portraits hanging in my house (can't really tell one is me) and they all pretty much stink.

There you have it, seven oddball things about me that you could have lived without knowing, I'm sure. I tag anyone who cares to share 7 oddball facts about themselves!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Spirit of Giving!

Every year around this time I pick a charity or sometimes just a certain bell-ringer in front of a store to share my grand wealth with. It's usually just ten dollars or so, but at least it's something. Not being a rich woman by any means, I'd give more if I could, because giving makes you feel good inside and also it warns off bad mojo and gives you a step up closer to the pearly gates (when the time comes, of course.)

This year my donation went to myjewelthief.com.

I purchased seven blinking jelly rings for stocking stuffers at a buck a piece, and I certainly wasn't expecting fine jewelry, but I did expect they'd work. Only 4 of the 7 worked at all (you squeeze them to make them light up and squeeze them to shut them off.) Two or three were dangerous to squeeze as a sharp metal wire? could stick you in the finger when you squeezed them...I know I got a prick from one of the little buggers. Of course you know where they were made.

With shipping, these items came to over $11. In order to get my money back I'd have to do a variety of things costing me more time, money and aggravation that it's worth and the store's return policy seems translated from Swahili and the email messages I got back when I complained were not customer friendly. The hell with the cheap nonworking rings and the eleven bucks, I say. (But if you were thinking about buying blinking rings, don't buy these!)

This year my holiday donation has gone to MYjewelTHIEF.com. Enjoy and happy holidays!

--------------------------------

All my other holiday shopping has been very pleasant and Amazon.com has gone way up on my list. (Of course, I'm still waiting for many items to be shipped -- but so far so good.) eBay has also been a pleasurable experience with no hassles and quality merchandise.

Check out "mountain-iron" on eBay for lovely metal art. Also, they were very nice and friendly to do business with which is appropriate when you are spending money, even a measly 11 dollars.

If you're looking for books, CDs or DVDs I always check out half.com first. I've bought numerous items from half.com and have always been happy with the results.

That's my online experience so far...mostly good, except some Santa somewhere won't be getting money from me this year because I already gave online.

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A great quote from Cassandra (writer who I never heard of) from the N Y Times Acrostic puzzle: TURKEY HAS PRACTICALLY NO TASTE EXCEPT A DRY FIBROUS FLAVOR REMINISCENT OF WARMED-UP PLASTER AND HORSE HAIR. THE TEXTURE IS LIKE WET SAWDUST AND THE WHOLE VAST FEATHERED SWINDLE HAS THE PIQUANCY OF A BOILED MATTRESS.

I love this quote although I do not agree! Turkey is one of my favorite things to eat...especially Thanksgiving dinner with all the lovely vegetables, nuts, candies and desserts!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Two years ago I wrote this which has somehow become a spammer's paradise. First spammers came to advertise drugs, then car insurance but lately it's all about sex...and I'm getting about 5 or 6 a day. What has called them to this one blog entry? Why no insurance spam now? Why no online drug buying spam? What's happened to the world of spamming...has it become one dimensional?

I could erase them but maybe I'll just let them pile up: a collection of Blogga Sutra extraordinaire!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

The heat -- it is a pumping.
The cats are getting fat.

November is here. I've located coats and scarves and seem to be hankering for roasts and root vegetables. We haven't had a fire in the fireplace yet, but that doesn't mean we have been toasty warm. We decided to see how long we could go without putting on the heat and made it to October 30th, but since we were having company for dinner, we couldn't freeze our friends -- so we put the heat on.

Now the spell is broken and the furnace is humming all day long.

Cat food consumption has doubled. I can't figure out why my two lazy boys decide how and when it's time to pig out.

I watched The Good Shepherd the other night and sure wished it had more dialogue...I know a person who uses eyebrow movements and lip twitches to communicate -- the movie reminded me of him. This guy also communicates by a few grunts: UH, HUH, UNH, almost everything you ask him can be answered by a shift of those antediluvian syllables. It's led to some confusion in our relationship. For ex: I've been all set to go somewhere with him and interpreted an Uh Unh as an Uh Huh...the former is a no, as it turns out and the latter is the yes.

But, at least this guy knows who Hugo Chavez is.