Tuesday, February 27

Book Lust

I have book lust!

So what better place to look for help than Book Lust for answers? Or perhaps the sequel, More Book Lust. What could possibly be better than Lust? How about More Lust?

Sounds perfect to me. In the meantime, I've started reading one of the two books I've bought for Bruce for the last two major holidays. Namely, Lisey's Story. It's drawing me in, but then again, I'm an incurable Stephen-King-aholic, so that's to be expected.

Sunday, February 25

Apple Pie

Last week sometime during one of my (suddenly frequent) trips to the grocery store, I bought a bag of Macintosh apples, for pie. Never mind that I'd never baked a pie before. Nevermind that I didn't really know how it was done. My new phillosophy with cooking is that people did it for centuries without cookbooks, it can't be all that hard.

Turns out, it's not. Basically, I looked at the recipe in the old Fannie Farmer cookbook I borrowed from my Grandma's house, and fudged it. I think it turned out ok.

Apple Pie

2 pie crusts (I bought mine at the store, but next time maybe I'll make them from scratch.)
A few apples, preferably ones that are good for baking. (I think I used eight. Enough to fill up the pie crust in a pleasing manner.)

1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (Which is actually just ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon, and the recipe called for nutmeg, but I didn't have any nutmeg, so I used this, and it's good.)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Place the bottom crust on the pie pan, taking care not to touch it too much. (When you touch the crust, the heat from your hands melts the shortening in the crust, and then the crust loses it's flakiness.)

Mix the sugar, spices, flour and salt in a bowl. Peel and slice apples, and coat them in the sugar mixture. (I had too many apples and not enough coating, so 3/4 of the way through, I embellished the sugar mixture with a handfull of this and a pinch of that to get more, and mine turned out ok. This isn't as hard as it looks.) Then put the coated apples into the crust.

Put the other pie crust on top, fold the edges under and press them together, either with your fingers or a fork. Cut slits in the top of the pie, and then brush the top of the pie with an egg and sprinkle with more granulated sugar. Bake in a pre-heated 425* oven for ten minutes. Turn heat down to 350*, and bake for another 30-40 minutes.

(I've read that if you want to make sure you have a crisp pie bottom, you should brush an egg white on the bottom of the crust before you fill it. I forgot this, naturally, until just after finishing the pie. Oh well, next time.)

Sunday, February 18

Sundays are for Cleaning -

and Oh, How I Wish the end of that sentace wasn't "Up dog turds." But it was, and it got done (you're welcome, neighbors!) and our driveway is negotiable again. Without stepping on any turd-stones.

I'm slow-cooking some pork shoulder right now, and I'm looking forward to eating it. (It's a simple recipe I halfway found and halfway made up. Basically, you put pork shoulder and some broth - I used beef - in the crock pot with some chopped onion and a clove of garlic all day long, and then you add a bottle of BBQ sauce - or make your own, which I'm not doing today - and then shred the pork and put the pork and the BBQ sauce and the broth in a shallow pan in the oven and bake at 350* or so for 1/2 hour uncovered, so the sauce sticks well to the pork. I'll let you know what I think, but I'm prematurely calling it fantastic.) The hard rolls they sell at Pick'n Save are the best, so that's what we'll be eating pulled pork from this evening. I bet you're jealous, aren't you? I would be.

I'm pretty excited, because this week I got the crock pot, and it's something I've been wanting for over a year. There are just so many things that I feel like I could make now. I'm definitely more confident about making meat in a slow-cooker, because of how well meat responds to low and slow cooking. I hope I'm not making that up, and that it's an actual fact.

Well, those of you who know me well will be shocked, but I'm going to go take a bath now. I like taking baths now. I hope your week is fantastic!

Wednesday, February 14

Overheard on Local Walmart Loudspeaker:

"Attention Walmart shoppers. The time is now 8:45PM. In accordance with city statute number 42, we can not sell the alcohol after 9PM. Please make your final selections and bring them to the checkouts at this time. Thank you."

You heard that right. The alcohol.

PS: That post from yesterday? Lets just say that I hope that most of the drunken emails I sent out made as much sense as that post, and the one that didn't was sent to Devin. That's all I'm saying about that.

(Sorry again, Devin.)

Tuesday, February 13

New to Tonight:

The guy across the street from us is actually pretty cool.

Actually, he's probably too cool for me to hang out with, if I were abiding by natural selection and the order enforced by my high school prom committee. You know the type. After knowing my type (very uncool, and also slightly worried too much), and his type (moderate cool, involved in sports/leisure activities), it's astonishing to think that we might end up friends.

Did I tell you we're moving to Seattle next winter?



S:  So, are you ready for coffee and... more coffee this morning?

L:  Yeah.  When do you want to meet over there?

S:  About twenty minutes?

L:  That's good.  I was going to say twenty but I didn't want to rush you.  I think I'm going to wake up Mason and tell him to throw on some sweatpants too, and bring him along.

S: Cool. We'll be the Sweatpants Mafia. 

Thursday, February 8

I'm Boring Lately

I spend a lot of time thinking up new things to make, which I rarely make, and new ways in which to help myself be less crazy.  I want to spend less time worrying and more time enjoying the simple things in life.

The easiest way I've found to enjoy life more is to take the extra time to enjoy the people around me.  Sometimes, this is hard to do.  (I work in customer service.)  So I spend a lot of effort (when I'm actively trying to enjoy people, before it becomes a habit) making sure I'm understanding where everyone is coming from and being genuinely happy to see them and acting like I am when I'm not, so I trick my body into acting happy and then I trick my mind into thinking I'm happy... it goes on and on like that.  You can see why I don't feel like talking about it constantly.  The running commentary in my brain is enough, trust me.

I've been researching making my own lip balm, and while it seems interesting and fun, it doesn't sound like something I'd want to do all the time and try to make money at.  So that idea's over.  But I've decided I would like to make some from scratch as gifts for Christmas or something, maybe next year.  In the meantime, I'm going to keep knitting dishcloths (count is up to 9.5), but that's about all the knitting I've been doing.  Oh wait, I lied.  I'm also knitting a  garter stitch scarf for a certain cousin's daughter.  She picked out the very soft, very fuzzy yarn herself when we were shopping, and suggested slightly heavily that she would like a scarf from some yarn like this, because it was soft and fuzzy and the colors reminded her of spring and maybe that would mean that spring would come faster when she wore it please.  So that's what she's getting.  Someday.

My cooking is improving, but other than an ambitious (for me) tomato-cream sauce last week, it hasn't gone anywhere it hasn't been before.  For the Superbowl party (us and my parents and the creatures)  I made two pizzas from scratchings (read this recently somewhere, and it made me die a thousand cute deaths, but I can't remember where I saw it, sorry), and we had veggies and dip.  

The bread baking has slowed to a halt.  I've been really tired lately, as lame as that sounds.  Maybe it's all the crazy thinking I've been doing.  Who knows.  Alls I know is I've got some loaves promised, and there'll be some head rolling all over the place should I not come through with them.  The head will be mine.  In case you were wondering.  I also found a springform pan in some stuff, and I'm wondering what one makes with such a device.  I'm too lazy right now to look it up.  Is it cheesecake?  Does one make cheesecake with a springform pan?  I'm guessing it's something like that, but I'm miles away from cheesecake.  Making cheesecake will take (above anything else) a desire to eat cheesecake.  I'm not really a cheesecake sort of girl.  Maybe Bruce will want cheesecake someday.

My work is sort of sucking lately, and it's something specific I don't want to talk about on here.  If you're curious, you can always email me to hear me vent.  It's a couple of things that are sort of specific.  A few nights this week, I've come home and taken a bath to relax.  I'm becoming bath-dependant.  I'm concidering billing my gas bill to Workman's Comp.

So!  I was looking for something fresh to do.   Any ideas?

Thursday, February 1

Where to Start?

Oh, I know! How about with the "secret" that I failed to post in my last attempt? I think it involved homemade pizza sauce, and the addition of paprika. Our second pizza (the one with paprika in the sauce) was better than the first, at any rate, but it might have been the cheese. That fancy mooot-zerella might be cool and authentic, but my tastes in cheese run more along the lines of a Wisconsin Cheddar. So that's what I added.

I put three coats of lotion on my face today. The winter has been dry indeed.

I had an interesting conversation with Hannah last weekend. Here is her part of the conversation:

Wow! You have big boobies! Those are for feeding babies.

You should have some babies.

Maybe you're too young to have babies.

Can you have babies?

Are you still having... [voice drops to stage whisper] The Blood?