Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Ahem. Another brother and his wife will be visiting this weekend. They won't be sleeping here, but I expect them to be in and out quite a bit, with dinner planned here for Friday night.

I am scrubbing my white-painted cabinets after, ah, considerable neglect.

So, how about a musical number?:

Monday, March 30, 2009

Lucy's video of her "desire dance" is running toward 3,000 views. A commenter there suggests that we go see Nisha playing basketball. Here we go:

And here's a nice one of Nisha doing a trick with her canine "siblings":

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Well, by gosh, ain't that cool?

I pureed that pot of soup in about two minutes of interrupted use, washed the blade, don't see any melting or cracks in the plastic blade housing.

I couldn't have set the food processor up in that amount of time. I have to bring it from the pantry, take out the excess parts, set the proper blade, then start the puree process.

Gee, I might have a new kitchen buddy.

UPDATE: As for the cauliflower soup? It might be good with absolutely top-notch ingredients, but we'll leave it off. We used a boxed chicken stock and 18 buck a pound parmesan. The cauliflower tastes better roasted.

No more Dave Lieberman recipes. He was a private chef. He either had access to top-notch ingredients, or cooked for the sort of Northern toothless gentry who never gave a damn what they ate in the first place and possibly had poor digestion. Or both. Doesn't matter. He's fired here.

Those women, of course, like Helen Gurley Brown, barely eat at all. Maybe a portion of poached fish with a naked salad. (Yes, I know she's not proper gentry.)
This recipe is in the Cuisinart SmartStick reviews at Amazon. I'll store it here.

Garlic Soup

Into a covered skillet place:
one head of garlic unpeeled
10 baby carrots diced
one potato diced
5 pieces of cauliflower
Put plenty of EVOO over all the veggies and the garlic.
Put in oven at 300 degrees for 1 hour.
Remove from oven -let cool- squeeze garlic out of paper skins and discard skins.
Put all into a 2 quart boiler with 2 cups chicken or beef broth and simmer 10 minutes. Using your stick blender reduce everything to a pureed soup. Note if you want a thicker soup reduce the amount of broth or add a cup of cooked rice and puree. Add salt and pepper---Enjoy!Optional:1/2 tsp cumin and 1/2 tsp cayenne.
Let's talk about kitchen stuff.

First, the circuit board on the Jenn-Air double oven has gone out again and the right hinge on the top oven needs repair. It's not ten years old and cost over two grand back in 2000. Now circuit boards I can understand, but I've never heard of a hinge going bad on any oven except from my brother, who had the same problem with the narrower version of the same oven. We (Lyman, myself and my brother) plan to never buy Jenn-Air anything again. This was supposed to a one-shot deal that would see us through decades.

The two Forschner Fibrox knives that we bought in November, this 7" santoku and this 10" chef, are pleasures to use. They sharpen nicely, and their light feel is a real plus for me. I put up my Calphalon and never reach for the comparable Henckels anymore.

Yesterday we caved and bought an immersion blender because we want to try this recipe. I'd like to look into more cream soups, too.

We've considered one time and again but finally jumped. I read hundreds of reviews and wound up buying this one because it was the only one on the shelf at Walmart or Kmart. I didn't want to pay the price at Belk's for something that I want to try out. So we'll see.

UPDATE: A note on these immersion blenders -- parents love them for making baby food, and one pet owner uses his to make a wet food for a cat who has lost his teeth.

Then there's the poor soul with the wired jaw. And soapmakers. Who knew there were so many soapmakers?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

"Eagle, weagle."

Some people can talk their greys into an "eagle" stance, with the wings spread and the head lowered as befits a large predatory bird.

We aren't making much progress here. But Charles Gore can say "eagle."

Many times. Everyday.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

We made this recipe, and it is the blandest thing that has come out of our kitchen in ages. How you can use so many spices and come up with something so dreary beats me.

But I love this 4-star review:
Okay, the reviews alarmed me, but with a few changes, this recipe is delicious. I used 1 tablespoon curry, 1 tablespoon garam masala, a rounded 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne, and I nixed the rest of the spices. I used about 2 cups whole milk yogurt, but no half and half. I added 2 large tomatoes (pretty!), seeded and chopped. I finished it with a bunch of chopped cilantro and served it over brown rice. So good.
Laurie, hon, that's a different recipe.

We made it in concert with another recipe on the cooking show and never looked at the reviews. It was panned.

I've found that I'm not crazy about cream-based Indian food except for some soups. Give me my vindaloo anyday.

UPDATE: And that $15 liter of olive oil that I bought in Jackson today? Rancid. Down the drain.

And the old gentleman, my father-in-law? In swift decline. Death is not imminent, but coming.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I washed and pressed that dress to take to Girl so it might distract her some.

Her 89-year-old husband of 67 years marriage is in the hospital in Jackson with heart problems that the doctors can't do much more for than medicate.

All done.

Need more fabric.

This particular fabric dries quickly on a rack. I was waiting for the household dryer, and it half dried in the half-hour I was waiting. It was completely dry in ten minutes in the dryer.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

How is that dress coming?

The sleeves are in and the placket and facing are done. Now I need to gather the neckline (remembering to measure properly), attach the bias band round the neck, attach the snaps, add the pockets and hem.

I'd say machine sewing the bias over the gathers is the hardest thing left. It's easy to overlap those gathers in the stitching.

Then, of course, there's matching up those snaps.

UPDATE: I bought a SnapSetter, known at my house as "Whack-a-Snap," and find the plier ("gripper snapper") from Dritz more convenient.

I ran into some problems on the last snap, and think it must have had to do with the snaps themselves. Both tools left two sharp prongs on the perimeter of the bottom part. Three tries past, a set of parts from a different batch worked fine.

Friday, March 13, 2009

It's to be a rainy, cool weekend, so I'm planning to sew Girl's next duster.

I don't mind the sewing, but chasing my fingertips with the steam iron on folds always gives me pause.

Even on such a simple garment there are plenty of folds as I'm doing a "clean finish" on the seams.

UPDATE: Now where did all those pins go? I know I had enough pins in the cushion to pin down all the pattern pieces last time.

And, do they make the tiny drop-headed pins in metal anymore? I only see the round glass- or plastic-headed pins. Not a big matter, I have a box of flat-head pins.

Today I bought another pin cushion and a pair of small scissors for trimming threads to keep next to the machine. Last time, I was up, down and all around searching for one or the other.

"Pin cushion" -- that looks and sounds downright archaic.

NOTE: Cut the interfacing on left front to 1-1/8" 1-3/8", trim cloth facing, fold and stitch down.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My Valentine bouquet is late this year. How I love tulips.
If I were a trendy girl, I'd jump on this bag.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Did a quick turnaround to Jackson today to find out that the two spots on my brother's lungs are not malignant or otherwise threatening, and the Hodgkins appears to be in remission. He finished chemotherapy treatments in December. He'll undergo monthly monitoring for a while.

Finally, he can get on with cataract surgery. That was planned long before the major breakdown last year at this time, and has been put off. The steroids used in his treatment made them worse.

He's eager to be able to read and drive again.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Good grief.

If you're going to run a sequence of famous mother-daughter lookalikes, how can you exclude Laura and Jenna Bush?

Diana Ross and Tracee Ross don't necessarily even look related, except for the hair.