Saturday, January 31, 2009

Tiptoe Through The Tax Statement

Tiptoe through the tax statement

Tax time! I am so organized this year. I have already entered at least 5 of the 2,456 items into my tax statement. The rest of the receipts and stuff are in a manila folder that keeps flapping at me every time I try to tiptoe past my officette.

There are several things I think I should be allowed to claim for medical purposes. I don't see a place on the form for them, so I'll just include an extra page and see how it flies:

Pedicures - I might kill myself trying to do this at home

Stacy's Pita Chips (Simply Naked with Nothing but Sea Salt) ** It's an addiction. What can I say.

Chico's Jeans - it is medically impossible for me to wear any other brand

The following require no further explanation:

Hair color

Hooter's chicken wings


People Magazine





baby back ribs


What do you think? What medical necessities would you like to be able to claim on your income tax form? I think we should be allowed to decide what 10 things we cannot live without and claim the annual dollars spent.

Dr. West's Answer to H&R Block

** Stacy's Pita Chips are delicious! And expensive. When they're on sale you can get the 6 oz bag for $2.50. When they're not on sale you can get the same bag for about $ 3.49. Way too expensive when you consider that I ate an entire bag just now while writing this post. I browsed around on the Internet and found a recipe at that got 5 star reviews from all the readers, and comments that these are better than the bagged pita chips. I'll try them IMMEDIATELY.

I would skip most of the seasonings and just put want I like on them - like maybe just sea salt or salt and freshly ground pepper. I don't know why chervil is listed - it's one of the herbs that just never makes the trip from the grocery shelf to my shopping basket. Use whatever makes you happy and then when you are addicted to them go ahead and list the cost on your 1040.

Pita Chips

12 pita bread pockets
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic salt or sea salt
1/2 teaspoon dried basil (Maybe, probably not)
1 teaspoon dried chervil (WHY?)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Cut each pita bread into 8 triangles. Place triangles on lined cookie sheet. (lined with WHAT?)
In a small bowl, combine the oil, pepper, salt, basil and chervil. Brush each triangle with oil mixture.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 7 minutes, or until lightly browned and crispy. Watch carefully, as they tend to burn easily!

You might also try separating the pitas into halves before seasoning and baking them. One half of the pita is usually thicker than the other, so bake the thick halves on one baking sheet and then bake the thinner ones on another so they all bake evenly.

What do you suppose she wants us to line the baking sheet with?????

These pita chips are supposed to be delicious! Use with humus or any other dip - or eat them plain. Or bake them when no one else is home and eat them all by yourself. Don't store them over night - they just get tough and inedible.

A little something from Dr. West to help you through tax season


Bella, That Damn Expat presented me with this extremely tasteful award. I don't recall how I happened to cross paths with Bella - whether I mooched her from someone, or she wandered over is a daze - that's neither here nor there. Bella's blog is a must read. She says what's on her mind and often talks about her growing up Catholic experiences which those of us who did can certainly identify with. If you click on the link you can read how her catechism nun thought Bella was Satan.

Thank you very much, Bella, for the award! I shall wear it proudly! I think I'll e-mail it to my catechism nun for show and tell.

I have to go back and see if there are any rules with this so I may pass it along as suggested. I'll get back with you on this. Think I'll list this award on my 1040.......

Friday, January 30, 2009

Zzzzz. Huh? Is It Postcard Friendship Friday, Marie?

Greetings from Florida, Marie! Marie, my favorite postcard person in the entire world invited us to post postcards today. I'm a bit late having forgotten it's Friday. Being unemployed and a hermit absolves me from looking at a calendar. And from remembering stuff.

Wayward Sister Becomes Pirate

This just in: My sister Janet, tired of the humdrum life of the upright, downtrodden citizen has run off and become a pirate! Aaarggh matey! Word has it she has joined Ye Loyal Krewe of Samuel Bellamy, the Prince of Pirates, and is known to her pirate friends as Lady of the Night Wear.

This picture, extracted from CIA files shows Janet with her new found pirate friend and fellow wench, Brigette. Their immediate plans are to invade Tampa later this month along with the motley Krewes of Gasparilla led by Jose Gaspar. These surly pirates and their wenches invade Tampa each year in February. They throw beads at our children, take over the streets of Tampa and Ybor City, and then when they have maxed out Debby's and Stevie's credit cards they return to their ship and leave town for the exotic realms of the Caribbean remaining elusive until they return the following year. (I'm tellin' Mom)

I am currently negotiating with the Krewe to invade Kat's place and swipe the Faberge egg she claims to have recently purchased in Belgrade while holding Bibi hostage in an armoire. I knew having a pirate in the family would be an advantage.

Congratulations on your new career, Janet. I'll admit it beats sitting home and listening to your 401K make slurping noises. I could use a few doubloons, please.

I received this delicious coffee from The Beanstock Coffee Roasters compliments of Cassoulet Cafe! CC offered prizes of two lbs of free coffee to 5 randomly chosen contestants in return for comments on her blog with a good coffee addict story.

I told CC about the time Mr. Coffee neglected to mention a recall on my coffee maker and the house caught fire early one morning while I was minding my own business shaving my armpits in the shower.

Cassoulet Cafe is a wonderful blog of humor and coffee lore served up with a steaming cup of your favorite brew! Thank you CC! This came just in time to help me weather our Florida cold snap.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sparky the Spark Saves Li'l Cindi! - Update


After a day and a half of frantic searching and even more frantic finger pointing, the missing Maltese Sapphire has been located and returned to it's frightful - I mean rightful owner, Prince Filbert of North Umberton Bobshire Peet.

Li'l Cindi enlisted the aid of Sam Spade who in turn published a list of highly suspect suspects and called on all semi-reputable detectives in Blogland to assist in the lifesaving search.

It was our very own Sparky the Spark who spectacularly speculated that the gem was in the hands of none other that Blicky the Feline . The felonious feline spent a good portion of the day plying the detectives with red herrings that put the gem in the hands of no less than 6,435 other innocent, butter would not melt in their mouth, ingrates of the bloggy underworld.

And there it was on Blicky's sidebar the entire time!

Where's My Li'l Cindi Lunchables???

And this, when our own Li'l Cindi and her Hello Kitty purse and patent leather shoes were at huge risk of being summarily dumped into the shark tank at Sea World.
If that's not enough, Janeen appears to have planted a FAKE I tell ya FAKE gem on the person of her own sick child in an attempt to collect the reward for the Chachacheen Bank. The gem was so fake that when I attempted to upload the pictures my computer just about had an attack of the vapors and I had to leave the pictures out of the picture if you know what I mean!


We are therefore proud to present this prestigious reward to Sparky the Spark. Our hope is that Sparky has seen the light, the error of her ways, the garden of good and evil and the righting of wrongs and will hithertoforth act as a good citizen and a role model for Li'l Cindi.

As for Blicky........Blicky! What is that lump under your litterbox??????

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Private Eye Sam Spade Needs Your Help!

Sam Spade looked up as his secretary, Effie Perine, shut the office door behind her. He said, Yes, Sweetheart?

There’s a girl here to see you, Sam. Says her name is Li’l Cindi.

Li'l Cindi? What kind of a name is Li'l Cindi for crying out loud.

She a customer? He asked.

I guess so, replied Effie you’ll want to see her anyway. She’s a knockout.

Well, let her in, and close the door behind you.

Li'l Cindi

Li’l Cindi was ushered into the room and made her way to the large leather chair directly across from Sam’s desk. She climbed up into the chair and arranged her skirt about her. She removed a Little Bo Peep hankie from her small pink Hello Kitty purse. Her patent leather Mary Jane’s gleamed, and the morning sun caught on her little blonde sausage curls, reminding Spade that he hadn’t had lunch yet.

Sam smiled politely. What can I do for you Miss? He asked.

Well, I uhm. It’s just that. Uh well I thought maybe you could…

Just spit it out, Honey. I’m here to help you. Start from the beginning and tell me what’s on your mind.

Li’l Cindi removed a picture from her purse and pushed it across the desk.
The Missing Maltese Sapphire

Sam’s eyes widened at the site of a gem in the grainy photograph. A large orangey, peachy, pinkish oval gem. What’s this he asked?

It’s a sapphire, replied Li’l Cindi, dabbing at the corners of her blue eyes. The Maltese Sapphire. It’s mine! I took… I mean borrowed it while I was on a cruise with Lavinia last summer. It belonged Prince Filbert of North Umberton Bobshire Peet. He let me hold it, and then he drank a buncha martini’s with his friends and forgot I had it so I put it in my ballerina jewelry box. But then it disappeared while I was on deck singing “Dancing Queen" at the karaoke contest. Which I woulda won if Janeen hadn’t been there. She sang "Muskrat Love" with her hair all Toni Tennille looking and stuff. And when I went back to my stateroom the box was empty.

Well, what happened next, asked Spade.

Well, that time we had Sherlock Holmes look for it and Stevie the Wren admitted to having it. She said she’d mail it right back to me and she did! It came in a Cracker Jack box, which was a good idea because who’d ever think the prize wouldn’t be just a stupid tattoo or something. So I put it back in my Jewelry box and this time I put a big rubber band around the box.

So, waddya need me for, kid? If you got it back okay and all.

Well, Mister Spade, I was going to take it with me to my friend Kat’s house so we could play and stuff, but it’s gone again! The box is empty. It’s gone! And the Prince sobered up and remembered I had his sapphire. He called me this morning and told me I had better cough the thing up or he’s going to take me to Sea World and throw me into the shark tank. Said he’d be in town tomorrow night. She dabbed at her eyes again with that stupid hankie.

You came to the right place, Little Lady. I’m pretty sure I can shake that rock out of it’s hiding place. Any idea who mighta snagged it, missy?

Well…… there’s a coupla of people – they were all on the cruise and they know I have… I mean had it….

Here’s some paper and a pencil. I gotta go out for a few minutes, so you just sit here and write out a list. You can write, can’t you? Better yet, go out and sit with Effie – have her type it up for you.

When Sam returned from a lunch of sausages Li’l Cindi was gone.

Effie just shrugged and said, She didn’t say. Just said she was going to do some checking around. Here’s the list. She sure runs with some characters! She says it could be any one of these. They all come over for tea parties and play hopscotch and jacks and stuff she said. They like to play hide n’ seek and make her be it, so everyone had plenty of opportunity to snatch it.

Spade shook his head in disbelief as he read the long list:

Bibi the Yank
These are some shady characters! I’m gonna need some help with this. Effie, call in some of my favors. Tell those blogging detectives to start rattling around and find this thing for me. Give ‘em the list. And a deadline. And maybe throw in a small reward to get the lead out of this operation.

I ain't gonna do this without a reward, ya know.

Effie typed up a note for delivery to Spade’s pals:

Spade needs your help finding that Maltese Sapphire.
Check the suspects. See what you can come up with.
It’s probably out there in plain sight somewhere.
We’re offering a reward.

In order to collect the reward you must:
1) Find the sapphire
2) Comment on this post with the location of the sapphire AT 8:00 PM EST on Wednesday the 28th
3) The reward will go to one of the first 7 bloggers to reply after 8:00 PM EST with the correct information. The winner will be chosen in a random drawing among the first 7 correct replies.

Reward: An Amusing handmade bracelet and earrings made with iolite, pearls, tourmaline, garnets sodalite and silver.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Hug An Australian Today!

Are you wondering why Canberra is all big and capitalized? Me too!

It's Australia Day today in The Land Down Under ( where women glow and men thunder). Depending on which side of the fence you're on, it's also called Invasion Day. This unique country, which is also a continent and a planet, was the subject of another post where we laid aside some of the mysteries - mysterious only to US citizens, actually, who as a whole are sadly lacking in geographical knowledge and even a fleeting interest of the same.

My dear friend - I'll call her Diane - is from Australia. She told me that in America the holiday is called Hug an Australian Day. So now you have it! You have got to find yourself an Australian to hug today.

The Official Bird of Australia

I gave my friend - I'll call her Diane again - a hug at church yesterday. Otherwise I would have to go visit her today to give her a hug but she's probably having Vegemite sandwiches for lunch, so I thought better of it.

I also told Diane that I would post her address in case anyone does not have an Australian of their own to hug they can stop by and see "Diane".

Happy Australia Day to our Aussie Friends!

Stop by tomorrow! There is a mystery afoot! A missing gem, a thickening plot, a famous detective......

Sunday, January 25, 2009

L'IL Cindi Gets Another 15 Minutes Of Fame

A Cindobama Poster For the Ages - or is it Aged?

Anna Lefler my bloggyfriend from Life Just Keeps Getting Weirder posted her personal mustachioed version of the Obama poster a few days ago. And, in a spirit of generosity unsurpassed by most philanthropic giants, offered the link to the site that allows the unemployed and other laggards to sit aroundfor hours and create their own Bama Posters. I, having made an art of loitering about my officette, went one step further and e-mailed my Li'l Cindi picture and the link to my son, Jason and asked him to do it for me.
Another recent 15 minutes of fame came about when I took my kindergarten picture over to the Louvre along with a small hammer and a picture hanger, removed the Mona Lisa from the wall and hung mine in it's place. You can see two onlookers, contemplating my sausage curls and making bets on just when my front teeth are going to grow back.
Don't you love my outfit? I remember it - green vesty thing, plaid skirt and matching plaid piping around the flattering Peter Pan collar.
If you are currently jobless or idle for any other reason, real or invented, you may wish to make your own Bama Poster and you can do so right here.
If you missed out on the portrait in the Louvre fun you can make your own by going here.
Enjoy your Sunday, but be back here tomorrow, same Bat time, same Bat Blog to celebrate a very special holiday!

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Good Wife's Guide - Blog Edition

Bella, That Damn Expatriate recently posted a list of The Good Wife's Guide purported to have appeared in the May 13, 1955 issue of Housekeeping Monthly. There is doubt as to the actual origins of this piece that’s been faxed around and e-mailed since the early 80’s. However, I’ve seen several similar lists and even an educational short film instructing the 1950’s wife and children how to prepare properly for the arrival of the Mister after a hard day at the office. So it's real in the 1950's sense - or senslessness. Whichever

Bella tagged all wives reading her post to comment on each of the points. It took me several days to tackle this, because I've been married to the Mister for 39 years, and we've settled in to a relaxed mode of give and take. That's why we're still married.
Also, I was a woman of the eighties back in the sixties. I wasn’t a woman’s libber or a hard line activist, I just looked around and thought what the hell is going on here? Where’s the equality? Get real! Get me out of here!

Anyway, here goes:

Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they get home and the prospect of a good meal is part of the warm welcome needed."

He lucked out here. I enjoyed cooking and was of the three things on plate mind. Even if one of the three things on the plate is the ketchup.

Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.

I worked during 99% of my married life. I got the kids ready in the morning, dropped them of at preschool, worked a full day, picked them up again and then got home and made dinner. The 15 minutes of rest took place while I waited for the water to boil, or the oven to preheat. What’s left of my makeup, applied at 6:00 in the morning, is what he got. No touch-ups unless it was a splash of spaghetti sauce or flour on my nose. The only fresh thing in the house at dinnertime was the salad.

Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.

I suppose it would be interesting if I were a little bit gay.

Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives. Run a dust cloth over the tables.

I kept a rake and a garden hose around the corner of the living room for just such an occasion.

During the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering to his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.

Coincidentally, it is cool right now. Although we don’t have a fireplace, I lit a fire for him all right – all that underwear I’ve been trying to convince him to replace. And those blue shorts. Gave me a lift. And some personal satisfaction too, come to think of it.

Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Encourage the children to be quiet.

Buzz off! If I didn’t do laundry in the evening sometimes, the kids would have to go to school naked. This no doubt would have affected their citizenship grades.

Be happy to see him.

I still am.

Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.

The smile was there, but I was a bit busy, thank you.

Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first - remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.

I'm starting to get a headache. So I should hold off telling him the kitchen is on fire and one of the kids is missing until he's had an opportunity to outline his day for me?

Make the evening his. Never complain if he comes home late or goes out to dinner, or other places of entertainment without you. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his very real need to be at home and relax.

Give me a break!

Your Goal: Try to make sure your home is a place of peace, order and tranquility where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.

How about I just put some cotton balls in his ears.

Don't greet him with complaints and problems.

So I won’t mention that the hot water pipe in the master bath is leaking until water starts dripping on his head at the dinner table? Would that be the proper time to mention it?

Don't complain if he's late for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through at work.

Stays out all night is a pretty disturbing addition to this statement. He did work afternoon and midnight shifts, so yeah, I didn’t complain except for the part where I only got to see him on weekends..

Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or lie him down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.

The Mister and his Laz-E-Boy chair were one. I never had to suggest that. I only suggested occasionally that if he didn’t get out of the chair I was going to have to poison the warm drink I was about to dump on his head.

Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.

Spoken in a low and soothing voice: Poopkins, if you don’t get out of that chair in one minute and do something I am going to have to kill you.

Don't ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.
Good grief

A good wife always knows her place.

It’s with him - and on equal footing.

If you would like to take a stab at this (not at your Mister) consider yourself tagged. If you need me for anything, I'm going to take two asprins and a nap in the Mister's Laz-E-Boy

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Foodscape Fantasies

Isn't this a delicious looking landscape?


The next time you plunk a piece of parsley on a plate as a garnish, or turn your mashed potatoes into a volcano, you might just remember these FOODSCAPES by Carl Warner. This British photographer creates landscape images utilizing basic food ingredients that we might find in...say...Betsy's newly remodeled pantry or Lavinia's grocery bag after a trip to her secret market.


The artist at work - did I just see him snag a piece of salami?



Speaking of pictures, one of my many favorite bloggy artists, Gufobardo, has drawn for us the absolute epitome of spring. She has captured the joy and lightness of heart and the all out fall out celebration. Check it out! Tell her I sent ya.

It's been months since I've had a half way decent horoscope. I pick and choose among them as I please. This is Yahoo's horoscope for Virgo's today. If you're not a Virgo, but you like the horoscope, go ahead and borrow it.

The worst thing you can do is to force yourself to do something that you don't really want to do, or act like you are into something when you aren't really all there. Just go with the flow and let yourself feel whatever it is you feel. Be genuine today. And if that means being in a grumpy mood or wanting to be alone all day long, then so be it. The people who support you when you're cheerful and outgoing will support you when you're sullen and quiet.


It basically says I'm free to so whatever I want today plus I can be grouchy with The Mister and he's supposed to just go with it. Cool.

Lemme just make a to do if I feel like it list:

1. Buy something on-line

2. Go over to Blicky Kitty and mooch some more bloggers.

3. Make triple chocolate brownies for dessert

4. Warm up the TV - the new season of Burn Notice starts TONITE

5. Change out of my PJ's somewhere between #'s 3. and 4.

This just in: Moments ago The Mister skritched into my officette and gave me a giant kiss full on the mouth. It seems he discovered that I - the Muse - voluntarily and selflessly and without concern for my own safety, emptied the dishwasher for the 2nd time in as many years. Normally, if there is something in the dishwasher that I need I will open the door and retrieve it with all the stealth of a cat burglar, move a few things about to cover the gaping hole and then exit without so much as a tinkle of glassware. I don't know what came over me today. Obviously this all happened before I read my horoscope which would have absolved me of any responsibility in the field of household tasks.

You'll be pleased to know that I have taken care of the first item on my to do if I feel like it list. I purchased this cute little number from Chico's. Regular price $58.00. After markdown, additional 5% Passport discount plus free shipping for Passport members, my price is $20.42 including tax. Not bad for a days work, huh?
If you need me, I'll be over at Blick's checking out his blogger lists.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Made Dish From Martha Washington's Kitchen

Our Inauguration Day Brunch Menu yesterday included:
A Made Dish of Panperdy
Take stale white bread & slyce it, & lay it to steep in white wine all night, Ye next day take youlks of eggs & creame and sugar and beat them well together; then take the bread out of ye wine, & put it in ye creame, & when it hath been in a quarter of an houre, take it out and lay it in a frying pan, & poure ye cream yet is left upon it; & when it is fryed enough, lay it in a dish, & strew on it sugar and grated nutmegg and soe serve it up.
This dish, from Martha Washington's "A Booke of Cookery", is a rich and elegant version of pain perdu - or French toast. Panperdy is a charming corruption of Pain Perdu (lost bread). You can, if you like, steep the bread in white wine overnight or you may omit that step altogether and steep the bread overnight in the egg and cream mixture. Be sure and refrigerate it.
The recipe does not include any specific measurements, leaving it to the cook to decide, based on how much stale bread is available, what the measurements should be.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The End Of The Inauguration Day

Michelle - isn't that the Muse over there doing the Electric Slide?

Normally we end our events with a bonfire and fireworks , but Martha will not allow either in the yard.

The table is still set - if you are feeling peckish, have a bite of food and a cup of coffee - with or without butter in it! Enjoy yourself!

Trish, Petra Michelle, Blicky, Lavinia and I are just about to hop aboard a carriage and make the rounds of the inaugural balls. If you happen by, we'll be the ones doing the Electric Slide.

Thank you to all of our hosts for participating today and to the many, many visitors who stopped by to see our Inaguration events! It was a fun day in Bloggington D.C. A great one, actually!

God Bless America and our new President!

Inauguration Day Brunch at Mount Vernon

Welcome to Mount Vernon!
It is fitting that we should begin this historic day in the place where it all began.

We are expecting so many guests, and it is such a beautiful day you may either breakfast in the dining room, or if you prefer you may enjoy the fresh air and have your meal out of doors.

The view of the Potomac from the porch is lovely!

We have a wonderful brunch planned for you. The recipes are all from Martha Washington’s own cookbooks! She and I have spent hours choosing an authentic menu for you. Each of the dishes is prepared from fruits and vegetables grown right here on the estate.

There are fish from the Potomac, and meats from the pastures and the freshest milk, butter and eggs from the dairy cows and the hens of Mount Vernon.

Enjoy a cup of spiced cider while you peruse the MENU Martha and I have prepared.

We will provide recipes and translations for several of these delicious dishes in the coming days. Oh, and if anyone asks if you would like butter in your coffee, just say no thank you. It was a common addition to coffee in the 1700's
This Just In: Speaking of coffee, I've won my first blog give-a-way over at Cassoulet Cafe! Two, count 'em two, bags of Beanstock Roaster's coffee!! Exciting and delicious! Thank you! And now, back to our regular program:

Aren’t the table settings elegant? This china was used by the Kennedy’s

We are providing transportation to all of the Inaugural Events we have planned for you today. The carriages, which belong to George and Martha, are being readied and you may begin your Inaugural Day adventure as soon as you like.

I have listed all of your hosts for the day. Please visit everyone and leave a comment to let them know you have arrived safely. Some may be posting a bit later today because of schedules and time zones so check back with them later in the day.

Are you ready?


If you are posting for the Inauguration and you would like me to add your name to the list, just leave a comment and let me know!
Enjoy your day!

Inauguration Day Brunch Menu

Mount Vernon, Virginia
January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day Brunch


First Course
Rise Pudding with Currans
Almond Pudding
Fool with Rose Water and Leamon
Stewed Wardens
Cheese Loaues with Preserue Raspberries

Second Course
A Made Dish of Panpurdy
Pancakes with Honey of Roses
Apple Fritters
Bisketts with a Quidony of Quinces

Third Course
Frykasie of Lambe with Sippets and Soppets
A Hash Of Mutton
Collops and Eggs
Pease Porrige
Lettice Tarte
Pickled Asperagus
Hartychoake Pie

Sweetmeats and Dainties
Mackroons with Almonds and Rosewater
Shrowsbury Cakes
Little Saffron Cakes
Machpane Cakes
Walnuts Solitare
Candied Violets


Fresh Milk

*All spellings are as noted in the cookbooks

Sunday, January 18, 2009

$ix Degrees of Monetary $eparation

Madoff and his scheming friend Ponzi. Here's smirking at ya!

I happened into a coffee shop in Manhattan the other day that not only offers free internet, it also offers free monitoring of ankle bracelets for investment fraud perpetrators. The place was packed.

I ordered my usual while standing under the “We Accept Cash Only” sign and looked around for a seat. The only one available was at an occupied table. I asked the smirking gentleman if I could sit with him. He pushed aside several large FedEx boxes with his well shod foot. Said he was waiting for FedEx to pick them up. Said they contained some useless baubles he was mailing to his “uncle” in Brazil. I noticed similar boxes under several of the other tables. I looked at my watch – it said 3 weeks after Christmas which precludes Christmas mailings.

The gray haired smirker introduced himself as Bernie Mad…uhm..Jones. After FedEx comes, he said he was going to ready one of the guestrooms for a good friend from Sarasota. The unnamed friend was making a rather circuitous flight by way of Seattle, Tasmania and Rome but should arrive within 10 to 3 hours.

He asked me what I do for a living – I said I’m an unemployed partially retired blogging hermit. Asked him what he does.

He said he was a wealthy… investment banker, but now he’s unemployed and is a bit of a hermit himself. Yeah, I said, it’s a real crime what’s happened to the economy, and worse yet are all of those corporate thieves that keep ripping off money.

I told Bernie that coincidentally he looks a lot like a smirking bandit I keep hearing about on the news. Told him my bud Kevin Bacon is a bit pissed off at the guy and asked me to keep an eye out while I’m in the Big Apple.

If you see that smirking SOB you just dial B for Bacon

Bernie appraised my outfit of eclectic brand names and said I don’t look like the type to run in the same circles as Kev and Kyra. I explained that it’s just a relationship thing. There’s just one degree of separation between me and Kevin, so we’re practically related.

Seems Kev is looking for extra income now that the smirking bandit has separated him from a good portion of his semi-hard earned cash. He’s going to have to do cameo appearances and walk on’s now until he’s 87 to keep things going on the home front. Luckily Kyra has an excellent job as a Police Chief with the LAPD. Bernie smirked and took a sip of his cappuccino. Yeah he said, you just can’t trust anyone these days.

The FedEx truck pulled up just then and the racket from the sliding of boxes from under the tables precluded any further conversation. I bid farewell to Bernie. He told me not to take any wooden nickels, but if I do, he said, be careful who I invest them with.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A New Look!

The Sky's The Limit

My dear bloggyfriend, Genevieve has redecorated my blog! I love it! Absolutely love it! Genevieve offered, in a recent post, to do custom blog layouts and headers.
Today I asked her to customise mine. I e-mailed a short list of things that interest me, colors I like and ...well... that was it really.

In a matter of a few hours we went from could you? to WOW! Genevieve works magic! She is such an awesome artist. Stop over a see her gallery.

Thank you so much, Genevieve.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Orange Sherbet - Sort Of

M-m-m-m I made blood orange sherbet for dessert last night. It turned out to be a heavenly shade of pink, but what didn't turn out is the frozen part. Perhaps my ice and salt mixture was off. I had the ice cream attachment on my Oster going for HOURS. It was finally starting to freeze up, but we were all tired of listening to the thing running. I served up bowls of drinkable sherbet. It was delicious if not the height of perfection. I kind of fluffed the sherbet up a bit to give it some "body" for the picture, but pictures don't lie and I can't fake all you wonderful cooks out there into thinking this is a frozen delight when it's more of a slurpy surprise.

Yesterday, Elizabeth of About New York posted a picture of her favorite tea cup. She suggested her readers might like to post their favorites. This happens to be a brand new aquisition, so it's my current favorite tea cup and it's filled with Earl Grey tea. The cup was made in Japan, and has no handle. Keeps my hand warm!

Earl Grey has a nice aroma, doesn't it? Earl Grey used to order a special mix of tea from his local tea shop. The unique flavor and aroma comes from essence of bergamot. His friends, after enjoying a spot of tea at his home, started popping into the shop to order Earl Grey's signature tea mix. Thus the name.

I don't usually put sugar in my tea, but when I do I like to use the amber sugar crystals shown in the teaspoon. Do you have a favorite tea cup or coffee mug? Post it!
If you feel your creative spirit waning stop over to see Stevie Wren today - she has a Haiku challenge for you.
Many of the posts are dealing with the weather - and understandably so as my bloggyfriends are freezing their tutu's off. Betsy and her five men have taken a unique twist to staying warm. They're wearing tuxedo's. Check it out!
Meanwhile WaterBlossoms is enjoying a poolside day. Flaunt it if you've got it! Don't give her a hard time about it - just take your ski mask off and enjoy the sun with her! She might make you a pitcher of Margarita's.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Inauguration Day Reminder! Do Come!

Martha Washington and I have been sprucing up Mt. Vernon for you! She thought it might be a good idea to remind you of the Inauguration festivities taking place this coming Tuesday! You are invited to all of the special surprises in store for you in Bloggington DC. If you would like to participate in an inauguration post, please just click on the invitation in the top right margin and leave a comment.

I'll be listing all of the participants on Tuesday so you can travel about in high style to the balls and other surprise festivities. Start here for a brunch at Mt. Vernon. I'll be listing all of the participants and providing your transportation so you may travel about in high style!

I've decided to wear the gown that First Lady, Helen Taft, wore for the Inaugural Ball in 1909. She attended the celebrations with her husband and new president "that adorable Will Taft". The Smithsonian is not doing another audit until January 28th, and I should have the gown back in place in plenty of time.

Do come and join us! Invite your friends! We'll see you on Tuesday. In the meantime, Martha and I are tightening up the brunch menu and polishing the china and silver just for you!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Yes, I'll Have Another Slice, Thankyou

Now this is PIE!

This pie is sooooooo good! The Mister and I each had two pieces last night and we're watching each other out of the corner of our eyes today in case he or I should mosey on past the fridge with a fork in our hands.

Here's the deal on sour orange pie - you need sour orange juice which is hard to come by. You either need to lop off the top of your orange tree - which is grafted to native orange stock and wait for the root stock to grow into a tree or drive to a fruit market in Miami, or buy a bottle of sour orange juice.

The brand to look for is Goya and it is sold in the ethnic foods section. The bottle says Bitter Orange Marinade. It's got nothing but seville orange juice in it though. No marinade seasonings. So buy it if you can find it. Buy two. You can make the most delicious marinades for fish, shrimp, chicken and pork with this stuff.

I promised you the pie recipe and here it is:


Sour Orange Pie

1 Pie crust shell , baked according to instructions in 9 or 10 inch pie plate and cooled
4 extra large eggs - separated
1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed mild (not evaporated)
1/2 cup sour orange juice (or 1/2 cup Key lime juice for Key lime pie)
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar (preferably natural Florida crystals)
Filling: Beat egg yolks and condensed milk until creamy, fold in juice. Fill the baked pie shell with the mixture.
Meringue: Preheat oven to 375. Beat the egg whites to a medium peak. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat. Slowly ass the sugar and beat until the mixture is stiff. Spread the meringue over the pie, sealing it to the crust. Bake until golden brown, about five minutes. Cool in refrigerator for an hour or so before serving.

The orange pie is very delicately flavored as opposed to the key lime pie. Key limes, native to the Florida Keys are small, round and thin skinned. They are very sour and make a nice tart filling.

Tourist Version of Key Lime Pie

You may have enjoyed the more common version of Key lime pie - with the graham cracker crust and whipped cream on top. Making pies this way is a convenience thing - it's not the real original genuine perfection in a pie shell Key lime pie. It's the tourist version.

Key Lime Juice

Speaking of tourists - don't bother to come down here for a few days. It's getting cold here too. The Mister and I are bringing my orchids into the house this afternoon. It's going down to 39 tonight and won't be much warmer at night for at least 3 days. Brrrr. I can't imagine being in those 40 below zero places! I did my time in the cold north too, ya know. I kicked ice off my well wells, and shovelled snow and spun around on black ice.

Stay warm and toasty my dear bloggy friends of the North! And make a pie.