Tag Archives: Freddie Mercury

The Weekend: Parents, Plants and Pasta. And Freddie. And Adam.

1 Mar
black and white kitten

This is our foster kitten Tyler. Ruthie hates him. She stares at him, just thinking of ways to kill him. He usually slinks away and stays far away from her. This morning, he jumped on her back, spreadeagled like a flying squirrel. She was Not Amused. It was more than a little bit awesome.

Yes, The Beloved and I hosted my esteemed mother and father this weekend.  We had a lovely time.  They left their dog, China, at home so they could enjoy our “children” without worrying about cat-dog animosity.  That worked out beautifully.  The grandparents were able to hang out with our kids without hurting China’s feelings.  So yay!

Friday night, I made a simple tomato sauce and served it with some cheese ravioli.  And for Saturday breakfast, I made us some pancakes.  ‘Member that batch of flour, baking powder and salt I put together for the scaling video?  Well, I used that as the base.  To that, I added a wee handful of sugar, eggs and milk.  As simple as a mix, and way better.  If you want to make your own self rising flour (which is pretty much what flour+baking powder+salt equals) to make pancakes or biscuits or whatever, just use 1 teaspoon of baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon of salt per 4 oz of flour and whisk it up.  Then, to make pancakes, for each 1 cup of “mix,” use an egg, 1 cup of dairy, a tablespoon of sugar and a wee splash of vegetable oil.  And maybe a dash of cinnamon or something else fun.  You can also add a touch of vanilla.  Mix it up, and there you go.

Okay, so where was I?  Ah, yes.  After breakfast, we ended up going to a nursery about five miles from the house.  Now, I’ve been to nurseries before, but this place was Unreal.  It’s called Plant Delights, and it’s on the premises of Juniper Level Botanical Gardens.  Spectacular.  They have four open houses a year–winter, spring, summer and fall–so you can see what the plants look like during all seasons.  Of course, this was the winter one, and there were so many plants that had interesting branch formations and seedpods and Frilly Parts that you almost didn’t care that they were sort of wheat colored.

We found out about this place because Randy, our house’s former owner, bought lots of stuff from Plant Delights–specimens all over the yard that bloom at different times throughout the year so there is always something Cool to look at.  Because of that, we get their catalog.  We’re “Current Resident.”  If you’re a Plant Person, go check out their website.  If not, just know that we had fun and be happy for us.

Sunday evening, we all went over to friend MaryLou’s house where we enjoyed a lovely pot-luck vegetarian Sunday Supper.  ML made a great roasted veggie pasta bake.  You can make one too, if you want.  She diced up mixed veggies–red, yellow and green bell pepper, butternut squash, eggplant, onions and more–seasoned them and roasted them.  Mixed them all up with some ziti and seasoned tomato sauce, topped the whole shebang with cheese and Baked Until Bubbly.  Really tasty, satisfying and easy.  Yay.

I do have to report that my dear mother Jane was cold all weekend.  I know this because she told us about 471,000 times.  Not always in words either.  She’d do the old Bob-Cratchit-doesn’t-have-enough-coals shuffle, the chafing-of-the-wrists, the swathing-in-chenille-throws.  When she did say something about being cold, it was pretty straightforward:  “I’m cold.”  And then, this is how the conversation would go:

Jane:  I’m cold.

Jenni: Well, I’ll turn up the heat.

Jane:  Oh, no.  Don’t do that!

Jenni:  Well, mother, if you’re cold we’ll turn it up.

Jane: Oh, no–I’ll be okay.

Jenni: I’ll turn on the fire place.

Jane:  No, I don’t think so.

Jenni:  Seriously, mother–if you’re cold, we can turn up the heat.  You can turn it up yourself if you want.

Jane:  Oh, no.  I’m fine.  Really.

Jenni:  I know.  You wanna keep warm? How about you burn that cross you’re carrying around…

And then later:

Jane:  Woo!  It is chilly in here.

Jenni:  If you’re cold, turn up the heat or turn on the fire place.

Jane:  No, I don’t think so.  I’ll be okay.

Jenni:  I’ve given you your options.  If you’re cold, you have two ways to Take Action and Get Warm.  If you don’t want to do either of those things, then I don’t want to hear about it.  Save yourself, woman.

I told her I was going to tell all of you about this.  I’m not sure if she believed me.  Ha!

As some of you know, my mom is very into Queen.  She discovered Queen through our boy Adam.  Freddie Mercury is one of his big influences, so mom had to go check them out.  Now, she is a die hard fan and talks about Freddie, Brian, Roger and John like they all went to college together.  She is forever humming or whistling snippets of Queen songs–it’s kind of weird (in a good way) to realize that your Sainted Mother is whistling Bohemian Rhapsody as opposed to The Old Rugged Cross.

She recently purchased Queen’s A Night at the Opera on Amazon.  All by herself.  The Lure of Queen is very strong to make her overcome her queasiness about using her credit card online.  Here’s her current favorite from that album:
It is most catchy, huh?  Go mom.  Go Freddie.

Oh, and our boy Adam was in concert at Fantasy Springs Resort in Indio, CA.  He performed an amazing slow acoustic jam of Whole Lotta Love.  You have to hear it to believe it.  If you’re not into guys wearing peacock feathers and turquoise hair extensions, look away.  But don’t close your ears–he is amazing.

PS  I’ll be finishing up the pretzel video series in a few days.  The Beloved has ordered some more memory for my computer.  As it is now, every time I make an edit, the computer thinks about it for about 45 seconds each time.  Rather than throw the poor computer down the stairs in Frustration, I think I’ll just wait for the memory to come in.  So, to The Beloved, “Thanks for the memory!”

A Food–Or Two or Three–for Every Day of the Week

5 Jun

Out here in the Hinternet, one can learn a great many things.  I, myself, learned how to upholster bar stools yesterday.  Honest.  See:

A little reading and a trip to JoAnn Fabrics, and I was Set.

A little reading and a trip to JoAnn Fabrics, and I was Set.

Because of the Hinternet, my mother has discovered Queen.  She is a big fan of Freddie Mercury–as of about two weeks ago.  And she is Very Sad that he died.   Here is her current favorite Freddie Mercury song.And then, for folks who love to cook, bake and eat or talk about cooking, baking and eating, there’s this.  The National Food Holiday Directory.  I’m not sure that there is an Official Site for National Food Holidays, but this one will do nicely.  I like it because it groups all the Fake National Holidays together (and by fake, I mean the ones that do not buy us Time Off), not just the food ones.  For example, yesterday was positively Crowded with celebration.   Not only was it Cheese Day (hooray!), but it was also Old Maid’s Day, the birthday of the radial tire, the birthday of the shopping cart, Apple Computer Day, Socrates’ Birthday and some other less amusing observances, such as Children’s Awareness Memorial Day and National Cancer Survivor’s Day.  I can only imagine that one would have to Choose One’s Celebration, partying hard for Socrates while letting the shopping cart day slip by.  Otherwise, the sheer exhaustion.   I’ve heard that the shopping cart fete is especially Bacchanalian in nature.

And that brings us to today.   Today’s schedule is light.  I wish you Happy Teacher’s Day, Happy First Hot Air Balloon Flight and Happy World Environment Day.  I would wish you a Happy Attitude Day, but I don’t feel like it.  Oh, and Happy National Gingerbread Day.

June 5 Gingerbread

I like thick, cakey gingerbread–big old hunks with lemon curd is Quite Nice.  I also like a nice gingerbread cookie, and that’s what I shall share with you today.  These little guys (or big guys, depending on how you cut them) stay pretty soft, thanks to the addition of some corn syrup.  If you’d prefer crispy cookies, leave out the corn syrup and increase the sugar by 1.5 ounces.  Roll them out so they are Very Very Thin, and bake them a bit longer.  For softer guys, leave in the corn syrup, roll them out to maybe 1/4″ or so and bake them until set but not browned.

This makes a lot, but worry not–you can a) roll this in sheets between 2 pieces of parchment and freeze some for later or b) cut the recipe in half, or even in quarters.

  • 32 oz. all purpose flour
  • 2 TBSP cocoa powder
  • 2TBSP + 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp allspice
  • 4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound butter
  • 12 oz. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c molasses
  • 1/4 c corn syrup

Make these using The Creaming Method:

  1. whisk all dry ingredients together
  2. cream butter and sugar until light
  3. mix in molasses and corn syrup
  4. mix in dry

Chill the dough, sheet, cut out however you want and bake at 325F for 7-10 minutes.  Feel free to add in some minced crystallized ginger, too, if you want.

So, that’s it.  Tomorrow, The Beloved and I will be hosting our Pinehurst relatives.  Since they’re all 90-ish, we’re going to fetch them and then take them home again, so there will be no Unpleasant Driving Incidents.  Once we’re done with all the shuttling and What Not, there will be Adult Beverages on the Porch.

Have a great weekend, friends.  Oh, and in case you’re looking for Reasons to Celebrate this weekend, Happy National Applesauce Cake Day.  Enjoy it, along with Be-Bop-A-Lula Day, Drive In Movie Theater Birthday Day and National Chocolate Ice Cream Day!

What food holiday are you going to make up looking forward to?

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