illustration for the August issue of Wired by Jason Lee
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
After about 18 hours spent in a classroom and on the, uh, range, I am now the proud holder of a motorcycle license. I also have a bit of a sunburn on the back of my neck. The latter I earned by tooling around a paved lot while never getting above 2nd-gear. The former was acquired the same way. I've spent some time reflecting on the whole experience—T says possibly too much time.
Monday, July 06, 2009
Last century when I was in middle school, my gonads dictated that I take Home Economics rather than woodshop. Well, it didn't take. I am helpless in the kitchen. I can struggle through pizza, popcorn, pasta, and reheating restaurant leftovers. My mother, on the other hand, can do some serious magic when it comes to cooking. When I was wee, her renditions of Leftover Surprise were stupendous (how leftovers ever existed in our family of six is beyond me). She had a few recipes that were cycled through every now-and-again and she has at least one soup that cannot be committed to paper since the main direction is "continue to add sugar and vinegar to the duck blood, raisins, and prunes until it tastes right." Yummy. I kid you not.
She had one cookbook that I foresaw even at a young age as the thing we four siblings might fight over at the reading of the will. My brother headed this feud off by getting all the sibs our own copies a few years ago. Good move, bro!
The Encyclopedia of Cooking was compiled by Mary Margaret McBride and has 1536 pages. My mother's copy is bound in hinged steel plates (my copy has a cover but it is not attached). It is massive. It has recipes on everything, including raccoon and other game. Lard is a major ingredient throughout the recipes. This is not surprising since it was published in 1959, the heyday of the Lard Era. It shows every kitchen gadget of the time and how to use it. It defines cooking terms, like "pasties." (I'm making those tomorrow.)
It also has a typo and I only know this because of what I must have picked up Home Ick, er, Ec over three decades ago. Fact: the ingredients in American cookbooks are listed in the order they are used. So the recipe for Rice and Cheese Croquettes that lists mayonnaise, flour, then flour again is in error. "Why is a self-confessed reheater making something she cannot pronounce?" I hear you cry. I was both drawn to the combination of rice and cheese and comforted by the fact that I knew what all the other ingredients were and that none were raccoon.
Anyway, the corrected typo should read: mayonnaise, flour and milk. The amounts of the ingredients isn't what helped me solve the problem. I know not how to make a sauce that will thicken and two tablespoons of milk would certainly be stiffer than 2/3-cup of milk, wouldn't you agree? Well, if you agreed, we'd both be wrong. It was the directions for how to add the ingredients to the saucepan that helped me solve the dilemma and use 2/3-cup of milk.
Now, if Ms. McBride had not been from deep in the heartland and perhaps had a habit of sipping a wee bit of sherry between steps and sounded a bit more like the Queen, I don't think I could have solved my dilemma. Apparently, cookbooks on the other side of the pond list the ingredients from greatest to least quantity used. I don't think I picked up this part of the factoid in junior high. Regardless, I would like to thank my teacher whose name is lost to me. Tomorrow's lunch of rice and cheese croquettes is a go. Dinner will consist of turkey pasties. Stop by for a nibble if you're in town.
at 9:08 PM
Sunday, July 05, 2009
One of the norms here in Meanwhile Manor is that toilet paper and Q-tips and tissues just seem to get replaced when they are empty or running low. We are believers in the Toilet Paper Fairy, as identified here in this Pickles comic:
So there is part of the back story to today's post. The other facet of the back story is that The T and I have been totally sucked into the black hole that is Facebook. We are currently having a good time and yet trying to figure out how to carve out time in our day where Facebook fits in. But I digress. To summarize thus far: we believe in the TP Fairy and we joined F'Book.
What follows is what you would have overheard had you been listening in this morning.
The T: Supplies are running low. It seems the the TP Fairy is slacking off.For the record, that is one social network I would not browse.
Me: Distracted. Maybe the fairy is distracted.
T: By Facebook? The fairy is spending too much time on Facebook?
Me: TushBook. It seems more appropriate that the TP Fairy would be distracted by TushBook.