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Why Go Big When You Could Go Home?

October 26th, 2014

That’s my question for the daredevils in the crowd. I get it. I ask, Why? You ask, Why not?

Great episode of Oregon Field Guide, featuring our own Mt. St. Helens.

did you know no one ever blogs anymore? and here’s a book round-up for you… On the Nightstand

October 6th, 2014

that’s right. Blogging is so four years ago, with the exception of those of us who still keep our online journals: Zoot, Y from the Internet, who I’ve known for so long I call her that, Amalah, Doocie, and me.

The big five, baby, that’s where we’re at. Not the big 5-0, the big 5. Kidding.

I will persevere.

I mainly blog nowadays because I need the archives — especially for updates on my kids (my daughter is driving now, btw) (uh, it’s true. This little girl…), a cookbook (you can always buy a hard copy), school work, and whatever else I need. Quotes of the day, funny jokes. Ha. Funny to me jokes.

So you know that your Facebook archives aren’t really archives, right? And that your photos might or might not disappear eventually, if that’s where you’re storing them? Just saying.

So here’s what I’m working on reading this school year. And first things being, as always, first: the potboilers.

I read Theodore Dreiser’s “Sister Carrie” when I was an 18-year-old college freshman and knew everything. I would like to talk with that girl and have her answer a few of my several hundred questions, now that I know nothing. Dear Lord, what a difference between 18 and 50.

“You should see her ass in that dress.” — my friend Nicole, to my then-lover, talking about me and my brand-new little black dress, circa many years ago. We were at a bar downtown. It may have been the Virginia Cafe. Or Hamburger Mary’s, or the Veritable Quandary, or that place where they served the delicious little Cornish game hens? The Vat & Tonsure. Then (to me): “You hit 27 and your ass just falls. I don’t know what it is.”

My main concerns then:
1) how am i going to get these bills paid?
2) where are the parties this weekend?
3) what about this “27 changes everything” thing? (defer)
4) why does she (neighbor/friend/family member/co-worker) put up w/ that shit? (from spouse/children/grown children/neighbors/co-workers)

I have to go water the yard now, and write more when I get back. No more bars, just chores, out here on the farm. I could really use another load of manure for the east 40.

Back! So. “Sister Carrie,” which I always throw together with “Portrait of a Lady,” “Anna Karenina,” “Madame Bovary” and “The Awakening”… Well, it’s its own animal. I just love the book.

Finished it up, and on to “An American Tragedy” (also Dreiser), which I’ve been meaning to read ever since I saw the Elizabeth Taylor/Montgomery Clift classic, “A Place in the Sun.” God, it’s brilliant, too. So I’m happy, with lots to read. And I have a good excuse (for the moment) to put off reading all of these for work (ps check out this week’s issue of The Nation. On the cover: “Saving Public Schools: A Growing Movement Confronts the Failure of ‘Reform’”:

Being Bad: My Baby Brother and the School-To-Prison Pipeline: Being Bad (Teaching for Social Justice)
by Crystal T. Laura
Powells.com

Bon appetit!

– wm

recipes from my BFF L, for Wednesday Recipe Club

October 1st, 2014

These are all so good, go make them right now.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies with Chocolate Chips

1 cup butter
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups oatmeal
1 to 1 1/5 cups chocolate chips

Cream butters and sugars together, mix in egg and vanilla and then add dry ingredients, fold in chocolate chips and oats. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

2 cups whole milk
2 cups Best Foods mayonnaise
1 Tbls. brown sugar
salt and pepper
1 pound elbow macaroni
1/2 cup cider vinegar
4 green onions, sliced thin
1 large carrot, peeled and finely grated
1 celery rib, chopped finely

Make dressing: Whisk 1 1/2 cups milk, 1 cup mayo, brown sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, and 2 tsp pepper in bowl

Cook pasta: Bring 4 quarts of water to boil in large pot. Add 1 T of salt and past and cook until very soft, about 15 minutes. Drain pasta and return to pot. Add vinegar and toss until absorbed. Transfer to a bowl and cool pasta 10 minutes, then stir in dressing until pasta is well coated. Cool completely.

Make salad: Add green onions, carrot, celery, remaining milk and mayo to pot with pasta mixture and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Chill at least an hour…or a day or two. Optional: Add a handful or two of frozen peas.

Pumpkin Roll

3 eggs, beaten 5 minutes
1 cup sugar, beaten in
2/3 cup pumpkin
1 tsp. lemon juice
3/4 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt

Mix together and spread on greased and floured 10×14 inch cookie sheet with sides. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes. Remove from pan and roll immediately in cloth or wax paper. Let set for few minutes

Beat:
1 cup powdered sugar
6 oz – 8 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp. vanilla

Unroll cake and spread frosting. Roll cake again and freeze.

Brazilian Black Bean Soup

2 cups dry black beans, soaked in
6 cups water
1 T olive oil
3 cups chopped onion
10 medium cloves garlic, crushed
2 t. cumin
2 1/2 t. salt
1 medium carrot, diced
1 medium bell pepper, diced
1 1/2 cups orange juice
black pepper to taste
cayenne, to taste
2 medium tomatoes, diced

toppings: sour cream, cilantro, salsa

1. Cook soaked beans in 4 cups of water; boil, cover and simmer until tender about 1.25 hours.
2. In olive oil saute onion, half garlic, cumin, salt and carrot until carrot tender. Add green pepper and remaining garlic and saute 15 minutes more till everything is very tender. Add to the beans.
3. Stir in orange juice, pepper, cayenne and tomatoes. Puree all or some of soup and then simmer 10 minutes more…serve with sour cream, cilantro, and salsa.

Optional: Add cooked diced chicken step three.