Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Origins of Some Interesting Sayings...

My friend Rindy sent this to me.  I love learning about the origins of language, especially colloquialisms, and am passing it along. It's a bit lengthy but interesting, at least to a language nut like me. Forgive the somewhat colorful phrase here and there...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Biscuits and The Heathen Hours...

Cold and foggy makes for a beautiful morning
It's Sunday and I must confess.  I often spend my Sunday mornings at Jungle Jim's International Market in Fairfield, Ohio.  It's quiet then. My husband calls this time on Sunday mornings The Heathen Hour.  No crowds -- especially this time of year.  Most people are in church or in bed. It's fun because all the produce managers and fish mongers and department managers are there.  If you need something special, they are there to chat and figure it out for you. 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Baby, It's Cold Outside...

Overstating the obvious, as usual.  But I decided to load up a pix that gives a pretty good idea of what it's like around here today... enjoy!

Neighbor's barn... ©Equimage® Media

Thursday, December 2, 2010

In Harmony...With My Heart

Last week I had the opportunity to watch HRH Prince Charles' gorgeous environmental movie Harmony. It was a visual delight and an inspiration. 

Harmony made me feel as though I'm not just one little guy banging  my head against a wall of indifference in my concern for the earth.  There are others out there, many of whom have greater resources than I and whom one wouldn't think were your typical tree huggers; who are working hard to make a greater impact in the global environmental movement.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Cone Flower Freebie

Contrary to a lick-happy little white dog's opinion, not all things called cones are created just to torment him. Some  provide pleasure. During the height of Summer, I received a nice cone flower plant from a gal on Freecycle®. Freecycle® is a treasure trove of freebie plants.  I bet I snagged 15 or so this past summer.

Of Cones, Cabbages, and Kale

The kind of thing I shoot when I'm working...
For the past three weeks the 2010 World Equestrian Games kept me hopping. In my other life, I'm and equine photographer and writer - someone who concentrates on the equine industry as their photographic and journalistic specialty. Obscure to be true. So for the past three weeks I've worn my other hat exclusively.  I've shot over 6000 frames and posted 230 times on my other site.  I've been working -- working my tail off -- just not here. That's what I love about cooking -- it's not horses...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Exile and The Button - It Could Drive You to Drink

I've been away - forced into exile - intellectual and creative exile. I've been wandering, lo these many days,  in the barren, lonely desert of a no man's land called:  No Computer.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

For Love of the Spud! Potato Pancakes

In light of the fall potato harvest fast approaching, I decided to repost this recipe for the glorious potato -- and the best potato pancake you've ever tasted.  Also, my big laptop is in the shop with most of my images on it.  That means that I was bad and didn't back-up my Mac.  So, I'm forced to use my old powerbook which is slow and has a much older operating system on it.  My oldie but goodie has its limitations. I'll just re-hash (pun intended) a few posts -- at least until I get my fast baby back...

Ah, the potato That globe of goodness. That versatile tuber that readily lends itself to so many culinary interpretations.  From baked or mashed with butter and cream, to simmered in soups; from gratin to chips, hash browns and home fries to candy -- the potato rules as the culinary starch of choice -- at least in the western cultures (with the exception of the Southern Italians, who are very partial to their pasta - for good reason).

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Last of the Summer... Beans

The days grow shorter.  The sun rides lower in the southern sky. No more birdsong cacophony in the morning.  All that breaks autumn's silence is the chirping of a multitude of crickets - more background noise than nature's song.  No more cicadas droning on... Summer is past. It's time to harvest the last of the summer garden.  Time to finish off the beans.

Friday, September 10, 2010

London Broil When it Sizzles

Here in land of sticky summers it's been hot -- hot, dry, and insect-laden. We haven't eaten outside much. Haven't had many bonfires nor done many of the things we so look forward to during the dead of winter when the snow is two feet deep.  We did float around the pool a fair amount, which definitely helped with the heat. But not much grilling.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Last Chance to be Corny

With all the High Fructose Corn Syrup rants out there, it's hard to know what to do.  I believe the research that says that HFCS does not provide sweetness satiety to the human brain.  When people doubt this, especially those who knew me as a child, I like to remind them that never was there enough pecan pie to satisfy me!  And, pecan pie is LOADED with corn syrup.  While my Pecan Pie gluttony has abated over the years, this year's Thanksgiving Pecan Pie is going to be made with Lyle's Golden Syrup.  It's a pure cane syrup (no this is not a plug).  It's my own little experiment.  I wanna see if it makes a difference in sugar satiety. Not that I can eat whole pies any longer -- probably shouldn't even eat a single wedge.  At this point if I don't lose some pudge there won't be any pecan pie around here at all. But that's another story...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

It's the Simple Things...

Sometimes I just want to curl up and hole up, escape.  But a few days at the beach is out of the question.Too much going on.  Too little time.  Too many commitments.  Too long a list.  Too full a plate.  Just much too much.

So, when things get a little overwhelming, I just shut down for a morning hour or two and take it easy - at least mentally -- with a tiny little breakfast in bed.  It's probably a colossal waste of time for some, but it works for me.  I regroup, recharge, ready to face the world again. Breakfast in bed (really more of a little nosh)  is a great way to slow down just a bit, to chill out -- a little luxury of time that I squirrel away for myself.

I'm Bad -- But La Bodega -- It's Good!

It's been a long hot summer and I've been neglecting my literary responsibilities in favor of gardening, sweating, swimming, sweating, canning and preserving, sweating, watering and watering and watering my black-spot-ridden heirloom tomato plants.  Suffice it to say that summer has been long and hot. My only excuse is that I decided to take some time off from writing in favor of reading -- books!  No web, just books for one glorious summer. But all good things must end so I'm back in the literary saddle again.

Just after we built the garden beds in spring.
My no-till garden has been a fun experiment that turned into a wonderful gardening success. Yes, it's true. We built ourselves a no-till garden, on a lark mind you, and it was a resounding success.  A success that provided organic veggies for the summer table all season long. But this too will be covered in a soon-to-be-created post.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Artichokes - Three for a Dollar at the A&P

There's an old joke about a low rent hit man named Artie who accepts a one dollar contract, gets confused, and chokes three shoppers at the A&P. It's one of my husband's favorite jokes. It hails from long ago when he taught physics.  He always liked to use those groaner jokes to lighten up the mood before a test. The students always groaned and the tests were always excruciating.  The only person in the room who seemed to be having a good time was my husband who enjoyed himself heartily -- mainly because he didn't have to take his own test.

Pantry Night Spaghetti and Meatballs

Okay, I'm bummed.  I've been trying to find a decent airfare to visit my niece and cousins in Southern California. Flying from this part of the Midwest to anywhere is expensive! Very expensive! We live in the most expensive region of the US when it comes to airfares -- period. I get email alerts from various travel sites.  I hop right on those alerts. And regardless of how fast I hop, I'm always closed out of the fare and pointed towards a more expensive one.  Plain old bait and switch -- in my opinion. Bait and switch.  I'm not a fan of sharp business practices. Not a fan...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Blooms, Blooms, Blooms...

Spring in Ohio. It is a riot of color! I think it's nature's way of rewarding us for putting up with a long, cold, and colorless winter.  We go from bleak and gray to absolutely incredible in a matter of weeks. In the blink of an eye all is gorgeous. But then in another blink the blooms are over and verdant, colorful  Summer takes over.  It's a fair and welcome exchange.

Monday, April 19, 2010


I never made a popover until I was well into my third or fourth year of college. I don't recall my mother, a wonderful and adventurous cook, making them.  My mother made Yorkshire Pudding with Roast Beef.  She loved it. But never a popover to be seen.  Perhaps it didn't enter her culinary psyche - Yorkshire Pudding.  Popovers.  Yorkshire Pudding.  Popovers...  the connection was never made. No grandmothers or maiden aunts pulled a pan of these from the oven on a cold winter morning -- or any other morning I can recall. They pulled many other wonderful baked delights from the oven on a cold morning, but not popovers... at least not in my experience.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Pho Much Disappointment, So Little Time...

I love Pho.  I make Pho. I love journalist Linda Ellerbee's recipe for Pho. It's good anytime... In the winter, nothing beats a steaming bowl of Pho when the wind is howling outside and you've been shoveling or skiing and the snow is either making life miserable or a joy.  I love Pho in the spring -- and those other two seasons.  This lovely beef soup, with its spicy fragrant broth, stirs my soul.  In Vietnam Pho is often the breakfast of champions. The tender slices of beef, the basil, the sriracha hot sauce, the lemon grass and anise infused steam rising, filling my nose with delectable aromas.  Pho is a sublime experience, when it's done right.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Pfoto Pfriday -- Photovisi

Pfridays are for Pfhotography, at least when I have something valuable to contribute (therefore it may not be every single Friday that I post on photography since I'm a bit of a slacker when it comes to working on the best day of the week...).  I taught photography for years, and when I run across something I think others will find valuable, I like to pass the info along.  I have run across this bomb of a site that allows you to create very cool photo collages for FREE! That's right, for FREE! Photovisi allows you to upload, very quickly I might add, up to 30 of your photos and drop them into one of their styling collage templates, then download them to your computer or send them out for printing on various surfaces - mugs, prints, calendars - you know the usual photographic emulsion suspects.

This site is blazing fast. Below, I offer a couple of collage examples I whipped up in about 60 seconds each -- seriously!  These photos were something I put together to illustrate a series of podcasts my college student daughter produced. (Collages for college?  Hmmmm -- what a difference one little letter makes.) While these images do illustrate a serious subject (drinking and sexual assault on college campuses -- growing more serious every day), the collage tool on Photovisi is just a plain ol' photographically-good time! 

You can move the images around, re-size, insert a background image, add a pattern or graphic you created in Photoshop, whatever.  The sky is the limit! So go out to and collage your brain's out! And did I mention it's FREE?
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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Blood Orange Upside-Down Cake

I love blood oranges. My introduction this red globe of goodness was when I was in school in Europe.  The lady with whom I lived, aka Frau Mudder (a rather fierce Viennese lady -- very formal and somewhat frightening to this fish out of water American who was living with her urbane  German husband and she during a semester abroad) placed a small glass of blood red juice on the breakfast table in front of me.  "Ummm, what is this?" I asked quizzically but politely, not wishing to offend with my ignorance.  "Blood orange juice," she replied in that somewhat clipped manner of which she was so very fond.

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Flea Market Morning

This Wednesday's morning was a beautiful morning -- the first in many months!  It was right out of a Rogers & Hammerstein musical -- at least one comes to mind.  But this morning was absolutely golden!  I tend to suffer in the winter months, not from snow, but from lack of sunlight.  I suppose I'm a S.A.D.  person. But, for me,  getting outside to enjoy a sunny morning is one of the true joys of Spring.  I love to take the camera and just go. I'm a real road trip gal so even if it's only 30 miles it's a trip. That's good enough for me!

Since I could find no like-minded adventurous soul to join me on my journey I decided to head out alone for the local Wednesday morning Indiana flea market in nearby Brookville.  White's Flea Market is rain or shine, all year long.  It's mostly outdoors so it tends to photograph well and this market is one of the bigger flea markets in the area that doesn't run on the weekend.  That means it's not quite so crowded and the selections are more flea market and less schlock.  I'd rather stay home than wade through massive crowds looking for all the As Seen On TV stuff.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Girl Scout Cookie Conundrum

or Why Is That Green Box is Empty?

My daughter meant well when she dropped off a box of Thin Mints. Not living at home most of the year, she doesn’t realize I’m trying to give up all colorful cardboard packages covered with broadly smiling youthful feminine faces -- the commercially baked variety, anyway. I can control my behavior to some degree but not my college sophomore daughter’s.  She thought I would  “love some Girl Scout Cookies.”

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