Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Hamming It Up

I'm a big fan of pea soup.  For a long time, I would buy the Manischewitz package that has the peas measured out and a little packet of spices at the end.

Then, k-ster told me he doesn't like soup, so I stopped making it.

The last few times we've had a ham dinner at my parents', my sister has taken the hambone and made a soup.  Then she gives me some and I'm a happy camper for a few lunches.

I'm not sure what she uses for a recipe, but it's pretty good.

Much to her dismay, the last batch tasted florally, like the dishwasher soap or something, and I couldn't eat it.  She had stored it in something plastic that even when I washed it in my not floral soap, smelled florally.

And if there's anything I can't stand, it's the smell of fake flowers.

So, when we had a ham for Easter, I took the hambone and decided to make my own soup.  This rekindled the great floral soap taste debate.  She says she doesn't use a floral soap so it's impossible.

In any case, I got the hambone and made my soup.

But I can't stand the smell of the crockpot cooking all day (too much food smell infused in every.single.item in the house) so I put it out on the patio.

Absolutely perfect.  I didn't have to smell it cooking all day.  It cooked until the ham fell off the bone and the bones practically disintegrated.

And I portioned it out for myself and smiled a happy smile.

I found it to be pretty salty  because of the seasoning packet..  And it didn't make as many portions as I wanted.  Next time, I will just buy split peas and add my own spices.

Now, as for the packet.  I'm not sure why I ever bought this particular packet for pea soup.  It's nowhere near the soups aisle in my grocery store.  It's with all of the Jewish foods in another aisle.

And as we discussed at Easter, who eats pea soup without ham?  And ham isn't kosher, so adding it completely dekosherizes the soup.  So why does Manischewitz make it?

Monday, April 21, 2014

A Sticky Situation

When my family gave me the breadmaker a couple of years ago, I became the roll supplier for any big dinner we have.  They are so ridiculously easy to make with the bread machine.  The hardest part is doing the math to figure out when I have to get the dough started so they can be baked and warm when it's time to actually eat.

I usually make this recipe, but for this Easter dinner,  I wanted to use what I often use for bread from the cookbook that came with the machine.

It wasn't until I was rolling the dough into small rolls that I realized why I don't usually use this recipe for dinner rolls.  My sister doesn't eat dairy and these have butter.  The other recipe that I usually use doesn't, so they work perfectly.

Sadly, she didn't get to have rolls for Easter dinner!

The usual recipe suggests putting a honey/butter drizzle on the top.  I don't usually put the butter because of my sister, but I do put the honey.

I figured I could drizzle some honey on these and they would be similar.

I waited until after they were baked and then, while they were still warm, I put the honey and the heat melted it quite nicely.

It made for sticky rolls though.  Everyone had to wash their hands, which they don't usually do when I make the others.   Maybe I used too much?

I just love my bread machine!  

Linking here:

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Pinwheel, Pinwheel, Spinning Around

Well, this has been a ridiculous 2 weeks on the tech front.  I disappeared because I was contemplating and then making this quilt.

And, it was a nice weekend, so I ended up using all of my time for things other than writing on my blog.

Then I got the quilt finished and took pictures with my ipad.

And the pictures got stuck on my ipad and I couldn't get them to email to me, no matter what I did.

And then I remembered that my password changed and I didn't change it in the settings on the ipad.  Once I did that, all was well.  But, it took 2 days of frustration and thoughts of taking pictures of the pictures on my ipad to get them, before I remembered my password had changed!


Anyway, I have never made pinwheel squares before, but I saw it in a book and thought I might like to try it.

I had the teal print that I had found on the remnant rack ages ago and I thought a nice fuschia would be really neat with it since there was a fuschia running through the print.  There's also teal, light pink and some bizarre green/yellow color.

I knew the quilt would go to a baby girl, so I wanted to go with pinks instead of teals.

Since I had such success with my marble bag and denim quilt, I thought I'd use the same wave stitch to quilt this one.

I even got to use the funky arm on my walking foot, like I mentioned here. It made for very well spaced quilting waves.

Just like in my denim quilt, I did not baste it, I did not pin it.  I just laid it on the table, rolled it up and hoped for the best.  This was much smaller than the denim quilt, so it was far easier to manipulate through the machine.

I had some thread breaking issues but I changed the needle and widened the stitch a little and it mostly stopped.  There were two more thread breakages after that, but otherwise it went just as I wanted it to.

I bound it with the same print material that is part of the pinwheel pattern.  I didn't really have enough, so I had to really make a small binding, which wasn't really what I wanted to do.  When there is such contrast as in this quilt, I like to make sure the binding pulls it all back together.

Here's one more view of the top.
I'm really happy with the way the waves look.  I always tied my quilts, but I don't like the very homemade look that they give.  Plus, I recently had to mend a quilt I gave my friend's baby 4 years that I had tied.  The batting had just about dissolved because I left too much space between the ties, so I decided that from now on I have to either tie a million ties, or make peace with my sewing machine and make it quilt.

So far, I'm loving the wavy line look and it might be my signature quilting look!

Linking up here:

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Two Years Later And I Don't Know Any Better

It's been almost 2 years (two years???) since I wrote this, but I'm very busy making a quilt and my blogging skills are lacking, so I'm reposting.  This is one of my favorite posts because it is just so ridiculous.

And now, I do know what a latte is, but I still go to Starbucks at my local grocery store and order mediums or smalls because I don't believe in their measuring system.

And I never hesitate to add my own sugar now that I know better!

I'll be back this week with pictures of the quilt.  It's like a cotton candy factory exploded  in my sewing room...


This post is so ludicrous, I feel like I just have to share it here and here   and here and  here and here

Hop on over there, after you read this, and see what else people have to share!

Alas, the ipad is back in my mother's hands and out of mine and I am not too sad.  My father is a little surprised that I don't love the ipad because he loves all that is Apple.

Ahhh, spacing.  See that?  There's a space between the last little paragraph and this one.  On the ipad, I can't make spaces appear in blogger, so it really puts a cramp in my blogging style.  And, don't tell k-ster, but since 99.5% of my time spent at a computer is related to blogging, I don't need any more cramps in my style than I already have.

Ahh, space again.

Anyspace, back to my post.

I spent the first 4 days of my school vacation at my sister a-ster's house.  It's nice to go there and not really have plans.  L-ster is almost a year old and is very busy standing and crawling.   She's still taking 2 naps a day, so we didn't make too many plans to do stuff.  And I was fine with that.  Plus it was 85 degrees one day and that was way too hot too soon for me, so I was fine to just loll about on the blanket in the back yard while supervising l-ster in a heat induced coma.

The last day I was there, we went to the zoo.  I get a kick out of the zoo, especially because it's free, so there's no pressure to be there for any length of time.  We were there for a couple of hours and then on the way out, we thought it would be nice to get a coffee from Starbucks.

When I'm on vacation, summer vacation or one during the year, I tend to drink iced coffee in the afternoon.  Around here, my choices are limited, so it's either my house special thanks to the Keurig, or Dunkin Donuts.

I am not familiar with the workings of Starbucks.  In fact, the only Starbucks I have been in was in Paris in February and it was remarkably incident free, as I expected this would be.

A-ster sat outside with l-ster and I went in to get her a soy latte and a drink for myself.  I intended to get an iced coffee, but when I walked in the door, I remembered that I once had a Starbucks Frappucino in a bottle (from the grocery store, those nasty things you can buy) that later was possibly the cause of the only food poisoning I've ever experienced.  I have a thing about food that might have been involved in making me sick, so I immediately was not interested in a cold coffee beverage from Starbucks.

I should have left at that point.

Instead, I thought I'd have a hot coffee.  With cream and sugar.  While I make my coffee at home black for the most part, I do like actual cream and sugar in mine when I'm buying it.

So, I walked up to the counter and ordered a tall soy latte with no incident.  I thought that would be the tricky order.  And then I tried to order myself some coffee.

If they just had normal sizes (small, medium, large, this would be a lot easier).

Me:  And a regular tall latte for me, you know, with cream and sugar.

Barista:  Umm, you mean you want syrup?

Me:  Syrup?  No, I want cream and sugar.

Barista:  Do you mean like packets of sugar?

Me:  Oh, do I do it?  Do I have to put the sugar in myself?  Is that what you mean?  (I could hear myself getting more shrill with each question and looking around frantically, like I had missed the do it yourself station)

Barista:  Um, well, um, like packets?  Do you want packets of sugar?  Or syrup?

Again, I should have taken the soy latte and left at that point.  I briefly scanned the room again to see if I was missing the little station where maybe I do my own cream and sugar, but I was blinded by the "packets or syrup" thing, so I didn't see anything.

Me:  Ok, I don't want any of your stinkin' syrups, no flavors, just cream and sugar.  Now, do I have to do it or do you?

Barista:  (very patiently explaining) We have syrups, is that what you mean?  Like our classic syrup?  That doesn't have any flavoring.

Me:  Classic?  What is it?

Barista:  It's like liquid sugar.

Me:  Ok, fine.  Liquid sugar and cream.  In my latte.

So, she writes something on a cup for me, writes the S for soy latte on a cup and then puts the cups to the side.  For the imaginary person next to her to deal with them I guess, because she turned and helped the next customer while I stood there like a fool.

No one came to get the cups and actually make coffee.

The next customer just got an unsweetened iced coffee and left in like 2 seconds.  Like I should have.

Then it was just me again.  With my outrageous order of cream and sugar.  That the Barista should get for me.

Since the imaginary coffee pourer/latte  maker didn't appear, now the girl had to deal with me.  So she made the soy latte, no problem.

Then it was time for mine.  My "cream and sugar" with the liquid sugar syrup.  And the cream that was going into a latte?  I was only thinking that it should not take like 20 minutes when I am only one of 2 customers in the store.  And that I really should have ordered a cold coffee because this hot one will take forever to cool.

So, she starts pumping the liquid sugar and I hear it sputtering like it's the end of the bottle, so now she has to get another one.  Now the imaginary person DOES appear and she says something about "this lady wants classic syrup" and then I didn't hear the rest but I am sure it involved them rolling around on the floor in hysterics out back.

Classic syrup appeared but the bottle was too full, so she had to pour some down the drain.  WHAT????  She manages to reassemble the pump and squirts in some more and then the fun begins.  Now she has to add cream to my latte.  I guess.  Because I heard her frothing something.  And then she was kind of bumping around looking for a spoon to hold back the froth and then she did some more finagling back there.

Finally, she handed me the soy latte and then stumbled over what she was going to call mine.  And she added that she didn't know if it was sweet enough, but if I needed more liquid sugar, to let her know.  I heard like 5 pumps go into that cup, so I was sure it would be sweet enough.  Especially since it's liquid sugar and it's likely hundreds of times sweeter than any packet could ever be.

What a great disappointment it turned out to be!  Mostly milk!  In a latte.  Go figure~!

As I was explaining my annoyance at all that went on and how it took so looooong, a-ster was dying laughing that I asked the girl to do cream and sugar for me.

That's not how it's done at Starbucks and she should know, because she lived on the west coast for a decade.  She played out for me what the conversation was probably like between the Baristas when I left--- remember the one who made me put cream and sugar in it for her????  What a princess!

And it was only then, as I said the word latte out loud that I realized I should not have asked for cream in my latte.

In my confusion, in the world where tall is small and vente doesn't mean #20, I was thinking latte just meant coffee.  I forgot about the milk part of the latte.  I was so confused by all of the lingo.

And I'm usually so good with languages.

I should have ordered a drip coffee, a-ster now tells me.

And I should have just gone to Dunkin Donuts.

And just so we're clear that I am not alone in my Starbucks nightmare, look at what I found on another site!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Way Too Cool

I don't know how it gets to be the middle of the week and I haven't posted since Saturday.  I guess I have nothing wild to tell you about!

I do, however, need to have you go vote again for my sister.  She's still in the running over at Project Run and Play.  She did a really, really cool thing with designing fabric for a skirt and as soon as I can figure out what she did, I might do the same thing as a piece of artwork.

Go check out her blog for the nitty, gritty details and then go vote for her so we can all vote once more when the finals come out next week!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Tales of A Fourth Grade Something

Do you remember the book Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing?  I think it was Judy Blume, but I'm too lazy to go look it up.  I think that was one of the few titles of hers that I didn't read.  I really liked her books but something about that title turned me off.

Or maybe I read it and forgot about it.  I read books like it was my job before I was in high school, so I have no idea what I read and what I saw on shelves over and over again but didn't bother to read.

Then I got to high school where I was forced to read books I did not enjoy and I put reading on hold for a while.  I thought I couldn't read two books at once and keep track.

I knew nothing about multitasking in high school.

Today, I read a bunch of books at once, a few magazines at the same time and I have a book on tape I'm always ready to listen to on my ipod.

It's no wonder I have no idea what's going on.

But, today's post isn't about books.

It's about 4th grade girl shenanigans.

Do you picture leprechauns when you hear the word shenanigans?  I think the leprechaun should be the shenanigan mascot because I can't hear one without seeing the other.

So, I do a thing called Walking Club one day a week, last period of the day.  I was sort of swindled into doing it, but it's fun and I get to walk and overhear hysterical conversations.  If they had realized all they had to say was walk and eavesdrop, they could have had me doing this from day one.

Anylistening, we have a HUGE group of kids, so they keep enlisting adults to help supervise so it's more like a 20 to 1 ratio instead of 150 to 1 or whatever it was at the beginning.  We go out to the track and the rules are simple:

Walk or run.
Be respectful of which lanes are for running.
Keep your hands to yourself.

And for the most part, they are really good about that.  The best part is that they are free to run or walk without having to stay with a teacher and we can see everyone at once because we are all out on the track.  I wander around, sometimes with kids, sometimes alone, and I come upon great conversations.

Mostly between boys, about Minecraft or some other video game.

And I still laugh when I see kids talking and then, out of nowhere, they go running off like it's the most important race of their lives, mid sentence.

This week, I was treated to a walk with two girls who did.not.stop.talking the entire 40 minutes.  And, unlike most kids, when I walked away to deal with someone, they actually found me again and still.kept.talking.

Their stories were pretty entertaining and ran the gamut.  They clearly had diarrhea of the mouth.

So, they told me of their new plan.

"Mademoiselle Sparkling," one of them said, grinning wildly "we have a new thing we do.  We PAY boys to chase us at recess!"

"You pay them?  With what?"

"Money.  75 cents."

"Oh girls, are you sure that's the best use of your money?  Why do you have to pay them to chase you?  You're going to have boys chasing you all your life.  Why don't you just chase each other and save your 75 cents?"

"Well, we like them to chase us."

"Well, I think you will probably end up in trouble for that, so you probably shouldn't pay people to chase you."

"Ok, that's probably a good idea."

Minutes went by, a hundred stories were told and then they got to the bottom of their plan.

"And see," said the leader of the pair, "when we want them to stop chasing us, we know what to do.  We have this Purell that smells like flowers and they are afraid of it, so we just take it out and they stop!"

"Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmm...................wait, so you pay them 75 cents and then when they do what you want, you scare them away?"


Glowing.  They were simply glowing with the perfection in their master plan.

"Girls, I think that might be illegal.  It's like you're luring them into a trap, isn't it?"

"Well..... kind of...."

"Yeah, I actually think that's illegal.  I think you could really get into trouble for that!"

"Ok, well, we haven't actually started paying them yet.  It's something we just thought up."

"I'm going to suggest that you stay away from that plan."

"Ok, we won't do it then.  So you wanna hear about my mother's bird that does this crazy dance in the washing machine?  Like this?  Wanna hear it???? Wanna?  Huh?"

"Oh gee, look at the time girls.  Buses are here, gotta go.  BYE!"

These girls......

Linking here:

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

It's That Time Again

It's time to go visit Project Run and Play to vote for my sister's creation before Thursday night.  Her's is Call Ajaire:  Cape Cod Casual.

I absolutely love this one and I think you will too!