26 March 2014

The Cake That Keeps On Giving

I am not a someone who craves sweets.  I am a salty eater.  Given the choice for dessert, I choose cheese.  But every now and them I do want something sweet. 

Last night I was searching for something, a lone cookie, some candy, something and then I ran across the fruitcake.  As always, I baked fruitcakes for Christmas.  I am a firm defender of fruitcakes.  They respond like that old computer joke about "garbage in, garbage out."  Same with a fruitcake.  Unless you go the extra mile to get beautiful dried fruit, plump raisins, and a nice rum; unless you are will to bake it low and slow for several hours, you get garbage out.  But put in the effort and months later you still have a lovely sweet snack.

I felt a bit like Lord Carnarvon unwrapping a mummy.  There were three layers of aluminium foil.   Four or five wrappings of cling film.  Finally rum soaked cheesecloth that needed another soaking.  Finally, the fruitcake.  I sliced it, inspected it, and broke off a small corner for just a careful taste.  (I have heard those stories of people finding fruitcakes 10 or 12 years later and eating them, but one always wants to check.)

It was delicious, firm, moist and studded with fruit. I poured a cup of coffee and had a late-night sweet.  Another reason one should make Christmas fruitcake. 

25 March 2014

Winter's Broken Record

I know. You are tired of these pictures, but not as tired as we are!  It is not like we are alone.

Several people posted this weather map as a joke on Facebook.  The problem is, it doesn't seem to be a joke.  Two weeks ago we had "the last snow" of the winter.  Last week we had a "freaky spring snow" and this morning we had "the last snow of winter" or perhaps the next to the last snow of spring" since we awaiting more snow this afternoon.

Yes, Spring is trying to break through, Bless its little heart!

Tomorrow the car is going into the shop to have the windshield replaced.  A couple of tiny dings became an issue during the last few weeks when the temperature was 65 during the day and -10 at night.  That was our most dramatic shift in temperature, but in has not been unusual for a 30 to 50 degree shift during a 24 hour period.  I called 6 places before I could find a windshield repair that could take my car before MAY!  

17 March 2014

Cocktails At the Burn Pit -- Birthday Edition

Yes, it was Pisces birthday week and it so cold we definitely needed a burn pit.

Let us step back to the end of February (still in Pisces mode) when it was cold and dreary.  We bought several bags of Meyer lemons and made marmalade and jelly. Sweet and tart and the perfect curative for that pesky scurvy.

Now fast forward to birthday which needed the perfect libation with a minimum of work.  The second the Meyer Lemon Jelly was in the jar, we knew it would be the most awesome cocktail ingredient.  Our drink of choice is a gin based French 75. We uncorked the richly botanical Botanist Gin (thanks for the recommendation Pigtown Design), added the jelly and topped off with prosecco.  The perfect French 75 with no work.

French 75

1 teaspoon Meyer Lemon Jelly
1 ounce Botanist Gin

In a champagne flute (about six ounces) add the jelly and gin.  Give a quick stir.  Top off with prosecco.

Happy Birthday to Me! 

Besides having a cocktail, the plan was to bake a cake. A chocolate cake. Then, at the Post Office, Postmistress Nelda delivered a cake with the mail. We have the best Post Office here in Shirley (or perhaps the best postmistress.)

And they want to close the Post Office. Shame on them.

13 March 2014

This, Too, Shall Pass

What a week!

The crocus broke through the frozen ground.

We got rid of that pesky Daylight Savings Time and now there is light at 6pm.

The weatherman was ecstatic that we were having eleven straight hours of temperatures ABOVE freezing.

One afternoon the temperature rose to 68!  We worked in the yard.  We burned leaves.  We abandoned the coat. It was glorious.

Then...another polar vortex came crashing down and in 36 hours we went from 68 degrees to 7 degrees.

But this, too, shall pass...an Spring will sprung...soon, please.

10 March 2014

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Like so many others, I am a huge Wes Anderson fan.  I must admit, I am not as excited about The Grand Budapest Hotel as I was for Moonrise Kingdom. The good news is that more people will read Stefan Zweig because of it.

Here is today's pressing question.  Was Elaine Stritch unavailable to play Madame D.?

UPDATE: The post would make more sense if the photos were visible!

04 March 2014

Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras began in 1703 in Mobile, Alabama.  And you thought it was New Orleans.  It took NOLA a full seven years before they got on the bandwagon, or krewe float.

Mardi Gras is a very Southern event.  This is what happens.  Shove Tuesday, a day of confession before Lent, turns into Ash Wednesday which marks the beginning of a forty days liturgical period of prayer and fasting or abstinence.  So basically, it is a one second event, when Tuesday ticks into Wednesday.

This year Mardi Gras is today, 4 March.  The party started "officially" on 15 February when the first parade rolled out.  That is eighteen days.  For eighteen days, Southerner's party for that one second when Tuesday becomes Wednesday. 

That's what I like about the South.

Give us an event that lasts a few seconds or a few minutes and we can create a three week celebration filled with drinking, eating and...

zippy costumes.

The nickname "Fat Tuesday" grew out the desire to eat rich foods before the Lenten fast.

So eat, drink, and be merry, your second is ticking.

03 March 2014

We Don't Get Out Much

Yes, it is now March.  This is the sixth month that we have had snow.  Even the chickens are stir crazy.  They can no longer stay inside, even if there is a blizzard outside.

I am not that crazy.

But eventually as Annie says, The sun will come out...

and the weatherman says this is our LAST snow.  He better be right.
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