Monthly Archives: March 2013

What questionable leftovers have to do with being buried “in straight lace shoes”

My husband and I have a recurring conversation when we eat a leftover that is a bit past its time or if we are about to have a medical procedure we think we may not survive. Actually, I’m the only one who worries about not surviving the medical procedures but that’s probably because I’ve had more experience with those…like emergency surgeries.

Anyway, this is how the conversation starts:

“If I die, do you promise to…?”

Okay, so I admit it’s a bit morbid, but we share a rather warped sense of humor and sometimes that’s the only thing that keeps us sane. The upside of this is that we both usually end up laughing so hard we forget why we were worried in the first place.

Last night, we were each fixing something for supper. He held out some potatoes and asked if I thought they were safe to eat. They were a little on the green side, which I always thought meant they weren’t really ripe. Still, they weren’t sprouting and they looked okay when he cut them, so we figured they were okay. Just to be on the safe side, I posed the “What do you want me to do if you die?”

His response was classic. “Dress me in straight-laced shoes.”

After 33 years, you’d think I’d have heard all of his responses, but this was a new one. He caught my doubtful expression and (acting stunned) said, “C’mon, you know that one, don’t you? You know (cue the trumpets)…The St. James Infirmary?”

He knows perfectly well that I did not grow up on the jazz music that he did. So our supper prep morphed into a quickie lesson on yet another Louis Armstrong  classic…”I went down to St. James Infirmary, saw my baby there, sat down on a long white table, so sweet, so cold, so fair…When I die I want you to dress me in straight lace shoes…

I must have looked completely clueless, because he insisted on playing the song for me. I mumbled something about it sounding like one of those New Orleans jazz funeral marches, which apparently is exactly what it was.

Seems I have learned something after 33 years of listening to his jazz lectures. Oh and by the way, no one died from eating the potatoes.

Curious enough to hear the real thing? Here you go…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-hIplBbiCc

 

The Granddog comes for a visit: Parenting skills revisited

One of our granddogs came to visit a few weeks ago while his ma and pa were traveling. Two weeks later, he’s still here, which is fine because he keeps Ike busy.

We’ve discovered some interesting — and humorous — similarities between two children and two dogs — aside from the fact that two eat twice as much as one:

1.) If one thinks he’s been shorted in the food dish, he’ll let you know by (a) staring at you, (b) sniffing the food tub, (c) staring at you, and finally, shoving his dish around to make some noise. Just in case you missed the point.

2.) They fight over who gets to sit in the front passenger seat. The general plan is that whoever gets there first, wins. Sound familiar? Once in awhile they both get relegated to the middle seat, a fact that miffs both.ikeand harvey

3.) If one leaves an unfinished treat (i.e., rawhide) while he runs off to investigate something in another room, all bets are off. He who finds the treat, wins.

4.) Two in the tub doesn’t always work. Getting them into the tub can be a challenge. Sometimes it’s best to divide and conquer.IMG_0408[1]IMG_0409[1]

5.) If Ike, a lightweight at 15 pounds, chooses to snooze on Gma or Gpa’s lap, then Harvey, a heavyweight 45 pounder, becomes an instant lap dog. Beware whoever’s lap is free: Prepare to catch the 45-pounder as he jumps onto your lap.03131318530304130847

6.) They may sleep much of the day away, but 5 p.m. is the witching hour. You may think it’s time to fix supper, but in reality the race is on. The two of them begin a mad chase through the house, running at top speed from the second floor down through the main floor and back. This usually ends with both of them laying on the kitchen floor, panting wildly, slobbering everywhere, completely oblivious to the fact that a galley kitchen is not designed for two dogs and two adults.

7.) At the end of the day, the two are the best of friends. The fact that one is 1/3 the size of the other just means that the big guy gets to hold the little guy.0302131158

Hopscotch — alive and well in 2013

Remember hopscotch? Guess what? It’s still alive and well….at least in our neighborhood. Yesterday we had one of those glorious early spring days that just begs for playing outside in shorts.

Anyway, with temps in the mid-60s, my two favorite next-door neighbor kidlets were busily designing their own hopscotch board on the front sidewalk. I bet them that they couldn’t extend it beyond their property line all the way to our driveway.

The almost-6-year old (he made sure I knew exactly the date on which he turns 6) was drawing the squares and numbering them under his 8-year-old sister’s giggling directions. 2013-03-10 14.23.41

When I asked if I could test it, they looked at me in that dubious way that only children can. After all, in their minds, I’m OLD. My children are MUCH OLDER than them….so old they barely remember them. But being the cheerful kids that they are, they allowed me to take a test hop. 2013-03-10 14.23.532013-03-10 14.23.38

When I reached the final squares, I heard Xavier breathe a sigh of relief. He grinned. “I thought you were going to fall.” Ali giggled. Ahhh, the forthrightness of youth.
He then proceeded to show me the rock they intended to use for their game. Apparently, their version involved throwing the rock on a distant square. If it fell in a square, they could take a turn. Okay, so this is not the version I remember. So what? Are games not designed to be played with whatever rules one chooses to assign?

This is the joy of being a child and having plain old fun on a beautiful sunny afternoon in Ohio. And what better way to do this than by dressing for fun?2013-03-10 14.24.59

Second time around: homemade crackers

Awhile back some dough that was intended to become a loaf of bread instead morphed into crackers because I’d forgotten to add yeast. And they were good.

Today, though, I had a plan. Homemade crackers were on the agenda. I’d consulted my ancient edition of Prescription for Nutritional Healing, searching for some ideas for foods to eat to reduce pain and inflammation. I knew about the healing properties of flax seed and that it has some analgesic properties. It’s also a good source of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, which are thought to promote cardiovascular health.

Having stocked up on flax seed, I searched for a cracker recipe and found one in a blog by Tracy Carolyn.

Her recipe, Whole Wheat Flax Seed Crackers, also incorporated sesame seeds. But as usual, I have to make changes. So I substituted white wheat flour for the white flour and added some rosemary and thyme, both from my garden, and set about creating. My version of the recipe follows the photos.0303131158

0303131204

0303131229

0303131320

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

0303131320a

 

 

 

 

Whole Wheat/Flax/Sesame/Wheat Germ Crackers
2/3 c. whole wheat flour
2/3 c. white wheat flour
1/3 c. flax seeds
1/6 c. sesame seeds
1/6 c. wheat germ
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3 tbsp. olive oil
3/4 c. water

In a medium bowl, mix together flours, flax weed, sesame seeds, wheat germ, salt and baking powder. Add the oil and stir until combined. Add the water and stir to come and create the dough. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead four to five times. Divide into eight equal pieces, cover with a tea towel and allow to rest for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450 (my oven doesn’t register correctly, so I set it for 425). On a lightly floured surface, roll out one piece of dough to 1/16-inch and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet (I use a silicone baking mat). Bake on the middle rack of the oven for five to six minutes, then flip and bake for an additional two to three minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack. When cool, break into desired pieces.

Note: Baking times will vary with actual thickness of dough and oven temperature, so watch them carefully.

Also: I like the unusual shapes of broken crackers, but you could score them before baking to produce consistent size/shapes.
Store in airtight container for up to two weeks — if they last that long.