Friday, October 31, 2008

What to Do with Cracked Eggs

I get my eggs from a sweet French Canadian lady who lives across the road kitty-corner to us. Sometimes her hens lay gangbusters, other times they go on strike and Decadent Housewife must resort to Town eggs. Those are eggs that come with nearly see-through white shells that break easily and really don't taste as good. These are the times I hear, "what's wrong with Madame so and so's chickens? These eggs taste like..." There have been times, when Madame's hens were going crazy, I had up to fourteen dozen eggs in the refrigerator...so I have gotten into the habit of judicially freezing them and knowing when a frozen egg works and when it doesn't.

Anyway, I was sort of in a hurry getting ready to leave for Toronto and put these Town eggs into the refrigerator with the carton heavy side out.
In no time flat they wound up on the floor in the mess you see here. No time to do anything with them right away, they got tossed into the freezer, the way you see them here. I would have ziplocked them too but had run out of those. So what to do with a bunch of cracked frozen eggs?
Bake them in pies or cakes or cookies. I decided to do some more pies. There was a tad of leftover sweet potato in the fridge when we got back from TO. To that I added a tad more frozen baked squash and some brown sugar since Buff had baked cookies while we were away and the white sugar was pretty much gone.
I warmed up the vegetable and then took the frozen eggs and ran them under some water to help loosen the shell, but not for very long at all,
since these were store eggs and not farm eggs and the shells were thin. As you can see, the shell will peel off easily.
I then plopped the eggs into the waiting warm vegetable. Now I could have waited longer than I did for the eggs to return to room temperature in the vegetable mix but didn't and had one egg lodge itself in the blade of my hand-held mixer and subsequently zing itself across the kitchen.
That added a bit of unexpected excitement and cheered up Buff; home sick from school. After cleaning up the mess and retrieving the wayward egg, I got back to my frozen eggs and pies. The eggs softened up fairly fast and after that the mixing went along easily.
And did Decadent use the wayward egg in her pies? Yes. After rinsing it off and baking at 450 F x 15 minutes and another 45 minutes at 350F I really don't think there is anything to worry about. Besides, my floors are perfectly clean.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Chicken Soup Day

The corn is now gone. It came off a few nights ago under the lights of a corn picker and waning full moon. The field now looks all rough and nubbly tweedy...something I'd like to cut into to make a Sherlock Holmes cape. I show these photos from a few days ago when the corn was still standing, because I've been a little busy with an inpatient.
Poor old Buff caught a cold after his twenty mile bicycle ride back from Town. He'd missed his bus home because he had a detention on account of a little nameplate switching incident on school picture day. The other night he went for another ten mile bicycle ride in the rain to work out at a friend's house and made it all the more worse. Soooooo..................................................
I've been nursing a sick puppy these last few days. No school for Buff...except for the few times I found him asleep on the keyboard amid an ocean of crumpled Kleenex, smushed Goji berries and half full mugs of green tea. Out of chicken and needing to make some more soup, it's off to Town I go in search of a fine chicken for the soup pot.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Caramel Corn

I'll admit....this is GG's domain. He made the caramel corn you see pictured here. He makes all the caramel corn in this house. He usually makes all the popcorn in this house too. And because he works fast I didn't catch him in time to take photos of the process. Just use a large and deep pan to boil the syrup because when the baking soda is added, the mixture will foam up.

GG uses a big old non-stick frying pan. And be careful, be careful, be careful. This is low-brow candy making but melted sugar is still hot and the syrup will burn if you get it on yourself. Violinist still has a little scar, or was that the fillet knife thing?...never mind...except to say I always worry about his hands...his fingers.
  • 1 cup raw popping corn
  • 1 cup peanuts or pecans or almonds
  • 1 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
Pop the corn. Preheat oven to 250 F. Mix butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, salt. Bring to a boil while stirring constantly. Let boil x 5 minutes, while stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add baking soda and vanilla. Pour over the popped popcorn and nuts.
Bake in oven x 45 minutes stirring every 15 minutes. The longer baked the less gooey...so depending on how gooey you like caramel corn...well, you decide. We like it gooey, therefore skip the bake process altogether.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Off to Sew the Wizard

A few weeks ago Decadent Housewife received a distress signal from Helen. Help was needed in a soon to open Wizard of Oz production. I arrived with Helen to find a nice big room filled with all the fixings of costume design and production; sergers, sewing machines, irons, pins, glue, paint, mounds and mounds and mounds of fabric, but only one lonely Lion painting his comrade, The Scarecrow's straw hat.
"So what needs to be done?" we asked the person in charge and after her rundown, were thoroughly amazed at her calm. I would have been in the bathroom throwing up. After learning how much yet needed to be done, with less than 48 hours to showtime, we also learned that she had indeed been doing just that...that very morning...throwing up.
"So tell us what to do," I said, brightly. "We have Glinda here...she needs to have adjustments in the bodice and in the sleeve and we need some overskirts added and some more overskirts. And she's tall, so we need to add some length and have you ever done fishline hems? Oh good, because I've never done them.
And then I have the Wicked Witch to finish. The original witch had to withdraw and we've had to remake her outfit...different witch altogether...different height...weight...everything. And then I still have the Lion to finish." I reconsidered my first assessment about throwing up. It's too late for throwing up...I'd have been done with that step weeks earlier.
"Oh and the poppies, we need to do the poppies and the snowflakes and..." I leaned forward to Helen, "I'll never say yes to you again." But she smiled, because she knows me better. I was a free agent and felt unpressured and therefore relaxed enough to help someone in a sinking ship. I know how it feels to be drowning in yards of uncut, unhemmed, unglued, unfitted organza or chiffon or lion fur. Really bad. Really, really, really bad.
So Helen left me with Glinda and waded into the poppies. And we listened to Jose Carreras and Rod Stewart singing "Gasoline Alley"...not together. It felt like high school home-ec class. This time I wasn't sewing in some freezing portable in the parking lot with a teacher overlooking every stitch and telling me I could sew no further than her schedule. We were now sewing like crazies in a nice building, since built over the very spot where that freezing portable classroom stood back in 1970 something. And we were further crazied when someone left the windows open and the room became inundated with flies and I remarked, "I feel like I'm in a bad novel." I'll add now..."in more ways than one."
So I dashed in and sewed and then ran home and picked up GG and ran and had lunch with GG and his parents and ran home again and fixed supper for Buff and his friends. And like laundry, I kept coming back. By this time more people who sew had been found and were sewing all around. The speaker to the dressing/sewing room crackled from the auditorium...a skill saw and hammering and Toto amiably barking.
And it was discovered that someone had eaten a plate of prop cookies, half of which had been glued down and little voices began to arrive asking for their poppy heads and other parts yet to be made.
And a little Munchkin in a very bright, very stiff tutu attached herself to my elbow...it was the Glinda dress I'm sure, that cast it's spell...it surely wasn't me.
A crow demanded a hoola-hoop. But I declared I'd missed hoola-hoops the first time around and couldn't help him now either. And some monkeys made their appearance.
And the morning of opening night I noticed a pile of uncut fur laying on the floor of the servery. "What's that?" "The Lion."
Around 5:00 opening night, a skill saw still whining from the auditorium, I finished...rather what I thought was finished, Glinda.
What else do you need? Well, these stars go on Glinda and these sparkly hearts and... Done. What else do you need? Well, the Wicked Witch needs adjusting and new sleeves and the bodice is all ripped out and... Done.
Between Glinda and the Wicked Witch two little Munchkins appeared all worried because their hats would not stay on. "Whatever will we DO?" they cried. So I found some self-adhesive velcro and stuck it inside the crowns of their hats and declared, "If it's good enough for the Queen of England, it's good enough for us." And they and their mothers were about as amazed as I at how for once some useless bit of information picked up over the years actually was useful and in a pinch too! And one of the Munchkins was so thrilled she did this.
What else do you need? Well, there are the crow's toes. Really. I kid you not. Here they are.

I sat sewing and stuffing Crow's Toes all through the first act of opening night. And when I noticed a Crow wander through the change/sewing room, eating a Mars Bar looking very, very relaxed, I figured by then it was too late.
Another two people came to the rescue of the Crow's Toes because frankly, by then I had a dilly of a headache and could no longer think. "We'll work on them tomorrow," someone said. But I wasn't coming back tomorrow. During intermission, I wandered back to the women's dressing room to find Glinda. I still hadn't seen her in her dress.

While crossing the orchestra pit, Helen, the one who got me into this eleventh hour sewing H-E-Double Hockey Sticks, exclaimed, "Are you still here?!" I pointed out to her that while she had been tickling ivories, I had been ramping a Bernina through Crow's Toes the entire first act. The toes were not done and I was not going to know how they ever turned out since I was leaving for Toronto the very next day and not coming back for a very, very long time. I made my way to find Glinda, the pink witch thrilled with her dress and very regal and pink looking.
I left the very next day for Toronto and never looked back...until now, to report all this.
(All costume design by Julia Burgess.)

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Red Glove

"Honey can you give me a hand?"
"What do you need help with?"
"I need to see if I can get a spark on the lawnmower. Just hold the plug to the metal and see if you see a spark."
"Will I get a shock?"
"Not likely."
"Not likely?"
"Not likely."
"No."
"Look...just hold the plug to the metal."
"No. The last time you told me to do something like this my fingers got burned."
"There's no propane here. It's only a spark plug."
"No."
"In that case...you can choose. You can pull the cord to start or you can hold the plug."
"Can I have a rubber glove?"
This is what GG found in The Shop from Hell...appropriately red.


"Does it matter if I stand here, or here?" I point to bare ground and then to the sheet of plywood I'm standing on.
"You have rubber shoes on. It won't matter."
"Propane huh?...I'll pull."
"You're pulling the whole mower...I'LL pull."
"Okay."
"Watch for a spark. Do you see a spark?"
"No. Maybe. Yeah, there was a spark...I think. No. I can't see anything."
"Look for a spark. WHERE are you looking?"
"Right here on the metal part where it touches."
"NO...look for the spark across the space."
"What space? You told me to touch the plug to the metal. Nobody said anything about a space."
"The space...here." GG points to something in the air in the general vicinity of the sparkplug.
"Nobody told me about a space."
"Do you see a spark?"
"Yeah, there's a spark."

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Buff Gets a Detention - Again

Poor old Buff got a detention and didn't get back from Town until very, very, very late because he had to borrow a bicycle to ride the twenty miles home. When he arrived home, he was so famished and faint from the need to eat, drink and be filled that all was quiet until he had done so. Seems it's a detentionable offence for teenage boys to switch name plates while getting photos taken for the high school yearbook. Actually, I wonder why I never thought to do that myself. I mean, it isn't like switching babies in a nursery and it isn't as though a yearbook is the same as dental records.

The worst I ever did was stick a tack on Mr. Dinwoody's chair in Grade 10 History. Something about Mesopotamia, Greeks and Ur oh my. And, yes, he actually sat on it. And he ever...so...nonchalantly...leaned a little to the left, all the while talking about papyrus and cuneiform tablets and Moses, I think...and plucked the offending tack from his hiney. Very cool. Very, very cool. He could have been Moses. That cool. That old.

And I could hardly contain myself. The very cool boy sitting across from me, with the long golden locks...Benjamin...he could hardly contain himself. He could have been Adonis. Anyway, it livened up a very dull afternoon in March and got Adonis's attention. Today, that tack thing would warrant a good three day-er, no doubt. And now, after having written this...it has occurred to me that, no, that was not the worst I did. Another time.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Lost and Found

Today I got to utilize the Canadian Health Care System (Bow Down and Kiss the Earth). Having left my Katharine Hepburn in the car and refusing to touch the ickyboo magazines provided, I got bored sitting and waiting for GG to pick me up. So I told a nurse I was going to walk over to the library. "Tell GG when he gets here." "Okey, dokey." Having been just freshly anethetized, I think she let me get away with it, because we know each other. "Don't worry. I can blow it off walking."
Anyway, I was reading a good book, "365 Ways to Cook a Chicken", when GG walks in...very quickly, "We've been looking everywhere for you, security, everyone, I wanted to call the police."
"Oh really? Well, I told them where I was going and nobody tried to stop me. Look here, it says that you can put sweet potatoes into the chicken pot pie crust...another way to get rid of extra sweet potato."
"We paged and paged you...where have you been?"
"Right here...right here, where you've found me...reading this book about chicken."
"And security looked everywhere for you...the cafeteria...the roof...the basement - "
"The roof?"
"We searched and searched. They had to call everyone who went home to find out where you went."
"Well I'm here."
"We paged and paged for you. Security hunted and hunted for you. I wanted them to call the police."
Being in the midst of thousands of books, GG seemed to be calming down a bit and began wandering the aisles picking titles off the shelves. "Where were you?" he trailed off. So I told him I was going to walk over to the second-hand shop to do a bit of Magpie-ing. "Where? How far...how long will you be...what do you need?"
"Relax. I'll be right back."

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Meander Through the Garden

Here is a meander through the garden looking for pots........
and to see what needs to be brought indoors before the snow flies.
This is a very sorry looking varigated impatients; remnants of too much water from Hurricane Ike. It is supposed to be tall. It grows very tall and that is why I like it so much. It is nameless as my cousin gave it to me and she doesn't remember anything about it except she got it in a garden club exchange.
It needs to come inside to winter over and I need to take cuttings from it. It won't manage all winter in the shape it's in. A few winters ago while I was utilizing the Canadian Health Care System (Bow Down and Kiss the Earth) I gave it to a friend for safekeeping. Alas, she had better things to care for...like nine children. Hey...I've got it good!
Taking cuttings from the unidentified impatients........
and they'll get popped into a jar of water like these geranium starts.
And this trailing geranium comes inside too. First I'll knock off the ladybugs...I mean shake them off...not kill them!
And in comes the Wandering Jew and Swedish Ivy.
And then along came The Cat........
may as well flop down.
right here...because The Cat does not get to come in for the winter.
Yes, we all know you're The Cat.
Now back to the garden.