Saturday, December 26, 2009

Blizzard 2009

Don't you love a weather event that has its own name?  Yeh, me neither.

Actually, what you're looking at is the tamed down version, when the wind was merely gusting to 30 or 40 miles per hour, rather than holding steadily at 40 to 50 with gusts to 60.  I have some photos from that part of the snowstorm, but you really can't tell what you're looking at.  

We were pretty effectively stuck inside, and very thankful that it was our own warm house we were stuck in and not the airport, or worse, a vehicle on the interstate.

It made for an odd sort of Christmas.  First ever for it to be just the two of us.  But relaxing in it's own way.  We listened to music and read (him) and knit (me). Our military man called and we were able to chat for nearly an hour. It was good. 

And we got to see everybody else's storm photos.  (Thank you Facebook.) Oooh, I need to post ours.  I'm sure there are hundreds of people out there just itching to make sure that snow at our house looks pretty much exactly like snow at their house.

We'll venture out by and by to catch up to our family celebration.  We'll be the ones so bundled up we look like Michelin people.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Winter Storm Warning!

We're supposed to get a humongous winter storm starting tomorrow morning early.  We really have been fortunate to not have too many of these at Christmas.  The last one was Christmas 2001, and it was a doozy.  We were snowed in for 3 or 4 days, but we did okay.  We did not run out of food, firewood or toilet tissue. We were not tempted to eat the cat.  We played games we hadn't played in ages - something called Rummicub, sort of like Gin Rummy, but not exactly.  We ate away at the leftovers from a very large meal that had been intended to serve way more people than were actually in the house at the time of the storm.  Several were stranded just 10 miles away.  It might have been 1,000 with the road conditions.  It snowed and blowed and iced and who knows whatall.  Every so often, someone got all bundled up to the gills and crunched out cautiously out on the slick ice-covered snow to the wood pile, and crunched even more cautiously back with a fresh supply of logs. 

We decided that we would have sucked as pioneers.

Now the weather dudes are using words like "hazzardous", "warnings" and one I don't really like the sound of: "impact".
What's the impact of this storm?  How will it impact us?  We don't want to hear how impacted you are, Weather Dude.  Just be quiet and let us try to remember when exactly it was that we had the chimney guy out. Last year?  Before that?  And whether or not we actually have any firewood. 

We went out earlier and got all the basic supplies.  Library books and videos and some food.  The usual "French Toast" business.  Bread, eggs, milk.  Do we have anything to put on the bread? Who knows?  We have two kinds of chocolate chips; that ought to be good for something. 

Eggs? Check.  Sugar? Check.  Sounds like it's time to make a batch of Meringues.  (Recipe does indeed follow.  Do you think I'd just let you drop?  You know better.  Just for that, you're going to be the one who has to crunch out in the snow and crud to chunk off some firewood from the big frozen pile.)


2 egg whites
1/2 teasp vanilla
1/8 teasp cream of tartar
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 mini chocolate chip morsels (optional)

Lightly grease baking sheet and set aside. Mix egg whites, vanilla and cream of tartar to soft peak stage. Add sugar 1 tablespoon at a time while beating until stiff peaks form. (Gently fold in mini morsels if using.) Drop mounds of batter 2 inches apart on baking sheet. Bake at 300 degrees for 20 minutes. Makes 2 dozen.
Without the chocolate morsels, these cookes are about 24 calories each, 0 grams of fat and only 3 mg. of sodium. In spite of this, they are delicious. ;-)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Did You Say No Christmas Knits???

Yup.  That was exactly what I said.  This is a first: No knit gifts.  No crocheted ones either.  In order to achieve full disclosure, I will say that there is one quilted item, but it's small...and not exactly quilted. 

Last Christmas, I decreed that hence forth, handmade gifts were for birthdays.  We do seem to have several birthday clusters, but this in no way compares to having all the presents fall due on the same date.  Or earlier, in the case of those going into the mail.  This year - no carrying projects around everywhere, knitting frantically, in the car, in line at Walmart, at parties, at events, at the doctor's office. This year - knitting, yes.  But no duress knitting.

It's been lovely. 

Also new this year, the lovely elves at Amazon helped us along, and we didn't even need to do the usual hand-to-hand combat thing that passes for shopping at the mall. 

And now, today's recipe - which has a story.  My mom clipped this recipe from the May, 1955 edition of Seventeen.  (That's not the story.  Just be patient.  Read the nice recipe now.)

Nestle's Candy Quickies
Basic recipe: Combine and melt over hot (not boiling) water: 1 cup Nestle's Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels; 1/4 cup (4 Tablespoons) light corn syrup; 1 T. water.  Remove from heat.  Add 2 cups of any ready-to-eat dry cereal.  Stir gently until coated.  Drop by teaspoonfuls on waxed paper-lined cookie sheet.  Chill until firm.  (Yield: 2 1/2 to 3 dozen candies)
Variations: Follow the basic recipe, but use 3 Tablespoons light corn syrup instead of the larger amount.  In place of cereal, add any of the following:
1 1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 7 1/4 oz package dates
1/2 lb. candied fruit
1 1/2 cups raisins
1 cup peanuts

This is one of those virtually no-fail candy recpipes, very consistant results and so good it's probably illegal.

But wait - there's more.  The recipe is, as I'd said, on a sheet torn from a Seventeen magazine.  For a quick lesson in irony, turn the page over. It's a full page ad for...(drum roll here)... 

"Introducing the first girdle to give you That French Look and the Freedom you love."  The product is the new Playtex High Style girdle.  "Miracle latex outside...slims sleeky from waist to thigh - like magic."  (The wording and odd capitalizations are all verbatum from the ad.  It was 1955, seriously.)

I am going to assume that the magic will be assisted if you do not turn the page and find the candy recipe.  The ad does claim that it will "trim you to your sleekest matter what your size!"  (Hummm...actually that may be a disclaimer.  It does say it trims to 'your sleekest lines'.  It never mentions how sleek this may or may not be.)

Oh yes - the price is also a miracle. "An amazingly low $5.95!"
(I'm no expert on the economy of 1955, but I think that would actually be fairly pricey. Less magical girdles mentioned in the ad were $3.50.)

The laundring instructions are a hoot, too.  "Washes in seconds - and you can practically watch it dry."  (Now there's a thrill.)  'Whatcha doin'?' 
'Oh, standin' here watching my girdle dry and makin' some candy...'

Monday, December 7, 2009

And Chile Cheese Grits For All...

What's that you say?  This is NOT part of our constitution?  Wow, that's an oversight.  I'd call this an unalienable right.  Unless you're lactose intolerant. I suppose I'm sublimating my desire to eat this stuff by typing out the recipe.  It's soooo good.  Not a glamour dish, exactly.  But good.  Very, very good.

Chile Cheese Grits:

Cook 1/2 cup grits in 2 cups water acording to package directions.  Allow to cool, then stir in 3 T butter, 1 - 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheese (suit your fancy - I generally use that Kraft Mexi-blend stuff in the 1 lb. bag), one 4-oz. can of diced green chile (NOT Jalapenos, y'all - this is supposed to be mildly piquant, not blow your head off hot) and 1 well-beaten egg.  Blend well and pour into a well buttered 8"x8" Pyrex baking dish.  Bake at 350 for an hour. 

You can do this as a breakfast casserole (if you like, cook about half a pound of breakfast sausage, drain very well, and stir into the grits when you start adding the other ingredients) or as a side dish for dinner.  If you'd serve a corn dish with it, this'll do just fine.  Better than fine if you can actually eat it....

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Pink Salad

I'm entering my 5th sweet salad season as someone who is now officially just too darn lactose intolerant to have even one weensy bite.  *sigh*  My fave is something that's just generally know as "That Pink Stuff."  Everybody south of the Mason Dixon line knows what this is.  If your recipe isn't exactly like mine, it's likely close enough. 

Pink Salad

1 13 oz tub Cool Whip

1 can Eagle Brand milk

1 can cherry pie filling (sweetened)

1 sm can crushed pineapple, juice and all

1 cup chopped pecans

Mix in order given and chill.

This one is a classic. You can add a chopped banana and/or coconut to it if you wish, but if you're a purist and want The Real Deal, don't.  If you're worried about calories, cholesterol or your arteries, don't even read the recipe.