Three Thoughts Thursday | Laughing. Drinking. Watching.

This is when I tell you stuff and don’t make a story of it.  

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ONE

I think that Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund is hilarious.

When I came upon Crusoe and his brother, Oakley Dokley, I was in puppy dog heaven.  Their YouTube channel, currently featuring their interpretation of Game of Thrones [#GameofBones], is clever and creative and verifiably wacko.

Highly recommended if you’re having a down day or just like to see little dogs in costumes.

TWO

I think that Stella Artois Spritzer is good and I’m surprised.

It’s a light refreshing alcoholic beverage that is a new take on the old concept of a white wine spritzer.  That is, it’s pub cider with carbonated water.  Available in a slim can and described as a blend of apple and hibiscus flavors, we found it refreshing, not too sweet.

I’m sensing this is our house drink for the summer.

THREE

I think that The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a delightful movie based on the novel of the same name.

I watched this movie one lazy afternoon and enjoyed it, not because I was being lazy but because I truly enjoyed the book when I read it and wanted to see the movie.  I won’t address how the book differs from the movie, but will tell you I thought it was worth the time I invested in watching the movie.

Not all movies need be blockbusters, right?

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Questions of the Day

Don’t you wish you were as clever as some of these people who can turn their pets into YouTube and IG stars? Got a suggestion for a summer drink? Do you have issues with movie adaptations of books?

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One Martini & I’m Rebelling Against My Own Arbitrary Rule

Busy week, fast story…

You know how you say you’ll never do something for one reason or another, then one day you do that which you said you’d never do and nothing bad happens to you.

And you begin to wonder why you had the self-imposed rule to begin with and you become somewhat distraught mildly perturbed because you cannot remember why it seemed important to you to not do that which you just did.

That’s what I’m talking about here. All of that.

So what did I do that I said I’d never do?

Ah yes, good question. Thank you for asking.

You see the fastest way to explain what I did is to refer you to the photo at the top of this post. Saturday night I took that photo of a Pear Martini, my new favorite cocktail, while we were sitting at a table in an upscale restaurant.  The drink tasted & looked so good that I pushed aside all hesitation and pulled out my cell phone to take a picture of it.

And that is something I said I’d never do.

Early on when I got a smart phone I declared, oh yes I did, that I would never be one of those people who takes pictures of food and drink while in a public place.  Yet, as the above photo proves, I am now one of the collective.

Like a Borg, but only for Instagram. Resistance is futile.

Which brings me to an epiphany about who I am now.

While you may think that I’m going to wax on about my wonderful Pear Martini, I’m going to tell you that whilst sipping it and musing upon my arbitrary rule to never snap a food or drink picture in public, it dawned on me that I was caught up in some sort of generational way of thinking that no longer served me.

Who cares if I take a fast photo of a drink? Absolutely no one, myself included.

I caused no harm, I had some fun, and I realized that, with a hat tip to Bob Dylan: “I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.”

Thou Shalt Not Doubt: Overheard While Picking Up Chinese Carry-out

Zen-Den overheard this conversation and it was funny so naturally I have to share it here. 

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Our local Chinese restaurant does a decent carry-out.  The food is hot, fresh, and vaguely Chinese.  Z-D sometimes stops there to get us dinner.

The owner of this restaurant is Chinese and is not one to mince words.  He has a business to run, and his grasp of the English language is exactly what he needs to know so that he can communicate directly and loudly with his suburban patrons.

In other words, no chit-chat.

In fact, when you call in your order instead of the traditional time-consuming “hello” that you might expect to hear, the owner answers the phone with a snappy: “WHAT YOU WANT?”

At this point you, the caller, tell him your order.  He then shouts at you what time your order will be ready for pick-up and hangs up the phone.

There are no further social pleasantries like “good-bye” or “thank you.”  The call is over, your order is in process.  And now it’s up to you to show up on time and get it.

So last night Z-D was waiting in line to pick up our order when he overheard this conversation between the restaurant owner and the guy in front of Z-D in line who was there to pick up his family’s dinner.  It went like this:

Restaurant Owner: “HERE YOUR FOOD.”

Guy Picking Up Dinner: “That’s mine?”

Restaurant Owner: “YES.”

Guy Picking Up Dinner: “Are you sure? My wife ordered all that?”

Restaurant Owner: “SHE TALK. I WRITE. THAT HOW IT WORK.”

Guy Picking Up Dinner: “Hmmm… seems like a lot… I dunno…”

Restaurant Owner: “NOW YOU PAY.”

Guy Picking Up Dinner: “Well, ‘ya, that sounds about right. How much?”

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Question of the Day
What’s the best | funniest | weirdest thing you’ve overheard someone say? Everyone has overheard something so ‘Fess up in the comments below.  
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The One About Unexpectedly Making A Noteworthy Mess In The Kitchen

Don’t do this.

I can’t say for certain that I created my worst kitchen mess ever, but I can say that what I did was so far beyond my usual kitchen messes that it is worthy of note.

And belongs on my Top Five Biggest Kitchen Messes Ever List.

If I had such a list.  But I don’t.

Here’s what I did. 

I got the wok out and put it on the cooktop because I was getting ready to stir-fry some vegetables for dinner. 

Then I grabbed the canola oil from the shelf and opened a new 32 fl.oz. bottle.  

Made of flimsy plastic.

I went to pour some oil into the wok but I lost control of the lightweight, squishy, poorly designed, this-is-really-not-my-fault bottle.  Thus I ended up pouring canola oil:

  • into the wok; 
  • onto the cooktop; 
  • onto the granite counter beside the cooktop; 
  • into the utensil crock filled with spoons and spatulas sitting on the granite counter; and last but not least 
  • onto and into the wooden knife holder, filled with knives, sitting beside the utensil crock filled with spoons and spatulas sitting on the granite counter beside the cooktop.

Say good-bye to half a bottle of oil.

As you can imagine the spilled 16 fl. oz. of oil immediately began to spread across the cooktop and the granite counter, dribbling down the front of the cabinets, leaving puddles of oil on the floor.  

This, you expect.

And, of course, the oil got inside the utensil crock, pooling in the bottom, where it stayed until I washed the crock and everything in it.  

Again, this is what you expect. 

But the big surprise is that once the oil covered the outside of wooden knife holder, it quickly oozed into the knife slots.  There, in an instant, the oil was absorbed into those slots in such a way as to make the wooden knife holder, that suddenly had begun to smell like mold, about as un-washable and un-usable as anything I’ve ever seen destroyed in a kitchen.

This sort of mess I did not expect.

So there you have it, another story in which my life is not as idyllic as one might hope.  A story, in fact, that lends itself to me asking you a question, my gentle readers:

What’s the biggest cooking &/or baking mess you’ve made in the kitchen?

A Halloween Review: In The Rain With The Usual Suspects

The Usual Suspects waiting on the deck behind the house before going on stage in front of the house. 

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IT DRIZZLED THEN RAINED HERE last night, starting at about 6:00 p.m. just in time for the trick-or-treaters.  The temperature was in the 60s, about as warm as I’ve experienced in late October.  The night was in a word, unusual, and our reduced trick-or-treat count proved it.

In years past we’ve had anywhere from 120 to 220 beggars at the door, but this year our head count was only 60 kids.

Unheard of.

Despite the rain and because of the warm temperature, Z-D and I sat outside on our front stoop where we plopped ourselves onto two chairs he’d brought around front from the deck in the back.

There we waited to hand out candy, holding umbrellas over our heads, watching a slow parade of cute, polite kids shuffle their way across our yard, ignoring the precipitation.

Trick or treat!

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YOU MIGHT BE WONDERING WHY we didn’t stay inside our house, waiting for the kids to ring the doorbell.  And this would be a sensible thing for you, my gentle readers, to wonder.

But the thing is, and in my world there’s always a thinghere in Beanlandia our doorbell, a diva, is broken and has been for a few weeks.

From a distance it glows and looks useful, however if anyone pushes it the middle button thing pops out and dangles down from an electric cord.

Kind of dangerous.

The doorbell has one ring in it before it has to be manually reconfigured and placed back into the wall where it resumes its role as a pretend working doorbell.

Hence, maintaining its integrity is a bother that we avoided by sitting outside under our umbrellas in the rain.

As one does.

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AND WITH THAT GLIMPSE INTO the life and times of one woman, one husband, one house, I’ll end this wordy post in which I’ve discussed the weather, trick-or-treaters, and doorbells gone bad.

Scintillating, eh?

In fact, should future historians whilst looking through old personal blogs want an example of a blog post that is the epitome of flapdoodle and twaddle, I do hope they find this one.

Because if there was a point to what I said here, I dunno what it is.

Other than to say, Halloween has come and gone.  And we have a lot of leftover candy in this house.

Only 60 kids…

The Great Cobbler Debacle Of 2018 + 12 Fruit-Based Desserts Explained

In the aftermath of the debacle there were questions, reasonable ones.

How could this have happened? What recipe did you use?

I used a recipe I found online from what I thought was from a reliable source.  Fake news, meet fake recipes.  But here’s the thing, I didn’t double-check the recipe, comparing it with other recipes, like a smart person would do.

After the debacle, when I found a wonderful recipe by the Barefoot Contessa, I realized that I had used a recipe with the wrong batter to fruit ratio.

Did you set the oven to the correct temperature?

I did, but after the debacle I checked the oven temperature with a thermometer to confirm that the oven was heating like it should.  It is not.

In fact it’s heating about 25º below where it should be so the cobbler baked at the wrong temperature.  Hence, the cobbler remained a soggy mess even when it’d been in the oven for twice the suggested time.

 How much money did you waste on this debacle?

Oh, the shame.  I hang my head as I tell you that I bought raspberries and blackberries and blueberries for this untested recipe, assuming it’d be a wonderful desert.  But it wasn’t, it never even made it to the table– thus my $12.00 worth of berries were lost.

And from a good friend trying to distract me: what are the differences among the various fruit-based desserts? Do you know?

I didn’t know the answer to her question, so I did some research, which was a good way for me, an egghead, to get over the debacle.  This is what I learned.

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BROWN BETTY – fresh fruit [often apples], spiced, then baked under buttered bread crumbs

BUCKLE – single layer cake that rises up around the fruit that is in the middle, making fruit buckle down, while cake forms circle above it

CLAFOUTI – fresh fruit [often cherries] covered with a flan-like batter and baked, usually in a cast iron skillet

COBBLER – fruit sweetened in a way that creates a thick syrup, with dough plopped on top like individual biscuits that when baked looks like a cobblestone street

CRISP – fresh fruit, spiced with cinnamon [+ other spices sometimes], baked with streusel topping

CRUMBLE – buttery crumbs that include oats with sweetened fruit baked between two layers of crumbs

GRUNT – fruit base with sweetened biscuits or dumplings on top, cooked in covered skillet on the stove top, named for the sound the fruit makes while it cooks

PANDOWDY – a baked pie [usually apple] that has a thick crust on top with slits that allow the juices to bubble up onto the top of the pie, then using a spoon one pushes the crust down as it bakes so that the dessert looks dowdy when taken from the oven

PIE – sweetened and thickened fruit as the filling, baked, usually in a round pan, between lower pastry and top pastry or crumb topping

PING – fruit [usually cherries], covered in a sweet sauce, with spoonfuls of dough that form a crust on top that when tapped makes a hollow pinging sound that indicates it’s finished baking

SHORTCAKE – I’m not going down this road again… click here & read what we discussed earlier this year

SLUMP – fruit base with sweetened biscuits or dumplings on top, cooked in covered skillet on the stove top wherein the topping slumps into the fruit

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Sources of general information + a few specific recipes: Serious Eats, Huffington Post, the spruce Eats, FLOURISH, kitchn, Cook’s Country, COOKS.COM.

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I’ve eaten 9 of the 12 desserts defined above.  I’ve not had Brown Betty, nor have I had Grunt or Slump– which some sources say are the same thing.  🤨

Regarding Goats: Some People Wouldn’t, But I Did

This is a Goat Chow Dispenser, obviously.

ANTICIPATING LOUSY TRAFFIC THAT I didn’t encounter, I was early for an appointment on the other side of nowhere.

I remembered a fancy garden nursery in the area, so instead of sitting in my car staring at my phone for half an hour I went to the garden nursery to walk around.

To look at the pretty flowers.

COME TO FIND OUT, far back on the property past the perennials on the way to the trees there was a shed and enclosure with miniature goats in it.

Friendly goats. With a propensity to make their will known to any hapless person who wandered upon their enclosure.

Yes, once they saw me they were more than happy to show me the way to the goat chow dispenser– wherein a person can snag a handful of free goat chow, then allow them eat it off the palm of your hand.

With their little nibble-y goat lips❣

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Question of the Day
Would you feed the goats a handful of Goat Chow from your hand? would you put it on the ground in front of them?
OR would you walk by and not feed them at all?