One Bowl or Two?


Binge watching My Kitchen Rules (MKR) is having a serious effect on me. Last night, instead of admitting we were having leftovers again, I described our meal as the following:

Roast beef with brown gravy and sautéed red capsicum and mushrooms, together with sweet potato mash. For dessert, warm apple cranberry crisp.

So what if the roast had rested in the fridge for 3 days now? It was resting in gravy! So what if the mushrooms were a little wilty when I started? So what if the crisp wasn’t crispy anymore? It sounded more appetizing than leftovers…again!

Last weekend, I decided to learn how to make pasta. I know…me with all the cooking disasters and crime scene photos! But if I can’t travel to Italy this year,( especially after studying the language for the past year)…surely I could learn to cook like a nonna. And I reasoned that my bread baking skills were proof that I could be certain of success! If not success, than a really great blog post on what NOT to do.

I have been waiting to try my new pasta machine since my birthday, which was in April, but with the brutally hot summer that hasn’t given up its grip yet, I’ve had to keep waiting. And I could wait no longer.

Last Saturday was the “Day“! I spent the morning reading an excellent article on the “hows” and “whys” of making perfect pasta. Then I cleared off my dining room table and spread out my grandmother’s pastry mat, still dusted in flour and remnants from the last time she used it. I set out my bowls, my flour, and my eggs. I set up my iPad with step by step instructions (with photos). And then I stood there, holding Nana’s rolling pin and saying a little prayer…

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If you were expecting a long-winded tantrum on my terribly traumatic flop with flour…for once, you will be disappointed! Sorry!

Everything went scarily smoothly. My egg nest blended together. I only broke a slight sweat kneading the dough.  Hubby manned the crank on the pasta machine for most of the dough, and boiled it up for supper (60-90 seconds per quarter batch of dough). We even tried all the attachments, so we had options: fettucini and tagliolini.

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One bowl or two?

Next time, I’ll cut the pasta threads in half before boiling so it’s easier to dish it up. Or I’ll take on the challenge of ravioli!

And I’ll make a double batch because this one…didn’t last long!

Buon Appetito e weekend felice!

Wilderness Wednesday: Ducks Go Quack


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“Well the ducks go by -Quack quack quack quack
Things go up things go down
And the world goes ’round
And around and around and around
And God lives on” – Larry Haron

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“There are no makeovers in my books. The ugly duckling does not become a beautiful swan. She becomes a confident duck able to take charge of her own life and problems. -Maeve Binchy

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Happy Wednesday!

 

Dear Squirrel…


Dear Squirrel…

I can forgive you for digging up my flowers on the front porch. The soil is soft and winter is coming. You are doing what you were created to do this time of year. I can also forgive you for leaving your half-eaten apple cores on the back porch. You aren’t the only one who sometimes struggles to clean up after yourself. There’s no point in denying it-I have photographic evidence.

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I can even forgive you for your loud and cranky chatter every time I step out my door. I’m feeling kinda cranky too. The end of summer does that to me. But there are a couple things that I am struggling to understand.

First, with all the free good eats in my yard, why did you feel the need to chew a hole in the cushion of my chair? I have only sat in it twice this season and never with my camera. There are no blackmail photos to worry about. Furthermore, the bits of foam you pulled out have made quite a mess and I don’t appreciate it.

Second, and what I find particularly bizarre…was the panty raid. When I laid out the socks and panties along the railing of my back porch, I was running late for work/school. I thought I could save time by not hanging them. What could you possibly want with a pair of white, satiny pair of granny panties? And why that one pair? Why not the sexy black ones, or the pair with blue stripes? Was it because the white ones looked brand new? Because they weren’t! I wore them once. Did you bury them? Are they hidden in the hole in my chair cushion? Are you sending me a message or is it retribution ? Is it because I haven’t left any more chocolate cupcakes outside? Have my cupcakes led to an addiction that has now led to a life of crime? Have my panties been sold on the black market? I lie awake at night contemplating all the things you are doing with them, and frankly, some of those images are quite disturbing. Especially at night.

I am willing to forgive you for your vandalism of my private property and the petty theft from your panty raid, if you return the bloomers unharmed. Just hang them on the back doorknob and walk away.

No questions asked. I promise.

Sincerely,

Jenn

 

10 Minute Monday: It’s a Girl!


At the beginning of the summer, sorrow befell our family once again.  Our second guinea pig, Rock Star, passed away peacefully in her sleep, and for close to 2 weeks, she was “sleeping with the fishes”…the frozen fishes in the blue box with a winking captain, in my freezer. The last time I had a dead body in my deep freeze, it was the dead of winter and the ground was frozen solid.

There are 3 reasonable reasons we didn’t have a funeral (in spite of the absence of snow) in our pet cemetery, as soon as she expired.

1) When Hubby passed on the news to me, Little Guy was at the beginning of his week at my parents and I was leaving in the morning. We decided to wait to tell him before he came home, rather than risking him being upset all week, especially if he was going to miss me. (sidenote: He didn’t!)

2) We’d had very little rain in the preceding weeks, so the ground was as hard as…well ice. (sidenote: little did we know this was the beginning of a drought).

3) Temperatures soared -the humidity level was so high, even the birds and squirrels went into hiding. Hubby might have needed a grave of his own if he went digging in the heat, and there are already 2 bodies back there.

I had to tell Little Guy the sad news the following weekend. To soften the blow, I gave him a picture frame with a photo of his beloved girls. We wept together and then he asked me if he could have some time alone. I respected his wishes, but boy! was it hard to leave him.

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A few weeks ago, we met my parents at a rest stop on a Sunday afternoon to pick up Little Guy (after his second “parent-free” visit). He had no idea that two days before, on the second hottest day of the year (40+C), I picked up Cloe (then drove her through the McDonald’s drive-thru on the way home, for ice-cream). We didn’t tell him even after we got home. I ran ahead to grab the camera while Hubby and Little Guy unloaded the car. Little Guy immediately took some things to his room (what a thoughtful child) and didn’t notice the cage. It wasn’t until he came down that he did!

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Surprise! It’s a girl!

Cloe’s owner is a new Mom to a baby girl, and found Cloe was keeping the baby awake. After several nights in our home, I suspect it wasn’t the baby that she kept awake. She’s the size of a kittena big girl, young and full of energy, with a floppy rooster tail that makes me laugh. Her favourite spot is on top of her igloo – she reminds me of Snoopy doing his vulture impression.

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photo courtesy of photobucket.com

Like all pets, she has her own personality and we’re still very much becoming acquainted.

I trust she will be a welcome addition to the family (and I hope she never escapes)!

Happy Monday!

3 Peaches and an Angry Lady


Yes, I’m angry. My normal morning commute when school is in session, is always fraught with dangerous and inconsiderate drivers. That’s a bad combination. But somehow I forgot just how bad it can be…or I somehow tricked my brain into thinking the episodes were more spread out?

Today is the 4th day of school and I haven’t even ventured into the back parking lot yet, just the kiss ’n ride at the front.

I’m afraid.

Today, I met 3 lovely peaches in a less than 5 minute span. The first ditz (like so many others) had no clue how to use a kiss ‘n ride. She didn’t understand that you can’t just pull over where the Spirit leads you, at a cock-eyed angle and have a 10 minute discussion with your child, while the 8 cars behind you honk their horns and try to edge the car in front of them forward by playing that age-old game, “not touching you”. You know the one where you get as close to someone without actually touching them and then egg them on by repeating “I’m not touching you”? Ditz didn’t even get it when the teacher started knocking on the car window and waving like a lunatic. It must have been some conversation in that car! It would have been more fun to watch if the car behind me wasn’t playing “not touching you” and screaming obscenities. Yes, I can read your lips using my rear view mirror…

I escaped the kiss ‘n ride unscathed, only to meet the next combatant…an old battle axe in a battleship. She turned left in front of me, breezing through her stop sign. I honked and gave her my “seriously??” face, to which this seasoned veteran replied with dentures sloshing and hands waving. I’m pretty sure one of those gestures is quite rude in Italy!

I stopped in a long line of cars at a red light, when the lady in red behind me took exception. Apparently she thought I should play “not touching you” and magically make the light turn green. I was at the edge of an intersection….a large truck was waiting to turn right, a small car was blocking oncoming traffic, waiting to turn left. I could a) inch forward so I would block the intersection so no one could move, not that I could go much further (because there were still cars in front of me and a red light), or b) sit still and let some traffic through. The light turned green, the grateful truck driver flashed a smile and waved as he joined the line, and lady in red turned a deep crimson and blared her horn like a ship leaving port – long and heavy! Yes, I can read your lips using my rear view mirror and they were not words of edification. I may have given her a quick first pump minus 3 fingers…and a thumb. I’m not sure. And I’m not proud of it.

The rest of the trip was pretty uneventful. A pick-up truck nearly turned a pedestrian into a grease spot. A cyclist decided the rules of the road didn’t apply to him. A black BMW cut off a motorcyclist. The usual suspects in this city.

I’ll admit it, Big Guy. Maybe I should get one of these…

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…with pink paintballs because I am, after all, a lady!

(Or lady-like…there’s a big difference.)

Happy Weekend!