Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Waffles and more culinary delights


2 cups flour, sifted
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs, separated
5 tsp butter, melted
2 cups milk

Sift the flour, add baking powder, sugar and salt. Sift again. Beat egg whites until stiff, set aside.

Beat egg yolks, add to milk and add to dry ingredients, only enough to blend. Add melted butter. Fold in egg whites last. 

Cook according to waffle iron instructions.

I put 1/2 cup of batter in the center of my 8" waffle iron.

This made ten waffles. I did not scrape the last half cup of batter out of the bowl.

My only hint is, sift the flour everywhere the recipe says sift the flour. It's as important as beating the egg whites.

The table was lovely, with three plates with waffles, butter, the maple syrup jug. Jim and Lynn had orange juice and milk. I had coffee. No pictures happened.

Lynn said to me to please not be offended, but she had maple syrup once and did not like it. It was too thin and watery and not sweet at all. I forget what she compared it to, but it was not favorable. So, she would use Jim's sugar free syrup.

I put the little jug of warm syrup on the table.

"That sure smells good," she said. She tried a waffle hole full. Instant convert to maple syrup.

I told her it was just maple syrup. You know, the stuff they make in Geauga County every spring. 

I asked where she had maple syrup. "Cracker Barrel," she said.

I did get up an hour early this morning, to commence my cooking duties. I opened the egg carton, and to my surprise, they were every egg color. I did take a picture of a blue egg.

I don't know if you can tell it's blue. I used my egg separator, the fellow with the accommodating nose. It didn't work well. Since I no longer trust myself with the standard, egg shell to egg shell method, I guess a real egg separator will go on the shopping list.

Since I had to go back in the kitchen for the recipe, I took a couple more pictures.

Aren't they pretty. And since I'm mostly proud of my state, here is one last picture:

Black Bonnett Amish Farm Elderberry Jelly is also fabulous, and you can take that from someone who grew elderberries and made jelly for twenty years.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Waffles 'n bacon tomorrow

I invited Lynn and Jim for breakfast tomorrow. I mentioned at one of our weekly trips for breakfast that I make the best waffles in the entire universe. Jim said he makes the best bacon, and so it was on.

My "best waffles in the universe" are from the cookbook of my childhood, long gone. It involves whipping the egg whites until they have peaks, then folding in the batter, slowly, and making the pancakes. 

I have a new waffle iron to try out. I bought it in Wisconsin, so we know it will make fabulous waffles. I do not have a syrup pitcher, so when I added it to my list of "must get", it was time for a run to the thrift store, Abbey Ann's.

I spent nine dollars and change:

There are two pitchers, one for maple syrup and one for Jim's sugarless syrup. Also on my list, an 8" square baking dish, a pie pan, a ten inch lid and two muffin tins.

If I'd just been browsing and found that square baking dish, I would have bought it! It's Pyrex. It has handles and a lid!

A while back I added the cast iron skillet to my small arsenal, and have occasionally regretted not having a lid. Now it has one, and glass, no less. I can keep track of the state of caramelization of my onions. Not for waffles!

Friday, August 23, 2019

Beauty in a discombobulated week

I have a self-inflicted head ache. The worst of it is my own fault. It's a "woman" thing, but in obverse. I cannot gain weight, for the simple reason I don't eat. Not because I lack a cook, but because it's bedtime before I remember I didn't eat lunch or supper.

Last Monday, at the doctor's, I weighed as much in all my clothes, and my shoes, and my purse and phone as I last weighed when I'd checked at home, in my nightgown: 110. On the way home I made an over speed left turn into Schwebel's out of date bakery store. I put $15 of junk food into half the cart. Sort of decent junk food, but nevertheless...

Can you conceive of all the sugar and preservatives! Before bedtime I'd consumed four creme sticks, in addition to lunch and supper. On Tuesday I ate half a carrot cake extra. And the other half on Wednesday. Today, I just picked something. Oh, the sugar high. Oh, the headache!

This morning the scale announced 115. No matter what, all that stuff is out of the freezer and off to cards next Tuesday. I cannot deal with the headache! Nancy's grand kids can look forward to getting off the school bus for at least a week!

Overnight there was steady rain, and the temperature today, and forecast for a week to come, is 78, or 25.5 c's. The wind has been steady though, and I should not have been surprised to find the soil dried out already.

I worked my way along all the plants, watering, and look what came for a short visit. It took me three shots to get it in focus. Fortunately, it was patient.  Such a beauty! I looked it up and found the life cycle of a dragonfly is about six years. Sadly, they have only a couple of months in flying beauty.

At the end of summer the sweet potato vine has bloomed a bit. The mandevilla are as beautiful as ever, and the Gerbera's last buds are in full bloom.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Summer winding down

Hard to see here, but one Mandevilla has reached over and entwined with the other. I really can't tell if the pink reached out for the white, or the other way around.

But, it's very obvious the leaves are beginning to fail, and not for want of watering! That happens at the end of summer.

I finally have a rod of an appropriate length for my dancing glass lady. She is out to enjoy the end of summer.

This Gerbera daisy is among the most prolific I've had. There are three more red flowers to bloom.

And because I have no red Gerbera's for display yet, here are some purple and yellow's. Not Gerbera, but nice nevertheless. You know how I am with remembering the names.

School is back in session  for many, so please drive carefully.

Every day is one day closer to election day. The outcome is a crap shoot. We need to show we are committed to voting, this year and next! Guide young folks to registering. There still are two plus months here in Ohio, to register. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Old women, hear us roar

I do apologize to those who might be embarrassed raising their voice and demanding attention. I know more than a few of you, too, and probably love all of you, especially for being so nice.

A person who may or may not be out in the audience owes me a substantial sum of money, and has been paying it on time for some time. I cannot tell you how much I dislike being inconvenienced by, oh, going to the bank, for example. Years ago I asked the debtor to deposit the check into my account. I knew it was possible.

My bank happened to me when I bought the house, thirty odd years ago, and has followed me around ever since. This bank has no drive up windows at their banks in Ohio. Most branches are located in supermarkets I don't shop at. In Hudson I can walk up twenty stairs for the back entrance, or park at a head-in angle at the front.

For thirty odd years I have arranged to have few direct transactions with the bank. Now that I move too slowly for most of the world, and use a cane to boot, I prefer to have no direct transactions with the bank.

The debtor stopped direct deposit. I didn't buy the excuse, but no matter, no more deposits. Check would arrive by mail. In the beginning it didn't, but that seems straightened out now, and today I had a check in hand to deposit.

I do all my banking on line. Or thought I did. If I owe you money and you have a mailing address, I pay the bill. If you skip that step, and directly debit, I pay the bill automatically. Deposits never crossed my mind, until today.

I called my bank. No, you cannot deposit a check via your pc. You need to download the app to your phone. Step by step I replicated the instructions given on my pc to my phone.  All you young people have heard me rage over the years, This Is Not Intuitive!

App downloaded, I opened my account. Then everything that is so easy on my keyboard and with my mouse, just went to shit, as usual. No matter how often I tapped buttons, nothing happened. I called the bank, for walk through instructions.

Still, nothing happened. And the wonderful bank lady, who knows me, did not yell back. And then it began to click. I felt the button pulse under my finger and then move on, as it should. Will you believe, that phone knew what to do. 

"Be sure to sign the back of your check first!"

"Find a darker background!"

"Hold the camera over your check!"

And so forth and so on and then boom, my screen exploded in balloons and ribbons and announced First Time! You deposited a check for the first time! Congratulations!

I was as excited as the phone. The bank lady gave me a couple of tips, like don't write VOID on it yet; put a check mark somewhere to indicate you deposited it. Oh, yes, call us any time.

You know I love pictures, but depositing a check with a phone app really is boring, after the first time, so here are recents. It poured all day yesterday. I love the way the mandevillas wrap and wrap around the poles.

The golf course grows more raggedy, and I have not seen the heron in weeks. Scuttlebutt says the Conservancy is closing in on the amount of money the owner wants. Good for the owner; don't give away Mr. Yesberger's trees!

I am still weaving, but oh, so slowly. The first is all the same colors arranged as stripes, and still on the loom. The second is all the same colors, randomly. Each piece will be the front or back of the same shirt. I'll probably hold them up for approval, after they are fulled.

Friday, August 9, 2019

A day of fine surprises

This morning I kept a long standing breakfast date with Lynn and Jim, at a place in Kenmore renown for home fries. I had two eggs over easy, English muffins with jelly, and the crispy top of the half a plate of home fries. So good I did go one bite over the limit.

On the way home, idly watching the passing street signs, I saw Bisson Avenue. I asked Jim to go around the block and I showed them the part of Akron developed by my great grandfather, James Hogue, and Frank Bisson, his business partner. Since my last trip through, blocks and blocks have been redeveloped. Jim says by Habitat for Humanity.

To celebrate that, Jim pulled into Krispy Kreme on the way by. This is one of the few stores left in Akron, the first, and the store that still makes the goods. You know what I brought home for lunch. Red raspberry filled jelly donuts.

Since we were on a roll, I asked Jim to go through the drug store drive through to get my Lyrica script. I intended to play my new game. When the cashier asks "Are you aware of the price?" I generally reply "Let me guess. Is it three hundred dollars this time?" Since I donut holed, it runs around a hundred thirty.

I waited and waited. The question never came. Finally she asked if I had any questions for the pharmacist, and I said "Yes. How much is it?" "17.44," she replied. "It's gone generic." Very anticlimactic on one hand, and fabulous budget news on the other. 

But wait! There's more to tell. Some time ago I ordered a rug for the living room area. I expected it today, but finding it on coming home from breakfast far exceeded expectation. Lynn and Jim seem up for anything, and when they left, the rug was on the floor.

And if you thought that was the end, what could possibly be left, it was not the last surprise of the day. Hours later, eating supper, I heard clickitty clack. I looked over my shoulder, and to my surprise:

Yes, when I go shopping tomorrow for a high backed, high stool, I will also purchase double sided carpet tape, for those corners.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Faint hope

I'm worn out today. I started the day with the grocery store. I get up early enough to start my days early, but out and about still is a low priority activity. However, I really wanted to make stuffed shells, and needed all the fixins, plus some more containers to freeze the extra portions.

First stop the container store, second the grocery store. The good news, it was early enough in the morning to have the stores to myself. Bad news, no giant shells. I settled for giant rigatoni, not so easy to stuff with stuff. 

Worse yet, I stood so long at the counter stuffing, my back is in screaming pain. That's just something I must deal with, and the solution is a trip to the thrift store for a bar stool (with back!) to use at the counter for long, tedious tasks. Soon, I think.

Almost ready. When the timer buzzes, I'll take off the lid and let it start cooling.

My cat has yet to forgive me for leaving him for a week.

But rather than glare at me most of the day, he's playing big cat, little cat. I'm the big cat, and he spends the day annoying me. If I sit down, he's into the chair. If I lie down, he's beside me.

None of his toys hold his interest, so I bought a new toy. The online videos show kittens and young cats beating the snot out of this toy. There are three levels, and three inextractable balls go round and round. All the video cats are on the hunt for the balls, around and around.

Mr. Cat has demonstrated the ability to pin all three balls at once, look over his shoulder and telepath his opinion, "Is that all ya got, big cat?"

Monday, August 5, 2019

Wisconsin miscellany

We had an adventure. There was a pop, and a gauge on Ann's six month old car announced the decreasing air pressure. We waited quite some time for AAA, but help did arrive, and a chatty young man loaded Ann's car to the flatbed and me to the cab. It all came out right.

As ever, I photographed barns, and I found another old school house to photograph, too.

The road went on and on, under blue skies and white clouds. A beautiful week; it could have been longer.

I opened my door to this shadow on the opposite wall. The blind, my curtain, and outside, a mandevilla tendril, doing its thing.

And the mandevillas are in full bloom. The red mandevilla finally has put out blossoms!

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Mitchell Park Domes

A lot of sightseeing went on last week.  Like all of us, there is a lot of her state of Wisconsin that Ann has not explored, and takes advantage of visitors to get there. We spent an afternoon at the Mitchell Park Domes in Milwaukee.

These are conoidal (not geodesic) structures, a horticultural conservatory. I made a link to the technical description. Now for a picture heavy trip through. There are three domes, one for wet and/or warm climates, one for hot and/or dry climates. 

The third changes, and currently features a series of vignettes constructed by local groups. After a quick look about, I sat out the third. The mechanical elements of that structure made a direct attack on my hearing aids.

Outside, a sundial. Stand on the correct calendar month, orient the sun to your back, and your shadow rests on the time. It works.

The entrance, including all three domes.

In the lobby, there are scavenger hunt flyers. Young parents set the children the task of locating the plants listed. And with no further ado, the tour:

A youngster on the hunt.

I remember difficulties of photographing fish through water, years ago. I remember needing a polarizing lens. Either technology is advanced, or goldfish are different from brook trout. The concrete frog is very overexposed.

This photo collection is more a statement of me than of what I saw. The first half is dry region vegetation, the second wet region. There was a good deal of humidity involved, or not.

The TBI so changed my brain orientation, I'm now right brained, I guess. So, no description of the facts of each scene, just pictures. I'm used to it now; it's even a pleasant way to pass my time.

Apparently there is controversy about the future of the domes. One factor wants them gone and their purpose consolidated with other institutions. And those who love what they are want them to stay. I just enjoyed the hours.