Archive | July, 2019

I Need All the Help I Can Get

31 Jul

memory foam

With thanks to Garfieldhug for this one.

A Good Summer Dessert

24 Jul

When my Mum died, most of my inheritance consisted of a massive collection of cookbooks that she had inherited from her mother. If you need a recipe from the 20s, 30s, or 40s, I’m your girl. A lot of them are teaching women how to get the most out of their new “electric ice box”.  I’ve often joked that my grandmother could have fed Coxey’s army with a pound of ground beef and a handful of oatmeal – and I know where she found the recipe!

And so, without further ado, I give you . . Ribbon Ice Box Cake. I found this in a booklet featuring “Pet Condensed Milk; Irradiated for extra Vitamin D”. The recipe includes amount for fixing two, four, or six servings, but I always make six. No more trouble to make enough for several meals.

Mix together . . . 2 whole eggs, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1/2 cup crushed pineapple, well   drained, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Save the pineapple juice.

Cook over boiling water for about 4 minutes, or until thickened.  Chill.

Meanwhile, dissolve 1 package orange gelatin in 1 cup boiling water. Add 1/2 cup                pineapple juice, 1-1/2 teaspoons grated orange rind (optional), 1/4 cup powdered sugar, and 1/8 teaspoon salt.

Cool, then add 1/2 cup Pet Milk.  Grease an 8×4 bread pan with Crisco or similar product.  Pam doesn’t work.

Chill until mixture begins to thicken. Beat with a rotary egg beater or and electric mixer until light and fluffy.

Pour half of the gelatin into your prepared pan, and cover with a layer of graham crackers. Top the graham crackers with the pineapple mixture, cover the pineapple with a layer of crackers, and then pour in the rest of the gelatin. Chill until firm.

To serve, run a knife around the edge of the pan, cover with a plate and flip it over.

This is one of The Squire’s favorite desserts.  Enjoy!

Any Port in a Storm

23 Jul

We had a real log-lifter of a thunder storm last night, and both the dog and the cat were upset about the noise.

Right before The Squire took this picture, Blazer had his head resting on Eddie’s back.  When you are in danger, nothing is as comforting as an old friend.



22 Jul

Today is my birthday, and The Squire offered to take me anyplace my little heart desired for lunch or dinner. Since we prefer to eat our main meal in the middle of the day, I originally suggested going to a locally owned Oriental restaurant, but late yesterday I decided what I REALLY  wanted was to go out for hard crabs.

And so we did.

There is a nice place not too far from here that had mediums crabs for $45 a dozen, hard crabsand when you consider that will feed two people it’s not a bad deal. Two ears of corn and two bottles of O’Doul’s probably didn’t come to any more than a nice meal at a really good restaurant, and we both enjoyed every minute of it. And we had three left over for later.

While we ate, we reminisced about other times we had eaten crabs.  When The Squire first came to Baltimore, fresh from the mountains of North Carolina he’d hardly ever eaten seafood, never mind hard crabs or oysters.  His coworkers invited him out for dinner one Friday, and he asked them to order for him while he went to wash his hands. When he got back to the table he discovered they’d gotten him a soft crab sandwich. All elbows sticking out from under the bread, and when he lifted the lid his lunch was staring back at him.

When we were going together we ran into some friends at the store; they bought two dozen crabs and met us back at my apartment. I showed The Squire how to eat a crab and told him I’d fix him a sandwich. We all got to talking and it suddenly dawned on me I’d never gotten him something to eat. I looked at the pile of shells in front of him and exclaimed, “How many of those things did you eat, anyway?”

“Six. And you’re no more surprised than I am.”

He’s never looked back.

We went to a crab feast held by my sister’s church. I don’t remember the price, but everybody got six crabs for their money. Six crabs in a brown paper sack.  That was it. Nothing else, and I mean nothing.  We were reduced to cleaning the crabs with my sister’s embroidery scissors and The Squire’s pen knife. Somebody took pity on us and gave us a fistful of napkins, and an extra mallet.

For a while I was allergic to ingested iodine; we had company from out of town who wanted carbs, so I went along, intending to have French fries or something. They suggested I take some Benadryl before we leave to prevent breaking out in hives, so I could eat with them, which I did. The next morning I was so dizzy I sat at the dining room table with my head in my hands to keep it from floating away. I pressed my elbows on the table to keep it from doing the same!

Crabs are delicious, and eating them breaks every possible rule of good etiquette. Newspaper for a tablecloth, mallet and knife instead of a knife and a fork, you wash your hands in a bucket of water, and put your elbows on the table. It’s not rude to ask the host what he paid for the meal; it’s pretty much understood somebody will ask.

If you ever come to Baltimore we’ll try to take you out for crabs. Even if it isn’t my birthday.



If You Don’t Like Organized Religion. . .

21 Jul

. . . I know just the place for you. We have often joked that Resurrection is just the right church! This morning a case in point.

Our rector is on vacation, and we have a lovely lady filling in for these three weeks. Whenever you have a supply priest, things are a bit “off” simply because everybody has their own way of doing things. Most clergy consume any wine left after everyone has had communion, but she leaves it for the Altar Guild to dispose of. When you don’t eat breakfast on Sunday, this can be a serious problem!

So – today not only was our rector was away, but our organist was also on vacation. Mother Sue was here, but the fellow who was supposed to play the piano was nowhere to be found. The Squire called him, and learned the man was ill. C’mon! You’re not too sick to use the phone, are you? So Mother Sue played the piano in the back of the church, and I processed up the aisle by myself.  When the first hymn was over, she hustled up the side aisle, picked up her Prayer Book and started the service.

When it was time for the Gradual hymn – a bit of “traveling music” before and after the Gospel – she dashed to the back again and told me to bring the Gospel Book down the  center aisle. I couldn’t find it. I looked on the altar where it belonged, glanced over where she had been sitting during the service and then sort of did a “Moses in the wilderness” thing until I spotted a member of the choir desperately pointing to the table where we place the bread and wine for the ushers to bring up. No idea why it was there and Sue didn’t remember putting it there, either.

At least some dear soul in the congregation started the Doxology for us, and we managed to sing the last hymn without any music.

Oh! One of the ushers turned around and started back to his seat without getting the communion rail in place. The other fellow grabbed him by the shirt and turned him around.

The Gospel lesson today was about Mary and Martha, and trying to multiple-task. Yes, Lord. We’ve got that part down pat. Amateur hour. Has anybody here ever done this before?


The Day Before the Baby Comes

1 Jul

Or something along those lines.

I woke up this morning at 5:30, feeling full of energy. The weather was clear and cool – 65°F – and we only had a half a loaf of white bread left from what I’d made while The Squire was in the hospital.  I dragged out the machine and got a batch of onion-dill underway before the day got too hot.

Normally, fixing breakfast is The Squire’s job, but this morning I had grits and chicken-maple sausage ready to go; all I had to do was hit the toaster and fry the eggs. I don’t know which of us was the most surprised!

I’ve always made most of our bread, and when I was still working it was a good way to pound out frustration. I’d come home and beat people up – one for you, and one for your ugly brother – boom, boom, bang! Not too long before I “retired” I’d sent The Squire to work with a different kind of bread every day for a month – twenty days. The girls in my carpool refused to take any more loaves because their husbands wanted to know why they didn’t make bread, too. The folks in The Squire’s office didn’t complain.

Anyway, this is the recipe I used today. You can make it in your machine, or do it by hand.

Onion and Dill Bread

1 package yeast, or 2-1/2 teaspoons if you buy it in bulk

3-1/3 cups flour (I use 1 cup whole wheat, and 2-1/3 all-purpose, but it’s up to you)

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1-1/2 teaspoons salt

3 tablespoons sugar

1 egg

Mix together and warm:

3/4 cup cottage cheese

3/4 cup sour cream or full-fat plain yogurt

3 tablespoons minced dried onion

2 tablespoons dried dill weed

1-1/2 tablespoons butter

I also add 1 heaping tablespoon vital gluten. Bob’s Red Mill is a good choice.

This makes 2-1/2 pounds; I make 2 8×4 loaves. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. I insert a meat thermometer when I think the bread is almost done and removed the loaves from the oven 190°F.

This makes marvelous sandwiches!