Terse and to the point!
No zombies. No vampires. No angels. No self-help. No horror.
Square 3: St. Martin's Day -- make a batch of gingerbread men,
Well, I don't make gingerbread men but I do make a mean ginger snap cookie and I whipped up a batch this afternoon for Thanksgiving dessert. Of course, I forgot all about this task until just now, so I don't have any pictures of the process and the finished produce is wrapped for the night, so proof of the pudding is going to have to wait until I can snap a picture of them. In the meantime, here is the recipe (from Irma Rombauer's Joy of Cooking)
Recipe notes. Bake for 18-20 min at 325°F. I don't grease the pan. I do not put marshmallow or icing on them--the don't need the extra sugar. (For those in the US, I get my spices from Penzey's; their freshness makes a real difference.)
I finally sat down with the complete list and marked off the tasks that were in my bailiwick. Here is my next contribution, for Square 4.
Post your favourite turkey-day recipe:
Here are two recipes that have been on our Thanksgiving table for the past 50 years. Mom worked, so she found recipes that she could make ahead and freeze.
Both are cooked in 2-qt casserole dishes (that go from freezer-to oven (after defrosting!) to table).
Mrs. Breit's Rice Casserle
1- large yellow onion—diced
2/3-- stick of butter
1 -- large can of mushroom stems and pieces (drained)
2 cups -- Uncle Ben's converted rice (not instant rice)
3 1/3 – boiling water with 2T Chicken Bouillon granules or 6 cubes (taste test to make sure that it strong enough)
Pre-heat oven 350°. In a large frying pan, saute the diced onion in the butter until golden. Add the rice and stir until it is coated. Add the mushrooms and stir. Scrape rice and mushrooms into the casserole and add the bouillon.
Cover and bake for 1 hour.
Cool before freezing (I like to stir it up before I freeze it because sometimes the mushrooms float up to the top) . To re-heat, defrost completely (1-2 days in the fridge, take out morning of to finish defrosting), add ¼ cup water, cover and bake for 1 hour at 350°.
(Serves 6 people per cup of rice but for Turkey-day, with all the other starches on the table, 2 cups serves 20 people). (To clean the casserole, fill it with water and vinegar and let it stand over night).
Sweet Potato Puff
(Prepared in a food processor)
1 large can plus one small can of Bruce's Yams –drained
1 small can crushed pineapple with the juice (I use the unsweeten packed in its own juice)
dash of salt
Process the yams in a food processor until very, very smooth. Transfer to a big bowl. Add the crushed pineapple and dash or two of salt. Stir well. Add orange juice (start with ¼ cup, you don't want it too liquid-y, just “nice and smooth.”)
Place in the casserole, smooth the top and cover with marshmallows ( if you are using the big ones, allow some space between them and make sure that they are below the rim of the casserole as the marshmallows will puff.)
Cover to freeze. Defrost 1-2 days in the fridge. Take out morning of to finish defrosting. Bake uncovered at for 1 hour at 350° having placed the casserole on something to catch the marshmallow overflow (hard to clean burned sugar out of the oven).
Update! Just finished his and her sweet potato puffs--although without the marshmallows, there is no "puff."
Square 2: Book themes for Bon Om Touk: Read a book that takes place on the sea, near the sea, or on a lake or a river...
I love this book!!
In 1421, just before a period in their history of isolationism, the Chinese treasure fleet circumnavigated the globe, carefully mapping their progress. Shortly after their return, the emperor had the archives expunged of the now 'unnecessary' information that the fleet had gleaned.
1421 is Gavin Menzies attempt to prove that the Chinese had already beaten Columbus and Magellan to the punch --and that in fact, they had used maps that were based on what the Chinese had found out. The tale of how he went about his painstaking research is interwined with what he has learned, and continues to learn, and both are absolutely fascinating.
From now until January, it is all re-reads. My mind is just not up for processing new material. Besides which, I'm saving the new stuff for 2018.
For the next day or two, I will be immersed in the story of the discovery of the Cairo Genizah, its signficance, its value to scholarship, the problems faced (by librarians and the scholarly community) in cataloging and preserving what was in the genizah. Over one hundred years after the discovery of this trove of documents and books, scholars have barely begun to plumb its depths.
I'm also adding this as ONE of my Hanukkah tasks for Square 8. The rest will have to wait for later.
Square 12 --Book themes for Saturnalia: OR– a book with a mask or masks on the cover. –OR– a story where roles are reversed.
This is one of my favorite Georgette Heyer books. Of course, the whole premise is silly but GH pulls it off with such eclat and they all live happily ever after. A delightful romp, especially if you don't take it seriously in the least.
Here's to International Human Rights Day !!!!
Cook a dish from a foreign culture
Once a year or so, I cook a paella, a Spanish dish. I would do it once a month if it I didn't gain weight just looking at a box of Uncle Ben's!!
Please excuse that fact that this is an old picture but I don't remember if I got a picture of this year's adventure and this one was already up on a server that I could link to.
And please excuse this avalanche of posts but I am trying to get as many of these done while I have the time to do them--although a couple of them will have to wait until later because named tasks actually coincide with things that I have on the docket already for December -- like baking ginger snaps (which is as close to gingerbread men as I get).
Tasks for Advent: ...OR– “Advent” means “he is coming.” Tell us: What in the immediate or near future are you most looking forward to? (This can be a book release, or a tech gadget, or an event … whatever you next expect to make you really happy.)
My friends, this task is without a doubt a complete "NO BRAINER."
Having finally reconciled myself to the fact that, after so many years of trying, there would be no grand-child, my daughter announced on Mother's Day that they were reaching the end of the first trimester and due at the beginning of December. We are busily preparing for the birth, scheduled for just two weeks from today.
Posting task 2-- Square 3
Book themes for Veteran’s Day/Armistice Day: Read a book involving veterans of any war, books about WWI or WWII (fiction or non-fiction).
A WWII story of a WREN ordinance officer and two Australian brothers, one a pilot and the other a frogman, in the lead up to the Normandy Invasion.
Oddly enough, this book also counts for the Penance Day read in Square 4: ...where someone is struggling with feelings of guilt or with their conscience (regardless over what).
This my first task of the season: Post a picture from your most recent or favorite vacation on the sea (or a lake, river, or any other body of water larger than a puddle),
We are at Nordcapp, Norway. As far north as you can travel on the European Continent. It is 71 degrees north, just one third of the way to the North Pole.
But, it was such an amazingly beautiful cruise up the coast of Norway, that I can't stop at just one photo, or even just two. Nordcapp sits on the same coastal island as Honnigsvag.
Further south, on the Geirangerfjord:
We did a very quick trip to Washington, D.C. to see an exhibition at the National Gallery of Art and knowing that we could not spend two days wandering around the NGA, we also went to the Newseum, where I kept wondering how come in the various exhibits there was not more mention of legendary broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow. That was, of course, until I finally made it into the BLOOMBERG INTERNET, TV AND RADIO GALLERY where there is an entire exhibit dedicated to the man. It includes a film narrated by Bob Edwards, author of the book seen pictured here, with dialogue lifted verbatim from the book.
“If sacred places are spared the ravages of war... then make all places sacred. And if the holy people are to be kept harmless from war... then make all people holy.”
― J. Michael Straczynski, Silver Surfer: Requiem