Monday, September 18, 2017

DIRTY SPONGES!!!

I just had to share this hilarious article by James Lileks from the Minnepolis StarTribune.

That smell coming from the fridge? Don’t ask   JAMES LILEKS, StarTribune, Minneapolis
Depending on the article and the quantity of alarmism the author wanted to inject, the headline either said, “Kitchen sponges have lots of bacteria” or “You’re smearing bubonic plague on your toddler’s high chair tray.”
You’re pretty sure you’re not doing that, but you check your pantry anyway to see if any packages say “This product was processed in a facility that handles milk, nuts and rats.” No? You’re good.
The news that sponges had microscopic gunk isn’t — what’s the word I’m looking for? — news. You know that when you wipe the cutting board after slicing raw chicken, the germs don’t go away just because you squeezed the sponge. “I’ll just strangle the little buggers. That’ll do it.”
No. You use antibacterial soap — which we all suspect is absolutely useless — and you run the sponge through the dishwasher before putting it in the microwave. If anything’s still living after being drowned and baked, it deserves to live. Send it to Mars, and in 25 years it will have evolved into something that stands erect and greets us when humans finally land.
I’m not worried about my sponges. I’m worried about my fridge, which smells.
Let’s back up a second. In the old days, you would take out everything and discover the source of the olfactory offender. Elderly fish. Cheese with a pelt. Milk that made you think “maybe that’s where they get stucco.” You washed the fridge, and that was that.
Now you sit down and google that problem, even if it means fridge-freshener ads will follow you around the internet for a fortnight. Autocomplete reassures you that you are not alone. Type in “Why does my fridge smell?” and you get:
Why does my fridge smell funny?
Why does my fridge smell hilarious?
Why does my fridge smell but cannot see?
Why does my fridge smell like Joe Pesci’s toupee?
Huh? Does he wear a toupee? Google that ... Wow, here are “16 little-known facts about ‘Goodfellas.’ ” Eventually you’re reading the biography of Mafia figures, and when your wife comes home and opens the fridge and makes a face, she says, “What happened?”
“Well, Paul Castellano went to Sparks Steak House without realizing that the meeting had been set up to rub him out.”
“You rubbed what on the steak? Smells like sour motor oil.”
“No, it’s not the compressor. I googled that smell already.”
Wife gets that expression that says: You spend entirely too much time by yourself, you know.
Here’s the odd thing: It wasn’t a recognizable aroma, like spoiled fowl or green meat. It smelled like some strange antiseptic chemical. Googled: “Why does the ice smell like chemicals?” You expect some poindexter to adjust his glasses and say, “Actually, ice is made of chemicals, like everything else. It’s hydrogen and oxy.... Ow, you stepped on my foot.”
“Actually, I trod on it.”
Anyway, more googling revealed that any strong smell in your fridge will eventually infect the ice, so you should either clean the inside or sell your house.
“Use hot water,” my wife said.
“Let me check Zillow first.”
The cleaning starts by putting something in the fridge that absorbs odors, like cat litter. We had none, so I got some from a neighbor. That seemed to make it worse, so I went back and asked for some fresh litter, maybe from the bag this time? Thanks.
Eventually, the odor diminished to the point where it was now either faint, or a hallucination. Family members would come home and find me standing in front of the fridge, sniffing. It’s still there. A faint, sharp tang, like a dental hygienist dipped in rubbing alcohol. “I swear it’s still there,” I’d announce.
Only one thing left to try — besides taking everything out and washing the fridge, i.e., doing something about it that might actually help.
I put the kitchen sponge in the freezer. Within a day the odor was gone. From which I can only conclude that the microbes in the sponge feasted on the peculiar aroma. Hah! Victory!
Come to think of it, the disposal smelled a bit; why not put the sponge down there and flip the switch?

Should have defrosted the sponge first. Well, we needed a new disposal anyway.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

RETIREMENT - Nine Years Later!

Greetings, Friends!

Today represents the end of nine years of my retirement from the workforce.  Wow!  Did that go by quickly!  Today, though, represents the celebration of when it actually feels like I'm retired since these past years have been jam packed with too much work!  It is so easy for someone like me to take on too much - volunteer work, gardening, household maintenance - everything in every way.  Well, we just sold our house after a year on the market [Maintaining two houses was awful!]; I am coming to an end of much of my volunteer work; we are now in a lower maintenance home that I love; and I am now, for the first time, in a position to completely enjoy each and every day of my NEW retirement.

To celebrate the day I'm having lunch with a friend, going to a lecture on British history (London in the late 1800's), going to a movie ("The Glass Castle" based on Jeannette Walls book), then coming home to a new pet cat - Mau Mau - arriving all the way from Hong Kong!  

So, I better get on with it!  No time to spare!





Sunday, February 12, 2017

MORE FOODIE FUNNIES

Seven years ago I started this blog.   As you can tell, I only post periodically; but I didn't want this occasion to pass without sharing something with you.   So... time for more FOODIE FUNNIES!!!!
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Saturday, January 7, 2017

TINY KITCHEN - Macaroni and Cheese

We are just back from a delightful Christmas - New Years trip to England. Now to make up for eating all of those "chips" by going on a diet! Perhaps if I can limit my food intake to this recipe I will be successful. Check it out!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

CHOCOLATE CRANBERRY PECAN TART

HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!  It is baking season in so many homes, and a time to spend with friends.  Last night we were invited to a holiday dinner at friends, the Andersons.  I was asked to bring dessert.  What to bring?!?  So many options!  I came across this Taste of Home recipe in my online search of "cranberries" and "dessert," and I'm glad I did!  It was very easy to make, very festive and special for a holiday dessert.  The fresh cranberries give this very sweet tart a nice taste balance.   Serve it with whipped cream.

WHITE CHOCOLATE-CRANBERRY-PECAN TART.  Serves 12-14.
*  Pastry for single-crust pie (9 inches)
*  1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries (I used frozen)
*  1 cup pecan halves (NOT chopped)
*  1 cup white baking chips (I used a 4-oz. Ghirardelli white chocolate bar, cut into "chips.")
*  3 large eggs
*  3/4 cup packed brown sugar
*  3/4 cup light corn syrup
*  2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
*  1 teaspoon grated orange peel (from 1/2 navel orange)
Preheat oven to 350º.  Roll out pastry to fit an 11-inch tart pan with removable bottom;  trim edges.  Sprinkle with the cranberries, pecans and chips.  In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, brown sugar, corn syrup, flour and orange peel; pour over chips.  Bake 40 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack.



I never got around to taking a photo of the finished tart.  Use your imagination!  xoxoxoxo, A

Sunday, December 11, 2016

QUICHE AS YOU LIKE IT!

It is unusual for me to use a purchased pie crust when I always have everything on hand to make a crust.  That said, I was recently at Aldi and bought frozen pie crust at a ridiculously low price, with two in the package.  I used one for my Thanksgiving pumpkin pie, and decided to use the other for a quiche.  

Quiche is one of the easiest things to make, particularly when you can use a frozen pie crust!  The beauty of this recipe is that it can be made to use what you have on hand, to suit your own taste.  Naturally, if you use all ingredients you love, you will love the final result.  

For this quiche, I used fried hot Italian sausage (previously fried up, then frozen), a mix of vegetables consisting of onions, minced garlic, sweet yellow pepper, and a seeded Roma tomato, and about a tablespoon of dried herbes d'Provence.   Here is a pic of Kevin fixing his breakfast.




QUICHE AS YOU LIKE IT.  Serves 6 - 8.
*  1 - 9" unbaked deep-dish pie shell
*  1 cup cooked meat, of your choice
*  1 cup vegetables, of your choice
*  1 cup shredded cheese, of your choice
*  6 eggs
*  1 cup milk or cream
*  1/2 teaspoon salt
*  1/4 teaspoon pepper
*  Fresh/dried herbs, garlic, chive, or other seasonings of your choice
Sprinkle cheese, meat and vegetables evenly on the bottom of the pie shell.  Beat together eggs, milk, salt, pepper and other seasonings until well blended.  Pour into pie shell.  Bake in preheated 375º oven for 35 - 40 minutes or until knife inserted halfway between center and outside edge comes out clean.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.  



Thursday, December 1, 2016

WHAT NOT TO BRING TO THANKSGIVING POTLUCK.

Does this say "Thanksgiving" to you?

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It's pizza casserole.  With all of the great traditional foods, it's hard for me to imagine someone having extra room in their stomach to handle this spicy, cheesy dish but, as you can see, much of it was eaten.  Fortunately, this did not show up at our house.  It was brought to the home of my dentist's administrative assistant (correct title?).  She and I got a bit of a laugh out of this dish that her sister brought to the family Thanksgiving meal!

For those of you who think this sounds good, if you do a Google search for "pizza casserole" you will get just under 1.8 million hits.  Good luck to you!

As for me, I think I'll stick with turkey, dressing, gravy, cranberries, pumpkin pie....