Thursday, January 30, 2014
These beautiful (blown) eggs were a gift from my niece Amelia.
She told me she got them at an antique shop and was told they were Brown-headed Cowbird eggs.
For the most part, selling eggs and feathers of wild birds is prohibited but this may not apply to antiques. Also, the Cowbird is a bit of a thug ( see HERE), thoroughly despised by most bird lovers. It may not be protected.
No matter -- the eggs are beautiful..
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
On a snowy day (yesterday) one may find oneself looking at old magazines . . .
This is the December 1942 issue -- even older than I.
As I leafed through the pages, I was struck by one thing in particular.
Everyone was expected to be a part of the war effort.
Whether producing superior files or jigsaws, it was all tied to helping Uncle Sam prevail.
And it was up to YOU, as a patriotic American, to curb your consumption . . .
The wars the US fights recently don't seem to be like that. They seem to be wars of choice, pre-emptive actions, fought to defend economic interests. fought increasingly with the help of mercenaries such as Halliburton or Blackwater.
Without a draft in which anyone's (and that would include Congress and the President) anyone's son or daughter may be called up to put their life on the line, it's all too easy for the great majority of us to ignore these wars.
We might throw out a token 'Thank you for your service' if we encounter someone in military uniform but as far as sacrifice that involves curbing consumption -- why that would be un-American, Big Business cries, flinging up its hands in dismay.
As for the shameful treatment of our veterans, well that's a post for another snowy day...
Sunday, January 26, 2014
It's cold and snowing again -- time to fast forward to June. . .Or you could follow THIS LINK and take a look at the beautiful journal Joan, my blog friend in New Zealand, put together after walking the Camino del Santiago . . .
It's inspiring . . . and not just for the religious.
Saturday, January 25, 2014
Really. A group of moms advocating sensible gun laws at the Virginia capitol were told they must remove the little dowels from their American flags because sticks are considered weapons. Meanwhile, gun advocates carrying all sorts of guns were ushered into the capitol past the flag- waving potential terrorist moms. Because the Virginia legislature in its wisdom allows guns on the capitol grounds.
But not sticks. Because a stick could put your eye out while a gun, why that's a sacred symbol of freedom.
I am reminded of Bizarro World where everything is backward. I never much liked these comics as a kid -- too disturbingly irrational. And I'm appalled to find myself living there now.
When I first saw THIS ARTICLE on Facebook yesterday, I checked on Snopes to see if it was a spoof. Surely, I thought . . .
But Snopes had nothing and then a second site reported it HERE.
Look at the picture below and just imagine how much safer you'd feel if those folks were waving guns instead of flags . . .
Thursday, January 23, 2014
Fried pies! I first encountered these back in '60 when driving from Emory in Atlanta down to University of Florida. There were four of us, all of whom had sweethearts in Gainesville, and a highlight of the trip was stopping at some marvelous roadside barbecue place near Macon. There was terrific 'cue, all the sliced white bread you wanted, and fried peach pies!
It was Heaven!
That was about fifty three years ago. I don't think I've had a fried pie since. But back on Tuesday, when the oncoming snow storm made hanging out in the kitchen an attractive proposition, I made some.
I stewed some dried apricots and set them aside to cool while I made a lovely rich crust. The recipe (below) says it makes 18 pies and you cut six inch circles. I don't have a cutter that size so I used a large jar lid and then rolled the cut out circles till they were about six inches.
Plop a bit of stewed apricot on one side, fold over, and seal with a fork dipped in cold water.
Fry till golden, turning a couple of times.
12 oz. dried apricots -- stew covered over low heat in a saucepan with water to cover till fruit is soft and water almost gone. Set aside while you make the dough
4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup shortening (I used Crisco)
1 cup milk
Oil for frying
Mix flour and salt together in a large bowl. Cut in shortening till mixture is crumbly. Mix in milk and stir till dough forms a ball. Roll out on floured surface cut into 18 6-inch circles.
Spoon a bit of filling onto one side of each circle, fold over, seal with a fork dipped in cold water.
Fry a few pies at a time, browning both side. Drain on paper towels.
Oh, yumyumyumyumyum! The pastry is INCREDIBLE! Flaky and light ...
and delicious. . .
I swear, this is NOT the sort of thing we have often.
But it sure is good.