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October 2017

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Jun. 14th, 2017

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Jun. 12th, 2017

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Jun. 11th, 2017

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Jun. 8th, 2017

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Jun. 6th, 2017

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Jun. 5th, 2017

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Jun. 4th, 2017

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Jun. 2nd, 2017

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  • Thu, 22:50: Looking for free summer meals for kids in your neighborhood? Just text FOOD to 877-877. (Or COMIDA for a reply in Spanish). #NoKidHungry

May. 31st, 2017

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May. 29th, 2017

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Trying to remember what I have been doing for the past two weeks.

I have been reading I got some very interesting books. But I have also been sleeping a lot.

I have been trying to use the food in my freezer. I bought a ham and froze it in portions. Which is mostly good for making bean soup. So I have been eating bean soup. Split Pea and now Navy Bean.

I also came up with something to do with leftover lamb.
================================
Lamb and rice with pine nuts and apricots
1 leftover leg of lamb with bones and meat
1 bay leaf
1 stick of cinnamon
Water to cover
A handful of pine nuts
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion diced
1 carrot diced
1/2 cup dried apricots diced
1/2 cup raisins
1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 cup brown rice

Roast a handful of pine nuts in the dry pan.
Cut the meat off the the lamb bone and separate any bones.
Put the meat and bones in a large pot and cover with water.
Add a cinnamon stick and a bay leaf and simmer for 45 minutes to make a good lamb bone broth.
Take out the bones and remove the meat. Dice the meat and set aside. Set aside the broth. Throw out the bay leaf and cinnamon stick
Add olive oil to the pan and saute the onion in the olive oil
Add the carrot, apricots, raisins, tomatoes, garlic. and rice.
Add the lamb broth and meat back in. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to sit covered for an additional 10 minutes. The rice should be cooked by then.
Serve with pine nuts sprinkled on top.
=============================

I had some trouble with my prescription insurance. I had lost my prescription insurance. Which is a very bad thing with as many drugs as I take. Last week I got a notice that I qualified for Extra Help, which is an actual program. I tried to get my prescriptions on Thursday. But they said I needed a insurance number, which was not on any of the paperwork I received. So I made several calls and ended up with an appointment on Wednesday morning to talk to a Medicare counselor. She read all my paperwork and we found a number I could call for information. The nice young man said he would call my pharmacist and tell them the number to bill to. So I was able to get my prescriptions on Wednesday.

Tuesday my Turkish neighbor, Gulsum, brought me a homemade kabob! It was delicious. But very spicy. I'm glad I had extra yogurt to cool it down.



Wednesday evening I visited Gulsum and we had ice cream and worked on crocheting Angler Fish. This is the first time I have tried working from a pattern. It was a pleasant evening.

I have still been feeling the need to stay home. I cancelled my Chiropractor appointment on Thursday. And, for the first time in years I didn't go down to Barb's for Memorial Day weekend. She had cancelled the big party because the ticks are too bad this year for people to camp on her property. So I knew I wasn't going to miss too much.

Gina and David have sold my Camry, now we just have to switch over the title to the Honda Odyssey.

I have been trying to get things done around the house. I need to take out some recycling. And I finished a few projects. A Black Cat Hat.



And I finished my Angler Fish and started a second one.


I also turned an old pair of pants into a shirt. I think I will turn some old shirts into a skirt to go with it. I like the idea of wearing my clothes upside down.

I feel pretty accomplished for today.

May. 28th, 2017

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May. 27th, 2017

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May. 26th, 2017

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May. 24th, 2017

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May. 23rd, 2017

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May. 22nd, 2017

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May. 21st, 2017

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May. 20th, 2017

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May. 19th, 2017

yin yang cats

Yesterday Was Full of Blessings.

Thursday was the day I had to go down to Binghamton to teach crochet at Promise Zone.

I had a good start with my chiropractor in the morning. Then I got some mail about my prescription drug insurance and was able to put in a request for my drugs at Wegmans.

I had an uneventful drive down and got to the school at 3:30. The Teenager was waiting for me and helped me get my scooter out and carried all my bags of yarn.

I did my presentation and passed on the yarn and hooks I got from Sew Green. Everything went well.

Afterward, we met Song, The Cuteness, and Grandma A for dinner at Outback. I have not been to the Outback since it opened in Vestal. They make a good steak. I had the baked potato soup, a house salad, and broccoli with my steak. And I had a Wallaby Darned® (an Australian frozen peach Bellini). I had been wondering what I would have for dinner so it was a blessing that Song treated me to a special night out.

Then I drove home through sun and thunderstorms. It was rainbow weather. I saw a huge rainbow when I was passing through Dryden.

When I got home Bri, the girl from next door, was out. I chatted with her and made plans to do some crochet on Sunday.

Then Gulsum, my downstairs neighbor, came out and asked me in for cake. She had just made a walnut blueberry cake. I was still full from dinner. But I went in for tea and we sat and crocheted until midnight.

It was a very full day. But I feel blessed by my friends and I had a lovely time crafting and hanging out with everyone.

I would have liked to have stayed in and recovered today, but Marilyn needed me to take her to pick up her car. Then she came over for tea. And I made Amish Onion Patties for dinner.

Now I hope to recover for a bit before I go out again.

May. 18th, 2017

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May. 17th, 2017

Dr Who

A very busy week. (Crochet at Promise Zone)

So, on Monday when I got home I just wanted to sleep. But Marilyn came over and stayed for a couple of hours. And reminded me I had agreed to drive her around so she didn't have to rent a car while her's is in the shop.

Tuesday I had to drive to Danby to get a couple of bags of yarn for the workshop I'm doing on Thursday. A nice lady on Ithaca Freecycle donated two huge bags of yarn. One bag is a lot of little balls of light weight yarn and the other is of whole skeins of heavy weight yarn. Both are perfect for my workshop. The kids can choose to make small toys or large scarves and hats.

Then today I had to get up at 8am to call Marilyn and wake her up so I could meet her at the garage at 9am. After that we went to Denny's for breakfast. We got into a discussion with a man at the next table who is also using Golden Turmeric paste to control nerve pain in his leg. He was very enthusiastic about herbal remedies Marilyn was delighted.

After that we went to Wegmans to pick up some turmeric so she could make the golden paste herself. I got a bunch of fresh turmeric roots and some dried tamarind pods so I could make the authentic Indonesian version from whole ingredients, I already have a huge chunk of fresh ginger root.

Tomorrow I have to see my chiropractor then it is another drive down to Binghamton to teach crochet for the Promise Zone.
dessert

Mother's Day Food.

I spent most of Mother's Day weekend cooking.

On Saturday I started off making Maple Bacon Crack. Well, I cooked the bacon. But Song assembled the rest. She thought it wasn't as good as the Saltine Brittle. It turns out it probably started as Saltine Brittle with Bacon.

Then we ran errands, got my tire fixed, and went grocery shopping. I picked up some Dippin' Dots at the grocery store. I had never had them before. They are an interesting novelty. But once they start melting they are just ice cream.

We had intended to make Fran's Italian pork roast for dinner but it turns out that the pork shoulder Song thought was in the fridge was actually in the freezer. that had to be put off to Sunday.

I did throw together a fast Sweet Beer Bread before I had to leave for dinner with my Mom. It did not turn out well. I mixed in the melted butter first and it came out lumpy and didn't rise properly.



Dinner with my Mom, my sister Gina, her husband David, and their children Forrest and Tanner at P S Restaurant. Which is a very nice restaurant. The children were delighted to see me. I got a children's place mat so I could play with them. (The word find was terrible! All but one of the words were horizontal, with no overlaps. Half of the words were backwards, which I think is cheating. And the one word that wasn't horizontal was bent in two places! On the other hand there were two solutions to the maze.)

Mom and Gina had a sparkling white wine, which came in it's own tiny bottle. We got a free fried dumpling to start. It was a vegetarian gyoza, deep fried and crispy, with a drizzle of spicy sauce.

I ordered a hot tea and the boys fought over helping me make it. I had to mediate. I love that they enjoy seeing me so much. They are adorable children. I wore my crocheted under-the-sea hat and they had fun playing with that.


I ordered the mushroom soup, the roasted beet salad, and the homemade gnocchi. The roasted beet salad was very nice. A handful of arugula, with four slices of roasted beets, candied walnuts and a drizzle of green goddess dressing. For dessert I had the "Upside Down Baked Alaska" That was a disk of meringue topped with a ball of vanilla ice cream rolled in toasted coconut, surrounded by sliced banana cooked in sugar syrup and drizzled with chocolate.

When I got back to Song's I was exhausted from the day.

Sunday I got cooking in earnest. First I got the pork roast started in the crock pot. Fran's Italian Pork Roast is a very simple recipe to put together. Once everything is in the crock pot you can let it go.

Then I made a second loaf of Beer Bread because my first loaf did not turn out. This time I poured the melted butter of the top of the batter. And it turned out much better. I used Belgian Winter Wheat beer, which is flavored with coriander and citrus. So I spiced it with more coriander and orange zest. And glazed it with orange zest and orange juice glaze.

I made biscotti out of some of the first loaf.


Then I started trying a new recipe for 1610 Rose Cakes. The first recipe I tried used the redacted version in the article. I tried them "dropped from a spoon" and pressed flat. They were Ok by a bit dry. I didn't have rose syrup or candied rose petals. So I just used rose water.


The second batch I tried used the my redaction of the original recipe:
"Take a pound of butter, and wash it in rose-water, and halfe a pound of sugar, and halfe a douzen spoonefulls of thicke Cream, and the yelkes of 4 Eggs, and a little mace finely beaten, and as much fine flower as it will wett, and worke it well together then roll them out very thin, and cut them with a glasse, and pricke them very thicke with a great pin, and lay them on plates, and so bake them gently.

Mistress Sarah Longe her Receipt Booke, c1610"


I accidentally used a full pound of sugar. But they turned out quite good. Not as dry as the first recipe. But I don't think I used enough flour, the dough was very soft and would not roll out and cut well. I used my #40 disher and pressed them flat with the bottom of a cup. They spread a little bit.


Then I made my favorite coconut Pound cake. I usually make this in bundt mold but I didn't have a bundt mold so I used two bread pans.


The cookes left me with 6 egg whites so the last thing I made was meringues.

I had intended to go home on Sunday but I was so exhausted from baking all day I didn't have the strength. So I stayed until Monday.
I left most of the baked goods with Song, and just took a sampling home with me.


The pork roast was great for dinner and Song has enough for lunches.

May. 15th, 2017

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May. 14th, 2017

dismay

Adventures in Failing at Adulthood.

Friday I planned to drive down to Song's house and bake some sweet beer bread and get some laundry done in preparation for having dinner with my Mom and my sister Gina at a fancy restaurant for Mother's Day.

It started out fine. I did some grocery shopping and I wasn't too late getting on the road.

Then just outside of Richford on Rt79 the van begins to shake and then smoke starts coming out the back. I pulled over and the woman behind me pulls up and tells me my right rear tire is flat, and do I need help, or do I have a phone? I have a phone so I said I was Ok and she drove off. I pulled out my phone and discovered I had No Bars and No Service. Now I have a real problem. I thought about trying to wave someone down, but I have a real problem about asking for help sometimes. After a few minutes of sitting there and having cars drive by I decided to try to drive very slowly around the bend (that was a large rock face)and see if the phone reception was better there. That was a bit scary, but I finally reached a spot where my phone beeped with a voice mail notification. I still didn't have any bars but I tried texting Song to ask for help. She called me and her call came through.

By this time I had been sitting by the side of the road for about 20 minutes. I had been pretty calm waiting to see what would happen. When I heard Song's voice and started to explain what had happened I burst into tears.

The thing is, if I had been in Ithaca I would have been much more calm. I have Hunt's auto in my phone and they can advise me or give me the number of a tow truck. (although they would have been closed by then anyway) But when I am close to home I feel safer. I was half an hour away from home, and not really sure where I was. My phone's Google maps wasn't functioning probably because of the poor reception. And without knowing where I was I couldn't really search for a tow truck or a service station.

Song suggested that I get out my insurance card and call the insurance company. That was another problem. This is still my sister's van. We haven't transferred it yet. The insurance is out of Philadelphia. But since my phone was making calls again I called my sister. Her husband David looked up the number for the gas station in Richford and I called them and asked for the number of a local towing company. Unfortunately the local towing company wasn't answering. So I called the gas station back, and they weren't answering. So I called Song back and asked her to come rescue me and the groceries.

About that time two men in a red pickup pulled up and asked me if I was Ok. I said "No, not really." and I explained the problem. David had told me the spare tire was under the floor between the front and back seats. I had started to excavate the back seats. The two men helped me and got the spare out.

They also got out my walker, so I had a place to sit while they worked on changing the tire. I showed them where the jack was (behind a panel in the back of the van). And they had it fixed in a few minutes.

They were concerned that the spare was a little soft so they told me they would follow me into Richford and pump it up for me there.

I am really blessed. It is wonderful that strangers are willing to help me when I have these problems. I didn't have any money but I had bought some hard cider to share with Song and gave them each a bottle as thanks.

I let Song, and David, know I didn't need rescuing anymore. And drove to Binghamton.

I really needed some snake time. And I didn't get any baking done.

Saturday Song called the local Firestone she uses for her car to made sure they had the right size tires for my car, and made an appointment for us to come in. We did some errands then headed over to the tire place.

The flat tire wasn't just flat it was shredded. But it also looked like it was almost worn flat on the edge. So I asked them to check the other tires. They thought the other back tire was getting thin enough that it should be changed and recommended rotating the tires as well. Since I had no desire to go through this again anytime soon I said that two new tires was a good idea. When they removed the second tire they discovered that it was also damaged on the inside and would probably have gone very soon. So that was a good decision.

I have two new tires and they said there was no other damage to the van. I'm glad Song was there to hold my hand through the process.
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May. 13th, 2017

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May. 12th, 2017

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May. 10th, 2017

Make Magic

Cooking with Yuca.

"The cassava, cassada, yuca, manioc, mogo or mandioca (Manihot esculenta) is a woody shrub of the Euphorbiaceae (spurge family) native to South America that is extensively cultivated as an annual crop in tropical and subtropical regions for its edible starchy tuberous root, a major source of carbohydrates."


The first time I peeled a yuca I used a regular peeler and I didn't have any trouble. But it turns out there is an easier way. The skin will peel easily if you make a small cut down the side and pry up an edge.
As I learned from Cassava (Yuca) 101

She has some great recipes too.

So this time I did that.

I was trying to make Fufu, a traditional West African Staple that is supposed to be very firm. Most of the recipes I found on the net said to grate the yuca and then cook it. Put the cooking process looked like it would burn easily. I decided to try cooking first in boiling water and mashing afterward.

Boiled yuca has the texture of dry cooked potatoes. It should make a very good German potato salad.

Mashing it turned out to be harder than anticipated. There were lots of strange hard bits. And I could not get the paste to go through a strainer or a ricer. I ended up putting it in the food processor.

My fufu was not as firm as I think it should it be. It was more like a thin and gummy mashed potatoes. It had a slightly different flavor than mashed potatoes but not a strong flavor. If you put in some garlic and cheese no one would probably notice it wasn't potatoes.

I served it with pork and ground nut (peanut) soup. The leftovers are in the fridge. I will have to see if it thickens when it cools.

Many of the online recipes call for fufu powder. Cassava is also used to make tapioca. Marilyn tells me she can get tapioca powder, so I might try to make fufu from that.

In the future I will buy frozen yuca so I don't have to do all the cutting and peeling. Yuca has very short shelf life some of my tubers had started to go bad. Buying frozen will prevent that too.
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May. 9th, 2017

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Lunch at Capital Corner

I finally had lunch at Capital Corner.

I haven't been there before because of the parking situation. But I got a spot right in front of the restaurant this time.

It's one of those hole-in-the-wall Chinese American delivery places. There is a small area with tables and chairs but you can tell they really expect you to take out. There was only one women working the counter and the tables. But there were only two other people eating in. Several people came in to pick up food through. The only drinks are canned soda and Snapple. No boba tea or any tea :(

I ordered the Steamed Pork Bun, you get two! I love Steamed Pork Buns.

My main dish was Fried Fish Ball with Curry Sauce, which they list as a "Snack". The Fish Ball was more like fish cake cubes. I like fish cake. The curry was spicy warm but not very spicy hot, good flavor. It also had a lot of vegetables: bell peppers, snow peas, carrots, celery and onions.

The presentation was excellent and the food was delicious.

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