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Posts Tagged ‘cooking’

Home, Home on the Range…

In The Daily Drool on August 9, 2009 at 3:28 pm

The cooking range that is… Why is everything yummier when mom makes it?

Beause it’s made with LOVE.

But seriously, there is something spiritually soothing about being home where the cooking is always great and the company loves you no matter what your hair starts to do as a result of “Vacation Neglect.”

I have to say that with every visit I appreciate more and more the joys of sharing space with people I know.  And I mean really know.  Living in LA can be a damned lonely experience… people come and go, drifting in and out of social circles with a frighteningly cavalier attitude.  It’s probably because no matter what, there is another bunch of personalities sitting the next table over, so what’s to worry about?

But I don’t operate like that.

It’s not easy for me to let people in, so why wouldn’t I want to make sure the ones I do grant entrance to are planning on staying?  It’s a hollow world if you have to stop letting them in to protect yourself, but you can’t be opening yourself up to every Los Angeleno that comes along… they just don’t stick around.

Landing at home-base eases my soul of any pretense or worry… here, at least, are guaranteed hugs and smiles.

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Grocer Vs. Cupboard

In The Daily Drool on July 20, 2009 at 4:00 pm

An interesting thing happens in my apartment on days of particular laze…   I go hunting for goodies in the cupboards and the freezer in the hopes of forestalling a trip to the grocer.  I imagine that many of us wind up sorting just such odds and ends as I did this afternoon, but I thought it might be interesting to list some of the things I found in my pillaging:

3 bags of peanut M&Ms- I’m talking large bags.  And I don’t even eat the things, I just keep the candy dish on my counter full for guests.

Enough Stewed Tomatoes to give Italy a run for its money.  Note to self: next time you are at the store and the stewed tomatoes are on sale?  WALK AWAY.

3 mostly empty bags of cereal (rice crispies, Life, and frosted mini wheats) none of which contains enough for a real bowl of breakfast.

4 boxes of Penne Pasta.  Seriously, I think I’m all stocked up.

2 Swiss chocolate bars FROM SWITZERLAND- I carried these bricks of delight across mountains and vast open water, only to stuff them in the cupboard and forget about them for THREE YEARS!  (yes, I threw them away)

A mysterious tupperware full of Oreos.  Mysterious because I don’t remember putting them there, and also because the Oreos are still mysteriously fresh.

And about 7 cans of tomato soup.

Wow.

I’m not even going to worry about the freezer today… soup sounds just fine!

Evil Grocer Bandits Vs. the Little Leather Pocketbook

In Essays, The Daily Drool on July 10, 2009 at 7:44 am

I’ve not been paying all that much attention to the news lately… perhaps it’s because it has all been so awful.  So when my grocery bill kind of took my socks off this week, I set to scanning it with fervor – and guess how surprised I was to see that our sales tax had gone UP!  I am now paying nearly 10 cents to the dollar on every CA purchase!  OUCH!

But that’s not all I realized… the price of the taxable groceries have gone up too.  Way up.  What’s even more appalling is that the crafty price gougers at Ralph’s have gone about it with such deceit!  You see, they raise the price of your favorite orange juice from $3.69 to $4.29, then they attach one of those little “Ralph’s Club member price” tags to the case screaming out the new bargain price of $3.69.  You toss a carton in your basket, not realizing that the new “sale” price is the old regular price, and that the only one doing any saving is Mr. Ralph himself.

And you get angry.

Your grocery bill is higher, your taxes are higher… gas is outrageous!   And you start to wonder how evil McDonald’s really is if they’re the only deal left in town.   I mean, selling double cheeseburgers for a buck!  That’s a downward-spiraling-economy’s golden ticket.

But in all honesty, just what the $$$ is going on?

At one of my waitressing jobs, I remember very distinctly the owner coming in with new menus, having just raised all the prices.  When I asked what to tell our customers when they asked why the raise in prices, he told me (with a very straight face) that the Iraq war was to blame.  I guffawed (because I do that when handed a plate of grade A bullshit) and told him that I seriously doubted customers were going to believe that tensions overseas were causing a price jump in lettuce.

But they did.

And he kept raising those prices as a result.

Because what happened is that the people transporting the lettuce were paying out the ass in gas – it was cutting into their profits.  So they raised their prices to transport, which in turn cut into the lettuce growers profits, so they raised the price of the lettuce, which led my employer to raise the price of his salads… which led some of our customers to stay home for lunch where they could make their own damn salad.

And I just can’t help but wonder when it is all going to end?  Will it take till consumers have nothing left to give?  Who is winning here?  Are the people at the top taking any cuts, or are they just bleeding us all dry in order to keep their own busting bank accounts full?   I hear about CEO’s loosing their multi-million dollar bonuses, but when will any of it help US out?

I just have to wonder, with everyone passing the buck, how are we ever going to settle this disastrous bill?

Recipe for success

In The Daily Drool on May 23, 2009 at 3:28 pm

Sometimes you have to turn off the computer, put away your characters, step outside the story, and do something simple.  Something with directions.   Something guaranteed (more or less) to work.

Today is one of those days.  

 PARMESAN PEPPER BREAD

1 ¼ cups warm water (100-110 F)

2 packages Fleischmann’s Traditional Yeast

2 tablespoons sugar

1 ½ teaspoons Spice Islands Medium Grind Black Pepper

1 teaspoon salt

3 ½ to 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 egg

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 egg white, lightly beaten

DIRECTIONS

Place ½ cup warm water in large warm bowl.  Sprinkle in yeast; stir until dissolved.  Add remaining water, sugar, pepper, salt, and 1 cup flour; blend well.  Stir in whole egg, Parmesan cheese and enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, abot 4-6 minutes.  Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top of dough.  Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 30-45 minutes.

Punch dough down.  Remove dough to lightly floured surface; divide into 3 equal pieces.  Roll each piece to 28-inch rope; braid ropes.  Place on greased baking sheet.  Form braid into circle; pinch ends together to seal.  Cover, let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 20-40 minutes.

Brush loaf with egg white. (I do this about mid-three quarters through the baking process, since it tends to shrink the dough if you do it too early.  It’s not a necessary step, just gives the bread a shiny finish)   Bake at 375 F for 25-30 minutes or until done.  Remove from sheet; let cool on wire rack.

Sit back and grin at the success.  Never-mind the computer, it will get over it.