Friday, April 21, 2006

Cooking - The Generation Gap

You have to admit that this dish expresses an impressive disregard for anyone who chooses to indulge in it.

Before cooking for 1 hour at 350 degrees:

Honestly, I have never made baked beans before. I don't really like them. So I was astonished when my friend Marjorie, in response to my comment that I need to make them for a family potluck this weekend, rattled off a list of ingredients! (Convincing me that she really does know 99% of everything that's important to know.)

My mom was surprised to learn that I don't have fond feelings toward the baked bean. I do love beans in general. She sent me a boldy vague recipe involving onions, catsup and sugar to taste--which she admitted would be hard since I'm not a fan of said taste. Marjorie had mentioned molasses and mustard powder. I saw a can of beans at the store that splashily proclaimed its maple syrup content.

Maybe I should call these Frankenbeans. I bought the Van Camp's pork and beans and added onion, catsup, mustard powder and maple syrup, and then layered it with bacon as instructed.

I'm not implying malicious intent, but do you think my family's heart-health issues have anything to do with appetites for food like this?

I have to 'fess up. It smelled amazing while cooking. I will sample them at the potluck.

Note how some of the bacon now lurks beneath the surface...

Now, this is NOT a criticism of my mom's cooking. She made great dinners and a most of it wasn't this fattening. And what did we know, anyway?

But on the other hand, here's my new recipe, inspired by Spoko, over on 43 Things, who mentioned having had a Greek soup with tomatoes and leeks in it. I had a leek and a chicken breast from a store-bought roasted chicken and a little time on my hands. The lemon is my nod to the Greek concept.

2 cans FF chicken broth
1 leek, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
5-6 ounces cooked chicken breast, shredded into 1-inch lengths
3 Tbs lemon juice
oregano and parsely to taste

Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 20 minutes. MMMM. I'll have these leftovers for lunch today.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Not everyone... (Thu 20th)


in the Communications Workers of America union is a broadcast or print journalist. It covers a wider variety of professions than it sounds like it would.

(Hey I didn’t say every day’s learned thing would be a nugget of joy, just something I didn’t know before, okay?)

[Image from the Internet]

There's a Farmer's Market on 5th Street - 4/19/2006


I didn’t know this. Went downtown to do some research and also bought some fruit. Wonderful!

Summer Shoes! - Thursday 4/20/2006

It’s time! It’s time!

Need I say more?

A Trip to the Library - 4/19/2006

Yay! I had to go to the LAPL Central Library yesterday to check some names in 1976 Philadelphia telephone directories (on microfiche!).

I grabbed a Subway lunch on the way down and had a little picnic in the courtyard. After checking the phone books, I spent part of my lunch in the Getty Gallery looking at old travel posters. Then visited the farmer’s market going on right there on 5th Street and came away with strawberries and oranges.

My camera battery went dead, so I didn’t have time to get any very creative photos. These words are written on the steps leading up to the main entrance.

#9 Writing Down the Bones - Natalie Goldberg


This book changed my life. Not that it’s the only one that’s had a big effect, but seriously, it changed my life.

I think I’d graduated but was still working on campus when I read this book. It talked about having writing dates—getting together with another writer to write and talk about the writing. I invited a co-worker to go on a writing date, and she took me up on it!

We started having writing dates, and then she told me about a writing group she’d been in, and I joined that for a few years. She and I are still friends years later.

Writing dates are a big part of my writing life. I’ve had several long-term writer relationships that involved writing dates. It’s not exactly a writing partner situation, because we’re working on our own projects. But it’s good to meet, talk about how things are going, write for an hour or two, and maybe share the work.

I think part of why it works is that you are respecting what the other person is doing and they are respecting what you are doing.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Sensational - Tuesday 4/18/2006

Seemed appropriate for the 100th anniversary of the Great San Fransico Earthquake. This is the title page from a book about it that I bought at a yard sale when I was in high school.

It was published in 1906.

Government Cut (Tues 18th)


In 1905, the end of the island that Miami Beach is located on was cut through in order to make access to the port of Miami easier.

Wonder if they would have done that if they’d known how much the land itself would some day be worth!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Vinca Dinka Doo - Monday 4/17/2006

Vincas and poppies are blooming outside my front door! Yay spring!
(And good night, Mrs. Calabash...Wherever you are.)

Monday, April 17, 2006

The Ultimate B&N User - Sunday 4/16/2006

No, the tag on his ear doesn’t mean he’s being tracked by Marlin Perkins and Jim Fowler.

This is a little extreme, don’t you agree? I was hanging out in the Cafe area of the Barnes & Noble in Palmdale when I saw this guy.

Not only does he have a stack of magazines and books he’s looking at before deciding what to buy, but he’s wearing a pair of those magnifying eyeglasses they sell!

Bag ‘im and tag ‘im, Jim.

Title IX was passed in 1972


Paving the way for equal funding for girls’ sports in public schools.

I thought it was later than that, because it certainly wasn’t the case when I was in high school. They had to unlock the weight room for us. Whoo hoo.

I competed in track and volleyball when I was in middle school (held the girls high jump record for 2 years!), but opted for drama and academic clubs in high school.

For a cool article on the benefits for women of involvement in sports, check out:

[Photo from the Internet: Amy Acuff]

Cajon Pass - Saturday 4/15/2006

We drove through the Cajon Pass on our way down for an early Easter dinner. I always get excited in places like this. It’s a major and historic pass through the mountains. Many lives funnel through here on any given day and have for a long time.

A toll road was built through this pass in 1961. Old Route 66 went through here. It’s still the shortest way to get from San Diego to Las Vegas (15.) Dozens of trains move through the pass every day. And it’s another impressive part of the San Andreas Fault system.

These bright carnations were on cousin V's coffee table when we arrived there. Cheery!

Scrunchy Sky - Friday 4/14/2006

The weather was confused. The clouds couldn’t decide to bunch together and do anything definitive.