revdorothyl: missmurchsion made this (Totoro)
My ankle has been feeling much better lately, to the point where I can limp around in my huge, padded boot/cast without a cane a good bit of the time (as long as I'm inside or on really level ground with hand-holds available should I need them), so I was able to go along with my sister and two friends on a short trip to nearby Racine yesterday, to take advantage of the free art museum admission there on the first Friday of the month. I took my Dad's old walker along to use in walking to and around the museum, just in case, but limped around okay without it for short excursions from the car later in the afternoon.

My sister had been planning this trip as a treat for me for some time, so I was especially glad that I was well enough to go along and get so much enjoyment out of it. Several of the exhibits involved depictions of pop culture or mythical characters in various media, and even though the upstairs galleries were closed yesterday, we enjoyed the exhibits we did get to see -- especially those with sci-fi/fantasy/superhero connections.

We only got to see the Ruffo Gallery portion of the exhibition of pop-up books and art-works (for instance, there was a wall plaque depicting "A Pop-Up Guide to Westeros" for George R. R. Martin/"Game of Thrones" fans), but what we did see was wonderful, reminding us of our favorite pop-up books in childhood (we had one about Robin Hood from 1969, and another from 1968 for Alice in Wonderland, and still another from 1970 on 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea).

I really enjoyed the gallery notes on this exhibit, as well, tracing the origins of pop-up books back to medieval monks working on ecclesiastical manuscripts! :)

Popular Culture that really POPS )

Here are some of my favorites (photographed by my sister) from the other main exhibit on the ground floor of the museum:

Pop culture icons in ceramic, glass, and needlework )

On the way out, we took some time to enjoy the museum's window exhibits of Charlotte Kruk's 'Consumer Couture' recycled art (see also gallery notes here).

'The Politics of Having' )

Then we had a mid-afternoon lunch at Kewpee's Hamburgers, a well-preserved example of the 1950s 'Malt Shop', complete with home-made root beer and incredibly affordable but very tasty burgers and fries that don't start cooking until after you've placed your order.

Pictures of the Racine Kewpee's )

Since Racine is the home of malted milk, I figured I ought to order a chocolate malted as my beverage/dessert, but I'd have been better off going with the much larger and less-expensive root beer float chosen by the rest of our party. The malted was tasty but somewhat gritty in texture, as though the soda jerk had simply smashed some malted milk balls and stirred them into a regular chocolate milk shake as an after-thought, rather than properly dissolving the malted milk powder in the shake. Well, if we ever go there again, I'll know that the root beer with free refill is the local specialty to order instead.

Most of the rest of the day was spent driving around, sight-seeing some Frank Lloyd Wright buildings, enjoying the breeze from Lake Michigan, and window-shopping at the unique shops in downtown Racine.

Even the pouring rain on the drive home couldn't dampen our spirits after all that. :)
revdorothyl: missmurchsion made this (What Would Mac Do?)
I need to bring a dessert to the departmental picnic for Religion majors and minors and faculty (including Adjunct Professors, like me) this evening at a nearby park, so I got up this morning and decided to try to make a SWEET cherry tomato pie (instead of the savory pies, tarts, etc. for which recipes abound on the web).

Read more... )

It's a good thing I used only one of the two crusts in my box of refrigerator pie dough to make that yellow cherry tomato tart and decided to use the remaining crust to make an "insurance pie" from canned blueberry filling from the pantry and lots of frozen blueberries from the freezer, with a crumb topping on top. That's the pie I'll be taking with me to the get-together tonight, instead.

The tomato tart IS sweet, but somehow the lemon zest and sugar and cinnamon that I added to the pie filling just made the tomatoes taste even MORE like TOMATOES! So, I'll be eating that at home, by myself. Instead of the dessert I intended it to be, it wants to be eaten with lots of sharp cheese on the side and shredded basil on top. If I alternate a bite of sharp Swiss cheese with each bite of the tart, it's not bad at all!

Lesson learned? No tomatoes in desserts for me.
revdorothyl: missmurchsion made this (Default)
posted by [personal profile] revdorothyl at 04:51pm on 26/11/2011 under
Turns out, you can make a very tasty curried pot pie with leftover turkey meat and a whole host of substitutions. Yay! Now I just hope that the next experiment -- using more of the leftover turkey in a sort of pseudo pad thai concoction -- works out as well!

I started with this recipe by Nadia G (Bitchin' Kitchen), but then adapted it (of course!) to suit what I had on hand. Read more... )

Otherwise, I didn't change a thing! :)
revdorothyl: missmurchsion made this (Totoro)
posted by [personal profile] revdorothyl at 03:14pm on 25/10/2011 under
I got home from teaching at about 8:30 last night and wanted to make something quick and reasonably easy that I could bring to a social gathering at work this morning, so I took a chance on adapting a long-standing favorite recipe from an old Farm Journal cookbook. Normally, I make this recipe with 2 cups of fresh (or frozen) cranberries plus 3 cups of unpeeled apple slices, omitting the lemon juice and raising the amount of white sugar to offset the tartness of the cranberries.

However, I was DELIGHTED (and so were my co-workers, who came back for large second and third helpings) by how this turned out as an apples-only crisp, using the big, old, boring, Red Delicious apples that I had in my refrigerator (they were on sale for 79 cents a pound, so how could I resist?).

dessert recipe you can have ready for the oven in 15 minutes or less )

---

In the interests of full disclosure, I should note that I have nothing against peeling apples -- in fact, I normally peel raw apples before eating them, simply because the raw peel irritates my allergies somehow. However, I love finding ways to cook apples without having to throw away that tiny bit of apple goodness that clings to each piece of peeling. Also, leaving the peel on imparts more pectin and nutrients, apparently, as well as giving the nice pink color to the cooked apples.
revdorothyl: rahirah made this (Captain John)
posted by [personal profile] revdorothyl at 05:44pm on 18/09/2011 under
In spite of the fact that I'm a fascinating and scintillating professor (naturally!) and that I start taking off points for missing more than three classes without a really good excuse (and yes, that's covered in the syllabus and emphasized in class), I've noticed a much thinner attendance pattern just lately in my NT Intro. class this Fall.

Besides doing what I can to up the interest and energy level of the class meetings and shake things up a little, I'm also sinking to the depths of bribing those who actually attend class with yummy homemade baked goods.

Should I feel cheap about that?

Two kinds of fruity, gooey cupcakes for the students virtuous enough to show up )


MEGA-CHOCOLATE CHERRY CUPCAKESRead more... )


POOR WOMAN'S LEMON MERINGUE CUPCAKESRead more... )

We'll see if surprise treats semi-homemade by yours truly will improve the morale and attendance pattern of my New Testament students!
revdorothyl: missmurchsion made this (Laputa)
The subject line pretty much says it all:

1) We're officially into the hot summer weather here, and have been continuously warmer than I care to be for well over a week and a half now, with daily temperatures in the mid-90s F.

2) I seriously despise this hot, humid weather (not least because I know it's only going to get worse and worse throughout the summer, and that it'll last through October, at least).

3) BUT on the 'plus' side of the balance sheet, I picked a handful of ripe yellow cherry tomatoes from my garden this weekend and also got to eat this year's first handful of ripe red and yellow raspberries from my berry patch.

more info on particular tomato varieties )

So . . . I guess the sunshine and warm weather do serve some constructive purpose.

*sigh*

And it's not all that bad just yet, or I wouldn't have been able to spend almost an hour outside just before lunch on Saturday, weeding around my tomatoes and between the raspberry canes. There's nothing quite so motivational (when it comes to getting me to actually weed something) as realizing that all the Creeping Charlie and other invasive weeds were making it impossible for me to find the ripe berries that were already hiding back there.

It was just fortunate that I'd gotten most of the overgrown berry patch weeded BEFORE I pulled up a fistful of weeds on the shady end of the garden and found I'd also grabbed the discarded, slightly dried up skin of a molting SNAKE (it was just a little one, judging by the width of the skin, but it was long enough to give me the heebie-jeebies and make me instantly decide that I'd weeded enough for this weekend and that next time I'd better wear my garden gloves when I pull weeds, no matter how much I prefer bare hands for distinguishing weeds from food-producing plants!).
revdorothyl: missmurchsion made this (Default)
posted by [personal profile] revdorothyl at 05:02pm on 28/05/2011 under
I had some leftover sour cream to use up last weekend and two more lemons that I'd bought just because, so I made my favorite berry tart recipe . . . without the berries, that is, which I added Thursday night before taking it to work to share yesterday -- the shortbread crust and the lemon sour cream filling alone, once baked, keep really well in the refrigerator for up to a week, I've found).

Since I used strawberries, blueberries, and red raspberries to cover the top of the tart, I called it "red, white & blue berry tart" in honor of Memorial Day (even though the only really "white" part of the tart comes from the whipped topping on the side, but why quibble?). My co-workers loved it, and several of them asked for the recipe, so I thought I'd post it here, as well, just in case anyone else wants to do something tasty and impressive-looking with all the fresh berries available right now:

Berry Tart Recipe )
revdorothyl: missmurchsion made this (Butter Bug)
I was thinking of making an old favorite pie recipe this weekend (cranberry/apple/mincemeat pie from an old Farm Journal Cookbook), but when I was pricing prepared mincemeat in the supermarket Thursday night I found that a single jar (the only kind of mincemeat they had in a huge, new Kroger) was 'on sale' for only six and a half bucks.

What, do they think my last name is Rockefeller, or something? Sheesh!

But then I remembered a re-run I'd recorded last weekend, where Nigella Lawson threw together a meat-less mincemeat in just a few minutes, not counting cooking time. Why should I let the fact that I didn't have half the ingredients she used deter me from doing likewise?

The funny part of this story? It's really GOOD mincemeat, in spite of the many, many liberties I took with Nigella's rough-and-ready recipe.

So here's the recipe I ended up making yesterday afternoon and then putting into a couple of pies last night, based on what I had on hand (no booze in the house apart from dry sherry, no dried fruit but raisins and dried cherries, no fresh cranberries, etc.). Any resemblance to Nigella Lawson's recipe at this point is pretty darn miraculous, frankly.

the recipe . . . sort of )

Over-priced and nondescript supermarket mincemeat? I am so over you!
revdorothyl: missmurchsion made this (Totoro)
Since Saturday morning was so nice and warm (high 60's F, at least), I took advantage of the opportunity to go out on my back deck and bash the heck out of a pound of frozen Brazil nuts with my trusty hammer (not a task you want to perform indoors, as I've learned to my cost, since it's not only hard on the floors or counter-tops but also results in Brazil nut shell fragments flying everywhere like shrapnel, only to be later discovered by a carelessly placed bare foot).

Why, you may ask, did I bash and thrash these harmless nuts that never attacked me until I attacked them first? There they were, sitting in their bag in my freezer, minding their own business, when they were abruptly and violently cracked open -- smashed open, in fact -- and exposed to the harsh light of day. From whence came this sudden outburst of hammer-wielding madness?

It all stems from a seasonal compulsion to bake for the holidays, I confess. And not just to bake any old sweet -- oh, no! -- but the compulsion to bake that most reviled and mocked of holiday gifts: the fruitcake!

Now before you judge me, let me explain . . .

Point A in my defense: The Not-Evil Aspects of Fruitcake )

Point B in my defense: The Nostalgia Factor and Pavlovian Responses )

Point C in my defense: Subversive Fruitcake as a substitute for World Domination )

Point D in my defense: As a way to head off potential mocking-without-trying of my fruitcake, I get to trot out and share the far wittier lyrics to this fun, old song, representing the antithesis of what I believe my fruitcake to be:

Miss Fogarty‚Äôs Christmas Cake by C. Frank Horn -- lyrics exactly as they appeared (with no spelling or punctuation correction on my part, though it's hard to resist!) in the original 1883 sheet music, courtesy of the Library of Congress. Read more... )

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