so serious

I don’t have a sense of humor anymore. I used to. What happened to it?

in light of that, I think “this” is worth posting (for whatever reason).

“This” is what i saw paddle by my bedroom window the other day.

kind of weird, right? and maybe i shouldn’t never draw my shades? In any case, I think he came by again the other day, without the clown outfit, and I recognized him. Something about the eyes? Could that be possible?

Anyway, when I saw him paddle by, I ran out of the house, ran down “Fleet Street” to get ahead of him, and took the photos.

“I have to take some pictures,” I said. (duh)

“I don’t usually like having my picture taken,” he said. “I don’t have facebook or anything.”

“What are you doing paddling around dressed up like a clown?” I asked.

“Oh, I’m just paddling around.”

And then he was gone…

waste not want not

I’d rather die than waste food.

Martha told me she ate something at the very back of her refrigerator.

And then got really sick.

Mom, her daughter said, “if you had thought about it, you would have realized that we had that for Christmas dinner.”

I’m the same way (good thing i have a cast-iron stomach). Was it all that talk when I was a little kid about eating everything on your plate because of the starving kids in China?

In any event, I am a master of reusing leftovers.

So it was with great delight that i found this recipe.


A hoarder of scraps. I like that.

This recipe does not interest me. It sounds like a quiche with citrus rather than cheese. But the lady who bakes it, she’s a soul-sister.

And i did try this recipe.

I had milk that went sour way before it was supposed to, and rather than throw it out, I had to figure out a way to use it.

Only one problem. How do you convert grams to cups?

I could not figure it out, nor could I buy a measuring cup with grams – none to be found. However, my measuring cup has cups and ml. So, let’s just switch grams to ml, I thought.

But not so easy a conversion. You need to account for each ingredient’s mass.

Conversions. mass. sounds a bit religious.

After some careful rearranging, this is what i came up with.
it would be 219.5 ml butter
254.7 ml sugar
4 eggs
194.7 ml sour milk
118.6 ml self raising flour (I used regular and put in .75 tsp. baking powder and a pinch of salt)
juice from one lemon

i ignored what she said about adding baking powder since “self raising flour has baking powder in it” someone told me once upon a time) (good idea / bad idea, who knows?)

and i put in maybe another 1/2 cup of flour or so because, when all was said and done, it looked so runny, i thought I just had to, though I might add, i didn’t want to go overboard. The final batter still looked much more runny than i’m used to cake batter looking.

So who knows how to make it again? But, to continue…

180 degrees c = 350 degrees F

i put it in an 8 inch square pan.

Basically, I cooked it about the same as suggested, i think i did more like 40 minutes because knife put in the center came out clean.

And, i don’t know, it came out very dense, very eggy, and interesting.  Don’t know if I’ll make it again (depends on what I have in my fridge, I guess), but a great math experiement for a rainy day.
Martha, the other waste-not when it comes to food, had this to say:

Sounds like a pretty good cake, esp. with tea. I liked this line best:

   “… you end up with a soft, damp cake that has a good amount of squodge.”
When I learned to make Gateau du Rien in The Art of French Cooking, I realized I never had to learn to  bake another cake. It also has a lot of squodge.
Love, Martha

TOADY Awards 2011

Saw these the other day, and am just now getting around to putting them up, and too late, most likely, because you’ve already bought them, but anyway… This year’s winner of the TOADY Award is the (following) learning tablet (along with TOADY’s comments. I’ll put mine in red):

TOADYs awarded by Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood

Vinci Touchscreen Mobile Learning Tablet
Price: $479
Recommended Age: 4 and underVinci, the first “iPad” designed especially for babies — $479 may seem like a lot, but that’s a small price to pay for the tranquility that comes when your infant is virtually lobotomized. Make dinner in peace. Better yet, go out for dinner. The Vinci’s hypnotic apps are designed to guarantee that Junior won’t even know you’re gone. Plus, the Vinci makes lots of bogus educational claims, so you can join the company in pretending that screen time is great for your little one. 

I don’t know what to think about that one. Did you see Martha’s find here from Media Bistro?

Here are the other winners…

I Am T-Pain Mic
Retails for: $39.99
Recommended Age: 7+

Worried that your seven-year-old is the only kid on the block who doesn’t know the words to “I’m in Love with a Stripper” or “Take Your Shirt Off”?   Remedy that with the I am T-Pain Mic.  For just $39.99, this amazing microphone will transform the voice of your child to sound just like rap star and auto-tune aficionado T-Pain – and introduce him to T-Pain’s lyrical world of misogyny, drinking and drugs.  “A lot of kids don’t have cellphones, (so) in order to reach everyone, I’m taking it to where it can be a toy,” the rapper explains.  Thank you, T-Pain, for your dedication and service to our children.

(Darn! I already bought the voice changer — mine came from National Geographics. Will report on what it sounds like later…)

Monopoly – Coca Cola 125th Anniversary
Collector’s Edition
Retails for: $39.99
Recommended Age: 8-10 years

Why give your kids the classic version of America’s favorite board game when you can immerse them in an ad for Coca Cola?  No more fighting about who gets stuck with the iron or the hat; choose from “collectible” tokens like a Coke bottle, Coke can, or even a Coke polar bear. Sign an agreement for exclusive “pouring rights” on Boardwalk…and collect 39 grams of sugar every time you pass “Go!”  Recommended for ages 8 and up, even though Coke execs swear they do not target kids under 12.  Type 2 diabetes sold separately.

Monster High Ghoul Spirit Fearleading Doll 3-Pack: Draculaura, Cleo de Nile and Gholia Yelps
Retails for: $42.99
Recommended Age: 6+

Want to scare the pants off your six-year-old?  Mattel’s Monster High Ghoul Spirit Fearleading Doll 3-Pack will do the trick. And they’re guaranteed to frighten the heck of you, too. Not because the dolls are ghouls and vampires, but because the company that gave the world Barbie packs so many damaging sexualized stereotypes into one creepy package.  Behold the horrors of impossibly thin body types; recoil from the micro-mini-skirts, booty shorts, and fishnet stockings; shriek in frustration, because—in Mattel’s world—girls are always relegated to the sidelines. Better yet, run screaming as fast as you can from these monstrous “fashionistas.”

WWE Colossal Crashdown Arena
Retails for: $38.99
Recommended Age: 6+

Normally CCFC would be opposed to a World Wrestling Entertainment toy for six-year-olds.  After all, toys are one of the primary ways that the WWE markets its unique blend of bullying, violence, homophobia, and misogyny to young children.  But the Colossal Crashdown Arena is so ridiculously pathetic that it could be the toy which actually turns kids away from the WWE forever.  Don’t believe us?  Check out the promotional video where even the presenter can’t hide the fact that this is one seriously lousy toy.

Fall Mill Valley

Just got back. Was helping my son with his children while his wife was out of town. Brought my work with me, so this was not a vacation. Although totally enjoyable, I did not do much in the way of touristy things. On my last full day, I did take my camera and go for an hour’s walk. uphill this time. the roads and driveways in this town! you take your life in your hands, all in the name of beauty! Last picture is Ted’s house. I learned to maneuver in and out of that driveway, halfway up. When Ted takes his car all the way up, he has to spin his wheels and burn rubber! and getting out! God forbid someone is coming up the road!

Ted says: “Oh, people tend to drive carefully, but there are a couple of knuckleheads.”

Wow! When I think of teenagers driving! This town is loaded with young families. There will come a day when all those kids are driving their porches and BMWs up and down these hills. I’ll probably be dead by then…

So, here’s my one hour’s worth of photos from this trip.


She may not like that i posted her love song, here, on my bitch site, but maybe she wouldn’t mind…

I can find poems by Kabir or Rumi, but it’s hard (at least for me) to find Meerabai’s poems… and I can’t help it. Life is so sweet sometimes. so to sweetness…




To market

We decided that a field trip was in order, so, on Martha’s suggestion, we visited Maria’s. The challenge was to find the weirdest looking vegetables, take them home  and cook them.

It was overwhelming! One man, from India was amazed to find gangura. He said his wife cooks it in a chutney, and that he had not seen it outside of India. Actually, he said, even North Indians don’t know about it.

The bittermelon was, by far, one of the weirdest. An Indian lady told B that it was a very healthy gourd and to cook it up with tumeric, chili powder and brown sugar (we went on and added twice as much spice as the recipe called for, lots of brown sugar, and even hummus, because one of the recipes we found said you could use chickpeas in it, but, alas, to no avail!)

I couldn’t get over the ugliness of the yampi. It’s a Jamaican yam.

Martha decided, since B and I were looking at vegetables, she’d pick a fruit, and that’s how we came by the mamey.

We also bought some fennel because B said she wanted some (good choice!).

Once B and I got these back to the kitchen, we attacked the bittermelon. We watched videos and looked up recipes. In the end, we put everything we could think of in the pot, because no matter what we did, it tasted horrible.

B kept telling me to taste it while it was cooking. Finally, I wised up, and told her I had done my share of tasting, it was her turn…

Just go read about it, though. It will cure anything!

The yampi — we could find very little about it. We did read that it smelled really bad while it was cooking. After the bittermellon, it took a lot of courage to attack the ugly thing. However, it did not smell, and it tasted just like potatoes, we mashed them. They might be a little more gluey in texture, but pretty darn close in taste. We’d like to know if they are better for you than potatoes, but that’s still a mystery.

The fennel… Oh, joy! That was delicious. You cut it up (we tried both ways, across and long ways — didn’t matter), coated it with olive oil and a couple sprinkles of balsamic vinegar, and roasted it at 400 degrees for 40 minutes.

The mamey… It’s breathtakingly beautiful — a deep orange red with a shiny black pit. It’s very sweet and has a kind of mushy texture… I ended up using a portion of it today to make mamey custard, and that was an experience… I don’t have a clue how to caramelize sugar, tried twice, failed both times, and the custard part ended up kind of bready. Wasn’t bad, but certainly not what I expected.

We had a very fun time on this field trip. We caused traffic jams at Maria’s because we were busy taking photos and asking questions, but both staff and customers put up with us.

Martha had to work, so B and i cooked. We called Martha when we were ten minutes from sitting down at the table to eat…

All of us, without exception, decided that we’d have to be awfully sick before we ate any more bittermelon. One of the diseases it’s supposed to be good for is diabetes, but, since you have to load the sugar on it, that’s hard to believe.

The yampi was not bad. If it’s actually healthier than potatoes, it could be a good substitute. The jury is still out on that.

We all loved the fennel, but of course, fennel is not a weird veggie at all. When you roast it, it caramelizes — delicious!

And the mamey custard was a lot of work…  I can’t even describe how I feel about it. I’m going to have to play with that one some more.