“I can do it myself!”

That must have been my rallying cry when I was a child. But now, in my mid-40's? It's just stupid - especially when it means things don't get done 'cause I'm too stubborn or too shy to ask for help. I waited until July 31st to install the window fan behind my computer desk here, for example. Why? Because I have an issue with heights - and it involves standing on the desk itself to reconfigure the window opening (not to mention fixing the crooked shade that's been shooting shafts of sunlight directly in my eyes in early afternoon, ugh.) As my young son reminded me, I could have asked him for help. But I honestly didn't even think of it - so I've been suffering through [Read more...]

The perfect summer fruit cake

I've made this recipe for a few years now, using either peach or pear slices as well as the plums this 'torte' originally calls for. We even used blueberries for the latest incarnation, which promptly sunk to the bottom as the cake baked for an interesting blueberry-upside-down cake effect. (I'd stick to stone fruits for this cake if you can.) It's wicked-easy (Drama Mama made the last one), and incredibly rich. Without further ado - here's Marian Burros' 'Original Plum Torte' (my notes or improvs in parentheses): 3/4 cup sugar (I've used brown sugar when making the peach version)1/2 cup unsalted butter (I soften mine first, even though it doesn't specify)1 cup [Read more...]

Yes, she’s a character

Yesterday? Drama Mama took on this role (and my house is better for it): Cinderelly, Cinderelly Night and day it's Cinderelly Make the fire, fix the breakfast Wash the dishes, do the mopping Earlier today? She wants to be a rock star. And rock stars need neon pink sunglasses and neon pink toenails (with a final layer of glitter polish, no less.) This evening? She was a high fashion model, doing her version of what she calls The Model Walk (complete with sucked-in cheeks and that haughty model stare down her diminutive nose.) She's still styling with the sunglasses, of course. But those toes get showcased in her gold lame slides, while the pink strappy sundress, [Read more...]

This time next year – home grown tomatoes

JD's got the most amazing post up today about the summer bounty that abounds here in Oregon, the pleasure he gets from growing his own food (or reaping the benefits from friends who do) and why it's so important to be as close to our food sources as possible. We're lucky that we've got an abundance of produce here - we can buy cherries, berries, apples, pears and peaches in season from local farmers, for example - whether in local grocery stores, specialty markets, weekly farmer's markets spread throughout the city, or directly from the farm itself. But we can also grow our own, or even harvest our food - sometimes even from the side of the road. Whether it's the sun-warmed [Read more...]

What’s going on here?

Listening to: Jim's amazing Mixmania disc - with headphones on 'cause the kids are still sleeping. (Thank you, thank you!) Drinking: iced coffee with half vanilla soymilk, half regular milk. Reading: the blogs of the newer folks who've been commenting lately. Good stuff, good stuff...thanks for dropping by. Today's iced tea blends: jasmine green tea (sweetened, for The Mogul) and a raspberry zinger/lemonade mix. (Coming soon - peach tea.) Today's dirty glass counter count (TDGCC): 13. Did you know you cannot put another beverage into a glass if you've just finished using it for water? That a clean kitchen and newly-polished dinner table apparently requires water [Read more...]