Friday, February 25, 2011

Gimme 5 for Feb (part 2)

Wow! Two of these in a row!

5 favorites for each color

I’m only going to do the traditional 8 that you get in your box of crayons in kindergarten. If they even give those out anymore. I loved having my own personal box of crayons that I didn’t have to share with anyone!

For some reason, when I got those crayons at the age of 5, I put them in this order: Red, Yellow, Orange, Blue, Black, Green, Purple, Brown. And every year after that, whenever I got a new box of 8, whether it was in school or at home, the first thing I would do is put the crayons in that order. Later on, when I’d get the larger boxes of crayons, I would still rearrange them in those color groups in that order.

Red: tulips, Valentines, wax candy lips, one of the Christmas colors, rubies

Yellow: sunshine, butterflies, lemons, daffodils, Pikachu!

Orange: my favorite fruit-orange, golden poppies, cream-cicles, Monarch butterflies, goldfish

Blue: my favorite color of all time! It can be just about anything. Hydrangeas, the sky, the ocean, blue turquoise, the Blue Man Group

Black: ebony wood, star sapphires, licorice, cats, black pearls (not Jack Sparrow’s ship)

Green: grass, jade, frogs, olives (with pimento, thank you), bamboo

Purple: grapes, violets, Manischewitz wine, amethysts, wisteria

Brown: wood, earth, acorns, pine cones, CHOCOLATE!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Gimme 5 for February

Quite a while back, I did a blog post called “Gimme 5” and I think I said something like it was the first of what I hoped would be a series….I don’t even remember what the 5 things were that I wrote about. Going through my files, I found a page with some ideas for this that I obviously never followed through with. So once again, I hope this will be an occasional post in a series.

5 Foods I Will Never Eat

Scrapple –

I watched Mike Rowe make this stuff. I have never liked organ meat from any animal, and the thought of some of the other parts used in this “food” is truly revolting. And it’s a breakfast food! Can you imagine waking up to a plate of this stuff in front of you at the table and pouring syrup, gravy, ketchup or jelly on it? And eating it?
I’m glad I’m not Pennsylvania Dutch.

Escargot –

Snails. ‘nuf said.
I’m glad I’m not French.

Squid/Octopus –

Almost the same as the above. I hope to never be in the same circumstances that led someone many, many years ago to look at one of these creatures and say, “Mmmm. Looks tasty to me!”
I’m glad I’m not Asian.

Haggis –

As far as I’m concerned, this is in the same category as scrapple, except with sheep parts instead of pig.
I’m glad I’m not Scottish.

Tripe –

Wikipedia says this is “edible offal from the stomachs of various farm animals.” I guess I have a vastly different idea of what is edible and what isn’t. I saw Jeff Smith (the Frugal Gourmet on PBS) prepare this many years ago. No thanks.

Offal = intestines
Intestines = guts
Once again, ‘nuf said.

Apparently many nationalities “appreciate” this type of food. I’m glad I’m not a part of any of them.

And before any particular race or nationality gets their shorts in a twist: I am proud to be of German stock…and I HATE German food as well…

Give me a hamburger or hot dog of questionable content any day of the week!

Good ol’ American food! (Cue theme music “Stars and Stripes Forever”)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Stephanie Plum's Peanut Butter Sandwiches

I enjoy a series of books by Janet Evanovich that involve a bounty hunter named Stephanie Plum. The books are a lot of fun, with humor, suspense, murder, mayhem and the thought of Ranger without his clothes on….but I digress…

Stephanie eats a lot of peanut butter sandwiches. Peanut butter with different additives. Like bananas, potato chips, olives, jelly and marshmallow goo. Not all at the same time, of course.

I grew up not particularly liking the mixture of peanut butter and jelly. I preferred the two things to go solo on my bread. At Girl Scout camp, we would get two sandwiches in our lunch bags: one was peanut butter and jelly, the other was “meat paste” that the girls referred to as “hamster meat”. I would trade my hamster sandwich for a peanut butter and jelly with anyone who was willing. And there was always someone willing. I would take the two sandwiches apart, putting jelly with jelly and peanut butter with peanut butter. Later on, I discovered the joy of peanut butter and honey. Add some butter to that one and you’ve got a really fantastic sandwich. Combines lunch and dessert all in one neat package. The last couple of day trips Marv and I have made, we’ve taken peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but I premix the PB + J together before spreading it on the bread. I like it better that may. I also add raisins to my sandwich. Once again, lunch and dessert combined.

I was reading a new Stephanie Plum book and it again mentioned all the PB sandwiches she makes and the various ingredients she adds to the PB. I got to thinking about the various pairings. I’ve had PB + J. I’ve had PB + bananas (thanks to the old sitcom, Pete & Gladys). I’ve had PB + black olives (try it before you condemn it). I’d never had the pairings of PB + marshmallow or PB + potato chips. So in the interest of doing a good book report, I tried those combos. I usually prefer my marshmallows surrounded by chocolate and graham crackers, but PB and marshmallow fluff is pretty darn good. Much better than the PB and potato chips. There are only so many chips you can smash into the PB and about all I could taste was the PB. With added crunch. Ho-hum. Then I was reading a bit further in the book and came to the realization that the olives Stephanie put in her sandwich were GREEN! OMG! Totally unappealing! But good reporter that I am, I knew I had to try that. I LOVE green olives with pimento, but as a side goody, not in a sandwich. The idea of an entire sandwich of PB + green olives was not acceptable, so I tried just one olive with a glob of peanut butter. I was surprised. Not bad at all. So I tried another one, just to make sure. It’s still not something I would want to have an entire sandwich of, but I will admit its viability.

So there ya go, Gladys. Something to consider if you’re feeling adventurous at lunchtime…

Friday, February 4, 2011

January Book Report

5 books read

“Before the Sun Goes Down” by Elizabeth Metzger Howard
Delightful little book about a one year period in the small town of Willowspring, PA in 1880. Electricity was the “new” fad coming to the towns, people still went about in horse and buggy or actual walking. The doctor still made house calls. Just a nice little slice of Americana.

“Magic Flutes” by Eva Ibbotson
Takes place in Vienna after WWII. A lot of the formerly wealthy Austrian nobility now have to seriously down-size. As in selling their castles, property, titles. This book is about an impoverished princess who has the chance to marry money and save the castle, but she’d prefer to *gasp* WORK for a living as a costume girl in a local opera company. Her life’s blood is in opera. Nice little romance that has a very satisfying happy ending.

“Nurse Into Woman” by Marguerite Mooers Marshall
A few chapters into the book, I thought this was going to be a soap-opera with tons of schmaltzy drama. I had almost decided to skim it, but it got better and became a real story. Nurse Grant is young and beautiful, and the best nurse there is. Because of past hurts, though, she decides she will never marry or have children. That way, she can’t be hurt again. But a handsome young sea captain, under her care for pneumonia, changes her mind.

“The Mystery of the Vanishing Treasure” by Robert Arthur
This was one of the Three Investigators juvenile mystery series written with “co-operation” of Alfred Hitchcock in the 60’s. I used to read them and loved them. They’re still good little books. Easy on the adult brain, but I still find them enjoyable. In this one, the 3 boys solve the theft of a rare Japanese belt encrusted with jewels.

“So Far…” by Kelsey Grammer
I loved the TV show “Frasier” because it was so well written and clever. The pretentious Mr. Grammer sounds just like Frasier and a bit full of himself. It was an easy read.