Friday, August 5, 2011

Seven Quick Takes Friday! (Vol. 10)

Here it is, the dog days of August (and the dogs probably aren't happy that we call such bloody hot days theirs). That reminds me of Kipling's description of India's heat: "Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noonday sun." The less I go out, of course, the fewer items I have for 7QT. But let's give it the old college try, shall we?

Let's start off by going over to Catholic and Enjoying It! and wishing Mark Shea a very happy birthday! He'll be out of town this weekend ... which means he'll only have time to write one book.

Speaking of birthdays, I found an option on Facebook that allows you to import your friends' birthdays into Microsoft Outlook. ("O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!" He chortled in his joy.) Now, I've been working with Outlook for several years; it definitely comes in handy for keeping track of my brother Bob's various medical appointments. But only now do I find that you can have more than one calendar going, and that appointments on sub-calendars will show up on your main. Time to grab me a cane, put a Beltone in my ear and start cursing all this new-fangled gadgetry.

 Okay: If you haven't figured it out, the line is from "Jabberwocky", by Lewis Carroll. And as Sir Nicol Williamson said, "The mome rath isn't born yet that could outgrabe me."

Yeah, yeah ... big deal chef!
In one of my few attempts at culinary adventurism, I made a peach cobbler the other day. But instead of using the recipe from the trusty old standby, The Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook (we have three editions, one of which is over fifty years old), I decided to try one posted on the Food Network website by Paula Deen. Result? The filling is great, and I'd definitely use it with some thickening as the basis for a peach pie. The crust, however, was disappointing ... which makes me question whether all-purpose flour really can be substituted for self-rising flour, as the package claims.

No, I'm not saying the crust was disappointing just to keep you from showing up wanting a piece. Besides, we still ate the darn thing up.

The greatest cookbook evah!
Why three editions of the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook? Well, the first was a gift to my mother on her wedding day ... yes, despite claims to the contrary, I was conceived and born within the bounds of lawful wedlock. (Besides, bastardy only matters when it comes to primogeniture; in the Catholic Church there are no illegitimate children.) The second one I bought when I brieflt lived by myself in Omaha. The third Bob purchased for Mom when we thought the old one had disappeared and we hadn't combined households yet.

If you don't have it, go out and buy it, or follow the link and order it from Amazon. And don't get the Kindle version, either; get the three-ring-binder kind that'll stand up to anything that can happen in a kitchen. You'll not only thank me for this, you may even name one of your children after me.

Speaking of cooking: If you do a lot of grilling — and I do — here's a handy recipe for a light, tangy marinade or basting sauce you can use with chicken: Mix together 1/4 cup Kikkoman soy sauce, 1/4 cup lemon juice concentrate, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and 1 teaspoon each of ginger, minced garlic and onion powder. It's especially good if you let the chicken marinate in it overnight, as is pretty much true with all marinades. I also use a lot of Grill Mates marinade mixes, especially if (as is usual) I'm grilling on short notice. (No, this is not turning into a product-endorsement blog, though the money would come in handy ....)

Another way society hates on obese people: 

I recently had to replace most of my underwear. (Tommy Hilfiger briefs do something I've never seen happen with other skivvies: the waistband separates from the cloth panels. So much for big-name clothing.) So on two separate trips I bought bags of Hane's on sale at Wally World (aka Wal-Mart). O the joy of buying bags of four, five and even seven pairs for a mere $9.47!

Except that, when I got to the register, they rang up at $11.46 a bag. When I disputed the register, the check-out person took one look, and smiled sheepishly. "Ah. Large size." The $11.46 included a $1.99 "fat-ass tax" ... the price differential we larger people pay because manufacturers and merchants apparently can't distribute the cost of the extra material over the rest of the sizing bell curve. (More thoughts follow on this on The Other Blog.)

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And that's all the news that's fit to print. Have a great weekend, and God bless!