Sunday, November 29, 2009

"As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly!:" Update

I hope that you all had a happy Thanksgiving. Kenna and I started the day with bacon and baked French toast--yummy!

Later in the day, I prepared Thanksgiving dinner: Cornish game hens (which Grandmother of Ken calls "Guinea Hens"--I don't get it either.), mashed potatoes with cream cheese and sour cream, roasted asparagus, rolls, cranberry sauce, and apple pie. My friend made homemade dressing for us, which was delicious.

Clean kitchen, all ready for company:

Our Thanksgiving table with the candles lit and the butter ready to go:

Apple pie:

Kenna was exhausted after all of the Thanksgiving and Black Friday excitement:

We had a delicious Thanksgiving dinner with good friends and we even got to watch one of Kenna's favorite movies: Best in Show. Yesterday, I did some holiday shopping and wrapped everything that I have so far. Sometime this week, we'll probably do some decorating for Christmas. Stay tuned for pictures and some more Reminiscing.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

"As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly!"

Happy Thanksgiving, gentle readers! On Monday, I decided to host Thanksgiving at my house, so I have spent the last few days getting ready. The table is set:

I have made pie crust and rolls so far and will make the rest tomorrow. I also have my family's traditional overnight baked French toast in the refrigerator ready for me to bake and eat tomorrow morning while watching the first part of the Thanksgiving Day parade.

In other news, I sent out another fellowship application and my very first job application (at least the first one for the career for which I have been preparing for the past ten years):

Gentle readers, I leave you with this timeless clip of Thanksgiving fabulosity:

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

I apologize, gentle readers, for not posting anything for a while. Now I am back to tell you all about last weekend, when my college friends Leah and Melissa came to visit. We met ten years ago at Hood College, which was a women's college at that time, and we decided that it would be appropriate for us to spend Saturday in historic Seneca Falls.

On the way, we drove past Wells College, which also used to be a women's college and has since gone co-ed. They were part of our athletic conference, so we were happy to drive by and wave.

On to Seneca Falls:

You may recall that my friend M and I tried to visit Seneca Falls about a month ago and didn't have much luck. The house that we tried to see then isn't open on Saturdays, but Leah and Melissa and I decided to go to the Women's Rights National Historical Park, which was open.

They offer tours of Elizabeth Cady Stanton's house and the Wesleyan Chapel, but since those weren't for another hour, we spent some time in the museum in the visitor's center. The exhibits are a diverse collection of items pertaining to women's history and women's rights, including this reproduction advertisement:

There was also a "uterine support" in the same case--I'll spare you the photograph.

They had a lot of audio-visual things and one of them was a TV monitor that showed conversations about women's issues and then gave you the opportunity to vote and express your opinion. This was one of the questions:

We, of course, voted "yes." These were the results:

Never allow women's college graduates to be unattended in such an exhibit. They will vote multiple times to "correct" the voting in answer to the aforementioned question.

Melissa and me looking at a globe:

When we had seen all of the exhibits, we went down to the theater to see the introductory film before we went on our tours. The film was pretty good until it totally died at the part when they were talking about Amelia Bloomer, so we ended up having to leave the theater to tell the park ranger that it broke. That is when we were told that the tour of the Wesleyan Chapel would begin shortly and that we should wait in the lobby for them to announce it. So, we waited. And we waited. And we waited. And about 25 minutes later, they were still standing around talking and not taking us on a tour, so we decided to tour the chapel ourselves. This is what is left of the chapel where the women gathered for the women's rights convention in 1948:

This is the fountain/monument between the chapel and the visitor's center:

They are in the process of restoring the chapel, so this is pretty much all there is to see right now:

After we saw the chapel, there still was no tour leader in evidence, so we decided to go and eat lunch and skip the Elizabeth Cady Stanton house assuming that they were not likely to offer that tour either. All in all, I am disappointed with Seneca Falls. You would think that for a place of such historic importance, they would be better organized and better equipped to handle visitors. Maybe things are better in the summer...

So, just as I did when M and I were disappointed by Seneca Falls, we ended up at the outlet mall in Waterloo, which is across the street from this fine establishment:

After a long day of sightseeing and shopping, we came back to my house for a fondue feast using the fondue pot that Aunt and Uncle of Ken gave me for Christmas last year. Here is the cheese on the stove:

Cutting up some bread:

In addition to fondue, we had delicious cookies from Leah:

And adult beverages:

Kenna set the table:

Apples for the fondue--these are Sweetango apples, my new favorite:

Leah also brought apple-cherry crumble bars, which were so good that I kept half of them and ate most of them on Sunday and Monday:

Here's our spread including cheese fondue, bread cubes, purple cauliflower, grape tomatoes, and Sweetango apples:


I love this picture with the little cheese tail:

Blob of cheese:

The sink when we were done:

We had an awesome weekend (too short, though) and none of us wanted to face the week ahead. Life would be so much better if you could shop and eat fondue all day every day.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Do They Know It's Christmas?

No, gentle readers, this isn't more catalog crap. This is a real object in my possession at this moment. You see, I am organizing a White Elephant auction for the church to raise money for the production of Godspell that the youth will be doing in the spring. Because we like to make things more complicated than necessary, we are calling it an "Auction of Items of Heterogeneous Quality."

In any case, I have been collecting things from my own home, select shops, and church closets to wrap in pretty paper for unsuspecting people to bid on. Don't worry--there are some good elephants in the mix, too. This one may be my favorite elephant of all, though:

You might be thinking what my high school gym teacher used to say when I actually hit a softball, "Mah ahys ah decievin' meh." But they aren't. This is, in fact, a nativity set glued to a manger with silly putty and with a Troll doll baby Jesus. And, yes, the Troll doll's hair has been cut by a child, undoubtedly to make it look more like Al Sharpton.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Reminiscing: Joys of Jell-O

Bravo to those of you brave enough to join me again after that last vomit inducing post. This is my dream come true--an entire cookbook dedicated to Jell-O recipes (and I have more where this one came from). Welcome to the Joys of Jell-O.
This is a great start. I believe that these desserts were made for Rainbow Brite's birthday by the Sprites.

I'm a sucker for anything that comes out of a mold:

I have to say that this recipe for "Crown Jewel Dessert" looks like a lot of work to end up with something that looks like giant chunks of broken glass folded into whipped cream:

This one doesn't look that bad, but I'm trying to imagine the textures at play here: ice cream, Jell-O, and gum drops all at once?

Maybe this would look more appetizing if it were a color photo? Maybe not...

I find things suspended in clear matter quite disconcerting. It's like the time I used clear caulking around my windows and it looked like there were giant gaps even though I knew everything was sealed. I had to scrape it out and try again with brown caulking.

I could be down with the two on the left, but that purple pie looks awful. That is the color of badly dyed old lady nursing home hair, which, thankfully, neither of my grandmothers have.

Avocado pie--need I say more? I think there is a reason this one isn't in color...

The texture combination of the "Frosty Melon" really grosses me out:

That avocado ring looks awful, but can you imagine eating the "Citrus Surprise" for breakfast, as they suggest?

More crap suspended in clear matter, this time the scrumptious sounding apple-tuna-Jell-O combination:

Do you think they served this at the Enchantment Under the Sea dance on Back to the Future?

Talk about cornea-searing:

Ewewewewewewew! "Barbecue Cubes"!!! As if the idea of barbecue flavored gelatin isn't bad enough, here they suggest serving it with shrimp and grapefruit! This is going to give me nightmares.

Could someone please explain the appeal of perfectly good salad ingredients suspended in gelatin and molded into a weird shape? Why did people like this in the 50s and 60s? Is it actually good or did people just want to experiment with Jell-O technology?

"Chicken Mousse." Ugh. I like how they fill the ring with potato salad and feel that is a great meal to serve to unsuspecting family members or guests. Also, I like that there are variations for "Ham Mousse," "Salmon Mousse," and "Tuna Mousse." How about filling the center with "Barbecue Cubes"? Wouldn't that be tasty? If you served the chicken mousse with the potato salad and barbecue cubes, you could have a whole Jell-O picnic!

"Ring-Around-the-Tuna" a.k.a. "Ecto Cooler Salad."

Those are not vegetables floating around in gelatin. That is ham and cheese. Can you imagine? Again, a color photo would probably be even worse, so I understand the use of black and white for this one.

More "molded" dishes:

Just in case you're interested in making any of these recipes and don't have the appropriate mold, you can probably still send for these. I wonder if the same prices still apply?

If you loved this all Jell-O post, just wait. I've got more coming right up!