Friday, November 12, 2010

Festival of Furry Fun

I adopted two kittens last week. Littermates, I named them ZsaZsa and Eva. They are hard to photgraph, but here are my attempts.


How, you may ask, do I tell them apart? Well, ZsaZsa's necklace (white spot at her throat) is bigger and Eva has a crook in her tail.


Eva is at the front of this little train.

They don't sit still. They run and play and then fall down asleep in a ball of black fur.

E&Z 4

But I went out and bought an assortment of kitty toys to keep them entertained. Allow me a moment to describe kitten responses to various toys.

Balls filled with bells? Bleh
Feathers on a stick? Yikes!
Catnip mouse? .........crickets.
Berries off fall wreath? Zowie!
Consumer warning label on comfortor? Yeah!
Q-tips? Ecstacy!
Brightly painted red toenails? THE. BEST. EVER!

They are curtain climbing, table hopping, knick knack destroying bundles of fun that like to sleep on me and look for me when I leave the room.

E&Z 2

How could I be happier?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Thanksgiving Traditions

Thanksgiving. It is my favorite holiday. I love to cook the traditional favorites. I adore having everyone over, sitting at the table hours after the meal is done, just talking. I even love the left-overs.

Each family has it's own traditions and stories about how they got started. For my family, each Thanksgiving dinner must include ham and turkey, cornbread dressing, sweet-potato casserole, green beans, and a Jello salad. Also present will be cranberry sauce, potato salad, Waldorf salad, squash casserole, and Bird's Nest slaw. Noticeably missing? Pumpkin anything. We are not pumpkin people. Apple dumplings? Yes! Pecan pie? Yes! Chocolate? Well, DUH! But there will be no pumpkin.

And, there will be spiced peaches.

You see, my Aunt Ruth hated to cook so she never really excelled at it. She was in charge of potato salad and green beans for each holiday meal. At Christmas, she would make a fresh apple cake. These were her strong suits.

But she would always bring a jar of Osage Spiced Peaches to the Thanksgiving dinner.

She has been dead for almost twenty years now, but it just doesn't seem right to set the Thanksgiving table without them. Every year, a jar is opened and the peaches are plated near the cranberry sauce and pickle tray.

This year there will be a slight variation. I made the spiced peaches myself.

peaches jarred 2

I found this recipe in the BH&G cookbook.

5 lbs peaches
5 cups sugar
1 cup white vinegar
2 cups water
2 tsp whole cloves
12 cinnamon sticks

Cut an x in the end of each peach and place in boiling water for 1 minute. Remove to an ice bath.

spiced peaches

Place sugar, vinegar, water, and spices in a large pot and bring to a boil. Peel peaches and place in syrup as peeling to prevent browning.

peaches 3

Simmer for five minutes and place in sterilized jars. Place in BWB for 20 minutes.

peaches jarred

* I made sure that each jar had cinnamon sticks and cloves floating in them. I also halved and pitted the peaches. My peaches were rather large, so I would up with six pints containing 4 peach halves each.

Other recipes use far less cinnamon, but I really liked the punch of the vinegar and cinnamon together. And since I used flaming fury peaches, the color is fabulous!

I plan on serving these to my book group on Monday evening, with a few other Thanksgiving favorites.

Is there some mysterious item that always winds up on your holiday table?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Guess What We Serve?

I went to Captain D's today to pick up lunch for my boss and myself. While waiting on my order, a couple came in and, having walked past the window sized signs outside advertising this month's special and past a white board announcing $5.00 deals, to the counter below a 20 foot menu and asked "Do you have any specials?"

The young lady patiently explained that the current special was two dozen shrimp with two sides and hush puppies for $3.99.

Next question? "Do you have any fish?"

The young lady briefly explained and priced each menu item; they were still trying to decide if they wanted to eat there or not when I left.

Because, when I think of subtle and understated, I think of Captain D's.