Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Giveaway!!!!

We've had an interesting turn of events.


And by we I mean me.



I've fallen in love.




With this 1948 Wee Wind.




And the 1955 Bubble.






And the '62 Bambi.



But mostly with the Wee Wind.


I want one.


And before we go any further,

let me answer all your questions.



You (or The Chief):  Lu, why do you need a restored Airstream Trailer?

Me:  I don't.

You (or The Chief):  What exactly would you do with a restored Airstream Trailer?

Me:  I have no idea.

You (or The Chief):  Then why on Earth do you want one?

Me:  Because I do.


So now that we've cleared that up,

I have to move forward with my plan.


My plan to get one.

A Wee Wind.

And then maybe a Bubble,

and to complete my collection,

a Bambi.


But I must

move carefully.

Strategically.

Stealthily.

Surreptitiously.


I've decided to start with a very bold gesture.

I figure that in order to show some

good faith

on my part,

I  should

do something


Practically Unheard Of.

Virtually Unthinkable.

Nothing Short of Unbelievable.


I'm giving away one of my

Texasware Bowls!



Yes!

One of my precious,

perfect,

beloved,

and utilitarian

Texasware Bowls!

To one of my readers!!!!!!!!!

It might be YOU!


Of course,

I may

or may not

have a totally selfish reason

for doing this.





I'll say to The Chief,

"Hey Chief, you know how you always want me to get rid of some of my bowls, because they take up all the space in the cabinets,

and because you think it's certifiably nuts that anyone could possibly collect  a gabillion Texasware Bowls,

and how you think that they all look alike anyway???

You, know?"


And The Chief will reply, "Yes."




And then I'll say, 

"Well Chief, you'll be glad to hear that I'm giving away one of my bowls to a lucky Mudpuddle reader!"


And then he'll say,  "Well, good Lu."


And then I'll make my move.

And I'll say,


"So NOW can I have a Wee Wind?"


And he will politely excuse himself to his workshop

where he will think

logical,

practical,

engineering-type

thoughts

while trying to forget

I'm in the house

decoupaging

a huge photo of the

Wee Wind

to the front

of the refrigerator.



So here's all you have to do.

Right here,

in the comments section of the blog

answer this question:

"What do you collect?  And tell us why!

When you do,

you're entered to win this!!



It's a #118 official marked Texas Ware bowl!

And although it looks like the size of my bathtub in the picture,

it's about 10 inches across the top.

See.  Official.

I promise you, we're on the up and up around here.

It's in almost perfect condition.



I'll have Weegie draw a number to pick the winner!

No!!

The Chief!

He should be involved!

He always likes to be involved in all my stuff!

Really he does!!


Really.



Anyhoo - remember to enter you must comment here.

And even though you can still give a comment on FB,

not all of Mudpuddle's readers are on FB,

so I wanted everyone to have a shot at it!


Good Luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh,

and P.S.

If you win, I will send it to you all wrapped and safe (I'll pay postage).

I hope the winner doesn't live in Turkey or something.



Oh, and P.S. again


The winner will just need to sign and return the custody agreement I'll enclose,

which says that I will still have

visitation rights

to the bowl,

and that Me and the other Bowls

can just show up at any time

at your house

in your kitchen

to visit it.

JUST JOSHIN'!!

It will be yours.

All yours.


(But if you'd send me a picture each year

I'd really appreciate it!)


Thanks,

and GOOD LUCK!

Friday, August 27, 2010

'I' is for Insomnia (or Iceberg Lettuce)

I can't sleep.


Oh sure,  NOW I could probably sleep.

But,

it's 7 in the morning.


If I allowed myself to drop off now,

the probability of going to sleep

tonight,

in the bed,

when it's dark outside,

like a NORMAL person

takes a nosedive.





There's nothing more frustrating than laying in bed at night unable to fall asleep.

Can I get an AMEN?



Raise your hand if you've had this problem.


Bless you,

my Zombie Brothers and Sisters...



I'm telling you right now

strange things happen

in a person's mind

when they can't sleep.


Things get twisted.

Blown out of proportion.

Magnified.


Paranoia sets in.


Like the Stupid Digital Clock.

I swear that last night that clock was SO STINKIN' BRIGHT that I could have

done Sudoku without my glasses on,

plucked my eyebrows,

and encrypted code,

at 3 am!!


And of course, it was also a STINKIN' FULL MOON,

or a STINKIN' WAXING GIBBOUS

or something,

which was like having a STINKIN' SPOTLIGHT shining in the windows!


I apologize for the excessive use of that word.


I'll stop now.





As most of you know,

even though I sometimes frequently try to pass myself off as one,

I am neither a Psychologist,

a Psychiatrist,

a Numatist,

nor a Philatelist.


However, even without being a

gist,

or a trist,

or a tist,

or a list,

I KNOW

WITHOUT A DOUBT

that

nothing good comes from

Insomnia.


Bad. Bad. Bad.

Yes,

I daresay it's even dangerous.


And I would charge you thousands of dollars to tell you that if I WERE any kind of  "ist'.


So consider yourself lucky.




We won't go into all the things that keep me awake.


I've yammered on and on

about the

worry issue

before..


What's freaky though,

are the bizarre ideas that form simply because

it's night.



And you're awake.


And everyone else isn't.


And the light is bright.


And your hips are incredibly big.  (And by 'your' I mean 'my')


And the sheets are itchy.


And  the fan sounds like a 747.


And you absolutely,

positively,

no matter how hard you try

cannot go to sleep.


I tried over and over to utilize

my most successful sleep-inducing technique.


I start with 'A' and name a vegetable for each letter of the alphabet,

all the way through  to 'Z'.


Shamefully,  I sometimes cheat and use 'quince' for q.

I know it's a fruit.


But trust me.

It officially becomes a vegetable at 3 am.


Then I switch to boys names -

Albert, Bob, Carl, ...Quincy ... Zippy

Then girls-

Alberta, Bobby Jo, Carla,...Quincinella...Zippetta



Heaven Help Me.


I need a plan.

Yes, a plan.

Hmmm....

First I think I'll try to drink a TAB

without

dribbling most of it.


(I can feel your judgmental silence, you know...)


Then I'll go for my walk.

And just maybe I'll parley this whole

meltdown into

something lucrative.


I'll show you naysayers!

Yes!

I'm not crazy!


No, not at all.

I will develop

"Lu's Vegetable Alphabet Sleep System"!

I'll produce a Training CD!

NO!!  AN  INFOMERCIAL!

I'll call Lyle Lovett to be my spokesperson!

He'll do it!

He remembers me,

and what a boost I was to his career!


Or Jeff Bagwell!!

I was on a plane with him once!

(And not that I noticed,

but Mr. Funny Batting Stance has some STINKIN'

Big Biceps!)


See.

Stick with me.

There aren't many other people

around who could

so quickly

transform a bad night

into a

Multimillion-Dollar Business.


I guess

First

I'll need

some test subjects...


Just relax and repeat after me


Artichoke

Broccolini

Cauliflower...


Any volunteers?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Your Eye on the World

Some of you may have been expecting The Weege today.

After all, it is Wednesday.

But he's having a "time out" of sorts,

which basically means that I am refusing to give him chicken,

and he is refusing to so much as look at me.


His well-received debut post last Wednesday,

seems to have

let's see...

Gone to his Head.

Made him High-Minded.

Full of Himself,

arrogant,

critical,

judgmental.


I could go on.


But to sum it up,

HE started suggesting to ME

what he wanted to write about in his next post.


A Political Commentary, no less.


I politely suggested that he might want to stick with a topic

the readers might more naturally associate with his personality,

like marathon sleeping,

or general lethargy,

or constant shedding.


He wouldn't hear any of it.

Downright refused.

So until he learns a little humility it looks like it's

"Weegie Every Other Wednesday".


I mean you all have come to expect a certain level of

pertinence,

reliability,

and Johnny-on-the-Spotness here.


I have to deliver.

So without further ado, let's get to today's topic.


The Tragic State of Toilet Paper.


I surely can't be the only one who has noticed.

It's been such a gradual,

yet shocking decline.


First is the shrinkage.

The rolls have become so narrow now-

about adding machine tape wide.


Putting a roll on the little bar is about like hanging a

a big '70's loop earring on there...

It won't even begin to hang in the middle - it's either way over on one side or way over on the other!


PLEASE tell me I'm not the only one who is disturbed by this.


And then, the quality of the little inner cardboard tube...

Pathetic.



Remember when we used to be able to make all kinds of useful things from these sturdy cardboard rings?

Maracas,

binoculars,

little earpieces for string telephones???


Well, no more, let me tell you!


They are so thin now, that typically they are crushed almost flat by the time you get the roll on the bar.

Which causes

that awful

ker-plop, ker-plop

when the paper is unrolled

instead of the nice smooth

whir

of the past.


It's tough to think about.


And don't even get me started on the poor quality of the paper itself.



Gone are the days when The Weege could

sneak

into the bathroom,

start pulling on the paper,

and entertain himself for hours

by loping down the hall,

darting in and out of all the rooms,

turning corners,

doing flips,

tying knots,

and just having a

whing-ding

of a time.


Now, the poor thing can only pull off one square at a time - and sometimes

not even a full square.



Like I told The Weege,

everybody just

needs to know

we're in the trenches

with them.


"We ARE the People", I exclaimed!

He'll learn.




I remain,

Your Eye on the World

Lu

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Ole!




Please keep in mind the following:

1)  I let my camera battery run out again (yes, yes, which just proves once again that I am a terrible slacker and can't get everything together at once)

Or ever.

So these pictures are once again from my phone.

2) I didn't think to photograph the steps when I made these yesterday, so no step-by-step instructions Kendra!  Sorry.

3)  The above picture was taken today when I reheated this enchilada for lunch, and not yesterday when I actually made them, and they were hot and saucy just from the oven.




Several of you asked for this recipe.


One of you begged,

which is just embarrassing.


The rest of you probably couldn't care less,

but I'm here to serve everyone.


I've made several variations of these Enchiladas over the years,

some better than others.

One of my favorites uses Hatch Green Chile Enchilada Sauce, Cream of Mushroom Soup, and a can of Nacho Cheese Soup.


But one night after realizing what was in them,

The Chief politely accused me of trying to kill him for his money.

And well, once THAT secret was out,

I thought it in my personal (and legal) best interest

to tweak the recipe just a bit.


This is my most recent variation,

which helps me stay off the Nutritional Police's

Most Wanted List,

and allows me to fly low under The Chief's radar.


These are the "Absolutely Must Haves"




Guerrero Flour Tortillas, Hatch Green Chile Enchilada Sauce, and Mexican Crema

(And yes, maybe I did dig the empty tortilla wrapper out of the trash in order to photograph it,  but it's all about you people, anything for you...)


Can the recipe be made with substitutes?


Sure, but I won't claim to know ya!

Just Kiddin!!!!


And let me just interject here - (can you interject on yourself?)

For those of you who want to get right to the recipe and skip all my endless drivel, just scroll down a bit.

But for you drivel junkies...

read on My Brothers and Sisters!


Here are some things to know:

1)  You can cook your own whole chicken if you want.  But around here, cooking a chicken for an hour or so tends to send Weegie into some sort of psychotic frenzy during which he must be sedated, followed by weeks of intensive therapy.  It's just too much trouble. 
Therefore,to save everyone the emotional pain I just buy a deli chicken (Honey Jalapeno is best) and be done with it.

2) When sauteing the onion and red bell pepper, keep the heat pretty low.  You want them to soften, but not brown at all.

3)  Never, ever, let your garlic brown - it will turn bitter and yucky.  And so will you.

4)  If you have the time, or the gumption, or a sous chef, or a teenager who needs punishment you can dip the tortillas quickly into a little hot vegetable oil (or even simmering chicken broth) to soften them a bit before you fill them.  But that's one reason I like Guerrero - they come nice and pliable.

And I always, always, without fail burn myself terribly when I do the oil-dipping thing.  And the whole bandaging process just takes precious time.

5)  You can substitute cheddar for the Monterey Jack Cheese, and even for the Queso Fresco.  If you've not used Queso Fresco before, it's a dry, crumbly Mexican cheese similar in texture to Feta.  It doesn't though, have the bite that Feta can have.

Warning:  Queso Fresco is addictive.  I'd advise that you not open the package until you're ready to sprinkle it on at the end - I'm just sayin'.

6)  Depending on how much of the chicken Weegie (or you) eat before you start to fill the tortillas, this will make anything from 8-12 enchiladas.  I only got 8 last night.  Please let me know if you plan to make these.  I will send The Weege to supervise.

Did I mention Stubby Legs likes chicken?


OK!   Here We Go-


Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

1 whole deli chicken (all meat removed and shredded)

4 T veg. oil

1/2 c. finely minced onion

1/2 c. finely minced red bell pepper

2-3 cloves garlic finely minced

2 t. Better Than Bouillon (chicken flavor)

2 (15 oz.) cans Hatch Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Sauce

1 (8oz.) container Mexican Crema

1/2 c. Chicken broth

1 c. Monterey Jack cheese

8-12 Guerrero flour tortillas

About 2 cups Queso Fresco Mexican Cheese


Saute the onions and red pepper in the oil for about 3 minutes, then add the garlic and saute about 2 minutes more.  Add the B than B and stir it all around in the veggies.  Let this cook about 5 minutes.

Dump in the 2 cans of Hatch and bring to a simmer - allow to simmer about 5 minutes.
Add the chicken broth and simmer an additional 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat!!!  Mucho important.

Stir in the container of Mexican Crema.  If you do this while it is over the heat, you will probably curdle the sauce. And who wants curdled sauce?

Add about two cups of the sauce to the shredded chicken.
Stir well.
Now add the Monterey Jack to the chicken mixture.  And Stir.

Fill your tortillas with the chicken/cheese mixture and place seam side down in a greased 9x13 pan.  I always use glass pans myself.

Now pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas and sprinkle on the Queso Fresco!!!

Bake at 350 until hot, bubbly, and a teensy bit brown.


And again I say Ole!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Weegie On Wednesday

Hello??

'Tap Tap Tap'

"Hey, Is this thing on??"

Oh errr, ahhemmm...

This is The Weege.

Mom (Lu to you) asked me to "fill in for her today".

You know.

A guest writer, so to speak.

Sometimes,

she's just totally out of ideas for this blog thing.

And she said something about going out to shop for a travel trailer.


Apparently we're going somewhere.


I just hope she realizes

that I have absolutely no intention

of crawling up some stinkin' ladder

to sleep in a tiny bunk or something.


It's just not my style.






And OK , maybe,

there could be a slight issue with the ladder and the length of my legs,

but that's neither here nor there.

So drop it, OK?


I need a bed on the floor.

Terra Firma.

I just tell it like it is.


Anyway, I said sure,

I'd cover for her,

but it was gonna cost her.


Nobody,

and I do mean NOBODY

is easier to manipulate than my Mom.

I mean it's just embarrassingly easy,

pathetically easy,

to get my way with her.


I enjoy it almost as much as Idolizing The Chief.


Sometimes I just feel plain sorry for her.



I was a little bummed, then, when she told me


1)  I couldn't write about The Chief

and

2) I couldn't write about riding in The Mule or being a Farm Dog.


She said this was

"Old News."


Excuse Me?

The Chief, The Mule, and Cow Poop

are ANYTHING

but old news.




I was pretty

irritated about the whole limitations thing,

but then she promised me a

dietary reward,

which was

quite honestly

just too tempting to pass up.



So anyway,

in order to kind of Mix Things Up

around here

I decided to share this rap

that I've been working on.


Now cut me some slack here...


I've been a little lethargic, 
and let's just say,
slow from the heat.

It may need some final tweaking.


Hope you like it.



Yo Chicken

by The Weege


Hey hey hey, Chicken

What the dickens

You know it's finger-lickin',


I'll eat it any time of day

You can cook it any kind of way


Oh Chicken,

in the kitchen,

Mom knows I'm down here sniffin'

I can smell it when it hits the pan-

You know I am it's biggest fan.


Now, Chicken

I'm wishin'

you were my only mission,

I knew the day that I was born,

that all my life for you I'd mourn.


Yo Chicken!


Thanks

I'm Just,

Weegie on Wednesday,


Peace Out!

Monday, August 16, 2010

It's Only Proper

Slip into your knickers,

and get out the clotted cream, people.

It's time to make some scones.


They're good.

They're crumbly.

And they're proper.


And of course that's what we're all about

here at

Mudpuddle.


But seriously,

I was kidding about the knickers. 

Don't worry if you don't have any.

(Greg and Kevin, I know you ran and put yours on - so feel free to stay in 'em!)

It will only enhance the mood.


I first became enamored of scones when The Chief was travelling internationally.

A lot.


He always came back from his flights from Paris

waxing poetic

(not really, but you know what I mean)

about the scones he was always served mid-way through the flight.


"It's all about the texture" he'd say.

"I wonder if you could make some like that?"


Now I'm about the least competitive person you'll ever meet.

Seriously,

I HATE BOARD GAMES.

I will gladly give you all my hotels,

my houses,

and my "Get out of Jail Free" card,

just so the game will end.

Gladly.


I just really don't have it in me.


Unless,

I guess,

when it comes to a

cooking challenge.


And then Katie Bar the Door.

Or

Annie Get Your Gun -

whichever seems most appropriate.



My scone curiosity was also piqued

when I tasted a wonderful

Crystallized Ginger Scone

served for breakfast

at the Historic Strater Hotel in Durango.


It made me swoon.


And can I just add that during

one of our stays at the Strater,

upon first entering our lovely room,

I found a beautiful wondrous bouquet of flowers

sitting on the dresser.


They were for my Birthday/Anniversary,

and I kind of felt like a

Movie Star,

or Rock Star,

or Shooting Star,

or at the very, very least

A White Dwarf.  (If you're not an astronomy geek, you might want to look this one up)



So,

I've tried for a long time to find the perfect scone recipe.

And this is as close as I've come.


You'll need flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, heavy whipping cream and...



Butter.

WOOHOO!


You're Welcome!


I also threw in some dried chopped apricots and toasted pecans to one- half of the dough,

and dried cherries and toasted almonds to the other half.



I just do these wild things,

because,

Well,

Honestly,

because I'm here

without any proper

adult supervision!


But you can leave yours plain!

Be a purist.

It's fun.


Anyway, if you do

decide to visit me

on the Deliquent Side,

just remember that a scone  actually is

 "all about the texture",

so don't add anything that will ooze, or be too juicy.

A juicy scone is,

well,

a filled donut.


Or something else.


But, not a scone.




This recipe makes 16 Large Scones.

First, Preheat your oven to 425.


Start with your very favorite special Texasware bowl to which you'll add 4 cups of flour,






2/3 cup sugar, 2 T. baking powder, and 1 T. kosher salt.





Whisk this all together,


and then add 3/4 c. butter (or 1 and 1/2 sticks) that has been cut,



into small pieces.  This makes it easier to incorporate into the dry ingredients.



Just dump it in.


Then use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the dry ingredients...


You can also do this with two knives, or even with your hands (if your hands aren't too warm.)

It will have little pea-sized lumps of butter...

Now, add the cream - 2 1/2 cups.

YUM.

Pour in half, then stir a little,

then pour in the rest.

After stirring in the cream until just combined,

Dump the dough out onto a floured surface.

Try to touch the dough as little as possible.


Just knead it enough so that it holds together.

This is how to achieve the perfect,

crumbly texture.


Now, this is where I got unruly and added the other stuff...

The half with the pecans and dried apricots...


After you form the dough into a flat round, cut it into 8 wedges.



This is the cherry-almond half...

Put the wedges on an ungreased baking sheet.


And like I said,

totally unsupervised,

there's just no telling what I'll do - I sprinkled on some coarse sugar.



Bake for 20 minutes.

And

Don't be me.


Do not put one of the pans on the bottom rack of the oven.

Just don't.


You're Welcome.




Hope you enjoy them!


And I have a request.


If anyone can help me think of a good fairly believable story to justify why I went into Kohl's the other day and came out with this...


I'd appreciate your help.

I'm trying to respond to an official inquiry from The Chief...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mechanically Declined

Yesterday


I started thinking a lot about


Scones.


It was,

I believe,

the result of a bizarre

sequence of events.





Well, maybe not bizarre.

And really,

not even,

I suppose,

a sequence of events.



I just kinda started thinking about scones.




But I know how things seem a lot more promising,

more exciting,

more "Boy I Can't Wait to Hear What's Coming Next"



When the story starts with

Bizarre,

And Sequence.

And Events.


So,



Sorry

If I’ve already disappointed you.



The truth is,

I was mowing.



On a riding lawnmower.


On a riding lawnmower that has so many

quirks,





that in order to start it,


I have to call The Chief,

on occasion,

more than once.


Me: Hey Chief!  It's me!

I just wanted to ask you one little question.


The Chief:  Sure.  Ask away.


Me: "I'm getting ready to mow.

So, OK, I have the hood Thingie up,

I remember that I have to turn the fuel hose valve Dealie parallel to the little hose,

But do I leave the little wire Dumaflitchy on the right connected or disconnected when I start it?”



The Chief: “It has to be connected when you start it, but before you can put it in gear you have to disconnect the wires. Don’t you remember Lu, that’s the whole problem we have with it, the (some very technical verbage…) is broken.



Me: “Oh, OK, yeah, right."

Anyway, OK, I start it with the wires connected and then disconnect them before I go?"



The Chief: “Yes dear, that’s what I said.”



(He knows I hate it when he calls me dear.)



Me: “OK, But the clutch seems to be stuck down on the floor.

What the heck is that all about?”

Maybe it's broken too.

"Hey Chief,

Here's an idea.

Why don't I just go up to the Western Auto and buy a new one? "



The Chief: "A new clutch?"


Me: " No. Not a new clutch.

I don't really have the time to install a new clutch.


A new lawnmower, Chief.


One that works.

And has air conditioning."



The Chief: "Lu, now focus. Check to see if the clutch lock is engaged, and if so, disengage it.”


Me: “OK, that’s that bar Thingie down there kind of between my feet, right?”



The Chief: “I'm not sure what you mean by bar thingie. It’s down between your feet on the floor and has the word Clutch and a picture of an open and closed lock beside it. It’s pretty self explanatory, dear.



Me: “OK, I’m moving this bar Thingie up and down, but it doesn’t do anything to the clutch at all- obviously this is broken.


I mean it would just be so much easier,

don't you think Chief,

for me to just run up and buy a new one."



The Chief: “Lu, if you are moving it from the locked position to the unlocked position, it should clearly release the clutch. And I’m not sure why you keep calling it a bar- it’s more like a small switch AND IT HAS PICTURES OF THE LOCK AND ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY COULD NOT BE ANY EASIER TO FIGURE OUT…. dear.”



“Unless… Lu, you ARE moving something down on the floor right, not the big huge bar directly below the seat that is CLEARLY labeled “Blade Height” right??”



Me: “Well... it’s possible that I may have been moving the big huge bar that is clearly labeled “Blade Height.”



The Chief: “Put the Blade Height bar back in the position it was in before you started messing with it.”


Me: OK,

well,

 First, I wasn't "messing with it"

and

Second,

“How on earth would I remember what position it started in when I

CLEARLY

thought it was the clutch lock,

and was just trying to unlock it??


GEEZ …”


The Chief: "Just put it some position, Lu. Just choose one. Any position."


Me: OK, and now I see the little clutch lock Hooie-Hoo – OK, I can figure that out.

The Chief: Good. I’m glad. Anything else?


Me: OK, wait, I have to have the mower blade up to start it right? –

When do I put the blade down?"


The Chief: “Well, if I were you I would put it down when I wanted to actually start MOWING something. Otherwise, you’ll just be riding around for hours accomplishing absolutely nothing, dear.”


Me: “OK, so I have the fuel Thingie turned,
I have the wires connected,
I have the clutch ready,
but the hood is still up.
When do I put it down?”



The Chief: “Can you see at ALL with the hood up, Lu?” “Could you in ANY WAY move forward with the hood up?


Put the hood down, when you're ready to go.

So you can see.”



Me: "OK, I think I have it all figured out, Thanks Chief."



The Chief: "OK, be careful."



And then,



after about 20 minutes of



attempting



by trial and error



to remember even the first thing



we had just talked about,



I got it running.



WOOHOO!!



And I made exactly two passes back and forth across the front yard of the farmhouse


and

Ran out of gas.



Call #2.


Me: "Hey, it’s me again."


The Chief: “Who is this?”

(To The Chief’s extremely logical, engineering-type mind it would be virtually impossible for anyone to CONCEIVABLY need any more explanation on starting a mower.)


I identify myself again.


Me: It's me,Lu. 
We just talked. 
Remember?“

I ran out of gas.

Is the gas in the storeroom in the red can with the yellow Tubie Thingie on the end the right gas?’



The Chief: “It should be the right gas. But make absolutely sure that it’s not diesel.”


Me: “How on earth would I know if it was diesel or not?”



The Chief: “Smell it.” “Does it smell like diesel?”



Me: “How on earth would I know what diesel smells like?

I don't usually smell diesel.

Doesn’t diesel just smell like gas?

This smells like gas.

I just spilled a bunch of it on my leg and it ran down in my shoe.

It definitely smells like gas.

My shoe now smells exactly like gas."



The Chief: “Just put it in the mower, dear. Hopefully it’s not diesel.”


Me: “OK, I’ll put it in,

But Hey Chief,

I just hope I can remember how to start this thing up again."



The Chief: “I hope so too, Lu. I really hope so too.”


Me: OK, well if I have a problem, I'll call.


The Chief:  I'm pretty sure I have a big meeting in just...

Yep, sorry it starts in just a minute...


Me:  OK Chief, well thanks!




And that’s kind of how I started thinking about scones.



I mean, it's a struggle trying to walk someone through such technical stuff.

Don't you agree?



My mind needed


a safe place to rest.



Scones.


I’m going to go make some right now.

I’ll share the recipe and pictures tomorrow.


Yum.


I think you're gonna be really glad I mowed...

Just like The Chief.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Something You'll Like






You know,

you just can't please everyone.

It's my life's struggle.

Almost a year ago, a friend suggested that I needed to include more dessert recipes here on Mudpuddle.

You know,

things that are

fat

and

calorie laden.



Things,

to be quite honest,

that are downright

bad for your health.



So I did.


Like you've figured out,

I'm easily coerced.



The same friend

turned on me recently.

Yes turned.

He suggested my recent Outlaw Pie

was

(you guessed it)

too

let's see,

what did he call it,

fat and calorie laden?



Well, I could be mad.

I could be insulted.

I could be concerned.


But I'm none of those things.

"Why?"  you ask?

Well here's why.



I woke up just yesterday

with a feeling.


A feeling

that came from

down deep in

my bones.


A feeling that told me

I needed to eat more

salads.




OK fine.


To tell the truth,

the feeling might

have actually come from my

Hips,

Thighs,

and Buttocks,

but still,

it was a feeling

I just couldn't deny.


I apologize for saying the word "Buttocks" in my blog, 

but it needed to be said.




Whatever my motivation,

I have a really great salad for you.



Really quick and easy.

Weegie could make it.





If he could just remember how to get down off of his chair.



The heat has made him





a little sluggish.



Here's all you need:

DISCLAIMER:  My camera battery croaked, and many of these pictures were taken with my phone and therefore not up to my usual National Geographic-type quality.

Thank you.





Fresh spinach, an orange, some red onion, feta cheese, and sliced almonds.




I'm not going to give specific measurements  - just adjust it for your needs.


Wash and dry some fresh spinach.


It's so hot outside that the "cold" water out of the tap was hot, so I added some ice to the water to crisp the spinach a bit.



You can use the bagged, pre-washed stuff,

but I find it a little too

stemmy (is that a word?),

and The Chief is convinced that

The whole "pre-washed" thing is a joke,

and there basically exists a

conspiracy  in the "vegetable underworld"

to spread deadly bacteria.



So I just wash it,

then dry it in my salad spinner.




If you don't have a salad spinner, you can wash it, put it in a pillowcase, go out on the patio and spin it around over your head like David getting ready to slay Goliath.

I don't really suggest this method, though.


After I did it a few times,

I noticed our next door neighbors

looked at me and The Weege a little funny when we took our evening walk.




Next,

section an orange.


And this orange just might have had the world's thickest peel.


If you don't know how to section an orange,

I'm sorry.



If I could get Weegie to hold the camera and take some clear shots,

I'd give you a step-by-step.

But we tried, and he didn't feel comfortable with it.


So since I'm the camera-holder and the sectioner

it's just too cumbersome.



Basically, when you section an orange you just remove all the white membrane from  around each section.




It looks prettier, and is easier to eat.



But what the hey-

just cut up an orange.



I'm easy.


Now, thinly slice some red onion.


Please don't get your feathers ruffled - I'm going to be a little bossy now.



I'm typically not bossy.

So let me have my fun.

I'm harmless.


When I say thin,

I mean THIN.

Very, very thin.

Extremely thin.

Paper thin.




Please do not

ruin this salad with

big ole honking pieces of onion.


Just don't.




And while I'm being bossy,

do NOT substitute some other

color onion for the red one.

They are not the same.


Do you hear me?

A red onion tastes completely different from a white or yellow onion.



If you use another type of onion

in this salad

you are dead to me.



I'm sorry.

I feel that strongly about it.



Now toast some sliced almonds.


Toast.



Not burn.

I may or may not have burned these while I was downloading pictures from my phone.

May or may not.



This takes some practice.


Put a layer of almonds on a cookie sheet.
And you all need to stop your gawking and snickering over the pathetic state of my cookie sheet.  It is my favorite and has been with me for years,

So,

stop it.

Really.




Put it in the oven on 350.

DO NOT leave the room.

Start sniffing.

The split second that you can smell them,

snatch them out of the oven.

Snatch I say!



Perfect!


If you wait even one micromillisecond too long.

They're black.

They're trash.

You've failed.


Now, throw all these ingredients together

with a little feta,

 in your wooden salad bowls.





And find this stuff in your fridge..




My favorite brand of dressing.

Brianna's.


For this salad I use the Poppy Seed.

And you should too.

They have a wonderful variety of flavors.

Here are the ones currently hanging out in my fridge.



And guess what?

They're made in Texas.

Who would have thunk it?


And if all 4 of my regular readers would go out and buy about a gabillion bottles of Brianna's each, perhaps the company would seek me out and offer me a multimillion-dollar contract to continue to endorse their dressings.

Just think how cool that would be!

For me, of course.





Anyway, I'm serving this salad tonight with Gumbo.

And French Bread.

And if the gumbo turns out all right - I'll post the recipe in a day or two.



I had to find something to do with all the okra my two plants are producing.






I can't keep up with it.

Overnight the okra can grow as big as my arm.

And anyone with "a lick of sense" knows that big okra gets  tough and woody and is best used to make furniture or plank flooring.

So wish me luck.


Lu

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Real Life

I've had a couple of interesting

comments,

lately

about my blog.

Well, maybe

inquiries

would more accurately describe them.


One of them began with

"I wish all I had to worry about was

what to cook for dinner..."


The jist of the comments was:

(I believe this is accurate)

"Gee Lu, 

you always write about

happy,

funny,

carefree things.

Is this really what your life is all about?"


Well, 

frankly,

no.



I'm quite sure my life

is very similar to

many of yours.




I consider myself

truly blessed.




But along with all the blessings,

I have my share of

disappointments,

heartaches,

and pain.



I've mentioned before that I'm a worrier.



Of the very worst kind.



(I mean, seriously,

I have two sons now

in their early 20's.

Can I get an Amen!)



A Big Shout Out to Ben and Nick!

I Love You!





Several years ago I

reached a point

where in order to drive the worries out of my mind

and to have even a CHANCE of falling asleep at night

I had to just repeat

Philipians  4: 6-7

over and over.

"Be anxious for nothing.  But in everything by prayer and supplication (with THANKSGIVING!) make your requests known to God.  And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your heart and mind through Christ Jesus.


A lot of times

I would forget to say the (with THANKSGIVING!) part,

and would make myself start over from the beginning.



I realized that if I concentrated

on the good,

on the joyful,

on the fun,

I could keep my mind off the other.


Maybe.


And heaven help me,

If I constantly had to re-live

the bad stuff

and read it over and over again

(and trust me on this, I am just the type to go back and read it over and over)

I just don't think it would be

good.



But it does work.

(The concentrating on the joyful!)





I promise.





And I suppose then,

as a result,

I have

"A Happy Blog".





I hope you're OK with that.


It's a matter of self-preservation.



Again,
Inexplicably,

Lu

Monday, August 2, 2010

Outlaw Pie




I'm not usually one to break the rules.


Except

I suppose

when it comes to cooking.


And OK, fine

maybe I've worn white a few times

after Labor Day.


But other than that,

I'm law-abiding.


It's funny,

but when I cook,

I feel perfectly criminal.


Bold,

even

adamant

about

breaking the rules.



Please don't report this

to the authorities.


Or The Chief.


He threatened not to

bail me out

the next time

it happened...



A lot of my lawlessness

results of course, from my complete

disorganization

when I go grocery shopping

.

It's a mess. I assure you.


No rhyme or reason.

No logical thinking.

No list.

No nothin'.



So it's not unusual,

I daresay it's even

common

for me to find myself

void of a few

pesky

major ingredients

for a great recipe

I'd like to make...


But



Here's my battlecry:


Close your Eyes!

Improvise!


So,

when I came across a recipe for

a frozen raspberry pie

and realized I didn't have anything

even vaguely resembling

the main ingredients,

including the raspberries,

I broke into

Outlaw Mode.



And I think you'll be glad I did.



Start with about one and a half little sleeves of graham crackers.




The recipe called for an Oreo cookie crust.

But I had no Oreo's.

And when I do have Oreo's,

I don't usually allow them

to sit around,

wasting time,

if you know what I mean...  :)


Anyway, crush the graham crackers finely.

Add about 1/3 to 1/2 c. melted butter,

and a little sugar (about 1/4c.)

and mix it all together.

Press it into your Pie Plate,







and bake it for 4-5 minutes at about 350 degrees.

(Or until you get a whiff of it in the laundry room,

where you are of course,

toiling away)

I'm telling you,

the work never ends.


Don't let it get too brown.

No, no no.

This would be bad.





Take it out of the oven and let it cool.

Be sure to eat all the little pieces that you knock off.

Don't be a waster.

Now for the fruit.

I had some frozen, unsweetened whole strawberries,

so I dumped a few in the food processor along with about 2 T. sugar.




I pulsed it about 10-12 times until the fruit was broken down into fairly small chunks.

Then I tasted it.



Then,

because no one told me not to,


I added about 1/4 cup strawberry preserves,

and pulsed the mixtures a couple more times. 

I tasted it again.


I smiled.



Set the fruit aside.



In the mixer bowl put about 1 cup vanilla yogurt.





The recipe called for raspberry yogurt,

but me no have none...


Then add one pkg. vanilla instant pudding and pie filling.




(I inexplicably had this in my pantry!)

I love that word, inexplicably,

and think I'll

use it again soon.


Beat the yogurt and pudding mix together on med. high for about 4 minutes.





It will look kind of yucky.

But be patient.



Now add 1 cup Heavy Cream.

Yummm...

I'd smile too, if I was Elsie!





(Now go put on your jogging shoes, we're going running tonight)

You and me.




Beat on med. high for about 4-5 minutes.




Gently fold in the fruit,



and put the mixture in the crust.






Now put it in the freezer.


This seems like such a simple thing, but I had to spend

a good 15 minutes

rearranging things

so I could

fit

it in the freezer.




Let it freeze for 2-3 hours.

Or however long you can wait.


It can be slurped with a spoon also.

And, no I won't tell you how I know that.



You can serve it with additional

whipped cream on top.



But this would

unfortunately,

neccessitate

me never

taking off

my

running shoes...




Inexplicably,

Lu