Friday, February 9, 2024

Room Service Please

After 45 mph winds, 57 degrees, and a couple severe thunderstorms yesterday we settled in for the night, just Lorelei and I, as my husband was out of town on a business trip. Lorelei, usually napping in her crate after dinner, came into the den where I was on the computer, nudging me repeatedly. She already had her snack (4:00), dinner (6:00), and her non-fat Greek yogurt treat (7:00 after she goes out to potty) - what did she want? Something was wrong. I went into the living room- her crate bedding was ALL bunched up, the bottom of the crate uncovered. Waiting patiently while I crawled inside, not fun on the knees, and adjusted the bedding, a thrift store washable quilt, an ortho pad, and her pillow & favorite stuffies; her tail WAGGED as I finished. As I stood up - she wagged once, then promptly went to her OTHER dog bed and fell asleep. She was probably mad that housekeeping didn't leave a mint on her pillow.

Monday, February 5, 2024

Attention Burglars -

Dear Burglars - 

Forget the alarm system that will alert the police, We have a large fluffy dog that sheds furiously and you are wearing dark clothing.

The Residents

Sunday, January 21, 2024

In Hot Water

 Lorelei loves playing in the snow, but she loves the hot water bottle on her arthritic hip for her nap afterward.  A few dollars well spent, it makes her really comfy after playtime. (Though the twice monthly acupuncture treatment for her helped immensely when we got into negative temps this last week).

Saturday, January 13, 2024

Dog Days of Winter

The food lady is out - must stay vigilant.
I knew if I waited. . .
Enjoy it Larelei - the 8 inches of doom and gloom forecast turned out to be about 3 inches total

Time for breakfast Dad!
Mom;s Scottish Pancakes (known as dropped scones) Syrup on Dad's and Jam on Mom's.

Saturday, January 6, 2024

Lorelei Lab says - Round and Yellow is Good!

 Woke to the first real snow of the season. A good day for aebleskiver (Danish Pancakes). I don't make them often but since my husband shoveled our walkways and the elderly neighbors', I wanted to surprise him. This is the first time I've made them with sourdough and they turned out better than I had hoped for. But first, a ride in the doggie elevator out to the back yard for some playtime.

If you can find a cast iron aebleskiver pan, get one.
Sourdough Aebleskiver (low sodium and regular instructions provided)
In large bowl blend
1 cup milk, replacing 1 teaspoon of milk with apple cider vinegar or lemon juice and let set at room temperature 5 minutes.
1 cup active sourdough starter (mine today was made with whole wheat pastry flour from Bob's Red Mill)
2 eggs (beaten before adding)
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 stick unsalted butter melted and cooled for a couple of minutes before adding.

In another bowl mix:
180 grams unbleached flour (roughly 1 ½ cups)
3/4 teaspoon reduced sodium Himalayan Pink Salt
1 Tablespoon Hain Sodium Free Baking powder (or 2 tsp regular b.p.)
3/4 teaspoon EnerG Sodium Free Baking Soda Replacement (or ½ tsp regular baking soda) Blend wet and dry ingredients just until mixed, (may be some small lumps).  Heat the Aebleskiver pan until hot (about 10-12 minutes - a drop of water on it should sizzle) and give it a quick spray with non-stick spray (I use an organic Olive Oil one) or brush with a pastry brush with melted butter. Then using a teaspoon, fill the depression to no more than 1/8 inch below the rim.  As soon as the Aebleskivers begin to bubble around the edges, use a wooden skewer, knitting needle, or sharp edge of a knife to flip them over half way, letting the batter slide around to fill in the bottom of the cup. Continue cooking, turning the Aebleskiver again to let the batter fill in the remainder of the sphere and continuing to turn until golden brown all the way around and cooked through.

NOTE: plan on totally murdering two or three before you get it right, have small bucket handy to remove the remains. 

As far as temp, my 80-year-old gas stove has two settings, not warm enough and surface of the sun hot, so I have learned to just adjust between those settings.  For those of you with a modern stove, aim for medium heat, around 325 degrees.  Place in a clean town in a bowl and keep covered to remain warm as you cook the rest.  These freeze well. 

 Serve with powdered sugar, butter, and lingonberries. Or do what my Scandinavian Mom did and put a little piece of apple in the center as it cooks.

Makes about 3 and a half dozen with the pan I have; they freeze really well if placed in a sealed container after cooling completely.
Lorelei Lab says:  Round and yellow is good!

Monday, January 1, 2024

New Year Smiles

Hoping all of you had a wonderful Holiday season and hoping you will all have a great New Year.

Sunday, December 24, 2023

You're a Mean One Mr. Grinch. . .

 When Dad cuts a piece of homemade brownie and doesn't give you one. . . .

Sunday, December 17, 2023

Looking Back

Our wounds, we wear like temporary garments until they are forgotten, 

but our stories, we don them as forever.

The Book of Barkley

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Favorite Foodables - Lasagna Buns

The "Porkinator" - Sausage Lasagna in a bun (easily cuts in half or doubles)

Lasagna ingredients (minus pasta) in a bun. This was a HUGE hit with my husband, though people will sort of look at it initially and go. . .

But after they taste it. . .

You will need:
1/3 of a jar of store-bought pasta sauce (roughly 1 and 1/4 cups of sauce))
1/2 of a roll of Jimmy Deans SPICY breakfast sausage (sage flavor would also work)
1 heaping teaspoon chopped garlic (fill that puppy up)
4-5 slices (ahem) of chopped bacon

Mmmm. Bacon. (but you can substitute veggie "meat" easily in this recipe).
Cook meat and drain fat:

Stir into sauce and add:
1/2 tsp oregano
3 dashes of Jane's Krazy Mixed Up Salt (or your favorite mixed salt, I like Jane's as it's low sodium due to the addition of lots of herbs)

Simmer just until it's bubbling.

While the sauce heats up, in a bowl mix:
1 cup grated mozzarella
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan

Set aside about 1/2 cup of that mixture

To remaining shredded cheese add:
1 cup of ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon of egg (white and yolk mixed up and measured out, save rest for breakfast)
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
a pinch of cayenne
Mix well.

Get 4-6 bratwurst rolls or other larger sized sturdy sandwich rolls and scoop out the middle third (save that for meatloaf later), leaving enough at the bottom so that it holds together, like a sub-shaped bread bowl.
Place a big spoonful of meat sauce inside, top with a couple spoonful's of the cheese mixture, leaving a little open space for the sauce to bubble up through. Place in a cooking pan or tray that you've lightly sprayed with non-stick spray.

Cook in preheated 350 F. oven, covered lightly with foil for 20 minutes.

Remove foil, sprinkle with cheese you set aside and bake another 4-6 minutes until cheese on top melts.

Monday, November 20, 2023

On Life, Labs, and a Lodestar

My husband travels a lot in his job, though not as much worldwide since COVID changed the dynamics of meetings (there are still those calls from the Australia facility at weird hours but they're a great bunch and I don't mind). But he is still often away from home, and Lorelei Lab and I have our own routine, especially during winter. After coffee is brewing and I'm showered and dressed, she gets playtime in the yard or a walk, once it's light out. After work, evenings are quiet, with a few chats with friends on the phone or the computer, and a cup of tea while she sets up watch by the back door, hoping, against hope, that "Dad" will come home early.

Last night she was expecting him, but work extended his trip another week so it was only with a little coaxing that she left her position by the back door and came and laid by my side with a huge sigh.  But God willing, he will be home.  
We get to expect such things, the sound of a car in a driveway, perhaps the phone call from a child or grandchild that they too made it home safely with the giant load of clean laundry they did at your house, or most of the contents of your wallet. But I only have to look at a flag carefully folded into a triangle on the mantle next to three spent rounds, and a couple of small wooden boxes with a dog toy on the top to be reminded, that getting home is never a guarantee.

It makes me cherish what times we have, all of us, my female friends who run the gamut from a beautiful blond with long blue-tipped hair to an author/equestrian who crafts her creativity from a small homestead out west to an African American minister who grew up in the inner city. All completely different women, but all alike in what we have overcome; the fears we have vanquished, and all having lost too suddenly, and with little warning, someone we loved, that sharp edge of horizon that suddenly vanished like an illusion.

The young don't seem to comprehend such moments, not the youth of childhood which knows no pauses and introspections, the world one large play station, but the "youth" that when I was a child, I would have considered "ancient". That time of life when you are busy with your own young children, jobs, parents, subdivision turf wars, and the constant undercurrent of needing to be liked, acknowledged, clicked on, hit on, and validated by people that 30 years from now you won't even remember the names of.
Don't miss it. At all. Especially those moments of boredom, of bone-searing weariness from wearing four hats, of dissatisfactions that could be relieved by only the rashness of staying out too late, having one shot too many, giving up a job or a relationship, like a bird leaving the safety of a comfortable perch for no other reason than you "felt like it". Only years and more than one empty bottle of regret put such days in their perspective.

You wake up one day, to an empty bed, a silent phone, and a cold house, and it's as if you'd suddenly heard a whisper, a soft cryptic uttering that cuts deeper than any rogue tool in your shop can, one of your mortality.  But instead of being something to fear, it's a way to savor your day, whatever it brings. It may bring a day of doing little or doing a lot, but it doesn't matter. What matters is the little scratching made on paper, of fingers on a keyboard, of a clear undistanced voice across the phone from another soul who needs your support, your wisdom, your ear, as they count their own days.
I had a meeting with my tax guy, getting ready for this coming year, and as always, he lifted an eyebrow at my 15-year-old truck and said, “You still live there”, noting the address in an old working-class village in the city. Like always, I didn’t say anything but smiled, and he said, “You know, you’re a millionaire, you could live anywhere?”  I just shake my head. I’m happy here in my fixer-upper with my elderly Veteran neighbors, writing a check any dang time I feel like it to support an animal shelter or the less fortunate, no desire in the world to live in one of those overtaxed, glass-walled, neat and orderly homes that blot out the sky, as cozy as a dental lab.

 No thanks. I smile and pour another cup of good coffee, drinking it not because of a pounding head of a late night, but because it simply makes me feel right with the world.  I look out an old window, the aged glass, milky with frost, coalescing a view that is as old as time, a sound, a whisper, murmuring from outside of time, a time as old as an ancient tree, the smell of the forest here in the middle of a city. A view as old as a hundred years ago, or maybe only ten. 
On the worn rug, lies an old yellow dog, her head on her dad’s slipper, left underneath a table. Her comfy dog bed is disregarded, it's not the most comfortable setting but one in which she is secure, knowing that he will come home, living unaware that it’s so very fleeting, that time that waits for us all, as inescapable as lodestar. 

Outside stands a hundred-year-old spruce tree, one of what used to be more than half a dozen, reduced to just two due to blight, age, and storms.  It has survived, it endures; it has its inevictable part in the memory of this place even when it too is felled.

Thursday, November 16, 2023


That look you get when you sneak into the kitchen to eat the leftover Halloween candy you squirreled away only to find out your spouse ate it already.