Monday, September 29, 2008

Happy Jewish New Year

Rosh Hashanah, Honey and Apricot Capon (castrated rooster)
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: Depends on size of capons (20 min. per pound).

2 large capons (about 5-7 pounds each)
1 pound jar honey
1-18 ounce jar apricot preserves
2 large onions, chopped
3 stalks of celery, cut into pieces
2 large carrots, cut into pieces
1/3 cup orange or lemon juice
3-4 cups water
OPTIONAL: 1/3 cup apricot liqueur
Clean the capons and place them on a poultry rack in a large roasting pan.
In a large saucepan, heat the honey, apricot jam, and the juice. Mix together until well blended. Bring to a boil and turn off heat. Set aside.
Place the oil in a large skillet and add the onions. Stir, over medium heat until golden brown. Place the onions, celery, and carrots in the bottom of the roasting pan. Add about 3 or 4 cups of water in the bottom of the pan.
Rub the chicken with olive oil and roast, covered at 350 degrees for about an hour. Add more water to the pan as needed. Begin basting the capons at this time, basting every 15 minutes, about 3 or 4 times. Youâll use about 1/2 to 3/4 of the honey apricot mixture. When the capons are cooked through, the leg will move easily and the juices will run clear. To be completely safe, buy an instant meat thermometer to test for doneness. Remove the capons to a platter and pour the liquid into a deep measuring cup or a cup designed to separate fat from the liquid. Discard the fat and mix the rest of the liquid, including the onions, with the remaining honey apricot sauce. Heat through and add the apricot liqueur. Mix well and serve as gravy for the chicken.

What to Do With Lots of Hard Boiled Eggs?

Make egg salad and deviled eggs!!!

I went over to the in-laws to put some egg salad in their frig...and I brought these science projects home with me...and dumped em.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Melly Had a Little Lamb

So I ate some of it. First I flattened the 6 lamb flank steaks out..first dusting with flour and some fresh, minced rosemary. I added some Worcestershire Enhanced Ground Pepper then seared them in olive oil that I had previously sauteed pearl onions, mushrooms, and garlic in. (I set those aside and added them back in later).

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After removing the seared steaks, I de-glazed the pan with some "Fat Bastard" cab and let it reduce to thicken. I used a bit of water and potato starch with some fage yogurt..tempered it with some of the stock..and added it in...along with some cracked pepper and kosher salt. I also added an anchovie filet for increased depth of flavor (I heard that line on Iron Chef..and have been wanting to use it).

I added the flank steaks back in while the noodles were boiling in a seperate pot.

I topped the dish with lemon zest, rosemary, and lemon verbena.

I made a salad of romaine and home-grown cherry tomatoes...used Granite Bay Farms zesty organic sun-dried tomato dressing.

Here are the ingredients...well, cept for the meat, mushrooms and pearl onions. I used em all up. It was soooooooo good. Comforty and all. Can you give this dish an inspired name?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Lost & Found

Who left this lovely serving spoon at the party? I also found this little chocolate mouse running around..and I ate it!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

That's it folks!! part 3

The menu included the following (thanks to everyone for bringing yummy side dishes..and for the beautiful cake, cupcakes and "mice" that Eileen made):

Roasted Pig
Roasted Turkey
Roasted Corn
Roasted spring onions and asparagus
Chick Pea and mint salad
Cauliflower salad
Baked Beans
Cole Slaw
Endive and apple slaw
Baby Green and crunchy fried onion salad
Olives, pate, pickles,cheese, chips, beer, more beer, wine..more wine, soda, water, pomegranete lemonade

Thanks for the charcoal Lori!! We did use yours.
Check out Eileens Just The Two of Us for more pics.

Backyardigans...part 2

Monday, September 22, 2008

La Caja China Pig Roast Shindig! part 1

I have many more pics of the party and the pig and the cutting of the pig (thanks Carlos) and the food, and the beautiful people, and the birthday couple........but my grandkids are still here so gotta go for now!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Ramping Up! and *

I thought I'd better put a new post I've been accused of being "smitten" with Janis Ian. I guess I should have shared a bit more history with regard to a few important life experiences while listening to her music. Oh well..I'll move on. I've just been so busy!!

We are ramping up for the kids' visit this coming Saturday-Tuesday...and the whole pig roast/birthday bash on Sunday. I am way excited. You wouldn't believe all of the bbq equipment on our patio! Dave brought this HUGE Weber charcoal grill home...that my grandson could easily sleep in. Thankfully, someone is letting me borrow a travel crib!! Then there is the "regular" Weber grill, and the pig roasting box.

We are busy child-proofing the house...and speaking with our cats about little kids. We are making room. :)

Now for something totally different, I found this forward at a forum. I think Judy from Texas wrote it...but I could be wrong. I didn't write it...but I really like it.

I'm a little confused. Let me see if I have this straight....If you grow up in Hawaii, raised by your grandparents, you're "exotic, different." * Grow up in Alaska eating moose burgers,-- a quintessential American story.

If your name is Barack you're a radical, unpatriotic Muslim. -- *Name your kids Willow, Trig and Track, you're a maverick.

Graduate from Harvard law School and you are unstable. * Attend 5 different small colleges before graduating, you're well grounded. – If you spend 3 years as a brilliant community organizer, become the first black President of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter registration drive that registers 150,000 new voters, spend 12 years as a Constitutional Law professor, spend 8 years as a State Senator representing a district with over 750,000 people, become chairman of the state Senate's Health and Human Services committee, spend 4 years in the United States Senate representing a state of 13 million people while sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran's Affairs committees, you don't have any real leadership experience.

*If your total resume is: local weather girl, 4 years on the city council and 6 years as the mayor of a town with less than 7,000 people, 20 months as the governor of a state with only 650,000 people, then you're qualified to become the country's second highest ranking executive.

If you have been married to the same woman for 19 years while raising 2 beautiful daughters, all within Protestant churches, you're not a real Christian. *If, like McCain, you cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress, and left your disfigured wife and married heiress Cindy the next month, you're a Christian.

If you teach responsible, age appropriate sex education, including the proper use of birth control, you are eroding the fiber of society. *If, while governor, you staunchly advocate abstinence only, with no other option in sex education in your state's school system (while your unwed teen daughter ends up pregnant), you're very responsible.

If your wife is a Harvard graduate lawyer who gave up a position in a prestigious law firm to work for the betterment of her inner city community, then gave that up to raise a family, your family's values don't represent America's. *If your husband is nicknamed "First Dude", with at least one DUI conviction and no college education, who didn't register to vote until age 25 and once was a member of a group that advocated the secession of Alaska from the USA, your family is extremely admirable.

OK, much clearer now.

Please be smart when you vote this November.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Janis Ian, One Woman Show Coming to Broadway!

Thanks Dar..for taking this picture.

Well, it should be true for Janis Ian. (my cell phone picture of "Jan" and I). **see update at bottom of post.

Her show tonight at The Palms in Winters, CA was much more than a concert, and the place is so intimate.

She's written an autobiography (Society's Child) and she intertwined her songs with her stories. I was mesmerized..and so was Dave. It was a total spiritual experience...with laughter, tears, and pure joy! That gal can play the guitar and she still sings like she did at 17. Watch Gretchen Peters, who is a prolific and famous songwriter, opened the show..but it wasn't planned. She is playing at The Palms next Thursday. Watch I loved the fact that there were no drums. Janis needs to do an album where she just plays the she did last night. Maybe she has?

I am not religious...but I came away feeling like I'd just gone to church. The kind of "world church" I wish was out there. Now hear me, Janis didn't offer a religious message...but it was a life-changing one. It was so intense at times... that I had to hold myself into my front-row seat for fear of running down the hall and into the bathroom..where nobody would see me cry.

I will write more tomorrow...but if you can, go see her at Yoshi's in San Francisco. It's on her tour. Go with someone who knows you and cares about you. Not kidding. I am not a Janis Ian freak..but have always appreciated her music and lyrics.

I even stole a kiss on her cheek. She didn't seem to mind. More later............................I'll have pictures. (If I can figure out how to get them off of my cell phone. Also, a woman named Dar took pics and my email address and promised to send them to me. Janis knew her by Dar is either a groupie or an aquaintance). See her website for tour info. She is traveling around in a van...btw.

**Check out and search justdar. She has posted videos of Janis from Friday night. My favorite . right before she began singing that "cover song", she spoke about how in the past..the record industry always wanted her to sing other peoples songs. also..earlier in the evening she spoke about how, at 15, she wanted to be a Beatle.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

RIP Mom 9/19/1930 to 9/11/2001

It's hard to believe that it's been 7 years since her death.

As I have said often, mom loved to cook. She was a chef, in fact. She worked her way up to the position...Chef and Kitchen Manager of a large Hotel and Casino in Montana. Mom also remodeled her own house (knocked down walls, put up walls, roofed it), and she became a licensed reflexologist and nutritionalist. In later years she made her own wine.

Hell, when she was on oxygen full time, she put her machine at the back door and got enough tubing so that she could garden out back.

She could be a real pill..but we all can. I still miss her, very much. I got a Himalayan Pink Salt Plate as a gift..and I want to know what to do with the damned thing. Well, since I can't call her anymore, I guess I'll just google it. I thought about using it for a salt lick...put it at the bottom of the bed or something.

I know she'd be voting for Obama!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Vote for Human Rights-2008

Well, Dave and I talked politics tonight. He has always voted Republican. Ugh. We agree on important issues; gay marriage should be legal, we are pro-choice, and we are pro women's general. He and I are soooo sick of the "religious fanatics" having a stronghold on politics in this country. So I asked him, "why in the hell would you vote for John McCain?"

His answer? Because, historically, democrats eat my tax breaks. I ask, "are you, or your parents, so rich that you fall within the tax breaks the Republicans offer?" No. Not at all. They give tax breaks to the very, very rich. Go figure.

So, what is the reason you would vote for McCain...and don't you even tell me it is because of that "Caribou Barbie" chick!! Lipstick on pit bulls...or on pigs. No matter. She is NOT a vote for women's rights; which men and women alike should care about

Dave had to agree...he has no damned reason to vote for McCain...even with the "Caribou Barbie" VP.... who'd rather shoot a women's rights activist before listening to one. for Obama..if you care about human rights at all. I am hoping my husband will vote for Obama..behind the curtain.. in the private voting booth.

(note: I first heard the term "Caribou Barbie" over at )

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Prime Minister of Thailand "Fired" Due to His Cooking Show

Watch this...and you'll see why! If it had been a good show, he might still be in office.

I wish we, the people, had the power to fire one of the food network stars and replace her with Rena Ray, her sis. Check it out here:

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Braised Beef....on the cheap

Braised beef, carrots, celery, kale, onions, and potatoes

My favorite part? Carrots and kale. No kidding.
Raley's had London Broil on sale for $2.97 per lb. For $7.50 we got the "roast". I figured the other ingredients for the dish cost about $4.00. So, we both had a fabulous dinner for about $11.50. I still have enough to make a great beef/veggie soup with orzo. I can give that to my in-laws. So, I feed 4 for that much.
With London Broil, be sure to braise for at least 3 was fork tender and a breeze to make a "one pot meal" of. I seared both sides of the beef a dutch oven. I added some salt and pepper before that..and then some beef stock, onions, and celery. I waited until the last 30 minutes to add the other ingredients...and some chopped garlic...oh, and a can of whole, peeled tomatoes and a dash of apple cider.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Restoring honor and dignity to the White House. Huh?

Republican delegates asking for more coffee and donuts...please.
I didn't know there were gay republicans.
No, really. You'll fit in just fine with our family.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Janis Ian...dontcha think I'm sexy?

I know...I look like a troll. Where are the billy goats?
I have three oozing pimples on my chin, open cracks on both sides of my mouth, and eye-styes. This CPAP mask is doing wonders for me! No snoring... but I look like this every morning. Sweet! If I can keep the infection out, I may live to be 70!

Oh, and one more appealing image...I got stung by a bee..on the left side of my neck when I was in Susanville. I am allergic to bee stings. Luckily, we got some benadryl in me right away. The bad looks like I have a bee hive growing under my jawline.

I won't talk about food today. Ewwww.

Good News: I finally get to see Janis Ian next Friday night...$25. per ticket. Wow.

We are going to see Janis Ian at The Palms in Winters Sept. 12th. Perhaps we'll have dinner in town prior to her show. I just Love her music. I bet she'll notice me right away. :) Inteview here and singing here and a tribute here and the Japanese version here

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The Visit to Prison

The drive to Susanville was least hwy 32 was. I wanted to stop and go fishing!!

When we rolled into town, about 4:30 pm on Friday, we checked into a very nice motel which was right next to the road to CCC. We decided to drive out to the prison, just to make sure we knew how to get there, find friendship house, etc. We had a really lovely dinner at the The Sage Hen Restaurant next to our motel. The chef, Serge Marchale, grew up in France. He ended up in Susanville because he fell in love with a woman from there. The food was delicious. They get their beef from the same purveyor as Taylor's Market and The Waterboy....5 Dot!

So, per my previous post, we felt we were dressed for success and ready. We get to "The friendship house" at 7:45 and we are already #'s 56 and 57. The house is run off of a grant that these older ladies got to help families of order to make visiting not "so harsh". Well, we had to change our pants. :) No denims of any kind allowed..doesn't matter what type of shirt you have on (unless it is white, deemed too low, too short, has the wrong straps, is blue or red, or if the guards can see your bra or (hard) nipples through it). Thankfully, the ladies have quite the array of clothing options! Dave ended up in a pair of old man pants that were too short, and I ended up in a pair of too short aqua colored sweats. At the last minute, they ladies suggested I change my shirt as well...because if the guards tried super hard, they might see into the side of my shirt. Trust me, it was not low at all. So, I changed into a much too large black t-shirt. I looked lovely with my black loafers on. Okay, so we got our passes and after 90 minutes, we were escorted 50 feet to the guard shack where they process you and we went through the metal detector. They sent 4 women back to the house to change their shirts and one her pants. I thought it was ridiculous, but I am glad I took the advice of the ladies over there and changed.

A van then comes and takes us (12 at a time) to the different "yards". We got off first...which was about 1/2 block from the guard shack. We go in and sign in again, they look at our stamps under a black lite, then we are escorted into the visiting room...which is about as big as our house...and is already packed! We found a table...with 3 chairs..and we had to face the guards who sit at a desk up front..on a pedestal. Kinda like you are in church...but not. It is now 9:40 a.m. I go up and nicely ask the lady guard when we might see it is now 10:30 a.m. She says there was a scuffle in one of the yards so if they lock down, everyone's visit will be cut off. At 11:00 a.m., they opened the big door which led out to a grassy patio area with picnic tables and concrete tables. I ran like hell and grabbed one in the shade. First come, first served. The guard sits up high in a lifeguard chair with an umbrella.

Dave and I played Yahtzee for a bit..and then we saw Jer standing at the door looking for us. He was very happy to see us, as we were to see him. He was in very good spirits, happy for the visit. He did look like a refugee. He had on a pair of size 36 worn out denim pants (he wears a 30) and a shirt about 2 sizes too big. We played Yahtzee, talked, had a fairly decent lunch out of the vending machines...and even had ice cream. The guards keep a very close eye on everyone. Only on person at a time into the bathroom..which is locked and you get the key from the guards. It gets hairy when there are over 150 visitors!

Jer and I were up at the pop machine (inmates cannot use the machines..only visitors) and one family member asked if I was staying to visit on Sunday and it was the labor day weekend. I said, "hell no". Jer laughed but that visitor looked at me like I was heartless. "Look, when my son made the decision to break the law again, and return to prison (DUI), we told him we were not going to do the time with him. We will be supportive in a useful way, visit when we can and feel like doing so, and will write. That's it. We'd much rather he stay out of prison and visit us at home." Jer agreed and we walked off..leaving this woman looking horrified. I could get into how I know the parole system is nothing more than a set up for failure....but I won't. You best be almost damned near perfect to make it off parole....and that's the truth. Most inmates are back in prison on parole violations...and that doesn't necessarily mean that they "re-offended". Case in point.

We had to leave at in line, said our goodbyes...they put the prisoners on the other side of the room. We get outside and have to wait and wait for vans. We can see our car...but we must be driven the 1/2 block away. We change our clothes, hug the ladies at the house and make a donation, and get the hell out of dodge.

We met some very nice families. One man and his wife have been going to see their son for 8 years. They live in Redding...he's an Engineer and she was a school teacher for 30 years. Lots of families like that. One lady, who had to change her pants, had driven up the night before from LA. She looked fine to me, but she came back to the guard shack after changing..almost in tears..."look sissy, I am wearing baggy polyester pink pants!" Her sis couldn't help but laugh...and so did we. I told her to have a gander at me..and we all laughed again. She said they had a garage sale in order to have the money to make the trip and stay in a fleabag motel for two nights...and they have those in Susanville.

Too bad there isn't a "Ronald McDonald" type house for those who have to make such a long journey. But, most people wouldn't care. Most people think the families of inmates are just as low as the inmates themselves when in reality, they are people just like you and are a good share of the inmates.