Tuesday, February 20, 2018

An Olympic Re-Post

Several bloggers have been talking about the Olympics and I said I couldn't remember the last time I watched them.  Then I remembered that I might have blogged about them.  I found this post from 2012 when I was watching the summer Olympics.  Here is that old post:

July, 2012

I have been watching the 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony.  And watching and watching.  It has been many years since I actually sat down and watched a Parade of Nations.  When I was younger, I would not have missed a moment.

I have never been to an Olympic event.  The closest I ever got to one was to be in Melbourne, Australia when the flag went by in 2000.

But I did get to put on an Olympic Gold medal and I must say it was thrilling.  I worked with someone whose sister was an Olympic athlete, Sheila Taormina.  We did a fundraiser for her prior to the 2000 Olympics.  She brought along her 1996 Gold Medal and had me put it on for our photo.

Sheila and I

I am also wearing one of the t-shirts that were sold to raise money for the 2000 Olympics.  Pack-rat that I am I still have the t-shirt and will wear it tomorrow when I do my Olympic sport - cutting the grass. 

So, my best wishes to all the athletes as they compete over the next two weeks.  Win or lose, it has to be an incredible experience.

Monday, February 19, 2018

My take on Pizza

Detroit is a pizza town.  When I was very young, pizza was purchased at an Italian bakery or a local bowling alley.  And then Little Caesar's appeared.  You got Pizza-Pizza, two for one.  Later it was Domino's and then Hungry Howie's.  The owner of Hungry Howie's belonged to my parish (when I was still a church-goer) and one of my sons worked there while in college.  All are local companies.

I remember the opening of a Pizza Hut and Pizzeria Uno in the township - both long gone.  Dine in and carry-out, my boys will tell you that we ate a lot of pizza.

But I do enjoy making my own pizza for guests.  If I am making my barbecued chicken pizza, I make my own dough or buy it.  But when I make my white pizza, I purchase naan flatbread from a west Michigan bakery.

Pizza is relatively easy to make.  Pick your base, your sauce and your toppings.  I prefer red pepper, mushrooms, caramelized onions, and cheese - ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, asiago, or whatever might be in the fridge.

The pizza pictured above was actually one from my Blue Apron meals.  And here is another from BA, a calzone:

When I make my own at home, I prefer no red sauce and no meat.  Here is my recipe for roasted garlic bechamel...

1 head of garlic, just a small one of 2 inches or so
1 1/4 cups milk
1 tbsp flour - preferably cake flour if you have it
1 tbsp butter
1 ounce fine diced onions
Clarified butter, about 4 tbsp

Cut off the head of the garlic.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a little olive oil.  Wrap in foil and roast at 375F for about one hour.  Cool and squeeze garlic paste into small bowl.
Clarify the butter by warming and pouring off solids.  It does not need to be perfect.  Pour it over the onions and cook on the stove until onions soften.  Drain and set aside.
Make the roux by melting the tablespoon of butter and then whisking in the flour.  Cook for about one minute.  Scald the milk and then add to the roux while whisking, bring to a boil while whisking until smooth.  Lower the heat.  Add the onions and the garlic.  Simmer for 30 minutes.

Adjust to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg.  Strain out the solids.  Use on dough for pizza.

Recipe can be easily doubled, or even quadrupled. 

Any questions?

Sunday, February 18, 2018

40 Things You Never Wanted to Know about Me

When you get lazy about blogging, these questions are just the thing to fill the pages.  Thanks to Debbie over at The Doglady's Den for providing the questions to me.

1.  Do you like blue cheese?
Yes.  I especially like gorgonzola.  Best burger has gorgonzola and caramelized onions.  And I have a great recipe for pasta with gorgonzola and walnuts.   Now I'm hungry.

2.  Have you ever smoked cigarettes?
Never.  I hate the smell of them and will avoid being around smokers.

3.  Do you own a gun?
No.  But if I had one I would shoot deer.  And squirrels.  

4.  What flavour Kool-Aid?
Never liked the artificial taste

5.  Do you get nervous before a doctor's appointment?
6.  What do you think of hot dogs?
Well, despite reading an article that made me gag, I still like them, but only the pricey varieties that I think are made with real meat.  That being said, I rarely eat them.

7.  What is your favourite movie?
Hard to pick just one.  I am guessing that the one movie I have seen more times than any other is Star Wars IV.  Then I've had my Lord of the Rings weekends.  Awhile back I binged on all the Harry Potter movies. 

8.  What do you prefer to drink in the morning?
Coffee.  And then more coffee.  And please, coffee snobs do not need to tell me I am not a real coffee drinker because I do not drink it black.  Who made up that rule anyway????

9.   Can you do a push-up?
'A' push-up.  Yes.  LOL.  We do mini-push-ups in yoga, though not my favorite.

10. What’s your favourite piece of jewelry?
My sapphire and diamond ring that I bought with an inherited IRA.  It always reminds me of my Dad, but I never wear it anymore.  A bit much for my current lifestyle.

11.  Do you have a favourite hobby?
Gardening in nice weather.  In the winter I read a lot.

12. Do you have A.D.D.?

13. Do you wear glasses?
I have monovision.  One eye sees distance, the other is for close-up stuff.  I used to wear glasses, but eventually was convinced by my doctor to learn to use my eyes as they are - one for distance and one for reading.  Several years ago I lost my mid-range ability, so I have glasses for grocery shopping so I do not have to put my nose up to the shelves.

14. Who was your childhood idol?
I was a huge fan of Elizabeth Taylor in the 50's.  I still think she was a great actress.

15. Name three thoughts you have right now.
Please don't let me catch whatever bug is going around.
Please don't let all this snow melt, then rain, then snow again, then melt....  in which case the yard will flood.  And of course, all the snow is just about melted and now another snowstorm is on the way.
Should I plan a big vacation for the fall?

16. Name three drinks you consume regularly.
Coffee.  Sparkling ice lemonade drinks.  Orange herbal tea.

17. Current worries
That the weather in Boston will be snowy when I  get there next month.

18. Current hates
Cold weather.  The idiots in charge in D.C.

19: Favourite place to be?
My family room
This is what it looked like before child-proofing 

20. How did you bring in the New Year?
With my eyes closed, sound asleep in my bed.

21. Where would you like to go?
Canadian Rockies or Scotland

22. Name three people who will do this
No idea

23. Do you own slippers?
Several pairs.  We don't wear shoes in the house.  Mine are well-worn

24. What colour is your shirt?
Tan - at the moment

25. Do you like sleeping in satin sheets?

26. Can you whistle?

27. Where are you now?
In my family room originally, and then in my office to edit

28. Would you be a pirate?
For real?  I don't think so

29. Favourite candy?
Sander's dark chocolate sea salt caramels

30. Least favourite chore?
Sewing anything.  Buttons, rips... I hate it.  And ironing.  I hate that too.

31. Favourite food?
Pizza.  Especially when I make my own

32. What’s in your pocket?
No pockets, but if I do have one it is usually keys when I'm out and kleenex when I'm inside

33. Last thing that made you laugh?
My grandson when he says 'oopsie'

34. What’s your favourite animal?
Pet animal?  Dogs
Wild animal?  Any wild cat

35. What’s your worst injury?
A trimalleolar fracture of my leg.  Both lower bones and ankle completely trashed.  Fortunately, a great surgeon put it all back together with a steel plate and lots of screws - all of which I had removed a year later.

36. How many TVs in your house?
Two, but only one is ever used

37. Worst pain?
My first kidney stone.  It was 100 times worse than childbirth

38. Do you like to dance?
Yes, but can't recall the last time I did so.

39. Are your parents living?
No.  Father gone in 1980 and mother in 1991.

40. Do you enjoy camping?
Yes.  I was active in scouting as a girl and was active with my sons in scouting.  Loved camping out and even have my Boy Scout certification for camping.

Did any of these answers surprise you?
Will you write your own post about this?