Thursday, January 27, 2011

Mirrors, not for the faint at heart.

I just love my big, airy new bathroom with huge mirrors that bounce the sunlight around.   But after the shock I suffered today, I may rethink that.  After a nice, long, relaxing shower, I was oh, so warm, relaxed... opened the shower door, and... saw some weird person reflected in the mirror.   Who the heck is that dripping, water-pruned woman in my mirror, bug-eyed with shock, and looking for all the world like a half-inflated Macy's Thanksgiving parade balloon?  AARGH!  I'VE BECOME MY GRANDMOTHER!  

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Potato Cakes, Just Like Grandma Usta Make

Giddy with the success of my mashed potatoes the other day, I prepared to make potato cakes with my leftovers.  I am domestic woman, hear me roar!  Grandma was a resturant cook, it's in my genes.  So while my half  bacon grease- half butter flavored shortening melted on my griddle, I added 1 egg and a handfull of finely chopped onions to the cold mashed potatoes and stirred.  And here's where grandma started spinning in her grave.  It was thin.  Very thin.  Maybe what makes to-die-for mashed potatoes isn't necessarily best for potato cakes?  I dropped a spoonfull on the griddle anyway.  As it got hot, the potatoes spread.  And spread... ever tried to turn water with a spatula?  My first try went in the trash.  I could have used flour to thicken the mix, but I didn't want a flour taste.  Ah-Ha!  I threw open the cabinet door, grabbed out the box of instant potatoes, and added enough to make the mixture nice and stiff.  And guess what.. perfect potato cakes.  Golden brown and crispy without a bit of flour.  Grandma has stopped spinning, and yes, I am once more domestic woman... hear me roar.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What does snow mean to you?

It's snowing like crazy, but I'm home, nice and cozy.  Southwestern Ky. doesn't get a huge amount of snow, but when I think of it, I think of that icy, sweet, golden treat... snow cream!  Here's a good basic recipe:

1 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
scant 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg (optional, but thats what makes it golden, and super delicious)
large bowl of  clean snow (about 3 quarts)
Now, I know.. uncooked egg.  I say the egg is optional, but fact is, I've always eaten it that way.  For ... well.. let's say many years.  And it hasn't made me sick yet!  If you want that old fashioned taste without adding an egg, make it with eggnog.  Super rich, make it with sweetened, condensed milk, but cut down on the sugar. 

Mix all ingredients except snow together in a large bowl, until the sugar is disolved.  Then gently fold in the snow a little at a time, just moistening all the snow so it's light and fluffy.  No electric mixer, that melts the snow.  Then just hand everyone a big spoon. 
Oh.. one hazard.. BRAIN FREEZE!   

Potatoes through a ricer.

I have a new "old toy".  A ricer!  Never heard of a ricer?  Wait a minute, just how young are you?  Mashed potatoes made with a ricer is just a whole different food than ones made with an electric mixer.  You start by cutting up peeled potatoes, boiling, draining, and squashing them through the ricer.
And voila' .. you have mashed potatoes!  Not smooth textured, processed to death mashed potatoes, but fluffy ones with  tiny bits of potatoes throughout.  Last night, after I made them, they were so good, I started looking in the corners of the kitchen to see if grandma was somewhere, hovering in spirit form.  The best thing about it all... leftovers!  This morning I'm going to try potato cakes.   

Monday, January 24, 2011

I haven't changed since high school!

While walking through Wal Mart a few days ago, I heard my name called.    A lady asked, "Do you know who I am?"  I replied that I recognized her voice, but couldn't recall her face.  She replied, I'm Jane!  From high school.  You look exactly the way you used to!"

I could only conclude she was insane.  I could have sworn in high school I had a fairly trim figure, and dark, almost black hair.  Now I'm a little shorter, a little wider, and now I'm a "natural blonde".   I also don't recall those two deep vertical wrinkles between my eyebrows being in my graduation pictures.  Although .. I'm pretty sure everyone's photos were airbrushed.  Still, you'd think I would have noticed them.

Which leads me to a profound observation.  Ever noticed how "middle age" is roughly 10 years older that whatever age you are?  It was more believable 10 or 20 years ago.  I said it just the other day, and darn, now I'm going to have to live to be 120.