(Please DON'T sit in his lap!!!)
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Have you ever noticed that many of the things we feel passionate about in life often have roots in our childhood? Fudge is one of those things for me, and for my brother. We'd listen endlessly to my mother talk about the great fudge her mother, my Nana, made. Fudge even became my aunt's favorite food, though she manages to pace herself and still has a gorgeous figure. Since my mother is not a cook, she'd stop at almost any place that made fudge to see if she could recreate that experience from her own childhood.
But my siblings and I all love to cook. So every year at Christmas, my brother and I make pounds and pounds of fudge, giving most of it away. We've researched the recipes, tried dozens, and always come back to the recipe that's on the back of the Kraft Jet Puff Marshmallow (pictured). It's simple, and I've never, ever had a failure in all the years I've made this. The photo above includes the Santas I blogged about earlier in the week, and the first pieces of the creamy heaven from this morning.
And here's the recipe in case you can't find Kraft Jet Puff Marshmallow:
3 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter or margarine (or 1-1/2 sticks)
1 small can (5 oz) evaporated milk (2/3 cup)
1-1/2 pkg. (12 squares) BAKER’s semi-sweet baking chocolate, chopped (I ALWAYS use a 12 oz bag of Ghiradelli Bittersweet Chocolate chips instead)
1 jar(7 oz) JET PUFFED marshmallow creme
1 cup chopped walnuts (I like Pecans)
1 tsp vanilla
Heat sugar, butter and evaporated milk to full rolling boil in 3 quart heavy saucepan on medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil on medium heat until candy thermometer reaches 234 degrees F, stirring constantly to prevent scorching, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat.
Stir in chocolate and marshmallow creme until melted; stir in vanilla and walnuts.
Spread immediately in foil-lined 9 inch square pan. Cool at room temperature at least 4 hours; cut into 1 inch squares. Store in airtight container.
Makes 3 lbs. or 40 2 square servings
Monday, December 21, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
The American Santa:
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
I have been watching a Teaching Company course on the Louvre. The professor, Dr. Richard Brettell, gives practical advice on how to get more out of your museum visits. One of the things he encourages people to do is to choose a painting in a museum as your own, the painting you will always come back and visit each trip to see if you notice anything new, or if you feel differently about it.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Geez, I hate giving out writing tips. I don't mind reading them, but I feel a bit pretentious giving them out, as if I know what I am talking about. But this time I actually do know, and this one is too yummy to keep to myself.
So this is me, getting ready to write: I grab my pad of extra-heavy paper, the kind that doesn't allow the ink from any one of my three sacred fountain pens to leak through.
Then I call up a friend, because I like writing on a team, and I've got one terrific team mate in the form of Biker Chick. She's inspiring, the way she blasts away at the poor laptop without even stopping to breathe. I have to sneak a peek over at her now and again to make sure she's not turned blue, and then at her keyboard, because I expect to see it bloodied or bruised, especially the space bar.
Sometimes we write at coffee shops; sometimes we stay at home, which could be boring except that we know how to spice it up. You see, we always make a small dish of Weird Ass Trail Mix, which was borne of leftover Halloween candy that was no longer appealing. The mix consists of whatever you've got hanging, like cashews, Lime and Chili Almonds, Good and Plenty, Sugar Babies, Reese's Pieces, Milk Duds, Junior Mints, and even some old chocolate chips that have been "curing" (a bonafide Julia Child term) in the fridge too long.
This particular combo is quite conducive to writing Sci-Fi**. Are you clueless as to how you're going to write that scene where your human main character has sex with an alien to save the Universe? You know you gotta throw out all your preconceptions to get that one figured out. And then it hits you:
Go ahead, Try this at home.
Monday, December 7, 2009
She always has happy dreams afterwards.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Here's a closeup of the first hat, knit in the round on double-pointed needles:
The top of the hat:
The second hat took longer to make, as it features a slip-stitch pattern. Even though it is the same yarn, the pattern makes the hat feel thicker:
I love the crown of the hat, which shapes itself into a hexagon simply from decreasing:
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
The other day I opened my post office box and found the latest Victoria's Secret Christmas Catalog. As I began looking through it, I wondered how my ordering something from this catalog is a way of celebrating Baby Jesus' birthday. I thought about it some more. If placing an order will deepen my spirituality, why didn't I get a Vicki's catalog for Yom Kippur? Nor did I receive one to help me celebrate the birth of Buddha on April 30. How about you?