Found some folks who: A. are under 65. B. are oblivious to COVID-19. C. don’t catch me stacking the deck. D. resent the use of the word ‘kitty’. E. prefer the phrase ‘poker paws’ to ‘poker hands’. F. don’t notice their winnings have vanished after my hourly ‘Squirrel!’ call.
Sweet potato bread pudding, to be specific, inspired by an episode of George Hirsch Lifestyle
I had leftover monkey bread/pull apart from a local bakery–the parts lacking anything resembling sweet, syrupy, or nutty [i.e. the dry stuff that should have been drenched, but wasn’t. Okay, so I’m a hard-nose when it comes to unhealthy, but oh-so-good pastries.]
And I figured it would be a great springboard for a bread pudding.
Anyway, I steamed the sweet potatoes and worked in plenty of vanilla, cinnamon, and brown sugar. The resulting mash sat peacefully in the fridge for a couple of days and this morning mixed well with the sweetened custard, then the bread, chopped pecans, and rehydrated cranberries.
I can’t seem to track down the exact recipe, sorry. So, bakers, just mix it all together and keep an eye on it. At 350 degrees, the pudding–about 2.5 inches high– took about 70 minutes–foil-covered for the first 40 minutes, then crisping up the rest of the time.
L. convinced me that the sweet potatoes made this a health food. Worked for me.
1. Yep, I’m all for health and safety precautions in these Covid-19 times, but a news article reminded readers of the health risks of face-fondling and offered some solutions.
Another solution…masks. And really, wouldn’t it make life more interesting?
2. As for the article itself, nowadays, it’s not all that easy to find a straightforward objective just the facts, ma’am’ article. Everything has morphed into ‘commentary’, ‘analysis’, or ‘opinion’. Gggaaaaaahhhhh! Just give us information! [and without the ‘Breaking news!’ notices…]
3. Please don’t make me compare ‘apples’ to ‘oranges’. It’s just not fair to either one.
4. Used car prices…insane. You expect me to match your price for that unsafe-at-any-speed death trap with mushy brakes and a not-as–serpentine-as-it-should-be belt? I’ll show you*…right this minute I can saunter into a showroom and pick up a new model, complete with the dozen soon-to-be-released-at-inconvenient-intervals recall notices.
5. We can put a man on the moon, but most veterinarians still prescribe those insane, post-surgery e-collars. The poor dog is probably groggy and waaay unsettled and the technician snaps that opaque inverted dome around the patient’s head. Yep, real vet training would include putting students inside one of those for a day and expect them to follow through on daily tasks–yes, all daily tasks–and then sleep through the night.
6. And those dumb hypersensitive Chromebook/laptop track pads? One brush of my lithe and slender pinky knuckle and, unbeknownst** to me, the cursor wanders off to some obscure location in my latest masterpiece. At least with handwritten work, there is no roving cursor to track down. And if there is, well, I have bigger problems.
* Who is ‘you’, anyways?
** Hey, when I use the word ‘unbeknownst’, you know I’m fired up!
Such as, from the nation of Georgia, shemomedjamo–the inability to stop eating a food item or meal. Usage: He reached for the unopened bag of kettle corn, knowing full well that shemomedjamo was inevitable.
Or, from Ghana, pelinti–to move hot food around in your mouth. Usage: Viewers were subjected to a full minute of pelinti when Guy Fieri chose to dive right into the queso that came straight from the oven.
I dare you…weave a few of these gems into a conversation this week.
Do you listen to music when you write, or do you prefer silence, or something else on in the background?
“…70 percent of the time I will listen to music with headphones so it’s right up in my ear. I will usually make one or two playlists for a book and I will listen to the same playlist over and over and over again…if I find a playlist that I kicked into a flow state with really early on in my process and was very successful I will keep using it because it will keep driving that flow.”
When you’re staring at the screen at 4:00 AM, do you just start clicking away? What’s going through your head at that initial moment?
“Even if the day before was a terrible writing day, I am so fired up to go at it again. I can be an absolutely miserable writer sometimes, but I wake up every day so fired up to do this.”
And finally, to put me to shame with all my finger pointing…
“When I wrote West of Jesus I had spent three years in bed with Lyme disease and I needed to tell that story to open the book, but I thought, ‘I spent three years in bed with Lyme but who cares? Compared to getting cancer or losing a limb, so what?’”
What’s your favorite music to carry you through your writing sessions?
“If you get stuck, get away from your desk. Take a walk, take a bath, go to sleep,
, draw, listen to music, meditate, exercise; whatever you do, don’t just stick there scowling at the problem. But don’t make telephone calls or go to a party; if you do, other people’s words will pour in where your lost words should be. Open a gap for them, create a space. Be patient.” [The Guardian, 25 February 2010]
One small segment of her message seemed to resonate…
I repeat…all her fault.
And I blame Trader Joe’s who is selling organic strawberries for $2.50 a pound. Let’s face it, most of those gorgeous ones in the supermarket have very little flavor and considering they are one of the dirty dozen, well, that doesn’t help in the ‘appeal’ category.
I wonder if the result is better if I sprinkled the za’atar in warmed olive oil to allow the seasonings to bloom…Worth trying the next time out. I know readers are riveted.
By the way, my favorite popcorn maker is this easy-to-clean Likue [sounds Hawaiian, doesn’t it?] brand of microwave popper. [BTW: Not an affiliate link.] Drop in the butter [I use olive oil.] and about a quarter cup of popcorn. My microwave’s ideal settings are: Two minutes on high. I don’t use the ‘popcorn’ setting. Bit of advice: Start tuning in at about the 1:50 mark. If corn is still popping at faster than ‘pop per one second’, let’er run. If the pops are less frequent ‘shut’er down’. [Geez, that whole rural twangy terminology gives me such a rush.]
Answer me this: Why in the name of Arnold Palmer do I even listen to the Dennis Silvers’ Golf Minute? Maybe I’m just a captive audience between segments of other stuff, but really, what part of ‘positioning your club face’ keeps me listening? I haven’t picked up a club in over 40 years. Note: I’m still haunted by a psyche-scarring event when I was 11 years old. I scuffed a drive over to an adjacent putting green and it found a woman’s left calf. She was writhing in agony. I guess I too have been writhing ever since. [Pssst…probably not. Small comfort>>My ill-targeted shot bounced at least five times before making contact. Still, it does cross my mind whenever I revisit the idea of my hitting the links.] Okay, confession is over. Not sure if my penance has ended, however…I guess St. Peter will let me know…assuming I’m sent to the ‘escalator-up’ line.
And yes…now you’re all wondering…what about our post-mortem transport mode? If we’re directed toward an up-escalator, is that sometimes painfully deliberate climb the equivalent of ‘purgatory’? As opposed to a high speed ‘blink-and-you’re-there’ up-elevator? And is there music involved? And is TSA involved at any point in our journey? Gotta tell ya, if I’m issued one of those flowing robes, I’m not cottoning to any security frisk.