Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Resolutions? "Folly, folly, all folly!"

 Tell us how you really feel about New Year's Resolutions, Phyllis McGinley!

Phyllis McGinley: "I'm not sure anyone over forty should make a resolution."

Being over 40, or even 60 since 60 is evidently the new forty, I have no problem ignoring any desire to make New Year's Resolutions. (Let's not even discuss what over 70 might be.)

Any further arguments against resolutions from the 1961 Pulitzer prize winning poet?

Phyllis McGinley:  We promise to deprive ourselves of the trivial comforts that may be all that stand between us and frenzy. Coffee, for instance, or that martini before dinner...

Folly, folly, all folly! Those promises might stand a chance of being kept in June, say, with the spirits burgeoning along with roses and summer barbecues. In spring, when the year really begins. But in winter, no.

 Applause, applause!!

No, I intend to spoil myself with every small comfort January 2021 will offer, although my comforts tend to run to fresh flowers and perfume and a good book rather than martinis. (Let's not talk about desserts here, either.)

I'm not about to turn down anyone else offering to spoil me, either.

No, siree, bring it on!

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Unfashionable Or Not

 I get it, Chex Mix is passé. But if we wave the sophistication of Bon Appetit magazine over it, someone out there must still be making it. When I saw my other favorite food magazine, The Local Palate, had a recipe for it last Christmas I decided to give it another try. 

So I combined the two recipes, leaving out ingredients I didn't care for--wasabi flavor green peas--or couldn't find in my local Publix--Terra Stix--and came up with a Chex mix that disappeared when set out in an old Mary Engelbreit tin for Christmas.

I searched in vain for a picture of it in that pretty tin to use here but did find this one I took as it came out of the oven.


And yes, that's Bugles (original flavor) in it, from the Bon Appetit recipe and the otherwise bland snack is a nice addition to the cereals. 

 Here's the link to Bon Appetit's recipe. 

And the link to The Local Palate's recipe.

In combining ingredients for my mix, I used:

Bugels, a mix of the Chex cereals, cashews, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, pretzel sticks, butter, garlic cloves, Dijon, worcestershire sauce, Paul Prudhumme's Blackened Redfish Magic Seasoning, dry mustard, paprika, and Crystal Hot Sauce.

We had never bought Crystal Hot Sauce before but became a quick convert to it over our regular. And definitely using the Bon Appetit direction to gently cook the garlic cloves in butter was a big flavor boost. And we followed their direction to cook at 250 degrees F, instead of 300. 

Since there probably won't be hordes of people in our homes snacking this Christmas, you may not need the recipes this year. And if you do, I imagine it will go in individual serving bags. Actually, that sounds so much nicer to me than hands dipping into a common bowl--even when you put a scoop in it.

With just the two of us here to eat it, I'll be skipping it unless RH begs for it.

But we can always dream of next year, even if Chex Mix is still passé then.






Saturday, December 5, 2020

A Frozen Fog Morning



I was up at first light this morning and was delighted to see that we had been visited by a rare frozen fog morning.

I didn't go outside and take pictures. I could barely get my dachshunds to go outside this cold morning. And they didn't stay out long.

These pictures were taken by our son on a late December visit with us in 2018 and I decided to use them now. I didn't even ask permission but I don't think he'll take me to court! 

They remind me so much of the ethereal gardens in the December issues of my beloved British shelter magazines. But then, Daniel's profession is centered in film and photography.


 Those UK gardens become a special wet frosty picture fest due to the maritime polar air mass that travels across the country from north to west, or so I found out one time when I tried to research exactly what it was that brought about the conditions perfect for such a sight.


 This picture Daniel took of our ornamental grass plumes on that frosty morning reminds me of the plumes on hats that women wore in the 1800s. 

RH took the picture below last January on a morning like this one. We don't have them often. We have bitter cold in winter but without the moist air it takes for pictures like this. We were visited with fat flakes of snow that fell all day long this week. It was a beautiful sight but the ground was too warm for much to accumulate.


 The older I get the more I love the beauty that weather conditions bring us. And I am so very thankful to live in a four season part of our country. 

It's good to have things to be thankful for, even in 2020.