Friday, January 28, 2011

Thursday Thirteen for January 27th

For my Thursday Thirteen I am going to head down memory lane and then skip back up remembering and reminiscing some of my favorite items of clothing from over the past several decades!

1) My Frye boots circa 1978. I could not believe I talked my Mom into getting them as my major Christmas present that year! I believe they were about $100 way back then! I loved those boots and wore them over jeans or under jeans. I wore them to death and had them resoled and then a hole popped out in one of the creases. Guess I was too hard on them! I ended up putting them in a Goodwill bin around 1990.

2) My reddish suede coat with the big fur collar also circa 1975. It was fabulous and warm! I wore that coat well into the 1980's when some ass made a remark about how 1970ish it looked! I stored it at my parents and the fur yellowed and then it was gone. I imagine Mom put it in some Goodwill bin for me. I certainly wish I had it now.

3) A friend of my parents gave Mom a cashmere coat that her husband had worn in the Navy. It was black and felt like butter. It was over sized but it did not matter. When you slipped that coat on it made you feel like a million dollars. My sister Omega stole it from my parents closet and claimed it as her own. I could have killed her. I imagine it is still in her closet. At least I hope so, that was the best coat ever.

4) In high school I found this polyester mini skirt with a matching top that had little seashell buttons all the way down the front. I ore this sexy outfit with a pair of ....

5).....Aigner white sandals with flat heels! I was working as a lifeguard and was so tan that summer. The sandals with the red flared mini was just too cute. Then, while riding around town, which was the only entertainment us kids had way back when, smoking cigarettes and trying to find someone to buy us beer a cigarette ash fell into my lap and OH NO! polyester! A major melt hole happened.

6) I was asked to a Valentine dance by one of the hottest guys in the Frat House! (no he did not come to the reunion last summer) so I had to get a killer dress. I found this maroon color midi wth long sleeves and an empire waste and terrific lines. I loved that dress and my good friend C.F. borrowed the dress to go to another Frat dance and I worried all night that she might elope and then I'd never get the dress back. I think it hung in my Mom's house until she gave it to charity.

7) The red velvet jacket! Lord have mercy. I wore that garment with everything. The elbows wore out and we patched them. The lining ripped in sections and hung by threads. It did not bother me one bit. But it did my mother. She made a lining for the jacket and "fixed it". It never hung quite right after that. Boo-hoo.

8) Sometime in the 90's baby doll dresses became in style. I had one that I wore with black tights and cowboy boots. I thought I looked real gooooooooood. lol.

9) When Omega got engaged all her bridesmaids were to wear black. I was in charge of the guest book and required to wear black also. I found this beautiful short black cocktail dress at Shillito's that had a gossamer black mesh finish over the skit and a black net top over a plunging neckline and short selves. It was beautiful and all night long I was complimented on the dress. I still have it, and I need to loose 20 pounds to fit back into it. But it is a classic and gorgeous.

10) I found a black linen wrap around skirt in the mid 1990's that I have worn to death! It went with everything and was kind of on the short side. People took to calling me "Legs" as the Beverage Company. With a pair of heels and black stockings - man, I could turn heads!

11) I am the Queen of recycling and spend a lot of time going through all the consigned clothing in this great little shop in Lex called Sassy Fox. I have scored mucho lotso good things there including a long black overcoat with a removable lining. It was sized a petite and since I am about 5-5 it fit very well all except for the arms. But as luck would have it the cuffs would roll down. I wore that coat during the fall and spring seasons while living in Ft. Wayne and once while visiting a new account I brushed up against a wall they were painting! Horrors! The bottom hem was totally compromised. That was several years ago and I found I could not part with the fabulous coat. Once again a classic design and flowing lines. One feels like the heroine in a vintage 1940's black and white movie while crossing a street with the coat fluttering in the breeze. I took a black marker to see if I could color over the white paint! It worked! I am back in business.

12) There is this little old Flea Market in Bowling Green that I frequent several times a year. I go for the honey that is sold there and for the handbag man in the back area of the last section before the antiques. Why should one pay several hundred dollars (and more!) for a name brand handbag when you can get a perfectly good knock off for $35? And they are excellent knock offs. Makes one wonder if they might just be rejected Real Deal or stolen Real Deal. I found this rosy pink JimmyChoo knock off that I will use this spring - again. This will be the third spring I have used this jumbo size fit everything but the kitchen sink bag. I love it!

13) Last is the pair of skinny pants I found at TJ Maxx that fits like a glove but is so comfortable that I can wear them everyday if I am not careful! With my Walmart Ugg knock offs I am the epitome of fashion!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Confessions of a Cook Book Junkie part II

Thursday Thirteen, I love 'ya.

I am cook book obsessed. I can not stop collecting them! Even if I never use them (Nigella Fresh). I never buy them new but score them at used book stores, yard sales, flea markets, given to me, and once in an abandoned barn. That one is my favorite and my main go to when I must find out how to do something. So, these are 13 of my random favorite book books .

1) Recipes from the Trustees House Daily Fare - We Make You Kindly Welcome! With a name like that it better be good. This is the thin little cook book that could that I wrote about yesterday from Shakertown, as us locals call Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill. Filled with the most simple basic food stuff that is out of this world. Of course they have the advantage of growing most the vegetables on the land outside the Side Porch Dining Room! Some additional favorites are the Peanut Butter cookies (I can make these in my sleep! They are so good and so easy) and candied baby carrots.

2) The Complete Book of Oriental Cooking by Myra Waldo. I bought this cookbook when I was playing house a long long time ago. I had no idea how to cook but I knew I loved Chinese food. This is one of those little paperbacks that cost $1.75. That is how long ago and how old this little beauty truly is. I have made the fried rice recipe forever since discovering it among the different ethnic culinary chapters. When Bridget was a child and would bring home her school age friends they would beg me to whip this up for them! Imagine that!

3) What's Cooking In Kentucky - This is one of those spiral cookbooks that is put out yearly by the Ladies in the "group". Be it a church or a Junior League, the pages are filled with family secret recipes by Mrs. Ralph Moonglow (I'm richer than you) and Miss Edwina Cooter (old maid) and many other ladies who's identities are always attached to their husband or lack of one. This particular book was given to me by the family of a guy I was dating way back when. I will be the first to admit I knew nothing about cooking. My Mom was a scholar not interested in spending much time in the kitchen. Her culinary skills were limited to the Home Economics class she took during the 1940's. I have an idea she struggled with that elective. I used the banana bread recipe in this book for years and years. It took a long time to find a better one.

4) To Market To Market - The Junior League of Owensboro, Ky Inc. I love the graphics of this cook book! I can't remember if I have actually used a recipe from this collection of family favorites, but I always enjoy the looking at the little piggies.

5) The Green Thumb Preserving Guide - Another jewel from the 1970's when I dove head first into teaching myself how to cook. For some reason I fancied myself as some sort of live off the land hippie back then. I really thought I would grow a garden and can my own food. What a joke! But the book is jam packed with marvelous recipes.

6) Union Square Cafe Cook Book - I believe I found this book on the shelves of the Goodwill on Ft. Campbell Blvd. I was lucky to nab this fantastic culinary masterpiece! The Ribollia Soup??? To die for! I made it, after spending about $100 on the ingredients, because everything was required to be FRESH, and almost ate the entire huge pot at one sitting! Joe even said "Hmmmm pretty good."

7) Keep it Simple - Ruth Brent 1972. Another Goodwill find that I picked up because I could not resist the picture of Ms. Brent and her beehive hair do on the back cover.

8) Farm Journal County Cookbook - The banana bread in this book is made with a cup of crushed up bran flakes. OMG. It was so delicious and dark that it blew my mind.

9) Our Daily Bread - Stella Standard - I taught myself how to make pancakes from this cook book along with yet another banana bread recipe! The cinnamon yeast rolls I tried for the first time, once again this is a 1970's attempt at domesticating myself, were good. I have never been successful at getting dough to rise. This is a common topic of conversation I have with anyone who tells me they bake bread. Even my BIL is good at making dough rise! Putting a pan of hot water in the oven under the bowl. I suck at this.

10) The Whole Earth Cook Book - I have a large collection from the 1970's - lol.

11) Farmhouse Cook Book - Susan Herman Loomis - This is one of those floppy big paper backs that has a primitive American painting theme on the front cover. I am a sucker for this type of marketing ploy. This lady traveled the US in search of the best family farm recipes. She found them by pulling up at some town square rolling down the window and asking those old codgers sitting on the Court House benches "who is the best cook in town?". It's a wonderful cook book filled with scrumptious ingredients and mouth watering concoctions. Some of my fav's have been the Herbed Summer Veggies - who knew a mess of fresh vegetables all mixed up together could be THE BOMB. Oh yea, fresh scrape off the cob corn put it over the top. Winner winner chicken dinner. And the granola recipe? Oh baby.

12) Lunch Upon a Time - Simple favorites from the Strawberry Patch. The Strawberry Patch was a restaurant once upon a time in fair Louisville. This little bitty home made book with its red cover and green binding complete with staples has a simple but satisfying Hot Brown tutorial that no one can mess up. Not even me. We licked the plates if I remember correctly. Then I could do it from memory!

13) Prudence Penny -Binding of the American Woman Cook Book San Francisco -
This is the Mac Daddy of my collection. This is the one that I found in an abandoned barn on a piece of property we were renting long ago in a far away land in another life time. Everything I have actually learned about cooking and preparing meals is in this book, spelled out for the dumbest of the culinary challenged. Want to know how to cook corn on the cob? It's in there. Want to know how to chop up a whole chicken? It's in there? The perfect pie crust? It's in there. This cook book even takes the time to tell you the do's and dont's, the why's and why not' other words, you will have to remove this old green cracked and aged 1954 cook book out of my clenched hands if you ever try to even borrow it! It's my TOP SECRET to success as a cook. Some may argue that point, some may not. That is if they know what's good for them.

Thank you Thursday 13 for anther hour whiled away and pleasantly happy doing so.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Confessions of a Cook Book Junkie

The first cookbook I ever owned was given to me by my Mama as a Christmas present. She inscribed it with this cheery note, "To remember your summer at Pleasant Hill Shaker Village." I came across the stained and dog eared book while cleaning the book case that houses my collection of a 1001 such books. But this one is special. This one is filled not only with delicious simple Shaker fare but also with those memories of 30 years ago.

I was fresh from my first year at college and for the summer waited tables at the Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill. I not only served the simple Shaker culinary delights, I dressed as a Shaker. A long yellow gingham dress with a white apron with the cutest little white bonnet perched upon the top of my head. The servers and bus boys and kitchen staff were mostly young high school and college age kids from around the area. We were a motley crew underneath our Shaker camouflage. We were practically living history for the many tourist that found the Village, somewhere south west of Lexington, over the river and up beyond the Palisades of the muddy Kentucky sitting on some of the most fertile ground in the bluegrass. The Shakers sought out a solitary place way back in the 1800's, far away from the maddening crowd. They tried to live their philosophy without interference from the outside world, but the world did knock on their door many times most notably during the civil war.

We cared nothing about that, dressed in our 1800 outfits. Their politics (pacifists) and their religious views(celibacy) meant nothing to us. We just wanted our pay checks and our free food!

That was the summer I gained five pounds.

Why? The food was marvelous. And it was abundant! We had many tasks to take up the lull time between lunch and dinner. One of my favorites was making the butter balls. This required the use of two paddles that formed the yellow delicacies as you massaged the wad of vein clogging wonderfulness into perfect tiny balls which you flipped into ice water to await the moment they were slung on a bread plate for human consumption.

Another task was to cut, as thinly as possible, lemons, rinds and all, for the coveted Lemon Pie (pg.18) which was so frequently ordered that we would run out to every ones disappointment because all we had left was Chess pie.(page 360) "What's that?" "Well, it's like pecan pie only without pecans."

The corn bread, baked in tiny heavy iron molds to resemble an ear of corn, were exquisite. I ate a lot of those with the rejected butter balls.

The baked eggplant (page 47) was the first time I ever allowed that strange looking vegetable to enter my mouth. My mother and eggplant!! Get out of here! But once I tasted the Shaker version, I could not get enough.

Squash casserole? Well I never knew sunshine could be eaten! (page 48).

Every time I see the small cookbook with the torn corner it brings back all these sights and sounds, aroma's and the tastes. It transports me back to a time when I was so young that I could fit in the dumb waiter and take a ride to the basement.

I wonder if any of the Shakers did that?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Congratulations to Sunday Scribbling on their 250th post!

This Sunday's Scribbling is titled Invisible

I picked up the telephone and silently cursed the Operations Secretary for taking some time off. Granted it was some much needed time off, but in our small four person office the job of filling in lands right here.

"May I help you?" I ask after identifying myself to the caller.

"I want to file a complaint!" the high pitched whiny voice began, "I am watching TV and these Victoria Secret commercials are disgusting!"

"Oh brother" I think to myself, "A crazy person!"

"Well I think you are calling the wrong place. Perhaps you should be calling the television station and voice your concerns"

"No" he/she began screaming, "I want to talk to YOU about this garbage they are showing on the television so that any person can see!"

At this point, I had no idea if this was a man or a woman. The pitch of his/her voice was becoming higher and higher as he/she truly began to get into their rage about Victoria Secret. I did not know how to address the caller, so I just blurted out, "Mam or Sir, with the way you are yelling at me I can not distinguish which one, you can change the channel you know".

This really set him/her off some more.

"I want to speak to someone at Victoria Secret! Connect me to the store right away! This is disgusting filth and we all need to stand up and revolt against this depravity that is shoved down our throats day after day! Someone has to be held accountable for this pornography being flaunted in our face day after day! It's an out range and I going tell them just how I feel about half naked woman walking around my living room!"

"Sir! sir, you must calm down, if you call the television station carrying on like this they will think you are a NUT CASE!"

"Just give me the number to Victoria Secret if you won't connect me, I'm going to tell them a thing or two".

I just took the 50-50 guess this was a man. "Sir, I will not give you the number. The people working there are just trying to earn a living. They are not trying to corrupt our society!"

"You go to hell" and they hung up.

Good Lord. Being on the other end of a telephone gives you a certain bravado and courage to be a total Loony Tune if you do not have to face, or make eye contact with the person you are trying to intimidate with harsh impactful forceful rhetoric.

But actually you are just a whiny invisible person attached to a whiny invisible voice buzzing around my ear like a pesky gnat. I wish I could slap you.

Being invisible gives people an extra dose of courage and outrage.