Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy Friggin' New Year!

Okay, I've been down-for-the-count for the past week and a half with - what started out as - a *really* annoying head-cold, but has now morphed into "The Black Death" (I swear!!!).

Hubbie's been down with it, as well. So we are planning a regular Rockin' Party of a New Year's Eve. That is, if you call clutching a box of Kleenex and snarfing down glassfuls of Alka-Seltzer Severe Cold & Flu Medicine a "Rockin' Party!"

And - Just For The Record: It is a VERY BAD THING when Hubs and I are sick simultaneously. Very-Very-Bad, indeed. In fact, I may be driven to create a new - anonymous - blog where I can rant to my heart's content (Hubs knows of this blog, so I cannot "share freely" here!).

Reader's Digest Version of "The Rant Du Jour" is that Hubs and I have very different ways of dealing with illness. Generally speaking, I prefer to hole-up in the guest room, buried in several layers of feather-beds and down-comforters. I tune the TV to something mindless (used to be HGTV, now I'm more into American-Pickers, Storage Wars and Pawn Stars re-runs). I keep a box of Kleenex handy, and a trash-can (raised out of the dogs' reach - otherwise: Ick!). And I take slugs of Ny-Quil 'til I'm damn-near comatose.

Pretty much: My approach is to TRY to hole-up in a corner someplace and sleep-it-off 'til it goes away. And I try to MINIMIZE INTERACTION with all other sentient beings...

Hubs, OTOH, wants EVERYONE (Okay, well, "Me") to know just how miserable he is. And, for the most part, he shuns any and all advice that I might offer (hence, I no longer offer advice). That would be okay, except that if I *don't* offer advice, he starts ASKING for advice so that he can, then, shun it.

"My head's all stuffed up and my ear feels plugged. What should I take?"


"Those space me out. I don't want to take antihistamines."

Repeat that conversation over-and-over-and-over again, inserting different medications/vitamins/homeopathic remedies/ad nauseum for each exchange...

There's more to that particular rant, but I'm gonna stop. Like I say, he reads my blog and I think I need an anonymous blog for that stuff... But suffice it to say, with ME being sick at the same time (and wanting nothing more than to hole-up in a corner and be left alone), it was kind of a Toxic Situation...

Add to that the fact that I am soooo plugged-up, I really can't lie down comfortably (without feeling like I'm about to drown in snot) ("You're welcome!"). Well, I've been forced to enter the "Communal Zone" because, quite honestly, the recliner is the only place where I can rest and breathe comfortably. And that, of course, means that I have to interact with the Spousal Unit (who is miserable and wants everyone to know it...). Yeah, it's been a really crappy coupla weeks!

It got so bad, I had to order groceries online, for delivery (we were running out of "essentials" - including Kleenex *and* TP - Eeek!!!). Yesterday, I desperately wanted to make a vat o' Chicken Soup and figured I'd run over to Lucky's to buy a hot rotisserie-chicken. I got as far as putting (semi) clean clothes on and scrawled out a list... But when I actually considered the EFFORT it would take to pick-up my purse and walk-out-to-the-car... (Oh Gawd - THEN face the MASSES at the grocery store... NNNOOOOOOO!!!!!)

Well, it was more than I could comprehend, so I went online to place an order thru Safeway. Unfortunately, I couldn't order Rotisserie Chicken online - but I did get spaghetti fixins'.

So, New Years Eve Dinner will be spaghetti with meat sauce (and the sauce includes a quart of my Frozen Squozen 'Maters!). Now, with my Smeller and Taster being broken, I have no clue how everything will taste - but Hubs can't smell/taste either so nobody can complain, right?

Unfortunately, Safeway did NOT have a couple of key items (heavy cream being the most important one - oh Gawd, can't drink coffee without heavy cream!) so I ended up having to run out to Lucky's anyway :::sigh::: (Me and the Entire Population of Suburban San Jose!). I got my cream *and* my rotisserie chicken. So chicken soup will be blorping in the crock-pot tomorrow!

And we did replenish the supply of Kleenex and TP, so we're good there. We even got a couple of Duraflame Cheese-Logs for the wood-stove. And Hubs *did* go to CVS earlier this week and loaded up on OTC Cold Medicines (I've developed a new-found love for Alka Seltzer!). So I think we're pretty-well "set" for tonight.

Man, this is a FAR CRY from New Years' Eves past... I don't even want to think about it ("Getting Old" and all that sh*t!!!). No, this is just a Super-Crappy Cold and sh*t happens, right???

Furthur (a Grateful Dead band) is playing the Civic Auditorium in SanFran tonight (we did do NYE at their show a few years back). They're broadcasting it on Sirius so Hubs has rigged it up to the stereo in the family room. I shall claim my space in the recliner, curl up in my Snuggie and attempt to stay awake 'til midnight!!!

PARTY ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(or "Kill Me Now!!!")

Hey - Maybe I'll wake up tomorrow and feel a jillion times better and it *will* be a Happy New Year! (Hope springs eternal!)

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Froliche Weinachten - German Recipes!

Okay, I'll try to minimize my usual "Blah-Blah-Blah" stuff for this post!

Let's just say that I've got a deep-down association with German Food = Christmas

And since, this year, due to travel/work schedules and catching (and *sharing*) a friggin' "Where's the #$%^ Kleenex?!" head-cold, we did NOT make our annual pilgrimage to Teske's Germania and Christmas-In-The-Park...

So this year's Christmas Feast was Deutsch!

Some recipes I had posted before... Others, not... But I figure I'll just recap 'em here with minimal commentary!

First Course: Austrian Gulaschsuppe (Goulash Soup). Evidently the Bavarians have absconded with this recipe, originally from Hungary, and put their own "spin" on it. DH discovered it while he was on a business trip in Munich and he raved about it. So I Googled it, found several recipes and smushed 'em together and ended up with this:

Austrian Gulaschsuppe (Goulash Soup)

This is (mostly) how the pictures looked when I found other recipes on the internet.
The soup that Hubbie ate was all pureed and thick, so that's how I prepared mine (see pic at the bottom). I think, next time I make it, I'll skip the "turn-it-into-shlop" step!


  • 3 bacon strips, diced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 small green pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2-3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2-2 lbs beef stew meat, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons sweet hungarian paprika
  • 2 tablespoons regular paprika
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • dash Splenda
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounce) stewed tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, optional
  • 1 more can of stewed tomatoes
  • 2 parsnips (toward the end of cooking - maybe the last 2 hours?). Peeled and cut into small chunks.
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of baby carrots (probably could have added them sooner)
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds in a bouquet garni (I wrapped 'em in a coffee filter, sealed with twine - and removed 'em after a couple of hours' worth of cooking),
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar


In a large kettle, cook bacon until almost crisp. Add green pepper, onion and garlic; cook until tender.

Add beef cubes and brown on all sides. Sprinkle with paprika, salt, pepper and sugar; stir and cook for 2 minutes. Pour into crockpot. Add tomatoes and broth.

Cover and cook on low 6 to 8 hours. About 1 hour before serving, add the potatoes. Puree with an immersion blender (if you desire - I'll skip that, next time) Garnish each serving with a dollop of sour cream if desired.

This is definitely a "Stick-to-your-ribs" hearty/winter-time kinda soup!

Warm German Potato Salad / German Style Scalloped Potatoes

(Lazy Crock-pot method)

I adapted this from several different recipes I found on the 'net


  • 8-10 slices of thick-cut bacon.
  • 1/2 chopped medium-sized fresh onion
  • 2 pkgs dried scalloped potatoes (I used 1 pkg of Sour Cream and Chives flavored, and one pkg of "Au Gratin" style)
  • 2 (+ 1/2) cups water (might wait to see if it needs more - it did!)
  • 1 can cream of celery soup (condensed)
  • 1 @ 5oz can evaporated milk
  • 4 (+2) Tbs white vinegar
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard (I just used plain ol' French's)
  • 1/2 tsp celery seed
  • 4 Tbs bacon grease
  • 4 (+2) tsp Splenda (or sugar, or whatever)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 c heavy whipping cream
  • 4 TBS Sour Cream


Fry up bacon and tamp grease out w/paper towels - reserve bacon grease. Chop onion and fry until light golden and limp (not crispy) - in the bacon grease. Dump the dried potato chunks into the crock pot, add the sauteed onions and bacon grease.

Mix the seasoning packet (that came w/the scalloped potatoes) w/2 cups water, dump that on top of the potatoes.

Add the can of crm of celery soup and evaporated milk. Add 4T vinegar, 4t Splenda, and mustard. Mix it in.

Crumble the bacon and add it in, along w/bacon grease and celery seed. Mix. Add salt/pepper to taste.

Cook in crock-pot on low for 4-5 hours.

After about the 3rd hour, I'd determined that it needed more liquid so - at that point - I stirred in 1/2c water + 1/2c heavy whipping cream. I'd tasted it again and decided it needed more vinegar (+ 2T) and sweetener (+2t Splenda).
You might be okay with just adding these in at the beginning - but I am documenting as I do it!

Add Sour Cream during the last hour of cooking. Let it simmer for another hour, then serve warm.

Pumpernickel Bread (for Bread Machine)

Okay, this recipe surprised me - I'm not usually a huge fan of rye bread, but this was DAMN good!

I'm calling this one an adaptation from several different recipes...

Surprisingly Tasty Pumpernickel!

  • 1-1/4 cups water
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp. oil
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1-1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup medium rye flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3 Tbsp. wheat gluten
  • 4 Tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp. caraway seeds
  • 2-1/4 tsp. active dry yeast


Place all ingredients in the bread pan, in the order listed. Choose Whole Wheat Cycle with Medium Dark setting. Watch your bread machine to make sure it's not straining too much (or going to attempt suicide by "walking off" the counter!). This is a very dense loaf (but still rose surprisingly well). If it seems too dry, you might need to add more liquid during the knead cycle.

Makes 1-1/2 lb. loaf

Austrian Wienerschnitzel
(borrowed directly from

And this particular dish doesn't photograph well during preparation (it's hella-messy!), so scroll to the bottom to see the final product!


  • 4 veal cutlets (traditional) pounded to 1/4 inch thickness (about 5 oz. each) (I got two pkgs of veal for scallopini - it was already the proper thickness, but the cutlets were a little small)
  • 1/4 c. flour (all purpose or brown rice)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • Oil or lard for frying (lard is traditional) (I used Crisco - gasp!!!)


  • To pound meat thin you may want to place the cutlet between sheets of plastic wrap for easier washing up. Use a heavy, flat-surface pan to pound if you don’t have a meat mallet. (My veal was already thin enough so I got to skip this step!)
  • Pound the meat evenly to 1/4 inch thickness for best results.
  • Do not press the bread crumbs into the meat. The crust should not adhere completely, but form a loose shell around the schnitzel.
  • Make sure the breaded meat “swims” in fat. Contrary to instinct, the breading will take on less oil than if the meat is sticking to the pan. Also, the breadcrumb topping has a chance to puff up a little, and your clean up is easier!
  • Set up 3 shallow dishes. Place the flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt in one and breadcrumbs in another. Beat eggs well and place in the third dish.

Heat at least 1/4 inch of oil in the pan to 350°F.

Working one at a time, dredge cutlets first in flour until the surface is completely dry. Dip in egg to coat, allow the excess to drip off for a few seconds and then roll quickly in the breadcrumbs until coated. Do not press breadcrumbs into the meat. Place meat immediately in the pan with the hot oil. Do not crowd the pan. Cook the schnitzel in batches, if necessary.

Fry the schnitzel for 3-4 minutes on one side. You may want to swish them around a little with your fork to make sure they are not sticking to the pan. Turn them over once and fry until both sides are golden brown. Remove from pan, allow the oil to drain off. Serve while hot and crispy - with lemon wedges on the side.



I think I mentioned that I attempted to cook this from scratch - ONCE. Made a helluva mess!

    Cheater's Rotkohl

I totally cheated and bought a jar of Hainich Red Cabbage. Nuked it for appx 5-7 mins and served it warm. Just as good as home-made *without* needing the CSI folks to call the Forensic lab!


Again, I cheated. Bought a package of frozen Pepperidge Farm Apple Turnovers which I tossed in the nuker/convection oven for 25 mins.

All told: A VERY tasty dinner! Took the better part of a day to prepare (although most of it was Crock-Pot stuff). Nevertheless, 'twas mighty tasty!!!


Pardon the wonky "look" of this post. Blogger's not very user-friendly when it comes to inserting photos after-the-fact :::sigh:::

Merry "Low-Key" Christmas!

Hope yours is filled with Joy and Happiness!

This year, with the economy being what it is, we decided to dial-it-back a notch or two. Actually, with our Amazon Wish List Widget thing, there really wasn't a damn thing that I really "needed" this year. Last year's Christmas Kiln has been the Gift that Keeps on Giving - and I'm pretty damned happy with that!

Of course, Rog filled his Wish-List with all kinds of new Camaro Goodies. I ended up getting him a few "small" Car Goodies (Camaro umbrella; key-chain; coffee-mug), and some "decent" Boat Goodies - including a bitchen' VHF Radio (actually, that was his Birthday Gift), with a "Remote" station to mount on the helm.

When you think about it, a "Base Station" AND a "Remote Station" on a teeny 26-foot Trailer Sailor is kinda, well, "ridiculous!" But OTOH, it does kinda make sense because the base-station has the "power" and the remote allows you easy-access from the helm (without having a Big Mama-Jama radio cluttering up the steering pedestal).

I'm guessing next we'll be getting a bow-thruster! (NOTTT!!!).

I also got Rog an off-shore auto-inflating PFD with tether/harness so he can strap himself to the boat when he goes forward (i.e. to raise/lower the mainsail). That's an important safety-item, I think ('cuz sometimes we're rockin' and rollin' by the time we drop the sails).

Stuff I scored: Mostly cooking/canning related (that was all I could think of - when Rog told me to update my wish list!). I did some research and found that Presto does make a 16 qt Pressure-Canner that *will* work on a solid-surface (Ceramic/Glass) cooktop (Yay!). I also got a cherry-pitter and super-cool, old-fashioned-looking, hand-crank apple-peeler-corer (which doubles, quite nicely, as a potato peeler/slicer!).

Apple Peeler/Corer - being used as a Potato Peeler!
Way Cool Pressure Canner! Can't wait to try it out!!!

Kinda frustrating to have "Canning-Stuff" when it's no longer Canning Season! But I will definitely put it to good use next year! I so TOTALLY love my Garden (Oh, and I did get a seedling/warming mat - which I *will* use next Spring, in the greenhouse, to get my Garden Started). My Garden is yet another Gift-That-Keeps-On-Giving, and it's nice to be able to enjoy the "Fruits of my Labors" (figuratively *and* literally) well into winter!

I also got some Artsy/Fartsy stuff: A few more Kiln Shelves (can NEVER have enough of those!), and a Soldering Iron for whenever I decide to try some more Stained Glass Stuff... Way Cool!

Anyway, I'm glad we didn't go completely off-the-deep-end with Christmas this year. It was nice and low-key - and we won't be faced with insurmountable bills going into the New Year. All told: A Very Good Thing!

The dogs had a good Christmas, too!

Dynah, Annie and Tazz... Opening their gifts!

And I am working on a German Christmas FEAST for dinner tonight.
  • Warm Kartoffelsalat (Warm, German Potato Salad) (re-hash from a previous post)
  • "Canned" Rotkohl (easier than home-made which leaves the kitchen looking like a scene from a CSI Episode!)
  • Austrian Gulaschsuppe (Austrian Goulash Soup)
  • Wienerschnitzel with fresh lemon wedges (re-hash from the same previous post)
  • Fresh, home-made Pumpernickel (from the bread-machine - and this stuff is DAYUM good!)
  • Frozen Apple Turnovers (lazy-person's interpretation of Apfelstrudel!)
I'll re-hash the recipes (in condensed form - sans "blah-blah-blah" in a separate post!)

Some of my New Years Resolutions (aside from the usual "Lose-a-billion-lbs, Find a Cure for Cancer, Achieve World Peace, End World Hunger...):
  1. Find a phone with a better camera (I'm due for an upgrade) so "Foodie Posts" appear more appetizing!
  2. Write Snarkier Posts
  3. Post More Frequently!
  4. Spend More Time in The Studio!
  5. Watch more "Hoarders" Episodes so I'll donate a BUNCH more crap to Goodwill!
  6. TBD........................
Anyway.... Merry Christmas Everyone!!!!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Blown-Glass Ornament

Ain't it purrrrrty???

And here it is, hanging in the sunshine
(Might look better if the bathroom window was clean!)

Anyway... Me Likey!

If you live in the San Jose Area, go check out Bay Area Glass Institute! They do lots of "hands-on" kinda classes where you, too, can make cool stuff like this - for not too much $$ (I think I paid something-like $30.00 for the "Blow a Glass Ornament" Event).


Monday, December 12, 2011

Food Follow-up and "Encouraging News" and Other Stuff

So first-up: The Recipe Follow-ups.
  • Cranberry Nut Bread: Dee-lish! Yes, it is a bit "dense" (I'm finding that to be the case whenever I use whole-wheat flour - it's just the nature of the beast). It makes a mighty tasty (and filling) toast in the morning!
  • Yummy Friggin' Chicken Salad: Even better after it's been refrigerated for a day or two (and particularly 'nummy on Cranberry Nut Bread as a sammich!)
  • Scrump-dilly-icious Potato Leek Soup: Likewise, did seem to get a bit better on day #2 - after the flavors had an opportunity to "meld" in the fridge overnight. Only downside was, I had dumped the excess bacon bits *into* the soup before I fridgimated it, so it was a *tad* on the salty side. Recommendation: Keep the bacon bits separate and dump 'em in only after you've re-heated the soup.
"Encouraging News:" I think I alluded to some Potentially-Bad-Financial/Legal/Tax Stuff related to mom's estate, and my fear that I might get left "holding the bag" for the final bill (resulting in me going to my "Dark Place"). Well, sis did finally respond to my email and gave me a recommendation for an attorney. So I will start my Quixotic Battle over that whole mound o' Stinky Stuff. Not sure if we'll "win" (Gawd knows, I hope we do!). But at least I have been "acknowledged" and sis (whether she likes it or not) will *also* share the financial burden...

So, while I don't like the idea of "owing money" on this whole thing - at least I don't have to fork the FULL amount over (and I am officially "on-record" that: "Worst Case, if we DO have to pay-up, I'll make the first payment, and send the bill for the balance to you!"). Hence, I have moved-away from my Really-Dark-Place...

Annnnd.... In Happier News: I invited Cool Neighbor E to bring her two kids over this afternoon (one is a 2-year old boy, and the other is - maybe 5-6??? - a girl). I had made a few "extra" Christmas Ornaments, and bisque-fired 'em. I called Cool Neighbor this morning and asked if she and her children would like to help "paint" them. "After they're painted, I'll coat them with shiny clear glaze and fire them - and you can have some home-made Christmas Ornaments!"

She seemed most appreciative. It got them out of the house (her husband is in the middle of remodeling their ONLY bathroom - Oh GAWD do I feel their pain!!!). Gave the kids something to do; and they'll have Keepsakes that - maybe - they'll treasure forever!

Actually, I'm pretty-sure that they will. I actually still have a Christmas Ornament that *I* made when I was in pre-school. It's a small styrofoam ball with pinned-in sequins for eyes, a pinned-in bead for a nose, a pinned-in crescent of red construction-paper for a mouth, a red construction-paper cone hat, with a little wadded cotton-ball glued on top (I think there was also a wad of cotton for a beard - but it has long-since disappeared!). It really is a hideous little thing - but I swear I smile, every year, when I re-discover it in my Christmas Box!

No, I don't hang it on the tree. Honestly, I think it would self-destruct! But I really AM glad that I still have it!

(Hell, I wished I'd thought to snap a picture of my li'l monstrosity! But now my Christmas Box is back-up in the garage rafters. Maybe I'll take a pic, later, and post it........................)

So anyway, Cool Neighbor and Kids came over this afternoon. I did ask that they give me appx 30 mins lead-time so I could "get things ready." I basically pulled out a couple little plastic paint pallettes and filled each of the wells with different Liquid Underglaze Colors. Dragged out my "cheap" brushes, and filled a couple of cups with a small qty of water.

My "Child-Tending Skills" are minimal (at best) or (more realistically) non-existent! But I do know enough to realize that a two-year-old-boy is capable of UNTOLD amounts of destruction! I removed all "Potentially-Breakable" items and put 'em well out of reach! (Yet I still underestimated him!!!) (No damage, but anything within-reach got grabbed/removed from the shelves! LOL).

Anyway, they spent about an hour out in the Tiki Shack o' Perpetual Summer and painted just-over half-a-dozen ornaments. The mess wasn't *too* terrible (Thank Gawd for newspapers!).

I'll clear-glaze them tomorrow morning, then fire up the kiln...

Annnnd... In Other News: Yes, on Sunday, I did go to Bay Area Glass Institute and I blew my very own ornament!

I got there early and was one of the FIRST people up! Consequently, I didn't have an opportunity to "chat-up" other folks there and ask 'em to take my picture while I was "Doing the Deed!" So - Sorry! No pictures!

But it was Super-Cool and Super-Fun! I really do like BAGI because of their "Hands-On" approach to sharing glasswork! I know, in the past, I've been to places where you can "watch" glass-blowing demonstrations and it seemed like it was right-up-there with Voodoo and Alchemy. "Not for Common Folks!" But BAGI is very-much "Hands-On" - even if it *is* their glassworkers doing *most* of the work. It's very gratifying to feel like you've at least "kinda" contributed toward the effort of creating something Artistic! I came away feeling like I did *enough* of it to claim that *I* made it!

Heh! I say that now - but I haven't yet seen the Final Product!!!

Anyway, I'll post pics of my ornament - after I pick it up tomorrow...

That's about it for now - other than some "Sad News" about losing a Good Friend. But I'm still "processing" that. I suspect there will be a post about that in the next day or so (since "typing sh*t out" actually does help with the whole "processing" thing). This is the first time I have "lost" a contemporary - and it's hitting me pretty hard right now (Ahhhh.... Yet another part of the "Maturing" process, I'm sure) (F**K THAT! Thankyouverymuch!!!)...

Nahhh... Let's leave this post on a high-note: Yummy Recipes, Christmas Keepsakes for the Neighbors' Kids and My Very Own, Hand-Blown Christmas Ornament for myself... Yes - "Happy Happy!"

(In the meantime, if you have someone you love/respect in your life - PLEASE TELL THEM SO. RIGHT NOW!!!)



Sunday, December 11, 2011

Scrump-dilly-icious Potato Leek Soup

One Word: "YUM!!!"

So I know I've blathered about the Farm Share before... And how one aspect of it, that I really like, is that sometimes I get sh*t that I never, ever would think to buy at the store. And, in fact, sometimes I get things that I just plain don't know what-the-hell-to-do-with! And I'm forced to go figure it out :-)

Well, last weeks' delivery included Leeks (which I have cooked, maybe once or twice) and Potatoes (which I shun because of the carb count) - more specifically Klamath Pearl Potatoes which are like little white creamy baby 'taters.

Annnnd... Well, with "Winter" upon us, Soup just seemed like a good idea. And I've got Potatoes and Leeks, right? What say we make a batch of Potato Leek Soup?

So I surfed the intertubes, like I usually do. I read a bunch of different recipes, like I usually do. And I picked and choosed what sounded good from each of 'em and smushed 'em together into something that I can claim as my own!

But, to be fair, here were the three recipes I "borrowed" from:

I daresay I'm getting *much* better about writing stuff down as I go along so I can A) Share it with you and B) Maybe DUPLICATE it someday?!!

And, let me tell you, this soup is definitely good enough to make again!

QT's Scrump-dilly-icious Potato Leek Soup

  • 6 strips of thick-cut Applewood Smoked Bacon - reserve the bacon grease
  • 2 TBS Butter (optional, if needed)
  • 2 Large Leeks - Dark Green "tops" removed (only use the white and pale green parts)
  • 1 lb Klamath Pearl Potatoes (or any kind of "smooth" potato. I think russets would be too "mealy") - peeled and chopped into small (1/2") chunks
  • 4 C Chicken Broth (Or Vegetable - your choice)
  • 1/2 C Marsala Cooking Wine
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 3-4 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
  • 2-3 TBS Fresh Chopped Parsley
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Marjoram
  • 1 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 Cup Buttermilk
  • Salt and White Pepper
  • Small Handful of Fresh Chives (chopped)
Cook the bacon in a medium-sized soup pot (for once, I over-estimated the size pot I needed! I used my Big Mama-Jama Dutch Oven! HAH!). Cook it til crispy then take it out and tamp off the grease with a paper towel. Set the bacon aside, but leave the grease in the pan. I turned off the burner at this point...

Add thinly-sliced Leeks to the hot bacon grease, sprinkle some salt on top and let 'em soak in the grease and start to sweat - About 5 mins.

Turn on the heat to medium and start to saute the Leeks until tender. Don't brown them, just let them get super-limp and translucent. You might need to add melted butter at this stage (I added 2 TBS). It takes roughly 20 mins for the leeks to get properly limp-ified.

At this point, you could add the 1/2 c cooking wine to deglaze the pan. I didn't - I added the wine later, but it seems like it might be a good option...

Then I dumped the Chicken Broth and chopped potatoes into the pot. Added the bay leaves, chopped parsley, dried marjoram and thyme sprigs. Now I'm not all Fancy-Schmantzy with the whole "Bouquet Garni" thing. Bay leaves are easy to pick-out. The thyme could have been more problematic, so I left it in the hot-pot just long enough so the leaves got kinda limp. Then I fished the sprigs out, let 'em cool on a plate, then it was pretty-easy to strip the leaves off the stems and dump 'em back into the pot (or you could be totally lazy and just use dried thyme. I've still got fresh thyme growing out back and - By Gawd - I intend to use it!!!)

Anyway, I brought the pot to a boil on med-high heat. Then I turned it down to low, covered the pot, and let everything simmer for appx 20-30 mins 'til the potatoes would break-apart easily when poked with a fork.

While all of this is going on, chop up your crispy bacon into bacon-bit sized chunks.

Thennnnn.... I fished out the bay leaves and grabbed my immersion blender. Stuck it in the pot and whooshed everything up. I wasn't going for a super-creamy consistency, but I wanted it a tad less "chunky" (and it seemed weird to be eating Leek-O's!). So I whir-whir-whirred it 'til the soup was semi-thick, but when I scooped a spoonful, there were still a few chunks of potatoes. Just do whatever makes you happy!!!

Okay, NOW we're nearing the end (yes, this *is* a bit more labor-intensive than "Dump everything in the crock-pot and go about your business!"). This is where you start tasting the soup and deciding what you want to do next. I added the one cup of cream, and one cup of buttermilk. Gave it a taste. Added some salt. Tasted it again. Decided it really *did* need wine, so I dug out the Marsala Cooking Wine (I didn't have any dry white wines - but the Marsala turned out to be quite nice!). Tasted it again. Added more salt and a bit of fresh-ground black pepper, and a couple shakes of white pepper.

Tasted it again and decided it needed a little Sumpin-Sumpin. Finally settled on two GENEROUS tablespoon-glops of sour cream. Perfectomundo!!!

Serve the soup with bacon bits (which tend to sink when you sprinkle 'em on top!) and fresh-chopped chives.

Yeah, this soup was a bit of work - but definitely worth it!!!

Makes appx 6 generous servings.

There was a little left-over, so I've stuck it in the fridge. I'm very curious to know if this is one of those soups that gets EVEN BETTER when you re-heat it the next day...

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Yummy Friggin' Chicken Salad

Okay, *this* post IS gonna be quick!

The other day, at the grocery store, I picked up a Garlic Rotisserie Chicken so I'd have something to nosh-on while Hubs was out of town, and I was feeling too lazy to cook.

I ate one of the breasts, then stuck it back in the fridge.

Couple days later (as the gooze was congealing into a gelatinous blob, in the bottom of the plastic container), I didn't feel much like eating it "As-Is" so I converted it to Chicken Salad. Here is what I did:

QT's Yummy Friggin' Chicken Salad
  • Most of a leftover Rotisserie Chicken (whole chicken, minus 1/2 breast)
  • 3 Celery Stalks
  • 1 Granny Smith Apple (peeled and cored)
  • 1/3 of a Medium Sweet Onion
  • 1/2 tsp Poultry Seasoning
  • 1/2 C Craisins
  • 1/4 C Honey-Roasted Almond Slivers
  • However Much Mayo it takes to make Chicken Salad
  • 1-2 tsp Splenda
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
Chop up the celery into smallish chunks. Do the same to the onion and apple. Toss 'em into a mid-sized mixing bowl and add a couple TBS of mayo (to keep the apple from browning).

Peel the usable meat off the chicken carcass. You can either save the skin and bones to make fresh chicken stock (smart move!), or toss it (I was lazy and have about 50-bazillion gallons of canned chicken-stock in my pantry, so I - guiltily - tossed it!). Chop up the chicken meat into small chunks (1/2" or smaller). Add to the fruit/veggie/mayo mixture.

You could prob'ly "cheat" and go with canned chicken chunks - but I don't think it'd be quite as good - IMHO.

Dump the rest of the stuff in. Add more mayo, as needed, to keep it in a proper "spreadable-on-bread" consistency (without being overwhelmingly mayonnaisey). Taste it to make sure you've got everything "Just Right."

Let it "set" in the fridge for a couple of hours (better still: overnight) to let the flavors "meld."

So far, it's been absolutely STUPENDOUS on sandwiches (on fresh, home-baked bread). It's also FANTASTIC straight-out-of-the-bowl. I'm sure it would be equally-good on a salad (Oooh! With lettuce and mandarin-orange slices!), but I haven't tried it there yet (and I doubt it will last that long!!!)

Let me tell you: This recipe is positively DEEEEEEE-LISH!!! I've decided that Craisins are my new "Secret Ingredient!" They make EVERYTHING taste better!

No Self-Immolation... And Bread Recipes!

Okay... On the off-chance that anybody is actually *reading* this blog, I figured I'd better post a quick ("Yeah, right!") update and let ya'all know I'm still alive!

I successfully baked a loaf of bread *and* completed a bisque-firing. And I didn't burn the house down! (Yay me!).

The Electrician came out on Thursday to check on the Lights/Fan Situation (Yay!).

He wandered out back to the Shack while I ran out to the car to pull-out my new light fixture. I headed out to the Studio and yammered to him about what-happened, what-I-did, and yada-yada.

"I was out here yesterday afternoon and everything was working just fine. Went back in the house, came out 20 minutes later, flipped the switch and the light fixture just died! No warning at all" blah-blah-blah "I figured it was a bum fixture, so I bought this new one - and was gonna have my neighbor install or cannibalize it." yada-yada "But when I noticed the fan wasn't working, and since they're both on the same switch, I figured it was something worse. I flipped all the breakers and they still don't work..."

"Oh, and, by the way - Hubbie-the-Engineer - really wants to know the reason for the failure because, well, he's an Engineer..."

Electrician then points out that the fan is just fine.


He flipped the switch and the fan came on - Just Like That!

"No way!!! I *swear* it wasn't working last night!!!"

"Well, was it below 50*?"

"Ohhhhhh sh*t!"

Turns out, the fan (which is an attic ventilation fan) has an integrated thermostat and it won't kick on in cold weather.

So now I feel like a complete dumb-ass!

He offered to re-wire it to bypass the thermostat and hard-wire it to the switch (which really is better. Although - to be honest - by the time the kiln gets hot enough to burn off any toxic gasses, the room is probably gonna be well over 50* - nevertheless....)

Anyway - My first hypothesis (Bum Light Fixture) turned out to be true and he replaced it for me. The Bad News was: Since I provided the fixture, it really wasn't covered under *his* warranty, so it cost me $95.00 for a Service Call.

Fair 'nuff. It really wasn't his fault the light fixture failed. Besides, it's a small price to pay for Peace of Mind, I think......

Annnnd.... On the Plus Side: While the Electrician was working out in the Shack, our maid was cleaning INSIDE the house, so I took that opportunity to *finally* rip out my 'Mater Plants (filled the ENTIRE green-bin!). I felt bad - especially since I *did* manage to find appx 3 'maters that were desperately trying to ripen (Yes, I brought 'em into the house to let 'em "finish!"). But - since temps are consistently dipping into the 30's at night now - it is definitely "time" to say farewell to the Summer Garden and think about planting my cool-season seedlings (that are *definitely* ready to be planted!)...

* * * * *

The Bisque-firing went well. Only one fatality. Lesson Learned: Don't "stack" LUG bisqueware. LUG = Liquid Underglaze. When it heats up, it can "impart" it's color onto other plain-white pieces and/or it can stick together (when LUG is stacked on top of LUG). So I did lose one Christmas Ornament (really, no big deal)...

Since then, I've done a whole lot of glazing and I'm now doing a Cone 5 firing. I'll do another one immediately after that (since you can't "stack" glaze-ware - at all!). I am totally digging my "Remote Thermometer" Skype Action (Kiln is up to 1735* - even as I type!). Firing should complete in the early evening and, hopefully, I can unload it tomorrow...

And tomorrow, I am going to Bay Area Glass Institute to blow-glass and make a Christmas Ornament. That should be Super-Duper Cool, I hope!

Heck, maybe I'll even post some pictures!

* * * * *
Lastly, I promised you some bread recipes (unfortunately, no pictures).

I don't think I can rightfully claim these as my own. Sometimes, when I make stuff, I email the recipe to myself and kinda forget to indicate *where* I found the recipe. Obviously, if I know WHO to credit, I post the link here. In this case, these are OLD recipes and I don't know who to credit. Nevertheless, they're good enough to share, so here goes:

Honey Oat & Sunflower Bread
  • 1 C + 2 TBS Water (appx 70-80*)
  • 1/4 C Honey
  • 2 TBS melted butter
  • 1-1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 C Quick-Cook Oats (just plain ol' Quaker Oats work just fine - just not the "Instant Oatmeal")
  • 2-1/2 C Bread Flour
  • 1/2 C Wheat Flour
  • 2 TBS Nonfat Dry Milk
  • 2-1/4 tsp Yeast (make sure it's not expired!!!)
  • 1/2 C Roasted, Salted Sunflower Seeds

Dump the ingredients, in that order, into your Bread Machine. Set it for a "Standard" Loaf, and let 'er rip!

Makes a 1-1/2 lb loaf of "pretty dense" but hearty and tasty bread...

If dense, chewy bread isn't your thing (and - since I was having such lousy luck with the previous recipe - what-with the bread-machine attempting suicide and all...), I offer up a lighter (but still very tasty) alternative:

Potato Bread
  • 3/4 C Milk (I just used 2%)
  • 1/2 C Lukewarm Water (I went a tad warmer than 70-80* because the milk was cold)
  • 2 TBS Melted Butter
  • 1-1/2 tsp Salt
  • 3 C Bread Flour
  • 1/2 C Potato Buds (I used some kinda "Yukon Gold Buttery Flavor" krep - but pretty-much any kinda dried "instant" potato oughtta work. Heck, I might try "Garlic Mashed" at some point, and maybe add some whole garlic cloves to the loaf - just to get all CRAZY)
  • 1 TBS Granulated Sugar
  • 2-1/4 tsp Yeast
Again, dump everything in the bread machine, in that order, and hit the button (I love my bread-machine!!!). This made a very nice, light(er), soft-ish bread that was good for making sandwiches.

This is another 1-1/2 lb loaf...

Oh Gawd - I made a FANTASTIC Chicken Salad that makes a fan-freaking-tastic sandwich. Think that one's worthy of a separate post...

Okay, still on the subject of bread, I decided to Create My Own Recipe today - and it's in the machine now. I kinda "started" with the Honey-Oat-Sunflower recipe, but modified the hell out of it so I can call it My Own!

QT's Cranberry Nut Bread:

  • 1-1/4 C Water
  • 1/4 C Agave Nectar
  • 2 TBS Melted Butter
  • 1-1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 C Quick-Cook (but not "Instant") Oats
  • 2-1/2 C Bread Flour
  • 1/2 C Wheat Flour
  • 2 TBS Nonfat Dry Milk
  • 2-1/4 tsp Yeast
  • 1/2 C Chopped Walnuts
  • 1/2 C Craisins
  • Zest from one Orange
Dump everything in, as described above. Although - I think it might be better to hold-off on adding the Walnuts, Craisins and Orange Zest until your machine gives you the "Add-Extra-Ingredients-Now" Beep. My machine actually does have that feature - but I didn't avail myself of it. Seems like the machine had a very tough time incorporating ALL of the ingredients during the initial knead (in fact, I had to pull the plug on it, do a little hand-kneading, then re-start it).

I suspect this is gonna end up being more like a 2# loaf (and my measurements of Walnuts and Craisin quantities are probably lower than "actual").

It's on it's second "rise" right now. I'll have to report back on the final outcome. But I suspect it's gonna be pretty tasty! (at least it smells DAMN good!)

Okay, I lied. Here is ONE picture - of the loaf as it finished in the Bread Machine!

And I can Officially Confirm that it is "Delicious!" Yes, it is dense, but it definitely is GOOD! Not too sweet. I wouldn't classify it as a "Dessert Bread" - but it's definitely sweeter than sandwich bread. I'll be very interested to try it, as toast, with my fresh (and Super-Tart) Cranberry-Orange Marmalade tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Cleverness versus Cursedness

So... For the most part, I've managed to hold my annual Winter Blues at bay by participating in a fair number of "Nesting/Cooking" type of activities: Lights are up. Tree is up. Most of the Christmas Gifts have arrived and are wrapped.

...And we had the First Annual Gathering of the South Bay Canning Club at my house, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and had a fun "Hen-Fest" kinda day (sans testosterone - DH took refuge on the boat that day!!!). I scored a boatload of yummy jams and chutneys and whatnot - in addition to pawning off some of my Excess. I call that a "Win-Win!"

Last week, Cool Neighbor E left a bag of home-grown blood-oranges on my doorstep (Yay Neighbor!), and I still had a couple of bags of fresh cranberries in the fridge - so I made Orange-Cranberry Marmalade (more on that in a separate post).

And - with all of this fresh, home-made jam - well, I *had* to drag out the Bread Machine (Sorry, I'm not so overcome with "Domestic-Nesty-ness" that I am willing to knead and bake my own bread!)...

But, mostly, I attribute my staving-off of Seasonal Affective Disorder to the fact that I've been spending sooooo much time in my Studio (aka the "Tiki Shack o' Perpetual Summer"). It is damn-near impossible to be depressed in my bright and "sunny" (okay overly-bright-fluorescent-lit) beach-side shack!

Every afternoon, after work, I've gone out there to squish clay, or sand-down my works-in-progress, or (::::gasp:::) glaze stuff. It truly is my own private li'l sanctuary. That's why I built it (err - "had it built!") and it's TOTALLY "Doing it's job!"

OTOH - there've definitely been some "Things" happening that are trying to STEAL MY HAPPINESS - dammit! One thing, in particular, has actually been semi-successful in putting me into a funk. I don't want to go into the details here - but it has to do with some "lingering financial/tax/legal issues" related to mom's estate and the sale of her house. And, unfortunately, it looks like I might be left "holding the bag" (to the tune of several thousand dollars) on that one. Sadly, that particular development has put me into a Very Dark Place...

Annnnd... It's been my experience that Negativity begets even more Negativity (not to get all Ooky-Spooky New-Agey on yer @ss or anything).

I'm certainly no Pollyanna. In fact, I'm generally pretty "cynical" in my view of the world (but - I like to think - in a humorous kinda way). For the most part, I *try* to be a "Glass is Half-Full" kinda gal and, overall, I think I can safely plagiarize Joe Walsh and claim that "Liiiiife's been gooood to me so faaaarrrr..."

But this particular speed-bump has been difficult for me to get over. And I'm working through a pretty good-sized chunk of anger over some - shall we say - "inequities" that have occurred in the recent past ("Justifiable anger" - I should note). This latest development has kind of turned into the proverbial straw...

Anyway, since I can't simply "blow it off" - I've been letting myself go to that Dark Place because the only way to deal with it is to, well, acknowledge it and "Deal with it!"

So, for the past week, I've been kind of letting it simmer (steam?) just under the surface (Warning everyone around me that "I'm dealing with sh*t" in the hopes that they'll, mostly, back-the-hell-off!).

So that's a whole lot of words that expressed Almost Nothing! Heh! But it's kind of the backdrop to my Story Du Jour!

So anyway... Night before last, I had dragged out the Bread Machine and decided to bake a fresh, tasty loaf of Honey-Oat-Sunflower-Wheat bread (again, recipe in a separate post). Evidently, it's been awhile since I baked bread because the "freshest" yeast packet I could find had expired back in September. Nevertheless, I sallied forth, and dragged out my bread flour, wheat flour, yeast, yada-yada, yada-yada, and dumped everything into the Bread Machine to let it work it's magic.

Wellllll, I ended up with a rather - shall-we-say - "compact" loaf of bread that could have easily shattered a window. Or broken a toe if you dropped it. And *something* (I don't know if it was the flour or the oatmeal or sunflower seeds) had obviously gone bad because it smelled funny and tasted even worse! (How do you f**k-up bread???) It made a rather loud (and none-too-satisfying) "thunk" when I dumped it into the garbage can. :::sigh:::

So the next day, I dumped the old flour, oatmeal, and remaining sunflower seeds into the trash and ventured out to Snob Hill. They've got a fairly comprehensive selection of organic "bulk" stuff. So I procured replacements to the aforementioned ingredients.

Forgot the honey though, dammit! (but I did have *just barely* enough for one more loaf!!)

When I got home, I decided I'd try it again. Set-up the Bread Machine on the bar between the kitchen and living room and let 'er rip.

Later that afternoon, I was on a mind-numbing conference call. One that, fortunately, I didn't have to be an "Active Participant" in. So I was able to multi-task!

I got the Most Brilliant Idea of using my Netbook (which has a built-in camera *and* spends most of it's life out in the studio) as a kind of "Remote Thermometer" (actually, more like a "Baby Monitor") so I could supervise the kiln's firing progress without having to run out to the backyard every hour...

(Okay, in case you forgot the blog-post title, we are now - FINALLY! - approaching the "Cleverness" part of my post!)

So I dragged my Netbook into the house and futzed around with the webcam-software to figure out how to capture images. It took a fair amount of futzing, but I got it to work (Yay Me!). Then the more "challenging" part was "How do I get my Laptop to ACCESS my Netbook's webcam software remotely?" I tried using Windows "Remote Desktop" but I couldn't get it to work (one machine is running XP and the other is running Windows7 and I have NO clue how Hubs has the Home Network set-up!). Not sure exactly what the problem was - but I just couldn't get it to work. And besides, I think someone needs to be *at* the Remote Machine to allow access. And - with the remote machine being in the Studio - well, that would kinda defeat the purpose, right?

It's a good thing that my mind-numbing conference call was a LONG one!

Then I did some Googling... (and yes, the conference call continued!)...

Long Story Short ("Too Late!"). I ended up setting up a dummy Skype account on my Netbook. Actually, it's a "real" account (to Skype) but only *I* know the account name - and the "dummy" account will ONLY accept calls from my "real" Skype Acct. I was able to tweak the settings so that it will automatically answer, and display video, when my "real" Skype Acct calls it.

End result: I can Skype my Netbook and look at the display of my kiln-controller (which shows current temperature) at any time. Yayyy Meeee!!!

So, after the conference call ended ("FINALLY!!!"), I set-up the Netbook in front of the kiln and aimed the camera. Trouble there was: The Netbook needed to be set appx 10" from the kiln in order to be able to read the display. The kiln can throw-off a whole lot of heat (it gets up to over 2000*!). I do have a cheap Logitech USB web-cam so I installed *that* software. I can tape the El Cheapo webcam to a stool next to the kiln. End result is the same: I can view the temperature in real-time, but I probably won't mind so much if I accidentally melt a $30.00 web-cam! (I doubt it would happen, but why risk it?)

(This snapshot was taken with my laptop - in the house - from the webcam - in my studio!)

So Big-Time "Yay Meee!" In fact, I was soooo tickled with myself I posted it to Facebook *and* emailed DH (who was in So-Cal on business). DH, as I'm sure I've mentioned, is an Electronics Engineer/Geek Extraordinaire - and our In-House IT Guru. And, it is assumed that I, being the wife, am utterly and completely devoid of any kind of "Technical Skills" (nevermind that I am a Business Systems Analyst/Software Designer, by day). Hell, even *he* was impressed that I figured that out - "All By Myself" (okay, maybe with a little help from Google!)...

Well, I think I used up what little "Good Karma" I had left because - let me tell you - it was all downhill from there!!!

So, I've got a fresh loaf of Honey-Oat-Wheat-Sunflower Bread kneading and rising in the bread-machine on the bar (must'n't forget about that!), and I've been running back-and-forth to the Studio. I'm contemplating doing a bisque-firing so I can crank-out some more Christmas Gifts: I still have a few ornaments to fire; a couple of "Christmas Craft Projects" for the neighbor's kids; Some bowls and Snack-Trays that might make nice gifts; and a handful of "Leftover Clay Critters" that I'd squished out of, well, Leftover Clay Blobs...

So I wander back to the Studio to start loading the kiln, and DH calls me to check-in from SoCal. I walk through the door and flip the light switch. "Sh*t!" One of the ceiling light fixtures is dead. "Well THAT sucks!!!" No warning, either. Just 20 minutes ago, it was working fine. Now it's completely DEAD.

Bear in mind, I'm teetering on the precipice of my "Dark Place" and it really doesn't take much to push me over the edge, so that really got me kind of irked. Hubbie's wanting to tell me alllll about his rental car (Mustang V6 convertible) and all the minutiae of his day, and all I can do is think about how peeved I am that "I'm sitting in the dark in - what's SUPPOSED TO BE - My Sanctuary!"

So I'm looking up at the non-functional light fixture, and Hubbie's yammering-on about how the seats and dashboard of the Mustang compare to his Camaro (and I'm registering, roughly, 70% of what he's saying). Then I notice that the plastic diffuser/cover thingie is coming off of the other overhead light fixture, so I grab a broom and use the handle to try to squish the cover back into place "Uh huh... Really? Yeah, they *are* kind of Retro, aren't they?"

Then: CRASH!!!

The diffuser/cover falls to the floor and SHATTERS!!!

At THAT point, I wanted to cry.

(Okay, just so you're up-to-speed, we are in the "Cursedness" part of the post..!)

(But wait! There's more!!!)

So DH wisely infers that, maybe, it would be best to cut the conversation short (after he said he was sorry I was having a bad day - which I *did* appreciate!) (He also suggested an Electrician).

Okay... So then I go in search of a replacement Diffuser/Cover online. No luck.

Then I hop in the car and drive over to Home Depot to procure new light-bulbs (even though I don't think that's the problem) and see if I can find a new Diffuser/Cover. Light bulbs, I found. Diffuser? No such luck.

So I bought a brand new light fixture - figuring we could cannibalize it for parts...

When I returned home, I encountered a rather strange plastic-melting smell. WTF???

Welllllll... While I was at Home Depot (a whopping 15 minutes!), the bread-machine decided to commit suicide. See, when it's in it's "knead" mode, it kind of vibrates (not unlike the washing machine during it's Spin Cycle). Well, somewhere between "kneading" and "baking" the damned thing *walked* off the edge of the counter and fell to the floor - spilling a partially-baked (but very well-risen) loaf of bread onto the floor. Then to add insult-to-injury, it CONTINUED TO BAKE. The plastic-melting smell came from the plastic-hinges where the lid attaches to the machine.

Fortunately, I discovered it while the plastic hinges were still malleable-enough for me to put it back together (and yes, it still works). More fortunate still: I discovered it before it had a chance to trigger our smoke detector (which would contact ADT, who, in turn, would contact the Fire Department), or worse...

At that point, I pretty-much decided that running the kiln would be a Very Bad Idea. In fact, all I really wanted to do was go to bed (and try to avoid injury!!!).

"Tomorrow is another day!"

Soooo... This morning, after a fitful night's sleep, I awoke and tackled work email. I had one lengthy conference call that I would be leading, so I figured I'd print out my documentation ahead of time.

We have a Fancy Schmantzy Wireless Network printer. I figured I'd try to save paper and print "duplex" to the Fancy Printer... Couldn't get the work machine to communicate with the wireless printer :::sigh::: so I emailed the documents to my personal email. Kind of a pain, buttt.... Bring up the documents on my personal machine and send 'em to the printer.


So, I wander into the bedroom to attempt to "gently" un-jam the printer - only to leave a small corner behind. Rebooting the printer resulted in, yes, ANOTHER printer jam!

There's some fancy on-board video-tutorial on how to un-jam the printer, but when you follow-it, it kicks out even MORE warning messages ("Yada-Yada Cover is Open!") and, pretty-much, every message: Be it "Printer Jam" or "YaYa Door is Open" or whatEVER results in a Notification-Email to DH...

JeeeeeZUSSS!!! It was only two 3-page documents ferchrissake!!!! Turned into a nearly hour-long ordeal as I dismantled the machine and extricated torn-up confetti!!!

(In the end, I printed them on my crap-tastic local printer. Screw the trees!!!)

By this time, I was pretty-much fit-to-be-tied (and "Oh, yes" - I got an email from Hubbie inquiring about what was going on with the printer).

"Kill me now!!!"

Well, by the time the afternoon rolled around, I decided to TOTALLY tempt fate and started ANOTHER loaf of bread. THEN!!! I went out to the studio - again!

I decided to throw caution to the wind and fired-up the kiln... Went to hit the wall switch to turn on the exhaust fan - only to discover that it, too, was dead. This means it's NOT the light-fixture, but something electrical. I flipped all of the circuit-breakers (including the Main Panel), and re-set the GFI. Still, the light and fan are not working. I've called the original electrician and he will be out, tomorrow, to fix it.

I'm still moving forward with running the kiln (since those circuits are independent of everything else) and monitoring it closely on Skype!

Annnnnd... I *did* manage to successfully bake a loaf of bread without burning the house down.
So maybe, just maybe, my Karma is turning back around again!!!

If I never, ever post again - it means I probably self immolated! It's been nice knowin' ya!!!

View my page on Meet the Phlockers