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!!!)



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