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Picking up Sticks
If you read this, if your eyes are passing over this right now, (even if we don't speak often or ever) please post a comment with a COMPLETELY MADE UP AND FICTIONAL memory of you and me.

It can be anything you want - good or bad - BUT IT HAS TO BE FAKE.

When you're finished, post this little paragraph in your LJ and see what your friends come up with.
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When I was talking to my mom this week, she laughed over a recipe I had sent her (in return for the ones she sends me), saying that she no longer cooks anything fancy. The recipe in question is about as complicated as a hamburger, so I'm posting it here, in case anyone feels like cooking fancy, LOL.

Sausage with Squash and Onions

Clean and gut a squash, cook until done (microwave is easiest) and keep warm. I like Sweet Dumpling for this, and I like to peel it once it's cooked, but you could leave it whole and stuff it for a nicer presentation.

Thinly slice some onion. Crumble up bulk sausage and cook until enough fat renders to keep the onion from sticking, then add the onion and cook sausage and onion together until sausage is done and onion limp and browned, or, preferably, carmelized. Pour sausage and onion over squash and serve, or, stuff sausage and onion into squash and serve.

If you don't have a favorite sausage, here's mine. This is lower in fat than commercial sausages, especially if you make it with 90% lean ground pork.  The recipe is based on one from Lydia Child's American Frugal Housewife, the alterations suggested by a friend (thanks, Dot!).

1 lb. ground pork, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground sage, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper/cayenne. I  make this ahead and freeze it as single-servings, then just defrost what I need for dinner.

Current Mood: hungry hungry

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Having had a wonderful Indian pudding a couple of weeks ago, I am attempting to replicate it for a birthday party tomorrow. I have never attempted Indian pudding before and I quickly discovered that it is much harder to avoid lumps than I expected. I added the meal in a thin stream, but it lumped. I even put the stuff through a strainer, and stirred and stirred, but I am afraid I saw lumps in the mixture poured into the pans. Yes, pans--I also discovered that the recipe makes two puddings, which I didn't expect.  I am now baking them, and hoping against hope that they will not boil over onto the oven floor, since the pan I put beneath them only covers three-quarters of the space needed. Here's the recipe, if anyone else feels inspired. It is from Amelia Simmons' 1796 book American Cookery. My measurements are in parentheses.
3 pints scalded milk to 1 pint [Indian] meal salted (1/2 teas. salt); cool, add 2 eggs, 4 oz. butter, sugar or molasses (1/2 c. sugar) and spice (1 teas. nutmeg) q.s. It will require two and a half hours baking (I have it at 300 degrees F).

It seems to be browning on top; I hope it will not burn before it is done. It has another hour and 20 minutes to go. I think it will taste good--I tried it before I put the eggs in--as long as the texture isn't too lumpy. I will warm it for the party, and someone is bringing ice cream, which will cover a multitude of sins.  And I will have a second pudding for breakfasts and will be very sick of Indian pudding by the time it is finished. Next time I will know to cut the recipe in half.

Current Mood: hopeful hopeful

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This year's firewood was a bit of a production, but it has come to a suitable conclusion. I asked for 16" wood, but was given 16-18". After I told the person that the 18" wouldn't fit into my stove (the doors are narrow), he offered to come back today and cut the long pieces shorter. So I spent a couple hours last night stacking all the short stuff I could see and when I got home this afternoon, the wood was in a pile of sawdust and short ends, so I concluded that he had come and gone. Because it looked like (more) rain, I stacked the remainder and got all the little bits chucked into a corner of the woodshed to become kindling and swept the pavement and dumped the sawdust. Whew! I am going to be sore again tonight. I think two days is the fastest I've ever stacked a cord. Quite a messy stacking job, if I do say so myself, but since the wood is green, it will dry better by being loosely stacked.

I had been planning to check on my garden, but after all the stacking, decided to stay home and go online instead. One bright spot: I did finish a short Lost fic featuring Daniel and Juliet (not shippy). It needs a little more polishing--the zinger needs more zing before I post it--but at least the first draft's done.

Current Mood: exhausted exhausted

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Really, when I was at work Thurs., it seemed that the big ice storm wasn't going to be as bad as predicted. Famous last words, although for my neck of the woods, it could have been worse. I only lost power for some 42 hours and discovered how much I miss having water (my apartments are on a well which is powered by electricity), not to mention heat (electric heat, with supplemental woodstove), refrigeration &c.  However, Concord had power, and so I spent much of Sat. in town, shopping wherever I could find public restrooms. I learned how to cook on my woodstove. Temperature control was the problem: since I've never put a thermometer on my electric stove's burners, I had no idea what the temperature of the stovetop meant in terms of how long things would take. Having a woodstove and good insulation helped a lot. I was a bit nervous, since I'm pretty sure the smoke alarms weren't working--they're electric, too--but AFAIK nothing caught fire that wasn't supposed to. For me, the power went out around 4 am on Friday and came back 10:15 pm on Saturday, but from what I read, some people are still out. I'll learn more tomorrow at work. Lots of trees and branches down, although we've had so many big windstorms the past few years that a lot of what could have come down already had.

If I were a better photographer, I would have some nice pictures to show. Friday night, there was a lovely view out the front windows with the ice on the very tops of some tall trees all shiny, reflecting the one-day-past-full moon. Saturday morning, I passed a scene of trees encased in ice glittering against the blue sky that was so pretty that if it hadn't been so cold I would have gone home for my camera.

So, now I'm happy. Toilet can be flushed, dishes are washed, I've showered, clothes are in the washer, I'm online, happy, happy, happy. Here's to the tired, cold, and undoubtably caffeinated linesmen who put the power lines back together!

Current Mood: relieved relieved

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And unlike Frank's, some of them really were cows. Yesterday I made my annual pilgrimage to the Hopkinton State Fair to drink maple milk, look at animals, and watch ox-pulls. I managed to take in parts of three pulls and the whole of two exhibitions of oxen.
At the fair...Collapse )

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Title: Good with Kids
Author: sedauny
Rating: PG for child ghosts (but no one we know)
Characters: Miles, Daniel
Summary: That was one of the ones that hadn’t survived the crash, and he’d have to go out and deal with it.
Disclaimer: Not mine this time, either
Word count: 1275

Current Mood: drained drained

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Title: Council of War
Author: sedauny
Rating: G
Characters: Charlotte, Miles, Juliet, Sawyer, Rose, Bernard
Summary: How the second War with the Others got started (and where the Bad Things began)
Spoilers: Season 4
Word count: 976
Disclaimer: Not mine, never mine

Current Mood: mellow mellow

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Copied this one from elliotsmelliot because it looked interesting.


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Title: Neighborhood Watch
Rating: PG for one bad word
Characters: Rose, Daniel, Charlotte, Juliet
Summary: Rose is keeping an eye on her new neighbors
Disclaimer: Not mine, not for profit

Current Mood: mischievous mischievous

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