My mom emailed me a couple of days ago, asking for a recipe—a pumpkin cobbler we make for Thanksgiving most years. I sent it to her but hope she doesn’t have trouble with the directions the way I did.
One of the ingredients is “three eggs, slightly beaten.” That’s what throws me for a loop. I have no idea at what point an egg goes from “slightly beaten” to “beaten” to “over-beaten.” Will your recipe be ruined if your eggs are beaten too much?
I also worry over things like “a pinch of salt” and “a dash of paprika.” All pinches are not created equal. Are we talking a you’re-not-wearing-green-on-St.-Patrick’s-Day drive-by pinch (pre-Me Too era, of course), or a more substantial better-cut-back-on-the-cookies-because-I-can-pinch-more-than-an-inch pinch? What if finances are tight and you’re pinching pennies? You’re not actually pinching them. Although, I suppose you might, in a pinch…
And what the hell is a dash?? I always thought it was a short run. Turns out it’s an actual measurement: 1/16 teaspoon. OK, then…why not put that in the recipe? We have tiny teaspoons and I can come up with the exact right amount of baking soda or whatever, but if I’m eyeballing things, my off-the-cuff dash will never equal a perfect eighth of a teaspoon. Which is probably fine for a stew, but when you’re baking, every pinch and dash counts.
Don’t even get me started on a “smidgen”…
On a food-related note, have you noticed how “Everything” is everywhere these days? I’m talking about the seasoning. Everything bagels have been around for years, but it wasn’t until Trader Joe’s came out with their Everything But the Bagel seasoning blend that it really took off. Now you can buy a wide range of snacks featuring everything seasoning, including crackers, pretzels, rice cakes, beef jerky, potato chips, salad dressing, and even things like cheese, ice cream, and smoked salmon.
I have no problem with this. I love everything seasoning! But I do take issue with the name. Everything, my ass! The only ingredients are sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dried garlic, dried onion, and salt. That’s FIVE THINGS. I counted! If it were truly everything seasoning, you’d have all those plus parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme (sorry if I just songbombed you). There would be oregano, cumin, basil, paprika, marjoram, dill weed, curry powder, coriander, nutmeg, bay leaves, chili powder, and so forth and so on. If you call something “everything,” it really ought to have everything! Otherwise, that’s false advertising.
OK. My food rants are over, I promise.
After our surprise snowstorm last week, all the snow has long since melted. That’s what happens when it’s sunny and 73º! This being rollercoaster season, as I call it, this week’s forecast has plenty more ups and downs.
We took advantage of the pleasant weather to get some yard work done. One fall, I spent the entire day raking and ended up filling fourteen yard waste bags full of leaves. After a backbreaking day spent toiling away, my mom said, “Why didn’t you just use your lawn mower?”
Talk about an A-ha! moment.
Yesterday, that’s precisely what I did. Attached the grass catcher to the lawn mower and made three passes over the entire yard. Two would have sufficed, but I wanted to use up all the gas so we can store the mower for the winter with an empty tank. Tara took the grass and leaf clippings and covered her now-bare garden beds with them. Instant mulch, and nary a yard waste bag to haul to the curb.
Today, we are hauling the boat to an outdoor storage facility for the winter. You remember the boat: that water vessel we never named and have taken out a grand total of one time since we got it in the summer of 2020. Well, it turns out kayaks are much more our speed. We just don’t have time for a boat as we are busy most summer weekends with the garden and hiking and other pursuits, so we are selling it. Which probably won’t come as a shock to anybody, ha. But we’ll wait until the springtime. Who’s going to buy a boat now, when all our lakes will be freezing over soon?
We also didn’t want to store it in the side yard next to the house as we did last winter. That created deep ruts in the lawn and killed the grass. It’s worth paying $30something a month for half a year or so at this point. Plus, we don’t have to worry about the neighbors silently judging us for having a boat parked in front of our house that never moves.