October 24

Yesterday, my kid sister and I were chatting on the phone, and she was telling me how her husband “rigged” their rotting bathroom floor with…license plates.

Yes, internet, license plates.

I can not really say much because one of the arms on my umbrella style clothes line is “rigged” with a ½ ” metal pole and duct tape.   It has been like that all summer.

My laundry sorter is “fixed” with the same duct tape.

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It is Friday, and I am nosy.

Is there anything “rigged” at your house?  and who “rigged” it?

And/or

What is the most ridiculous “rigging” you have every seen or done?

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October 23

I cheated.

I cheated, and I’m not sorry so sorry.

I just didn’t have the gumption to make this weeks BB (Barefoot Bloggers) recipe.

I don’t know if it was because the recipe was really involved, or if the ingredients didn’t quite appeal to me, I don’t know.

But I cheated.

I asked Chefboy to make the filling for me.

And he did.

I did put it in the bowls.

Yeah…me!

I also had a baggie of my favorite pie dough in the freezer.

So cheated and used that too.

To ease my guilt make up for the fact that I really didn’t do anything but photograph this recipe, roll out the dough, put the tops on and bake it, I tried to pretty up the tops.

I’ll do better next time.

I promise.

Here is the recipe that Deb of Kahakai Kitchen picked for us.

Vegetable Chicken Pot Pie

Ingredients

  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 2 cups sliced yellow onions (2 onions)
  • 1 fennel bulb, top and core removed, thinly sliced crosswise~~Pothole doesn’t know what fennel bulbs are, so Chefboy I ground up fennel seed.
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups good chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon Pernod~~had to do a Google search on this one.   It is a licorice flavored liqueur.  Gag-a-maggot!
  • Pinch saffron threads~~bwahahahahaha
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups large-diced potatoes (1/2 pound)
  • 1 1/2 cups asparagus tips~~nope…used peas
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled, 3/4-inch-diced carrots (4 carrots)
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled, 3/4-inch-diced butternut squash~~nope…used corn
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen small whole onions (1/2 pound)~~nope…used chicken
  • 1/2 cup minced flat-leaf parsley~~nope…used thyme instead

For the pastry:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup ice water
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
  • Flaked sea salt and cracked black pepper

Directions

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and fennel and saute until translucent, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the flour, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 3 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Slowly add the stock, Pernod, saffron, salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the heavy cream and season to taste. The sauce should be highly seasoned.

Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for 10 minutes. Lift out with a sieve. Add the asparagus, carrots, and squash to the pot and cook in the boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain well. Add the potatoes, mixed vegetables, onions, and parsley to the sauce and mix well.

For the pastry, mix the flour, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the shortening and butter and mix quickly with your fingers until each piece is coated with flour. Pulse 10 times, or until the fat is the size of peas. With the motor running, add the ice water; process only enough to moisten the dough and have it just come together. Dump the dough out onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Divide the filling equally among 4 ovenproof bowls(ok, this filling makes tons.   I don’t know what size her oven proof bowls were, but mine were a good sized cereal bowl, and I needed 7 or 8 of them). Divide the dough into quarters and roll each piece into an 8-inch circle. Brush the outside edges of each bowl with the egg wash, then place the dough on top. Trim the circle to 1/2-inch larger than the top of the bowl. Crimp the dough to fold over the sides, pressing it to make it stick. Brush the dough with egg wash and make 3 slits in the top. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling hot.

This was a wonderful tasting Vegetable Chicken Pot Pie.   I loved it.   Chefboy did a wonderful job on it.

I won’t cheat again.

I promise.

Forgive me.

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October 22

Dear Nikon,

I want my camera back.

It is Autumn now, and the trees have almost all turned.   Most of them have lost their leaves already.   I wanted to take some pictures of pretty trees with red and orange and yellow leaves, not barren sticks.

I want my camera back.

Fixed.

Now.

Please.

Signed,

Impatient in Pothole, Ohio

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October 21

Pumpkin.

Every since I was little, I have always been afraid of pumpkins.   That whole cutting off the top and sticking your hand into some dark, slimy, mysterious place that your hands really shouldn’t go.

Ewwwwwwww.

As a teen, the parents stopped doing the whole carving pumpkin thing, so I was off the hook for the longest time, but then I began to have children.

And the children began to want to carve pumpkins.

And Superman began to work 2 jobs.

And I began to have to cut tops off and stick my hands into dark, slimy, mysterious places that they didn’t belong.

Oh, the things parents do for their children.

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Today’s TWD is Pumpkin Muffins, and it was Kelly from Sounding My Barbaric Gulp’s turn to pick our recipe.

I didn’t change much in this recipe.

I substituted mini chocolate chips for the raisins, because I like raisins in my baked goods about as much as I like sticking my hand in a pumpkin.

I also candied the sunflower seeds for the topping.

These muffins are hearty, moist, and good.

If you’d like to make these great muffins, you’ll find the recipe at Kelly’s blog.

October 20

Over the weekend, some friends invited us over to their house for shooting and pizza.

Shooting + Pizza = happy men

And even though the girl and I are princesses, we must keep up the disguise.

If we didn’t, there would be all this paparazzi and reporters following our every move, and I just couldn’t live like that.

PS.   See the chips?   See how far there face is away from the scope?   See me?   You should see my nose all bruised up from the recoil.   Someone should have warned me.

October 19

Thanksgiving day.

1988.

Ohio.

Driving a Chevy Astro van, with Missouri tags.

Pulling a trailer with Oklahoma tags.

Mom, dad, and then fiancee along for the ride.

Clueless about a loaded shot gun under the back seat.

Red flashing lights in the rear view mirror.

First speeding ticket.

I’ll never forget the embarrassment of being pulled over in front of my fiancee, or the fact that I had to walk to the cruiser and  I was barefoot and the ground was cold, or the fact that I oh, so snarkily told him to have a Happy Thanksgiving after he handed me my ticket, or the relief in my dad’s voice as he told me about the gun.

If you have, how old were you when you got your first one?

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October 18

From Wikipedia…

Sweetest Day is an observance celebrated primarily in the Great Lakes region and parts of the Northeast United States on the third Saturday in October.

The origin of Sweetest Day is frequently attributed to candy company employee Herbert Birch Kingston as an act of philanthropy. However, Bill Lubinger, a reporter for The Plain Dealer, contends that “Dozens of Cleveland’s top candy makers concocted the promotion 84 years ago and it stuck, although it never became as widely accepted as hoped.”

The Cleveland Plain Dealer’s October 8, 1921 edition, which chronicles the first Sweetest Day in Cleveland, states that the first Sweetest Day was planned by a committee of 12 confectioners chaired by candymaker C. C. Hartzell.

I insist that the Chocolatechic house celebrate this ‘holiday’ every year, because it is another reason to celebrate chocolate.

So join me in the celebration.   Go surprise your sweetie and get them some chocolate, of course making sure that you get some too.

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