Saturday, October 31, 2009

Of amusement

The Silent Monks perform the Hallelujah Chorus (not easy, that):

It amused me! Also of interest were two bumper stickers I saw lately:

"The Fan: who invited you?" (The Fan is a nifty old neighborhood in town, full of old houses and narrow one-way streets and no parking.)

"Midwives help people out." (Not that I have midwifey things on the brain, or anything.)

Not a whole lot is going on, otherwise. I got up at an excellent and reasonable hour this morning, did a bit around the kitchen, backed up some files, went upstairs to get dressed... and somehow napped for over an hour. Oh well.

Friday, October 23, 2009

"Life is running around inside me like squirrel"

The offspring has been making her presence known. She kicks; quite hard, sometimes, actually. This afternoon especially she was kicking. I was talking to Jennie about it at work.

"My mom used to say she thought expecting was like having a squirrel inside her, running around," she said.

And Jennie hadn't even seen 'You Can't Take It With You'! So I had to explain about the Russian ballet teacher and his great quote. I don't think he meant it in quite the same context!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Another good pumpkin recipe

I must be in a pumpkin mood: the lattes last time, today pumpkin muffins! It is getting cold here; I'm almost having to shut the windows. (Alas.) This recipe was quite successful. I made a batch for Hannah, Rhyme and Reason, and two assorted brothers who visited today, and they were very effectively eaten up.

I understand this recipe was originally from Gourmet Magazine, but I found it here. It's good.

1.5 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup canned pumpkin (you can use the rest of the can for making Pumpkin Spice Lattes. I recommend Libby's Pumpkin.)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 tsp pumpkin-pie spice (or, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger)
1 1/4 cups plus 1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350F. Put liners in muffin cups. (Or spray your Bundt muffin tins.)

Whisk together flour and baking powder in a small bowl.

Whisk together pumpkin, oil, eggs, pumpkin-pie spices, 1 1/4 cups sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl until smooth, then whisk in flour mixture until just combined.

Stir together cinnamon and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in another bowl.

Divide batter among muffin cups (each should be about 3/4 full), then sprinkle tops with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Bake until puffed and golden brown and a wooden pick or skewer inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.

Cool in pan on a rack 5 minutes, then transfer muffins from pan to rack and cool to warm or room temperature.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Pumpkin spice latte


I did add another spoonful of sugar to mine, though. And next time I think I'll tone down the vanilla extract - this recipe took about half my bottle. But it was really good. Jonathan liked it, too, and he's not even a coffee-drinker.

In which I am forced to defend Olwen by beating off a Chick-fil-A employee with a stick

So this evening I was driving through Chick-fil-A for my little sandwich. I get up to the window, and a guy leans past the lady trying to serve me.

"I'll give you $700 cash for your car," he says.

I shake my head. "I love my car."

"A thousand. Cash!" He shook his money clip encouragingly.

"I love my car!"

"I love my car too!"

"Why do you want my car?" I ask, genuinely curious. I mean, I love her because she's reliable and very well-behaved and good-looking and generally a ladylike vehicle, and also because Daddy and Grandad helped me pick her out. But she's not new and snazzy, and furthermore she hasn't been washed in months. People don't usually fall all over themselves to get their paws on her.

"Because your car doesn't need a new transmission!"

No, we're not from Ohio

For my birthday, we went to Virginia Beach last weekend. It was wonderful. First we went and drove down the boardwalk, but it was too touristy, there was nowhere to park, and the used book store I'd carefully scoped out online was closed, as in permanently.

So instead, we went to Sandbridge beach, just south of there. It was charming: not too busy, you drove through a cute town getting there (especially if you got lost on the way), and the day was breezy and sunny and generally perfect.

Jonathan built elaborate fortifi-cations, and I had a beach towel and an Agatha Christie. The tide rose while we were there and oceaned his construction. Happily, the towel was high enough up, I did not get oceaned.

While he was in the water, a couple walking along the beach stopped. The man addressed me.
"Are you with him?"
I dragged myself back into consciousness, and acknowledged I was.
"Where are you from, if you don't mind my asking?"
"Oh, Richmond? You were so white, we were wondering. I was guessing Ohio."
That above, by the way, is the couple that thought we were from Ohio.

As we were fixing to leave, I wrote the date in the wet sand. A little boy watched me. He then carefully turned to another patch, and started writing something himself.


I was over at the Semicolon blog, skimming through her hymns project. I don't usually watch the embedded videos, but I did these, and couldn't resist sharing. They're just that awesome. (Also very different.)

The first bit of this might be a little slow, but stick with it.