Sunday, November 29, 2009

Nantucket Cranberry Pie Recipe

Here is a fantastic, very simple, but very delicious recipe to make while cranberries are in season. Or any other time, since you can use frozen berries. It's really more like a cake than a pie, but, really, make it. It's gooooooood and easy. Excellent for taking to a pot luck.

Nantucket Cranberry Pie

For the Filling:
Butter to grease the pie pan
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

For the Topping:
2 eggs
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 tsp almond extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
Place the cranberries in a buttered 10 inch pie plate (I actually use an oval or rectangular ceramic dish). Toss the sugar and walnuts over the berries.

Cream the eggs and butter with the sugar - I do this in the food processor. Ad the flour and almond extract and mix. If using a food processor, do not overmix or it will be tough. Scoop the topping over the cranberry mixture and level it out with a spatula. The topping will be very stiff.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean and the top is golden and beginning to pull away from the sides.

Serve warm (or cold) with ice cream or whipped cream or just cream.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Puzzling British Signs: Part 5

Found an old picture - blurred because it was so cold and I was shivering, but you can still make it out.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Star Trek

Just have to share this bit of a review of the latest Star Trek film from The Guardian:

"The best Star Trek movie to date, except for Galaxy Quest."

Thanksgiving 2009 - A Locavore Thanksgiving

We had a locavore Thanksgiving this year. Turkey, veggies, the apples for the pie, the camembert-like cheese, even the wine were all locally produced.

The day started when the Bride got up and put the turkey in the oven. Then, Son of took the COG and Bride of to a wild cranberry bog in an Ultra Secret Location - we were blindfolded and driven in circles for miles. Although we weren't sure we would find any so late in the season, we found lots of berries. We picked about 2 quarts, shown here.

Came home and made cranberry sauce - the traditional kind. This was a sacrifice because The Bride loves cranberry orange relish, but there are no local oranges. Sigh. Still, the cranberry sauce was really good.

We started the meal with a trio of vegetable salads, in the French manner. We had a carrot salad, a beet and walnut salad, and a celeriac remoulade. Yummy.

Son of and The COG at the table. A word about the wine. It was local. It won an East Coast award. Opinions were divided between 'drinkable', 'nearly drinkable' and 'hardly drinkable.' Not worth 2 Weight Watcher points, at any rate. But it was local and that was the point.

Son of made the apple pie (local apples, flour from Vermont)(sugar and spice not local). It was a very complicated recipe. He did most of the steps before we ate. After dinner, he finished the pie and put it in the oven while we watched Star Trek (the newest movie) on our new Blu Ray dvd player. Midway through the film we had apple pie and ice cream. Divine! The movie was good, too.

About the Blu Ray player - all of a sudden, we have one. Not sure why. I think The COG was reading The Man Book chapter on Must-Have Technology, so he ordered it from Amazon. Fun to have, though.

Eating local is good to do. It's good for the environment, it's good for local farmers and fisheries and wineries etc. It's also interesting to eat as much as possible that is locally produced. We are lucky to have the Appleton Farm CSA (where nearly the whole meal came from) and the Gloucester Fish CSF, plus, access to local farms that have meat and eggs etc. But coffee, tea, citrus fruit, cinnamon, raisins, sugar, lots of seasonings (curry, cinnamon, nutmeg etc.) - these will never be local and I just don't want to live without them.

And the wine - that's a complex one. Supporting local wineries and distilleries (we just bought some vodka from Gloucester) means that they will stay in business and maybe they will get better. Certainly wines from California, Oregon, South America, and the Antipodes have improved greatly over the years. Maybe Massachusetts wines will, too. Or they'll discover what they do best and keep getting better at it. That's why we bought, and drank, the wine. There are already some very nice wines we've had from vineyards near Cape Cod. And we'll keep buying them but we won't give up wines from far away.

I guess the thing is to keep the list of non-local items as small as possible. Moderation. Balance. Harmony. Ohmmmmmm.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Another Day, Another Cupboard

Only 'After' pictures this time. I"ve been clearing out all the junk we had put into the dining room while the reno was underway. Today I got rid of 6 boxes of Stuff. All of it Nice Stuff that I just didn't need. I also filled a box for the Daughter of COG and I put some things away for the Son of COG. Here's hoping I can talk him into taking some Stuff. Right now there are about 4 boxes sitting on the lawn by the road with signs - FREE Good Stuff - on them.

These are two pictures of a cupboard I've been working on. My goal was to get all my china into that cupboard. I've spent days making little organizing things for the inside - you can see the smaller shelves, for cups and little bowls, at the back of each big shelf. And in one picture you can see the stacking thing I made for platters.

I still have too many little pitchers and too many teapots, but I have far fewer than I had. So it's progress.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Absolute Dream

This is The Bride's Dream Space - A perfect union of form and function

Before and After- Glass Cupboard


Number of items broken during removal and replacement: 2
Number of items sorted out to be given away: 30

Internal conversation while painting: "How much glassware does someone have before loved ones start planning an Intervention?......."
Internal conversation continued: "But I didn't _buy_ all of it, some of it was gifts or inherited. Really. No Intervention necessary. Look.... I"m getting rid of 30 items. I don't have a Glassware Problem."

The pictures don't do this justice - the 'before' white background was dirty unpainted plaster. The blue shelf liners were 14 years old.

Newly Painted Kitchen

Jusst a couple of pictures of the newly painted kitchen, with the new island in the center. They aren't great pictures -lighting is tricky. I"m going to have the COG take some better ones.

Now all I need is a new counter depth fridge.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

"Mexican Breakfast", Helpfully Explained

Not sure what this is exactly. It says Gwen Verdon's performance of 'Mexican Breakfast' - that doesn't clarify much.

But whatever it is, the helpful explanations are cracking me up this morning.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Old Photo, Just Discovered.

The Bride's Brother, looking like a young god sometime in the 1980s.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday Pet Blog

Not Cat of CoG, but someone's pet. Pretty amazing.

Friday, November 6, 2009

We interrupt this blog ....

Breaking News! Grumpiness is good for you! This is great news for the COG.

According to The Guardian, an Australian researcher has found that grumpy people are better at decision-making, less gullible, make fewer mistakes and are better communicators. Click here for the full article.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

More things to do in Brighton

The black spots in this picture are surfers swimming out into the surf. You can surf in Brighton! Who knew?

When I say 'you can surf in Brighton', I mean it literally. "I" will not be surfing there or anywhere in the forseeable future.

Though, I can't speak for the COG, bless his adventurous little heart.

View from the front of our apartment

This was taken immediately in front of our flat, showing the view to the sea.

Man and Van

Isn't this a good idea! How many times have you wanted a nice man with a van? And they work by the hour, or half day. There was also an eco option, a man and a van that runs on old cooking oil.

Things to Do in Brighton

Something I would love to do in Brighton, were I going to be there on Nov 29. Click twice on the image to enlarge it - it says "A sumptuous evening, performed in full period costume in an evocative candlelit-style setting" and features performances of Bach, Handel, Purcell, as well as Four Seasons by Vivaldi. At the Brighton Dome, which is formerly the stables of The Pavilion.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Brighton Fashionista

I know you are all wondering what the fashions are in Brighton this year. I am sorry to report that it's the pantless look, plus either flats or Uggs or, sometimes, heeled ankle boots. These leggings are worn with t-shirts or sweaters that ride up over the bum at the first step taken.

I blame mothers for this - they clearly haven't read the chapter entitled 'Over My Dead Body' in the Mom Handbook.

Not that all the people wearing it are young. The women in the second and third pictures are old enough to know better.

The fourth photo - terrible picture, but I had to include it because of all the stripes going in different directions. Click twice on the picture to enlarge for full effect.

Notice the variation in the last picture, in which the handbag is worn in such a way that the bum is covered. In the same picture, on the right, notice the tights are made from a denim-look knit, perhaps intended to make you think they are just skinny jeans. And on the left, the tunic length sweater. I'd say the girls in this picture know there's something not quite right with the pantless look, but have succumbed to peer pressure.

Random Moss

This is just random moss growing on chalk cliffs but, from this angle, it looks just like Dog of COG.

Puzzling British Road Signs: Part 4

I'm back. I have a lot of stuff (including blogging) to do, so I'm starting with the easiest ones.