Just Another Ordinary Day

Happy Heart

Member
The reply I just wrote seems to have vanished!
His precious face shows his feelings for you and you have been blessed to be in each other's lives. I still dream about the ones who have moved on and left me here with them. Bless you for being a good friend to him.
 

Daily Journal
Getting into the holiday spirit.

Yesterday I was home all day. I drank coffee flavoured with mint and chocolate and watched Christmas movies. A few blocks away, my daughter hauled out her Christmas decorations and started decorating her tree. There were many back-and-forth messages about the best place to put her Christmas village. After dinner, I looked out the window and it was snowing. My daughter and I manifested snow! Yay! I checked the weather forecast and now, instead of rain-rain-rain, we have snow-snow-snow. I love it!

Later today I have to go out and I won't be home until after ten o'clock. I sometimes find myself thinking fondly of the numerous lock downs we've had over the past couple of years. I know I am in the minority, but I loved them. I was so happy to stay home and not have to go anywhere. I am not a person who needs the company of others and I prefer just being by myself. Until recently, I used to joke that I haven't been dressed since March 2020. If I have the choice between going out and staying home, I will choose the latter every time.

So, with the knowledge that a large chunk of my day will be busy, I have spent a quiet morning doing nothing. In a slight deviation from my usual routine, I made toast to go with my coffee because I won't be able to eat again until I return home tonight. I don't usually eat breakfast, but it's a long time until dinner. I have a bowl of leftovers from a very good Southwestern pasta dish that I made for dinner yesterday. I am already looking forward to it. There is still some snow on the ground and I will definitely be wearing my coat when I leave. It is currently minus 2°C, with a wind chill of minus 6. A nice day for walking if there is no wind.
 
A Story From Unorthodox
Hats, books, and bubbes.

Last Saturday I posted on Facebook that I was currently reading Unorthodox. The mention of Williamsburg elicited a comment from a friend who said that when he visited New York City, he walked over the Williamsburg Bridge a few times. He had a hankering for a hat. My mind immediately jumped to the distinctive furry shtreimel. And of course, I had to share a story with him that I had just read from the book.

Deborah, who lived with her zeide and her bubbe (grandfather and grandmother) as a little girl, recounts an incident one Passover when her zeide's shtreimel caught fire and he had to buy a new one. Apparently, he was quite well off but extremely frugal and it pained him greatly to have to make such an expensive purchase. Back then a shtreimel cost around 2000.00. Deborah, or Devoireh, as he called her, writes that she was pretty sure he got a cheaper knock-off somewhere because it was 'very shiny.' The shtreimel was too new for Zeide and he hated it. He ended up hiding it in the back of a closet and announced that he would only wear it to weddings.

It turned out that my friend was actually referring to a Homburg, and that is probably a good thing because a shtreimel is crazy expensive and will set a dude back 7500 to 8000 bucks. Yikes! I do love that story, though. LOL

I also really enjoy the images that Deborah invokes of her bubbe working in the kitchen, making kreplach and challah. And it was Deborah and her bubbe who I was thinking of when I came across the book Bubbe and Me in the Kitchen. I love cookbooks that tell stories. I never really had the chance to get to know my grandmother. Now I am a grandmother myself. I have never cooked with my grandson (age 7) but I did spend an hour the other day playing balloon volleyball with him. I don't think he expected Grandma - who according to him is 500 years old (thanks, kid) - to be so quick and agile. He beat me in the end, but only by one point, and I really made him work for it. LOL

I have already chosen the first recipe I want to make from my new cookbook: Persian Chicken Stew with Tomatoes and Green Beans (khoresht loobia sabz). In the introduction to the recipe, the author, Miri Rotkovitz, writes that today her grandmother would be a centenarian if she were still alive, but it's hard for her to reconcile that advanced age because every birthday her grandmother was 29. A kindred spirit! I too am 29 every year. LOL
 
Memories
A musical blast from the past.

I don't post a lot to Facebook nowadays, but I do enjoy looking at old posts in my memories every day, particularly conversations that I've had with my children. One day I was talking to my son and this memory was the result.

Me: I played 90's country music all morning. Bird was ecstatic. He's been singing nonstop.
T: Ewww, 90's country music.
Me: That music played on the radio every day when you were growing up. It should make you nostalgic for your childhood.
T: I remember I didn't like it. LOL

Country music seems to be a thing that people either love or loathe with nothing in between. I love it and I was thrilled that Bird (my late budgie) also loved it. We got many a day off to a happy start singing along with YouTube videos and a 90's country station that I found on Amazon Music. Here is a song by a Canadian band that I have always loved. The genre always takes me back to when my kids were little. It was a very happy time in my life.

 
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Happy Heart

Member
Please excuse the clinton's but I don't know how to scrub them from the video...anyway, here are a few of my favorites:
We don't drink, smoke, or do drugs but regardless, the heart felt lyrics of Sunday Morning speak to me.
Thanks for sharing Prairie Oyster, I never heard that song before but it reminds me of younger days also.
 
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Stir-Up Sunday
An old British tradition.

It's Stir-Up Sunday. Time to make your Christmas pudding! My people are from lowland Scotland and the English midlands and I guess it is from them that I inherited my love for British food and traditions. I adore mincemeat and fruitcake, and I will never turn down a dish of plum pudding drowning in custard sauce. In fact, that is a favourite Boxing Day breakfast of mine. Hey, someone has to eat the leftovers! Here are some Christmas puddings from one of my go-to food sites, BBC Good Food, as well as lots of other festive recipes for the holiday season. Happy cooking! :)

Recipes for Stir-Up Sunday.

And if you fancy a bit of knowledge with your dessert, here you go. :geek:

The history of Stir-Up Sunday.
 
A Shock To The System
It is much too early for such a scary gas bill. Oy.

I think our snow is here to stay. It's been fairly mild for November, but there is now enough snow that whatever melts away doesn't really make much difference aside from the streets and sidewalks being slushy and muddy and messy. Normally, this is where I would say how much I am longing for colder weather; however, the arrival of my gas bill yesterday is changing my mind about that in a big hurry.

I turn my heat up a bit in the wintertime, but not a lot. My house is fairly cool, although still comfortable. Last month my gas bill was 82.00. This month my bill is - brace yourself! - just shy of 300.00. I almost died when I saw the amount. O! M! G! I can't even imagine, nor do I really want to, what my bill is going to be like when it's actually proper cold outside. Ugh.

I kind of feel like I brought this on myself. I may have been rather too proud of myself for managing to not spend too much money on food and still be able to eat well. The Universe, always paying attention to what we are doing and thinking, saw this and decided to smack me down a peg. Good job with the food bill, but I can still stick it to you in other ways! Thanks, Universe. :cautious:

I guess I should be very grateful that I am able to be so frugal at the grocery store because this winter it will probably be a necessity and not simply a fun little challenge that I set for myself to see what I can accomplish. I sure hope Old Man Winter is in a good mood this year.
 

Happy Heart

Member
My house is all electric so I'm sure mine will also go up, but it isn't our fault. Between politicians and wars we are going to be paying more this winter. Is there anything else you can do to keep the heat in or use a small space heater? As I am writing this, the news about the lack of gas & food in Ukraine playing. So sad for all.
Today was cloud covered here and by the weekend another storm is expected off the Pacific. At least my cat knows she can snuggle under the blanket with me but she gets grumpy when I need to get up.
 
@Happy Heart ... As expensive as gas is here, electricity is even more so. My cousin heats with electric and her bill is about three times the size of mine. It's crazy! My dad, back in the day, also had electric heat, but he had a wood stove in the kitchen. During the winter, all the extra rooms in the house would be closed off and he would heat just the bathroom and his bedroom. The wood stove heated the kitchen. I loved that stove so much as a kid. I spent many happy days sitting beside it with a book. There's nothing like a nice fire, one of my very favourite things!
 

Happy Heart

Member
Happy Thanksgiving:
"Small cheer and great welcome makes a merry feast."
- William Shakespeare
@Happy Heart ... As expensive as gas is here, electricity is even more so. My cousin heats with electric and her bill is about three times the size of mine. It's crazy! My dad, back in the day, also had electric heat, but he had a wood stove in the kitchen. During the winter, all the extra rooms in the house would be closed off and he would heat just the bathroom and his bedroom. The wood stove heated the kitchen. I loved that stove so much as a kid. I spent many happy days sitting beside it with a book. There's nothing like a nice fire, one of my very favourite things!
According to the news reports, our gas prices have increased more than the electricity so we are paying more, just not lot more, yet. Liked your story about the wood stove, any idea what happened to it? I remember going to a cousin's house and helping them shovel coal into their furnace. Grandpa's house had a huge oil burner in the basement but I was too afraid of it to get close since I was sure evil was hiding in that dark corner.
Have a great day!
 
The Friday Five
Favourite foods.

Back in the day, when online blogging was a relatively new thing, I used to hang out at a place called LiveJournal. I loved that site so much. I loved all the different interest groups and the wonderful sense of community. To this day, I am still good friends with a couple of women I met there. The site remains, but sadly the LiveJournal I remember no longer exists. The Friday Five was one of the pages I followed. I loved the different sets of questions offered each week. It was such a good way to get to know people. This is the latest FF from the LiveJournal sister site, Dreamwidth.

1. What is your favourite vegetable?
My favourite vegetable to eat as a side dish is green/yellow beans. I like carrots, too, especially the colourful heirloom carrots. My favourite vegetable to cook with is cauliflower. Cauliflower is amazing. It makes beautiful creamy sauces and soups. I use it to replace fatty, expensive cashews in vegan cheeses and cheese sauces. It works perfectly.

2. What is your favorite fruit?
I love fresh cherries, but they tend to be quite expensive, and therefore a rare treat. When I feel like splurging, I will buy a bag of frozen cherries and mix them with frozen berries or apples to make crumbles and cobblers. I can get a few desserts from a bag of frozen cherries. One day when I was cleaning the odds and ends out of the freezer, I made the most amazing pie with the remains of a bag of cherries and a bag of peach slices, and some fresh rhubarb from my garden. I topped the pie with a cinnamon streusel and it was so good. Oh my gosh!

3. What is your favorite cheese?
Because of my leg and the Peripheral Artery Disease that I inherited from my father's side of the family, I eat an extremely low-fat, cholesterol-free diet. A plant-based doctor who I have followed for decades, Dr. John McDougall, is fond of saying that genetics might load the gun, but diet pulls the trigger. I completely believe that. I can feel the difference in my leg when I eat too much fat. Most of the cheesy-flavoured things I eat are homemade as commercial vegan cheeses are loaded with fat and salt. However, I am not a purist and I do indulge occasionally with Violife cheddar or mozzarella, but even then, I tend to use them in small amounts to accent the dish. I also really like Daiya's vegan four-cheese Mexican blend. For everyday meals, I love my smoky Provolone cheese sauce made with cauliflower.

4. What is your favorite dessert?
I don't really eat desserts. I prefer savoury foods. But when I am in the mood for something sweet, it's usually a sweet roll, homemade with less sugar, that I can have with coffee or tea. On a more desserty note, I do love a lemon loaf cake soaked with a tart lemon syrup and served with fresh strawberries. And at Christmas, I will never say no to mincemeat pie or plum pudding.

5. What is your favorite beverage?
I drink coffee in the morning and tea at night. I know I'm going to come off as really strange here, but I actually only like instant coffee and it has to be Nescafe Rich Blend. My favourite teas are Stash double bergamot Earl Grey and Stash double spice chai. I am a big fan of Stash teas and I think I currently have about nine different flavours in the cupboard.
 
Liked your story about the wood stove, any idea what happened to it? I remember going to a cousin's house and helping them shovel coal into their furnace. Grandpa's house had a huge oil burner in the basement but I was too afraid of it to get close since I was sure evil was hiding in that dark corner.

The stove, one of those big wood-burning cookstoves, came with the house. We had it for a long time and it was in constant use during the colder months. After I moved out, that stove was eventually replaced with a smaller parlour stove. Apparently, it wasn't the heat beast that the cookstove was, and I sometimes wonder if he wished that he'd kept it. I don't know why he decided to get rid of it. We had a similar parlour stove in the kitchen at the cottage. My dad pretty much always burned coal in that one. I remember as a little girl, our first stop on the drive to the cottage was always to buy coal. Kind of an odd thing to recollect. LOL

My house is heated with hot water radiators and the boiler and hot water heater are both fueled by natural gas, but at one time, the place was heated with oil. The huge oil tank is still in the basement in its own little room. I can't even imagine how much I would be paying for a three-story house heated with oil. :shudder:
 

Happy Heart

Member
Oh my, how those hot water radiators clink and clank as they start warming up in the morning. I have not seen one of those in years!
Some of my favorites:

#1. Favorite veggie - carrots, I still like my old carrot casserole recipe with lots of cheddar cheese.
#2. Favorite fruit - mango, green mangoes have a nice tangy flavor
#3. Favorite cheese - parmesan, also paneer.
#4. Favorite desert - Nanaimo bars!
#5. Favorite beverage - green tea in the morning gets me going since I'm tired of coffee.
 

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