December 31st, 2012



Saturday Kaan needed to be poured into the carrier to go to the vet. They told me his poop sample was clear before they took him to have his blood sampled and a distemper shot. That took about 20 minutes as I waited in the lobby.

Home, watched some college bowl games, and finally got up and got stuff together to make Kourabiethes. Greek shortbread cookies. It comes with a short story: When the Daily Astorian social editor, Vernice Berg, found out I cooked, she signed me up to do a "cooking for bachelors" column. After 11 months there, I took a  Greek cooking class at the local community college, taught by the woman who owned the local pancake place. She was Greek, and hoped one day to open a Greek restaurant. Her son was often her assistant in the class. Several months later, I was in a production of Camelot in Astoria, OR, and he was our Sir Lancelot.  For dessert night, one of the things we made was Kourabiethes. I loved them, they were melt in your mouth, and made with cardamom they had an exotic flavor. The recipe was so simple I never wrote it down for myself. But guess what? I just found it in my string book:

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Wish I'd looked for it yesterday, because what I found online had baking soda, baking powder, almonds (which I ignored), and called for far more sugar in the cookies. And now I am wondering where I got the cardamom idea from. Maybe we made some other cookie with them that class, or maybe the teacher added that in class but not on the printed recipe. I wonder. Probably not the latter, because when I wrote those cooking columns I usually put in all the variations.

I had gone online and found three recipes which seemed close to what I remembered, and merged them. They called for baking powder and baking soda, which I did not have, so I went to Lucky's and got that, and more flour and more powdered sugar. Turns out I needed both.

The cookies I made yesterday had too much flour, an extra egg, baking powder and baking soda, and came out too dry. They still tasted great. I like the hint of cardamom too.

Cookies done, time for more football. About an hour before party time (it takes about half an hour to get there from here), I realized I did not have the address. I had been there a few times before, but had always just punched the address into my GPS. But I have changed GPS systems a few times and it's not on the one in the car. I didn't have their phone number either. Collapse )

Got to the party with two containers filled with cookies, returned with 1 container full, left about a dozen behind for the lateniks. I think they would have all been eaten except the desserts were down two flights of stairs from the wine and beer, and the snacks and horses d'ovaries were on the dining room table next to the wine and beer table. Many people never knew the cookies were there. :-(

Excellent party, lots of people from many walks (and limps) of life, some brilliant conversations, and I managed to catch some of the hostess' photos from her summer teaching in China, which was in slide show mode on a laptop in the conversation pit. Huge turn-out, many people arrived after going to the movies, or dinners or other parties. I left at 2 am, it did not feel that late, probably because the party was still going strong.

I wore my new SF Giants jacket, it got lots of compliments.

One of the party latecomers produces an online fanzine called The Drink Tank. I am not sure where the name came from, I suppose I can ask him some time. I am an irregular contributor, mostly photos, but sometimes an article. He had put out a call for 2012 nostalgia, and I sent in some words and lots of pictures of the shuttle Endeavor fly-over at NASA Ames. At the party he announced that the issue was sent to the web site, and my article was in it, along with articles from two or three others at the party. Click here to see the zine.

It was good to see figmo at the party, she said she'd seen my posting about it, and thought she had forgotten, but I think what happened is they had several possible dates and she missed the final choice. Anyhow, I'm tagging susandennis here, because figmo is a brand new IBMer, going for her disorientation this week, and she posts about it on LJ. Susan has been posting a bit about her 25 years with IBM, now that she is retired. Both have a background in writing, too.

Sunday. Nothing on the agenda until 5 pm coffee with Janice. After a 3 am bedtime, waking up at 9:30 was about an hour too soon, blame the automatic light switch. There was a lot of football, but most of it was not what I wanted to watch. Bummed that they did not show the Seahawks game, but the Raiders and 49ers were at the same time slot. I also wanted to see the Jets get beaten again, but that was not available either.

Lunch was a major project, which involved taking a leftover lunch of leg of lamb with veggies which had been made in Awful Sauce™ and remove the offending bitter flavoring. Long story short, 4 sessions of simmering in water for 10 minutes, drain and refill each time, then make a casserole gravy. My mom used to do this all the time, but she never taught me how to make the gravy. I tried a simplified version of what's in the Fanny Farmer cookbook, which worked okay but needed salt & pepper. It was very filling, half of it is in the freezer for a later meal.

Maiming time until I needed to leave for coffee, I ordered a pair of oven mitts and a set of no-longer-sold-in-stores food storage containers online, watched more football, played on FB and Twitter, and just as I was about to leave my tummy said it needed to check the plumbing. That done, went to the car and once again tummy decided no, not yet,

I got to Starbucks with 5 minutes to spare, plus Janice had emailed she would be late. But she wasn't, she arrived just as I was paying for my drink.

Long conversation, as usual, she gave me a CD to copy for her. I thought it was photos, but it turned out to be a recording of a speech at an AA meeting by a friend of hers who passed away recently. It is an hour long, which surprised me, I thought maybe the original was defective, but nope, he talked for that long. Without going into details, it was the most incredible story of how much denial an addict can sustain.

So now she will have a copy, with an attractive printed disc.

Home, hungry again, ate a whole can of stuffed vine leaves (15 small ones) in two shifts. All the time, Domino is standing beside the recliner staring at me, even though I've offered her a piece and she did not like it.

Took a break to try to feed Kaan his liquid meds, because they have been working well but I missed last night's dose. He hates being dosed, and ran all over the place to get away. I finally went back online for an hour, and got him while he was half-asleep on the recliner. It still was difficult, but I think I gor most of it in him and only a little bit on him. But tah's okay because he will lick it off.

I am a happy sports fan, as little as I pay attention to these things. Oakland almost came back from certain defeat, only losing by 3. Seattle won again, putting them in next week's playoffs. Washington won, making them the Seahawks' next opponent. Baltimore lost, but they already clinched a playoff spot. 49ers won, it was ugly and against a vastly inferior team, but that gives them next week off before they play their first playoff game. I wonder if Baltmore sister, whose husband works in DC, will be going to next week's game there. We are both Seahawks fans, being from Seattle, but she also roots for the Baltimore and DC teams since she lives there now.

Posted more pix of the cats here. I espeically like these:Collapse )
Plans for tomorrow:
Plan A: Troll Facebook for a NYE party to go to.
Pan B: Make pigs-in-blankets, take out the egg nog & nutmeg, and have my own party while I watch it on TV.
Midnight, take down all the 2012 calendars. Confirm the world did not come to an end. Put up the 2013 calendars.