Sunday, August 31, 2014

Easy "Roasted" Garlic

Hubby Tony and Son Donald decided to clean out the produce drawer and make a Tuscan grilled vegetable salad for dinner. I suggested they add some white beans and turn it into a main dish. They agreed. Mid-afternoon they were busy preparing the eggplant, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, and onions to go on the grill. I offered to make the vinaigrette that they would toss everything in.

All the dressing ingredients went into the blender and got pureed. That sounded easy enough.  However, when I took a closer look at the recipe I saw that it called for six roasted garlic cloves.  I was NOT going to preheat the oven for that small amount! 

I figured there had to be a way to replicate the texture of roasted garlic without heating the whole kitchen up. A Google search proved me correct. I put the unpeeled cloves in a microwave-safe bowl, added a splash of water, then covered the bowl with a lid and cooked it in the microwave.  Ninety seconds later my garlic was perfectly soft, squishy, and ready to squeeze into the blender.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Sink Isn't SUPPOSED To Sink!

Sunday I was getting ready to rinse some vegetables for lunch when I noticed the undermount sink (which came with the granite countertops we had installed four years ago) had come loose from the countertop.  Half of it was falling down into the cabinet, which is not a good thing. 

I yelled for Hubby Tony to come take a look.  Before I knew it Son Donald was there, too and all three of us were brainstorming ideas.  We were in agreement that we needed something tall enough to prop the sink up so it didn't fall any further, and set off in search of that 'something'. 

Looks funny, but it worked!
I looked in the garage, and Tony did the same thing in the basement.  Donald went out to his car and brought in the jack from the trunk.  Nothing worked, but we combined our ideas and set an empty cat litter bucket on top of the jack, then raised it up until it lifted the sink.  While the men were working inside the cabinet I called the company that installed the sink and left a detailed voice message, asking them to call ASAP Monday morning.

Although the company did call Monday morning, they couldn't send anyone out until Wednesday.  I didn't want to make the sink any heavier by putting water in it, so for a couple of days I tried to make as few dirty dishes as possible. I counted down the hours until the kitchen would be back to normal

When the installers showed up they blamed the failure on the first installer and the glue they used 'back then'.  They unhooked the drains, took the sink completely out, and cleaned the edges.  Next they applied a thick layer of stinky caulk and stuck the sink back under the counter, then clamped everything together tightly.  Then they gave us some bad news.  The caulk had to cure overnight (with NO water dripping on it); they'd have to come back today to reattach the drains. 

This morning I filled buckets with water to hand wash the breakfast dishes.  It was a real pain.  After dinner I did it again.  I was very glad when the installer showed up.  He did his job quickly, then told me we were back in business.  Thank goodness!

Five years ago today: Mother May I?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Too Darn Hot!

That's been my mantra the past week. Every hot, humid, day when the temperature has been close to 100°.

Last weekend the weather folks promised a cool down by mid-week. Each day the nice weather has been pushed back; now they're saying things will change starting tomorrow (only 92°), but a daily chance of storms guarantees the humidity will make it feel warmer than that.

But, like someone said at the gym yesterday, we won't still be complaining about the muggy weather on Halloween.

Five years ago today: WHAT'S Your Name?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Different, But The Same

Today at the mall Customer Service desk a woman who works at one of the stores asked if she could use our computer to log into her email and print out a schedule her boss had sent.  I moved the keyboard and mouse to the top of the desk, and she quickly logged in.  I could still see the screen and was surprised that her home page looked much different than what I'm used to.  It was in Hebrew.

The woman quickly printed out what she needed.  In the meantime I started helping another customer, so I forgot to remind her to log out of her account before she left.  It should have been intuitive for me to figure out where to click to exit, but the foreign lettering had me stumped for a couple of minutes.

Even after I logged out the Hebrew home page remained.  I thought about it for a few minutes, then entered my user name and password in the boxes.  When my account home page loaded I signed out and had the English version back.

Five years ago today: King and Saint

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Being Bitten Bites!

Although Hubby Tony and I share the grass cutting duties, I'm the main trimmer.  I've been procrastinating on the job for a couple of weeks.  The oppressive heat has been part of the reason, but the larger issue is that if I stay still for any period of time the mosquitoes feast on me.

The grass along the edges was getting really straggly looking, though, so tonight after dinner I decided to tackle the job.  I sprayed myself with a bug spray that promised to repel mosquitoes, moisturize my skin, and smell pleasant.  I went outside and trimmed until I filled up a large black nursery pot, then dumped the trimmings in the green waste can and put everything away.

When I got inside I realized the repellant had delivered on two of its three promises, but failed on the one that was most important to me--the repelling.  In fifteen minutes outside I got one bite on my right shin, and one on my left foot next to the heel.  There were two on the right side of my left knee, and three on my right thigh immediately above my kneecap.

For some reason my experience made me think of the Off! commercial from the 1960s where the man sticks his arm in a cage full of mosquitoes.  (I always wondered how much he got paid to do that.)

Five years ago today: Season's Greetings To You

Friday, August 22, 2014

Charmed Circle Deux

It was a little more than a week ago that I saw a large fairy ring in the yard of a house not too far from mine.  This morning as I was leaving my street I saw a circle of white mushrooms in the grass two houses from the original one.  It was not there yesterday.

This circle was only about four feet in diameter, but the mushrooms were HUGE! (The picture doesn't do them justice.)

Before last week I'd never seen a fairy ring.  Why, now, all of a sudden would there be two?  I'm sure there are logical, scientific reasons... the last month has been cooler and wetter than average, or the spores blew from one yard to the other, or the lawns need to be dethatched. 

However, I prefer a more imaginative answer.  The other day Joanne suggested the original ring was so big because the fairies needed a lot of seating.  Maybe the party got too big and they divided it into two parts, or maybe there was a falling-out and some of the fairies got mad and moved to a new location.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

It Wasn't Me!

The other day I was looking at the charge card bill online and saw two charges I didn't recognize.  At first I thought they were from our recent vacation, but underneath each charge was an additional line labeled 'Foreign Transaction Fee'. When I opened each item up I saw that the card had been used for gas at two stations in the Dominican Republic. 

Our vacation was in Denver, not the Dominican.  Yikes!

I had plans to leave the house that morning, but I immediately changed those plans and called the charge card company. Forty-five minutes later they'd reversed the charges from the account, cancelled the card, and said they would send me a new one with a new number.  The representative asked me if the card had been out of my possession.  It hadn't (other than nominal amounts of time when a waiter ran it at a restaurant), but I had shopped at Target during the period they said hackers were stealing information.  I wonder if that's how my number got into the wrong hands?

Hubby Tony checked less than 24 hours later, and there were already credits on the online account statement. When I received the new card several days later there was written documentation from the fraud department that everything had been taken care of.

Thank goodness.

Five years ago today: Why Can't We All Just Get Along?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Can A Guy Get A Little Attention Here?

I got a text from Son Donald today with this picture attached:

The caption was "Technically not on the table". 

I guess he's right.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sometimes You Just Need A Good Laugh...

Did you hear about the Italian chef that died?
  • He pasta way.
  • We cannoli do so much
  • His legacy will become a pizza history.
  • Here today, gone tomato
  • How sad that he ran out of thyme.
  • Sending olive my prayers to the family.
  • His wife is really upset. Cheese still not over it.
  • You never sausage a tragic thing
  • It’s such a shame good people have to die fusilli reasons.
  • It was a farfalle from grace.

Five years ago today: Look Mom...No Cavities!