From Diane Setterfield's The Thirteenth Tale

People disappear when they die. Their voices, their laughter, the warmth of their breath. Their flesh. Eventually their bones. All living mempry of them ceases. This is both dreadful and natural. Yet for some there is an exception to this annihilation. For in the books they write they continut to exist. We can rediscover them. Their humour, their tone of voice, their moods. Through the written word they can anger you or make you happy. They can comfort you. They can perplex you. They can alter you. All this, even though they are dead. Like flies in amber, like corpses frozen in ice, that which according to the laws of nature should pass away is, by the miracle of ink on paper, preserved. It is a kind of magic.

--Diane Setterfield

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Holiday Cookies

Becca put out this great recipe for sugar cookies and I tried it. I had some initial difficulties resulting from the fact that I don't, rather haven't, baked. Like, ever.
So I muddled through 20 minutes of beating together sugar and butter and dough that was way sticky. Today I pulled out the chilled dough and we came up with these:

Dea helped me frost most of them.

Friday, December 18, 2009

I Love Lucy - pre making it funny and adding pictures

I've been invited to the I Love Lucy Club.
Here's the story^:
I had great ambitions of making many delicious confections for the Holidays this year. I've been feeling very festive like that. I remember making English Toffee and Pulled Taffy as a kid. Now that I have a kid, plus some, I thought I'd give it* a try myself.
I had to have a candy thermometer, so on my way home from work one night I stopped by Fred Meyer** and picked one up. Then I needed to get the ingredients. It took a day of shopping and stuff, but I came to work yesterday all sorts of prepared. First on the list on yummy, fattening foods to make was Fudge. I used this recipe which sounded really good. I didn't look very hard and evidently there are much easier ways of making the stuff. For the sake of being gung-ho, I wanted to do it authentic.
I had these two pages of instructions that are not really in order. Starting on page two I added the ingredients mixing them and melting them slowly. I don't know what the crystallization they referred to looks like, but they were very adamant that you don't want it in you fudge. Things were cooking great until the mixture started to boil. I had it in a big pot because I knew that it would grow as it boiled. I didn't realize how much the stuff would grow. The mixture bubbled and rose and rose and bubbled. I had to keep it cooking or I might get crystals! So I did the logical thing as the mass reached the top of the pot. I blew on it.
Nuthing happened.
Rather it kept growing. So I turned down the heat. But just as the flame turned off, the mixture boiled over the top and onto the stove. I had to keep it cooking or it would crystallize and ruin the batch. So I grabbed a bigger pot and put it on another burner. I turned on the flames and realized a second later that it was the wrong burner. The bag of oranges was sitting next to the burner I had turned on. The red mesh bag was casually draped over the side of the fruit basket and on top of the burner. AH! I hastily turned it off and lit the correct burner. Then I poured the remaining mixture of overflowing, bubbly, sticky, chocolate stuff into it. I turned up the heat and got it back to boiling. I couldn't stir it, per the instructions Else I might make it crystallize. When it got to the correct temperature I removed it from the stove. The next step was to beat until creamy. I can't beat it in a Teflon coated pot, so I had to pour it into another container, again. Then I got the mixer out and started beating the sucker. It was HOT and kept flinging bits of 30-seconds-ago-boiling-chocolate-mixture out at me. After the 15th burn I had Dea help me make a shield with paper towels. After the 20th burn I thought to look at the directions again. I was supposed to let it cool.
So I let it cool. For Ever. Finally when it was the right temperature I went back at it with the beaters. Twenty minutes later it was still not creamy, Derek and Lori were home and it was time for me to leave. I poured it into a Tupperware and stuck it in the fridge. Today it is still not creamy. I was able to get this picture*** of the stuff. I spelt 'love' with the drizzle from my thickness testing spoon. So now I have some really good fudge ice cream topping.

^It's pretty straight forward, so there are not so many explanations down here. Sniff.
* Making candy, that is.
** I really wanted the $20 fancy schmancy one from William Sonoma. But the $5.99 one at Fred Meyer was closer... and cheaper.
*** It won't upload... sorry.

Monday, December 14, 2009

A new post

I'm not sure what I want to post about^. I know I want to post something. My computer kinda died and I thought I lost my pictures. Yikes! Lucky Scott showed me how to find them again^^.

^ That's a lie. I know many many things I'd like to post about. I just can't pick.
Jaedyn had 6 teeth. She had her first candy cane. Everyone called her a boy at our ward Christmas Party. The mohawk* didn't help. Nor did her missing earrings.
Things are moved to storage. It is bliss.
I had a birthday. It was not so exciting. But I did get one birthday present. From my mom. It's a sewing machine. I made a hedgehog as my first project. I'm still making it. I made a wallet for the second project (later Alicia gave me some fabric, thanks!).
We made a gingerbread house. Super soft, nasty light butter is the way to go for the recipe I had. I tried again with real butter and it turned out rather nasty.
My hands are getting scaly. The weather up here does weird things to my flesh.
We have been watching Bones. It's interesting.
We are going to Houston for New Years and my mom's wedding! WOOHOO!!!

*She really has a mowhawk. When we take her hair down from it's pony's this fantastic mowhawk that lasts for days.

^^ Now I need to send those pictures. Thank goodness for my husband who saves me from computers.