Posted tagged ‘biscotti’

“A basket of ripe fruit is holier than any prayer book.”

February 19, 2018

When I got the papers this morning, I expected a warm day, but I was disappointed. It’s a chilly day. The sky is cloudy and rain is predicted for tonight. I do have a couple of errands to do later.

This morning, while my coffee was brewing, I had a surprise burst of energy. I polished a shelf, swept the kitchen, washed the cat dish and cleaned the sink and counter. That’s the most housework I’ve done in a few weeks. I’d like to think this burst of energy will be a rare event.

I treated myself this morning and had two lemon biscotti with my coffee. I love the taste of lemon so much I could live on lemon squares. Lemon meringue pie tops my list of favorite pies. I think we were one of the few families where a lemon meringue pie was traditional for Thanksgiving. I even learned to cook a few dishes with preserved lemons.

I’d never turn down anything made with pineapple except maybe pizza. In Ghana I ate pineapple just about every day as part of my lunch, always a bowl of fresh fruits. I like Thai food with pineapple. I almost don’t care about the other ingredients. In my cook book from Peace Corps Ghana was a recipe for pineapple upside down cake. I always wanted to make it, but I had no oven, only a charcoal burner. A couple of old cook books from the 50’s have pictures of a finished pineapple upside cake. They are perfect and have a cherry in the middle hole of the pineapple.

When I was kid, only a few fruits were available all year. My mother bought bananas, oranges and apples. The apples were always red. The oranges had seeds. In the summer we had watermelon and grapes, green grapes. At Thanksgiving we had tangerines, our parade snack. I didn’t even know fruits likes mangoes and papayas existed. Coconuts were on tropical islands in the books I read. We were fruit deprived.

“Come, ye cold winds, at January’s call, On whistling wings, and with white flakes bestrew The earth.”

January 2, 2018

This morning I redefined leisurely. Gracie and I went out around 9:30. She did her business while I got the papers and Saturday’s mail. Once inside, I got the coffee going, fed Gracie treats and Maddie her breakfast. It took two cups of coffee before I finished the Globe. Gracie and I shared a gingerbread biscotti with the second cup. The Cape Times was next. That was only a one cup read. I then sat and read my book for a bit, an Elly Griffiths. I turned on the TV and started watching Die Hard 2, a cheery Christmas sort of movie. Finally I checked my e-mail and took Gracie out again. That brings us to now.

Outside almost seems balmy. We have sun framed by a light blue sky. It makes the day feel warmer. I may even wear a Hawaiian shirt over all my other layers. It is 15˚ and could go as high as 21˚.

I am going to start putting Christmas away. I have already piled the kitchen decorations on the counter. I de-Christmas room by room. The tree is always last.

My niece started putting Christmas away. Her 3 year old cried on the couch. Her 5 year old started hiding decorations. The two boys were devastated. She let them each chose a couple of decorations they could keep in their room. That worked.

Summer clothes are bright. Winter clothes are dark. I have never understood why for it is in deep winter when we need color and brightness the most. In summer the world is alive. Gardens are bursting with flowers. The grass is lush under foot. The sky is a gentle blue. In winter, gray white and brown predominate. Dead leaves still hang off the ends of branches. The birds wear their drabbest coats. Color is packed away and stored.

Even the sounds of winter are muted behind closed windows. I sometimes hear a barking dog from the street behind me. It sounds lonely, even mournful. At night, the wind seems to howl with a ferocity, and I imagine it surrounding the house and shaking it like a snow globe. The few cars going down my street ride silently on the snow.

The only stirring I will do is to clear off the car windows. The brush is on the floor of the back seat, a silly place as I have to clear that door and window to get at the brush. I guess I’ll use my broom then buy another brush to keep in the house. Winter forces me to be practical.

“In football everything is complicated by the presence of the opposite team.”

November 12, 2017

The sky is cloudy again, and it’s chilly, low 40’s chilly. My heat is on almost constantly. Nothing is moving. I can see the backyard through my den window and not a branch, even the smallest, is moving. I’m glad for the stillness. It helps to keep the cold at bay. There is a chance of rain later.

Gracie and I have to go to Agway. I am out of canned dog food, and that’s a calamity. I also need to buy biscuits, dog and cat treats, cat food and bird seed. Shopping at Agway is, for me, never an inexpensive stop. My animals expect and do get the best. Gracie is pickier than the cat and drives me crazy when she turns her face away from the treat I’m offering and holds out for something better which she usually gets. It is too late now to alter the behavior I have fostered in Gracie, the spoiled dog.

This morning I enjoyed biscotti with my coffee. It was, of course, chocolate biscotti. My  mother wasn’t a coffee drinker except with biscotti which she loved. When she came to visit, I’d give her a half cup of coffee purely for dunking purposes. One Christmas she even made her own biscotti, and it was delicious. She kept a few but sent most of it home with me as the rest of the family didn’t eat biscotti. What fools they were!!

The cloudy days make me feel languid. I need a bit of sunlight, a natural pick-me-up. It is so easy to love a sunny day and feel like conquering the world; instead, I just sit here hoping for a sudden jolt of energy.

Having lived here for so long, I am familiar with all the quirks of my house. I can identify the sounds. That’s the ice maker adding water or dropping cubes in the tray.  I can hear the clicks of the furnace before the heat blasts. The thump is Maddie jumping off the couch or from one step to another. I used to hear the scurry off the mice in the eaves, but the exterminator took care of that. Just a few minutes ago, I heard an unfamiliar sound. I stopped typing to listen. The sound had a rhythm, a rat-tat. I knew it had to be a woodpecker. I banged the wall, but the sound stopped for only a minute. I had to go out to the deck to scare the bird away. The sound has stopped.

Tonight is game night and football night as the Pats are playing the Broncos. We’ll all be watching. My sister in Colorado is working on her football game menu. The Pats never do well in Denver, but this year Denver is not doing well. They are last in their conference with a 3 and 5 record. The Pats are first in theirs with a 6 and 2 record. The Pats are favored. I hope that comes to fruition.

My dance card is not empty for a change thanks to game night.

“It is beyond the imagination of the menu-maker that there are people in the world who breakfast on a single egg.”

May 4, 2017

Last night was downright cold. I huddled under the afghan wearing my sweatshirt. This morning the sun is shining, even glinting, and the sky is blue. It is still chilly but is, at least, a pretty day.

My back is a bit better. I just can’t walk upright. On the evolutionary chart, I most resemble homo habilis without the hair.

Yesterday morning, Gracie wanted out around 5. Always willing to oblige, I got up and walked her to the gate. The air was filled with the morning songs of birds. What gave me pause and a smile was among the songs I could hear the gobble of turkeys from what sounded like a street away. As the other birds sang, the turkeys kept gobbling. I figure a song is a song.

Yesterday I had Frosted Flakes with a banana for dinner. I used my Animal Cracker’s bowl. I could have been six except my mother would never have allowed just cereal for dinner. It was breakfast. Dinner was meat, potatoes, and a vegetable. Lunch was soup or a sandwich or both.

My father hated breakfast in continental Europe. His complaint was the assorted cold cuts and cheeses were for lunch, not breakfast. He would usually have coffee and some sort of bread and butter and complain between mouthfuls. My mother and I enjoyed breakfast and the different sorts of cheeses and meats. In Ghana, I always had two fried eggs and two pieces of toast. Both were cooked on a small charcoal burner. The bread was leaned against the hot sides and turned so both sides browned. The eggs were fried in peanut oil. Ghanaians ate for breakfast what they had for any meal.

We affectionally called my mother the seagull. She’d eat whatever for breakfast. I can remember her standing one morning at the counter eating a sandwich of a cold but cooked hot dog with cucumber slices washed down with diet coke. If she had eggs, they were scrambled with cheese or whatever else she could scavenge in the fridge. When she visited me, I always had biscotti, a favorite of hers. She didn’t drink coffee but did use it for dipping the biscotti. I still have biscotti. The other day it was anisette.

I have some seagull in me as I am not bound by convention when it comes to meals; however, cold hot dog is out even for me.

“Getting an inch of snow is like winning 10 cents in the lottery.”

March 9, 2017

Gracie went to the vets this morning. It was a combination well dog, clip her nails and check her her back legs visit. I explained all the leg issues and how her paws slide on the floor and steps. The vet checked and thinks it might be arthritis. She prescribed some pills mostly for ease of joint movement. I should keep an eye on Miss Gracie, and if there is no change in three weeks, I’m to bring her back. Other than that, the vet thought Gracie looked wonderful for her age.

Yesterday afternoon was beautiful. The sun came out, and it was warm, almost hot. I bought lunch and ate it sitting outside. We did some errands and both of us, the dog and I, were glad to be out. Today it is 56˚. The sun is bright. A strong wind is blowing. You’d think spring but you’d be wrong. We are under a storm watch. The snow should start after midnight and continue during the day. They are predicting 4-8 inches. It could get as cold as 16˚. I’m going to pick up some storm goodies. The joke is people always buy bread and milk before a storm or a hurricane. I, however, will buy a chicken already cooked, some sweet potatoes, also cooked, some cole slaw, biscotti for breakfast and a couple of cupcakes. I’m thinking chocolate with white frosting.

When I was a kid and snow was expected, I’d periodically look out the picture window hoping to see furiously falling snow. The light below the streetlight right near my house was my weather watch spot. The light was bright so I could see the snow falling and blowing sideways in the wind. Once the snow started, I’d keep an eye on the street and front lawn hoping both would disappear under snow. No school was always the reason for the vigil. The worst disappointment was to go to bed during a heavy snowstorm and wake up to find there just wasn’t enough snow. It was time to get dressed for school.

“A flower blossoms for its own joy.”

April 12, 2014

The daffodils have bloomed. It was an overnight miracle. When I went to get the papers this morning, the first thing I noticed was the bright eye-catching yellow. I had been waiting for them to bloom as I knew they were close. I saw each lovely flower dipping ever so slightly as if in homage to the sun. I stopped for a while to check out the rest of the garden, not wanting to miss a single thing. I noticed one hyacinth has a red flower close to blooming. Other daffodils have buds almost ready to open. Small hyacinths dot the different gardens. White croci have appeared. My garden is alive and filled with spring.

The sun is bright, but the day is chilled by a slight breeze. I was on the deck for a while watching Gracie in the yard and the birds at the feeders, but I got cold so I came inside for coffee and some biscotti, orange-cranberry.

Yesterday I bought flowers, primroses, and a new pot for the front steps. I’ll plant them today. They are hearty flowers which will survive the 40˚ nights. It is still too early for garden flowers, and I’m champing at the bit. I love buying flowers. I also need several new clay pots for the deck, and my small vegetable garden needs the fence fixed. Spring brings lots of garden chores, even for small gardens like mine.

My laundry is sitting in the hall. Today is day one. I brought it down from upstairs this morning.  The longest it has sat in the hall is three days before I couldn’t take it anymore. It isn’t as if doing the laundry is anathema. It is just one of those things. When I was a kid, I always thought that making the bed was a waste of time because it got slept in again that night. I figured it was easier leaving it in the morning as it was already cozy from the night before. My logic was generally refuted.

“Rainy days should be spent at home with a cup of tea and a good book.”

November 7, 2013

I love the sound of rain and today is a good day for a lover of rain. When I woke up, the first sound I heard was rain drops falling on the roof so I stayed in bed a bit longer and listened. Gracie gave me a look but she was too comfortable in bed beside me to move and quickly settled back to sleep. I stayed in bed and read a while but the thought of a fresh cup of coffee and the biscotti I bought yesterday were too enticing so I got up and went downstairs, put the coffee on and went outside to get the papers. The leaves are plastered to my driveway and the street. Pine needles cover the lawn, but the rain is welcomed as it has been so dry.

Yesterday Gracie and I went for one errand then we took a ride down cape. She kept her head out the window surveying the world as we passed. I saw some color, mostly bright red. The ocean was quiet. I stopped at one store and bought a few things, odd things like measuring cups, a scoop and some chutney.

I remember my grammar school classroom on rainy days. The lights hung down from the high ceiling, and in the darkness of the day the room always seemed a bit shadowy despite the banks of windows on the back and one side wall. Rain subdued us. There was none of the shuffling of feet or the rustling of papers. I’d lose myself in the rain, and the sound of the nun’s voice would get further and further away until I didn’t hear it anymore. I’d watch the drops of rain pelt the window and find one drop to watch as it rolled down the window getting smaller and smaller until it finally disappeared then I’d find another drop to watch. I was a long way from school on rainy days.

Today is a stay home day. I have no reason to go anywhere. My bed is already made so I have done all my household chores leaving the rest of the day for reading and maybe napping in the late afternoon. A dark, rainy day seems to lend itself to a nap. I’ll stay in my around the house comfy clothes and slippers. Today sounds perfect.