Posted tagged ‘Bread’

“Yes! Yes I do! I like Christmas! I love Christmas!”

December 10, 2017

Winter wonderland skipped us. We got rain the whole day, heavy rain at times. In the late afternoon, when I let Gracie out and brought trash to the car at the same time, we both got soaked. She wasn’t thrilled. My sister got around 6 inches of snow. I watched the news and saw the snow in Texas, an unusual occurrence in San Antonio. I laughed out-loud when a kid did a snow angel. Obviously snow was new to him. He did the angel face down.

Yesterday was a day of doing little for me. I made four or five trips carrying stuff like the displaced by the tree living furniture upstairs, wrote out more cards and went through catalogs but mostly I just sat. All the hauling up and down stairs made me tired. Today I have more energy and a to-do list. Gracie and I are going to the dump, to the small grocery store for bread and such and Agway for cat and dog food. I will decorate my wreaths and put them outside, and I’ll bring up bins from the cellar with the tree lights and some decorations. If I have any energy left, I’ll at least put on the tree lights. Tonight I’ll make myself a nice dinner and have some egg nog and watch Hallmark.

When I was a kid, Santa Claus had power over me. If I did anything wrong or fought with my brother, my mother threatened to call Santa. That was enough to get us to stop. I remember trips to Jordan Marsh to visit Santa. We’d take the bus to Sullivan Square then the subway to the Jordan’s stop. In those days Jordan’s and Filene’s had entrances from the stores to the subway. They were destinations.

I love Boston at Christmas time. The city is filled with people, some shopping, some just enjoying the festivities. The trees in the Common are lit for the holiday. Frog Pond is open for skating or for just sitting and watching the skaters while drinking a cup of cocoa. The giant tree from Nova Scotia is covered in lights. Small push wagons around the common sell roasted chestnuts and hot popcorn. Garlands hang from stores and street lights. People just seem happier.

My town was always decorated for Christmas. Swags of evergreen were hung from one side of the main street to the other. The store windows had trees and wrapped gifts and Santas. Carolers sang every night. The aroma of sugar cookies and bread wafted from Hank’s Bakery and hung in the air. The fire station was outlined in lights, and Santa was climbing a ladder to the chimney. I loved going uptown at night, and I still remember singing in the square.

I get excited for Christmas even now. I love the lights, and I could eat a dozen sugar cookies. Christmas music plays in the car and around the house when I’m decorating or baking. I sing along, out of tune, but that doesn’t matter. It’s Christmas!

“Life, now, was unfolding before me, constantly and visibly, like the flowers of summer that drop fanlike petals on eternal soil.”

August 7, 2017

This morning is a delight. We have bright sun and a blue sky. The birds are singing: better described as the hungry birds as so many of them are coming to my feeders I have to fill the feeders again. I also need more seed, and I need dog food as well so a trip to Agway is on my list today. Gracie and I are also going to the dump. I’ll make two trips as I don’t want Gracie waiting in the car while I shop at Agway. I also need bread so I’ll add the grocery store to my errand list.

The temperature is in the 70’s and will go down to the 60’s tonight. It will be the same the next couple of days. That’s perfect for me. The weather report says showers tonight. I hope so. We haven’t had rain in a while. Summer showers are my favorite of all sorts of rain though thunder showers are a close second.

I do the Globe crossword every day. It seems to be getting easier as I get older. I figure the puzzle maker is young and thinks his clues are head scratchers. The historical stuff I’ve lived through so they’re really easy. The capital of Ghana is often one of the clues, a no-brainer for me. The clues which stump me are often about current singers or television programs I never watch. I can only hope to fill in from the clues around those.

Last night the crowd chose Creature with the Atomic Brain as our movie. It is black and white and was made in 1955 but is a tick better than most we’ve watched. Richard Denning is the star. The evil scientist is a former Nazi and his boss a deported gangster who has returned illegally. They both deserved hissing. We had a few appetizers, played a game of Phase 10 and enjoyed meatballs in marinara sauce, frozen from last week, and a great salad for supper before the movie. We, of course, had candy for movie watching.

When I retired, I had no idea how I’d spent my time, but I wasn’t worried. I knew I’d find something to keep me busy or not. It will be thirteen years this summer, and I have enjoyed every day especially days when I did nothing. I have a routine for the mornings, but the days are come what may. That’s my favorite part, the spontaneity of it all.

“All sorrows are less with bread. ”

May 21, 2017

Today is glorious. It is sunny and squint your eyes bright. There is barely a breeze. The high today will be 65˚. I’m thinking a perfect early spring day.

I woke up at some time during the night as I was cold. When I checked the thermostat, it said 63˚. I turned the heat on and it started right away. I went back to bed and fell asleep snuggled under a second afghan and warmed by the dog next to my legs.

This morning I had English muffins. I used them to hide Gracie’s pills. She was suckered by the butter. Sometimes I am too. It melts into those nooks and crannies. Coffee was the rest of my breakfast, a blend from Uganda. I had three cups.

I love bread. When I buy a loaf, I try all differents sorts of bread. I really have no favorite though Scali bread is right up there. When I was a kid, I thought bread came only in squishy white except for Saturday night’s brown bread which really didn’t seem to me to be bread at all. I like cornbread which always comes in squares. In Ghana, the bread was sold as an uncut loaf. At stops on the road, women ran to the windows to sell fruit and those loaves of bread. They cost 20 pesewas, about 20 cents. We used to pull pieces off the loaf and eat it plain. My last bread purchase was naan. It makes a good toast and an interesting sandwich. When I’m out, the choices are limited. I usually end up with rye.

Crackers are another favorite of mine. When I was a kid, my mother always bought Saltines and Ritz crackers. I’d put saltines in soup and wait to eat them when they were mushy. They also made a great snack, a peanut butter and jelly or a peanut butter and Fluff sort of cracker sandwich. Now I buy all sorts of crackers mostly to go with cheese. I really haven’t any favorites.

My favorite pie is lemon meringue, and I always have some lemon curd around the house. I also love pineapple. When I was a kid, we only had canned pineapple, and I don’t remember eating it all that much. I don’t even remember seeing a fresh pineapple in the supermarket. We always had apples and oranges and sometimes tangerines and strawberries, always as strawberry shortcake. I first tasted a variety of fruits in Ghana. I was amazed at how good mango and pawpaw (papaya) are.

It was Africa which introduced me to different foods. It gave me a willingness to try new things, some of which I still can’t pronounce, but that doesn’t matter as long as whatever it is I’m eating tastes good.

“Silently, like thoughts that come and go, the snowflakes fall, each one a gem.”

January 7, 2017

The first thing I did when I woke up was check the clock then look out the window. The weatherman had said the snow would start around 10:00. It was 9:30 when I woke up, and it was already snowing. I jumped out of bed and got dressed to go outside. Gracie needed dry dog food.

The roads had more cars than I expected. Even Agway had a lot of customers. I didn’t check the grocery store parking lots, but I suspect they’re filled, and the stores are depleted of milk and bread. Peapod came last night so my fridge and cupboards are filled. I anticipated being housebound so I bought hummus, pita bread, chips, cheese and snacks as well as the staples. I have a bottle of champagne and plenty of orange juice.

The snow is supposed to fall between 1 and 3 inches an hour until 3 or 4 in the morning. My car is covered as are my footprints. Gracie slid down the last three steps when she went outside just a short while ago. I watched until she disappeared under the deck. She is a smart dog. Under the deck gave her a bit of protection from the snow.

I am mesmerized by the falling snow. I keep looking out the window at the flakes slanted from the north to the south. The snow on top of one big pine branch is sort of my measuring stick. It is double the height it was just a while ago.

Pine needles are all over the house. Most of them are still on the living room floor, but Gracie and I have carried needles on paws and slippers to the rest of downstairs. If I get bored, I’ll sweep then vacuum, but I’d have to be really, really bored. The Christmas decorations fill the couch and one side of the kitchen counters, but I just can’t conjure enough energy and enthusiasm to haul up the boxes to put everything away.

The corner is empty where the tree used to stand. The living room is dark without the glow of lights. The wonderful aroma of pine is gone. I hate saying goodbye to Christmas.

“When the English language gets in my way, I walk over it.”

March 7, 2016

This morning was hopeful. I saw my first crocus in the front garden. It is bright yellow and is the only color I can see. The sun was shining when I woke up. The birds were in and out of the feeders. The coffee was delicious. Now, a mere three hours later, it is cold and dreary. I don’t know where the sun went, but it disappeared quickly. The crocus is closed. The world is back to being grey and dreary.

I spend two hours with my neighbor. We chatted about foods, relatives, weather and the  verb doesn’t. She seems to prefer don’t as in he don’t. I told her I’d start charging her money for all the times she uses the wrong verb. My grandmother and my father used don’t all the time and they were born in this country. I might be fighting a losing battle.

Gracie and I are going out later. She is out of canned food, and I am out of bread, two essentials for our lives. Lately I have been into naan. Gracie has been into whatever I feed her.

When I was a kid, our boxer, Duke, ate two cans of food every day. Back then it was horse meat. It smelled gross. I hated when it was my turn to feed Duke. I’d turn my head away as I was spooning his dinner into his dog bowl. Duke loved his dinner.

My electric can opener is among the missing. I moved it from the counter and now I can’t find it. I am back to using the old silver can opener where you turn the wheel around the cover. It works great except on the larger cans. With some cans I use a churchkey mostly when something to be poured is in the can. I also keep a churchkey in my car. It is one of those things you need when you don’t have it.

Every time I travel I take my Swiss Army knife. It has every possible gadget I might need on my journey. It used to be with me but now it travels as cargo being a weapon and all. I’ve have it forty-seven years. The tweezers and the toothpick are missing, but other than those, the knife is in perfect condition. I have a really small one I keep on my keychain. It comes in handy.

On the Amazing Race last week one of the tasks was to put together a Swiss Army knife. It is done by hand piece by piece, blade by blade. Now I know why they are so expensive. When the teams were leaving for Switzerland, one team member wanted to know what language is spoken there. Swiss, of course, was the answer. The best question of the season so far was also last week. In what country is Switzerland?

“Though sympathy alone can’t alter facts, it can help to make them more bearable.”

October 18, 2015

I can’t put my finger on which one but my wheezing reminds me of sound effects from a movie. They are a bit like metal scraping metal. I’m thinking this cold and being by myself for so long are affecting my brain. Sound effects from Wheezing?

Things are getting better. The cold’s grip is weakening. I only woke up twice last night and managed to sleep 11 interrupted hours. It looks like I have to go out sometime today. I haven’t any bread or soup or anything which tantalizes my taste buds. Sweets keep coming to mind. I’m thinking chocolate chip cookies are a possible remedy. I suspect, though, I’ll probably stay home. It takes far too much energy to get up and out even for chocolate chip cookies. Besides, I think I need a nap.

The day is cold. The sun pops in and out but is merely decorative when it appears. It isn’t warmth. I turned on my heat for one cycle this morning. My bed and comforter are sounding more and more appealing.

Not being around enough people is the reason I’m sick. When I worked, I was around kids with their various ills and ailments.  I developed an immunity. I don’t even remember when last I had a cold though this may be a whole different strain of something. I think I caught it during my reunion last weekend. With all those people in one room, someone must have had a germ or two and shared. How kind!

I’m combing the TV for classic horror movies. I’m thinking the Holy Trinity of Frankenstein, Dracula and The Mummy. I’m not including The Wolf Man as I always feel really sad for Larry Talbot. He didn’t deserve his fate.

I watch NCIS even though Abby and her pre-adolescent prattle drive me crazy. Just a while ago I happened on the last 5 minutes of The Brady Bunch and left it on as I wanted to watch what followed it. During those 5 minutes I had an epiphany. Abby based her character on Cindy Brady. They have the same child-like voice, intonations and the same childish indignations. Trust me on this one. The only NCIS mystery left is why the prop guy doesn’t realize we hear the echo of the empty coffee cup when Gibbs puts his coffee on the desk.

“Baking is like washing–the results are equally temporary.”

February 15, 2014

Batten down the hatches! A storm is a comin’, and the Cape is going to get walloped, all the weathermen agree. They just can’t agree on how much snow. The estimates range from 8″ to a foot or more. It is supposed to start this afternoon which gives me time for storm prep. I filled the feeders earlier then made a shopping list. After I finish here, Gracie and I will head to the dump on a most non-traditional day then on to the grocery store. I need bread, one of those must get before the storm comes items, but such of the rest of the list is good for the soul, not so much the body. Chocolate is on the list as is coconut ice cream. If I can’t be in the tropics, I can taste the tropics and imagine palm trees and soft breezes.

The morning was sunny and warm. Since then, the sky has become that funny whitish grey color I always associate with a storm. It’s a still day. The dead leaves on the branches just hang without even a flutter. Even the birds have disappeared, probably somewhere sheltered jockeying for space. Snow, even yet to fall snow, makes the day quiet.

My house is clean, and I have no laundry to do. I can spend my day reading or watching movies or baking. That’s right. I said baking. I am a good cook and I am not being boastful, only truthful. I used to have dinner parties all the time and serve elaborate meals. Choosing a theme was first. Mostly we visited other countries, and my table decorating matched our destinations. I even made papier mâché buildings which I painted true to color. My onion domed Russian churches were the stuff of legends. The piñatas were colorful and covered in layers of tissue paper. For every meal I made a flow chart and followed it religiously. It began with the recipes I’d chosen and the ingredients listed aisle by aisle in the supermarket. Then came the two-day preparation. I started most of the dishes and stopped at a step which I would continue the day of the dinner. The last list on the flow chart was what cooked at which temperature for how long. Today, though, I will not be as ambitious. I’m thinking plain old cupcakes without fanfare.

Spring training begins today for pitchers and catchers. There will be a summer. I have hope. 

Diary: Bread

February 19, 2011