Wednesday, June 27, 2012


I was in the almost-big city about 40 miles from here yesterday. It was lunch time and I never pass up the opportunity to have something I can't get (or make as well for myself) at home. There's a hamburger chain, fairly new to the area as far as I know, on my way from point A to point B. I'd eaten there before and liked the service and the value. I pulled in. It was 11:30 and not very busy, but there was a line, just enough people ahead of me that I had time to lazily fill out my order form.

It is clearly stated that burgers of the beef, turkey or veggie kind are $4.95. Then there are the extras, like cheese and bacon and avocado, which add to the price, and the freebies, like lettuce and pickles and onions. Regular fries and sweet potato fries, a particular weakness of mine since no one else in the house likes them and I have to get them when I'm by myself.

I went to the register behind a woman I judged to be close to my age. She had two elementary school age boys in tow and they had been having a large discussion about what to order while they eyed the menu and sat at the counter.

I'm not sure what they ordered, but I'd think three burgers and fries and there were two water cups and a drink cup dispensed. The total was $21.63 and she exploded.

Really. She got mad. I mean $4.95 is plastered all over the place. She acted surprised, handed the cups back, announced she'd get a pizza which was far more reasonably priced, and out the door they went!

I felt sorry for the young man at the cash register. When it was my turn, I meekly handed him my ticket and said I'd crossed out my name at the top because hers had been the same and I didn't want confusion. He'd just grinned, said he was sorry it had happened but that he'd offered to help her with understanding the menu, but she had refused his offer.

I got table service, an extremely large order of fries (which I couldn't eat all of, more's the pity, either that or it was the bottom of the basket), and a blog entry.

I hope she found pizza at a reasonable price because the last time we purchased same, it would give the $20 a run for the money.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


I'm right-handed and obviously careless with that hand because I have once again run out of right-handed kitchen gloves.

I've never liked to do dishes bare-handed. My skin used to break out most unbecomingly if exposed to too much dishwater, so I early on adopted the "living gloves" as part of my kitchen retinue. Finding a slit in a right-hand finger would have me scrambling below the sink to retrieve another package of gloves.

Eventually, I wised up and bought several pair, opening the packages and dividing the contents into two zippy bags, well-marked, Left and Right.

With another little accident today, I'm down to one right and a multitude of lefts. I need to find someone as clumsy with their left as I am with my right. I could probably spare a dozen.


Saturday, June 09, 2012

Travel sized

In a belated fit of spring cleaning, although it is still technically spring, I've been cleaning out drawers: bathroom, freezer, travel bags, recipes tried and untried, and now the latter, consigned to the trash, never to be tried. (Note to self: if the title contains shrimp and garlic, pass it by. You already have every variation on file.)

Our bathroom drawers had become a repository of everything brought home from a trip and then some. Toothbrushes and dental floss from the dentist, all sorts of curling irons (I wonder why so many), freebie pill cases, night light bulbs hidden at the back of the drawer. No wonder I kept buying them; I couldn't find those just bought!

So it was clean-out and rearrange time. The toothbrushes went into a container and slid into the top drawer along with the floss. I took the travel size tissues for the car. The ear plugs went with all the others into the travel bags in the other room. The shampoos and conditioners, as well as the soaps, are a compendium of everywhere we've been in the last 5 years. We use the soap and I'm not buying more hair products until those are gone!

But it's the deodorants that mystify. Do I just stand in the travel aisle at Walmart and put one in my basket every time we're going somewhere? I must. There are over a dozen of them.

We're not mentioning the hotel shower caps...

Monday, June 04, 2012

Plums: The squash of the fruit world

We have a nearly 30-year-old plum tree, a Morris plum, orchard tree of Texas. It was a gift from my neighbor's son in 1983. He owned a peach orchard and thought plums better suited for a household and planted two for us. One died not too many years later, but one has (obviously) held on.

This plum sits behind our back fence. At various times, it has been backed into, been hit by a trailer, had the fence blow down on it, and had a neighboring hackberry drop a large branch onto it. Its trunk is twisted and splayed. Last year it bloomed but produced no plums. We felt sure that last summer's unrelenting heat would be its death knell.

How little did we know.

At least for the time being, this little plum tree, with several dead branches and easy height of 15 feet at the topmost, is proving to be an exceptional producer this year. So far, I have gathered over 90 (NINETY!) pounds of plums from it. At the moment, the ones left are so high, I don't trust myself on a ladder and I certainly can't stand on any of the rickety branches!

My husband suggested I use the pecan picker we have, a reach and grab device that fitted naturally and wonderfully around the plums this morning. I did venture to the second step of the ladder and gathered 8 pounds. There are few insect problems and only an occasional bird beak intrusion.

However, that may be it. To go any higher will take two people, one holding the ladder. I know there is minimum of another 10 pounds of plums up there just beyond the reach of my "plum picker".

So what does one do with so many plums, this year's candidate for squash of the fruit world? (Around here people have such bumper crops of squash that they can't give them away fast enough, whereas peaches and tomatoes are rarely shared.) I've given away as many pounds as people can stand and I've frozen nearly 2 gallons of juice for future jelly. That's what I'll be doing this afternoon as well: wash, cut, boil, simmer, strain.