Fluff ‘N Stuff

I like chocolate but only dark chocolate and I am very, very partial to See’s Candy.  I’ve never been much impressed by supposedly high end chocolates like Godiva or Ghirardelli. The ultimate in chocolates, in my opinion is Teuscher but that’s another conversation.

At any rate our daughter sent chocolates, as a little spirit raiser when my husband was in the hospital, which included a bag of Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Raspberry squares. And now I am addicted. These things are not cheap but I scored some on sale last week. I do not need an expensive addiction. Nor do I need the calories (70 per square). But boy oh boy do I need that hit of chocolate and raspberry.

Speaking of raspberries – I love raspberries but only when they are cooked down to a syrupy sauce like in fillings for chocolate or as jam. Or as a coulis to be used on chocolate cake instead of frosting. Fresh raspberries don’t thrill me. Same with blueberries – put them in muffins, waffles, pie – love them. Fresh in a bowl – not so much.

Notice a theme here? chocolate and fruit has got to be the ultimate  combination of any two foods.

I checked my WP stats yesterday and weird thing. Someone downloaded an 11 second video I posted last November. I made it with an Instagram filter of “Let It Go” with my face in place of the cartoon character’s.  Why the hell would anyone do that? And who did it? I find this very disturbing.

I still can’t get that Hexclad pan out of my mind. $199.00 for a pan – No. But then again why not? I have a stainless steel 12-inch pan and a  12-inch non-stick one. The non-stick is pretty beat up and I’m back to using the stainless steel pan, which I’m not thrilled with considering what I use it for. Now the Hexclad is non-stick, and the 12-inch pan is the one I use more than any other because I do mostly one pan cooking. I am so jonesing for that pan.  Stop me before I shop! I am too old to be buying expensive cookware.

Speaking of cooking – it is 11:30am so I need to start making lunch – which is our main meal of the day and the only time I cook – there is no cooking at night; no dish washing. Kitchen closes at 6pm.  Lately I’ve been having dark chocolate raspberry squares for dinner and my husband has yogurt and a peanut butter sandwich.  At least he is eating something reasonably healthy, me – I’m just being decadent.

Let’s Revisit That

“Positive negativity” – an oxymoron?  The reverse of toxic positivity?  I’ve never been sure why NOT liking something is viewed as a bad thing. Negativity is defined as “the characteristic of being pessimistic or contrarian”. Disagreeing with someone or something is also negativity. Why is this a bad thing? If no one ever disagreed or disliked we would still be living in caves eating raw meat with our hands!

Here is my declaration – Positive Negativity is a good thing. Feel free to have an opinion and not have to defend it, particularly if it’s a matter of personal taste.  Be Your Own Self for pete’s sake.  Adopt my motto “No thank you, none for me but you enjoy it”

I am not often clever, rarely am I clever, but I think I got off a good one in my answer to Ann‘s comment regarding her being irked by ‘influencers’. I likened influencers to Border Collies herding the sheep.  Pretty good, right? Or not, hey – I like it.

Rory asked an amusing question this morning – “Name 5 uses for a stapler other than stapling” I could only think of two – as a weapon or a paperweight. I think those are only valid if you have a stapler like I have – This stapler is approximately 53 years old, solid metal and it weighs a ton. Somehow I doubt a modern day stapler would be good for either of those uses. The only other stapler I have is a mini, made of plastic, and barely useful for even that.

This stapler was mine when I worked for Elgin National Industries back in the 1960’s/70’s. When the company closed we were ‘allowed’ to take odds and ends home. I took this stapler and an antique desk chair that came from the original Elgin Watch Company offices. Sadly, I no longer have the chair – it was a beauty. (The stickers on the stapler were my initials – GMT – the G and M have disappeared by the T is still there.)

BTW – the mug in the background holds my pens and pencils and says “Lives – Get One” I think it was a gift.

Talking about Ann – on her blog this morning she mentioned that she ‘stuffed manicotti’. I commented that you don’t stuff manicotti because they are crepes, and she probably made cannelloni, which is a tube of pasta you do stuff.  Ann is the only person I can say that to and not get a lot of grief. Which is why I love Ann.

In case you don’t know the difference I wrote about it HERE.


Whadda ya call it…

I’ve been on a cavatelli kick. For those of you who don’t know the different types of macaroni it looks like this:

We only ever ate this one way – with ricotta and gravy ie: spaghetti sauce/red sauce/meat sauce – however you want to call it. It seems cavatelli and broccoli is a classic – I’ve never had it. You can look up the recipe if you are curious. Cavatelli and any kind of vegetable seems to be a thing. Who knew? Not me.

Anyway, we called cavatelli bullets, probably because they look like bullets. Cavatelli was almost always fresh made at home and the trick to getting that shape was rolling the dough into a rope shape and then using your thumb you just flicked off a piece dough.

As I was making this for lunch today it crossed my mind how we called the dishes we used. While calling cavatelli bullets, makes some sort of sense, referring to different types of tableware “flat” and “round” makes no sense at all.

When told to set the table for dinner we would often ask “Flat dishes or round dishes?”  In our house a flat dish was –

and a round dish was –

Now quite obviously both dishes are round. The first plate is just a dinner plate. The second dish I suppose could be called a soup dish(?)  To my mind a soup dish is smaller and deeper but this is what I own but I don’t eat soup from it.  And since I am the only person who deals with the dishes in my house it doesn’t really need a name. Tho in a pinch I guess I would refer to it as the glass dish.

I don’t know where that absurd designation for the dishes came from but I do remember that the terminology later became “flat dish” and “deep dish” which makes more sense I suppose.

What do you call these two different types of dishes?

For Melissa – Recipe for spaghetti with garlic and oil.

Also known as spaghetti aglio e olio.  Personally I use linguini  but you can also use spaghettini but NEVER angel hair.  You want a thin macaroni, spaghetti is really too thick and angel hair, in my opinion is gross.

The way I do it is the way I like it – there are variations to-taste.

Put up the pot to boil. Take a small (6 inch) frying pan, add olive oil and garlic. Use low heat (or low flame) to just get the garlic fragrant. Turn off the heat.

When the macaroni is cooked drain it but not too much, you want it fairly wet. Put the macaroni back in the pot, add the garlic/olive oil. Keep a low heat under the pot while you mix it all together (coating the macaroni), add fresh ground black pepper.

Dump onto a plate add the grated cheese of your choice – Eccolo!

Variations to taste (and answers to questions you might have):

~ I always add a little bit of lemon juice to the olive oil/garlic pan. It just seems to brighten it up.

~ Some folks add hot red pepper flakes – you can add them to the olive oil pan or to the pot after the pasta has been coated.  Your choice – to your taste or not at all.

~ The garlic – you can slice it VERY thinly, you can mince it, you can use a garlic press – whatever you like.

~ How much garlic? Hey, you’re eating it, please yourself. While I have an apron that says “There is no such thing as too much garlic” – that’s not true but you get to decide that.

~ How much olive oil?  Ah, – who knows – enough to nicely coat however much macaroni you are cooking.  You can always add more olive oil after you’ve mixed everything together if it looks to dry or you just want more olive oil.

~ Grated cheese – I like Romano – specifically Locatelli Romano which is not always easy to get and it’s way expensive so plain Romano has to do. You can use Parmesan if that’s how you roll.

~ Also – depending on which, or how many, greasy pans you want to wash – You can use a bigger frying pan to do the garlic and oil and then put the pasta into that pan to coat the macaroni. I do the small frying pan into the macaroni pot.  I’ll use a spoon to get out all the garlic bits and olive oil.

I use this as a side dish but there is nothing to stop you from making it a main dish.

See – easy peasy.

Isn't that interesting

We have 6 streaming channels  and nothing to watch. Oddly, my husband and I, being 75 years old ,have little to no interest in shows/movies about teenagers. Imagine that!  I avoid anything violent while my husband seemed to enjoy “The Vikings” – I didn’t watch it. 

Summer is slow in the mindless entertainment business, but by the middle of September Brit Box and Acorn will have restocked themselves. Until then – 

We’ve started watching The History of Country Music, a Ken Burns productions, on PBS. I didn’t get to watch the first 3 episodes because they covered the years 1933-1953. My husband wasn’t interested in those episodes. We started with Episode 4: 1953-1963.

What I found interesting was I remember all those songs and artists – experienced in real time. Where the heck was I listening to this music? I don’t recall country music (or country-western music as it was often referred to in those day) being big in NYC. Yet – I remember listening to this music when I was a kid back in the 1950’s. I do recall that late in the evening we could pick up radio stations from the South and the Mid-West – maybe we were listening to this music that way? 

I suppose I could do some rabbit hole diving and research radio stations in NYC in the 50’s but I’m not all that interested in where I first heard country music. At any rate tonight we are up to Episode 7: 1973-1983.

I like pierogies. A ravioli is a pierogi is a Chinese dumpling – it’s all good. Take some dough stuff it with something edible, boil it, saute it, cover in sauce – all good. 
I bought Mrs. T’s pierogies the other week. I hadn’t had them in decades! The box says it contains 12 pierogies but – and here’s the interesting part – there are 13 pierogies in every boxAt least there were 13 in the two boxes I bought. I’m going to buy them again just to see if I get more than is advertised. I think it’s kinda interesting. 

I haven’t spent much time online or even on my computer lately – too busy reading. I’m just whipping through books. Whipping is actually a great adjective because someone should be whipped for publishing this crap.  Luckily I’ve got some good books on my iPad and on my shelf and I shall soon be back to a happy book world.

Books that should whipped out of existence – okay, that’s extreme – how about the books I didn’t finish because I thought they were crap? How’s that? And the list is:
The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley
The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James
Book Lovers by Emily Henry
Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
An Island Wedding by Jenny Colgan

Understand these books came highly touted and well reviewed. I think much like current tv and movie entertainment, I am outside the norm for what’s considered good, or entertaining. 



Lisa informs me, via Facebook, that Dunkin Donuts has already launched their pumpkin spice mishegoss. The interwebz search says Starblechs won’t be doing theirs until August 30th.

So splitting the difference, here is my annual ode to all things pumpkin spice –

Crazy Shit

 Let’s start with this – 

I cannot even fathom this level of stupidity. But then – look at who said it. 

If that doesn’t give you a rueful chuckle then listen to this: Domino’s Pizza, after 7 years of trying to establish themselves in Italy, has closed its 29 stores there. The reason for the closure? Well, Duh! Do you have to ask? What moron thought that was a good idea? That’s a bit like bringing coals to Newcastle. Are there P.F. Changs in Beijing? Do they sell Budweiser in Berlin? Domino’s pizza in Italy – the mind boggles.

Also crazy shit – the weather. We are in our third day of high temperatures in the 70’s and overnight lows in the 50’s and 60’s with – wait for it – low humidity. Heaven! It was so crisp this morning that I adjusted the windows from wide open to almost closed. Needless to say I’ve slept well the last two nights. 

Any craziness in your neck of the woods?