Thursday, December 11, 2003
As I posted on August 27th, as birds fell dead from the trees, here at this northern tip of the old South, at the point where the old Underground Railroad crossed the Ohio River into freedom, times just seem odd.
The not quite warm and not quite cold weather has been most unusual.
I still have plants blooming in a front yard recently dusted with flurries.
I saw a fly two days ago. December 9th and I spot a healthy Musca domestica buzzing about happy as the proverbial clam.
I’ve had reports of other sightings.
The unusual hasn’t been limited to the weather and tropical insects.
For the last several nights I’ve been kept occupied by occasional bangs and white spark showers coming from the vicinity of the power transformer atop a pole across our cobble stoned alley.
Four visits by the Fire Department, five by the utility and still no known problem. I have a fried security system, a suddenly extinguished gas furnace pilot light, and appliances humming like never before and, now, a utility repair guy tells me that my building shouldn’t have been affected by the unidentified problem.
Maybe I’m just spooked from memories of the mysterious fire at the old Odd Fellows Lodge two years ago when I watched two city blocks of power lines, telephone poles and one large historic pre Civil War structure burn and splinter in mere seconds.
Affected though I shouldn’t be, I know there was no surge or loss of power as the transformer sparked and flamed.
Power was briefly turned off during each examination by the utility and, after some morning phone calls, the rat’s nest of cables, except for a few, snaking to the transformer were so smartly squared away one could almost think the problem had been identified.
The true test will be an explosion and spark-free evening as I fret the phrase “unidentified problem” into a reverb-laden film noir montage of destruction.
I’ve wanted to post an absolutely fantastic new recipe and breakfast recommendation for the holidays.
First, a winter breakfast recommendation that demands a slice of preferably toasted homemade bread:
1 large Egg
1 buttered Custard Cup
1 Tbsp Heavy Cream
½ Tsp Butter
Salt and Pepper
Put Cream and Egg in cup. Season with salt and pepper and dot with butter. Bake 15-20 minutes.
Rich and absolutely delicious!
For a bread recipe use this link and scroll to bottom of page.
Apple Pie Bars
2 buttered and parchment paper-lined 8”x8” baking pans
1 stick Butter, room temp
1 ½ cups all-purpose Flour
1 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Cinnamon
1 cup Light Brown Sugar
2/3 cup Sugar
2 large Eggs
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1 cup Dried Apples, minced
1 cup Pecans, chopped
Cream Butter and Sugars. Blend dry ingredients, except apples and nuts, in a separate bowl.
Add Eggs one at a time to Butter and Sugar mixture. Add vanilla.
Gradually add dry ingredients until just blended.
Add apples and nuts.
Divide mixture between baking pans. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until an inserted tester comes out clean. Allow to cool for only a few seconds before slicing into bars. Cool.
These are very sticky and require the parchment paper. Though I’ve not tried it, I’m guessing the new non-stick foil would also work well.
Dried apples are very sticky and defy knife mincing. I use a kitchen scissors to cut apple into tiny pieces.
These don’t last long and are fantastic with coffee or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Note: I've been getting fantastic examples of different vanilla extracts at some of the new little Latin groceries springing up. I've found some wonderfully flowery and aromatic extracts that have people demanding to know what you've done.
Go give these new little stores some business!
Fly Image: hydeparkmedia.com