Tuesday Mornings: Scones and Biscotti Always Better with Friends

Everything tastes better with friends. Cooking or baking for friends makes it less of a chore or a duty, it becomes a joy to share. Tuesday Mornings is a time for friends and we get together and drink coffee, tea, water, whatever, eat some good foods and work on projects individually. It is a time to share experiences, joy and pleasures and sometimes pain and sorrow. My Tuesday Mornings is a life saver from ennui and stress.

Biscotti and Scones

Today’s offering from Tuesday Mornings:

Pre-heat oven to 425F
Makes 12

2 cup flour
¼ cup sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 tsp lemon or orange zest or peel diced
6 Tbsp butter
½ cup currants or cranberries or craisins
¾ cup sour cream

In a food processor:
1- Place flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, orange zest or peel and butter.
2- Pulse 7-8 times until mixed well.
3- Add dried fruit and sour cream.
4- Pulse a few more seconds until mixed.
5- Remove and divide in half.
6- Place in plastic wrap and roll into circle.
7- Peel off plastic and cut into 6 wedges.
8- Place on parchment paper covered cookie sheet.
9- Bake 15-18 minutes.

Important note: Even if they do not look “done” after 18 minutes do not be tempted to bake them further. They will be perfect.

On another note, I have a tendency to keep useful things for future use. Near future. In my refrigerator is a bag of orange peels. When I need an orange sauce or syrup, when I need some orange zest or taste, I use those peels.

Below is what I used for the scones for today:

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Carefully remove pulp from the orange skin if you wish.

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Look for black spots or damaged skin and remove then slice thin.

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Turn sliced peels and dice to bits.

When You Want It Perfect Do It Yourself

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“You never ever get rid of anything,” says my daughter Nadya, all the time.

It is true if I can conceive of using whatever could be thrown out. I use raw shrimp for my recipes and I keep the raw peels. I double bag and freeze them for the time I need and want a seafood broth.

Here is a recipe I made this afternoon. My husband does not care for cream soups much so I devised a way to eliminate the dairy part of it and used coconut milk.

I hope you enjoy this as much as we did.

Bel Hanna Wel Sheffa

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-Shrimp Broth
- 6 cups water
- 1 large onion
- Peels of 2 lbs shrimp
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp old bay
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper

- Bisque
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 2 Tbsp flour
- 1 can coconut milk

.Directions:

-Broth:
1- In a large pot, boil in the 6 cups of water, the onion, shrimp peels, nutmeg, paprika, old bay, salt and pepper.

2- Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.

3- Add tomato paste and whisk. Simmer another 10 minutes then remove from heat.

4- Pour the broth through a sieve and discard the solids.

5- Makes approximately 4 cups of broth. Set broth aside.

Bisque:

6- In the same pot, melt butter and add olive oil and heat on medium heat.

7- Add flour and whisk vigorously to fry the flour without burning it.

8- Add 4 cups of broth while whisking to avoid lumps.

9- When thickened, add tomato paste and whisk the paste in thoroughly.

10- Simmer on low heat for ten more minutes and remove from heat.

Scents of the Past Pleasantly Color the Present

Scents and smells are most compelling in most people’s lives. The comfort of home and that special smell of Constant Comment wafting in the room as you talked to your favorite Aunt, or the scent of that lovely woman who bent down and kissed your cheek as a child, or even the smell of frying onions that Mom delivered when you came back from school.

Whatever the scent, whichever the scent, it accosted you and stayed with you for many years. Until some time in the present, it blew by you again and you stopped for that lovely moment to remember something good.

Most of the scents and smells for me are positive thoughts. The mother of my childhood friend made the most impression on me as an eight year old. She always smelled of wonder and far away gardens. I adored her.

Here are some that make up good memories and I still use them.

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Cabotine de Gres

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First, Van Cleef & Arpels

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Parfum Rare, Jacomo

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Rive Gauche, Yves Saint Laurent

Glaring At My Husband

Dear Baba Rumcake,

Don’t you love it when people give you dirty looks because, you are, there?

My husband, who is very sweet and very kind, to everyone I might add, happened to be standing, waiting to take his seat. This woman, stood before his chair, not paying attention to him at all and she was upset, when she noticed. He did not hassle her. Nor ask her to move, nothing. She walked out after snatching her coffee giving him looks that would kill.
What gives?
Annoyed

Dear Annoyed,

Egocentricity, that is the quintessential problem that permeates the whole country. You ran into a woman who thinks too much of herself. She believes, most probably, that the space around her, belongs to her. As if we could buy, gather or own a piece of space besides where we absolutely are.

Those are the people, who imply, by their behavior and interaction, with everyone else, that they are more valuable. The same people who think gratitude is a form of groveling, and kindness a form of weakness.

What the hell is that about? He. Was. In. Her. Way. He did not notice, her presence. So, she was annoyed that he was there at all. Either you give these cretins a wide birth where they can ignore you; or you step on their toes and get dirty looks. Pick your poison.

How dare he encroach on her space. How dare he exist! Someone, who, dared exist, in her, immediate domain.

Those are the low lives that can never be happy, with anything, either given to them, or obtained, by unholy methods.They will take for the rest of their lives from whoever is dumb is enough to fall for their snare.

Take it easy, you want to say! Live a little. Give it a rest and let others be. No harm will come to you, if someone is close by. Let others exist and live their own lives, even if it inconveniences you some.

Blessings and don’t forget to stomp on her foot next time!

Baba Rumcake

Zucchini and Squash To Taste Better

My friend and fellow blogger Allan of Simple Life Prattle has lots of vegetables to give away.

Here is a recipe just for you Allan. Enjoy! Love the Prattle!

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3 zucchinis sliced thin
3 yellow squash sliced thin
1 large Vidalia onion diced
8 garlic cloves mashed
4 tomatoes diced
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Heat olive oil in over safe skillet on the stove.
Carmalize onions and garlic, salt and pepper in the hot olive oil.
Add zucchini an squash. Cook until all water is gone.
Add tomatoes and cook down until dry.
Remove from heat.
Cover top with the cheeses.
Broil until cheese is caramel colored.
Serve over rice or potatoes.

An Immigrant Rant on Color

Russian I’m not
And Slavic
Not a chance
And yet they ask me
again
perchance
my story changes
Then, stare askance

Parisian I’m not
And Swedish
Fat chance
But then they query
In hopes perchance
I amend my heritage
Thus remain correct

African yes
We do come in white
So pop back your peepers
And get a load of this sight

Grey eyes
White skin
Brown hair
And fair tone
Alas it’s all true
dark eyes
Dark skin
Don’t corner this globe
On African probe

True Friends Are Not Blind

“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.”
— Elbert Hubbard

Every one of us tries to keep a measure of their real self private. Honesty is the best policy and all. Yet, is it possible to be so candid about yourself that you keep nothing back? Maybe, but not likely.

Experience has shown me that opening up, creates a serious mistrust. As a teenager, I was painfully open about myself and my wayward ways. In response I got shunned and banned from many activities with friends. They would not dream of behaving the same way. “Friends” passed judgment, and quickly.

It created a level of mistrust, causing hurdles, I could not overcome. If I was so free with damaging information about myself, then probably, would not be able to keep a secret, about them. Thus, in being so open, caused the opposite effect, creating skepticism and distancing from the very person, I cared for.

A story was retold in prayer group, where they, “prayed for my soul” in sordid details. Appalling as it may seem, in the end, I learned, that if I did not want something broadcast, then keep it to myself.

No need to hold other people to a standard, that I did not hold for myself. If it was that shocking, then keep it to myself. Spreading rumors, even if true is an evil pastime, often done with no malice.

But, then it happens, that one person will be there for you, all the time, no matter what they’ve seen you do. They are with you when you mess up badly and are in need of someone before you fall; and they are the pillar that does, hold you up. You have a friend.

When it happens, that we meet that one person, who never shirks us, never closes the door on us when they find out who we truly are, it is a miracle. Most of the time it is the partner we live with, since they know us best.

We can be many things for a while, but ourselves all the time, long term. It is impossible to act all through a lifetime relationship, like marriage, when the chips are down, and the masquerade of attraction is over.

And when that person who knows you that well, knows all your faults and your ickiness, still looks at you with love, you know that you have reached that wonderful state, we call friendship.

Lonely, Room Mate Wanted?

Dear Baba Rumcake,

Not sure if you have lived on your own for awhile? No roommates, no bf/gfs. just on your own. Did you enjoy it? Were you happier when you found someone to move in with you? Did you get lonely often?

Lonesome in Lancaster

Dear LiL,

These questions are all very relative. The answers depend a great deal on the individual. If you are a social animal, as many of us are, living alone can feel like a prison sentence. However, there are also many people out there who embrace the peace and quiet of solitary living.

Being a particularly social person does not necessarily correspond to being a good candidate for living with other people either. The more particular you are about your habits and routines (Are you OCD?), the more difficult it may be for you to adapt and compromise to the tendencies of someone else sharing your living space.

People are odd, nasty, and selfish. Granted, you may luck out and be odd, nasty, and selfish in complementary ways. The chances of that lovely coincidence occurring for you, in truth, are dismal. That is why tolerance is arguably the most crucial aspect of your shared-living capacity.

If you are an extremely tolerant person who is immune to the vexations that accompany any other person you will try to live with, than you will have a much better chance at success. Keep in mind, every one of your senses is vulnerable to abrasion. Stinky people with ugly secrets, uncomfortable conditions, and loud habits leave a bad taste in your mouth.

The things that make people unbearable to live with are usually the things that you don’t realize until you are living with them. You may think living with your best friend or lover would be like a honeymoon in paradise. I hate to break it to you, but even they get stinky, ugly, abrasive, and noisy just as much as the nastiest most obnoxious people you could imagine.

Best friend in the whole wide world of yesterday becomes roommate today and becomes worst enemy tomorrow. Dearest beloved of yesterday moves in today and becomes your most woeful and regretted mistake tomorrow.

Nothing is set in stone, though, not even my weekday afternoon pessimism. You could have great experiences living with other people. If you are feeling lonely and yearn for the company of a friend or significant other, try it out. You may find that it is the missing link to your long-desired happiness.

The one bit of advice that I would beg of you to consider is DO NOT lose someone close to you because you are incompatible living together. Be very careful who you decide to conduct this experiment with.

I wish you all the company you can happily handle!

Blessings on your sharing venture. Let me know how it works out.
Baba Rumcake