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.

Surf’s Up with Father and Daughter

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Father getting ready checking the surf while daughter plays in the sand.

 

2

When he is ready, he wades the waters and she bravely treads in with him.

 

 

3

As it gets deeper, he places her on his long board and off they go.

 

i did not have a long enough lens nor good enough camera to record their return on the larger waves.

As my husband and I watched this amazing short drama, we noticed the little blonde in the shallow surf. Unafraid, she dove again and again in the churning white surf. Fearless, she steadily got up and dove in over and over again.

After Dad finished his stretching on the beach, he picked up his long board and she hopped over excited and jumping up and down. He walked down the beach, she followed and like all children stopped and fiddled with the sand. He kept going and she would look and up and follow. Trust!

After he checked if she was ready, and she hopped up and down again, they got in the water and he paddled them off into the riptide.

Obviously he is an incredible surfer. Obviously he did not need a long board, he could have used a short one with ease but this attentive man brought a long surf board to take his little girl out. Without “teaching” and with just spending a few precious hours with his daughter, he bolstered her up and encouraged her as she learned the skill of riding the waves.

On the way back, riding the waves, we saw him hold her up, show her how to lean always keeping his hands on her. On the second wave, he actually picked her up and moved forward on the board to make it go faster.

Once on shore, her excitement was evident and she clapped her little hands, jumped up and down again and looked up at him with trust born of her short experience in life.

My husband and I were amazed and moved by the whole scene. Whether he knew it or not, this amazing man was making memories with his little girl, making her more confident and self-assured for future success.

 

Madame Butterfly – Giacomo Puccini

http://youtu.be/25qOY9cwz88

Madame Butterfly  Con Onor muore

                                   Yin Huang- Madame Butterfly saying farewell to her beloved son.

One of the most powerful arias in opera history.  Yin Huang does is justice and then some. If it does not bring tears to your eyes, I am not sure what would. An amazing film but outstanding performance. She expresses innocence, naivete and deep love.

Her American lover did come back as she predicted but not to be with her. He came back to ask for his child. His new wife could not bear him children so he asked her for his son. To release her son and for “the sake of honor”, she kills herself.

 

Here are the Italian words and their interpretation. 

 

Con onor muore                  Let there be honor in death
Chi non puo sebar vita       where there is no honor in life.
Con onor                               Let there be honor.

Tu? Tu? Tu? Tu?                  You! You! You! You!
Piccolo iddio!                         My adored one, my love!
Amore, amore mio.               My love, my own love.
Fior                                          My flower,
di giglio e di rosa.                 more precious than lilies and roses!
Non saperlo mai…per te,    You must never know the truth;
Pei tuoi puri occhi                 It is for you my child, for love of you
Muore Butterfly…                  that Butterfly will die!
Perche tu possa andar         You will live happily
Di la dal mare                        across the sea.
Senza che ti ricorda             And spared the memory
Ai di mature                           as you grow
Il materno abbandono         of your mother forsaking you.
O a me, sceso dal trono       For me you came down from the throne
Dell’alto paradise,                 of heaven
Guarda ben fiso, fiso,           Look steadfastly steadfastly,
Di tua madre la faccial!        into your mother’s face!
Che ten’ resti una traccia,    So traces of it ramain in memory,
Guardo ben!                            Look well!
Amore, addio, addio!              My love, goodbye, goodbye!
Piccolo amor!                         Little love!
Va, gioca, gioca.                   Go play, play.

Shopping in person

“Women who shop by telephone do not know what the pleasures of buying are.”

The Death of the Heart by Elizabeth Bowen.

 

It is true that people who shop by telephone or as it stands now, by internet miss the communication that shopping in person allows.

 

When buying fabric one touches and feels the textures. When buying food, one smells the sweetness, the sourness or sees the freshness of a melon or a peach.

 

The actual act of choosing and putting back a purchase is in itself a satisfying action of the soul. It gives the buyer the right to pick and choose what they buy, making it  satisfying to their senses.

 

A persimmon in a picture is beautiful. But, it will not be the same persimmon delivered to your door if you are not there to pick it. Children and adults go to pumpkin farms to pick their own pumpkin right out of the ground. The pumpkins are there on the dirt they grew out of and get chosen to be taken home by a child. There is almost an act of love in that choice.

 

The actual interaction between buyer and seller is lost in the telephone and internet shopping venture. There is direct human contact with the act of giving and receiving, in buying and selling. Money has to be exchanged. Trust has to be built. Smiles are exchanged. A feeling of wholeness and well being as you walk away with your purchases having been satisfied by the interaction.

 

Money seems removed from people who are wealthy. In that, they do not use actual currency. Very few carry cash. In this day and age of computers and automation, it makes no sense. Everything is delivered, from merchant to laborer. Even money in the form of credit cards, is delivered from the bank to the credit card company without involvement of the buyer.

 

Things are moving forward and that is good and wonderful. We have to progress and move along with the times. Yet, just a reminder, be careful how much you automate your life, be careful how much you separate yourself and be aware of the consequences of isolation.

Iris in Progress

My husband Steve is working on a project and asked me for some pictures of Iris. No, he did not want photographs, he asked for drawn and colored ones.

Here is the progression of my work. I show you the first one to the last as I experimented and tested my skills with oil pastels on small spaces and narrow veins on the paper. I worked on detail while trying to keep my interest and love for Impressionist work.

These works are oil pastels on paper.

Please enjoy!

Dancing Iris.jpg

Dancing Iris

Iris Pirouette.jpg

Iris Pirouette

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Iris in Concert

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The Glory of Iris

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

Left Handedness Is From the Devil

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Me, left handed cooking.

My first grade teacher (bless her heart) hit me with a ruler because I used my left hand to write. I spent most of the year trying to use my weaker hand for the most important thing in class, writing. I did not do well in school that year or any other for that matter. She believed that being left handed came from the devil who whispered over our shoulders from the very same side, the left side.

But, here is what matters, I am still left handed, while I also use my right hand.

In her attempt to make me a “normal” right handed person, my teacher managed to make me ambidextrous. I do not remember how awful it was to be beaten with a ruler. All I know is that I use both hands now.

I stir food with my left hand and write with my right hand. I change from one hand to the other if the light is just right when I color my drawings. I write with my left hand on a blackboard but sweep the floors with my left hand. I play tennis with my left hand but crocket with my right hand. I surf the web and use a mouse with my right hand but draw with my right hand.

I am sending thanks and blessing to my teacher who made me part of who I am today, Ambidextrous and loving it. Thank you, I am grateful.

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Me, right handed writing.

Play or Don’t, But Check It Out!

I’m it for now but I won’t be by the time I finish writing this post. But some of you will!

Thank you, poet/writer/bloggin’ buddy Sweepy Jean for tagging me into the game. The rules are as follows:

  1. Post the rules.
  2. Tag up to eleven bloggers by posting links to their blogs, and let them know.
  3. Create eleven questions for the people you’ve tagged.
  4. Answer the questions your tagger posed for you.
  5. Have fun!

#2 Some bloggers to check out:

These are but a few of the wonderful people I follow and post all over the net. Talented and wonderful. They make the world a little better.

#3 Questions for you to answer:

  1. What is your favorite movie?
  2. What is your favorite drink?
  3. What are you reading now?
  4. What is your exercise of choice?
  5. Are you a late night or early dawn person?
  6. What equipment do you use for photography?
  7. How many words do you write in one sitting?
  8. Do you like to edit?
  9. Do you re-write before you give it to your editor or do you hand it off raw?
  10. In the Matrix, he asked to come back as someone important, like an actor. What or who would you like to come as?
  11. Do you read more than one book at a time?

#4 Answering the Questions posed to me:

What are your top three favorite films?
-Murphy’s Romance/ When Harry Met Sally/ Something’s Gotta Give

What makes you laugh?
-I am silly. I laugh about everything especially when I make mistakes.

What would you want to be if you couldn’t be human?
-A Monkey

Are you too cool for school?
-Hardly! Don’t like the rigidity though.

What’s the best thing that could happen to you?
-I die in my sleep.

What’s your favorite element on the periodic table?
-Silver

What is “it”?
-Life as it comes.

Dogs or cats?
-Dogs by far!

What’s the hardest question you ever had to answer?
-Too hard.

Why is it that I’m just now learning about the Lorax, the new movie notwithstanding?
-You don’t read to children?

If you had the chance to do it all again, would you?
-Hard question to answer directly. Start from when? Will I be the same person? Would I start knowing what I know now? All in all, I would say, no. I love my life.

#Had Fun!

Lonely Condom Seeks Valentine

Valentine’s Day with National Condom Week

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Is it any surprise that today is not only Valentine’s Day but also National Condom Week? Not to me. I can see the correlation here. Honestly, can’t you see it?

Here we are embarking on another V-day where expectations are high and demand is even higher. So, she is expecting a great dinner with flowers and chocolates. You may not be ready to give her that ring she wants but you sure want to get into her pants tonight, right? [Read more...]