My Blog List

Monday, September 18, 2017

The Art of the Biscuit

John Gray over at Going Gently asked me about a recipe for biscuits when I posted this picture of my breakfast on Facebook.

Image may contain: food

For my friends across the pond, our biscuits are nothing like yours. What you call a biscuit, we call a cookie. What we call is a biscuit is a soft, savory bread that's a staple food in the southern states of the USA.

Not many people can make a good homemade biscuit. It's a dying art. The ones pictured here were bought as frozen dough and baked, and they're pretty good, but nothing like a real honest-to-goodness homemade biscuit.

My maternal grandmother made the best homemade biscuits ever. There was never any recipe involved. She would pour a bunch of flour in a bowl, scoop a handful of lard (yes, lard) on top, and with one hand would start kneading the dough while slowly pouring in buttermilk with the other. When the dough was smooth and elastic, she would deftly pinch off the perfect amount, roll it between both hands, and put it onto a greased baking sheet. She would keep on doing that until the sheet was full, and then pop it into a hot oven. A few minutes later, you'd have a dozen or so perfect biscuits. They were heavenly.

No one could cook like my grandma. And no one makes biscuits as good as hers. I'm terrible at it, and my mom isn't much better. I must have watched my her make biscuits hundreds of times as a child, but I've never been able to master it.

John asked me for a recipe. I don't really have one beyond what I just described seeing my grandmother do. I'm sure that a Google search will bring up many different recipes and techniques for making a biscuit, but take it from me, it's more difficult than it looks. That's why I stick with the frozen and ready to bake kind!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Afternoon mischief

As soon as we get home in the afternoon, we try to let Marco out of his cage for some free time. Unfortunately, he immediately looks for trouble. Usually it starts with him flying over to the computer and walking across the keyboard. He did that just now and I shooed him away. So he pranced over to where we keep some fish food and started trying to bust into the bag. Brat!

When I shooed him away from that, he flew into one of the bedrooms and spent some time hanging out on the bed. He refused to step up on my hand when I tried to make him come to me. You can't leave him unattended (unless you want to return to a disaster scene) so I finally had to grab him and make him go back to his cage. I took another picture first.

He doesn't care what you think.
Life with a parrot can be a lot of fun, but it can also be a real pain in the a** sometimes!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Hurricane Hounds

I took Ginger and George for a quick walk this morning before the wind and rain from (now tropical storm) Irma began. We won't be able to go tonight at our ordinary time. I think they appreciated a quick stretch of the legs--those two are always down for a walk.

Image may contain: dog, grass, outdoor and nature

Image may contain: dog and outdoor

What they don't appreciate is having their pictures taken. Look at this close up of Ginger's face!

Image may contain: dog and outdoor

Image may contain: dog and outdoor

I'm beginning to see reports of power outages around town, so who knows if I'll have power much longer. But we're all safe and well and for the most part, out of harm's way.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Dodged a bullet.

It looks like we're not going to feel very much of an impact from hurricane Irma beyond some strong gusty winds tomorrow and heavy rain. It's such a relief, and we still have supplies if another storm comes this way. Hurricane season is only half over so it's still a possibility. We got lucky this time.

Now I'm worried about our friends and family in Florida. Thank goodness that evacuations and preparations started early. With the devastation in Houston still fresh in everyone's mind, people have been taking Irma seriously from the beginning, which can only be a good thing.

We had such beautiful weather yesterday that I almost felt guilty about it. It was windy and cool, with a bright blue sky and almost no humidity. Today is cloudy and still very cool, and starting tonight there is a wind advisory in effect for about 24 hours. The maximum gusts should only be about 50mph, and combined with heavy rain we'll probably have some spots with power outages, but nothing approaching a real storm's destruction. We appear to have dodged a bullet, and I'm very thankful.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

State of Emergency

The governor of South Carolina issued a "State of Emergency" this afternoon after hurricane Irma started veering slightly eastward. By 5pm all the stores, big and small, were out of bottled water and there are long, long lines at every gas station in town. I've heard you can't find a parking spot at the big box stores. People are panicking. And they kind of have a point.

This is a record-setting storm that has the potential to be utterly catastrophic. I've seen some real no joke hurricanes in my life, including Hugo in 1989, but I've never seen anything approaching 200 mph sustained winds (with higher gusts). And Irma is big.. I heard today that it's the size of the state of Ohio. Ohio! A storm that big will end up being felt in several states no matter where it initially makes landfall.

Last weekend when the storm was still far away, we went ahead and bought some supplies. We reasoned that even if Irma didn't end up being an issue, it's still the middle of hurricane season and we might need them later. We have four cases of bottled water, plenty of nonperishable food and sodas, extra tp, batteries, candles, lighters, and matches. We filled up our cars with gas. Thank goodness for preparing early! I still want to top off the gas in my car tomorrow if I can, and we need to pick up an extra canister of fuel for the camp stove, but that's about it. We're ready. Or as ready as we can be, I suppose.

To my Florida friends and anyone else in the path of this storm: please do whatever you need to do to keep yourselves and your loved ones safe. Let's all check in as we can, ok?

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Red sky in the morning...

This morning I was awake and having my first cup of coffee when the sun came up. The light streaming in an east facing window was a strange shade of red; it reminded me of dried blood. What's that old weather saying.....?

Red sky at night, sailor's delight.
Red sky in the morning, sailor take warning.

It all seemed slightly ominous given the monster hurricane that's out in the Atlantic right now.

I took a picture of Marco facing the sunrise. It doesn't really capture how odd the light was, though.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Tiny Treehouses

I read an article online this morning about an artist who builds tiny, intricate treehouses in houseplants. Some of the photos made me squeal, and I'm not ashamed to admit it! I've never seen anything like these little fairy dwellings built inside of common potted houseplants. The attention to detail is astonishing. And they're just!

There's a link embedded below if anyone is interested in reading more about the tiny treehouses. Enjoy! And have a happy Sunday!

Los Angeles–based artist Jedidiah Corvyn Voltz is a prop-maker for TV and film by day who has a charming side business making tiny treehouses for potted bonsai trees, cacti, and succulents.......