Saturday, October 29, 2011

I should think, blog readers, that it's time to announce to you the birth of our first grandchild. He was born on October 5th in Denver and he weighed 7 lbs and 13 ounces. His name is Jack, Jack Robert, and he is very fine. Bob and I flew to Denver on October 14th and returned on the following Tuesday. He likes my singing and he likes crossing his arms and legs. Adorable. It was hard to pry him away from Grandpa, (who is the baby whisperer)

Whichever one of us wasn't holding Jack, got to hold Bonnie, the Barbarian (almost as good) We so enjoyed our short time there - didn't do anything except watch football and catch up on the laundry. We only cooked one night, and Lindsey made the salad from the Casa restaurants. I thought it was pretty close to the real deal, so I'm posting it below.

I am working as a math interventionist at an elementary school until Christmas. Elementary kids are so darned sweet. I can't walk through the cafeteria or library without somebody popping up to give me a hug. And they all wave at me in the hall. I am working very hard to try to unlock the math doors for them. Not being a math whiz by any stretch of the imagination, I can appreciate the struggle. Honestly, I don't know what God is trying to tell me about math. He know that I don't like it. WHY DOES IT KEEP COMING BACK FOR ME?

Here's the salad recipe, as promised. Enjoy.

Casa D'angelo Salad II


12 ounces iceberg lettuce

12 ounces romaine lettuce

1 red pepper chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

1 cup garlic flavored croutons

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded


1 & 1/2 teaspoons anchovy paste

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon oregano

3/4 teaspoon pepper

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

1 cup olive oil or vegetable oil

Toss lettuces, pepper, bacon, mozzarella, and 1/4 Parmesan cheese into large bowl and set aside. To prepare dressing, combine anchovy paste, vinegar, oregano, salt, pepper, garlic, sugar, cornstarch, and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese into blender. Mix in blender and slowly add the oil. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Combine salad, croutons, and dressing and serve.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Ah, summertime, the season of baseball, watermelon, sweetcorn, and wine-gnats. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. You pick up your goblet to take a sip and there, floating on top is a gnat. Sometimes, if I see he's still alive and flailing around down there, I'll run and get a paper towel and stick it into the wine, close to where the gnat is struggling. Usually, he'll step right on the towel and then fly off on his merry way. And I feel like a Good Samaritan. But sometimes.....I just drink them.

Well, wow, what a July it has been, Blog Readers. On the fourth, Bob and I went to Rome, Italy! We took in the Colosseum, the Forum, Vatican City, The Trevi Fountain, and the Spanish Steps. Then we took the train to Florence to see Michelangelo's David, and the Basilica di Santa Marie del Fiore, and Bob's cousin, Elaine. Then we went on to Venice, then back to Milan, where we caught a flight to Paris. This was our second visit to Paris, so we'd been to some of the major spots. This time we enjoyed a concert at the beautiful Sainte Chappelle, and went to Julia Chld's favorite kitchen store, E. Dehillerin. I got a huge pack of paper doilies there for nine Euros. 250 count - I thought it was a real deal. We also went to La Closerie de lilas on the Blvd du Montparnasse, the bar where Hemingway is supposed to have written most of The Sun Also Rises, and where Lenin and Trotsky played chess. Here I am in front of the Duomo in Florence.

On July 30th, we hosted a baby shower for Lindsey at the Propylaeum in Indianapolis. Twenty-seven people showed up for lunch and a swell, baby shower kind of time. It was so nice to see her and so nice for her to get to see all her old friends, co-workers, and family members. Here's a picture of Lindsey and two of her cousins, Megan and Baleigh. I bet you guys won't even recognize Little Baleigh. What'd I tell you?

Finally, if you're my Facebook Friend, you know that the last two Sunday evenings in a row we've hosted Ribfest in the Hood, the Hickory Hill Hood, that is, swimmin' pools, movie stars. Both weeks we used a dry rib alone on some of the ribs, dry rub and barbecue sauce on some, and plain barbecue sauce on the others. On week one, we were joined by our dear neighbors, Cathy and Mike. Week two, we added more guests. Here's the group, sans Rob, who is off taking a test online, and Bob, the photographer.

And, here's the dry rub recipe:

Rib Dry Rub
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon white pepper.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Last week we made a trip to Effingham. We had tickets to see Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers at the Effingham Performance Center. It was a great show, with lots of Steve Martin humor sprinkled amongst some very worthy, Grammy-winning bluegrass music. They even managed to pull off a rousing King Tut as their final number.

The next day Lori, Baleigh, Maw-Maw and I set out to find the "best burger in the world" in Moonshine, Illinois (population 2) . CBS Sunday morning did a story on this place some time back. It's very entertaining and you can view it on youtube. This couple, Helen and Roy Lee Tuttle, live above their general store and they've been frying up cheeseburgers there for years. Helen says that each burger is God-blessed and that's what makes them so good. They were good and good-sized. We made it there around 11:00 and inside the store there was chaos, albeit friendly, polite chaos, and people were happy to help steer us first-timers to the right line. We got to see Helen, herself, frying up the juicy patties. They lock the store at 12:30 to watch a soap opera in the back of the store (or, so we're told) and if you get stuck inside, you have to help clean up.

We ate our burgers outside at the picnic tables and we all bought Moonburger t-shirts. This place is located out in the sticks - somewhere south of Casey. If your GPS sends you on a wild goose chase, (as ours did) just keep your eyes peeled for a wooden arrow-shaped "Moonshine" sign. It's about the size of a ruler and it'll be tacked on a telephone pole. Good luck!

A couple of graduation cakes I did for a lovely young lady. I did her baptism cake when she was born. My, my, time flies.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Things I like and will continue to stick with

By Big Lou

#5. My Nalgene water bottle

No. of years in my possession: 8

Do you know how many water bottles this thing has kept out of the landfill? Well, I don't either, but I promise you, it's a bunch.

#4 Maddie, The Amazing Barking Dog

No. of years in my possession: 11 1/2

A pain in the behind at times, and occasional dribbling on the floor in her declining years, but it's 'till death us do part

#3 My Etienne Aigner Luggage

No. of years in my possession: 13

So easy to spot on the baggage carousel. Still some good years ahead, I think. Probably shouldn't have them up on the bed, though (bed bugs!)

#2 - Bob

No. of years in my possession: almost 31

No dribbling on the floor yet; shows only slight signs of wear. Still low-maintenance and reasonably efficient.

#1 - The Toaster

No. of years in my possession: 47

Still toasting one perfect slice after another!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

We really had to scrounge around to find guests for Easter dinner this year. For those of you who used to grace our holiday table and moved to other states, please take comfort in knowing that we served the exact same traditional fare that you've become accustomed to over the years. Well, okay, not the "melt-in-your-mouth crescent rolls," I did not make them because I thought-why go to all that trouble for the three of us (um-four of us) when Aunt Millie makes such a nice fluffy white dinner roll for the holidays.

I still have not produced the dessert I mentioned last Sunday night, but there has been progress. The heavy cream is in the fridge now, so... it should be happening soon. I must get back to doing more cooking and baking. The problem with cooking and baking is that they tend to be followed by chewing and swallowing. (sigh)

Happy Easter, Blog Readers! He is risen, as He said.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sung to the tune of She'll be Comin' Around the Mountain:

Oh, I've got bone chips stickin' out my gum

And I can't keep from pokin' at em' with my tongue.

Could be cow

Could be cadaver

I guess it doesn't matter

Oh, I've got bone chips stickin' out my gum

Yes, those grafted bone chips (whate'er they may be) are working their way out, which isn't a big deal at all, hardly worth mentioning, were it not for this great little diddy I wrote.

I just finished up an 8-week high school English teaching gig, seniors this time. Two of my classes did a unit on the Romantic poets. Because we were running out of time, I pared it down to six poets: Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, and Keats. I wanted to come up with a way to help the students keep them all straight in their heads for the test, so I made up a little review activity. I made six nameplates, one for each poet and had students stand up front wearing them around their necks. The name plates had some helpful clues drawn on them. Here's Shelley's. He drowned in a boating accident and his wife, Mary, wrote Frankenstein. I wrote test identifications and poetry lines on strips of poster board, and stuck masking tape on the back of each. Then I gave these to students at their desks and had them walk up and physically attach the correct term/lines to the right poet. We called this "Stick it to the Man." Most everybody did well on the test and the highlight of my time there came when one student told me that he couldn't believe how much "Stick it to the Man" helped him do well on that test. I know. They say we remember about 97% of what is taught to us through movement or music or "Stickin' it to the Man."

The Book Babes met at my house recently to discuss Lunch in Paris, by Elizabeth Bard. This book has several recipes in it that I'm anxious to try. The first one is Chocolate Cream with Creme Anglaise. I'll make it this week, and report back soon.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Hola, Blog Readers! Have you been missing me? What, really, you have, because I don't see any comments posted on here trying to woo me back or to encourage publication. Well...... I'm here anyway. I've been on another long-term subbing adventure. It's senior English this time, well five classes of seniors, and one class of sophomores. That's a whole bunch of kiddos to learn how to identify and the tricky part is that it seems almost one third of them are named either Katelyn or Courtney (with various spellings). We're just coming off of spring break and last weekend we made a trip to Cleveland to meet up with Stormy and Nick. We celebrated my 55th birthday with dinner out, and then the next morning, we met Emmet and Emily and their almost-one-year-old twins, Henry and Eli. This is not a good photo, I realize, but it's Grandma Stormy chatting it up with Eli at one end of the table.... ...and this is Henry down at at the other end, by his dad and me. Henry is distracted by a fetching young lady at the table behind us (one of his own kind). Even though my school was on break, West Noble School Corporation was not, which meant I still had to teach GED classes on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. I also graded tests and put in grades and I had two teeth pulled. The intent is to put in implants, if I have enough bone to support them. To help with this, some bone grafting was done. I was originally told that the bone would either be cow or cadaver. (either would make an interesting ice-breaker topic in social or team-building settings, I thought) But, I forgot to ask them which flavor I got. So, I guess it'll always be a mystery. Cow....or Cadaver? Yesterday, we drove down to Indy and visited with Lindsey, who just began the second trimester of her pregnancy (see Lindsey's blog, if interested) We watched basketball, went to Scotty's for dinner, watched more basketball, went to church, went to Granite City for Sunday brunch, did a little shopping, and watched more basketball. This is Puppa Bon-Bon giving me the "Please don't put me in my cage, Grandma, while you go shopping" sad look. Good news, Puppa. You're going to help Grandpa spread mulch. No cage for you! Well, this is all I have for you. I must get back to class preparation. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. How could we spice that up, I wonder?