Thoughts from a Noble Woman: On Holidays and Family Dinners

In honor of the Season, and all the accompanying stress it brings, I hunted through M.A.’s journal hoping to find something that could help us. (In case you missed it, our discovery of M.A. was first mentioned HERE.)
Sure enough, we found something! Not only that, we found a most intriguing recipe for apple pie that includes… wait for it… wine! (Gasp!)

MA 2

From M.A.’s Journal

The holidays bring mixed feelings: Joy, for what we hope they will be, Dread, for what we fear they will be. We place so much importance on these days, wanting everything to be perfect, only to be tired by the end of them.
Remember that holidays are made by humankind, for humankind. No more than that. They are what you make of them. Resolve now to make them what you need, not what you imagine you want.

Family is coming. Why does that make us nervous? Are these not the people with whom you shared your childhood?
Yes. Perhaps that explains it.
When apart, we choose to think of our past as we want. When together, we’re forced to see things as they really are. No matter what we want to believe of ourselves, these are the people to whom we belong.
Are we shamed for not living up to their standards, or for they not living up to ours?
No matter, for both are folly.
If it is your actions, then change them. If it is theirs, accept. It is all you can do. That, and love. Love the quirkiness, the eccentricities, the pain. Yes, even the pain, for all of it is what made you who you are today.
Therefore, the Noble Woman has three tasks before her with regard to others:

  1. Acceptance
  2. Forgiveness
  3. Love

With regard to herself, a fourth task is added to these:

4. Resolve to do better

Also, make a pie. Families who eat pie together, smile together. No one argues. No one fights. The world is a happier place when people eat pie.

This is truth.

From M.A.’s Recipe Drawer

Tipsy Apple Pie

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy with cheats
  • Print

There's not enough alcohol in this pie to qualify as tipsy, but the wine helps bring out the flavor of the fruit. If you'd rather not use it, I suggest a tart fruit juice such as cranberry.

Apple Pie

Ingredients

  • basic pie pastry for a 9″ double-crust pie*
  • 6 to 7 large apples, peeled, cored and sliced (I used the Golden Delicious variety)
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoons red wine (I used a Zinfandel)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • Egg wash and raw sugar for top of crust

Directions

Heat oven to 425°. Roll out pastry for bottom of pie, line 9″ pie plate. Roll out top crust; cover with a clean towel as you make the filling. (See note below for alternative to using crust.)

In a large bowl, combine apples and lemon juice. In another bowl, mix together sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt. Add to apples, along with wine, and stir. Fill pie plate with fruit, top with bits of butter. Cover with top crust, cut and flute the edges. Cut a few vents on top of crust; brush on egg wash and sprinkle with raw sugar. Bake for 30 minutes, then lower oven to 350° and bake for another 30 minutes. Test to see if the fruit is tender by inserting a knife through a vent.

Note: You can use pre-made pie crusts to make this easier, or skip the crust altogether and make an Apple Crumble: Pour fruit filling into a greased 9″ baking pan or casserole dish. For crumble topping, mix together: 4 tablespoons softened butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup rolled oats, 1/3 cup flour, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, and a pinch of salt. Bake as directed above. 

Thoughts from a Noble Woman: On Clothing and Fashion Mishaps

We have an interesting development in our mysterious M.A.’s diary (first discussed here): it looks like she gave considerable thought into how she presented herself, clothing-wise.

How many philosophers can you name spent time thinking of such things?

Yeah, same here.

And yet, it can be argued, it is hardly a trivial pursuit. How you dress makes a difference in how people see you, and perhaps in how you perform.

But as M.A. points out, there is a dark side to taking such matters seriously, that being, feeling yourself superior as a result.

And personally? I love how she struggles with it!

Just see for yourself:

MA 2

Do not think that because you choose your attire with care that you are somehow better than she who does not.
Such as the woman you saw at the store this morning.
What was she thinking? For goodness sake, what would her mother say?
What would my mother say?
No! Stop it!
All women are your sisters – remember this. No matter how they are dressed, they are your equals.
Do not judge them because their slip is showing; you’ve been there too.
Never laugh at their fashion choices; you’ve taken questionable paths as well.
However scandalous the hemlines – oh dear, they are scandalous…
No! Don’t think it! Instead, repeat to yourself:

Clothing is not Morality
Clothing is not Intelligence
Clothing is not Kindness

And if in finding a woman who thinks as you do, who shares your fashion sense, if together you show contempt for a younger woman’s clothing, what does that accomplish except cause division among your sex? Will it cause the younger woman to change her attire? Of course not! She will see you and your friend as obnoxious prudes. For that is what you are.
So stop it!
Nay, keep your thoughts to yourself. Instead, let your own mode of dress speak for you and be kind.
In all things, be kind.

From M.A.’s Recipe Drawer

All Dressed Up with No Place to Go Egg Salad

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy breezy
  • Print

An egg salad elegant enough for company, whether elegantly attired or not.

Egg salad with smoked salmon

Ingredients

  • 6 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • 4 ounces smoked salmon, finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 Tablespoon finely snipped, fresh dill
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped chives
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Mayonnaise

Directions

Mix first ingredients together in a medium sized bowl, add enough mayonnaise to bind together.

Use as a sandwich filling or to serve with crackers.
Another option: Make deviled eggs! Slice hardboiled eggs in half and remove yolks, chop and mix with other ingredients. Spoon a generous mound of salmon-yolk filling into each egg half. Place a bit of dill or chives on each for serving.

Community News With Pancakes

magazineThis last Sunday at church, a woman handed me a magazine to give Husband, who is currently out-of-town.

It was one of those freebie publications you might see at a doctor’s office or hair salon, with a ridiculous number of ads and one or two articles on local interests.

The reason she was giving it to Husband is that he sings in the same group as the couple on the cover, so she figured he knew them. (He very well may, but beings how he’s out-of-town, I can’t say for sure.)

What I can say is that somewhere in the 85086 zip code, there is a woman who may or may not be in dire need of medical attention. Also, whoever Mama G is, her pancakes look damn fine.
Continue reading “Community News With Pancakes”

A Dream on Divorce & Overcooked Chicken

Man holding bouquet of flowersYesterday was the anniversary of when Husband proposed to me.

You’ll note that had he waited a week, he could have proposed to me on Valentine’s Day. The fact that he did not worked to his advantage.

I like to think he knew that had he waited until Valentine’s Day to propose, I would have rolled my eyes and said, “Really? So this is how it’s going to be?”

Anyway, I bring this up now because about a week ago, I had the oddest dream where Husband said he wanted a divorce because I overcooked the chicken. Continue reading “A Dream on Divorce & Overcooked Chicken”

A Tale of Two Wineries

It was the best of vacations, it was the longest of vacations…

It was the age of wine-tasting, it was the age of not knowing what the heck you were tasting…

Red wine in glassI always wanted to visit Napa Valley, but when you’re the only wine drinker in the house, it can be a hard sell. The kids were always too young, and Husband’s drink of choice is Coke.

(Although if he feels he’s had too much, he might have a beer instead.)

I needed the perfect moment to suggest a trip to Napa. A time when everything came together – when there was something of interest for everyone – a masterful stroke when no opposition was possible. Continue reading “A Tale of Two Wineries”

Shots of Portland

Including a recipe for chocolate shots — ooooh! 🙂

As I mentioned in a previous post, we took a trip in Portland. Several people have asked me about it, so I decided to share some thoughts. And pictures!

Old time motel sign
Please note, this place has free TV!

First up, I have to show you where we stayed.

We had a goal this trip – avoid chains whenever possible, both restaurants and hotels. Some of the hotels we stayed in had a lot of… shall we say… character? But the rooms were clean and the owners were happy, in some cases positively elated, to see us. Continue reading “Shots of Portland”

Hey, At Least I Don’t Collect Navel Lint

Table full of cookbooksRemember my vow to pare down this cookbook collection of mine? The one I thought was out of control?

I learned something recently. Actually, I learned three things:

  1. I lack the necessary focus to stay on any cleaning project for longer than 1 week. Oh heck, even a day is pushing it.
  2. I lack the necessary focus to be a real collector.
  3. Real collectors are weird. Like, really, really weird.

Do a little Google search on weird collections and you’ll find some pretty kooky stuff. Like this: Continue reading “Hey, At Least I Don’t Collect Navel Lint”

A Cookbook from the 70s! Plus, Crazy Good Biscuits

Do any of you remember me saying something about cleaning out my cookbook collection?
Really? You do?

Huh. I kinda forgot about it. The only reason I’m remembering it now is that I recently swept my kitchen floor… and now you know the usual condition of my kitchen floor.

There in the corner of the room sat two grocery bags from Trader Joe’s, filled with old Cookbookcookbooks. Let’s pull one out, shall we?

Oh look! It’s Betty Crocker’s Bisquick Cookbook.

What the hell?

Continue reading “A Cookbook from the 70s! Plus, Crazy Good Biscuits”

Happy Anniversary FoF! Also, Another Cookbook Review

Screen Shot 2016-04-02 at 9.23.56 AMAt first I thought it was a WordPress prank. Upon further reflection, I realized it was true: one year ago on April 1st, I started this blog.

Seems fitting that a blog named Feeding on Folly began on April Fools Day, don’t you think? Anyway, here’s my first post, if you’re curious.

As for me, I’m reviewing yet another cookbook in my collection: should it stay or should it go?

Let’s take a look, shall we?

Continue reading “Happy Anniversary FoF! Also, Another Cookbook Review”