Monday, December 31, 2012

Time to make the pecans!

Happy New Year's Eve Day to all! Guess it's time for me to get going on my contribution for the Frostbite Regatta potluck tomorrow.

I always threaten to make spam musubi, but since we just got back from Texas yesterday I'm sticking with something simpler - sugared pecans. I wish I could've brought some genuine Texas pecans, but I didn't have a chance to track down a fancy food place in Huntsville that sold local nuts, and the ones my sister brought from her tree in Austin were to good to swipe from the family. They had pecans at the airport stores but they'd already been enrobed in caramel and chocolate! Ah well, the ones from the local deli will do. This is a great recipe, very simple, very yummy, easy easy cleanup, got it from my mom.

Bonnie's Mom's Pecans

1 pound pecans
1 egg white
1 tblsp. water
1 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 270 degrees (fahrenheit, or 132 celsius for the rest of the planet)Beat egg white and water until frothy (don't bother with a mixer, a fork is fine). Add pecans, mix until coated. Mix sugar, salt & cinnamon in a brown bag (that's my mom's instructions - I used a produce bag tonight, I think the brown bag may absorb a little of the excess egg white but the produce bag worked OK too). Add pecans, shake 'til coated. Spread out on a cookie sheet (lining the cookie sheet with foil will seriously save cleanup time) and bake for 1 hour, stirring occasionally (I checked in on 'em every 15 minutes). Don't overcook or they will burn.

Naturally, it is highly recommended to sample some while they are still warm from the oven, you do want to make sure they are good enough to share with your friends or co-workers or whoever, right? If you make a pound there may even be a few left to give to those people after you have finished the preliminary sampling process.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Howdy from Huntsville, TX

Migas con huevos - fried tortilla pieces with eggs, jalapenos and tomatoes, a great Tex-Mex breakfast at Lindo Mexico Taqueria here in Huntsville, Texas. Good barbeque too, yes yes, and lots of catching up with family I haven't seen in far too long. Having a very nice visit down here in Texas. Back soon!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Holiday Greeting from NYC, and a snowflake generator

Rockefeller Center Tree 2012
Rockefeller Center Tree 2012
57th St. Snowflake

Merry Christmas and (in case I don't get in another post before then) Happy New Year from NYC! Much family togetherness, no kayaking this year - just back from a long-overdue visit to TQ's folks, and now getting ready for an even MORE overdue visit to the relatives in Texas - haven't been there since 2007. The trip is turning out to be very confusing somehow, plans seem to change every time I hear from my folks, but whatever happens, it should be fun, Mom's side of the family finally gets to meet the guy I've been dating for ages, I'll get to practice driving a bit (eek, look out Texas, it's been a while!), and maybe we'll even hunt down a little barbeque this time (I think my aunt & uncle aren't big BBQ fans so we haven't really ever done that, but with TQ coming along I thought maybe we could put in a request, and it's met with a friendly reception).

We're not really doing presents, I hope (although I've gotten everything else wrong so I may have gotten that wrong too), but of course I have got some NYC goodies to take along - a box of Teuscher, which I've managed to stay out of, mostly by bribing myself with other kinds of candy...note to self: please stop being a slug and resume exercising after New Year, and then I made a special quick run into the city today after we got back from CT 'cause I found out that Joe's Dairy was open today (they're usually closed Mondays but since it's the day before Christmas they made an exception. Have smoked mozzarella & sausage, will travel!
Wanna make a snowflake? Click here for the Barkley US Snowflake Generator! The snowflake generator is fun, I made this one for the purpose of embellishing the "on-vacation" sign I put up on my computer at work on my last night before vacation, I was beginning to feel festive & couldn't resist dressing up the sign a bit.

Note later: Oy. I am recalling now why I started staying in Brooklyn for the holidays. The changes to the family holiday plans were tricky to keep up with but I was more or less following. But then US Airways decided to get into the "confuse the heck out of this poor woman" game too. It's like those coffee commercials - "We've secretly replaced Bonnie and TQ's Christmas day flight with a boxing day flight. Let's see what happens!" Thank goodness for online check in, I called US Air and a helpful rep there saw what had happened & helped get us back into flying on Christmas day. I am crossing my fingers that nothing else goes wrong and I'm not uncrossing them until we pull into my aunt & uncle's driveway. Here we go, fingers crossed, Boy iet;s haerd to typw thid way!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Updated sidebar for the season (due to CG search on the Hudson)

Just moved my cold-water boating safety list to the top of the lists, I am sad to say that I was reminded that it's past time to bring up the cold-water boating list when a friend sent out a link to an article about a Coast Guard search for a couple of people who for some reason decided to go out in a canoe on the Hudson in the middle of the night up around Poughkeepsie last night and then capsized.

None were wearing lifejackets (lifejacket wear is required by NY state boating law for anyone in a recreational vessel less than 20 feet long from Nov. 1 - May 1). One of the three made it ashore, the other 2 are being looked for now. Story here.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tis The Season...

Another fine holiday seisiun at Dempseys last night, and tonight, the annual shop-window trip with Mandy, starting with a stop for my favorite, easy-to-transport, one-size-fits-all, won't-clutter-up-the-house-for-long type presents for the family at Teuscher Chocolates (aka "Torture" according to at least one chocolate-loving friend, as in "Mmmmm, Torture Chocolate!":) at Rockefeller Center. Caught this kid at the candy store window in 2008, figured I'd put him up again.

So that's what I'm up to tonight - meanwhile, here at the blog, yep, it's time for the Hawaiian Twelve Days Of Christmas again! Yaaaay! Numbah one day of Christmas, my tutu give to me...

Mele Kalikimaka and all that jazz! And once again, Mahalo nui loa, Joe, for Surfin' Santa!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Season's Upon Us

Back to happier subjects - here's my current second favorite Christmas song for you! I'd thought I'd be putting up my most favorite one today (fiiiiiive big fat pigs, oink, oink!) but I went for this one 'cause I'm getting psyched for the annual Dempsey's holiday seisiun tonight. Sláinte!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Making the Second Amendment Work (just a link)

I'd planned a more seasonal post for my next one, and I'll get back to that, but tonight I just want to share something that a friend from college wrote in response to Friday's awfulness. It makes a lot of sense to me and I've seen a lot of similar responses, too. I'm always at a complete loss for words with things like this - but if one hasn't got words of one's own, maybe the next best thing is to share thoughtful words from a friend. Click here for Tony's article.

May our elected officials finally be driven to taking a serious look at sensible suggestions like these. Although it feels rather crass to say this, I found myself thinking, as I read Tony's article and others like it - gun control shouldn't only be about people not having guns any more than birth control should only be about people not having sex. Oh, sure, there are people in the world who would like things to be that way - but a person can't really expect to get much traction with that argument.

p.s. - yes, I know this was also about the way the mentally ill are cared for, or maybe not cared for - just haven't seen anything on that aspect that struck me quite as much as these rational calls for gun regulation have.

p.p.s. - also saddened tonight by the passing of Senator Daniel Inouye. A true hero, and one of Hawaii's senators since I was a kid growing up in Aiea (and before). Somehow it just seemed like he always would be.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Thirsty Fish On Friday

Is it a problem if you drink like a fish if you actually ARE a fish? Found on Thanks for the oddness!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Horses! I almost forgot the horses!

And why have I suddenly got horses on the brain tonight? Spur-of-the-moment trip to see the stage production of War Horse tonight, that's why. I've been toying with the thought of going to see it for ages -- my company published the book, which I really liked, and I was very intrigued by the puppets -- but with the last show being on January 6th, time was running out fast. I hadn't thought about it recently but a friend went to see the matinee today, and when she mentioned that, it hit me that I didn't really have any plans tonight and maybe it would be good to just go already! It was. I'll give a bit more of a review tomorrow, even if it's just copying a long blithery comment from Facebook, but for now - look, aren't they beautiful? This was the Parade of Breeds show at the Lexington Horse Park in Kentucky, which we visited during the family's September get-together for my mom and dad's 50th anniversary. Featured breeds during the show we watched:

 American Paint (new thing I learned about spotted horses on this trip: a Paint is always a pinto, but a pinto isn't always a Paint).
Friesian (made famous in the movie Ladyhawke)
And the mighty Shire!

Special addition to this show - Cowgirl Express western drill team.

After the show, all the little girls can't wait to meet the horses
And some of the bigger girls enjoyed saying hello, too!

Must be cool to be a Cowgirl!

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Split Pea Soup Break

Because I really just needed to slow down for at least a day.
I'm almost over the latest in a string of ailments - hard to make myself take a quiet day at home during the holidays, when there are so many fun things to do, but I felt like I really did need to today, so I'm home making split pea soup. Yum. I got a gorgeous ham hock and some bacon ends when a friend and I went the Union Square greenmarket yesterday, carrots, potatoes and onions at the Cortelyou Road one today - now everything's sliced and diced and the soup's a-simmering on the stove and I think it might be time to take a nap.

Oh, and speaking of gorgeous food - have you ever seen noodles that candlelight could shine through like this?
This was what I had at Kelly and Ping's after my rainbow hunt the other day. I went there with a certain really wonderful duck dish of theirs in mind, but they had jap chae, a Korean dish that is another favorite of mine, on the specials. These are sweet potato noodles and even though I felt a little silly doing it, when I noticed the play of light through the transluscent noodles, I couldn't resist trying to take a picture. One of the weirder things I think I've ever tried to photograph, but it's kind of pretty, right? Oh, yes, and they tasted very good, too.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Pearl Harbor

A friend posted a picture taken inside the Arizona Memorial today. Reminded me I had some Pearl Harbor pictures on my last trip to visit my parents there and had never shared them. Here are some of those. Click for better views, as usual.

Ford Island

The less well-known Utah Memorial. We were on a Navy-run tour because my father is a retired Naval officer - this is on Ford Island and I think they said that you would not see it on an ordinary tour.
Battleship Missouri, Arizona Memorial in the distance. 
Approaching the Arizona. The white concrete structures are where the ships were moored that day. The Navy keeps them clean and white with the names marked on them. 

At the Arizona Memorial

Thursday, December 06, 2012


Can't resist. Click here and read. Jeeze. PETA should boycott this guy for keeping too many bats in one belfry. Me? I usually go for the Balvenie on the rare occasion I buy a bottle of scotch but I swear that the next time I get home early enough for the liquor store to be open I'm buying a bottle of Glenfiddich. Whitman classmate & professional liquor writer (true, and yes, be jealous, be very jealous) Robert Haynes-Peterson posted this story on his Facebook. I shared it there and had to share it here, too. Oooh, and speaking of PETA, I just had a great idea - how about that town that PETA stopped from having their Possum Drop on New Year's Eve have a Trump Drop instead? Or if that's too much heavy lifting they could just send somebody to swipe that thing Trump wears on his head and put that in the box in which they used to drop the possum. It would make a splendid possum substitute.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Post - Sandy - Volunteer day in Rockaway

On our way to Beach 30th playground.Mountains moved.Carl marks our starting lineThe cavalry arrives!Me and CarlCarl carting sand.
The kids at workFinishing touches -End of the day -Rockaway boardwalkSandy rubbleShore Front & Beach 90 (or so)
Another view of the lost boardwalkOne more boardwalk shotHeading down to check out the gathering.One more out to sea shotThe gathering was just breaking up -Rock Jetties Now - and get that pigeon!
Rock Jetty WagonA few last questions for Congressman MeeksAgain - post-hurricane boardwalk in jettyless area -Where the damage begins -Rockaway surfer ends her day.Pavement buckled like paper

Via Flickr:
For a lot of us, things are back to normal - but not for the people who live on the city's edge. They'll still be cleaning up for a long time. I joined Carl Steiniger, a fellow NYC kayaker, who's been doing an amazing amount of volunteering in the wake of the storm. I'd done one day at Coney Island and reading his Facebook posts, I decided to join him for another. Another rewarding day, and a good reminder for me of how far from normal things still are for so many people in this city. Visit this gallery on Flickr for a better view of our volunteer day and subsequent trip down the peninsula to the Gil Hodges Bridge, and a couple of links about the rally for jetties we happened to stumble across just as it was breaking up.