Oh man, another one! They just keep creeping up on me so I suppose it must happen to everyone else too. Years ago I used to just wait, and wait and wait, so anxious for my birthday although I have no idea why it was never a big deal then. So, now I make it a big deal for myself. One of my activities today is to make my cake…..I’m making Hostess Cup Cakes. I saw the recipe years ago and made them – fabulous and then as luck would have it, it was listed in the paper a week ago again. I’m on it. My sister saw this piece in the newspaper where she lives: Interesting.
Wedding cakes have played a role in British marriage ceremonies since medieval times. They used to be made of wheat, a symbol of fertility. Stories suggest that they were thrown at brides, or broken up over their heads.
Tiered wedding cakes first became popular amongst royalty and nobility in the 1600s. To stop them from drying, they used to be stored in lard, which was scraped off when it was time for them to be eaten. Later, sugar was added to the lard to make it taste better and it was left on the cake.
Icing as we know it emerged in Victorian times. The whiter the cake, the richer the bride’s family was seen to be. This is because the finely refined sugar needed to make a lighter mixture was more expensive.
Yesterday I made chili with a Buffalo Chuck Roast – now Chuck roast out of buffalo has zero fat so I always blow it roasting it. We end up with this tough, dry thing. But, yesterday I cubed it, seared it with lots of olive oil, then put it in the crock pot. In the roasting pan I cubed three onions, 6 cloves of garlic, a Mario’s hot pepper, 1/4 Cup of Rancho Gordo Chili Powder, 2 Tbs. of RG dried Oregano, a bottle of dark beer (some Oktoberfest thing hanging around), 3 Cups of water. Brought that to a boil then added it all to the meat on slow for 6 hours. In the meantime I used the same sauteing pot to boil some Gordo little red beans, water to cover by 2″ and a handful of dulse – that seaweed trick. About 2 hours later, put the beans in with the meat and cooked again until dinner time. Awesome. Absolutely delicious. Zero effect from the beans, that seaweed trick is a god send, very cool. It doesn’t leave any flavor either, perhaps adds salt, not sure.
Just before dinner (I just love that old crock pot….I can leave it and come home to something not only done but hot and ready). So, before, around 4:30 we went into a little, tiny bookshop we love in Portsmouth (NH) called Sheafe Street Books (Center for Pointless Knowledge). This little store is awesome – lots of new and used books. It’s in such an offbeat place, the owner is awesome, we chat and chat about lots of ideas, he’s very cool and knowledgeable. And, the best part, you know how you go in those cutey, trendy book stores and everyone is trying so hard to look intellectual and friggin COOL, not here, it’s just us chickens, we are what we are, readers! I like that. After buying all sorts of used books for my family I did find one new book that I couldn’t resist……Louise Erdrich, The Round House. I have read a lot of her books and am currently in The Plague of Doves but this one, Hello, it is awesome. I can’t put it down. I do notice my shoulders are up around my ears – it’s suspenseful and I’m worrying. Like I really need something to worry about? Probably not but the book is affecting me this way. Her sentences are really beautifully displayed. It’s kind of like sitting with a piece of good chocolate in your mouth, just kind of flows and moves along till the next sentence. Buying books for Christmas gifts is a tradition for us – we both feel good about the cost. I got a nice book about Buddhism for Paul Jr.s girlfriend, Allie. Great intro with the addition of someone else having highlighted certain sentences for effect or memory. Nice, I can skim and skip to the important thoughts (of someone else but….I’m easy).
This mornings paper had an interesting article about movies before “the code”, time period of end of silent films late 20’s and early 30’s golden age. The code came into effect in 1934 called the puritanical production code. In that little space of time, first talkies, the movies were depicted as “These escapism entertainments were united by loose morality, sustained titillation and fascination with all things insalubrious”. Paul heard that and was ON IT. But really, almost every single one has Barbara Stanwyck in it. I would like to see Forbidden (1932) regarding a romance to Cuba. The Bitter Tea of General Yen (1933) sounds good. The Red Headed Woman with Jean Harlow (1932). I love old movies. A little while back I found my mothers Diary from the early 30’s, she has listed each movie she has seen. I’m curious now to go back and see if she saw any of these “dark” features. She was on her own quite a bit, went to the movies each day, hummmm. She was 14 in 1932 – perfect age! Little devil.
It’s snowing outside. My birthday tradition is to weave all day! I have one warp on the loom to weave a bit of, another warp that I wound yesterday that is going to be dish towels 50% Linen/50% Cotton. I wound so much that I ran out of fiber for weft – but, that’s on order so perhaps by Monday I’ll be weaving that one. It takes me a few days to get the warp on the loom; it’s 8 yards of winding, then threading through heddles and then threading through the reed and tie up. It’s a labor of love – each towel will be worth a million bucks by the time I’m done. Speaking of millions…..today is the drawing for Power Ball, 245 million (I think). Since it’s my birthday don’t you think I should win?