Minions! As we join families, friends, my ex-brother-in-law’s really annoying new “horizontal consultant” who we’re all certain has an Adam’s apple (not that there’s anything wrong with that) and aren’t sure why they showed up, it’s traditional, if oft overlooked, to take a few minutes and express thanks for all the wonders of the world and age we live in, that we so often take from their rightful owners for granted. Life is full of great moments and small, bliss and heartache; for every Lindt Milk Chocolate Truffle there’s a loaf of meat on a tin tray calling itself a Salisbury Steak; for every Chipotle there’s Yours Truly, who can’t seem to eat them without dropping the whole thing all over the table no matter how carefully I follow the unwrapping instructions on the napkin; for each 99 Cent Store some tiny black-on-black print reading and up…
No matter: one day the year we look to only that which makes our passing sojourns on this planet (wave to Newt Gingrich on Moon Base Alpha if you’re reading this anytime after 2027) the amazing and unlikely things they are. So keep looking for my sister, who did not after all lock herself in the woodshed, which we might have expected since this is a 12th floor apartment, though she clearly did make off with a bottle of Riunite and the cheesecake, but no silverware, so time is of the essence; take the wallet hand of the person next to you, unless – no, especially if – you’re on line for the bathroom at Starbucks, raise it to the sky, and cry out I am thankful! and remember the old cartoon, where a man standing by a factory wall emblazoned with CASEY’S TOOL WORKS says So does mine, but I don’t go advertising it.
Some things to be thankful for since the VostromoScope debuted in April of 2011:
OK I’m not sure about that last one, but still.
So as you plate your ‘tates, entuck into your TurDuckEn, and wonder if there’s enough alcohol in the cranberry sauce to make it all bearable; as you fall into the groaning sofa and fool yourself into believing nobody saw you loosen your pants; as you insist against all familial experience that you are fully awake and you absolutely did see that last, NFL-record-setting play; as you wonder just how long it will be before you can reasonably say that perhaps it is time to go so you can beat the traffic, even as you hear the memoried echoes of that very sentence and wonder how you turned into your parents through some occult Novemberal trickery; as you find yourself taking a surprising small moment, alone for the first time in endless hours, walking solo to unlock the car, breath fogging in the greyblue evening light, in recognition of the blessings of fate that have all your loved ones, and the rest of the family too, heck, even the generously-gendered “horizontal consultant” itself, though now that you think about it nobody found Natalie or got any cheesecake, alive, o’erroofed, warmthed and fedful, remember what is really important at this reflective time of every year: me.
By golly, that is her ~ how did she ~ touchdown!
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During the week I struggle to stop and eat breakfast. It isn’t my favorite meal of the day and frankly, I don’t have the time when I am getting ready for work. When I am at work, I forget that I haven’t eaten. Then comes the weekend and it is my favorite meal of the day. I love getting up early and meeting friends for breakfast, then heading out for a day of shopping, movies or to a coffee shop for a chatfest. If anyone is in Southern New Hampshire or the Boston area my favorite breakfast joints are Suzie’s (Hudson, NH), Hollis Country Kitchen (Hollis, NH), Coffeeberries (Londonderry, NH) and the Doo Wop Diner (Malden, MA). They are joints and dives, but they are clean and the food and coffee quality is consistent.
Oh you say, this is not a restaurant review site or an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives (Food Channel – Guy Fieri), but a book site! Well do I have a cookbook for you…
James McNair’s Breakfast is my bible for cooking breakfast. I have used this cookbook so much that I could never swap it on PBS because it no longer meets the Book Condition Criteria for “Swappability” at PBS (Help Doc). Also someone would have to pry it from my dead cold hands before I would give it up to anyone!
It isn’t a large cookbook but it has a little of everything and the recipes are simple. Have you ever wondered what the difference was between an espresso or café au lait? Did you think only if you had an espresso machine would you be able to make a café latte? Well, all you need is this cookbook, good coffee and a stove top espresso maker. Not a coffee drinker? Then check out the recipes for tea, hot chocolate/cocoa or hot mulled cider. Try something stronger like a Bellini, Mimosa or Smoothie.
Whip up an apple or berry butter to go with the popovers you just made. Instead of syrup on your pancakes or waffles, serve your family and guests a warm berry sauce. Are you looking for something different for breakfast? Then you can try baked or shirred eggs, a skillet cake with baked apples, a bacon and egg casserole or Grillades and Grits (just to name a few).
I want to share with you my favorite breakfast recipe and it is pictured on the cover!
4 cups fresh strawberries, hull, or raspberries or a combo.
2 cups freshly squeezed apple or orange juice (nice thought – I use store bought)
¼ cups freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
Fresh mint for garnish
Combine berries and juices in a blender and mix until very smooth. Add sugar to taste, and strain if you wish. Chill, or serve over a little crushed ice. Garnish each glass with a sprig of mint.
Puffed Oven-Baked Pancakes (Dutch Pancake)
I use an oven proof dish such as an individual pie plate vs a pan. I also serve with a cup of café latte. 30 mins start to finish.
2 T unsalted butter
¼ cup low-fat milk
¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon almond extract (optional – I have used vanilla and orange, but almond works best)
½ teaspoon grated lemon zest (optional)
Toppings (Strawberries, blueberries, bananas, raspberries, warmed apple sauce or chestnuts or butter toasted chopped macadamia nuts with grated coconut
4 inch oven proof skillet, ramekin, pie plate or baking dish for each pancake
Preheat the oven to 475 F
Place the butter in a 4-inch ovenproof skillet, ramekin, or other baking dish, and heat in the oven until the butter is melted.
While the butter melts, beat the egg in a food processor, blender, or bowl with a wire whisk until light and bright yellow. Gradually beat in the milk, then the flour, until smooth. Stir in the almond extract and lemon zest. Pour the batter into the pan of hot butter and return the pan to the oven. Cook until the pancake is puffed and golden, about 12 mins. Serve at once with toppings. Serves 1 and to increase the serving, just add the same amount of ingredients for each additional pancake. It is approximately ¼ cup of batter per pancake.
To make more pancakes, just multiply the ingredients above with the amount of pancakes you want to use. This is why I purchased individual pie plates and I place them all on a jelly roll or cookie sheet to cook
Waffle day originated in Sweden. March 25th originally was celebrated as a religious holiday, Annunciation Day on our calendar or Vårfrudagen – Lady Day in Sweden. It’s exactly 9 months before Christmas.
The Swedish word Vårfru and the Swedish word våffla (waffle) sound almost the same, and over time Vårfrudagen slowly changed into Våffeldagen. Yes, poor phonetics begat a day of eating one of my favorite foods. Today, Swedes enjoy heart shaped waffles for any or all meals to celebrate Waffle day and the beginning of Spring.
Waffles can actually be traced back to the ancient Greeks. In the 13th century, they would cook flat cakes called Obelios, between 2 hot irons over hot coals. The word “waffle” came into play during the Middle Ages. The word is related to the communion “wafer” which was one of the only things that Catholics could eat during fasting periods. The “wafers” that the monasteries made were just flour and water, so you can imagine how bland they were. Bakeries decided to get in on that action and began making wafers that were far tastier. The batter was cooked on hinged plates that were pressed together with wooden handles. The bakers would hold them over a hearth fire to bake and flipped them manually. Bakeries soon began engraving their irons with religious symbols, coats of arms, landscapes and what we now use, the honeycomb pattern made up of interlocking crosses. The different patterns were used to brand the waffles from different bakeries.
Waffles from different areas of the world have unique characteristics and flavors. Both the US and Swedish Waffles use baking powder as leavener while Belgian waffles use yeast to create the light fluffy texture. .
I actually own 4 waffle irons. 1 Swedish waffle iron, 2 Belgian waffle makers and one regular one, I told you I loved waffles. Here are 4 of my favorite recipes. Make a big batch and stick the extras in the freezer. Just pull one out and pop it into the toaster for your own homemade frozen waffles.
Swedish Crispy Waffles- frasvåffla
This recipe is from my husbands Swedish great grandmother, Sunny- for Sunderland. This is a very traditional Swedish waffle and they are not sweetened. Her original notes are in ( )
Fold whipped cream into the flour. Add the water and melted butter. Let set for one hour, then bake in a waffle iron.
Serve with powdered sugar and lingonberry or strawberry jam.
Swedish Soft waffles- “vafler”
Whisk the eggs and sugar together. Add 1 ½ cups milk
In a separate bowl whisk 2 cups flour with 1 tsp baking powder
Add the wet and dry ingredients together then add ¼ cup melted butter.
Bake in waffle iron.
Serve with sweetened whipped cream and strawberry jam.
Best Waffles Ever- makes 2 ½ waffle irons full.
1 ½ cps flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
3 Tbs sugar
3 eggs separated save yolks and in clean bowl beat egg whites to soft peaks
¾ cups sour cream
¾-1 cup milk
¼ melted butter
Mix dry ingredients together in large bowl. Add sour cream, egg yolks and ¾ cup of milk. Mix together until well combined. Add melted butter then fold in beaten egg whites.
If batter is to thick, add additional milk.
In a small bowl mix the ¼ cup of warm milk and the yeast together. Let sit about 10 minutes until foamy.
In a large bowl, mix together the egg yolks, melted butter and ½ cup of the milk. Add the yeast mixture, sugar, salt and vanilla. Stir in 1/3 of the flour, ½ of the remaining milk, 1/3 of the flour the rest of the milk then the rest of the flour.
Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form and then fold then gently into the batter.
Cover the batter and let sit on counter for about 1 hour to rise.
Preheat your Belgian waffle maker with oil and pour ½ cup of batter or the amount needed for your waffle iron. Cook until golden brown. Serve with powdered sugar or syrup.
How many did you know?
100. The number of candles on the PBS Birthday Cake in September 2011. What is 7?
200. Where ALL of your transaction details are stored. What is the Transaction Archive?
300. Your source for the latest and greatest PBS news. What is the PaperBackSwap NewsWire?
400. PBS calls this state home. Where is Georgia?
500. The name of the program which featured 27 schools with a total donation of over 25,000 books. What is the Books For Schools Program?
100. 200, Gold Key 300. What is the Wish List?
200. To add books to your Book’s I’ve Read List, do this. What is give the book a Star Rating?
300. Start your day here for a thought provoking quote and picture. What is Message of the Day?
400. DAILY DOUBLE. Where our live feed of site activity is shown, including, books being swapped and posted, member registrations, etc. It updates every 15 seconds. What is Under The Hood?
500. Magazines, Comic Books, Coloring Books, Calendars, Blank Journals. What are Unpostable Items?
100. The entity used to get our books to and from other members. What is the USPS?
200. MoM. What is Member of the Month?
300. How books are queued at PBS. What is FIFO (First in, First out)?
500. This is the unique number that identifies books in the PBS system (abbreviated ISBN). What is the International Standardized Book Number? (10 or 13 digits)
100.*No Missing, Torn, Loose or Chewed Pages. *Front and Back cover must present. *No Writing, Highlighting or Underlining. *Binding Intact. *No water damage, stains or mold. What is a Postable Book?
200. Paperback, Hardcover, Audio CD, Audio Cassette, Large Print Only. What are Binding Types?
300. Author. Title. ISBN. Binding Type. What must match exactly to Post a Book?
400. 5 Million +. How many books are currently available to order at PBS? As of this morning there are 5,112,898
100. Where you can find helpful members to assist you. What is the Questions About PaperBackSwap Discussion Forum?
200. Subscribable feature that lets you swap books for books with other members without credits. What is Box-O-Books?
300. See the most posted book, the most Wish Listed book, the most Requested book, the member who has the most referrals and the member who has swapped the most books. What is the Top 100?
400. Find Book Reviews, Author Interviews, Book Grab Giveaways, Member Musings and the Vostromoscope. What is the PBS Blog?
500. You can print a customized bookmark with the PBS logo here. What is Spread the Word?
100. Yellow and Blue. What are the PBS Colors?
300. This feature allows members with public profiles to communicate with their PBS friends. What is the Bulletin Board?
400. New Member Questions. Lounge A. Lounge B. Over 45 and picking up speed. Games. What is Live Chat?
500. How to Swap Books, Browse the Help Docs, Ask the Librarian, Live Help. What is the Help Center?
Who is the author with the most posted books in the history of PBS?
Who is Dan Brown?
With Angels and Demons, The DaVinci Code, Digital Fortress and Deception Point, Dan Brown is by far the author with the most posted books here at PBS. As of this morning there are 12,386 Dan Brown books available to order.
10AM: Our PBS Volunteers and Team Get-Together. This was the first time many of the Tour Guides and Team Members had gotten a chance to spend time together face-to-face.
11AM: PBS Jeopardy!
Our Emcee: Who is Mary (kilchurn)?
Our Contestants: Who are Judy, Lori and Gail?
Our PBS Team Contestant “Phone a Friend” Crew: Who are Josh, Len and Zack?
(Neither folded hands nor flamingos were requirements)
Our Exultant and very PBS Savvy Winner: Who is Lori S. (Ethelsmom)?
Lori is now our newest PBS Volunteer Tour Guide! We are so very lucky to have her!
Here are the PBS Jeopardy Answers. How many can you get right?
100. The number of candles on the PBS Birthday Cake in September 2011.
200. Where ALL of your transaction details are stored.
300. Your source for the latest and greatest PBS news.
400. PBS calls this state home.
500. The name of the program which featured 27 schools with a total donation of over 25,000 books.
100. 200, Gold Key 300.
200. To add books to your Book’s I’ve Read List, do this.
300. Start your day here for a thought provoking quote and picture.
400. DAILY DOUBLE. Where our live feed of site activity is shown, including, books being swapped and posted, member registrations, etc. It updates every 15 seconds.
500. Magazines, Comic Books, Coloring Books, Calendars, Blank Journals
100. The entity used to get our books to and from other members.
300. How books are queued at PBS.
500. This is the unique number that identifies books in the PBS system (abbreviated ISBN).
100.*No Missing, Torn, Loose or Chewed Pages. *Front and Back cover must present. *No Writing, Highlighting or Underlining. *Binding Intact. *No water damage, stains or mold.
200. Paperback, Hardcover, Audio CD, Audio Cassette, Large Print Only
300. Author. Title. ISBN. Binding Type.
400. 5 Million +
100. Where you can find helpful members to assist you.
200. Subscribable feature that lets you swap books for books with other members without credits.
300. See the most posted book, the most Wish Listed book, the most Requested book, the member who has the most referrals and the member who has swapped the most books.
400. Find Book Reviews, Author Interviews, Book Grab Giveaways, Member Musings and the Vostromoscope.
500. You can print a customized bookmark with the PBS logo here.
100. Yellow and Blue
200. The names of the PBS Sister Sites.
300. This feature allows members with public profiles to communicate with their PBS friends.
400. New Member Questions. Lounge A. Lounge B. Over 45 and picking up speed. Games
500. How to Swap Books, Browse the Help Docs, Ask the Librarian, Live Help
Who is the author with the most posted books in the history of PBS?
Tune in on Thursday!