Every year I make my mom something for mother's day, it's kinda of a tradition, I am almost done with her gift now (hence the spray adhesive), and am feeling very much accomplished since I have never made this particular thing before. But with the ticking down to mother's day I have presented myself with an ill-timed challenge.
A geocaching event. Hosted by me.
For the big day, which is saturday, we have hidden 10 new caches, all in one day, to go active after the event. Lots of containers, lots of custom cut logs. And holy crap but are they getting picky! They are making it damn near impossible to hide caches. "It appears this cache is placed in a residential area.....blah blah...think how you would feel to see stangers poking around...blah..." I get the point, but they are making a lot of assumptions. considering the cache in question was 2 feet from the curb, 15 feet from any private property, not facing any home fronts and on a moderately busy street... I tried not to get to snippy when sending my note the reviewer, I know he is just doing his job, but geez!!
Okay, rant over.
I think I am going to go take a nap now. Sleeping sounds like a good idea.
About a year and a half ago our property owner retired and sold his building (read:lots) to a new company. Since then they have been making "improvements". Some good, some bad, some horrid. We got a new front lawn and some nice landscaping : GOOD They completely concreted in our central courtyard AND W A Y cut back the two trees out there : BAD Why bad? In the summer now, just as I so wisely predicted, the concrete (with the chopped trees) actually makes it HOTTER in my apartment. Used to be outside 102F inside 85F, not great but we'll take 20 degrees. Last summer? 105F outside and 97 inside. WTF??? Oh, and the trees were gorgeous. They looked like this:
Back to the fascists.
My building is old as apartments go. I think it was built in 1968 or something. I think I still have to original tile floor. REAL linoleum. Like wash me too much and I crack. Because linoleum doesn't like water. I think my fiberglass tub might be original too, but I'm not sure. It keeps cracking, bad. I've had it filled in the past 4 times (read 2 days without the shower, each) but I have several cracks in it right now that you could probably see China through. Apparently so do a few other people here. Someone is getting the very first brand new tub (I'm on the list). Cast iron and brand new NON linoleum tile. I am of 2 minds here. Super excited and incredibly pissed. Not pissed because someone gets it before me but because the "Tile Man" is back. He uses a tile saw. Slowly. Loudly. Badly. This is day two, have you ever heard a tile saw? Imagine Banshee's screaming. Only louder. I should probably explain something before I go on. I am 29 but I have the nerves of a 60 year old Kosovo refugee. My hands are actually shaking right now because I can't take the noise. So I closed the window and turned on the air because it gets hot in here fast. It takes the edge off the noise so I'm not jumping anymore, but aaaHHAHAHAAAAAAHHHH!!! And he is suppose to be here for a week. So, new shiny tubs: GOOD. Screaming Banshee's from Hell : BADThe Banshee Machine, note new heat reflecting concrete, and proximity of Banshee Machine to my front door, from whence the picture was taken.
I also found out today that they will be replacing the roof as it apparently developed some leaks this past rainy "season" (read: I think it drizzled). I am glad once again to not live upstairs, but it is just going to be more noise. Can you tell I don't like noise? (As the tile saw goes off again and I take one more step toward going on a shooting rampage) New, non-leaky roof : GOOD. Smell of hot tar to fix roof : Tolerable. Noise of roof actually being fixed : BAD BAD BAD
All hail the Good of the People! Which coincidentally makes "the man" more money in future rentals.
Upon closer examination you can almost see the outline of a man just off center to the left in the picture with the black shelf and my husband trying unsuccessfully to hide.
But.. notice all the orbs? I've heard of orbs being angels, thanks Sylvia Brown, but I somehow don't think so. (again a very long post). Whatever you may believe, you HAVE to admit that those are some pretty interesting shots! Not all shots of the same area were the same either, so I am fairly confindent that it wasn't the camera.
Almost empty, 5 second later.
Or in my case the Cat, the literal queen of the dust bunnies, and our dinner.
Lets start with the makhani. Or Butter Chicken for those of us who don't speak any form of Indian. Chicken in tomato/sour cream sauce with a whole host of spices thrown in. Can be as mild or spicy as you prefer and I would imagine could be made with any meat or vegetarian substitute. Quorn would be good here or some extra firm tofu, well drained.
As I said, I made this tonight and for some reason my brain seemed to be malfunctioning as I added twice the amount of cayenne pepper I normally do, then almost forgot the extra butter and lemon juice. Which I almost always forget. So, hot, but edible. Served with cous cous with curry mix, and whole wheat Rotis. mmmmmm. If you like curry I highly recommend!
Okay, the queen of the now vanishing dust bunnies! I as sitting here and something caught me eye, when I looked over the Queen of the Dust Bunnies was rolling across my floor, bold as brass, like I had invited it to tea! I reached for my camera, which was conveniently across the room. When I got it and came back to get the picture, her highness has utterly disappeared. There is no piece of furniture in previous rolling direction under which to hide! Alas, no photo. Where do those things come from? Where did it go? OOHHHhhhhh I know....outside and under the dryer to live with the little green men who steal the socks! What? Never heard of them? They need the socks to build their sock city. Obviously.
The Lion, I mean, my cat. He sits on the couch, bold as brass, cleaning himself. When I huff at him for using my seat as a bloody bathtub he looks at me like how dare I?!? As if I am not the giver of food, water and love, as if I am not the litter scooper (blech!). As if I am not the one he follows around ceaselessly and cries for when they leave the house. It's funny how much like children, cats are inherent ingrates who only appreciate you when a: thier needs are no longer seen to, or b: you leave and they decide they miss you. Gus is a bit nuerotic, like most cats, but his manifests itself as Seperation Anxiety. If I leave the house to GET THE MAIL, as in leave his direct line of sight for more than 30 seconds, he cries. Loudly enough that I have heard him from across the street about 50 yards away. And my building is enclosed. And the window is closed. ButI love him, what can I do? We'll call these "Pet me or go away" and "Can I eat that clicking thing?"
Belgian Safehouse Drunken Applesauce
40 min 15 min prep
Upon arriving in Belgium you might think "AHH safety, finally I'm in an allied nation"..WRONG!!! Belgium is CRAWLING with red spies. You're walking down the street thinking...Hmm, maybe I'll grab some mussels and a beer then take in a nice marionette show. Then while you're in the theater BAM...Abe Lincoln style. Anyway...In the Autumn in Belgium after the apple harvest there are always a bunch of apples not fit for eating out of hand...but when you're holed up in a safehouse, you have to stretch everything to make ends meet. Maybe you didn't finish you beer last night, but you can't imagine drinking it...well here's a use for it. I like this with very oniony pork chops. the savory from the caramelized on ions, the saltiness of the pork and the sweetness of the applesauce is absolutely perfect.
SERVES 12 , 8 cups
8 apples (I used 5 cortland, 2 empire, 1 granny smith)
1 cup flavorful beer (I used Duvel, don't use something too sweet)
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1Easy -- peel, core, cut apples into big chunks. Combine everything in a large heavy sauce pot in whatever order you choose. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to simmer for 15 minutes. If you don't cover it the communists will find you, steal your applesauce, and probably kill you so yeah, cover, don't cover -- your choice in the end.
2Uncover, mash carefully , return to heat if it's still a little loose.
3Keep in refrigerator under lock and key, otherwise you know who will steal, or poison it.
4The beer -- Again, this is your choice, but your favorite beer may not be the right beer. You want something that has SOME hops in it, otherwise the malt will make the applesauce TOO sweet and cloying. I wouldn't get anything spiced like a pumpkin or holiday ale, because the spices in the beer may not play well with the spices in the apple sauce -- Really Duvel is perfect -- It is a "Belgian Golden Ale" -- there are others. Also an Imperial Pilsner might work as well -- Don't bother using Bud or a light beer -- you may as well use water.
Are you laughing? I am so laughing again. Thinking about throwing a dinner party and serving only food from Communist countries, or that have the theme. A "Communist Party", get it? after all..... I do look damn good in red!
If anyone tries this let me know how it comes out.
..... I think I hear the NSA sneaking up to my window now....