Thursday, November 18, 2010


My Aunt Bobbi is a lady much like my Mom, both in physical appearances and often in attitude and personality. Grandmotherlyness has taken hold of them both, and their homes are filled with the signs of little ones. The main differences being in sheer volume on my aunt's behalf, as her adult children have given her more grandchildren, and now great grandchildren, than my brother and I could manage mathematically.

My Aunt Bobbie and her husband are quite easily my favorite relatives, though there are some others I would call my favorites too. I suppose love can work that way, huh?

One of my favorite things about my Aunt is her cooking style. She was well known for making a pan of biscuits, and whatever was left over in the morning would sit under a cake pan in the afternoon until they were eaten, and they were always eaten. She seemed to make them in just a few minutes, with nothing more than a few hand motions near a jar of flour and a minute in the oven.

For my recent visit to her home, I called ahead to ask if she would teach me to make biscuits. She said I should just go buy them at Wal-Mart, as that was what she had started doing. But during my visit, she relented and Sunday morning poured flour into a stainless steel bowl and showed me how it's done.

It's less accurate to call it a recipe than to borrow a friend's phrase for her grandmother's sausage dressing, "more a collection of ingredients thrown together strategically." I was naive to believe I would get a measurement of anything. "here, add this." was followed by "more"

MyFella had pre emptively suggested I take measurements out of her hand, but how do you do that with liquid? And so, I learned from her in much the same way I imagine she learned from my grandmother - with a primer and words to go home and practice.

Which I did, this Tuesday morning. I had the ingredients just as she had given me (good flour is important, but apparently generic vegetable oil is fine). And I did it.

And I am proud to tell you they tasted like biscuits. They did not necessarily look like biscuits. They were small and unsmooth. But the bread inside the golden crust was warm and fluffy.

I was humbly proud.

I plan to practice again this Saturday morning, as MyFella will be in town. It's a good time to practice, and I want to make sure this Tuesday was not a fluke. And I need to get them bigger and more fluffy like biscuits.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Janie's Pastry Shop

This weekend I found myself in the quite nice town of Brookhaven, Mississippi. And having some background knowledge of this town, I knew there is a donut shop on Main Street (or something that probably is called Main Street, because it has that Small Town Main Street look). I didn't know the name or the exact block, but I was certain I could find it.

So on Saturday morning I set off from my relative's house for a real donut made in a real donut shop. Don't get me wrong, I love a Krispy Kreme and Dunkin' Donuts as much as the next diabetic. But to me, there's just something sinfully right about a real donut shop. The smell of the store and the taste of the sweets are untouchable, almost as satisfying as the donut itself.

I found the shop easily, it's two large doors with plate glass windows have been well taken care of, and clearly been opened many times. The large plate glass windows were clean enough to eat off. There are a very few tables in the restaurant, with a bar type thing looking out one window, so diners can have a sweet tooth and look out on the morning traffic as well.

I ordered a dozen glazed to take back to my Aunt and Uncle's house, then went for a cinnamon roll for myself. I bought a thing of cold milk and sat down to enjoy.

Something in the back of my head, some memory not quite remembered, told me we have a family connection to the place. But I couldn't quite remember it. So I ate my cinnamon roll in blissful peace and left.

Upon returning to my aunt and uncle's house, my aunt said, "Did you ask for Janie?" Turns out that Janie's parents had, many years ago, owned the shop, and had named their daughter, Janie, after the original owner, from whom they bought the shop.

But here's the fun part - my grandmother had worked for Janie's parents in that very bakery shop many many years ago. Now how neat is that to buy donuts in a shop where your own grandmother had worked? My memories of my grandmother's career involve a sort of steno pool at the local hospital. I have no idea what she actually did there at the hospital. But she did something. (and once told me she wore her watch with the face on her wrist so she could tell time while she was writing)

But it seemed very nostalgic to sitting in a place enjoying sweet treats in a restaurant where my grandmother, probably as a very young mother, was working.

I know, I'm hopelessly sentimental.

Prince William is engaged to be married. . .

thus putting me yet further away from life long ambition of being Queen. It's OK, really, I tell myself. He was far too young for me anyway, and I wouldn't want to be hounded by the paparazzi for the rest of my life.

Still. . . . I'm pretty sure I'd look stunning wearing a crown. And let me assure you, I would wear it every opportunity I got.

6 month check-up

I think it's a bad sign when the dental hygenist pauses part way through your check-up and says, "Please go to Walgreens and buy an electric toothbrush today."

Friday, November 12, 2010


This afternoon I am taking my Mom to her hometown, with her two grandkids in the backseat. Honestly I had wanted some time with my Mom, but she does love those ragamuffin urchins. It'll be good.

It all started with her hometown church having it's anniversary this weekend. Mom said she was gonna go, and I decided to surprise her and take off for the trip. She's waffled back and forth, and now we're going, but she and one of her sisters have both told me that the last time they went to that church they didn't know anyone there anymore, so they don't care to go.

It's a bit of a fast trip, leaving this afternoon and coming back sometime Sunday. But it will be enjoyable.

I have asked my Aunt Barbara to give me her recipe for biscuits, and let me make them once or twice this weekend and see how I do.

I'll tell you how they turn out.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Stop a bullet cold, make the axid fold. . . .

A few years ago a very good friend celebrated some minor windfall of hers by, in part, buying me the first season of the Wonder Woman series on dvd.

I've been re-re-re-watching it. Oh how I love it.

I really do. I really do.

Does that make me gay?