Good Day For Soup

I read earlier in the week that there’s a possibility of snow showers today. I haven’t checked recently so I don’t know if that still holds but that possibly-outdated prediction was good enough for me. It’s time for soup.

For a while now I’ve been thinking that it would be good to make my go-to favorite Cabbage Soup with less cabbage and some small potato chunks, possibly some little ham cubes. I had a cabbage and I’ve been hoarding the meat-covered bone from the best Christmas ham I ever had*. So I set up shop to make ham broth this morning.

Question: how long can you safely use a hambone kept in the refrigerator? Is it 24 days after it was first served? Is it when the when the meat that the bone has been sitting on gets a little furry? What if you cut off the furry parts and boil the bone then throw out that water and use fresh water for the final product?

Damn the internet knowitalls that scared me out of forging ahead ¬†with my original plan. I threw the bone and the meat bits out and started over, hamless and all the sadder for it. At least the house has a lovely fragrance now. They can’t take that away from me.

What about potatoes that are growing eyes? Is it safe to use those?

Seasonal Woe

These are not my cookies. This is from a photoshoot for Good Housekeeping magazine. This image made me believe that I could produce something that looked just like this. We’ll see.
Just made my first batch of Xmas cookies for this year.

As you know, I can’t do anything right anymore.* Much to my dismay, this includes package wrapping and cookie baking. After last year’s disastrous cookie production, I came up with a process improvement plan for myself this year:

  1. Study each potential cookie recipe
  2. Study it some more
  3. Measure out all ingredients before trying to follow the instructions**
  4. Study the recipe before putting the ingredients together to avoid missteps or omissions.

I’ve made a list of the cookies I plan to make this year:

  • Spumoni Icebox Cookies
  • Date Pinwheels Hello Keith Hopkins
  • Chocolate Cracker Kisses
  • Russian Tea Cakes
  • Cut Out Cookies with candy eyeballs
  • Gingerbread Stars
  • Something green, .like a spritz Xmas tree. Not sure yet

And so, believing I had conquered my previous difficulties, I set out early this morning to make the previously untried Spumoni Icebox Cookies. the butter wouldn’t cream and the food coloring wouldn’t blend. So I don’t know. Pictures later.

*Mercifully, I have retained my Master Level Spray painting skills and my eye for color and design. This is going to come in handy when I move to my next house which will be under a palm tree in Florida. I’d better get there soon before even these skills start fading, too.

**This is new for me. I’ve always just chugged along measuring out as I came to each step. sometimes I would skip a step or misremember what got mixed with what else. So there was a certain level of fail pre-built into my former process.

Evening update: We are not unhappy! Even though the food coloring remains problematic in that it insists on swirling instead of blending and the fact that every single one of these is a different size, I am fairly may mighty satisfied with these. Could have been a lot worse.


Party Like It’s 1776

What are you doing for Thanksgiving?

As time rolls on, I’m far less invested in producing the giant traditional meal in my own home. This is entirely because I have no family in NJ – the best I can do is a daughter in Philadelphia and an as-close-as-blood tribe of 7 in northeastern Pennsylvania.If I had a big mob, the payoff of all that work and expense would be worth if but for 3 people, not so much. Last year we went to a Thanksgiving buffet at a local restaurant and it was an very positive experience. This year, we’re going to have an 18th century feast at City Tavern in Philadelphia.

Have you heard of it? It’s  “the most genteel tavern in America.”, according to President John Adams.Or at least it was in 1774 when he said it. It’s just a short distance from Carpenter’s Hall and so after a hard day of knocking out the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, chaps like George Washington, Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson would toddle over to City Tavern for a swish of ale and a joint of beef. The place burned down in the 1850s but was rebuilt exactly in the 1970s, but with heat and plumbing. Now it belongs to the National Park Service as part of Independence National Historic Park – the Liberty Bell and so on- and it’s a working restaurant.

But what a restaurant! The decor and furnishings are reproductions of course but completely authentic. And not only do the servers wear period dress, the food they are serving are recipes developed from common foods of the period. Sometimes are the actual recipes, like Martha Washington’s cake or Thomas Jefferson’s beer, if you can call that a recipe.

I sure hope Ben Franklin drops by while I’m there.
The Thanksgiving Day meal here looks pretty modern to me. Pretty sure they didn’t have fried tofu in Philadelphia in the 18th century but I could be wrong. Look – I’m going to start with Champagne Shrub (note to self: google “Champagne Shrub” to find out what it is). Sadly, the menu does not mention the bacon-wrapped  Chestnut Fritters that are available on the non-holiday menu. Maybe I can tip my man in breeches to add that one. I do love a good chestnut.

Anyway, I feel awkward schlumping around in my standard business cazh get ups, so I might even wear and actual dress for the occasion.

Plus, they’ve got a gift shop. Pewter tankard, anyone?




Not too much has been happening and everything has been happening. Mostly I’m too lazy/worn out to blog at the pace that I used to. To ease myself back into the blogging grind, let’s discuss the #2 blogging fallback topic:food*

  • It looks like I ¬†might*probably will* will definitively have a houseful of company over Christmas so now I’m obsession about loading the place up with home made cookies. I’m open to suggestions about what your favorites are. Note that if you all of you readers (whom I love!) suggest anything with chocolate in them, I will not comment but I will have to chastise you if chocolate chips are mentioned. Of all chocolate, chocolate chips are the worst.
  • Anybody have any suggestions about where/how I can buy one of those big glass bowls that Olive Garden uses for salad? Maybe the salad tongs, too.
  • I’ve pretty much given up Twitter completely except for automatic postings on my Instagram updates but I’m telling you now those bilious green smoothies are getting to me and if I see one more of those, then I’m going to give up on Instagram, too. If you want to inflict them on yourself, have at it. But no one should be forces to look at those.
  • Now I will force you to look at it. Here:
    frog eggs
    Gott im himmel. Does this look like something to ingest first thing in the morning or does it look like a bunch of tadpoles waiting to bust out?.


*the #1 fallback blogging topic is cats, which no.