Archive for May, 2012

Awesome Picture, Seen at the UK Daily Mail

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Check it out (it has a happy ending):

Enjoy Mother Nature, in all her glory.

~ Blonde Gator

 

Something New, Something Old

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

I made raviolis the other day….stuffed with baby bellos, spinach, garlic and parmesan, using my new KitchenAid and pasta roller.  It was so much fun!  (I’ll take some pics next time, this was a trial run).

When I shared my joy about something new with my good friend and fellow cook Mary….she sent me back the most delightful e-mail, explaining the old-fashioned way her mother and grandmother used to make raviolis (authentic!!!):

….I stick with the traditional ricotta cheese filling.  Never did like meat-filled ravioli, and well, if I put mushrooms in, I wouldn’t eat them, and if I put spinach, my hubby wouldn’t.  LOL

 Anyway, they are fun to make.  Now.

Can you believe it, my mother and grandmother made them all the way by hand, rolling out the dough on a huge board that my grandfather made, with a wedge to set over the edge of the table, so the board wouldn’t shift when pushing with the “rolling pin” which was actually a nearly 3 foot section of 2” diameter wooden dowel. They would knead the dough by hand, and roll it  into a HUGE circle, (Michelle Obama thinks SHE has great arms??) then put dollops of filling a little way up from the edge, fold the dough up over, and then shape with the fingers, cut the long line, then into squares.  Keep going up row by row until  they ran out of dough, then start over.  The kids’ job (me and my brothers, whoever was around) was to go around each one with a fork to seal them.  My mother used to put a clean sheet on her bed, and that’s where we put them to dry until it was time to cook them.  If the whole family was coming over, we would make over 100 of them like that.

My mother was SO happy when she finally got a hand crank pasta roller!!

And then Mary added a final helpful hint:

At the end, they would take the scraps of leftover dough, roll it out into ropes, cut into pieces, and using a butter knife, do a little mash-pull thing, then pushing the flattened thing out with the thumb,  making the little pieces into little macaroni shapes we called “hats.”   Nowadays they call them Orchiette, or “ears.”  No dough went to waste.

I found an Italian blog about Orchiette, here.

Many thanks, Mary!  I shall enjoy making ravioli even more, now….knowing the time, effort, and special equipment (the size of the rolling pin!) used in days past.  That is a story that is just too good not to share.

Bueno Appetito.

~ Blonde Gator

Evolution

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Call me cynical, but I’d have not called Obama’s ever-shifting position on gay marriage evolution.  I’d have termed it coming out.

~ Blonde Gator

Found at Hot Air.

Something Very, Very Old….Resurrected

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

In my book re-packing project, I found my grandmother’s ancient kitchen notebook, filled chock full of memories from my childhood, all handwritten in her old-fashioned, spiky hand, pages faded with age, splotched from constant use, and nibbled around the edges by time and (gack!) bugs.  Of course, as most really old recipes are, my Grama’s recipes are mostly just lists of ingredients, without much in the way of further instructions.  And one recipe stood out…jumped out, really.

Our Favorite Cookies

For years, my mom has told me of her adventures as the wife of an Army Air Corps cadet during the War years, following my father around the country as he learned to fly.  My mom worked for Wright Aeronautical (she was formally trained at Katherine Gibbs Secretarial College in New York City, so she never had a problem finding suitable employment as she camp-followed).  Although once she waited tables in San Antonio at the Chick Inn, for room and board!!!  But that’s a story for another day.

Another tale of the family folklore goes like this.  My grandmother’s father, a well-to-do man in the small New Jersey town of Glen Rock (he drove a Pierce Arrow!), owned several buildings in town, including one which he rented to the Post Office, where he and his second wife lived upstairs.  During WWII, he and his wife baked cookies….which became a local hit, because they shipped overseas so well without shattering into crumbs.  Mom calls them “sandies”.  The demand for my great-grandfather’s sandies became so great that he and his wife became almost full time bakers in their second floor apartment….in order to fulfill the demand for cookies “for the boys”.  My mother has very sharp memories of the smell of cookies baking, wafting down the stairs and out to the street when she’d go to visit Dad’s grandfather.

And lo and behold, I found a recipe in Grama’s little notebook…”Our Favorite Cookies”.

My good pal the Island Girl is an experienced baker (I’m a neophyte)….she’s been fascinated by both the tale and the “recipe” in Grama’s book, puzzling over it for hours.  Her opinion is that it’s a “short” recipe, as in shortbread, and the Island Girl has endlessly questioned my mom about the size, shape, thickness, etc., trying to winnow out the “how”.  And unlike the cookies we bake today, due to War rationing, the list of ingredients is rather simple.

So for Mother’s Day, the Island Girl surprised us, and baked up a batch (using her experience to make up for the lack of instructions) of Great Grandfather’s sandies.  They are sublimely simple, but delicious, and I can see why they were so popular due to their texture.

Our Favorite Cookies ~ Delicious!

My mom, however, says they are not quite right….so I think my grandmother left out a secret ingredient that only she knew!!!  The recipe does say “add nuts if desired”, but I think there may be something like cinnamon or vanilla (probably not that due to war time rationing)…..I suspect perhaps almond extract as my father was a fiend for butter letter, which has almond paste.  So the Island Girl and I are on a mission, to recreate these cookies exactly.  The Island Girl’s first attempt was rather spectacular.  I have to say, I kind of like them just the way they are, simple and pared down, but absolutely delicious.  And a bit historic.  Well, in my family, anyway.  Oddly, I don’t remember eating the sandies as a kid….but don’t get me started on my great aunt’s peanut butter cookies!

~ Blonde Gator

Island Girl’s Instructions.  I’ll update that link as we try to perfect the cookies that live in my mom’s memory.  I’m getting a twidge in the back of my head about cookies with chopped nuts and maybe some brown sugar on top???  Stay tuned.

 

Hot Off the Press from Costa Rica

Saturday, May 12th, 2012

From my friends Jeanne & Paul:

Male Howler Monkey

This photo was taken from their lovely “tree house”, close to Paradiso, and our favorite place, Junquillal, Costa Rica (they rent it out, check out their website).

~ Blonde Gator

[Edit:  Just received a comment from Paul….they have a BOGO special for the “Rainy Season”….which I actually prefer.  It’s beautiful in Guanacaste this time of year…if you’re thinking of Costa Rica, now is a great time!  Check out the comments.]

And Just Because I Love Beautiful Things

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Timmy at the Met ~ from the UK Daily Mail

Ooh la la!

~ Blonde Gator

Speaking of Friends…..

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

….they make the world go round!

h/t Wrathful Brunette

Just wanted to say thanks to all of my friends who supported me through the little “rip off” episode (which is NOT over yet, LOL).

~ Blonde Gator

Something Fun

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

I read another post today, that had a picture of a cockatoo…..which reminded me of Snowball, the rescue bird, dancing to the Back Street Boys (there are longer vids available on YouTube if this isn’t enough):

If that doesn’t make you smile, you must be terminally pissed off, because it has cracked me off every time I’ve seen it over the last four years or so.  Enjoy!!!

~ Blonde Gator

I’ve Been Ripped Off!!!!

Sunday, May 6th, 2012

By a vulgar blogger, to boot!  Some JerkOff in North Saint Paul Minnesota (go figure!).

He copied my (now infamous) Handy Reference Guide to Obama’s Gaffes & Goofs, and posted it as his own work, copying my entire post, word for word and link for link, without a link to my blog, nor a citation to me as an author, but left a track back on #115 (as numbered now, that may change as I add gaffes to the alphabetical list) “Waves Like Alfred E. Neuman”.

Sooooo….I wandered on over to this person’s blog and left a comment that I didn’t mind him using it, however I expected a link at the top of his entry to “Blonde Gator”.  After all, that is what bloggers do.  My Gaffe List has been picked up by many bloggers, including quite a few conservative aggregators, as well as Weasel Zippers and Neal Boortz, all with the appropriate link.  It’s all about the traffic, of course.  Even though I don’t have any ads, nor do I plan to, my hit count is what floats my boat.

Well, JerkOff got pissed.  He never let my comment out of his moderation queue, but he did take down his post, and using my links, kind of rewrote it using quotes from my linked citations.  Did he plagiarize that as well?  Dunno, if anyone cares to take the time to do some research, let me know in the comments.  JerkOff may well be that stupid!

h/t the Wrathful Brunette

So, I enlisted some help from my friends, to leave a couple of comments on this JerkOff’s “work”.

And when I checked his blog this a.m., look what I found!  Not only a thief, but a thief and a vulgar liar, to boot.  Someone so jealous that instead of merely doing the right thing (removing his plagiaristic post or linking mine)….he went postal and left this lovely little diatribe and threat (apologies from me for the vulgarity):

This is not the BLONDE BITCHES LIST ASSHOLE…It is a list of Random QUOTES…Do you think this BITCH is the only person who compiled a list of them? STOP SPAMMING MY BLOG YOU STUPID ASS HOLE, I will just DELETE. Then I will report your IP address for spamming. So FUCK off. Nobody gives a shit about some stupid cunt who travels around the world and acts like a CRYBABY, whining, irrelevant and spoiled Martha Stewart wannabe. I am keeping track of all your IP addresses and posting them for the world see (or use). GET OVER YOURSELF, you’re not that important.

Well, well, well.  Isn’t that special?  But I’m betting I have a lot more traffic than he does, and obviously my winning “Martha Stewart wannabe” personality is much more likeable than his.  Oh yeah, I also have his IP address, so what.  Although his blog says he belongs to some association of bloggers, who I am sure would be interested to see him ripping off another blogger.

I have to laugh, though.  I have been using my Gaffe List as my tagline on Newsbusters for almost a year….yet old JerkOff thinks my list isn’t well known.  LOL, as I was doing some more research on who had picked up my blog (with cite) last night, I found a link to The List in a comment.  To which another person replied….”yeah, Blonde Gator’s on my bookmarks, I read it pretty frequently, have you seen the orchids she grows?”.  And that, my friends, really floated my boat, as these were two S/N’s I’d never seen before.

So….we’ll see if the JerkOff deigns to comment over here, big brave (micro-dicked) man that he is.

The saga will be updated as warranted.

~ Blonde Gator

[Edit 1]:  The coward has closed the comments on his blog.

[Edit 2]:  Now I’m pissed.  Micro-Dick’s continuing to “add” to the list, using my links.  I’m going to rake through every single one that he puts up.  Notice he keeps changing the name of his post, to try to deflect.  It was first named “Obamas [sic] Gaff [sic] List – Can You Think Find [sic] Any More” after he took down my ripped-off version.   Micro-Dick is not a brilliant author, nor very well educated, is he folks?  More to follow.

[Edit 3]:  Now Micro-Dick is up to 72 “Gaffs”…..does the idiot not understand the difference between a Gaffe and a Gaff?

9 Aftco Gaffs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Edit 4]:  The moron is now Tweeting “his” blog.  He goes by “@feedmybulldog”.  FeedmyIdiotEgo is more like it.

[Edit 5]:  Now he’s taken the vulgar comment down!  However, my pal at NewsBusters, Restless1, cached his vulgar page including the comment, and sent it to me.  Hee hee.  He apparently has hidden all of my gaffes in amongst his non-gaffs, so that his list is longer than mine.  I, however, know the difference between a gaffe and a gaff, as well as a gaffe and stupidity.  That’s what an education and living outside of mommy’s basement will do for a person. 

[Edit 6]:  Jerk-Off is apparently keeping tabs on me, because he has now updated his pathetically titled blog and corrected the spelling of GAFFE!  I do so hope the little man is getting a good education here.  He should have merely complied with my very polite original request and linked my work, but NOOOOO!  Note in R1’s cached version ([Edit 5]) he’s still using “gaffs”, whereas after reading MY blog, yet again….he finally buys a clue and spells it correctly.  ROTFL.  Idiot.

[Edit 7]:  He’s still plagiarizing.  Check out his #112, lifted straight out of Wiki (see the footnote?) without a cite.  Also, he’s trying to hide his use of my links by using a tiny.url.   It’s now Thursday at noon, let’s see how long it takes for him to “update” his errors, as he attends the Blonde Gator School.  Oh, he’s also blocked “us” from “his” Twitter thread, where he tries to shag his pathetic blog.  ROTFL.  BTW, JerkOff, I have cached your pages.  Resistance is futile….just admit you ripped me off (and others) without attribution and be done with it.

Cinco de Mayo

Saturday, May 5th, 2012

Moonrise

We headed over to the beach about a half hour before sunset.  Beautiful!

And perusing the UK Daily Mail today, I found this….which made my heart sing!  There are some amazing photos of the Super Moon there.  Enjoy!

Century Tower, University of Florida

~ Blonde Gator