Saturday, May 29, 2010


What can I say about this T.V. show? It's not the stories, which are like cop shows you've seen before, it's the characters.
Abbey, who sleeps in a coffin and wears mostly black?
DeNoso, who knows old movies and asks, couldn't it be like this movie, what these criminals are doing?
Gibbs, whose steely stare makes his underlings stutter and stammer? Why does he hit his people on the back of the head, is it loving or just shaming or just abusing?
Kate, was she too beautiful and so replaced with an Isralei terroist who can't drive and whose mistakes with the English language make some of the best lines on television?
Is Denoso really the most beautiful man you've ever seen, or is it that he knows he is beautiful that makes it so funny when the women he works with cut him down to size?
Is Abbey a genius?
Isn't Gibbs proof that a much older man can be sexy?
Can't we let Ducky keep talking and rambling on like some academic history professor?
Is De Noso imitating Carey Grant? I think so.
Is there a better show than NCIS? Naw......

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Jackson Browne

One of the benefits of getting old is getting those great recordings at a bargain price. I recently picked up some Jackson Browne and found him as great and sweetly sad as ever. What could ever compare to "Fountain of Sorrow" or "Jamacia, Say You Will".
I really love piano, and somehow songwriters who play the piano seem to write the songs I love the most. Screaming guitars I never liked, though a good rock'n'roll song I love. Us women from the sixties know quite well that rock sometimes reflects badly on women, we just never cared. I'm thinking now of the Rolling Stones. From "Stupid Girl" to "She's Under my Thumb" to "Bitch" to "Stray Cat', you're talking songs to make a feminist take up arms. It's rock tradition, sort of. I like the Stones. As Jagger sings in Wild Horses,
I know I've dreamed you
A sin and a lie
Anyway, Browne is one of those who respects women, which makes it easier for me to like him. He expresses himself as a sensitive man who is simply aware, not feminine himself. I heard a new song recently, (New to me)
I'm not sure what you think you see, I'm hoping you'll still know that it's me
Oh, if I'd only known
What your heart costs
Call it a loan
or a debt that I owed, or a bet that I lost


I was taught how to cook by my husband after we were married. He showed me and then I was supposed to do all the cooking. I found this unfair. Why was this my job? He, after all, was fully able to cook. Anyway women are more likely to mop the floor and cook than men and I'm not sure I really want things to change and every man wearing an apron but I feel faintly abused. Anyway, my mom was Southern but couldn't make biscuits. Biscuits are a necessary part of meals, especially breakfast in the South and my mother's lack was due to 8 sisters. This made it difficult for her to even get into her mom's tiny kitchen and even watch her mom and sisters cook anything. I found biscuits to be made by my husband in an unconventional way. I failed many times at making biscuits, I made odd rocks and strange textures and flat little pancakes before using this method. I thought to share it with you.
Take self-rising flour and throw away your baking powder or save it for that banana nut bread. Add whole milk and stir until it is between thin and thick, anything between. Add one big blob of Crisco shortening, about 4 tablespoons. (Hmm....flour is about 2 cups I think) As you can see, I hate to measure anything. I don't know why, it seems so complicated and too much trouble. Melt shortening in a cast iron skillet, (why cast iron? It's traditional I guess) Pour lard into flour and milk mixture.
My biscuits were very bitter before, baking powder lends a bitterness for me otherwise. I know this is not how you are supposed to make biscuits.
However, if I do it the proper way, by slicing pieces of shortening with 2 knives into the flour until crumbly textured, I can make pie crust very prettily, (even if it is 2 inches thick) Cobbler however is easier and everything taste better soaked in berry juice or peach juice. Very forgiving.
Well, that is my cooking tip for today.
Oh yeah, forgot to mention. Sometimes, by complete accident because I never make biscuits that taste the same twice, I get this light and fluffy and delicious pastry that is ridiculously wonderful. I remember how my Aunt Lena Mae made wonderful creations out of flour, buttermilk and vegetable shortening. Her biscuits were so amazing she made them on huge cookie sheets and still had no leftovers. A well-made biscuit is better than baklava, better than chocolate eclairs, better with a homey goodness that tastes like childhood.
I think it is when I get the milk exactly right and when I stir very little. It's like a suprise to open up my oven.
I never know what I'm going to get.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Nancy Makin to appear on Oprah

Nancy Makin 51, once weighed 703 pounds. She is 51 years old and from Michigan. She lost a whopping 530 pounds and wore pants at 103 inches around the waistline. I find her unexpected.
For one thing, she is a very attractive lady. She talks well and is not anxious about being on camera and feels she has something to say. She makes her living now cleaning houses and presumably, appearing on television.
She didn't go out because people stared at her and were not friendly she says. Her sister gave her a pc and she said it gave her a chance to talk to people without them knowing what she looked like. She doesn't have anything to push and doesn't have a load of weight loss advice. She was lonely and she ate, once connected to the internet the weight just came off.
It is wonderful how supportive the online community can be, and how our worlds might be a bit larger now if we chose. I found her strangely fascinating.
Also, Betty White will be on Saturday Night Live this weekend! Hooray! She is in her eighties and as funny and bright as she ever was. I am looking forward to watching the show.