Monthly Archives: July 2013

Look I made pop tarts!

No seriously, I made homemade pop tarts.

 Homemade poptarts

This is like an actual thing that some people I work with have made in the past. I was intrigued enough to want to try it. The recipe they use comes from Smitten Kitchen.

I am considering the dough to be a major victory, because I have issues with pie crust type doughs. Frankly I had issues with this dough. you can see from the photos that they’re not terribly pretty.

Jammy goodness

I even made the jam. It’s blueberry – recipe courtesy of Food in Jars. I achieved set in this jam to an extreme extent, but when I heated it up per the pop tart recipe instructions, it came out just fine.

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And then there was jam

I’ve been experimenting with home canning over the past month. I have meant to post, truly I have, but well, these things happen. Anyhow, I present to you one of my successes, Apricot Rosemary Jam from Food in Jars:

apricot rosemary jam

There have been some interesting um, failures. Okay, everything tastes great, but when you set out to make sour cherry jam and you end up with sour cherry ice cream topping, it rankles.

Then there was the blueberry jam, which again tastes great but is now so solid it’s a bit scary. Pectin seems to be my bête noire. I note that my most successful jams a sweet apricot jam and the apricot rosemary jam above did not require it.

So okay, the apricot rosemary goodness. Like a lot of the Food in Jars recipes it wasn’t too complicated to make. I used it as a glaze on a chicken breast for my supper and it was fantastic.

The actual canning process isn’t that hard. It’s hot and it makes for sweaty work, but so far I have refrained from injuring myself. I guess the test results for whether I was successful in avoiding creating vile botulism strains  won’t be in for a few months, but we can but hope.

Life without TV

Fifteen days ago, I contacted the blood suckers at Time Warner and canceled my cable TV subscription.

This is old news to those of you who are friends with me on Facebook (I feel compelled to share the details of my life there whether you care or not).

I was prompted to do this by the realization that I no longer watch TV the way I used to.

Way back in the dark ages when I was a kid, my parents had one black and white set. I remember the day my father came home from some conference with a color set–it didn’t matter if the programs were broadcast in color or not, you needed a special set to see color.

We had no cable. We had rabbit ears and occasionally there were fun adventures with coat hangers and tin foil. I have fond memories of being told to stand exactly in one position so that the picture would stay clear. I watched a lot of stuff in French in the early years–we lived near Canada and occasionally we could get the broadcasts from French Canadian stations (trust me, you haven’t really experienced Star Wars until you have heard some squeaky voiced actor dubbing Darth Vader saying “Luc, je suis ton pere”)

We didn’t have cable till I was in my twenties and my brother and I paid for it myself. I still remember the first thing I ever saw in my own home on cable. It was Lionel Barrymore in drag as a French peasant woman. And as Dave Barry is wont to say, “no, I’m not making that up.” (See below)

But that was over twenty years ago and I don’t use my TV the way I used to. I had digital cable and it cost me an inordinate amount of money. As much as I liked certain channels, when I sat down and thought about it, out of the over 200 I was paying for, I was probably watching 5 of them. It’s not possible to pick and choose. You have to get one of those stupid packages and along with the 5 you want, you have 195 you never touch.

I watch most of my content via streaming or DVD. I mainline TV shows now. There are only a handful of things I was watching through traditional appointment TV.

So fifteen days ago, I canceled it. I really don’t miss it. I bought an antenna and a digital converter box, but I think I’ll be returning them to the store.

The Time Warner person who handled my order to disconnect sounded resigned. I get the feeling I’m not the only person moving in this direction.

Snow on my set is not such a bad thing.