Sunday, April 30, 2017

Boston Accent

I'm in Boston, the only place in the world, where my accent is like the majority of the population.

Some say that I speak French with a Boston accent, and a good friend who listened to my Congressional testimony and the press conference afterwards https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZoLSfyyjvI&feature=youtu.be say even though I haven't lived here for almost 30 years.

Therefore, when I saw this t-shirt near Quincy Mahket, I had to buy it. It met two of the three criterhia I have before buying anything; useful, beautiful and / or a memory.

Someone said my testimony at Congress this week https://oversight.house.gov/hearing/reviewing-unintended-consequences-foreign-account-tax-compliance-act/ (Fast forward to after Rand Paul)

Meanwhile I enjoy walking thru the Boston streets and looking at things I love, probably for the last time. However, when I leave, the accent will me.



Friday, April 28, 2017

Walking the hill




Enter six Congressmen’s offices. 

Look at their blue rugs, dark wood furniture.

See symbols of their state, family photos

Repeat our story

There were ten of us. We explained the damage FATCA was doing to individuals

  • how it was unconstitutional-unlawful search and seizure
  • how it hurt American business overseas as well as the image
  • No one can give figures on what it brings in or how many tax cheats caught
  • It brands all American expats as terrorists, drug dealers, sex traffickers and/or tax cheats.

Four Congressmen had their aids talk to us. Two were well versed and/or extremely interested. One was new to the job.

For me, the views of most of the men I met are abhorrent. They are anti-climate, anti-women’s right to choose, anti everything I hold near and dear. Yet on this issue we are in agreement.

It was the Republicans who are working on this issue and the Democrats who are fighting it and the Republicans are hoping to capture Democratic voters overseas.

FATCA goes beyond party loyalty. It violates the 4th and 8th amendment of the Constitution. It costs more than it brings in. It hurts American business as well as individual.

There was a hearing much like the ones shown on TV with the bank of congressmen seats, many empty, but with their aids taking notes.

Political theater.

There were congressmen who didn’t know what they were talking about, but we were there to educate them. I believe we were more successful than not. What that will do to change anything is unknown.

There was the Democratic architect of FATCA who twisted in the wind with misinformation and said that it didn’t matter if FATCA caused people to renounce. There are others to take their place. Her hand was next to the Army uniform belonging to one of the renouncers. He had no choice if he wanted to refinance his condo. I spoke to her during the recess and told her
  • You don’t know what you are talking about
  • You should try living overseas
  • You have ruined thousands of lives.
 I have a great contempt voice. 

Later she said she would like FATCA extended. That means everyone in America would have all their financial information submitted to the IRS including when they bought gas, the new dress, never mind their 401K, roll of Scotch tape bought at Staples on a debit card. 


The hearing ended and we traipsed to another building for a press conference. It can be heard here.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

2 more

I added an Uber ride to my collection of taxi drivers.

I collect taxi drivers. Whenever I enter a cab, I try and make contact with the driver. It makes the rides more interesting.

My best was in Paris with repeated rides with Mr. K from Algeria. We solved the problems of the world when he drove me from my friend's in Puteaux  to the Gare de Lyon. On one trip he called his sister so we could chat. He thought we would like each other. I think we would. Sadly, he left the taxi business before I could go home with him for some of his wife's couscous as promised.

I've ridden with one of the five Greek Parisian taxi drivers, whose love of Greece out-loved the father's in My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

Rick and I are staying in D.C. while I appear before Congress about how FATCA has jeopardized the financial lives of nine million American expats. FATCA is the reason I am no longer American. We are a friend's house near the CIA and the zoo, far enough out to make a taxi the most simple choice.

We were headed for Clyde's to meet with the rest of FATCA-fighting team.

Our hostess used her Uber account when Rick's smart phone wouldn't work to set up the app.

As soon as we pulled from the curb, I started with my usual, "May I ask..." as a polite opening. The young driver loved to talk.

He drives two days along with a second job and school.  He wants to be a programmer and has one more year. Don't tell me about lazy kids.

Leaving the restaurant three hours later, we hailed a regular cab.

Me: I hear an accent, may I ask where you're from?

Driver: East Africa.

Me: Ethiopia

Driver: Close.

 Me: Eritrea.

Driver: Yes. I've been here 20 years and I'm a proud American.

Eritrea is the only other country in the world that has citizen based taxation (CBT), although it is limited to 2%. Considering FATCA is a result of CBT, we launched into a philosophical discussion of CBT and we brought up FATCA. Like everyone who hears of FATCA for the first time he was shocked.

We told him we were in D.C. to talk to congress about the unintended consequences of the act. "That's terrible," he said. He couldn't imagine life without a bank account or his mortgage being called because of his birthplace.

We arrive at my friend's house. "You go tell Congress," he said. "Bonsoir," he added. French was one of his six languages, although he said it was the one he was weakest in.

As we walked up the steps, Rick said, imagine meeting a taxi driver by chance from the only other country that practices CBT.

Imagine.







Monday, April 24, 2017

travel

I admit I'm tired of travel. If only I could be like Samantha and wiggle my nose and be where I want to be after the twitch.

There is the worry about schedules. Will the planes be late and I miss connections. That can happen n train trips too.

The discomfort is worse when I enter the US, the fear of what might happen even if I have my Esta form. I've told the US government that:
  • I didn't help the Nazis in WWII
  • I am not a terrorist
  • I never kidnapped a child
They still can hold me or turn me away because they want to.

For homelanders this is the type of stupidity all foreigners are subject to.

We carry:
  • Our laptops as clean as possible
  • Our marriage certificate for different last names explanations
  • An Xray of my skull to show the metal placed after I broke my face for body searches
  • A list of passwords for social media in case we are one of those asked
So far we only had glitch when we drove in from Canada  2.5 years ago and I passed secondary processing and ended up with a 3-month visa.

The alarm sounded Monday morning at 3 a.m. By 4:30 we were on our way to Toulouse airport. This time the parking garage code worked.

Time for a breakfast of a croissant nicely over baked, my favorite way, and I savored the last bite.

We were under a pirate flag, although there have been few reports of pirates in the Garonne River. Amusing.

The flight to Charles de Gaulle was on time for us to walk, not run to our connector to D.C. And unlike our last trip we didn't have to go thru security a second time.

The Air France staff spoke four languages (really should be a requirement on all international flights) and were extremely pleasant so different from our Delta flight from the US in March. No problems with baggage delivery to the plane either as happened on Delta.

The safety message was one of the most clever I've seen with mix and match outfits and cute moves by the models.

Watched three movies and Mom, which I had read about in the New Yorker
  • Cloclo
  • Florence
  • Bridget Jones Baby (what my former housemate calls a nincompoopy movie but fun)
And I napped.

Customs and border control were a breeze. The new automatic kiosks make it easy even though being fingerprinted twice and photographed twice seems just a dite inefficient.

The border guard asked me if I had brought any gifts.

I said one teeny, teeny soap.

"Teeny, teeny, or teeny, teeny, teeny?" he asked. Then admitted to just "messing" with me. I told him since I was so tired, I'd failed to come up with a smart-ass reply.

In response to my questions he said there were times he did get bored, but it was the easiest and best paying job he ever had. He doesn't understand why so often the grouchy people are just back from vacation.

My teddy bear suitcase and Rick's green one arrived in record time.

My friends were waiting at arrivals and we took them out to eat. When in the D.C. area soft-shelled crab is must. And a Kahlua sombrero or white Russian is something I seldom get.

Some catch-up on our lives and we staggered up to bed. Some people claim to fall asleep as soon as their head hits the pillow, but Rick's even sleep breathing began as his head descended to the pillow. I wasn't far behind.

If only all our trips were like this.









Saturday, April 22, 2017

Margaret and me

I was in bed with Margaret Atwood this morning.

Rick slept next to me in his Henry David Thoreau "simplify, simplify" t-shirt. Outside the church bells rang 8. Muffled sounds from merchants setting up for the marché penetrated the windows.

Margaret wasn't there in person, but was in an article in the latest New Yorker, the gift from my husband that keeps on giving weekly. Never is there an issue that I don't learn something. This article was so vivid it felt as if she were there and sharing my cup of tea.

Atwood has always been one of the my favorite writers. As a writer myself comparing me to her is like comparing a marathon runner finishing in less than three hours and a baby crawling the same course over weeks, if not months.

My 11 published novels and a couple of poems do not stand up against her seemingly endless list of novels, essays and poems.

We do share things in common with some difference. We are both in our seventies. I'm three years younger, although young is not a term for either. She's traveled the world, I've traveled much in Europe and North America. To a certain degree we both are iconoclasts at least a little bit. She has lived in the wild. To me, wild is a camp ground that has hot showers.

*****
Here's some quotes from the article.

"Fiction has to be something that people actually believe."

When it comes to women's rights and the current need to protect them yet another time. "After sixty years why are we doing this again?"

On the Edible Woman "(A reviewer in Time said the novel had the 'kick of a perfume bottle converted into a Molotov cocktail.')"

When asked how she got her housework done she said, "Look under my sofa, then we talk."

"Her feminism assumes women's rights to be human rights, and is born of having been raised with a presumptive of absolute equality between the sexes."

"My problem was to that people wanted me not to wear frilly pink dresses--it was that I wanted to wear frilly pink dresses."

"All characters have to live somewhere even if they are rabbits in Watership Down."

When discussing nail polish with a friend, Atwood remembered she was wearing red. "How frivolous of you to remember." the friend said. "How novelistic of me to remember it," Atwood said.

*****
The article talked much about Handmaid's Tale which has had a resurgence in popularity because of America's current political climate.

Like all New Yorker articles, it was several pages. My tea was cold when I finished. There were things that needed to be done. Check out the marché, pack for our D.C. trip tomorrow, empty the dishwasher, eat breakfast.

Margaret went her way and I went mine.
 









Friday, April 21, 2017

Greed



Normally when one thinks of greed, bankers and CEOs with inflated salaries come to mind.


But I am greedy. Not for money, but for the experiences I can cram into the day.

When I wake I want to:
  • Watch Télémartin
  • The news on CNN, BBC, France24, I24, Al Jazeera, 
  • Stay in bed and read while sipping tea that my lovely husband has brought me
  • Have my husband beside me also reading or...
I can do all these things, just not all at the same time. That's greedy to want it all.

I want to be in Argelès yet step out the door for lunch at Mikado with my former housemate...the problem? It's eight hours travel time away.

I want to be able to:
  • Write emails
  • Check news sites
  • Play games
  • Check out FB
  • Post photos
  • Write blogs
  • Work on my novel
  • Market my novels
The problem? I want to do it all at the same time.

And at the same time I am on the computer I want to
  • Sit at the local cafés in the sun
  • Chat with friends
  • Take a walk to the beach (ASM)
  • Take a walk to the lake (Geneva) 
  • Take a walk in the woods (ASM and Geneva)
  • Investigate something and or some place
  • Go on Photo Safari
The problem? I want to do it all at the same time.

Now it is easy to see why I am so greedy. I have all these wonderful alternatives every minute of every day. It involves selection and the ability to concentrate on what I'm doing not what I'm not doing.

I'm not asking for sympathy. It would be a wasted exercise. I live in two wonderful places with a wonderful husband with wonderful choices.

The bankers can keep their money. I have experiences that tell me I'm alive every second.



Thursday, April 20, 2017

Juniper

The memories started when my Danish friend asked me the name of the berry used for gin.

A total blank until five minutes after she left the café where we'd been enjoying une noisette.

In a world where parents schedule almost every minute of their kids' time, I was brought back to my own childhood. Personally, I would kill any parent that did that to me and consider it justifiable homicide.

I did take piano lessons for one year, hating every minute of it. Although at the end I did play "Swaying Silver Birches" in the Key of C with a certain competence. My teacher was the daughter of a Boston Marathon runner.

In grade school there were the dreaded ballroom dancing lessons from Mr. Curry, his piano-playing mother and his boxer. The only advantage to the wasted afternoon came later when alumni had a wonderful dance during high school.

And then there was the time when I was sent to my grandmother's friend after school to learn arts and crafts. After a bout of measles, I refused to return. 

Activities stopped me from what I wanted to do after school.

Play.

We lived on 14 acres of land. There were gardens on the side and back, a hill for sliding in winter and covered with violets in the spring. My grandfather's tool house was half converted into a playhouse. I still wish my father had finished it.

No friends lived nearby, but I had imaginary friends. Each lived somewhere on the land. Maida's home was under the juniper bush (thus the memory trigger) and Anita under one of the big rocks left by a melting glacier eons before. June lived under the other.

We had games of being Romans, Greeks, Tudors, cowboys and indians and even the FBI hunting Al Capone. We rode bikes up and down the semi circular driveway that surrounded our pine grove or roller skated on the porch.

After a rain storm when there were puddles everywhere we would build canals until the water ran into one big puddle where the driveway dipped, then splash in it.

In winter, we built snow forts and snowmen until my grandmother had me bring in a plate of clean snow. She poured hot maple syrup on the snow making the best candy.

On the coldest of days, my imaginary friends and I would play newspaper, draw, paint or just curl up with a book before they had to return to their rock and juniper bush homes.

Playing alone made me happy. Maybe I have such an active imagination today because of it. And it didn't hurt my ability to make friends. Maida, June and Anita sometimes were so stubborn I had to compromise.

Today I have a very active social life with friends of all ages and nationalities. I enjoy all the times we spend together. However, I need alone time or I will break. Fortunately, my former housemate, my daughter and my husband and I all have the ability to be alone together in the same room each engrossed in our activities and thoughts.








Wednesday, April 19, 2017

DNA

Just for fun Rick and I had our DNA tested.

I already knew much about both the paternal and maternal sides of my family.

On my mother's side, the Stockbridges arrived in the US on the Blessing in the 1630s. The Sargents fought in the American Revolution.

Michel Boudrot (later Boudreau) left La Rochelle for Noya Scotia in the 1640s much like a ship in the La Rochelle port we saw last spring. He and his descendants were fertile populating much of that area of Canada.


Thus when the results came back I was 97% European with a concentration in England, there was no great surprise. I would have thought there would have been more in France was only a little surprising.

What was a surprise, was a connection to Norway. Probably some Viking while ravishing the English countryside found a pretty local lass and stayed.


The DNA test also traced hunter/gathers and farmers, both of which were in realistic numbers for the development of humans.

What the DNA can't tell me is more about the individuals that passed down their DNA to me. Was one of the hunter/gathers a loving husband and father? Was he disappointed when one of his offsprings wanted to farm?

What did they laugh at?

Did they like mammoth meat and thousands of other questions?

What the test made me aware of was that my existence goes back not just to the Blessing and a ship from La Rochelle but to prehistory. The writer in me, will have to be content to imagine what all my ancestors did and felt.

Rick has done a dueling blog at http://lovinglifeineurope.blogspot.com






Work

I was raised to think that certain jobs were better than others. We all needed a  job which is different from the career say of doctors, lawyers, businessmen.

As a woman pre-women's lib my choices were secretary, nurse, teacher, telephone operator, although my mother didn't fit the mold. She had several businesses, including a direct mail company making stuffed toys. Her workers were all cottage-industry people around town.

Later she had a party-plan clothing business. Finally she ended up, much to her surprise, as a great journalist.

There was the implication that this was all superior to store owners, plumbers, electricians, beauticians, etc.

As for going to university, there really was no other option. I did leave after my first year to be married--HORROR--but after a stint as an Army wife in Germany, I returned and finished with a B.A. Later I would earn a Masters Degree in Wales, but that was many decades later.

My jobs were all corporate, although almost all was in the non-profit world. At least when I drove to work each morning, I could feel I wasn't hurting the world with the products made. My many years with credit unions helped people deal with their finances.

As for corporate life, I could play the politics from the way I dressed to the way I dealt with upper, lower and middle management. But it wasn't me.

I wanted to write and did, squeezing it in at the end of the day. I was able to publish books http://donnalanenelson.com/ and after my alleged retirement for seven years I published a weekly newsletter for Canadian credit union executives. It wasn't work, but an experience to be savored each day.

Now in Southern France, I seldom hear any of my local friends talk about career development or even careers. They have the green grocers, the café, a hotel. Their priorities are more earning a living to support a quality of life vs. earning money to buy more and more more and m...

Many are artists eking out a living but not wanting to live any other way.

Their jobs are interrelated with friendship.  The jeweler will sit down with one of the waitresses from the tea room. The handyman may have his client to dinner. My green grocer gives me hugs as well as the traditional cheek-kisses. We might share a coffee from time to time or even the Sunday when I wandered by and she invited me to share the rabbit she and her son were eating for their lunch.

Anyone in a business suit, stands out.

There doesn't seem to be the combat of my house is bigger than your house.

Sometimes I think the pressure to get ahead and to get that better car or house just feeds the corporate machine that cares nothing for their workforce on any level. They are to be manipulated into thinking they should make sacrifices for the company that will let them go the nano second they aren't needed as much. And if they are needed, make sure they are in debt so their choices are limited.

Work keeps a roof over one's head, food on the table, but here, it is not the need to discuss work-life balance. It is there. The cars may be old, the houses small, but there is time to live.








Monday, April 17, 2017

Rooms

My husband said he had many lives, which got me thinking.

So have I and each with vivid memories starting with my childhood bedroom and its throne-like dresser and marble arm rests. My window overlooked a sloping roof where my Dad made reindeer footprints one Christmas. I still think it really was Dasher and Prancer and his cohorts.

One wonderful year of college before marrying. Such freedom. The rest of college was as a married woman with a disapproving husband. I loved the studying.

An Army bride in German catapulted into a different life that would change my goals for ever.

Being a mother is ongoing even with an adult, adored daughter.

What I do find interesting from each life, there are people who pop in and out. Some are there for decades and with others there are decades between face-to-face meetings.

A couple from our Army days turned up on Facebook. We'd seen them even after we were back stateside, but lost track because of move after move. I'd tried to find them ever so often, but their name Smith made it next to impossible.

They were on a world cruise and we met up when the stopped in Nice. Except for a wrinkle and gray hair it was no different from when we were sharing adventures in Germany, including my and Rosi's first flight after a misadventure at a TV tower.

This week it has been especially poignant with the now grown son of Danish summer people. Small amounts of time together do not mean that those times lack depth of feeling.

My current life is a bit of shock to me. I am so intensely in love with my husband, an emotion and relationship I thought I would never have and didn't want (stupid me). He took me from one wonderful life into another.

I walk thru our flat and see him writing away at the other end of the living room and feel so at peace.

We have treasures like the Andorra palette-shaped rock, which one of our local artists gladly turned into a tiny, tiny palette with his dabs of paint for us. We pull memories out of every day much like a fishing crew with their nets filled with the gifts of the sea. Things, are not people, but reminders of people and experiences. They add to life.

Some of people we are intensely close to we lose track of forever. There is a sadness without regretting the time. There are others that become more than friends, family of choice as those from my trips to Damascus and the woman who lived across the hall from me. And if I spent 11 years sharing a home, the change does not mean the end of friendship, merely a morphing into a different, but still valuable one.


Poor Rick is still being introduced to people from my life and will ask, "Who is this again? Where do you know them from." I can say, things like school, Army, Digital, Polaroid, credit unions." He nods and learns why they come.

I suppose I could think of my life as many rooms starting back to my childhood room where I really believe Dasher and his friends trod. And the room I am in now is not just a mansion but a château of happiness.



Friday, April 14, 2017

Emotion

"That's him," the mother of the young man walking toward me on rue de la Republique said.

He was nearly twenty, a good six feet. I'd not seen him for almost a decade.

The first time I saw, or rather heard him, I looked out the window of my nest. He was in full

throws of a tantrum and was riding in a cart pulled by a bike. My immediate thought, which I still regret was--why can't his mother control him? My conclusion was so wrong.

Something went wrong at his birth.

Over the next few summers, I watched him develop. His walking improved. They told me his speech improved, although I do not understand Danish.

One night we were at a café in the square. He picked up a bike and road, something we thought impossible. Tears were plentiful.

Over the few summers when the family installed themselves in the house across the street, his bedroom looked into my nest. Each night we would wave good night. And each morning we would start the day with a wave.

After a few years, he and his mother stopped coming, but I followed his progress thru his grandparents who made annual treks to Argelès.

This year, everyone is here. His grandfather, aunt and mother all said he was looking forward to seeing me. I was looking forward to seeing him.

As he walked down the street, I rushed into a hug.

He understands some of my English although we need translations. He remembers our waves and what we shared.

He has business cards for his repair business. He worked for over five years, collecting bottles for money, selling Christmas trees, carrying luggage and making repairs to buy a boat. I wonder if any American child would work so hard for a goal.

The boat is beautiful and I saw where he sails her on his mom's telephone. The photo of the boat is on his phone.

We meet for coffee. We will meet again while this beautiful man is here for chats, coffee and hugs.

It is so seldom, I've met someone who has gone beyond their potential to become such a wonderful man.



Monday, April 10, 2017

Sunday-PERFECT!

It was a perfect Sunday, waking to church bells and birds singing.

A lovely cuddle, breakfast, a bit of reading, a bit of chores. A wonderful breakfast made by my
husband in our newly well-organized kitchen which we accomplished as a team.

The weather was so beautiful we had to go for a walk thru the veggie gardens and along the so-called river.

The water was clear and gurgly and we played music along the blue bridge. A few thistles reminded us of our trip to Scotland in the fall.


Back in the village we saw a sign for a new crêperie which will be opening soon and we monitored whether the confetti from carnival was still in the brick wall (It was and we had found another piece in our flat)

I made mac and cheese with four local cheeses and a spinach, tomato and garlic veggie also from nearby farms. Fresh strawberries were for dessert.

It was time to do a bit of reading, a bit of writing.

There is not one thing exciting in any of this, but at the same time the feeling of peace and contentment could not have been higher.


Sunday, April 09, 2017



 Like me, my mother, Dorothy Sargent Boudreau, was a writer/journalist. She loved cooking and good food and before her death put a cookbook together called Stove Stories. She believed food was more than food, but part of the experience of daily life, filled with memories. It was never published, but from time-to-time, I post her recipes.




MINE was a sweet-toothed family, no doubt of that.

Mother had been known to put down a book she was reading and go out and whip up a batch of fudge or possibly penuche.

Her brother could go through a pound of chocolates in record time and adores the very sweet double-boiler pudding you'll find here.

Dessert was a must at our house and often mother would announce, "Tonight there is apple pie, but there's also one serving of chocolate pudding and two pieces of orange cake left over from yesterday. What will you have, Walter?"

And my father would say, "All three," and proceed to finish the last morsels. He also subtly scrutinized each dessert plate to be sure his as the largest portion.

The single exception was my brother, who viewed the seven-minute boiled frosting mounted on mother's devil's food cake with something akin to nausea, which meant more for me! Not so with the Brambles. I've included the recipe. These had to be portioned out carefully.


And with my children Aunt Leah's chocolate sauce served over simple one-egg cupcakes had to be allotted three each to the four-member family. Which bring to mind a story that can still produce guilt in my son.

Seems when these two were quite young, J caught his sister, seven years older devouring HIS last cupcake and portion of sauce. Five at the time, he went screaming to his grandmother to stop this atrocity. 

Loathe to believe her granddaughter would stoop to such perfidy, she ignored the wails. And in desperation, the lad bit his grandmother on the wrist. 

To this day when the cupcakes and sauce are served, Donna-Lane chuckles. J grimaces and admits to more than a touch of regret about that long-ago bite.

About the candied orange peel, which is a bit of work, but well worth it. This goes back to the days of the extended family when every home harbored a grandma, grandpa, maiden aunt, widowed uncle or some relative.

Indeed, at one time our home had a paternal grandfather, a maternal grandmother, a paternal uncle and a maternal cousin.

But back to the orange peel, every Christmas for years, mother would make up sweets to fill one-pound boxes for what she referred to as "as the nice little old ladies in the neighborhood." The boxes wrapped in silver paper and with a piece of pine tucked into the red ribbon bows were duly delivered by my brother and me. They contained dates stuffed with fondant, dates stuffed with walnuts, chocolate fudge, divinity fudge, penuche and candied orange peel.

The ladies were delighted.


MELT-A-WAYS 

And melt in your mouth, they do. A recipe from Betty of Nebraska and chicken-fried steak fame. Her daughters insists on these of the holidays and gets them too.
  • 1 cup (2sticks) butter
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • Powdered sugar for coating
Melt butter in small pan.

Remove from heat. 

Stir in 1/4 cup powdered sugar, water and vanilla. 

Gradually blend in flour, then pecans to make pastry-like dough. 

Pinch off dough a teaspoon at a time. Place on ungreased cookie sheets. 

Bake in slow oven 300° for 20 minutes of until delicately golden. 

Remove from cookie sheet, dust with powdered sugar while warm.
 


CANDIED ORANGE PEEL
As children we loved this and still do as adults. Trouble is now, I have to make it and get to it about twice a year. It's a bit time consuming and then it disappears so rapidly. Still worth while.

Prepare orange peel by cutting peel lengthwise in section. 

Cover with cold water, bring to boiling point and cook slowly until soft (about 20 minutes). 

Drain thoroughly, cut off any extra white part of rind and cut peel in thinnish strips. 

Good scissors will do the trick. Set the strips aside and prepare the candying ingredients.

BRING to boiling point,1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water and 2 tbsp. corn syrup.

Add one cup prepared peel and cook until it is clear 230° on candy thermometer. 

Remove peel from syrup with a slotted spoon and spread on a plate to cool. 

Roll in granulated sugar and spread on wax paper to dry and store in glass jars.


MOLLIE'S BUTTERSCOTCH SAUCE

Mollie was a member of mother's bridge club and an excellent cook. When she entertained the group, the
members looked forward to this butterscotch sauce which she served over an ice cream puff and lavished with almonds. 

I once saw a gentleman, who shall remain nameless, eat four generous scoops of ice cream topped with this sauce. No dainty sherbert dish here. It took a soup bowl to hold the scoops with the sauce perilously near to the brim.
  • 1/4 pound butter
  • 1 package of light brown sugar
  • 1 pint of heavy cream
Put all contents in the top of a double boiler, blend and cook over the bottom pan for at least four hours. 

That's all there is to it.

LEAH'S CHOCOLATE SAUCE
I've told you the history of this sauce si suffice to say it brought us memories that I'm going to make it as
soon as today's typing stint is finished. 

Living alone now, I'll consume those 12 cupcakes, liberally sauced without and help, even tho' I may freeze six of them until next week. The sauce will keep.
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 oz. cooking chocolate
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
Combine salt, sugar and cornstarch. 

Add boiling water slowly and blend. 

Add chocolate. Put in double boiler and cook until thickened, stirring as needed. 

Add vanilla last.






Thursday, April 06, 2017

Mondays

"Rainy days and Mondays always get me down."

Unlike the Carpenter's hit song about Mondays, I like Mondays.

There was one time I didn't. I had a horrible job working for a mad man. I dreaded Mondays on Thursdays. Literally. He ended up in a mental hospital. The fact that he seldom changed his clothes, should have been a clue.

I think he hired me so I would make a fourth for bridge. I ended up walking off the job. Life improved.

Now Mondays mean the beginning of a new week full of prospects for:
  • Writing
  • Visits with friends
  • Walks
  • Café sits
  • Flowers
  • Good food
  • Etc.