Monday, March 30, 2020

Isolation Biscuits

Photo by Jamie Schler @lifesafeast
I saw this recipe on Twitter, and although I'm totally bummed that I can't make them here in the truck, I am saving the recipe for when I get home.

Look at those amazing biscuits! What are they, three, four inches tall?  I need to rip those golden brown tops off and slather them with butter or jam.

And that's what Jamie Schler, the woman who posted the recipe, said you should do. 

Here is her recipe.  She said she's been making these for forty years (talk about time tested!) and from the looks of them, it seems like she's perfected the recipe.  If you make them, please let me know how delicious they really are.

2 cups (270 grams) all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (115 grams) unsalted butter, slightly softened
2/3 cup (160 ml) cold milk
Extra flour for work surface

Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C) before starting.

To measure the flour, stir the flour to lighten it before spooning it up & placing it in the measuring cup. Fill to the top/mounded then, using a long flat surface like the back of a knife blade, level the flour across the top of the cup.

Place the flour in a large bowl. Add the baking powder and salt to the flour and stir to blend. Cut the butter into cubes and to the flour in the bowl then toss to cover the butter cubes in the flour. Using your fingertips, rub the butter and flour together rather vigorously until the butter has been completely incorporated into the flour and the mixture resembles damp sand or cornmeal.

Add the milk, about a third at a time, mixing vigorously into the flour with a fork until the dough forms into a rough ball & there is no more dry flour/butter mixture. Gather the dough together and place on a floured work surface, dusting the dough itself with a little flour. Knead the dough very, very briefly only until you have a homogenous and smooth dough.

Using a rolling pin and a very light touch (roll the dough without pressing down on the rolling pin into the dough with pressure), roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/2-inch (1 cm). The dough should be light and fluffy, not packed. Using a round biscuit or cookie cutter, cut out small rounds (press straight down then up, not twisting the cutter) and place on an ungreased cookie or baking sheet.

Place the cookie/baking sheets with the biscuits in the preheated oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes.  The biscuits will have risen, the layers slightly separating, and the tops and the bottoms (carefully lift one up and look) will be a nice golden brown.

Eat hot or warm with butter.

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The Color Purple

2018: Inch By Inch Design
2017: Flashback To French Blooms
2016: Crooking Its Bright Red Finger
2015: This Is Why
2014: Fill'er Up!
2013: Texas! Texas! Margaret...
2012: He Forgets He Lives With A Maven
2011: Does Anyone Notice The Shoes Of A “Very Important Person”?
2010: Do You Think Raquel Owns A Dog And Gets Enough Potassium?
2009: No Need To Do Anything Drastic; There Will Always Be Re-Runs 
2008: Beautifully Retro
2007: Ready, Set, Go!!
2006: Giving New Meaning To An Ambulance Chaser
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Monday, March 23, 2020

When Life Gives You Lemons

Well, it's the beginning of a brand new week for us.  That really has no meaning during this pandemic, though.  The Coronavirus doesn't know the difference between weekdays and weekends.  Many people will start this week sheltering-in-place, in quarantine, in a hospital bed, or worse.

I'm 52 years old and I've never seen anything like what's happening right now.  I've never been in a store where shelves were bare, I've never had to isolate myself in my home for fear of getting sick, I've never had to stay six to ten feet away from friends and family. I've never seen people hoard toilet paper.  Good thing Ed and I are so used to being three feet apart all the time, this thing is going to be easy for us.  

I'm a homebody, so nothing makes me happier than being told to stay home.  The shelter-in-place suggestion is just another day for me, and it's not a big deal.  But I've been reading a lot of stuff online and have seen Tweets, Instagram stories, internet memes, and Facebook posts joking (and not joking) about how difficult it is for people to stay home.  Especially people with kids.  

I don't get this at all.  Sure, I'm a natural hibernator so it's easy for me, but can people really not stay home??  Don't they know how to read a book, play a game, work a hobby, watch TV and movies?  There is SO much to do at home.  We have the internet, cable TV with 500+ channels, Amazon Prime, Netflix.  Back in the day, we had 13 channels that went off the air for the night.  TV went to sleep like we did. 

I actually think there's something wrong with people who don't know how to relax, chill out, and just be alone with themselves. Or their family.  There's something wrong with the need to socialize, to go out, and to do do do all the time.  What are you afraid of if you miss the gym for a few weeks?  Go outside and do jumping jacks.  Why must you go out for dinner or drinks?  And if you just can't sit still, God help you, clean out your closets.  Bake.  Make and freeze soups.  Organize your pantry.  There's stuff to do, people.

One big problem I see - which is not just a problem during this pandemic, but a problem in general - is people don't cook.  These poor souls live on DoorDash, fast food drive-throughs, Chinese takeout, and frozen pizza.  If a restaurant is closing their dining rooms to protect their workers and the general public, why would you order delivery from them?   The person preparing your meal could be sick, or maybe they didn't wash their hands.  No way.  I'm not taking that chance.  And you shouldn't either.  Learn how to cook or eat a bowl of cereal, or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

We are back on the road this week and we've already been to a shipper that asked Coronavirus-related questions - Do you have a cough or fever?  Have you been diagnosed with the Coronavirus or have you be in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with the virus? Are you self-quarantining?   Well, I'm not self-quarantining since I'm at your gate in an 18-wheeler to pick up freight.  But, no to the other questions.

Ed and I are self-isolating.  My friend made a distinction between the quarantine and isolation thing - if you're sick, you quarantine, if you're staying home or away from others of your own free will, you're self-isolating.  Other than going into the truckstop to pay for fuel or signing paperwork at a customer, we haven't interacted with any other people.  And when we get back to the truck, we wipe down everything (pen, folder, phone, etc.) with a Clorox wipe, then wash our hands.  Or use hand sanitizer.  We're not taking any chances.

This isn't a joke.  This is serious.  The media isn't making it more than it is, and people who think what's happening is a plot to hurt Trump are morons.  People are sick and dying all over the world, and they don't give a shit about Trump.  And you shouldn't either.  Listen to the scientists, the doctors, the nurses, the specialists, the CDC, the intelligent people.  The ones on the front lines.  The truth-tellers.  Because this is a life or death situation.

And since we have to make adjustments to our way of life, let's all try to be vigilant about the social distancing, the handwashing, and whatever else is necessary to help each other through this pandemic.  We have to follow the direction of those who know more about this virus (or medicine in general) than we do.  We have to do our very best.

Let's make some lemonade.

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2019: Istanbul Cobble

2018: Circulating The Morning Air In The Lonestar State
2017: It's The Real OLD Thing
2016: Stopping In Style
2015: Patiently Waiting
2014: Find Out Where You Can Dine With Giraffes
2013: Sputtering With Excitement
2012: Water May Not Be The Only Liquid Nourishing These Flowers
2011: Nappy Time
2010: Dick. Not A Dick. Which One Are You?
2009: First The Poultry, Now This
2008: California Moon
2007: Ryno And Rob
2006: Living The Dream
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn't start until May 2005!

Sunday, March 08, 2020

A Year Long Carnival

Ed and I took a little Sunday drive up to Globe, Arizona and came across a parking lot carnival when we stopped to get coffee.  The sun was setting, the moon that night would be full, and there were families milling around waiting their turn for the rides.  The Ferris wheel was not only illuminated with its own lights, but the setting sun was shining on it, making it glow. 

From one year to the next, you never know where life will take you. Like a carnival, it's a little crazy, and like the cars rotating on a Ferris wheel, there are ups and downs. 

I feel a little bit like I'm riding one this year, but I can see the ground, so I'm not worried.


2012: Looking For A Coffee Fix
2011: Container Port, You Are No Friend Of Mine
2010: Encased In Plastic
2009: No Lifeguard On Duty
2008: Palm Sketches
2007: You Know Who You Are
2006: I Fear The Family
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Friday, February 28, 2020

Few And Far Between

We've had a few stormy days over the last few weeks and I have to tell you, I love waking up to overcast skies.  There's waaaay too much sun out here in Arizona.  Yeah, yeah, I know, that's the reason people live here, but once in a while, I need a day that doesn't beckon me to leave the house. 

The sun pesters me, reaching through the windows saying, "Come outside.  Look how sunny it is.  Don't you need some fresh air?  Don't you want to feel the sun on your skin? Don't you want to do yardwork?"  No.  No, I don't.  I would like to stay in the house, curled up on the couch with a cup of tea, watching Netflix all day.  

OK, so I actually do do that.  Like, a lot.  But it would feel less wrong if it were overcast or rainy outside.  

As a little reminder, this year is a leap year.  So we will have one extra day in February - tomorrow!  Enjoy it because we won't have another one for four years!

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Salz Und Pfeffer

2018: Hot And Sweet
2017: My Kind Of Salad
2016: In Disguise
2015: Hawaii Five-O
2014: I Like Big Boteros And I Cannot Lie
2013: The Young Never Have Trouble Screwing
2012: Making Tracks Across The Country
2011: Eddie Is The King Of The Dome
2010: Do It For Half An Hour A Day
2009: Sipping In Nyack
2008: The Tink Tink Tinkle Of Recycling
2007: Ralph’s Service Station
2006: The Isle Of Capri
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005! 

Sunday, February 09, 2020

How Deep Is Your Love For New Artists?

This week I watched Nobody's Fool starring Tiffany Haddish.  I liked the movie - Tiffany Haddish is funny, as expected, but the storyline was cute and it fit right into my love of Rom-Coms.

In the movie, there was a club scene where they introduced the band as PJ Morton and Yebba.  They sang "How Deep Is Your Love", the old Bee Gees song.  I'd never heard of the group and wanting to know if they were real, I Googled them.  They are in fact real people.

Above is the video of the song done by PJ Morton and Yebba - she's the girl in the overalls with the cool voice.  Both a new discovery for me. 

I love discovering new music through movies.  And this version of a familiar song is really great.  

My love is deep. 

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Barging Through Downtown
2018: Maybe This Time
2017: Queen Of The Copper Camps
2016: He Ran By And Told Me To Share Links
2015: Heading To Shore
2014: Chocolate And Gnocchi - The Best Of Any World
2013: Looking And Smelling Good Behind The Wheel Of A Big Rig
2012: Necessary Evil
2011: Getting Drunk On Summer Fun
2010: How Is It The Fish Don’t Freeze???
2009: A Meal Even 300 Year Old Monks Would Love
2008: Not A Knock Knock Joke
2007: Eddie Shades Friday
2006: The Idiot And The Box
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

Chronicling Our Taco Consumption

Who doesn't love a good taco?  Hell, who doesn't love a bad taco? 

But really, is there such thing as a bad taco?  I haven't found one yet.

When we're home, we eat quite a bit of Mexican food.  it's Tucson, folks.  We have an abundance.  

We've been maaaany places in our town - Mi Nidito, Seis Kitchen, Mosaic Cafe El Güero Canelo, Boca Tacos, Penca, El Charro, La Parilla Suiza(my favorite), Street Taco and Beer Co., and so many others I can't remember the names of.

Yesterday we went to Taqueria Pico De Gallo.  We were running an errand that took us to the South Side so I Googled "best tacos in South Tucson" and came up with this place.  It's been around for 29 years (good sign!) and the parking lot was full when we arrived.

We ordered three tacos each - birria, barbacoa, and carne asada - along with one green corn tamale, rice and beans, and chips and salsa.

The tamale didn't wow me - it was good, but a little too moist for my liking - but the tacos were fantastic!  The birria and barbacoa were juicy and flavorful and the carne asada was marinated and grilled perfectly.  My favorite part though....the hand made corn tortillas.  Fat and full of flavor, with those uneven edges that make you know someone formed them between their hands, one by one.

My recent taco obsession has been fueled by watching Taco Chronicles on Netflix.  Six episodes, each thirty minutes long, will have your mouth watering halfway through.  You'll learn about Al Pastor, the street food staple of Mexico City brought to Mexico by Lebanese immigrants; Carnitas, which date back to the Aztecs; the slow, laborious process of cooking Barbacoa, and the simplicity of a perfectly marinated Carne Asada.  The shows are in Spanish so use your subtitles if you don't speak the language, and immerse yourself in the rich history, preparation, and love of tacos.

¡Buen Provecho!

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2019: Ornamental Iron
2018: Quonset Quartet
2017: Baltic Gold
2016: 350 Days Of Sunshine Per Year
2015: Tenderly
2014: What Else Is There To Do When It's One Degree Outside?
2013: Packing Up
2012: A Man Can Do All Things If He Will
2011: Spinning Our Wheels
2010: It Takes Two
2009: Buona Sera King Louis
2008: The Newest B & B Trend Might Not Take Off As Expected
2007: Pirelli
2006: Classic Sal
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005! 

Friday, January 31, 2020

Yellow Gaze

Wow.  It's the end of the month already.  How time flies when you're out of sorts.  

I've been sick since two days before Christmas - first acute bronchitis, then a few days of thinking I was better, then incessant coughing and labored breathing.  Could I have the Wuhan?

I don't have much to report which is why I'm posting a picture of my mother's cat, Daisy Mae.  She doesn't look like a sweet, Southern Daisy Mae (she's not) with that piercing yellow stare, but we haven't seen her in a while and blog posts with photos are always better than posts without.  You're welcome.

I haven't been doing much because the not-breathing thing wears me out, but Ed and I did find some time to make fresh pasta.  I will DEFINITELY be doing that again - SO much easier than I anticipated, and really quite delicious for a first attempt. 

The weather here has been nice but I gotta tell you - and I know the people in the colder climates will want to bonk me over the head for this - I'm reaaaallllly tired of seeing the sun.  The way you feel about long winters with snow and cold is exactly how I feel about 280-something days of sunshine a year.  It's really enough already.  I can't even tell you how happy several overcast days (in a row!) would make me.  

OK, so I just wanted to check in and let y'all know we're still here.  Hope the beginning of this glorious new year has been treating you well.  

Talk to you all soon!

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2019: The Beautiful Cabbage Flower
2018: Waiting In Wilmington
2017: The Wild Life Of Trucking
2016: Special Order
2015: Clooney Was Not At The End Of The Pier
2014: Where They Build Palaces Out Of Corn
2013: Modern Market Girl
2012: A Berry Good Time
2011: Traveling Through Mountain Ranch
2010: Backroads
2009: If Only I Could Fit All Of This Information On A Bumper Sticker…
2008: Gambling Haze
2007: Published
2006: Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Where The Boys Were

The three stones beneath this tree in my backyard were made by my three nephews when they were little boys.  Before Ed and I bought this house from my mother.

They played in the backyard, in the mud, in the stream, building with bricks, digging with shovels, just being boys.

I like looking out my kitchen window and seeing these three reminders lined up beneath that tree.  It makes me smile whenever I catch a glimpse because it takes me back to their little faces, streaked with mud and sweat, glistening in the sun.  When there were no cares.  No homework.  No after-school jobs.  

They were just boys running free.  Taking my heart wherever they went.

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2014: Drill, Baby, Drill
2013: Ruling Color
2012: After This, It’s Time To Close The Left Door For A While
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!