Monday, May 23, 2011


 A friend of mine sent me this tree image this morning. It obviously had been photoshopped. It looked like me! I wrote back and asked her where she found it. She told me a friend of a friend of a friend had sent it to her. She said she googled “face tree” and the picture was near the top of the listings. I wanted to get permission to use it on my blog, but the only reference I found was: I hope it is really free for my use. (I clicked on one of the google images and it was a porn site so watch out.)

It really is me, down to the wiry hair, the nose, and the expanding under-jaw. I overlaid the image on several photos (old and new) and the match was pretty darn good.

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Want a cracker?

 I had to hide these away so I don’t eat them all up before tomorrow. I am taking them to a farewell lunch at church for a long-time member who is leaving to move to Oregon. They are Parmesan Crackers. The original recipe came from Bittman’s Minimalist column in the New York Times as interpreted by Smitten Kitchen.

The ingredients are simple:
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup flour
½ teaspoon salt
4 Tablespoons butter (cool)
¼ cup milk
Sea salt or something to sprinkle on top – I used Alder Smoked Salt from the Vineyard Gardens. (Other suggestions are pepper, sesame seeds, or minced garlic.)

Pre heat your oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Put flour, salt, grated cheese, and butter in your mixer and use the whisk attachment. (The original recipe called for pulsing in a food processor but I don’t have one and the whisk thing worked just fine.) After the flour and butter and cheese are combined, add ¼ cup of milk (The original recipe called for cream but I didn’t have any of that either.)

 When the mixture holds together and is not sticky, roll it out on a lightly floured surface. Roll it until it is ¼-inch thin. Sprinkle a little bit of sea salt (or whatever you have) here and there on top of the dough.

I used the only cookie cutter I could find around the house – a diamond shape – and cut out individual ones and placed them on the baking sheet. I re-rolled the leftover dough and cut some more diamonds.

 Prick the shapes with a fork. Three pokes in each cracker will subdue their rising too much. This is called “docking” in the professional baking world.

 Bake about 11 to 13 minutes until they are lightly browned. You really can’t see if they are brown unless you turn one over. Cool on a wire rack.

These are much better than the expensive crackers you buy in a box. I don’t cover them, but put them high on a shelf. I suppose it depends upon the weather. They get a bit soggy if covered.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Nothing to report

 I thought I’d better check in. However, I have nothing interesting to report. I went grocery shopping.

My favorite section in the store is the produce department. I tried out my new camera.

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Saturday, May 07, 2011

Camera fix

A blogger without her camera is an unhappy blogger. Last week, as I was hurrying out the door to attend an appliqué class at Queen B’s Quilt Shop, I dropped my camera. The battery door flew open. I was not able to get the little door shut no matter how hard I pushed on it. I searched the web and learned that the battery door weakness was a well-known problem with Nikon Coolpix 990s. I’ve had my camera since 2002 and it’s been a faithful friend. I ran across a website called that had a repair kit for the door problem.

I ordered it and it arrived promptly. When I screwed it on to the bottom of my camera the door shut tightly, but the camera still didn’t work. I tried brand new batteries. Those didn’t work either.

I panicked. I knew I could not be happy without a camera. I searched around and found a very inexpensive camera called Nikon Coolpix L22. It has 12-megapixel resolution and a 3.6x zoom. It is a basic point and shoot camera for amateurs. I certainly qualify. I ordered it and it should be in my post office box Monday.

In the meantime, I wrote to Stonepics and thanked them for prompt shipping of the kit. I told them that my camera must have other problems than the battery door. Kimsey Fowler wrote back and told me to call him and he would help me troubleshoot the camera. That was nice. I called him today. He had me do several tests. One was to check on the battery connectors (those flat springs). Sure enough, one battery spring was flat down on the bottom of the holder. He told me how to pry it up gently. I did it carefully, using an old metal meat skewer with a bent tip. I put the batteries back in the camera and it worked! I took a picture of the skewer.

Soon I’ll have two cameras. Oh boy!

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