Aug 31, 2011

Melon Granita

Summer is not over yet and this is official.
How about some melon granita to celebrate this fact?
Ok, lets get started. I used to have an ice cream maker but it broke. That fact has nothing to do with this but I thought of it making this and thought I’d mention it.

a cup of water
and a cup of sugar.

some candied orange peal. Bring to simmer over high heat.

Stir the sugar. Turn down the heat and

get out the melon cubes.

Toss in the blender.

Pour the sugar/syrup over the melons strain out the orange peals

I used a “fancy” strainer, a spoon. That kept most of the peals from going in.

Blend until smooth. Taste. Adjust if necessary.

Pour into a pan and freeze.
Pull it out every 1 1/2 hours and stir. Oh look, there’s my lens cap!

with a fork scrape granita  into icy flakes and serve immediately

granita c
Or layer with whole milk yogurt and say Go Vols! After all, it is that time of year.

Melon Granita
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 41/2- 5 cups frozen melon cubes
  • 3 tablespoons candied orange peal
place sugar water and orange peal in sauce pan. Bring to simmer over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer 1 minute. pour into blender over frozen melon cubes. Blend until smooth. Pour into pan and freeze until thoroughly frozen stirring with fork every 1 1/2 hours.
Using a fork scrape granita into icy flakes and serve immediately.

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Aug 28, 2011

Jose in the morning

Jose told me she’d sing me a song. She picked up her microphone, said she’d sing a Johnny Cash song. 
I don't know if it was inspired by something she did last night or not.

I was thumbin' a ride one Saturday mornin'
Out of  Nashville totin' my sack
I lent my car to a gal that lived in Chattanooga
And she hadn't ever brought it back.
She was drinkin' pretty heavy, when I let her have it
Hope she knows it was only a loan
Ain't no tellin' what I might have told her back at the time,
But that old car was also my home.

About five miles out I was gettin' kinda tired
Sweatin' hard and feelin' kinda weak
I woke up with no cigarettes or nothin' to drink
And I hadn't had a bite to eat.

My nerves was so quick I couldn't tell where I was shakin'
Then a set of brakes sang my song
Some fellow stuck his head out a '51 Chevy
And hollered "Hey man, come on."

I tole 'em I was headin' down to Chattanooga
They said hop in, we're goin' there too
And the way they took off in a cloud of smoke
I still ain't believin' it was true.

They had their windows down, and I was sittin' in the back
With my tongue still hung in my throat
He was hittin' just about a hundred and ten
And he said, "Man, what you think of this boat?"

Well, there was two semi's a-strugglin' up ahead
One tryin' to pass the other
They had the whole road blocked so he passed 'em on the right
And let me tell you somethin' brother.
I was so nervous my that teeth was clickin'
There wasn't no way my head could think
Then the one that was sittin' on the passenger side
Turned and said, "Hey man, you want somethin' to drink?"

I just shook my head 'cause I couldn't talk
He said OK and then he said cheers
Them fools was drinkin' whiskey and wine
And chasin' it down with beer.

Well, I started sweatin' that old sticky sweat
And I know I was white as a sheet
Then one turned the radio on wide open
And said, "Hey man, check that beat."

By the time we reached the top of Monteagle
I thought I heard a rumblin' sound
And then I saw a sign that said 'FALLIN' ROCK'
And right there I was floorboard bound.

I was rollin' and squirmin' on the old floorboard
Too weak to sit or stand
And then the driver said "We're doin' a hundred and twenty
Look here man, no hands!"

I got up enough nerve to raise up and look
By now there couldn't be no surprise,
But his hair was blowin' all over my face
And dandruff blowed in both eyes.

He never did drive on the right or left
He just kept on ridin' that line
I rubbed my eyes and saw the prettiest thing
The Chattanooga City Limit Sign.

He slowed down and I said, "Mister please!
I'd like to get off right here"
He said, "Aw, ride on into town with us
We'e gonna go down n' pick up some more beer."

I said please once more and he stopped the car
And then he handed me my sack
Said they'd look for me on the road later on
(In) Case I wanted to catch a ride back.

I got out and sat down by the side of the road
Feelin' sick and lookin' mighty pale
I don't remember anything much after that
But next mornin', I woke up in jail.

I didn't know anybody in my cell,
And didn't wanta ask why I was there
But they all kept grinnin' and turnin' their heads
And it was more than my head could bear.

So I called the jailer and asked him to tell me
Why I was  there, if he'd be so kind
He said,
"For stoppin' traffic, while I was huggin' and kissin'
The Chattanooga City Limit Sign."


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Aug 25, 2011


Outside of WholeFoods there was a guy with his talking bird. Parrot?  Geez, I forget if that’s what it actually is. I’ve just always thought of talking birds as being parrots.  Maybe it was a Cockatoo.

He said her name was Sarah. Then he offered us to hold her, or let her perch.
I wasn’t brave, I claimed I couldn’t because I had to take the pictures.

Nichelle  volunteered so I could get some pictures for everyone. (thank you Nichelle for being brave)

Sarah is very social and showed us the feathers on her head.

Sarah got  comfortable, and climbed up a little,

Then she got very comfortable

Whoa, Who’s shoulder am I on?! It that a button on you hat or is that an eye?

Sarah’s dad said Sarah is 18 years old and talks

“Good girl Sarah, good girl Sarah” she said in her funny parrot voice and showed us her clipped wings.

Then she danced for us
she bounced up and down and said “Dance Sarah Dance”
Her Daddy told us she’s 18 years old and they’ve had her since she was a year old.

All because of this little bite of tastyness  I went into Whole Foods and ended up getting to meet Sarah!
Have a pastry inspired day.
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Aug 23, 2011

Fresh Garden Salsa

Fresh salsa is the best.  Quick And easy.
Chop and chop and chop everything. Onions, pepper, tomatoes, parsley, cilantro, and the jalapeño. And mince the garlic.

A spoon of sugar

some cumin and salt.

and toss in the chopped items.

Chili powder.

add the tomato paste and mix.

Serve with corn chips.


Fresh Salsa
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 bell pepper chopped
  • 8 medium tomatoes chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 glove garlic minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
  • juice of 2 or 3 limes
  • handful of chopped parsley
  • handful of chopped parsley
  • I jalapeño chopped (wear gloves and avoid touching your face)
  • 1/3 cup cooked black beans drained and rinsed
Mix together and chill for a couple of hours. Serve with tortilla chips.

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Aug 22, 2011

Corn Chips


Who would make their own corn chips? I know, I know, but sometimes when you buy them they’re made with genetically modified corn and genetically modified soy or canola oil.

Last week I made the mistake of thinking I could get on I-40 at 5pm, not the best idea.

Yes, that was me sitting in traffic eating that big bag of Fritos. There was nothing else to eat in the car and we were going nowhere for a long time. 

Uh-huh, I’m sure those Fritos were made with all that bad stuff


so to make myself feel better about the whole thing I made my own corn chips.



I don’t have side less baking sheets so I turn it upside down. There’s more than one way to skin a cat. Never mind about cat skinning today though.



Oil it liberally



Dust with cornmeal and set aside.



Add flour, corn flour and cornmeal



A teaspoon of salt.



Baking powder



Add oil and water



and Worcestershire sauce and mix well.



make a well in the flour mixture



and pour it in.




It’ll come together



then take it out and knead it on a lightly floured surface.



shape it into a ball


and pinch it in half.



Now we break the rules and use the bottom of the baking sheet.



Roll it out real thin.



Cut it into shapes with a pizza cutter or a sharp knife.



Bake at 350°F (175°C) for about 12 minutes, or until lightly browned.





Cool on a wire rack.



serve with fresh salsa. That salsa was so good! I’ll tell ya about it soon.


Homemade Corn Chips

•    Vegetable shortening
•    2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal

  • 1/2cup organic yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup organic corn flour
  • 2/3 cup organic all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons nonfat dry milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup safflower oil or organic corn oil if you can find it
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Optional Seasonings: Garlic salt , Onion salt , Seasoning salt
1.    Generously grease 2 large baking sheets  and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of cornmeal onto each pan,  set aside
2.    Combine the cornmeal, corn flour, flour, salt, baking powder and nonfat dry milk in a mixing bowl.
3.    In a  measuring cup, combine the water, oil and Worcestershire sauce, mixing well.
4.    Make a well in the center of the dry mixture and pour the liquid mixture into the well; stir mixture with a fork to mix well.
5.    Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until dough is smooth, about 1 minute.
6.    Divide the dough in half and place each dough half on the prepared cookie sheets.
7.    Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough directly onto the cookie sheets to spread very thinly, about 1/16-inch thickness.
8.    Sprinkle lightly with the desired seasonings and roll-over lightly with the rolling pin to press seasonings in.
9.    Using a pizza cutter (or very sharp knife), cut dough into squares, triangles or other desired shapes.
10.    Bake at 350°F (175°C) for about 12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Allow to cool completely on cookies sheets.

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