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Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

Everyone and their uncle will be talking pi/e today, so I’m just going to leave it at a wish for a happy day, and pie. 

It’s cold again today, with gusty winds and a bright clear sky that feels like winter will never leave. Still, Spring is near, I just picked up the first Travis McGee book again and my reader mind is in Florida with lemon and lime trees around every corner. Today I’m thinking of warmth and lemon meringue.

Will I make it? Maybe, but taxes are calling. Either way, it is a delightfully sweet, citrus-scented dream.

Whether you’re in it for the math or the sugar, here’s hoping you have a very Happy Pi Day, folks!

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Photo by an_vision on Unsplash

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Today is International Women’s Day, and I’m feeling fine. If you’re interested in learning more about the sorts of women who are often shunned by history, check out this sampling of women who dared greatly:

Historical awesome:

And in a bit of modern-day awesome, NASA has named the Perseverance landing site after Octavia Butler. How cool is that?

Speaking of NASA:

Inspiration much? Yes, thanks!

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In related news, we finally watched Terminator: Dark Fate and enjoyed the heck out of it. I’ll admit to avoiding it, a bit. Lackluster reviews, messed-up timeline issues (which earlier movies were we supposed to ignore and which not? oy), plus the “Yeah, you’re not the threat. It’s your womb” series concept kept me from watching it sooner. 

Now that I have, what did I think?

Let’s just say that the ladies kick ass.

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Photo by Jen Theodore on Unsplash

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I lost my biscuit recipe the other day. You know how it goes, you dig through your cookbooks, go online, pick a selection of recipes that looks promising, triangulate ingredients and techniques, make adjustments, then test and sample and retest until you come up with a recipe that works for you. Then you lose the piece of paper you scribbled it all on.

So there I was on Valentine’s Day, all ready to make chicken pot pie with biscuits (one of Mr. Man’s favorites) but I was short one biscuit recipe. I cobbled together a replacement but it was an imperfect substitute. Good news? Mr. Man was still happy. More good news? I found my original recipe!

I like this one because it’s quick, easy, uses the kefir we always have, and the melted butter with cold milk trick results in a lot of well-distributed butter bits without all the hassle of cubing and cutting in.

I am hereby committing it to these pages for posterity, and for Valentine’s Days to come.

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Buttermilk Drop Biscuits

  • 283g [2 C.] flour
  • 9g [2 t.] baking powder
  • 2.3g [½ t.] baking soda
  • 5g [1 t.] sugar
  • 3g [½ t.] salt
  • 113g [½ C.] butter, melted
  • 245g [1 C.] kefir or buttermilk
  1. Preheat oven to 475F.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt. 
  3. Melt butter (I used the microwave for this), add kefir or buttermilk, whisk together.
  4. Pour butter mixture into dry mix and stir until just incorporated.*
  5. Scoop and drop large, rounded spoonfuls of dough onto a lined tray or on top of hot pot pie filling.
  6. Bake until just golden and cooked through, 12-14 minutes for biscuits alone, or 24 minutes on pot pie.**

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* It’s easy to overwork biscuit dough. Ask me how I know!

** I’m experimenting with dropping the temperature to 425–450F for the last ten minutes of the pot pie to keep the edges from scorching, but that’s still in the trial phase. And I might add a bit more salt and sugar. And baste the top with butter when done, but only if they aren’t on top of the already buttery pot pie. And this is how I roll in the kitchen.

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Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

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So yesterday we were looking for something to watch post-Valentine’s Day dinner, and it got me thinking about my favorite movies for the holidays.* I’m a pretty average person from a particular time and place (here, now) who is also a sci-fi /action movie lover with a high tolerance for pew pew. 

This is my current list:

  • Christmas: Die Hard (sorry, It’s a Wonderful Life, you know it’s true)
  • Valentine’s Day: Deadpool (I stand by this 110%!)
  • Easter: Life of Brian
  • Independence Day: This entry pretty much writes itself.
  • Labor Day: Office Space9 to 5The Proposal
  • Halloween: Ever since my father took us to see The Amityville Horror I am Not Ok with truly scary movies, so let’s go with The Sixth SensePractical Magic, and Addam’s Family
  • Thanksgiving: Hmm. Planes, Trains And Automobiles? Or Star Wars. Because Star Wars goes with everything!

Feel free to argue:)

And if you’re interested in learning more about writing screenplays (a fairly specialized incarnation of the craft), check out Go Into The Story for extensive blog posts, free screenplay download linksThe Black List, and (much, much) more.

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* This is not the same thing as actual “holiday movies,” as you’ll soon see.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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May you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.

— Ray Bradbury
Photo by cosmindoro on Pexels.com

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In general, I like being home but these days I’ll admit, at times my thoughts stray to travel. As in, “Oh yes, once upon a time we used to go places and see things” and “There was a whole world out there, remember?”

And then I ran across scans of an old travel journal and had the fun of paging through the journey. Visiting the Swedish royal palace, discovering my brother’s previously hidden talent as a navigator, outrunning a swarm of mosquitoes, champagne in Stockholm, eating fish cheeks, taking tea in a converted windmill.

It was all lovely, even the insecty bits. And I’m pretty sure I’m not just saying that because travel has become one of those mythical ideas, like unicorns and shaking hands with strangers.

At the very back of the journal I rediscovered my father’s bird list. I think it was made after the trip, and there’s something precious about our layered handwriting, anchoring our shared memories to the page.

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Female European Marsh Harrier
Female European Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus), Paco Gómez, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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Happy New Year!

I know we’re still deep in Covid winter and things are still 110% not good. But. The vaccine! The holidays! The New Year! At this point, I will take all the hope I can get:) While saying goodbye to 2020 is not the end of our problems, I do hope that it is the beginning of the end.

In that spirit I made a “So Long, 2020” word search puzzle. Stay safe, stay well, and enjoy!

Photo by Brigitte Tohm on Pexels.com
So Long 2020 Word Search Puzzle

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Always.

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Finally!

Today was the last day of snow here at Maison J. Very exciting! Sure, the south-facing neighbors have been basking in the beauty of Spring for ages now (days at least;) but today was finally our day. Snow has melted, cardinals are singing, the trees out front are just about to bud and all is well.

“Is the spring coming?” he said. “What is it like?”…
“It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine…”
― Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden 

Also, the Easter Bunny says hello!

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(This is me, willfully ignoring the many, many feet of snow still camped out on my front lawn.)

Happy Spring!

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