Sunday, January 18, 2009

Where does the time go?

Haven't posted since Wednesday. Thursday the STASH group met at my house. We had a lot of catching up to do since our annual Christmas/Holiday girls' lunch out was cancelled due to snow. Then the Christmas party at my house was pretty much a no-show (Beth came) because of weather, then I was too sick to go to Reva's for New Years Day Hoppin' John. So I've been missing my friends.

I was finally able to give them the coasters I made and there were gifts from them as well. We have not made it a practice to exchange Christmas gifts in the past, but for some reason everyone was in a mood to share a little something this year.

Reva brought me some of their hoppin' john and cornbread, (not shown in the picture) since I missed the party. Delicious and essential to a prosperous and successful new year. Gerrie brought each of us one of the wonderful Obama stickers, designed by Shepard Fairey. This is something to keep for posterity, I think. Gale brought us pewter snowflakes with the word "Joy" on it. How appropriate. I have been thinking about paying attention and appreciating moments of joy. It has been on my mind. Linda's gifts were practical and hilarious at the same time! The first was the little purse size packet of emery boards, actually totally practical and not at all hilarious. The second is the package of a product called P-mate—hilarious, but at the same time, something I have often wished existed! We will all be interested in a report from whomever among us uses it first.

I made lunch for the group and the cooking gods were not especially helpful that day. I decided to make Ecuadorian potato soup (Locro de papas), which I had described to the group, but never made for them. It is a basic, delicious potato soup with onions. You serve it with chunks of avocado and fresh cheese in it and pass popcorn to sprinkle in as you eat it. (This is what it looks like, except I don't add any green onions) Easy. That morning I boiled the potatoes, cooked the onions and just before everyone was to arrive, I drained the potatoes and poured in several cups of half and half. I tasted it to see if it needed salt and discovered it tasted weird—sweet. What the!?? Then I noticed for the first time that I had purchased "French Vanilla" flavored half and half. Screaming obscenities at the top of my lungs, I quickly dumped it into a strainer and rinsed the sweet stuff off the potatoes and onions. Ray, expecting that I had cut off a finger at the very least, came running and as soon as he learned what the ruckus was about, headed off to the store to get plain half and half, before I could even ask.

Before the soup disaster I discovered that the plantains I had bought to make patacones, another Ecuadorian treat, were so green that they could not even be peeled, so I ditched that idea and served bread sticks instead. The soup was salvaged, but overall I was having a seriously bad cooking day. Sigh. No pictures were taken.

I had a finished quilt to show the group, which was a good thing. Tomorrow I'll post a picture of the green line piece that I finished.


  1. Well, the soup was fantastic with just that hint of vanilla!! I now crave popcorn in my soup.

    I hope I never need the P-mate, but I am putting mine in the glove compartment of my car, just in case!!

  2. PS: I am loving my coaster. I keep it on the side table next to the sofa where I use my lap top and watch tv and enjoy a variety of beverages. So far all my mugs and wine glasses fit nicely and prevent rings on the table.

  3. I wish I knew about the P-Mate when i lived in Europe. There are still quite a few pissoirs there and a P-Mate probably would have been handy!

  4. For years I have seen something similar to the P-mate advertised in outdoor magazine, but it is/was made of hard plastic. So, what does one do with it after it has been used? Stick it back into one's pocket/purse/backpack? I never tried it for that reason. This you could bury if in the wilderness or slip into a baggie and deposit it in a trashcan if in civilization. I'll look for them! Thanks.

  5. My coaster is living on the coffee table in the living room. It's perfect for providing that extra resistance to a cat's efforts to knock over my wine glass. The green background even goes with the sofa, and Jer and I both love the crow.

    I examined the P-mate. The capacity seems a little on the skimpy side, especially considering that you'd normally use it in emergency situations when you'd been, um, saving up. But I'll put one in my purse and one in the glove compartment, for sure.

  6. You know, I enjoy your blog because you have a great way of looking at things (yes, joy is on my mind, now, too) and I love your show and tell.

    However, you coulda posted a spew alert - when I got to the French Vanilla, I started laughing so, I woke up the dog! SO glad I didn't have a mouthful of coffee!

    Sorry for your misadventure, but thanks for the laugh!

  7. Sounds like you gals had another great day together. I've had a similar experience with the flavored half and really is disconcerting when you read the label and realize what you've done! But the soup sounds delish!!