Monday, December 22, 2014

Miff muffins

When I was a kid, one of my younger siblings couldn't yet pronounce "English muffins" and would say something that sounded more like "miff muffins." So that's what they are always called in my mind. Ken and I made another batch a few days ago. It was an experiment with a different kind of flour and we forgot one ingredient altogether.

Miff muffins were common in our house growing up. In addition to toasting them for breakfast, we often made mini pizzas with the muffins serving as the crust. I loved those.

They turned out ok, but were a little more chewy that we would have liked. Oh well. They're still edible and we are not deterred.

Sunday, December 21, 2014


According to Wikipedia, fifty-five is the natural number following fifty-four and preceding fifty-six. It is also the atomic number of caesium, the tenth Fibonacci number, and the sum of the numbers 1 through 10. It is a square pyramidal number, a centered nonagonal number, and a semiprime number. Between 1974 and 1988, it was the maximum highway speed limit in the United States. It is a magnitude 7.9 barred spiral galaxy in the constellation Sculptor. It is the Autoroute de l'énergie in central Québec and an interstate highway between Chicago and New Orleans. It is the direct-dial calling code for the South American nation of Brazil.

Fifty-five is also my age for the next three hundred and sixty-five days.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

What's on tv

Our weekly tv guide magazine. I might make this a regular thing. Tell me if you hate it. I figure that French television is part of the French experience. I'm not a tv snob. I watch a lot. French, American, Canadian, and British stuff. I like that our satellite package lets us choose the language for many programs. I can watch American and British programming in English, and French programming in French (of course).

It's Christmas week, and there are lots of cheesy specials on. I won't watch most of them.

The satellite package we have is good. But with all that's available, there are still times when I say that there's nothing on. Oh well. That's what DVDs and downloading are for, n'est-ce pas ?

Friday, December 19, 2014

It's beginning to look a lot like...

I put up the real fake Swedish holiday tree earlier this week. It's Swedish because I bought it from Ikea. This year, we're keeping it on the floor. In past years, it's been up on a table. I think I like it on the floor better.

The holiday bush, v.12.2014.

So, the upcoming week is a biggie for us, food wise. We have steak au poivre on Sunday, then cheese fondue on Wednesday, followed by the big turkey dinner on Thursday. Yum. And then there's New Year's.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Throwback Thursday

I haven't done one of these in a while, but I found this picture the other day, so here it is. The year was probably 1985; I was 25 years old. I worked for a member of congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. I didn't do anything related to policy or legislation. I was the front office staff and did the congressman's daily scheduling, along with other clerical things. And drove him back and forth to the airport.

At my desk, writing checks. I had an IBM memory typewriter. It was replaced with a desktop computer soon after this picture was taken.
I used WordPerfect back then. I still have that Washington, DC, mug you can see on the desk, upper left.

It was a great job and I had a very good time doing it. The congressman I worked for was from southern California and I was lucky to get to go there for my job. I combined the work trip with some vacation time to northern California and visited San Francisco for the first time that year. Ken came with me. I fell in love with that city and decided that I wanted to live there. In 1986, Ken and I left Washington and moved ourselves to San Francisco. I went back to school to complete my education at Berkeley and start my career as a city planner.

It's getting close to thirty years ago now. Time flies.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A brush with frost

Monday morning was a cold one. The temperature got down to just below freezing for the first time this season and we woke up to frost. It didn't last long at all, nor did the cold. I wonder, as do the weather people, if we're in store for another unusually warm winter. So far, last year's pattern is repeating: a little cold weather in early December, then no freezes at all for the rest of the winter.

The sun rose over our neighbors' frosty property on Monday.

Our weather is tempered by the effects of the gulf stream, which brings relatively warm and wet weather systems sweeping across the British Isles and northern France. In winter we can get cold arctic air flowing down from Scandinavia and northwestern Russia resulting in freezes and occasional snow. But that didn't happen last winter, which went down as one of the warmest in memory.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Monday was pizza day

Not much to say other than we thoroughly enjoyed our pizzas for lunch yesterday. I made the crust on Sunday and let it sit to rise for eighteen to twenty hours. We used our own sauce (made from this past summer's tomatoes), and added ham, mushrooms, and Cantal cheese.

Food pictures are not easy in dim light with a hand-held camera. But I was too eager to eat to get out the tripod.

When we have pizza lunch, I make two pies. I bake one, then, while it's baking, I roll out the second crust to rise. After the first pizza is devoured, I make and bake the second one. I've got it down to a routine, if not a science. We followed the pizza with a green salad topped with Ken's home-made ranch dressing.