Friday, March 12, 2010

An Embarrassing Moment

Everybody has them, and today I decided to share one with you. Yes, an embarrassing moment.  I've had quite a few in my life, but luckily my brain has blocked most of the them out and I can't remember them. (Of course,  if I could only remember them, they would give me lots of blogging material!

This particular embarrassing moment happened many, many years ago.  The ladies in our church decided to have a Christmas cookie exchange. That's where everyone brings a dozen cookies for each lady who is there.  So, you go, with, say, 10 dozen sugar cookies, but you leave with 10 dozen assorted cookies.

I have a Betty Crocker's Cooky Book. I used to go through it and dream of all the wonderful cookies I could make. There is a recipe for "Tiny Fudge Tarts", and they looked so yummy, that I decided these would be the cookies I would make for the cookie exchange.

I made my batch of cookies and was impressed at the way they turned out.  They were very chocolate-y and fudge-y. Everyone was ooo-ing and ahhh-ing. I felt so proud that they were a hit. 

One of the ladies asked me, "What kind of cookies are those?" Without missing a beat, I happily replied, "They're called 'tiny fudge farts."  The lady had kind of a blank stare on her face. She repeated her question, and now, a few more ladies were standing around. "Tiny fudge farts", I answered.  Suddenly, in the silence, I realized..."Tarts! I mean tarts!"  Oh, my. How embarrassing!!  But, you have to admit, 'tiny fudge farts' flows a lot easier than 'tiny fudge tarts'.  Go ahead, say it out loud. You'll see.

So, in honor of my embarrassing moment, I will share the recipe with you.

1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter
3 Tbsp. water
1 tsp. vanilla
Fudge Filling (below)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix flour and salt; cut in
butter. Sprinkle with water and vanilla; mix well with
fork. Using 1/2 dough at a time, roll out 1/16" thick
on cloth-covered board generously sprinkled with
sugar. Cut in 2 1/2" squares. Spread 1 level tsp.
Filling in center of each square. Bring corners  to center; seal together. Place sealed side up or down on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 15 - 20 min.  Makes about 2 1/2 dozen tarts.

Mix the following ingredients thoroughly: 1/4 cup butter, 1 egg yolk, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla,  1/4 cup cocoa, and 1/2 cup finely chopped nuts or flaked coconut.

And, remember, if anyone asks you what they are, take a moment to pause, then say, "Tiny Fudge Tarts", and not, well, you know.....

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sold to the highest bidder

Hubby and I went to an auction today. We used to go a lot more frequently, but lately, we've only managed to go to one or two a year. It's a great way to spend the day, if you have nothing to do, and the weather is nice. (Neither was the case this weekend!)

Actually, I had never been to an auction until  I met Hubby. It is yet another way that he has broadened my horizons. After we were married, most of our furnishings came from auctions.

It took me many years to have the courage to bid on something for myself.  I discovered that it is very exciting to be in the middle of a bidding war. The danger is in claiming something and becoming emotionally attached to it before you've actually won it. I almost always claim MY item, and am disappointed when someone else leaves with it. The second danger is not setting a pre-determined amount in your head, a price you will not go over.  Giving in to those two things may mean that you find yourself the proud owner of a treasure that cost a lot more than it is worth.

There's always a wonderful feeling of success to have the winning bid, but it's an ever better feeling to get your prize below your budgeted amount. It's a rare moment to come "under budget", but it has been known to happen

We have two pet peeves when going to an auction. The first one is when someone runs the price up to equal or above what the item would cost new. Why would you pay a "new" price for a "used" item? I don't know, but it happens alot. (Probably due to the dangers mentioned earlier!)  Our second pet peeve is when someone accepts the opening bid of the auctioneer. NEVER do that!! The trick is to make him keep lowering the opening bid to a ridiculous amount, and then jump in.

I'll share a funny story. One time we took my mother-in-law with us to an auction. She found something, and was busy bidding away.  Suddenly, we were aware of exactly HOW she was bidding. To my dear mother-in-law, all fingers are created equal. We were mortified to realize that she was using her middle finger to bid. Yes, she was flipping off the auctioneer with every bid, and was completely oblivious to what  she was doing. Naturally, she found several things to bid on, and used the same finger every time!

Today's auction was not very exciting. There was way too much stuff, and most of it was junk not worth waiting around for one or two things. This particular auction was at the fairgrounds and in two separate buildings, one heated, one unheated. Of course, the few items hubby was interested in were in the unheated building. Brrrrr. We stayed for about an hour, and by then it was clear that we would be waiting many hours to get to the items, and we really didn't want to stay that long.  Another unwritten rule is that no matter where the item is that you want, they will always start auctioning from the opposite direction!

Now, if it was summer, and outside, this story would have had an entirely different ending.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

First Sign of Spring!

Oh, there's so much to do, so little time. After a week, I've FINALLY been able to get back online. First I have to check my email and delete the 300 "messages" I've gotten, then on to Facebook to see what everyone has been up to. And then to blogging...but do I blog or respond to the comments? I want to thank everyone who has left a comment, and I promise to visit everyone, it just may take me a while.  In the meantime, hopefully, my computer will quit being a pain in the neck...

I am happy to say that Spring has not forsaken us, and I am confident that it will soon be here. The reason I am confident is because I saw a flock of robins yesterday.  They were all on top of the eight inches (roughly) of semi-white snow.  Our family always has a race to see who can be the first one to spot the beloved robin.

There is a little bit of controversy surrounding the self-proclaimed winner, who happens to be Hubby. I have actually proclaimed myself to be the winner, but Hubby disagrees. So, here is my story, and I'll let you be the judge.

Hubby and I were both together in our truck running an early morning errand. I didn't get my coffee, but Hubby was sweet enough to fix me some, and brought it along. Hubby knows that the only way I like coffee is when it does not taste like coffee. My way of fixing coffee is to add heavy cream until it turns a nice caramel color, followed by some hazelnut syrup (sugar-free, of course. I don't need the extra calories!)  Unfortunately, I am out of both heavy cream and hazelnut syrup, so I'm putting up with just having dry, off brand creamer.  So, hubby hands me my coffee. Before I take a sip, we're chatting it up, and I mention that it's probably too early for the robins, since the ground is covered with snow. I said, "They probably take one look at the ground and head back south until it all melts."

At that point, I decide to take a sip of the coffee that hubby has so lovingly prepared for me.  (It's in a travel cup, because when it comes to liquids and vehicles, I'm worse than a kid.) So, I push back the little tab and notice it is the right caramel color. Good job, honey. Then I innocently, and unsuspectingly, take a sip. Something is happening to my mouth, and I don't quite know what is wrong. (OH. MY. GOSH. I'm thinking)
My mouth is all kind of puckering up. I can't speak. I smell the coffee. Do I smell.....vinegar? What? I'm very confused. My brain isn't working. My mouth isn't working. And, that is when I spot them. An entire flock of them bouncing around on top of the snow.  Suddenly, I hear Hubby saying, "Robins! I see robins, and I saw them first!"

NO! I finally get my mouth to work." I saw them first, but I couldn't speak, and what in the world did you put in my coffee???"  He just laughs, "HA HA. I saw them first, and I said it first. I win." I maintain that I saw them first, so I am the winner.  He then calls my mom, because he especially likes to beat her in the robin race.  We relentlessly argue about it for the next 15 minutes, proclaiming ourselves the winner.

Oh, so are you wondering what he put in my coffee?  You'll never guess in a million years.  We had some leftover wine, and yes, he did put wine in my coffee.  How much, you ask? I asked the same question. "Oh, not much," he said, "maybe just about a fourth of a cup."  Needless to say, I did not drink the rest of my "coffee".
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