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Tag Archive: hubby

Nov 03

From my archived newspaper columns: The final neighborhood garage sale is never the last (Or…”Hubby covets neighbors garage sale trash”)

(From my archived columns, first published in The Examiner. The Examiner is a daily newspaper published Tuesday through Saturday, serving Eastern Jackson County, Mo.)

 

 

“So that you’ll never be tempted to participate in a neighborhood garage sale, allow me to explain how they go. Friday night you’re up until two in the morning marking prices on all the junk you’re hoping people will buy. At this point you’re almost psychotically optimistic, calculating the total value of your inventory at slightly over twenty-two thousand dollars.”–W. Bruce Cameron, author, columnist and humorist.

My neighbors and I are planning our “final” garage sale.

Thus, a definition of the word “final” might be in order here. According to Encarta Encyclopedia, the word means the last of a number or series of similar things. “Final” also means conclusive and allowing no further discussion.

Such as involving a garage sale, the last garage sale, in fact, that my neighbors and I will ever have.

We mean it this time, too.

No one believes us.

We are deadly serious though because the upcoming fall sale will be conclusively the last, positively the last, and without a shadow of a doubt, the last garage sale! There will be no further discussion of this either, we neighbors agree.

But we lie. Here’s the proof.

Neighbor, we’ll call her Susan, once signed a pledge written by her husband promising to never again hold or participate in a yard or garage sale or any other kind of rummage sale. Another neighbor, let’s call her Kathy, announced clearly and adamantly that she was finished, done, spent. No more garage sales for her. The third neighbor, we’ll name her Sandy, was too busy and was simply running out of things to sell and, yes, running out of interest, too.

Yet, we are doing it again.

One of the neighbors, not to be mentioned by name, was well ahead of the rest of us. Early on, she began the process of dragging her basement treasures to the garage thus forcing her husband to park outside days ahead of the sale. Her garage was overflowing with clothes racks, tables, and miscellaneous “like-new, priced-to-sell” household items, naturally there was no room for a car. Makes perfect sense to me.

Meanwhile, my husband, who incidentally never fails to notice anything that could possibly be free-of-charge, observed that said neighbor was cleaning out her house and bringing lots of non-worthy garage sale items to the curb for the morning trash pickup.

He began to covet her trash, in particular stacks of empty plastic 5-gallon buckets.

When I called to ask about the buckets, my neighbor’s husband answered the phone. “Could hubby have them,” I asked him.

“He wouldn’t want them, they aren’t any good. I drilled holes in them to water flowers,” came the reply.

Five minutes later my spousal unit was in their driveway snatching the buckets in the dark of night. He reported back to me that they were perfect for carrying boards, tools, bricks and rocks, and would work just fine.

Of course they would, I thought, and they will work just fine in my garage sale in the spring, too.

That is, of course, if I have a garage sale, you understand.

Jul 01

Ah yes, there’s something about pie – from my archived columns first published in The Examiner, an eastern Jackson County, Mo. daily newspaper

bakedlattice

“One little thing can revive a guy, and that is a homemade rhubarb pie. Serve it up nice and hot, maybe things aren’t as bad as you thought.” – A Prairie Home Companion

One thing I know about pie is that in the summertime when there is a bounty of fresh peaches, strawberries and rhubarb, eating a fruit pie is the next best thing to nirvana.

I just wish I could make one, but more about that later.

First let me mention that I found it quite odd that pie was in the news a lot this week. When does that ever happen? I can’t think of a time. This week when news headlines screamed ‘pie’, it was not because pie is a delicious dessert and overdue for accolades.

No, it was because the word ‘pie’ was trending on social media networks in which bloggers argued about whether one should throw a pie in someone’s face or not. That global discussion happened due to the fake custard pie thrown at Rupert Murdoch, media mogul, in the U.K. phone hacking hearings under way this week in London.

At least it wasn’t a real custard pie; what a waste that would be.

I agree with Rabbi Krustofski (Krusty’s Dad on the Simpsons) who said, “Pie is for noshing (eating) not for throwing.”

Since pie was in the news constantly this week, it became difficult for me to think about anything other than pie. That and fresh peaches is probably what drove me to browse through a stack of dust-covered baking cookbooks, long ago stored away and unused.

I am not the pie baker in our household, as you may have guessed by now, so I never needed the cookbooks. But I like to look at the pictures.

The real pie baker in our home, the hubby, doesn’t need a “how to bake a pie” cookbook either, but for a different reason. He knows the recipe by heart.

His mother and sister made glorious pies with perfect flaky crusts, and so did my mother and grandmother. Somewhere along the line, I missed the pie-baking gene, but I am quite good at eating them.

Grandchildren beg for one of “Paw-Paw’s” pies for their birthdays. Grown children love one when we come to visit. We take them to potlucks, funerals and to welcome a new neighbor. Sometimes, they are auctioned off at charity fundraisers, and they always bring a good amount.

I guess you could say pie is a big thing in our household, and the hubby’s homemade pie is shared freely. However, convincing the spousal unit to part with his prize recipe is quite another matter.

I tried.

All he ‘forked over’ was the recipe for the peach pie filling he baked last week. I must say, it could be the best peach pie I ever tasted. However, he was not forthcoming with his pie crust recipe.

Trade secret, he says. Dear readers, I am sorry to say you are on your own when it comes to the crust.

While they are available, find some fresh peaches and try his ‘top-secret’ peach pie recipe shown below. (Baker’s tip: the recipe calls for grenadine syrup, making the filling slightly pink in color. The sweetness of the syrup coupled with the lemon juice makes a perfectly blended sweet and tart filling.)

Ah yes, there is just something about pie.

Top Secret Sweet and Tart Peach Pie Filling:

Three-fourths cup sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
One-fourth teaspoon ground nutmeg
6 cups peaches, peeled and thickly sliced (about 3 pounds)
3 tablespoons (yes, tablespoons) of grenadine syrup
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter or margarine

In a large bowl combine sugar, flour and nutmeg; add peaches and toss until well-coated. Let mixture stand 5 minutes. Carefully stir in grenadine and lemon juice. Place mixture in pastry in pie plate spreading peaches evenly; dot with butter or margarine. Cover edges with foil. Bake in 375-degree oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil; bake for 30 to 35 minutes more or until crust is golden. Cool on rack before serving.

“You had me at fruit pies.” – Bobby Hill, “King of the Road” television show

Jul 21

There’s something about pie

“One little thing can revive a guy, and that is a homemade rhubarb pie. Serve it up nice and hot, maybe things aren’t as bad as you thought.” – A Prairie Home Companion

One thing I know about pie is that in the summertime when there is a bounty of fresh peaches, strawberries and rhubarb, eating a fruit pie is the next best thing to nirvana.

I just wish I could make one, but more about that later.

First let me mention that I found it quite odd that pie was in the news a lot this week. When does that ever happen? I can’t think of a time. This week when news headlines screamed ‘pie’, it was not because pie is a delicious dessert and overdue for accolades.

No, it was because the word ‘pie’ was trending on social media networks in which bloggers argued about whether one should throw a pie in someone’s face or not. That global discussion happened due to the fake custard pie thrown at Rupert Murdoch, media mogul, in the U.K. phone hacking hearings under way this week in London.

At least it wasn’t a real custard pie; what a waste that would be.

I agree with Rabbi Krustofski (Krusty’s Dad on the Simpsons) who said, “Pie is for noshing (eating) not for throwing.”

Since pie was in the news constantly this week, it became difficult for me to think about anything other than pie. That and fresh peaches is probably what drove me to browse through a stack of dust-covered baking cookbooks, long ago stored away and unused.

I am not the pie baker in our household, as you may have guessed by now, so I never needed the cookbooks. But I like to look at the pictures.

The real pie baker in our home, the hubby, doesn’t need a “how to bake a pie” cookbook either, but for a different reason. He knows the recipe by heart.

His mother and sister made glorious pies with perfect flaky crusts, and so did my mother and grandmother. Somewhere along the line, I missed the pie-baking gene, but I am quite good at eating them.

Grandchildren beg for one of “Paw-Paw’s” pies for their birthdays. Grown children love one when we come to visit. We take them to potlucks, funerals and to welcome a new neighbor. Sometimes, they are auctioned off at charity fundraisers, and they always bring a good amount.

I guess you could say pie is a big thing in our household, and the hubby’s homemade pie is shared freely. However, convincing the spousal unit to part with his prize recipe is quite another matter.

I tried.

All he ‘forked over’ was the recipe for the peach pie filling he baked last week. I must say, it could be the best peach pie I ever tasted. However, he was not forthcoming with his pie crust recipe.

Trade secret, he says. Dear readers, I am sorry to say you are on your own when it comes to the crust.

While they are available, find some fresh peaches and try his ‘top-secret’ peach pie recipe shown below. (Baker’s tip: the recipe calls for grenadine syrup, making the filling slightly pink in color. The sweetness of the syrup coupled with the lemon juice makes a perfectly blended sweet and tart filling.)

Ah yes, there is just something about pie.

Top Secret Sweet and Tart Peach Pie Filling:

Three-fourths cup sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
One-fourth teaspoon ground nutmeg
6 cups peaches, peeled and thickly sliced (about 3 pounds)
3 tablespoons (yes, tablespoons) of grenadine syrup
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter or margarine

In a large bowl combine sugar, flour and nutmeg; add peaches and toss until well-coated. Let mixture stand 5 minutes. Carefully stir in grenadine and lemon juice. Place mixture in pastry in pie plate spreading peaches evenly; dot with butter or margarine. Cover edges with foil. Bake in 375-degree oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil; bake for 30 to 35 minutes more or until crust is golden. Cool on rack before serving.

“You had me at fruit pies.” – Bobby Hill, “King of the Road” television show

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