September 29, 2019


Have I mentioned that we have a turkey?

It's really just one, and he's not really ours, but he spends a lot of time in the island in the street, right across from our front door. And sleeps in our yard. And when we leave the house, he comes and poops on our front walk, as if to claim it for his own. Like three times a day sometimes.

We call him Thermos, which is one of my longtime favorite names from the Utah Baby Names site.

It gives me such pleasure to know that we are favored by a turkey, just one turkey. In the morning I get to say hello and he peeps at me from his spot in the island. It's probably fear, but I prefer to think of it as a howdy-do. I look forward to driving around him in the street and plucking his stray feathers out of the hedges and sweeping his poops into the garden beds. They're very light and fluffy. Mrguy likens them to grey Cheetos.

Yesterday I went to the grocery store and came to find Thermos bedded down in the garden. I parked the car and snuck up on him, but he ran away. I did manage to capture a bit of a photo. Here he is between the lemon tree and a cordelyne:

September 22, 2019


I have owned a lefse griddle for many years and have never used it. Recently it had its maiden voyage.

It all started with a person posting to our factory message board asking where to buy lefse.

Not sure why, but I reached out and asked whether she wanted to join me in making some. A month later we did it. The idea was that we'd each prepare a recipe at home so we both had the experience of that, and then we'd get together at our place to cook the lefse. She found two recipes and chose one. I took the other. And on the day I was to make it I figured out that they'd omitted an ingredient. Argh. Then I misunderstood the next recipe I chose and thought it called for ten potatoes. Oops! Ten cups of potato. I weighed my mashed potatoes, discovered it was just over 5lbs, and selected the first recipe I could find on the Internet that called for five pounds of mashed potato.

I made huge messes while making my recipe, but it was fun.

Then you clean up, put your prepared mashed potato in the fridge over night and do more stuff to it the next day. Here is Phase 2, adding flour to the potato to make the dough.

Then you make little dough balls and put it back into the fridge and take them out when you're ready to roll the dough into rounds. When my colleague arrived with her recipe, she mixed hers up and we tried the two different recipes. Mine was more tender and easier to griddle. Hers was more fragile but more delicious.
Here is our first lefse:
And here is our final hoard of lefse.

It was so great. Both of us were covered in flour, and the kitchen cleanup was long and not fun. And when I relayed this news to my cousin in Norway she agreed! She also said an interesting thing, which is that our lefse was much thinner than Norwegian lefse. An observation I'd like to make about this is that "thinness" in lefse is a point of pride often mentioned in English language recipes. Perhaps it's a regional twist. Anyhoo, we had a great time, had much lefse, and mrguy enjoyed the results.

The next day I even made what I'm calling a lefsedilla:

It was, of course, delicious.

Based on this recipe

(Makes about 25 10-inch diameter lefse rounds.)

Potatoes: 1/3 red potatoes, 2/3 Russet
Butter: half unsalted, half salted
Cream: heavy

5.2 lbs. potatoes, weighed after ricing.
1 tsp. salt.
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup cream
About 3 cups flour; more for dusting.


Dough, Phase 1:
1. Peel potatoes. Remove all blemishes.
2. Boil the potatoes GENTLY until just done.
3. Put potatoes through ricer and mash until perfectly smooth.
3. Stir in 1/2 cup softened butter. Add salt and sugar.
4. Add 1/2 cup cream. Mix.
5. Refrigerate overnight.

Dough, Phase 2:
Note that the dough was very cold when I mixed in the flour, and I did not handle it, mixing in the flour with a bamboo spatula. I mixed in exactly 1 cup of flour for every 4 cups of potato.

Just before rolling, stir in about 1 cup of flour to each 4 cups of potatoes, packed. Do about half the batch at a time, returning the rest of the fridge. Five pounds of potatoes need about 2 1/4 cups flour.

6. Turn on lefse grill; It should be on nearly the hottest setting. Make sure it's completely pre-heated.

7. Shape batter into balls about the size of fat golf balls, to start. You can make them a little larger later, when you get the knack of rolling out. Refrigerate balls.

8. Follow any other recipe re: rolling, cooking, etc.

The Rock Music

"During the Iron Maiden set, which are words you've never heard me say..."

-- Me, to mrguy, describing last night's rock show, in which there was a lady Judas Priest cover band, a lady Ramones cover band and a man Iron Maiden cover band.

September 1, 2019


There isn't a logical thing to do with cat ashes. When our second cat died I used to keep her ashes in my sock drawer. Then another cat joined her. When many years later our third cat died, I really had to rethink the sock drawer scenario. Now, with Nose being gone, there is a neat stack of four boxes. And I can't decide what an appropriate resting place would be for them.

I have considered burying the ashes, but what if you move? And taking them to the ocean to join our fathers, but cats don't really like water.

A new option has appeared -- making the cats into diamonds.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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