Ten Things Tuesday

Ten Random Things.  I’m still feeling a bit scattered – I’m blaming the head cold and the approaching snowstorm – so this is what I’ve got.

1.  About the weather…


Heavy Snow Chance for Measurable Precipitation 100%
Hi 27°F

Seriously – another “significant snow event” is headed our way.  The conservative estimates are for upwards of 8 to 12 inches of new snow before it’s all over.  The local weather guy even went so far as to tell the kids that they probably won’t have school tomorrow, which is a terribly dangerous thing to do; imagine the hate mail he’ll get if the kids DO have school tomorrow (though, to his credit, he DID tell them they still had to do their homework).  I’m not complaining TOO loudly, though; I know this storm is the remnants of what glazed the middle of the country with ice.  I’ll take a foot of snow over a quarter inch of ice ANY DAY.

2.  I’m entirely dissatisfied with my recent attempts to caramelize onions.  I’m considering calling Bertucci’s and asking them how they do it – they’ve got the best caramelized onions I’ve ever had.  Anyone got any suggestions?

3.  I’m working on two posts for Please Pass the Popcorn – I spent the weekend on the couch, snarfing and snerking, and Mr. Chili, kind and loving soul that he is, brought back a couple of pretty good movies for me on his way home from a sojourn to the Home Despot.  I haven’t quite got the posts the way I want them yet, though.  I’m blaming the snot.

4.  I love people who speak their minds.  ImprobableJoe wrote this post the other day, and it totally worked for me.  I don’t agree with everything Joe has to say – that’s part of why I like him – but this post said something I’ve been trying hard to articulate over the last half year or so in a way that I could never have said.  I’m also in love with MAB, though my love for him isn’t limited to a specific post; he’s just smart and sharp and funny (oh, and he sings, too.  His wife is a lucky woman).

5.  My mother-in-law bought me Dewey for my birthday.


I heard about this book on NPR about a month or so ago – it’s the story of a kitten that gets left in a library drop box on the coldest night of the year, survives the ordeal, and goes on to become a beloved member of the town for nearly two decades.  The prose is easy and light, and the story is well told.  It’ll only work for you, though, if you truly understand the magic that goes along with a good purr.

6.  We’re managing to keep up with my goal of eating at home more often, though I’ve still not hit a stride of planning meals.  I’ve got a crock-pot chicken thing planned for this evening that will, hopefully, turn out better than the disaster I put together for Sunday night.  I’m not sure what happened; I was expecting greatness in the form of chicken and onions and carrots and bean sprouts simmered in coconut milk and a little bit of garlic and ginger.  I went WAY easy on the crushed red pepper flakes, even – the recipe called for a half teaspoon and I only shook in about 30 flakes – but none of us liked it.  Today’s offering consists of chicken, a sauce of cream of mushroom soup and onion soup mix, some veggies, and rice.  I’ll report back on how it went.

7.  I’m procrastinating about reading my students’ essays analyzing Obama’s speech then comparing it to another inaugural address delivered by a former president.  Part of my hesitation comes from the fact that when I asked the students yesterday which other speech they chose, one kid mumbled something incoherent about “some vice president talking about national defense or something.”  It alarms me that, despite handing out a written assignment sheet – complete with a rubric – AND sending out an email with the assignment criteria on it, some kids – well, at least ONE kid – didn’t even do the assignment as it was outlined.  Sigh.

8.  I downloaded the U.S. Constitution on my iPhone for free.  I’m loving having the document literally at my fingertips and have found that I acutally use the application a bit more than I expected to.  I’ve been meaning, for the last year or so, to learn more about our founding documents (remember my somewhat anemic attempt at a Civics on Saturday theme?), and having them constantly and easily accessible makes that process much easier.  Of course, I also downloaded a program with five free solitaire games and, if I’m being honest, I’ll have to tell you that I open that file more than I open the Constitution…


9.  I made myself a  new yoga mat bag the other day.  The one that I’d made several years ago – with pretty dragonfly satin purchased on a wander through Chinatown in New York City with Kizz – finally gave up the ghost a couple of weeks ago and popped the strap.


I put together another one that I actually like a little better structurally (it’s a little roomier and I was more careful about how I put the slippery lining in, so I’ve got no fraying edges on this one) but I have to tell you that, aesthetically, I miss my old bag.  The new one is essentially the same design – a black bag with a fabric panel around the middle – but this panel is a gold and brown bamboo pattern that I don’t like as much as I liked the dragonflies (I would post a picture for you, but it’s in the trunk in the car, and it’s VERY cold outside, and I’m feeling lazy.  Use your imagination).  I’m going to have to make yet ANOTHER one, I think, and put the dragonfly fabric on it.  I’ve got plenty of yoga mats, though, so I’m going to keep the new one.  Maybe I’ll keep it at the gym at Local U.

10.  Someone I love very much called me out of the blue yesterday.  He’s traveling with his family and, for whatever reason, I popped into his head and he decided that I was worth more than just our usual quick text.  It’s people like this in my life and the simple, unexpected, unconditional expressions of love and kindness that they continually offer me that humble and astound me.  I never, in my wildest dreams, imagined that I would be graced with such friendships.



Filed under admiration, Blogroll, books, celebration, Civics on Saturday, compassion and connection, cooking, dumbassery, frustrations, health, Home and Family, Little Bits of Nothingness, love notes, movies, My husband rocks!, my oh-so-exciting life, politics, randomness, reading, teaching, ten things Tuesday, weather, yoga - theory and practice

18 responses to “Ten Things Tuesday

  1. 6. I have not yet been satisfied with rice done in the crockpot. I’ve never been following a recipe when I’ve added it, though, so I may be missing a crucial liquid-rice ratio.

    7. I rewatched the speech (and all the other bits) with Pony Express last night. There were a lot of good bits, throughout, but as a speech well-crafted and well-delivered I think that Rev. Lowry still wins the day.

    Nice to see you managed to get all the way to 10!

  2. Suzanne

    I have finally found a great crock pot cookbook. I am not a huge fan of old-school crockpotting (really, it’s the creamed soup thing — I once made the mistake of reading the ingredient label, and now I can’t even think about the stuff).

    The 100 Best Slow Cooker Recipes by Judith Finlayson.

    I have used this book a lot lately and have made some really yummy stuff. Most of the local libraries have copies if you want to check out the recipes. Or I can bring mine up the next visit we make to NH.

    And I am totally with you, Kizz on the rice thing. I now only use leftover cooked rice and add it at the last minute just to warm it through. I find noodles have the same problem too.

  3. On caramelizing onions, you have to expect to spend 40 minutes to an hour (depending on the amount of onions and the cooking vessel) waiting for them to be finished. Loooow and sloooow. I am way too impatient to ever actually caramelize; I just burn them partially and call it a day.

  4. At my particular part of the “midwest,” we’ve got quite a bit more than a quarter inch of ice — and it’s still coming down. So far, we’ve still got power at our house, although some places in town succumbed earlier. Hearing huge limbs fall from neighbors’ trees. I agree, snow is much preferred! (We haven’t seen any of that particular white stuff yet this season, even when we traveled to the north.) My husband blogged a few photos of the ice earlier this morning: http://theaestheticelevator.com/2009/01/27/ice-storm-observation/

    I agree (also) about rice in a crockpot. Haven’t made that work.

    I don’t think I have trouble carmelizing onions. I’ll have to analyze what I do next time.

  5. So you’re all telling me I should prepare to be disappointed in tonight’s dinner, too?! DAMMIT!

  6. Tonks

    Well you are far ahead of me. I have not even thought about what to cook for dinner tonight. I hope yours turns out well.

  7. Yeah, sorry. I just figured forewarned was forearmed. Or fortastebudded or something. Probably the flavors will be fabulous but the texture may be a hard sell.

  8. I’d say you’ve got at least a semi-decent chance on tonight’s supper. Don’t get disappointed yet.

  9. It should taste good, anyway.

  10. I’m with Kizz on the rice, I always cook it separately; it either soaks up too much or not enough of the moisture in the crockpot. Hopefully, your latest will be okay.

    Cooking Light has a slow cooker recipe book that is good. So far, I’ve not been disappointed.

  11. mabnyc

    Actually, I’m the lucky one. Have you seen my wife? Splendid. And not a bad singer herself, I hear tell.

  12. Organic Mama

    I use olive oil to caramelize onions, with a little salt and looooow and slooooooow goes it.

    Thanks, Suzanne, for the rec on a good crockpot cookbook – totally ordering it as I too am determined to have this lovely appliance supply a regularly delicious supply of dinners..

    Enjoy your dinner!

  13. I, too, am a Constitution Geek. I have a pocket version that is well-thumbed in my purse. I know the Amendments by heart.

    … no wonder I’m single…

    tee hee

  14. I LOVE your 10 Things Tuesday lists.

    I really hope your other students did MUCH better in following directions than the one you overheard. That’s just extremely sad on that student’s part.

  15. 1) Bloody hell–it’s already Tuesday?
    2) Snot can be an excuse for myriad of things.
    3) Not doing an assignment as outlined. I get frustrated with K-8 kids who do this. Can’t imagine how much more with college students.
    4) Love your #10. You are so right!

  16. Tonks

    Snow day tomorrow!!! My school has already declared it! WooHoo

  17. Laurie B

    Constitution? Call me when it includes lesbians or even women, for that matter.

    Dewey the cat, I’ll get from my library. It has a donation box for the local rescue place. We can pay fines or donate. Too cool.

    The lovely and amazing Irma Rombauer, lead author of “Joy of Cooking” agrees with your readers. Slow and low, time consuming, but as always, she is right.

    Heat in a very large skillet until the butter is melted:
    2 tablespoons butter
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    Add: 3 pounds of onions, thinly sliced
    Sprinkle with
    1 teaspoon salt

    Cook over lowest possible heat for 1 hour, turning the onions several times.Do not be tempted to increase the heat- the onions need to be thoroughly soft before they begin to brown.

    Once they are soft, increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until well browned, perhaps 25 minutes or more. If a residue has built up in the pan, add 1/2 cup dry white wine to dissolve the brown bits. Remove from heat and season well with salt and black pepper to taste.

    Oh yeah. I’m good with the fast and dirty, some olive oil and a sprinkle of sugar. Irma’s are better, mine are faster. Onions are a labor of love.

    That’s the official version. I’ve offloaded many cookbooks, “Joy of Cooking”, I keep.

    Sorry you have a cold, happy the Mr and MIl are taking care. Congrats to MIL on the birthday book. Sometimes she really tries hard.

  18. Forget about the cooking… let’s talk about ME! Seriously, thanks for the thumbs-up. It means more when it comes from someone who doesn’t automatically agree with me.

    You SHOULD always agree with me, but we all have our burdens to bear… *grins*

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