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Sweets and Sours
8:40 a.m. - 2006-10-18

Being of a certain age and being married to a man with a family history of health issues, I worry about regular recipes with lots of butter and other cholesterol (yes, I am talking about you, Paula Deen and Ina Garten). Really, I was watching the Food Channel the other day and Ina Garten made chicken pot pies. The gravy had so much butter in it that each pie ended up with about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of butter in each serving, not counting the crust! Well, the spouse loves chocolate chip cookies, so I decided to try to make some with the regular Toll House recipe but substitute that Smart Balance margarine for the butter. I suspected that Smart Balance would be wetter, so when I made the batter, adding some wheat germ (ground up finely in the coffee mill to fool the hubster) and King Arthur White Wheat Flour, I ended up adding quite a bit of extra all purpose flour, maybe 1/2 cup. I was amazed, but the cookies came out great, even getting the Picky Melissa seal of approval. I see that Smart Balance is made with Palm Fruit Oil, which is a different thing from the old palm kernal oil with the bad rep. The spouse does not care about the health issue, just so long as there are cookies in the cookie jar.

I tried on my prototype 3/4 length sleeve blouse and it was a little too narrow across the shoulders, so I ripped that out and fixed it. This is the trouble with working out. When I first made that blouse, it fit nicely, but now I am a bit broader in the shoulder and narrower in the hip, which is probably a good thing, but still leads to more work. I also have more bicep, but on the good side, less thigh.

We are into real fall weather now with warm sunny days and crisp nights. Still have not turned on the wall heater, but sometimes in the mornings I run the little Vornado heater in the bedroom while I putter around. Yesterday I pulled up some of my beet crop and roasted them for dinner along with Pappy's chicken. I see that I have maybe 4 pumpkins out there so should get the spouse to bring them in. Also yesterday, I made a trial batch of watermelon rind pickle, and I had forgotten how much I like this. It is tangy and sweet, and a nice condiment made out of what would only otherwise be garbage (or compost). Since Jason overbought the watermelons for my birthday, he has two or three extra melons he wants to give me, so I think I will be making more pickle. We first tasted watermelon rind pickle in Virgina at a country inn we went to a few times. They always had this pickle on the table next to the apple butter. I can see that inn in my memory with the bright red and vibrant orange fall leaves outside the windows of the dining room and the golden sheaves of wheat and big orange pumpkins on the long covered porch, and me in my wonderful,warm, fair-isle-yoke sweater, which the spouse subsequently washed in the washer on hot and put in the dryer. RIP my favorite sweater.

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