Thanksgiving: part 1

November 25, 2007 at 11:17 am | Posted in food, house, life | 8 Comments

The plan: have Thanksgiving at our house with the family and friends who are willing to make to trek to the north country.

What happened: Well, that DID happen, but I can’t say everything went according to plan.

The guests: Jenny’s dad, sister, niece, and nephew, my friend Mike, his friend Beth, her son Max.

The food: A 19 pound turkey, mashed potatoes, butternut squash, sweet potato casserole, stuffing, brussels sprouts, carrots, salad, biscuits, pumpkin pie, apple pie, homemade egg liqueur and homemade coffee liqueur.

The prep: I made the egg liqueur last week and the coffee liqueur on Tuesday. I kind of screwed up the coffee liqueur, but I tried to fix it and hope for the best. The egg liqueur was good, but I think the yolks were smaller than in past years, so I needed to use more than the recipe called for.

We baked the pies the day before. It was my second try at a homemade crust, and it came out better than the first time. (And the first time was pretty good!) Nice and flaky, and not burned on the bottom since we cooled them outside. Of course, Jenny’s fillings were darn yummy, too. We were very happy with how they turned out. We also baked the squash and boiled the sweet potatoes the day before, washed and cut the carrots, etc.

The day: We stuffed the bird and put it in the oven at 8:07 a.m. My stepfather gave me some great advice for cooking the bird that the cookbooks don’t tell you. The rest of the morning was spent leisurely fixing the salad, peeling and cutting potatoes, putting the pots together ready to be turned on, assembling the sweet potatoes in the pyrex, etc.

It was when we put the potato peels in the garbage disposal that the sink clogged.

No problem, this has happened before when I crammed a bunch of stuff down the disposal. So I got a big bowl and went under the sink to empty the trap.

Only that didn’t work this time. The clog was further down. Using a plunger didn’t work. And of course, we didn’t have any liquid plumber type stuff.

Luckily, the supermarket was open until 2 p.m. So I ran and got a whole mess of chemicals to pour down one’s sink. While I was at the supermarket, Jenny’s family arrived. So as I was pouring chemicals down our disassembled sink, Jenny and her sister were trying to maneuver around me to continue cooking Thanksgiving day dinner.

Luckily, just about all the prep was done, so dinner was actually served on time! Mike and co. didn’t show up for dinner, but they had said they’d be a little late. So we had two dinner shifts, and everything turned out great. Thanks to my stepfather’s advice, the turkey was not dry at all, but nice and moist. Perfect. Mike and co. showed up an hour or so later, and we had another Thanksgiving day dinner that couldn’t be beat.

But the pipes were still clogged. And we had mountains of dishes to clean.

To be continued…

Back it up, folks

November 19, 2007 at 5:16 pm | Posted in life | 5 Comments

Ok, everyone. If you are behind in making your regular computer backups, this is your wake-up call.

Yes, my hard drive in my Mac died last Friday morning. A colleague called it, “the IBM click-click-click.” It was pronounced dead Friday late morning, and a replacement was on my desk by 3pm that day.

All my documents were backed up to within about a month, but I lost all my music. The real PITA is my grades. My excel spreadsheets with my grades were not completely up to date. One was 3 weeks old, the others were 6 weeks old. That really stinks. I’m going to have to ask my students to give me back all the papers I collected in the last month or two. My upper division courses should be no problem, but my freshman courses … big PITA.

At least my work computer is on a 3-year “lifecycle.” New machine every three years, everything warranteed until that time.

But make your backups. Now! My machine was only 1.4 years old.

Joss Whedon fans, get ready.

November 12, 2007 at 3:27 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

He’s back with a new show.  And Eliza Dushku (Faith from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) is starring/producing.

Ojos De Brujo

November 10, 2007 at 3:44 pm | Posted in music | Leave a comment

Up here in the North Country, there’s a local show on NPR called The Beat Authority, run by a guy named David Sommerstein.  He features R&B, Latin music, World music, Funk, … anything you can dance to and/or feels good to listen to.  

Since the Latin Grammies just happened, the last show was all about those artists.  He led off with a piece by Ojos De Brujo called Color.  What an infectious rhythm!  It’s different enough from traditional Latin music, but still very Latin.  Fantastico! 

Musical Comedy

November 8, 2007 at 2:45 pm | Posted in music | 2 Comments

I’ve been a sucker for musical comedy ever since I saw that guy at the Pub at NJIT.  I don’t even remember his name, but his slogan was “One Man, One Guitar, One Good Time.”  He played at clubs down the shore, and I saw him years later at at club on LBI.  Was his name Rich Meyer?

Anyway, a comedian named  Rob Paravonian did a piece called Pachelbel Rant. I was rolling!


November 1, 2007 at 2:17 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Halloween was OK.  I cheezed out on a costume, though.  I wore shorts, Tevas, a baja, shades, my Grand Canyon hat, and my rock climbing chalk bag, and went as a grad student in Arizona.  In other words, me two years ago.  It was fun for a last minute cheezed out costume. We got more kids than we’ve gotten in recent years (which was practically none), but not as many as neighbors said we’d get.  So we have lots of candy left over.  I gave out candy in my classes yesterday.  Perhaps it eased the sting of the test they took yesterday. 

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