Friday, October 30, 2009

FriFrag: Pumpkins and Candy and Flu, Oh My!

I'm feeling a bit frustrated with blogging lately. My comment counts have been pretty low, and I just have to remind myself that I'm really writing this blog for myself, as a journal, not as a popularity contest. And I haven't been reading--or commenting--very much on others' blogs, so who am I to whine?

Still, I'm not nearly as eager to hit the keyboard these last few Fridays. Most weeks it's because I'm feeling tired, and I've learned that that erases all my creativity. That doesn't explain today; this has actually been a relatively easy week--though one of my co-workers came down with...duhduhduh!..THE FLU! Ahhh!!

As it turns out, though, she only had a fever for a couple of days. Not to detract from her miserableness, but at least it didn't keep her plastered to her pillow for a week. On the other hand, she did have Tamiflu at hand. I'd like to get the flu shot, but the last time I went to the pharmacy, they were only giving it to kids. Perhaps I should go back and try again! And walk on my knees...


Our office does nothing--nothing!--to mark special events, be they holidays or birthdays. (Well, okay, they are giving a going-away/shower "party" for another co-worker, but that's unusual.) So as Halloween approached, I thought, the hell with it, I'm gonna bring in a treat for everyone. And what to bring? The answer was simple:

Duhn-duhn-duhn! Tangerine-glazed pumpkin cookies! Miss Chef found the recipe in Health magazine four years ago, and I think we can now officially call it our own little tradition. She made it that year for a pumpkin-carving party we hosted, and everyone raved about them. This is the first year I've made them on my own, and you know what I learned? They're farking easy! You should definitely try them; if it's too late for Halloween, they make a great Thanksgiving nosh, too. But you should make two batches. And invite me.

Oh, but here's the best part! Miss Chef and I both made a batch Thursday night; she measured out the ingredients and took them to work to bake, and I made them at home. She was disappointed with hers, and asked to try mine, when she got home..and she said mine were better!

See, I told you they were easy.


The pecan tree is still slowly shedding nuts. I gather a half-dozen or so whenever I get home early enough to take Rosie to the park. I was getting more a couple of weeks ago, but either the tree's slowing down, or the squirrels are speeding up. All the same, those daily handfuls are definitely adding up:

Last weekend Miss Chef used some we had cracked earlier to make candied pecans. Half of them burned (see? even chefs have to throw food away sometimes), but the ones that didn't were wonderful. I haven't seen enough of her this week to ask her how she did it; I know cane syrup was involved. Not that you need cane syrup, she just happens to have a bottle and thought it would work well.

We have the weirdest stuff in our pantry. Like a big round block of palm sugar she bought at an ethnic food store. "How do you use that?" I asked. "I don't know, but it looks interesting." It's been taking up space in there for many moons. But I mostly don't complain, because her defense is absolutely true: she will eventually use it. And 90% of the time, it will be for something fascinating, unusual and tasty. Like cane syrup for candied pecans.


Oh, and in the picture above, you can see I've put my personally painted vase to good use already. Those flowers? Miss Chef got them for me for our anniversary last week. 9 years, and she still makes me laugh. Plus, you know, she gets me flowers. And she gets me. That's important too.


The trees have been putting on quite a show the last week or so. The few times it's been sunny while I've been out walking, I've felt like smacking myself for not thinking to bring my camera. But now I'm just as happy I didn't. I tend to look at everything as a potential image when I have my camera. This year I've been able to just absorb the beauty, from the golden leaves glowing on the willow oaks, to the multicolored carpet beneath them. Too beautiful for words; even a thousand of them are insufficient. This is one spectacle man cannot reproduce or control. That makes it even more precious to me.


So tomorrow's Halloween. I'll be at home, greeting trick-or-treaters alone again. Bleah. Miss Chef would enjoy all the little kiddies so much more than I do. I do love seeing them all dressed up, and maybe this year I'll recognize even more of the parents. I'm still pondering how to handle the teens who show up without even a costume, just a pillow case. I'd like to refuse them candy, but they're generally bigger than me...and it's Halloween.

Oh, wait, that's the whole point, right? Maybe instead, I'll put on my witch hat and cackle like a maniac until they turn tail and run.

Hee hee hee heeeeee!!! Happy Halloween, everybody!


  1. Geez, where to begin with comments. I can't believe you are now getting pecans from the park. Is that the same park as the persimmons. Should be called the Park of Plenty. I'm so envious. Pecans don't grow here. I have been bad about blogging and commenting lately too, must be the time of year, but it doesn't mean I'm not reading. School is overwhelming right now and I don't even like my current classes. I love it that Ms. Chef gets you flowers. Kelly never gets me flowers. I had some sort of flu but I never had a fever so I'm not sure what it was but it put me to sleep for about 3 days and I ached all over. Pretend you are pregnant to get the shot. They are giving it to pregnant people. I don't get flu shots. Those cookies look awesome. Where do you find time to bake? Kelly brought home some pears from work and he wants to make jam out of the book you sent. Thanks again for that!

  2. "I'd like to get the flu shot, but the last time I went to the pharmacy, they were only giving it to kids"

    Are you referring to the H1N1? If so, yes they are just giving it to kids, pregnant women, and folks with chronic health problems.

    The regular flu shot should be available around.

    I always get the regular flu shot but I have friends that would never inject that "crap" in their bodies.

    Up here in the middle of nowhere I don't have to worry about the treat or treaters thank goodness.

    Pecans don't grow up here either. Would love some fresh ones.

    I can smell those pumpkin cookies from here. :-)

  3. Great to hear from you. You always have so much to say, which is fun to read, but I can never remember what I wanted to comment about afterwards. lol!
    Mmm, but those cookies sure do look good! Where's the recipe? Do you have to find and use fresh tangerines? I've not seen tangerines in our neck of the woods for a long time. How about using oranges instead?

    I love pecans. Lucky you able to pick your own anytime you want. :)

    I'm going to miss the trick-or-treaters again this year as I'll be carting around my trio of kidlets to gather candy so I can sort through after we get home and pick out the good stuff for me (shhhh!).

    Happy Halloween!


  4. Sorry you've been in a blog fog! I know the feeling. It will pass. And I hope I've not been contributing to your low comment count. That can be discouraging. Sometimes my blogroll doesn't automatically update and I miss posts. I'll be better about swinging by and checking, just in case.

    THANK YOU for the recipe for the Tangerine-glazed Pumpkin Cookies. Yum! I am totally hopeless as a baker, but if you insist they're easy, I'll try them.

    Oh! And happy 9th anniversary. Awesome. Awesome. Love the vase, love the flowers.

    And I also have a bag full of Palm Sugar from the Asian market. Does it just petrify in the pantry or does it go bad? And are those the same thing?

    Okay, so you know I am a Halloween lover, right? Well tonight we are abandoning the Casa and going out to our favorite Japanese restaurant (in costume) for a family dinner! Four of us. After the Florida/Georgia game, of course. Sadly, our neighborhood has become over run with 17 year olds who come to the door in jeans, t-shirts and ouzi's. They ring the bell and stuff a pillowcase in your face. Last year I got tired of it and said "No costume, no candy," and I worried my house was going to be burned down. Not doing that this year. We are going to enjoy the magical evening out and about among the living and the dead. No smirky teenagers for us!

    Happy Halloween to you and MC, Flar. I love you gals.

  5. Our neighborhood is still primarily overrun with small kids. And I guess I just don't care if there is a teen at the door. I didn't get to go trick or treating as a kid (my mom disapproved of Halloween) so the few times I did get to go, it was when I was junior high or early high school age. I'm sure there were folks who thought I was too old but... I had a blast anyway!

    Heading off to check out the cookie recipe! If we have time today, I'm planning on making pumpkin bread. I really want to pick up one of those mini-loaf pans.

    If you want to pick up traffic- add a link to your Friday Fragments over at Half Past Kissin' Time. You will definitely get a few more comments on your Friday posts!

  6. Hi - I do try to keep adding to the comments! I check my favorite blogs daily and jump right in when I can. You can write for yourself, just remember that a lot of us are reading it, too! No TorTers here, so I've been told. There was a time 35-40 years ago when I dressed in a long black dress I made, added a witchy hat, and greeted all the MANY children with a cackle and scary music in the background. Our German Shepherd liked to greet the masses, too. And the teenagers? Silly kids! I put frogs and eyes of newt in their pillowcases.

    Diane got her piggy flu shot, since she's preggers and about to pop. About 4-4.5 weeks to grandson day!!!

    Nancy in Iowa

  7. Those muffins look amazing! Your co-workers must have been thrilled to see you arrive with those babies :-) YUM!


  8. Flatomatic, when the "teens" show up for candy, you have the magic words to run them off:

    "Rosie, sic balls"

    Happy Anniversary to you and Miz Chef

  9. Thanks for your comment on my blog. I get very few comments! Anyway, I cheated a bit with the beer. All the other pictures were taken in France. The beer was in the Cheers bar in Boston!

  10. Thanks for the recipe, those look really delicious! I have been having a hard time keeping up with my favorite blogs. When I find the time I usually have several posts to read on each blog but that is OK. So I am always a bit behind. That is the one and only thing I don't like about living in the country. We don't get trick or treaters out here. I miss them!


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