Friday, January 31, 2014

Happy Chinese New Year 恭禧發財

Kung Hei Fat Choy everyone! It's that time again, Chinese New Year. It's crept up on me a bit early this year and I almost forgot to get out the décor. Today, January 31st, is the first of fifteen days of celebration. Thus begins the year of the horse on the Chinese zodiac.
As we drove through Chinatown recently, we saw some evidence of Chinese New Year. At least I think we did. Perhaps it's just the normal appearance of stores in that area. Nonetheless, there were very auspicious colours of red and gold and even some lucky dragons to be seen.

People born in the year of the horse are said to be good communicators, clever and like to be in the limelight. They are cheerful talented but stubborn, bad tempered and wasteful. Sheesh...my year of the ox is starting to look better all the time. On the other hand, I don't take too much stock in these character traits. After all, Oprah's a horse. Oh wait...Genghis Khan was also a horse. Hmmm....

Feng shui masters are warning that the year of the horse will be volatile, with scandals, wars, bad weather, natural disasters, conflicts, and economic issues. In other words, it will be much like any other year.

So today, as every year, we celebrated. We celebrated the end of a month. We celebrated the upcoming month, February, which is full of special days and activities. We celebrated that the days are getting longer. We celebrated that it didn't snow today. We celebrated that it's Chinese New Year. After all, why not celebrate whenever we can?
Stir fried fresh veggies with water chestnuts, spring roll, tofu tempura,
dumplings, fish and of course, fortune cookies.
  
Lucky bamboo


Dinner is served
Next year, 2015 will be the year of the sheep/goat. Although the year of the dog is 4 years off, at our house, every year is the year of the dog.
Enjoying her auspicious red pillow and window seat

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Weather Related Ranting & Rambling

I don't want to make light of this issue for anyone who suffers from a debilitating phobia, but I might be developing one of my own. I am definitely feeling a deeper understanding and empathy for people who have such a disorder. There are some specific phobias to which I am beginning to relate.

After being pelted with what can only be described in today's terms as a polar vortex of blizzards, white out conditions, ice storms, cryoseisms, and sub zero temperatures, I haven't left the house in days.

To realize the gravity of this situation, you have to understand that I'm not one who can normally stay in the house for more than an hour without developing a restlessness. It's not that I need to go anyplace or even that I have anything to do, I just need an outing to see or experience what's going on in the world on any given day. I need changes of scenery and find that spending an hour wandering around a store, visiting with friends at a coffee shop, or going to the gym will alleviate this problem for me.

I am currently being held captive by the weather. Travel of any kind, and this includes walking, has been treacherous and almost impossible. There are daily reports of traffic pileups on the major roads and highways near us. Besides that, it's been brutally cold. I hate cold. I'm always cold, so opportunities to become even more cold are not welcomed.

If I were to be totally honest, it's not that I couldn't go outdoors, it's that I have no desire to do so. Why would I want to? It's dull, dreary, gray. Did I mention it's cold? It's snowy and were it not for the occasional bit of lovely scenery (during the ice storm, after the whiteouts and so on), I could hibernate. Yes, I could be a bear. Bears know how to survive. They eat whatever they want, then sleep in their huge warm coats. The best part is that when they wake up, it's warm outside and they've lost up to forty percent of their body weight without any effort. I'd like to be a bear.

There's a kind of tranquility, a contentment that comes with hanging around the house. Sure there are things to do. There are always things to do. But they don't really matter. Even if you only do one or two things a day, you get more done than you would have if the weather had been better and you'd been distracted by fun activity options. On the other hand, I haven't felt motivated to do much.

As I said, I've gotten to the point where I do not want to go outside. Let me just reiterate. I don't like to be cold! I don't even want to be cold while I'm in the process of going someplace where it might be warmer.

So I've thought about how people develop phobias. For example, agoraphobia keeps people housebound. It is not a phobia in and of itself but one which develops from other factors. Perhaps it could begin in winter with frigophobia... a fear of the cold, or chionophobia... fear of snow, or maybe even cryophobia...a fear of ice and extreme cold.

Many phobias develop in childhood and how they're dealt with might make some difference in how well people cope throughout life. I had strange experiences with cold and snow wayyyy up north in McKenzie Island during my formative years. Perhaps it's taken this long to manifest itself.

So after listening to weather reports describing the upcoming week,  it's unlikely that I'm going anyplace. Let's hope that if and when it gets warmer, less snowy and less icy, that I'll be able to push myself out the door once again in an attempt to continue my normal walkabout activities.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Icebergs Cometh

I know. I know. The title is grammatically incorrect, but I happen to like it. It suits the circumstance.

I'm sitting in my office cloaked in a hoodie, head covered, long fleece pants, woolen socks with winter slippers on top. The only things missing are gloves and I believe I have a pair from which I once cut out the fingers. Perhaps I'll look for them. The space heater is humming. It's supposed to snow another 12 cm. today. Here's how our house looks already.

 This morning, when I looked out the back porch, I saw encroaching clouds.Ominous.
 I also saw more clouds hovering over the lake. Hubby suggested we drive down and investigate...a great idea. We went to our usual lookout area and saw nothing terribly momentous. There was of course, ice and we viewed some crashing waves off in the distance.
As I turned my camera to the west, I wondered whether this is how many people imagine Canada to look...barren and icy for miles and miles with minimal signs of life.
By this time, my photo fingers were numb. I had an idea. There's a small park which we sometimes like to visit. It has a bench, a trash can, a couple of trees and a lovely view of the lake. We headed that way prior to going home and here is what we found.
There were incredible mountains of ice. Waves of lake water lapped over and through the mounds. Some of the area reminded us of blow holes in rocks in the southern sea areas of the Caribbean. Waves had frozen and built up massive icy hills which almost looked like icebergs. It made us think of another new to us weather phenomenon...the ice tsunami, and helped us comprehend how such a thing could happen in smaller lakes. Some parts looked like moonscapes with craters.
Finally, we viewed the park bench and trees. It was quite a contrast from the summer.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Polar Vortex vs Heaven on Earth

The weather continues to be the topic of conversation around here. For the last two days there have been 30+ vehicle pileups on the highway near us caused by whiteout conditions from snow and high winds. There are massive drifts all around and the plows are barely keeping ahead of the chaos.

My friend and I had booked what turned out to be the perfect solution to a horrible, dreary winter day. We braved the elements and gave ourselves a treat by going to the Heaven on Earth spa in town.

After we handed over our coats, we selected our order from a luncheon menu. Then, we were escorted into a changing area with showers and a steam room. Our robes, slippers and water goblets were waiting for us. We were told to enjoy and that we'd be called when our lunch arrived.

After a fantastic and relaxing steam and shower, we heard a tapping at the door. Lunch was served. Unfortunately, we had both forgotten to bring hair brushes, but we were told that spa hair was acceptable during lunch here.

Our food selection was roast chicken, brie and arugula on marble rye with veggies and dip.














We were served herbal tea in lovely china cups along with our lunch. Delicious. After lunch we looked around a bit and took a few more photos. Then it was time for our manicures and pedicures.
I opted for a sparkly, loud colour for my toes. My friend was a little more subtle with her choice.
When we were done, we relaxed in the spa living room, where I reclined Cleopatra style on the chaise lounge. We sipped more tea and chatted for a long time. It was a great and relaxing time hanging out with a good friend at a wonderful place.
Now that I've been spoiled once, I'll definitely be going back. After all, isn't it important for me to do my part to support local business?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Schedule Cleanup

There's a wonderful feature on my email account called "schedule cleanup". It comes in handy for all those subscribed websites which I once thought were a good idea and are now cluttering my inbox daily. Yes, I've managed to "unsubscribe" to many, however, these things seem to reproduce, particularly if I don't check my mail for a few days. It then becomes overwhelming.

This morning, I looked through my hundreds of blog posts and discovered that I have about 75 which I have begun and abandoned for various reasons. Some, are almost completed while others have a title and nothing more. I have decided that today's the day. I'm going to schedule a cleanup of my blogs. First I'll go through and remove all duplicate ideas. Next, I'll delete headings which I typed in hurriedly thinking they'd help me remember my thoughts later...they didn't.

Finally, I'm getting tired of my blog format. I think I'll try to change it, amp it up, spruce it up and try to make the page a little more interesting looking. I had convinced myself that all I wanted was someplace to write my thoughts and activities and nothing more. I've changed my mind. I want my page to be a little more appealing, if not to anyone else, at least to me. I'm hoping that changing the look of the page doesn't alter, shift and distort previous blogs and photos. If it does, well...ugh.

So that's my plan for today. Well..that and making a turkey pot pie, preparing some dog foods, exercising at the gym, going to the bank, dusting, washing the kitchen floor, ironing, going through some bills, tidying my office....hmmm....

Methinks the blog format might have to be just fine after all. I'll be lucky if I get to the 75 drafts.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Lunch At Caplansky's

A tv episode of "You Gotta Eat Here" featured Caplansky's Deli in the Kensington area of Toronto. After yesterday's trip to the nearby Art Gallery, we decided to take advantage of the opportunity to make our second visit to this location
We went through the door and past a makeshift vertical blind/wind blocker into the inner sanctum, where we were greeted by one of the very friendly wait staff. The decor inside this establishment is simple and includes a reassuring wall display of newspaper write-ups and awards. Beside this display is featured an impressive takeout counter.

The premise of this eat in deli is simple. They serve delicious homestyle food and give great customer service. After being seated, we were immediately presented with a large bottle of water, two glasses and the menu. It featured breakfast items as well as many fantastic sandwich and dinner options.

Hubby had studied the online menu before we arrived and had decided that this was the day for a chopped liver sandwich. The sandwich/latke lunch combo costs just under $10. I opted for the corned beef. We shared a cup of matzo ball chicken soup. Yum.




There's a box of delicious homemade mustards on each table. Although they are all excellent (and for sale), I have two favourites, extra hot and the horseradish mustard. We were both quite happy to forgo our dieting for the day.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Great Upheaval

No, the title has nothing to do with my cooking.

Today we went on an adventure. Hubby and I made reservations at the Art Gallery and left early to get to the city by 11 a.m. to see a special exhibit. It is called, 'The Great Upheaval: Modern Masterpieces from the Guggenheim' collection. We were very fortunate to be able to park across the street from the gallery since the temperature today is a less than pleasant -25 C.













This exhibit emphasized the tumultuous years of the early 1900's when artists such as Chagall, Kandinsky, Matisse, Picasso and others experimented with new ways to create art, thus bringing about movements such as expressionism, futurism and cubism. These works represent groundbreaking modern masterpieces that helped shape 20th century art. Kandinsky named this era "The Great Upheaval."

I came away having heard a lot of terminology like avant-garde, bold colours, sombre mood, distortion and African influence, all referring to this art.

A couple of the many quotes which were written on the walls had special meaning for me. One was by a Czech painter named Kupka who said, "I have come to believe that it is not really the purpose of art to reproduce a subject photographically". This is interesting for a few reasons. I think that a lot of people feel that a painting is not art unless it is very realistic looking. Whereas there was a time when this might have been the case, photography was becoming more common during the early 1900's and therefore it allowed artists more leeway to experiment with colour and form. Why bother to replicate with paintings when a camera could capture images in a realistic way?

Picasso, who is rapidly catching up to Renoir as one of my all time favourite artists said, "I paint forms as I think them, not as I see them." I believe that quote speaks for itself.

I learned a little about 'Der Blaue Reiter' or The Blue Rider group which was named after a painting by Kandinsky who represented spirituality through the use of the colour blue. The group consisted of Russian and German artists who had a common desire to express spiritual truth through their art. They organized exhibitions and toured Germany.

As we exited the exhibit, these words were projected onto the floor. "The world cannot be changed without changing our thinking."

Then, as always, there was a gift shop which one had to pass through before being allowed to exit.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Testing, One, Two, Three

Hubby recently printed some tests from the Ohio State University. Their purpose is to test cognitive impairment in the elderly. The SAGE tests are designed specifically to detect early signs of memory and thinking difficulties and lets you know how well your brain is functioning. They can be found at this site.

 http://medicalcenter.osu.edu/patientcare/healthcare_services/alzheimers/sage-test/Pages/index.aspx

We discussed the tests and he gave me examples of some of the questions.

``If you buy $13.45 in groceries, how much change would you get from a $20 bill?``

I was quickly able to calculate this without using paper or pencil. It occurred to me that many people can`t do it even without any cognitive or memory issues. I gratefully recalled and recounted my elementary school years.

``When I was in school we used to have something called mental math. I hated it. The teacher would give us a sheet of paper. We`d number it from 1-10. Then she would read math questions aloud and we had to quickly calculate the answer in our heads and write it on the page.``

I remember that I found it a struggle at first. I was not always very successful, although I gradually improved. I was proud when I eventually managed to raise my meager score to an 8, 9 or occasional 10.  I now know that this activity did not address my learning style. In fact, this method was the worst way to help me learn and process information.  Having said that, however, I appreciate being forced to do this in my early years. Through continued practice I learned to compensate and create my own strategies for success. Instead of panicking I realized that I really needed to listen and concentrate (always a challenge for me...ADD are my middle initials) and visualize the problem in different ways in order to solve it. Sometimes, I`d visualize for so long that I missed the next two questions, but eventually my speed and ability caught up with most of the rest of the class.

I suppose at least in my case, there is something to be said for the sort of structure, skills and organization that certain tasks and tests have given me beginning in my younger years. Often we acquire skills which we can use throughout our lives. I certainly appreciate being`easily able to pass this test entitled ``How Well Are You Thinking?`` 

So? How well are you thinking?

Monday, January 20, 2014

Mannequins Then and Now

I`ve always had a curious fascination with mannequins and have been known to take more than a few photos of them when I`ve found them in unusual locations. Here are some pictures from my collections. I suppose I thought of them as art shots at the time, who knows.
For sale at Zeller`s closing
Abandoned in a hallway near washrooms
in Fairview Mall
























I recently became aware of some new, very explicit store mannequins on display in an American Apparel store in New York City. They have caused quite the stir. I suppose that`s the idea. I`m not certain whether the reaction has been good, bad or shocking. Nonetheless, the result has been publicity. People are talking. I expect that the store was trying for the attention and has therefore been successful in their campaign. Whether it improves their sales remains to be seen.

When I first decided to write about this, I was ready to include photos, albeit censored ones. I decided against this idea. I prefer not to post such things on here. Anyone curious can simply google American Apparel mannequins as I did. You will either be shocked or you will laugh so hard that tears come out of your eyes. My friend and I had the latter reaction. We shared our comments, there were many, in private.

I thought back to the Twiggy-esque mannequin styles from my teen years and am pleased that in recent times more realistic forms have emerged. My curiosity about their evolution caused me to google the history of mannequins. Clearly, the word ``mannequin`` was of French origin and as such, the first images were created in France during the mid eighteenth century. Over the years, mannequins have been made from various materials including papier-mâché, wax, plaster, plastic and fiberglass. Less interesting than I had thought.

I discovered that the Dufferin Mall in Toronto has more voluptuous mannequin figures. I think I`ll go have a look next time I`m out that way. Spain and Sweden have banned overly thin mannequins and the U.K. considers size 16 to be the norm. It`s only taken forty years to overcome the boylike ideal image of the sixties.
Now
Then





















As for the American Apparel display, I have to wonder what other countries are thinking about that. Perhaps they`re just sorry they didn`t have the idea first.







Saturday, January 18, 2014

Two-Bite Sized Potato Zucchini Latkes

I've been going through old recipes and watching in particular for anything that is vegetarian and can be created stove top. Although I've never been a huge fan of potato pancakes or zucchini pancakes, I came across this combo recipe which I remember making years ago. I believe it came from a Canadian Living magazine since their recipes are usually quite good and reasonably foolproof.

I thought the latkes might go well along side a particular soup I had made. They did...yum. They are also a good way to get extra veggies into the meat and potato eaters of the world. Serve with applesauce, sour cream or on their own, whatever you prefer. Combining the zucchini with the potato cuts down somewhat on carbs and calories. At a mere 36 calories a piece, eating three of these delicious morsels will not break the caloric bank.

This is a bit of a process, but they don't have many ingredients and they're totally worth it. I used some basic and ancient tools to help me and created the latkes start to finish in less than 40 minutes.

Ingredients

2 small zucchinis
3 medium potatoes (peeled)
1/2 tsp salt
half an onion (I like Spanish so I use about 1/4 if it's big)
1 egg
3 tbsp flour
Oil for frying (I used Canola)

Use a grater to grate zucchini and potatoes coarsely. I used this manual old fashioned kind  (on this larger hole side shown here) but I suppose if you have one of those new fangled food processor thingies, and like washing a lot of contraption parts, it'd work too and would save getting fingernail fibre in your food. Stop going ewwwwww...that was a joke.

Put grated zucchini and potatoes in a strainer or bowl and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt. Let stand for a few minutes while you finely grate the onion. Add to mixture. Drain, strain, squeeze or stomp out the liquid any way you know how.

It sounds weird but I have an old juicer...the manual kind and I just put scoops of the potato/zucchini/onion in here and squeezed. Good arm/batwing exercise and you'd be amazed how much liquid comes out. Dispose of the liquid and put mixture back in a clean, dry bowl. Repeat.

Stir in onion, egg, flour and remaining salt. Mix. Put oil in the bottom of a pan...don't be too cheap but you also don't want to drown your mini latkes. They don't need to be covered in oil...about a third. I used a couple of tablespoons, I'm guessing. I also used a wok like pan and it was narrower at the bottom so the oil seemed a bit fuller and not so spread out...less waste

Heat the oil. Using a tablespoon, scoop the mixture into the oil. Depending on the size of your pan, you might be able to make 4 or 5 at a time. They shouldn't touch or you won't get the nice crispy potato edges. After about 2 minutes, flip them over for another couple of minutes. Cook them hot and fast. Remove and place on a layer of paper towels to drain off excess oil. These really aren't greasy, I promise.

So here's how the photo looks that comes with my original recipe. I think my zucchini was shredded a bit finer but that's personal preference. Also, my tablespoon didn't create perfect muffin tin shapes like these.  ***Note to self - Consider making these in a muffin pan next time, or not.

Here's how mine looked. I served 3 latkes for each of us. There are many left which I have frozen for re-heating in the microwave another time. The recipe makes around 3 dozen. Enjoy. We did.

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Olympics & My January Column

My column came out today. It's not what I began to write about. I went in a different direction based on some items of my dad's which came my way thanks to my stepmom. Since I wasn't really expressing an opinion, I'm not sure whether it will show up online. It's listed under "Something to Think About". I wrote about the Olympics in Sochi and these things, from the 1968 Mexico Olympics. They are treasures.
 My new 2014 headshot turned out ok. It looks like me, so I can't complain. Here's how the column appeared. If it shows up online in the next day or two, I'll share the link. Otherwise, I'll put a copy of what I wrote on here...unless of course you can read it from the photo.

Here's the link -

http://www.northumberlandnews.com/opinion-story/4321592-unpacking-a-gift-of-olympic-history/

Thursday, January 16, 2014

What A Difference A Year Makes

 
When we are younger, years come and years go. We often don't give them a second thought. As we age, each additional year of life is a gift.  As such, I think we are less likely to take time for granted. We also tend to reflect more. I'm not sure that last year was much different from other years. It seems there are always wars, political upheaval, natural disasters, terrorist acts, and notable deaths.


On a worldwide scale, 2013 will be remembered as the year a new pope was chosen, a prince was born and a South African icon died. There were typhoons, building collapses, bombings, meteor explosions, nuclear testing and bailouts of entire countries. Those were newsworthy events in what seem like far off places. Some may have touched us personally.


During this past year however, many memorable events have also affected us closer to home. Who can forget the terrible tragedy of the train derailment in Lac Megantic killing forty seven people?  What about the continuing saga of Rob Ford? Then there were the weather events like flooding of major cities. How about the ice storms, fallen trees, and power outages which kept some people in the dark and cold for weeks?


For me personally, it’s now been a full twelve months since I began writing a newspaper column. I remember one of my first pieces which contained a rant about my new cell phone.  I complained that I would not be using the device for looking at email, checking Facebook, Googling or watching movies on the teeny tiny screen. One year later, I do all of those and more. Well, maybe I don't watch movies but I have been known to look at the occasional youtube or video clip.


It’s surprising how much change takes place in a year. My daughter, Ingrid came home for Christmas after having been gone since January. She was shocked by our new money. She wondered where our the pennies went and asked whether it was really possible to photograph and deposit a cheque into a bank account. She looked at store aisles in disbelief. She had forgotten how fortunate we are and all the goods which we have available to us compared to where she now lives.

We too are often unappreciative of what we have and take things for granted. Perhaps not time, as much as our surroundings and conveniences.


So another year has gone. Friends and acquaintances have become sick, some have had accidents, and sadly, some have passed away. We are thankful for those who have recovered from illness and we hope to spend many more years enjoying their company.

As I said in the beginning, each year is a gift. Let's put the gift of 2014 to good use.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Blue, Blue, My World Is Blue

I have a personal fashion peeve, blue jeans.  Why have they suddenly become the item of choice to wear everywhere? By everywhere I mean everywhere...to the theatre, to fancy restaurants, to church.

I do not wear jeans. I don't find them attractive on anyone. I've done research. I have participated in an exhaustive independent study whereby I've forced myself to walk behind a multitude of jeans wearers. Unless I'm building a house, changing the oil in the car, participating in a rodeo, or gold mining, you're not likely to see me in jeans. In fact, the only activity in which I've ever participated while wearing jeans was horseback riding in the Arizona desert about forty years ago. Since there's photographic evidence of this, I feel the need to confess my indiscretion.

I asked hubby recently, "What's with blue jeans anyhow? It's not a good look. They're ugly, often faded, either too droopy or too tight, and generally unflattering."

Here's a jeans-wearing man's perspective, concise and to the point. "They're comfortable." Again, with the comfortable argument. I disagree, but then that's another matter.

I responded with, "So are pajama bottoms and a lot of other things, but you shouldn't wear them in public." I zoned out briefly at this point recalling with fondness some of the  pajama clad folk in the town where I used to reside.

In my younger years, there was always talk of jeans. They seemed to be some sort of fabric gold in countries such as Russia where many things weren't available. It was suggested that travellers take jeans, any condition, new or used to leave behind in nations deprived of this fabulous fabric. I was baffled then, just as I am curious now.

Although I had some vague notion that Levi Strauss invented this garment back in the gold rush days, I researched further to discover that he and a Latvian tailor collaborated, putting rivets in the pants for strength. The patent date was May 1873. Later, these became popular pants for factory workers, cowboys, mechanics and of course, plumbers.

Why have jeans become so popular? Some say it had to do with James Dean and the teenage rebels of the fifties. I say if that's the case, it's a trend that should have been immediately halted at that time.

I read an article which states that North Americans own an average of eight pairs of jeans. Once again, I'm in the minority. Apart from the non-esthetic appearance, there are also drawbacks. For example, jeans do not keep you warm in winter. Nope, no insulation. In fact, they do just the opposite retaining the cold.  If jeans get wet, well, they not only weigh as much as a small child clinging to your legs, but they don't dry. Wet, heavy and chafing. For men, there's been some concern about potential personal damage caused by jeans which are too tight. I need not elaborate. For women who actually manage to squeeze into a pair of painted on skinny jeans, good luck trying to sit down.

Whether faded, shredded, acid washed, flared, boot cut, mom jeans, or straight cut, jeans cause a huge impact on the environment. Many people don't realize this. According to Wikipedia, (the source of all essential info), 919 gallons of water are wasted used during the lifetime of a single pair of jeans. This includes water to irrigate the cotton crop, water to manufacture the jeans and then there's the one gallon when someone finally decides to wash their pants. The acid wash and sandblasting to create that worn look, not only cause damage by using a potpourri of chemicals, but has been proven to sicken and kill thousands of workers in the textile industry.

So next time you prepare for a function and begin to dress up in your fanciest jeans, why not take some time to check your closet for alternatives. If you don't want to think about the environment, at least you can imagine me, walking behind you, staring at your ugly pants and making faces.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Macarons Are Not Macaroons - Part 4


Yes, there will be a fifth and hopefully final chapter to the endless macaron making saga. (Part 1 - August 2, 2013,           Part 2 - August, 13, 2013, Part 3 - Sept. 10, 2013). Success in the macaron business shall be mine one of these days, particularly now that I own a Kitchen-aid mixer.

In the meantime, I can attest to the fact that macarons are definitely not macaroons.

I  made macaroons during the holidays and can't believe I haven't tried these before. They take all of 10 minutes, have almost no ingredients, and can be stirred with a spoon or in my case einen Kochlöffel. They are impossible to mess up and as I've said so many times, are just different....different texture, different ingredients, different appearance, different taste and above all, different skill level.

First, I found a recipe. This was a great one from the internet. Pardon my egg white dribbles on the paper. A clean version can be found and printed at this site ...

 http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/first-place-coconut-macaroons




















After combining the few ingredients, coconut, sugar, flour, eggs, vanilla, I dropped them on some parchment paper. I made circles using a meatball maker or some such odd tool that I found in a drawer. You could probably use a spoon or even your hands but the batter is a bit sticky. This took all of ten minutes.

Place in the oven at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes.














      Voilà, done! Macar00ns.




They're no macarons, but nonetheless, if you like coconut, they're tasty. I made a second batch closer to Christmas and food coloured them green. Then I placed a cherry half in the middle to make them more festive. I have no photos since they got eaten.