Friday, July 28, 2006

Grades and Food

Yesterday I took Part 3 of my qualifying exams in German linguistics. I won’t find out my scores on the other 2 parts until next week at the earliest, but the examiners were kind enough to tell me at the end of my oral exam that I had made a B+. I was so happy I felt like barfing.

Yesterday evening was spent in a giddy state while we put together homemade individual pizzas and I prepared for tutoring this morning. After tutoring, I tackled the mountain of papers that had accumulated over the semester and managed to get them all sorted and put into a binder—but not until the wind blew all but 5 of the 500 or so sheets of paper off the table while I struggled to get the jammed window closed. Good times.

I poked around in the fridge and came up with ingredients to make stuffed mushrooms. We once had a neighbor who was a prep cook for a very chichi restaurant in Austin, and she told us their recipe. Which I can’t remember in its entirety, but here’s what I’ve reconstructed:

white mushrooms (the kind with a cap)
Town House crackers
cocktail shrimp
chives (I used shoots from some garlic cloves I planted—yum!)
melted butter
salt/pepper/dried parsley

Clean the mushrooms. Pull out the stems, chop up about half of them, and throw away the other half. Crush the crackers and chop up the shrimp and chives. Use about equal parts shrimp, mushrooms, and crackers, then add enough melted butter to make it all stick together. Season. Spoon mix into mushrooms and bake at 400F for about 20 minutes or until stuffing starts to brown and mushrooms have shrunk somewhat.

Hannah got her final report card today. She got an A in English, a C in PE, and Bs in everything else. So she didn’t get the keyboard we’ve been using as the carrot for good grades this year, but she’ll have a chance at it again in the fall. (No, we don’t demand that she bring home straight As, but we could see that she wasn’t putting in the effort we knew she was capable of, and that was reflected in her grades. It’s hard to break the habit of laziness, so we wanted to try to nip it in the bud now.)

I am pretty sure that one of my mystery plants is cucumber. It has put on little yellow flowers that match the ones in a garden across the street. Those plants are already putting out cukes, but I don’t know if my flowers will get fertilized. The bees are much more interested in John’s flamboyant plumbagos in the next pot over. Oh, well. I’m just happy to have some green on the balcony.

Here's some fish porn for those of you who might be into that. LilSis caught it in the lake behind her house a couple of weeks before her surgery. She's quite the sportswoman.

She also told me a handy trick for getting rid of fish-smell (or garlic or onion) on your hands: wash your hands with toothpaste. I found out the hard way that gel toothpaste (at least not Colgate kid toothpaste) does not work; your hands just smell like bubble gum and stink. It has to be the white *paste* kind.
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