Saturday, May 05, 2007

Shrimp Dip

I am hard at work writing on my paper and planning a shopping trip, so another recipe for you today.

My dad’s sister gave me this recipe way back in the day (7/5/86, to be exact), but my mother has been making it for family occasions for years, and she totally *owns* it. So without further ado...

Shrimp Dip
8 oz. cream cheese
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 c. mayo
1 c. chopped celery
1 c. chopped green onions
2 cans tiny cocktail shrimp

Mix together and serve. My mom scoops out a loaf of Hawaiian bread and puts the dip in there and usually also serves more bread and a cheese ball.


Friday, May 04, 2007

Short Shrift

Since I am actually working on my paper today--and making real progress!--there is no content to put up here. But recently I had an idea for just such an occasion: I will put up family recipes! Huzzah!

So without further ado, here's my Grammy's recipe for Power Cookies. They have everything but the kitchen sink! I have a note to make half, which is not a bad idea considering the amounts of ingredients used. I do remember that we used to eat the hell out of these when we went to visit, and would hardly make a dent in them.

Power Cookies
2 c. brown sugar
2 c. granulated sugar
3/4 c. soft butter
1 c. shortening
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
3 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
3 c. uncooked oats
2 c. coconut
2 c. raisins
1 c. chocolate chips
1 c. chopped nuts
Cream together the sugars, butter and shortening.
Beat in eggs and vanilla.
Combine the flour, salt, and soda and add to the first mixture.
Add the remaining ingredients and knead into the mixture.
Using heaping teaspoons, place dough on greased baking sheet, 2 inches apart.
Bake at 350F for 8 minutes until browned.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

A Tale of Two Explosions

A while back, Hannah was interested in "experiments", which generally meant a big, wet mess to her at the time, so in the furtherance of science, we got her a beginner chemistry set. Well, she just wanted to start mixing things together and sit back and wait for the explosions to start. We nipped that in the bud, and the chemistry set has been put away ever since. Recently she mentioned it, saying wistfully that she'd never got to use it. "Because you wouldn't read the directions," was my unsympathetic reply. Now that I think about it, though, she could just watch me in the kitchen if she wanted to find out how to make a big, explosive mess.

You can buy ultra-pasteurized milk and cream here that doesn't have to be refrigerated until you open it. The cream tends to thicken up in the carton, though, so there are often clumps in it. I had an opened container in the fridge, and rather than let it go to waste, I was making bastard cappucinos by adding it to instant espresso. Except I hit a clump when I was pouring; I squeezed a little, and KA-POW! Whipping cream shower. It could have happened to anyone, right?

But the next explosion... it takes a special brand of Nee to make such a huge mess. We can't buy Ranch dressing ready-made in a bottle here--the horror!--so we mix it up from a jar of powder Lovely MIL sent us. Except we don't eat salad all that often, so the leftover container of dressing tends to migrate to the back of the fridge, where it hides and waits. We were clearing out the fridge pre-shopping trip one weekend, and John pulled out the well-aged dressing. Now, I am sure that I had already asked him about the status of that dressing the week before, and he had declared it to be just *fine*, but then when it was my turn to do the dishes... Coincidence? I think not. Anyhoo, when I went to dump it out, I was accosted by a stench that has only one equal: cheese vomit. *gag* Did I mention that we use a Tupperware cup with a lid, like this one? By the way, the stench of zombified dressing does not come out of Tupperware easily. I started with dish soap and boiling water but quickly reached for the big guns: baking soda and vinegar. It works on the sink, so why not? It probably would have worked too, if it weren't for my own stupidness. I was trying to get the concoction up around the sides of the cup, and don't forget the lid, so I set the lid on top--not even sealed--shook it once, twice--KA-BLAM! Baking soda, vinegar, and cheese vomit stink EVERYWHERE, including the double-decker dish drainer (say that 3 times real fast) full of freshly washed dishes next to the sink. I was wiping up baking soda paste off the counters, cabinets, and walls for days afterward, and I am still finding spots until this day.

Kitchen: 2
Nee: 0

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


During my blogging black-out last month, Hannah and I ran out to grab a few groceries. She entertained herself on the way back out to the car by figuring out how many days until her birthday. 40. (Which makes it exactly 20 days ago.) She thought it was tragic she'd have to wait that long. She actually used the word "tragic". Me: "No, it's tragic if you *die* before your birthday." She didn't get the distinction.

I also had to make a quick trip to the drugstore for a few things. There, I was profoundly disturbed by my purchases. Yes, I found everything on my list, but the packaging was just *wrong*: the TP was white! The shower gel was in a different bottle! And worst of all--the toothpaste came in a pump. Why?! Why have you forsaken me, Colgate marketing department? I wasn't emotionally prepared for the experience, let me tell you.

Here's a bit I accidentally left out of my account of our foray into folk dancing:
We had been doing this dance with a turn on the ball of the foot. A variant has you turning on your heel, so we were practicing that individually before inflicting ourselves on a partner. The instructor's wife was putting her leg out, heel down, in a weird squatting way that reminded me of a duck. And I just about lost it.
Nee's brain: "Oh my God--if I start quacking and laughing, I will never stop!"
I didn't want John's German-Swedish club friends thinking they'd saddled themselves with a president whose wife was a nutball, so I made a heroic effort to nip it in the bud, but it was hard with the duck-lady standing right next to me.

And in that vein:
I crawled in Hannah's bed one morning to wake her up, because I was too lazy to stand next to it, and I was doing my usual wake-up routine of poking and tickling when she asked me if I had rabies. "Nope, I'm like this naturally." I'm thinking about adding it to my banner up there, because she's not the first person I've had to explain this to. The last time was to our American neighbor who had come over for drinks and games. We got really silly, and then she realized I wasn't even drinking. *g*

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

I got a job! a student employee/proofreader. With my tutoring gig, I will be working about 10 hours a week, plus taking two upper-division courses. I think that is the perfect division of work/study: just enough that neither will make me crazy, and not so much that it eats into my family time. I am looking forward to being around other people more and being useful outside the house. Having a job and all that entails was an important part of my life back in Austin, and I have been kind of missing it. I can't wait to start!