Monday, November 20, 2006

Getting ready for baking

I'm planning to start my holiday baking right after Thanksgiving. I mostly do cookies, and a favorite is spritz cookies. I want everything ready and waiting for me when the mood strikes to get out that cookie gun. So this is what I did: I got out a gallon bag and some smaller bags. In the gallon bag, I measured out my flour, baking soda and salt. In one of the smaller bags, I put my sugar, brown sugar and two unwrapped sticks of unsalted butter. This little bag went right down into the flour bag. I put an egg into a small bag and put it in with the sugar and the dry ingredients. The only thing I left out was the vanilla and almond extracts, which are in my pantry--I checked, LOL! (Being frugal--I bought 2 bottles of vanilla from the Kosher aisle after Passover this year! At 80% savings!) I'm not sure it is okay to put extracts in the fridge. But everything is ready and waiting--and the colored sugar is all nicely contained in a metal 'shoe box' I've had for years. By the way, do you (my few and wonderful readers) know why sugar is a 'wet' ingredient, even though it's dry! Because it turns into a liquid when you heat it, LOL!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Saving Pennies Julie Bo Boolie inspired this blog today. One way I save pennies is with deposit cans and bottles. I resisted this for a long time. Bottles and cans take up a lot of room. They are sticky. But then I realized...I was throwing away 'treat' money. I mean...if Hershey Bars go on sale 3/$1...if I cash in 20 bottles (okay, 22 for the tax)...I get 3 free candy bars! Or any number of things. Heck, 22 or so bottles/cans is worth one freebie from the dollar store! Think of the candy canes you could buy for Christmas! (Or the marshmallow Santas!)
So...I have a bin right outside the back door into which I can toss the bottles. The current stash is up to 75 cents. I figure I'll cash it in when I hit that dollar. I go to the grocery at least once a week, anyway, so it isn't out of the way.
The only complaint I have is that all deposit containers get you a nickel each. If you're as old as I am, you'll remember that small bottles were 2 cents and big bottles (we didn't know what a liter was back then, let alone a 2-liter bottle) got you a nickel. So...with inflation...shouldn't we get 5 cents for small bottles and cans and at least 8 cents for the big, bulky ones?
Here's a memory: trading a small glass Coke bottle in for two cents...and buying a pretzel rod from a big, tin drum! Alas, that was sssoooooo 1960s!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

My daughter at 22

Katherine had her 22nd birthday last week. Here she is with 2 of her gifts--a book about the Long Island Rail Road and a book called "Weird New York. " Katherine is really into the history of Long Island and NYC. I also gave her the blue box next to her and a set of flannel sheets for her bed with a sock monkey design all over. She likes monkeys. She also got a Michael Jackson's Greatest Hits CD--I'll have to borrow that one. My youngest saw the CD and asked if "Thriller" was a good song. He was born in 1990, way past the "Thriller" era, LOL! Katherine manages the floral department of a store. Her arrangements are amazing--she even does weddings. She hopes to be a cop someday and is finishing off classes in Criminal Justice. As for me...I can't believe I have 3 kids in their 20s now!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Halloween Puppy

Katherine wants to be a cop someday. She wanted to dress Shadow up like a police officer (complete with tiny handcuffs and gun) but we couldn't find a costume. So she settled for the next best thing...a prisoner! Shadow seems to be thinking: "I didn't do it! I was framed!" I am scrapping these photos with this title: "Pawshank Redemption!" (Get it?)

Friday, November 03, 2006

My 16 year old

Nicky fractured his wrist in school on Halloween. He came home and said it hurt, but it wasn't swollen and he could move it. So I gave him an ice pack and said 'let's see.' The next day he still hurt. I brought him with me to work (how convenient that my job is at a pediatric office!) and the doctor felt he had an 80% chance it was broken. We went over to the emergency room and sat for four hours. The x-ray didn't seem to show much. The doctor put it in a splint and said to see a hand doctor in 2 days. But I told the doctor I work for and she said she was still convinced there was something going on there. She called radiology. Radiology called me the next day and said yes, it was a slight fracture. The hand doctor saw him after school and put him in a cast. He did this during gym class. Our insurance will cover most of it, and the school's insurance should cover the rest. Thank God because the visit to the hand doctor alone was nearly $2,000. Not very frugal, LOL! BTW, Nick isn't in much pain. He didn't even ask for Tylenol. He thinks his cast is cool and is very happy with all the chores he won't be able to do for 5 weeks.