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» Saturday, July 15, 2017Bring on the New
It's always the same. If we don't need to get up early, we sleep, and sleep, and sleep. But when we need to get up early, we're tossing and turning in bed all night as if we're bopping along to Chuck Berry. So since we had to get up at 6:45 a.m., guess what we did and what we didn't do. Never mind; we made it there, even if we didn't make it at opening of Betsy's Hallmark. (Yes, it's already Ornament Premiere Weekend.) It wasn't very crowded, and we were able to get the ornaments we wanted. James picked up the new airplane (a "Mystery Ship"), Duck Dodgers, and Marvin the Martian. I got two mini ornaments (the cardinal in the pine cone and the Hallowe'en owl), the Hallowe'en raven, Judy and Nick (of course, since there's no such thing as a Betty Roberts/Scott Sherwood ornament), the swan in the 12 Days of Christmas series, Willy Wonka for the library tree, and the beautiful Los Tres Reyes Magos (the three kings), which I thought would go well for Epiphany with my La Befana.
I just realized I forgot to look for the new Marjolein Bastin ornament. Oh, well, those don't usually sell out.
I'm intensely curious now about what they are going to do next year for the 12 Days set. The first seven ornaments, as in the song, are birds (no, I'm not forgetting the "five golden rings"—it has been long believed that the "rings" are actually ring-necked pheasants, and that's how Hallmark portrayed the ornament). I had hoped the fourth day bird would be black—the original song which I learned in elementary school called them "colley birds," not "calling birds," in other words, blackbirds—but I guess they didn't think that was Christmasy. But now we are getting to people: the eight milkmaids, the nine drummers, the ten ladies dancing, the 11 lords a leaping, and the 12 pipers piping (or whatever order they have the last four in; it changes in different versions). Could they somehow stick with birds? The milkmaids could be cowbirds, the drummers ruffed grouse (they "drum" with their feathers when mating), and the pipers could be sandpipers. But what birds dance and leap? So this mystery won't be solved until next year's Dream Book gets released in April.
We decided to try Goldberg's Deli for breakfast because it was the nearest spot open. This was quite good and we had a great waiter (Jake). James was going to have lunch with the guys, so he had only a bagel breakfast biscuit with egg and turkey sausage. He said even the bagel was quite good and he'd like to try an omelet next time. I had challah bread French toast. Oy. Very filling, but excellent.
I hadn't mentioned, but we were in separate cars, since he was heading for lunch and his club meeting. So after Goldbergs we separated, but still went the same way: Roswell Road to East Piedmont, which eventually turns into Barrett Parkway. He went on to Hobbytown whereas I stopped early at Barnes & Noble (I checked out CD Warehouse, but...nothing really). I found the new "Blue Ridge Country," which has an article on the upcoming eclipse, and also picked up, with a coupon, The Stolen Pearl, which is Elizabeth Wein's prequel to Code Name Verity, featuring Julie. Also found a hardback copy of One Hundred and One Dalmatians and a trade paper of Swallows & Amazons at 75 percent off.
I stopped at Academy Sports looking for something, didn't find it, and went on to the Dallas Highway Barnes & Noble because it was on the way home and I wanted to check out their clearance; nothing there. Oh, well.
When I came home I started a different project. This past Tuesday was "Prime Day" on Amazon, sort of a Black Friday sale but in July. The pressure cooker we bought in Helen hadn't worked out (it's possible it just needs a new seal, but it never builds up to pressure), so James was still looking for one. One of the featured buys on Amazon was an InstantPot, a big pressure cooker that was also a slow cooker, rice cooker, oatmeal maker, and it could saute meat before you cooked it in the same pot. I thought it would make a great early birthday gift and ordered it (I also ordered him an early anniversary gift and also a card reader). It came on Thursday and I decided to try it out today just for something basic like slow cooking. I had boneless pork ribs thawed in the refrigerator, pulled them out, and, consulting the manual, set the unit to sauté. I put a tiny bit of olive oil in the container and then browned the pork all over. (Next time I will put the temp on low instead of normal; it started to sizzle and stick the moment the meat hit the metal, but I flipped them over quickly and nothing burned.) Then I shut off the sauté (the manual says the most important button on this unit is the "cancel" button 😀), pulled out the pork, put a teeny bit of water in the bottom to loosen the fond, poured in a small bottle of tomato and basil sauce, put the pork back in, put more sauce in, and left it on "normal" (which is supposed to be low temperature on a slow cooker and is equivalent to 190°F).
The only funny thing about this is that I am so short and the pot is so deep I could not see all the pork while I was sautéing it. So there I was, standing on a stool like Sally from "Dick and Jane" in the kitchen fixing a treat for her dolly (with "Spot" at least looking on).
Did a couple of tidying-up items, and next thing I knew it was dark outside and raining. Turns out James' meeting was short and he just beat the rain in covering up the power chair. By the time he got home from Town Center, it had stopped.
For supper we went up to Fried Tomato Buffet for the chicken and dumplings and the barbecue pork ribs (well, that's what I went for). We came directly home after that.
The gravy was finished in seven hours; it tastes exquisite despite the sugar they put in the base tomato sauce now. (Damn you, Classico!) We will have it for supper some time this week; by then the flavors will have deepened even more.