Monday, September 17, 2007

Driving Miss Sweet Tooth

So much for trying to make plans. All last week I was looking forward to going to the chili cook-off in Rodeo. But then I got a phone call from my father Friday evening. He wanted not one but two favors. The first was that I would need to drive my aunt to Sacramento for my stepmother's surprise party on Saturday. The other was to act as tour guide for a cousin who will be arriving in town later today. I agreed to both and he said, "Don't worry. I'll take care of you."

Now I had been planning to attend the party for my stepmother all along. The plan was to hit the chili cook-off and then head to Sacramento. A nice straight path. But my aunt is staying with my other aunt in Oakland -- opposite direction of travel. I figured it would add about 45 minutes or so to my drive. I was wrong. What should have been about a 20 minute drive became a 45 minute drive. Friggin' football season. Now I remember why I don't try to stray too far from home on Saturdays this time of year. Luckily when we arrived at the party, I realized that another guest lives near that area of Oakland. She kindly returned my aunt home so that I would be saved that additional driving. Just as well. I didn't get home from Sacramento until midnight. The thought of extra driving probably would have put me over the edge.

And now back to my father's comment. I had kind of assumed that I would get some cash to help defray the costs of carting around relatives. I guess I was mistaken because I only left Sacramento with some birthday cake. Hello people. I don't have a job currently. Funds are kind of limited.

Speaking of jobs, I had my final interview on Friday. I am supposed to hear back from them today. I really need the cash so I'll probably accept it if offered. Which meant that I had to spend yesterday playing with my old budget worksheet, just in case, since the job pays much less than I have received in many years. One can only hopes that something else comes along quickly.

But onto the really important stuff. My aunt purposefully did not eat much at dinner on Saturday. Why? Because she wanted dessert and she's diabetic, as many folks in my family are. And lately I've been having lots of sweet cravings. I thought the yogurt would take care of it but it hasn't. So I set to work yesterday.

I had some leftover rice in the fridge. I'm not a huge fan of rice and eat it sparingly. But there's one way that I will wolf it down.

Rice pudding

In the past I have always done the baked version. This time around I did a little research and did a stovetop version instead. The rice was cooked up with milk, sugar, and cardamom. Many of the recipes I read said to add the spices right before serving. I'm used to the baked puddings in which the spices are added before cooking and so I did it the same way this time. When it was almost done I added more milk, an egg, and some golden raisins. Once cooked, I stirred in some butter and vanilla. I think I'll be using this method more often in the future since I like the consistency.

And there was a reason why I wanted to try the stovetop version. The oven was otherwise occupied.

Pear apple cobbler

The filling is simply pears and apples cooked in butter. Then add sugar, a little flour, cinnamon, half and half, and apple juice. The crust is a drop dough with loads of sharp cheddar cheese.

I think I've finally satisfied my sweet tooth.

After all of this I remembered that I had completely forgotten about dinner. Just fried calamari rings and fried plantain. And a cocktail. Thank you, Buzzgirl. And then I thought about taking a photo of the cocktail but there were some technical difficulties.

The reason why I always have 409 with Bleach on hand. Because I don't want to worry about getting cat butt on my food and utensils.

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