Monday Thingits

Here is this week’s muffin offering: Squash Muffinous sub species Freezer clean-outis. I’m not particularly wanting to showcase the muffins here, although they did turn out mighty fine if I may say so, nor am I wanting to showcase the world’s ugliest plate pattern ever (Mmm! Geometric black and teal! Shut-up about my plates, I love them in all their ugliness). The star of this pic is what the muffins are sitting on: An honest to goodness bona fide cooling rack (of doom). Whooo! And the fans went wild (all one of them), whooping it up and trashing the place! Hooooo! Hoooo!

This outburst of wild enthusiasm may make more sense if you realized I have been baking for years (practically decades….wait a minute…GAH! It HAS been decades (two plus a few years) since I donned the baking mantle. Ouch, I feel old) and using roasting/grilling racks for cooling racks. Cakes, cookies, muffins, breads, whatever needed to be sat upon a wire rack deelie and cooled had, up until this weekend, sat on all sorts of shapes and sizes of racks better served sitting in a roasting pan. Let me tell you, they don’t make a roasting pan in nearly the shape needed for cooling two 10 inch cakes so consequently, they don’t make the racks the right size either. Since I’ve moved in with TheMan, my more or less sort of square and semi serviceable roasting racks have gone AWOL (I think they are downstairs, but so are the crack crazy blood sucking sneak bastard crickets) and I have been pressing his 10 inch oval roasting rack into cooling rack service. About an inch of cake hangs off of that sucker on the short axis and forget cooling a batch of muffins. So YAY on the new purchase!

It’s the little things in life.

Anyway, so I made Unidentified Freezer Squash/Fresh Acorn Squash muffins yesterday, having discovered a tupper in the freezer full of, err…some sort of ruddy yellow cooked squash. Don’t ask, I don’t remember but the muffins tasted good and we got a tad bit more space in the freezer. Plus, I have just completed a scientific experiment to prove that you can freeze cooked squash for a year or so with no determent to the squash (as far as muffins go, I didn’t heat it up to eat it as squash). Good to know. We get the freezer chest this pay period and it is squash season. Yum yum!

Fun things have been happening! First of all, it is officially fall because I went out to a cider mill place this Saturday. DQ and I took a jaunt to Wassem’s farms to pick up cider, plums, squash and donuts because you gotta do the donuts if you are at the mill and getting the cider. I think it is an unwritten rule of cider milling. Unfortunately, they had a bad year for plums (only harvested a bushel and sold them out before we got there…and we went on opening day before noon!) and had no squash but we got the cider and donuts. But first, the adventure in getting there.

TheMan printed out some MapQuest directions that sucked giant stinky donkey ass to the point that they were actually funny. They include two maps: One overview map that almost included Detroit and stoped five miles short of Flint with this giant pink path line that is about half a county wide. OK, for real they included a 20 mile radius from the trip path (which was a giant pink three or four block line) that included a whole fleet of other towns twice as far away as the mill was. Yes please! I would love to see the relationship of a mill between Milan and Ann Arbor with respect to Jackson. The other map, which was actually a pair of maps, was a start point map and an end point map and covered less than a block each. Very helpful if I can’t figure out how to get out of my driveway and to the next block, not so much if I need to drive any further. Likewise for the endpoint destination. The printed directions were a bunch of goof too, taking this road here to that road there and part of this way to over here and then turn there for three feet and turn again and oi! It turns out, it is simpler to get there than I first thought. Get to the expressway road, but don’t exit onto the expressway, turn right a block later, stay on that road for ever, turn down the cider mill road. No drive here and there and this and that, just bippity-bamn and you are there. MapQuest is officially on Crack! And many kudos to DQ for finding the better way.

Now let me wax poetic on the donuts because all you other cider mills can learn a lesson from Wassem’s. Most of the mills around here offer up your two basic kinds of donuts: Plain and cinnamon. Wassem’s has plain donuts in plain, cinnamon, chocolate frosted and glazed. Plus (oh yes, there is more), they have a blueberry batter (plain, glazed, cinnamon sugar), a pumpkin batter (plain, glazed, cinnamon sugar) AND apple batter (plain, glazed, maple glazed, cinnamon sugar). Plus PLUS they make them all fresh, perhaps out of pure lard (they rated an 8 on the Egekvist Donut scale), and they have the coolest donut stick for retrieving them. We bought a dozen and a half of assorted donut goodness and happily packed all our stuff up and toted it home.

TheMan, meanwhile, did all the dishes (I love that man!) and set up to do apple wine. Yum. We are trying something a little different this batch and testing out brown sugar for our sugar choice for winemaking. The color is noticeably darker and our first batch of yeast up and died (TheMan theorized that the cider sugar mixture was too cold and our poor yeasties died. We also had a defective water lock so maybe some yeasts were working but we couldn’t tell) but other than that, it’s pretty much apple wine 04.

Mr. Paul came over for apple wine making (or yaking in the kitchen while TheMan did the wine, because apple wine truly is that easy. Two people just get in each other’s way if they are both trying to make the wine) and then grilling. We had (Oooo! Food again!) chicken marinated in the bean salad juice and it was tres fantastique. Sweet, tangy, spicy, Mmmm! We also baked up some taters to go along with the chicken, in fine grilling tradition, and they were very tasty too. One thing we discovered is that we really need a little grill table to put the condiments and plates on because the hood of an F-150 is sloped just a tad too much to be pressed into table service. I’m just sayin.

Sunday was muffin makin day and not tomato sauce makin day even though I did most of all of Saturday’s dishes in order to clear some space and get to the pan I wanted to use. Apparently someone used up the last of the garlic in the making of homemade salsa and didn’t tell me or put garlic on the list so I could pick up some Saturday when I shopped. Hrrrm! No big, we picked up some on the way to Dirge and Shar’s for some D&D 3.5 edition play testing action.

Let me just preface now that I totally ROCK the DM suckage and leave it at that. My brain just does NOT get some of the more drastic changes yet and I can not for the life of me put my plork around the fact that there are no more dex checks anymore. Reflex, reflex, reflex! BAH! Oh, and DC numbers. Fucking DC numbers. First of all, some of them are completely out of left field while others are the duhh news. For a DM, everything now is pretty tightly linked to DC numbers and saves. HATE!. I did learn, much to my relief, that casters need to figure out what their own DC number is for any spells they cast and then inform the DM what to roll against. My poor overworked plork started hissing ominously when I realized the bad guys needed to roll against something for a spell TheMan’s character cast but what? I HAD NO CLUE!

Don’t even start on about feats.

All in all the play testing went s-l-o-w but we learned a lot of stuff. How much of it sticks remains to be seen but I think I feel a little bit better about the new system.

Last year at the booniverse: Musta been bakin cuz I wasn’t updatin!

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