Friday, January 22, 2010

When my husband took me to Brasil for the first time (in case you are wondering, I spell Brasil the way Brasilians spell it, since I am married to one) he introduced me to plantains. I knew about them and had probably even eaten them here in the states, but in Brasil I learned how to cook them. And I love them! Thus the title of the post: plantains two ways-for breakfast and desert.

Unlike bananas, plantains are ripe when they begin to begin to blacken and are soft when you give them a gentle squeeze.

To cook your plantains for breakfast, cut them into 3 pieces. Place them in a pot of water and bring to a boil.

Your plantains will be ready when the flesh of the banana extends beyond the skin. Remove from the water and simply peel and eat!

To fry plantains, cut your plantain in half and then peel and slice likewise.

Fry in canola oil in a regular frying pan. You want a good coating of oil in the pan, but you don't want the oil to go any higher than halfway up the side of the banana.

When the bananas are browned on both sides, remove them from the pan and place on paper towels to drain the excess grease. Transfer them to a plate and sprinkle liberally with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar.

Eat the plantains while hot! This is one of our favorite snacks.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Bibliophile

Do I have a problem with bibliophilism? Do I have bibliophilistic tendencies? You bet. I share with you the mess in my den. They are

I weeded.

I arranged my books by height so I can stack smaller ones on top. I made a lot of progress. Here is my semi-organized bookshelf. I'm so proud. :-)

And then there's the box of books I forgot I owned.


Friday, January 15, 2010


I got to spend some quality time with my friend Julie this week. We were staying in a nice hotel laying in our own personal queen beds and talking about childhood memories. Julie tells me one about watching an elephant on television. The elephant's name was Beachball... long story short, Julie's mom is yelling at the t.v., "Run, Beachball, run!" All that is to tell you why elephants are on my mind.

When you combine elephants and poety, you get one of my favorite poems. I don't even know who introduced me to this poem, but I know I was young and even then my sense of whimsy won out. Here goes...

Once there was an elephant,
Who tried to use the telephant—
No! no! I mean an elephone
Who tried to use the telephone—
(Dear me! I am not certain quite
That even now I've got it right.)
Howe'er it was, he got his trunk
Entangled in the telephunk;
The more he tried to get it free,
The louder buzzed the telephee—
(I fear I'd better drop the song
Of elephop and telephong!)
-Laura Elizabeth Richards

Still on the subject of elephants, this is where I would go if I had a bucket list. Maybe I should start one and make this first on the list-an elephant sanctuary where you can volunteer to work with elephants. It sounds like a little bit of heaven.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Expiration FAIL

I decided to make supper tonight... The way I said that made it sound like it was a big decision, but it wasn't really. I've been wanting to have gluten-free gnocchi with homemade pasta sauce for some time now. And I finally had the time. I cooked some bacon (slightly expired but unopened-it smelled fine, so I used it.) I sauteed the onion that looked like it might only make it a couple of more days. I diced the garlic (the first two cloves were yellow and wilty-I threw them away). It was time for the tomato sauce! I casually checked the date and it said 2007. EXPIRATION FAIL.
I will used expired foodstuffs provided they smell and look okay, but I drew the line at 3 years. So I looked in my fridge for a substitute and found slightly expired Prego spaghetti sauce. I did the smell test and into the pan it went. Why was I making homemade pasta sauce to begin with? Because I didn't want Prego. Oh well. I added some tomato juice and some sugar to spice things up, tossed in the gnocchi and voila-supper was served... with peas that I put up myself last spring. I think they were the only non-expired ingredient I used. Just a note though... if you are a scientist and think I will die from everything I just ate, don't leave a comment. I don't want to know!