Sunday, April 30, 2006

May First

Many people I know, don't have the same opinion as me about undocumented workers, it frustrates me that we cannot come to a meeting of the minds. I have worked side by side with undocumented workers for years. I have applauded their work and cried with them over certain injustices in their lives. And I have said, if hard work was all it took to be "successful", the Mexicans would rule the world. We have a silly mentality in America, that if you work hard and do the right thing all your dreams will come true. And the Mexicans believe that. They do jobs many Americans won't do themselves. They work hard, many of them two jobs, and see very little in the way of "success". Success to them is having their children be able to go to college, serve in the military, purchase a home. They realize their sacrifice will make the lives of their children better. I appreciate their sacrifices.

Shuna, of Eggbeater fame has penned a May 1st post that says everything I would like to say, yet more eloquently than I. Please, go and read it, and try to think about the questions she asks.

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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

What is it?

Heh, hot steam!
Originally uploaded by foodchronicles.
100 points to the first person who can identify this object.

I have just acquired it and am looking forward to years and years of use. It will produce my favorite wintertime comfort.

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Saturday, April 22, 2006

RIP Mr. Wegman

In today's Gourmet News I read about the death of the great Robert Wegman. I quote from the article:

"ROCHESTER, N.Y.-Robert Wegman, chairman of Wegmans Food Markets Inc. and who is credited with transforming the small, family-owned company into one of the most-admired supermarket chains, died April 20 at Strong Memorial Hospital here, according to a company statement. He was 87.

Until recently, Wegman kept a full schedule working in the office and enjoying his favorite pastime of visiting Wegmans stores, according to the statement.

Wegman joined the supermarket chain started by his father and uncle in 1937 and became president in 1950. . He introduced upscale foods such as imported cheeses, more ethnic foods, prepared foods and in-store cafes.

Wegman became chairman in 1969 and his son Danny was named president. Last year, Wegman named Danny chief executive officer and his daughter Colleen president.

There are 70 Wegmans supermarkets in New York, Pennsylvania, New jersey, Virginia and Maryland."

He made a good store great. Many people have fond memories of shopping at Wegman's. He did his company and his customers a great service. His family can be proud of his legacy.

Rest In Peace Mr. Wegman.

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This one's for you, Lilibet

For Elizabeth
Originally uploaded by foodchronicles.
Yesterday was the Lady in blue's birthday. She turned 80. Lilibet, as she was known to close family and firends became queen in 1953 after the death of her father. She was 26 years old. Her life has been spent in the public eye since.

Happy Birthday HRH Queen Elizabeth II.

The palace has put together a pretty neat webpage in celebration of the Queen's 80th birthday. Elizabeth's 80th has a ton of pictures and facts regarding her reign. I learned something interesting about her on my first visit there. She visited South Africa in 1947 as Princess Elizabeth. She did not return until 1995, after apartheid was abolished.

It's a great site and lots to see and learn. You can even send her a birthday postcard if you wish.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Now this is just sad!

My number 2 daughter sent me the link to this story about a diner's mascot: Turkey Shoot. I cannot imagine what happened at the diner after it was all over! Eeeek! is what must have been said while witnessing the carnage.

This must be KUTV's new of the weird column. Check the story on the right in the small box. Man going door to door. Free exams! Whoa! I hope no one took him up on it.

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Monday, April 17, 2006

Heartbeat Bowl

Thanks to my blog and blingo friend Josh at AmishRobot, I have found a new kind of bowl for the kitchen. It actually could be used as a party starter. Fill it with water and entertain your friends without doing any cooking at all!

Herz Fassen has a bowl that will pick up your heartbeat, and when filled with water, the bowl shows your heart beat in the ripples of the water until it subsides. Pretty cool. So for you non cooks out there, here's a way of getting a party going without the hassle of cooking! ;-)

(photo courtesy of Herz Frassen)

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Box 'o cupcakes

Box 'o cupcakes
Originally uploaded by foodchronicles.
It's their third anniversary. You know, part of the lean years. But much love is to be celebrated. Why not a couple of small cakes, and a whole bunch of cupcakes for our well wishers?

It did the trick. A bride and groom still remembering the sweetness of the day, three years ago.

Love cupcakes

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Sunday, April 16, 2006

Easter morn

Easter morn
Originally uploaded by foodchronicles.
Good Morning all. Easter morn is one of great reflection for me. The memories of years gone past are strong with the traditions of the world. We would wait with anticipation for the basket and chocolate bunnies. Marshmallow eggs. Mmmmm.

I am glad to know that the bunnies and eggs aren't the reason for celebration. I am grateful for the knowledge of my Savior and redeemer. I wish you all peace this Easter morn.

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Naturally dyed eggs

Naturally dyed eggs
Originally uploaded by foodchronicles.
The four eggs in the forefront of the picture are the dyed eggs. The black looking ones are the blueberry dyed eggs and the two on either side of the black are those dyed with a combination of cayenne and paprika. They have light brown specs throughout. Each egg dyed had band of lighter color. I didn't do anything special to the egg to get the bands. I am assuming that was a result of the chicken who laid them.

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Monday, April 10, 2006

It's easter egg time!

I love dying eggs. When the girls were at home, we would get the dye and the wax and the bowls and all the cool stuff to dye eggs every year. We would come up with some very interesting looking eggs for deviled eggs or potato salad. Am I making you hungry #1, 2 or 3? Yep this year we're doing a few for deviled eggs.

I wanted to try something a bit different. I love natural dyes. I have been fascinated for years, and I'm going to buy one the next time I go to Flagstaff, with a woven wall art done by Native American artists showing the natural source for the color of the wool woven into the piece. I really like the fact that you don't have to go buy a special kit to make colored eggs.

Naturally dyed eggs can be fun. My favorite looking natural dye is onion skins. It gives the eggs a marbelized look. Here's a list of other items you can pull from the cupboard to color eggs.

Color Source (These amounts will color approximately 6 eggs):
Orange: Paprika, 4 tablespoons per quart of water
Blue: Red cabbage, about 4 cups, shredded, per quart of water
Red: Pomegranate juice in place of water OR 4 cups red onion skins
Pink: Cranberry juice in place of water OR 4 cups shredded beets per quart of
Green: Spinach (fresh or frozen), 4 cups per quart of water
Ocher: Onion skins, 4 cups of the dry outer skins
Mocha: 1 quart of strongly brewed coffee in place of water

How To:
There are two ways to color eggs with natural dyes: boiling and cold dipping.
Boiling allows dyes to penetrate the eggshell and results in darker, more even
colors. The cold-dip method can be better if you want to eat the eggs and
safer if children are helping out.
Boil Method:
Place 6-8 eggs in a single layer in a large pot and add enough water to cover
eggs by one inch. Add some white vinegar (2 tablespoons per quart of water).
Add dye ingredients (up to 4 cups vegetable solids or 3-4 tablespoons of a
colorful spice, like paprika or turmeric, per quart of water or replace water with
any all-liquid ingredient) and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and simmer for
20-30 minutes. The motion of the eggs in the boiling water ensures that the
color will be even on the egg. The resulting egg will be very hard-boiled and
inedible, as it picks up the flavor of the dye.

Cold-Dip Method:
Combine dye materials, vinegar,and water in the same proportions as the boil
method above, in a large pot. Simmer 20-30 minutes, then strain and cool. Dip
hard-boiled eggs in cold dye until desired color is achieved, soaking
anywhere from 5 minutes to several hours in the refrigerator. Turn eggs
occasionally to ensure even dyeing. Dry on paper towels or in egg cartons.

I tried a couple of others tonight. Blueberries and chili powder. The blueberry ones turned out almost black. The chili powder a slight tan color. In the daylight I will photograph them and post tomorrow.

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We've done a couple of other cakes too

whimsy cake
Originally uploaded by foodchronicles.
Not only do we do weddings, but also birthday and shower cakes all week too. So here are a few of those.

Most people have an idea of what they want but occasionally they'll say these are the colors, do what you want. Those are the tough ones. Then you have the cakes where they know exactly what they want.

The whimsy cake is one of those. The mom came in to order the cake and asked if we could do it. Of course, I said. WHen we got it done, you always wonder if it is what they wanted. When picked up the daughter, whose cake this was, shrieked :It's exactly what I wanted! We're so not cutting it!" That's why we do this.

Two others:

Times three

Baby Shower

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Sunday, April 09, 2006

Lavendar and Ivory

Lavendar and Ivory
Originally uploaded by foodchronicles.
This is cake 2 of four. The bride wanted a simple design with lavendar ribbon borders. Easily done.

This is cake number one. We didn't like it but it's what the bride requested. We were just hoping we could have put the little dots on all three layers to add some continuity.

2nd cake of the weekend

This was everyone's favorite. S'mee came to do the scroll work. It is so easily done for her. She shrugs her shoulders and says, "it's so easy, I don't know why everyone is so impressed." Well, yeah we could have done it. But it would have taken us twice as long. With four cakes to do, we we very glad she was there! We smoothed it and got it ready for decoration and borders. S'mee did the rest.
Another shot

Here's a close-up.
Close up of s'mee's work

The fourth cake wasn't photographed because we had to finish it on site. Pics will be available some time next week for it.


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Berry time

Berry time
Originally uploaded by foodchronicles.
More pics of the berries.

Rows and rows


Mmmmm Strawberries

I'll post the wedding cakes later tonight. Click on the photos, the flickr versions are larger, and really show you great detail.

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A little eye candy

Chocoalte Strawberries
Originally uploaded by foodchronicles.
I know I haven't been posting very often. It's just that our wedding season has begun. We did four wedding cakes for Saturday this week and that takes up a lot of time.

Saturday mornign i also had an order for 3 dozen Chocolate Dipped Strawberries. I had finished a tray of them and had to grab my camera. You see the result here.

I'll post some others too.

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Saturday, April 01, 2006

A little something in the mail!

I came home the other day to a surprise. I love surprises. Occasionally, someone special will think of you and send you something you never expect. On this day, it was my turn to receive a gift in the mail unexpectedly. My #1 daughter sent me three new books. Yay! Two wonderful books about chocolate. One is quite amusing. It's a chocolate therapy book. As my husband is the therapist in the family, it is quite fun to have a new way of analyzing my personality.

But the best of all is a book I have just recently noticed. Who could not notice it though?

Could anyone avoid the allure of hot pink? Of those beautiful stripes? And best of all it is written by Mich Turner. Her work is excellent. In the book she is willing to give away her secrets of all those wonderful cakes she has become famous for making. I am so happy to have this book in my collection. It will quickly become a dogeared, butter stained, chocolate drizzled favorite! Amazon has 21 used to pick from and at quite a price. Go buy one! Or maybe a book fairy will wander your way too!

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