Please forgive the delay in getting my blog up in January. We bought a new computer and it took some time getting used to it. We were following our third daughter’s advice that PCs were easy to learn. Maybe so, but not for us!
I’m feeling obsolete these days. There was our computer-learning problems and then my four-year-old granddaughter asking me what an iron is. Apparently our children’s generation does not iron, at least at our youngest daughter’s house. Oldest daughter says she never buys anything that needs ironing or dry cleaning.
My plan while Pat is “working” in Las Vegas for four days is to catch up on my ironing. I’m looking forward to turning on the TV or CD player and enjoying the quiet and repetitious pushing the iron back and forth over a zillion shirts Pat seems to have worn over the last week or so.
According to another granddaughter, there are other things that are no longer even taught in high school. Grandfather Pat was telling her that he recommended that she take shorthand before she heads off to college next year. She informed him that there are no shorthand classes at her school; they use their I-Pods to record the lectures. And no typing class; it is now called Keyboarding. I can’t feel bad about the demise of shorthand, but it was a major part of my high school days. Actually, I never used shorthand in the working world. Luckily my various bosses preferred to write their letters and then give them to me to type. However, I did need shorthand to pass the test to get the job.
I do love my computer and do not regret the loss of the typewriter. I can move things around, delete errors and even long-winded prose on my computer. Yeah, I do that sometimes. Actually, I still use a typewriter because I have never learned to address envelopes on the computer.
My computer makes my writing Christmas letters easy. I send out Christmas letters and am a strong defender of them. I enjoy hearing from old friends and I hope they enjoy hearing from us. Nothing makes me madder than a signed Christmas card and no personal message of what is happening in their lives. Of course, at our age, no card at all sends my mind reeling with all sorts of bad things that could have happened.
I want to thank Bracy H. for the kind words about my blogs. Also, Tim R. wrote to ask if Pat gets letters from folks who write that he has inspired them to try writing themselves and then send their humor writings for him to critique. Yes, he does and yes, they do. Are they awful? Humor writing is harder to do than readers imagine. Unfortunately, he doesn’t get around to answering their letters quite as often as I’m sure they would like.
2007 was a busy one for Pat with two books out and the resulting book tours and promotion. Now he is busy working on another Bo Tully mystery and his Outdoor Life columns. We do want him to continue working on both of those since that is what pays the bills. Please be patient, in a slow-writing time I am sure he will answer your letters and even critique some of your stories.
A fair warning to all you husbands and lovers: Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Although you may consider it just another day, your sweetheart thinks it is a very important day, with a capital “I”. Patrick is not good at this and has even forgotten our anniversary that is also in February. He hasn’t lately, but I think his daughters make sure he doesn’t. I always send our four daughters Valentines. Sometimes a husband or special friend is not in the picture, but they always get a gift letting them know they are special .
On Valentine’s Day I plan to make my favourite banana cream pie for my special guy. My mother was a great pie maker and this was one of my favourites. She made it all from scratch, no mixes or pre-made pie crust for her.
Mom’s Pie Crust
1 cup lard, salt 2 cups of flour cold water
Makes a double crust. (Not specific enough for me. I’ll use the next recipe. I’ve given you this pie crust recipe before but it is a keeper.)
Never Fail Pie Crust St. Joseph’s Catholic 75th Jubilee 1907-1982 Cookbook, Sandpoint, ID 3 cups flour 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup shortening ½ cube margarine (1/4 cup) 3 teaspoons vinegar (I use cider) 1 beaten egg 4 tablespoons cold water
Mix first four ingredients together. To the beaten egg, add vinegar and water. Mix into flour mixture. Roll thin. Makes one crust. Bake 475 degrees 8 to 10 minutes.
Vanilla Pudding Recipe from my trusty Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook 1968
¾ cup sugar 2 tablespoons cornstarch 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 cups milk 2 slightly beaten egg yolks or 1 well-beaten egg 2 tablespoons butter or margarine 1 teaspoon vanilla
In sauce pan, blend sugar, cornstarch and salt; add milk. Cook and stir over medium heat till thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Remove from heat.
Stir small amount of hot mixture into beaten yolks (or beaten egg); return to hot mixture; cook and stir 2 minutes more. Remove from heat; add butter and vanilla. Pour over sliced bananas in baked pie crust. Serve with whipped cream (no store-bought “real cream” in a propellant container).
Enjoy and I hope someone special thinks of you on your Valentine’s Day.
(LOL means Laugh Out Loud for my non-texting readers.)
© 2009 Darlene McManus. All Rights Reserved.