Friday, December 21, 2018

A Simple, Elegant Dessert

I began to reconsider traditional holiday baking when I realized that something that makes me sick and fat might not be a treat. For dessert on Christmas eve, I like to serve half a very good pear with the center filled with the best chocolate sauce I can lay my hands on. A piece of shortbread on the side and a little cup of the best coffee I can field round out the experience, as does a presentation of other small goodies like fine chocolates, marzipan, and choice nuts. Absent a carefully home-ripened pear, a canned one from a premium commercial brand does very well -30-
More after the jump.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

The Tickle Tree

My childhood pack of buddies centered on three brothers whose mother kept the show sane and balanced. When she realized an ordinary Christmas tree with its fragile glass ornaments lasted ten minutes in the hands of her two year old, Maggie switched to blue spruce with its needle-sharp leaves. My own son gave blue spruce the name in the title.

Spruce proved good at repelling my family's rambunctious Siamese kitten some years later.The cats are an arboreal guardian breed developed to patrol the roof beams of temples. 


Spruce is easy to decorate: just stuff dried flowers into the dense branches after the lights are up -30-
More after the jump.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Nimble Space

The latinate terms for furniture translate to "movables". It's an efficient attitude that blows away the dormant behemoths of the interior nineteenth century. Over the years, I have rid the household of nearly all furniture that I can't move by myself. With small furnishings stored in one room on each floor, the rooms are spare and inventory interchangeable. When a new demand on the space materializes, I can reconfigure a room single-handed in about ten minutes. Super slick hard nylon sliders for furniture feet are the key to this particular mint. They act as wheels, protecting floors and old glue joints in furniture -30-

More after the jump.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

In Lieu of Waxed Paper

I bought a set of silicone pan liners and then promptly stopped baking because a superb facility opened around the corner. I use a small microwave and freestanding oven. It's convenient to park things on their tops. The silicone sheets make good non-skid pads for preps and dishes that I set on the small appliances -30-
More after the jump.

Monday, December 17, 2018

A Cautious Approach

Recent hard weather generated a wardrobe reconfiguration. The exercise happened to coincide with a lengthy browse in an unfamiliar glossy fashion title, so unfamiliar I still haven't located the masthead on the thing. That said, I'm always grateful to see photo coverage that makes the style mysteries of the Ave a little more accessible. I enjoy the bulky layering of current runway presentations. 


I was able to pare a few variables off the surface of my inventory. A second browse in a glossy shelter just now reminded me of an old-school design limitation instilled by my grandmother: avoid machine embroidery and machine-made lace. I still can't bring myself to deploy that kind of ornament. Ignoring it lays a simple foundation in the wardrobe and frees money for good fabric -30- 
More after the jump.