Saturday, June 30, 2007

Are Four Cats Too Many?

After reading a comment by Nancy, and then checking out her blog, I saw that she had a cat named Smudge. I also have a cat named Smudge, so I thought it would be fun if we posted pictures of our respective Smudges.

This is Smudge.Isn't he cute? You can't really tell from the picture, but he weighs about 15 pounds. We found him when he was a kitten in a neighbors backyard. After looking at some pictures on the web, we think he might be a ragdoll, but it's hard to believe that we just found a ragdoll kitten. He is very territoral and we've probably spent a small fortune in vet bills for him.



This is Mickey.He used to belong to our neighbor, but he decided he liked us better. You can tell he's a love, just by his picture, can't you?



This is Little Bit.



He used to belong to the same neighbor as Mickey, but he also decided he liked us better. He's the most photogenic, and he knows it, he is always ready to pose for a picture.


And last, Scraps, aka Scrappycat.

There she is, helping me sew. She's my favorite. I know you're not supposed to have a favorite, but c'mon, it's like your kids. You know you're not supposed to have a favorite child, but think about it, if you were stranded on a deserted island, which kid would you want with you. See, one pops into your head first, doesn't it? Or maybe not, maybe all your kids are sweet and loving and you can't imagine not having each and every one of them with you. Well, all I've got to say to that is, they probably aren't teenagers yet! Because, believe me, after you go through the teenage years, the one who causes you the least amount of grief gets bumped up to the top of the list.

But back to Scrappycat. She's my baby girl, my sweetie-pie, my sugar plum...you get the picture. But mostly, she is just my baby girl. The only problem is that she is 15 years old, she's on medicine for her heart and her thyroid, so I should probably call her "old lady" not "baby girl". And really, it scares me, how old she is, because I don't know what I will do without her.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Lots of Company at the Bottom of the Pit

I was talking with my 17 year old daughter yesterday. I was bemoaning the fact that I can't write. I think I'm a fairly eloquent speaker. I can be witty, pithy even. But when I sit down to write, nothing...nada. And if something finally does dribble out, it sounds like I'm in third grade. Not that there is anything wrong with third grade (in case any third graders are reading this). Don't want to make my audience angry, not that I have an audience. But I digress, back to my pitiful writing and my uplifting conversation with my daughter.

"I can't write. I sound like I'm in third grade. What is wrong with me?"

"Don't worry, you have lots of company at the bottom of the pit."

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Cherry Chocolate Biscotti

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You know, you can go weeks, months even without thinking of cherries, and then all of a sudden they are front and center two days in a row. Today my daughter and I made one of our favorite recipes a chocolate cherry biscotti from Cooking Light.
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Since it's from Cooking Light, you don't feel too guilty eating them. Normally I don't like desserts with whole wheat flour in them, they just taste too healthy. But you can't really taste it in these. Plus they have chocolate and anything with chocolate is good.

I like to keep them on the counter in a vintage jar that belonged to my husband's grandmother. Don't you love using old things that have been in the family? I know some people like to put old things away so that they don't get damaged or broken, but I want them out to enjoy them. I think that's what his grandmother would have wanted. It makes me smile just to look at it.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Brandy + Cherries = Cherry Brandy

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When Bi-Lo had gorgeous cherries on sale last week, I knew it was time to make brandied cherries. As I searched on the web for brandied cherries, it was a lot more complicated than I remembered. It involved cooking and canning, I was looking for something more like...place cherries in jar, add brandy, and let nature take it's course. I eventually figured out that I didn't want to make brandied cherries, I wanted to make cherry brandy. I'm not sure what the big difference is, other than one is more work than the other. Guess which one I chose?

The recipe that I found that I liked can be found here.

It's really simple, you start with cherries, add sugar, top with brandy, seal and shake. Then in 3-6 months (if we can wait that long), you have cherry brandy (and some fabulous brandy infused cherries).

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To go with the leftover cherries, I made some homemade frozen vanilla yogurt. If you have a kitchen aid mixer, you really have to get the ice cream bowl attachment. It's super simple.
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Monday, June 25, 2007

It Smells Like Wine

Every Sunday, my husband and I sit on our back porch and share a bottle of wine. We don't just share the wine, we pretend that we know what we are doing. We've taken wine tasting classes and learned about the bouquet, the nose, and about all the different scents that we are supposed to be smelling. Currants? Passionfruit? A hint of vanilla? We dutifully write down the vineyard, the varietal, the year of production. We write down our first impressions, the aroma, it's body, it's mouthfeel, all the flavors. Why do we do this...I don't know...perhaps it's because I'm a teacher and I have to turn everything into an education experience, an assignment.

This was this week's wine:



It is 2005 Pighin Pinot Grigio. It's from Italy. According to the back of the bottle, it's delicate bouquet is marked by floral notes which are confirmed on the palate with crisp white fruit flavors balanced by a fresh acidity. All I can say is that it was good. It was very refreshing, sweet, but not too sweet. It was made even more enjoyable by the fact that it began to rain! Rain, real rain, a nice steady quiet rain. While we were drinking this delightful wine, my plants were also having a much needed drink.

To keep our wine chilled, while sitting out on the porch, my husband developed his own wine chiller. He uses an old vintage crock of his grandmothers, he fills it with ice and water and it holds our wine and keeps it the perfect temperature.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Naming a blog

Naming a blog is hard! All the good names are taken. You want it to be an interesting name, profound, be creative, and yet, have meaning. I read a lot of blogs, I read blogs on reading, sewing, cooking, knitting, gardening, fashion...just about everything. I didn't want my blog to be about one thing in particular, mainly because I couldn't live up to the pressure of having something worthy to say about just one of those things everyday. I read about a book a week, and usually about all I can say after I finish a book is "it was good" or "I liked it". I finish sewing something about once a month. I do cook everyday, but it's not always blog worthy. So, the way I see it is that if my blog covers all of my interests, I should have something to say on a regular basis.



So, I begin this blog with why I named it Sidewalk Shoes. First of all, it goes without saying that anything with shoes in it is good for me. But I tried to come up with something meaningful, my husband tried to come up with something meaningful, my cats were no help at all. So, I stood in front of my husband's vast album collection looking for something catchy. I really liked "The angels want to wear my red shoes", but that's kind of long. My husband pulled out "Sidewalk Shoes" by Ed Snodderly. Never heard of him. But I like shoes and like I said anything with shoes in it is good. So, there you have it, Sidewalk Shoes.