“I go hunt for chocolate bars! They’re haunting my sweet tooth and I will not let them win. I don’t have to don witch hats for trick or treat. My eyeglasses are enough.” - Grandma Glasses.
“I’m good,but I could be meaner.. just try.” – phwriter11
My life is not your life,
And cookies in my cookie box
Are not yours either.
So who are you to judge me?
I ain’t done you no harm,
So why piss me?
Life is too short
So why bother?
It took me quite a while to write about our trekking. I say Grandma Glasses had a fun day! Half the day spent at the park and the carnival with the grannykids was FUN! A well deserved year starter I might say. And I managed to get more than five hundred photos in my gallery! Here’s a few of my favorites.. (I don’t mind if you don’t like them the way I do.) But hey, life is good..
It just hit me.. New Year’s Resolution : Start the Tradition, HUG A TREE :)
HAPPY NEW YEAR! Greeting the year 2014 with high spirits! With all the challenges of last year, I look forward to a more glorious year ahead.
Top on my to-do list is resume my writing. And to start the year I have come up with a word :
pasyalpasyalitis – extremely contagious state of mind, with symptoms of progressive frenzy for to-do-and-where-to-go list. If symptoms persists, go out and have some air.
I gotta go. I will tell you more about today’s adventure when I get back. I don’t want to miss the carpool. See you!
Oh where! Oh where is my Carica Papaya?
“Going green is nice, but when others are quick to harvest the fruits of your papaya tree.. it’s not nice.” – phwriter11
PLANT NAME: Carica papaya L.
COMMON NAMES: Mïkana, hë’ï [Hawai'i]; papaya [English]; papaw [Eclectics]; mamaeiro (plant), mamao (fruit) [Brazil]; ababaï [Caribbean]; fruta de bomba [Cuba]; esi[Samoa]; lesi [Tonga]; ‘I’ita [Tahiti]; weleti [Fiji]; nita [Cook Islands].
USE AS FOOD:
Papaya fruit is made into candies, syrup, and numerous beverages. There are 119 calories per papaya. The green fruit is boiled as a vegetable and eaten with limejuice and sugar. The leaves and flower buds are sometimes used as food, but this may be a dangerous practice because of digestive enzymes in the plant. Water used for boiling should be changed numerous times.
To successfully grow Papayas, you need a frost free climate, lots of sunlight, lots of water and good soil. If you give your plant all of these conditions, then you can grow a papaya from seed and generally have fruit in 6 to 12 months.
Harvesting: Generally, fruit is picked when there is 1/5 to 1/3 color change in the fruit. After picking, keep at room temperature to fully ripen. Ripe fruit will keep 4 to 7 days in the refrigerator.
Both green papaya fruit and the tree’s latex are rich in papain, a protease used for tenderizing meat and other proteins.
However, the papaya can be a finicky plant… Papayas are easy to grow, but not necessarily so easy to keep alive and get good fruit from. Papaya trees are very, very hungry. That means they need very good soil, rich in organic matter and nutrients. If the weather is warm enough, and if you are growing your papayas in full sun and in good soil, then you could be picking the first ripe fruit within 10 months.
Young papayas are the most productive. The older a papaya plant gets, the weaker it becomes. It will produce less and smaller fruit, and it may get problems with diseases. Also, because the plants keep growing taller it gets harder to reach the fruit.
Papayas fruit all year round, as long as the weather is warm enough. Keep them happy and they will keep fruiting. Just keep planting more. Put in another patch every few months. That way you always have some healthy and productive plants around, and you don’t need a ladder to pick the fruit.
Did I mention how I have planted papaya seeds in the vacant lot next to ours? Well, they are now bearing fruits. And it’s nice to see the trees growing taller with its clustered fruits too. My Carica Papaya trees are the dwarf papaya kind. I might admit they are good ones. I would have loved to see them change their color from green to light yellow to orange. But to my dismay, this morning four fruits were gone! Someone was quick to pick and harvest the fruits of my papaya tree.
Last year, we threw some seeds to just let them grow on a vacant lot next to ours, just to see how good the soil is. We wanted to make use of the vacant lot to grow something green. And it very rewarding to know that the soil is indeed very rich. It has been my survival tree, providing me fruits that I use in my cooking.
However, it’s a little disappointing too. Yes we planted them on a vacant lot, so that makes it open to the unwelcome harvesters. Sad that we don’t have space around the house. It’s the challenge of growing a tree and having a good harvest. When you have a big tree and bears fruit during the season.. magnifico! And looking up wondering how to harvest those on top.. amazing!
Maybe I should plant more trees, so others can have a papaya party. Planting good seeds is a good deed. At least I have made some contribution to the “feeding program” in our neighborhood. For now my task is to find an effective way to keep those papaya trees safe from unwelcome harvesters. Any ideas ?
Creativity is best appreciated when you make mistakes with your recipe and still manage to bake a delicious cake. – PhWriter11
I like baking from scratch. I like challenging myself every time I tweak the recipe to include what is available in my pantry. Today I only have a handful of basic ingredients, including the leftover grated coconut from my homemade virgin coconut oil project. I have two easy recipes to share today, and a cake and two dozen cookies to enjoy.- Grandma Glasses 06.23.13 01:57
Recipe #1 MAYONNAISE COCONUT and DARK CHOCOLATE COOKIES
½ c grated coconut , toasted
½ c dark chocolate, chopped
1 c wash sugar
2 c all purpose flour
1 c mayonnaise
½ c yoghurt or ½ cup sourcream milk
( I used blueberry flavored yoghurt)
¼ c virgin olive oil
1 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
Mix together dry ingredients : flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Add mayonnaise, vanilla , olive oil and yoghurt. Mix together very well. Add coconut and chocolate until combined. Shape into walnut sized balls. Place about an inch apart on a greased cookie sheet. Press with a fork or finger. Bake 12 minutes in 350F oven. Cool and transfer.
Recipe #2 DELICIOUS MOIST DARK CHOCOLATE CAKE with PISTACHIO-CHOCOLATE GANACHE
2 c flour
125 g dark chocolate, chopped
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 c milk or 1 c sour cream milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 c wash sugar
2 tsp baking soda
½ c oil ( I used 1/3 c vegetable oil + ¼ olive oil)
½ c hot espresso coffee ( 2 tbsp instant coffee +1/2 c hot water)
2 eggs ( 1 egg + 1 tsp vinegar )
HOW TO MAKE THE CAKE
- Preheat oven 350F. Grease and lightly flour 9-inch cake pan.
- Sift flour, baking soda, salt in a large mixing bowl.In a mug, microwave chocolate for 1 min or until slightly melted. Add hot espresso and stir until chocolate dissolves. Set aside.
- In another bowl, whisk together sugar and egg. Pour in oil, vinegar, vanilla and chocolate- coffee mixture.
- Gradually add dry ingredients to chocolate mixture. Continue whisking until combined.
- Beat all together. This will be very thin. Pour in greased baking pan.
- Bake 30 minutes at 350F. DO NOT OVERBAKE OR IT WILL NOT HAVE THAT WONDERFUL MOISTNESS.
- When cake is completely cooled, frost with your favorite buttercream or icing.
FILLING AND FROSTING
1 pack unflavored gelatin dissolved in ¼ c hot water
1½ c powder sugar
1 tbsp instant coffee
¼ c warm milk
½ c heavy cream
2 tbsp cocoa powder
100 g dark chocolate
3 tbsp butter
1 cup pistachio nuts, coarsely crushed
In a small bowl, dissolve gelatin in hot water. Mix warm milk and set aside.
In another medium bowl, mix ¼ c cream and ½ c sugar until blended. Add instant coffee, cocoa powder and continue whisking until smooth. Add gelatin mix and whisk until smooth and no lumps. Set aside.
On a bain-marie , melt 100g dark chocolate and butter. Add the remaining 1/4 c cream and continue stirring until smooth and blended. Pour chocolate mixture into a bowl and cool slightly. Gradually add remaining 1 cup confectioner’s sugar. Continue whisking until smooth. Add coffee-chocolate-gelatin mix and continue whisking until icing is creamy. You can use this as filling and frosting.
But I can’t just stop with a cake base. Although it looks good as it is, I had to make some frosting. Icing always gives a cake an oomph factor, both visually and gastronomically
TO FROST CAKE:
Slice cake into two layers. Pour and spread chocolate filling on bottom layer. Put top layer and continue frosting using spatula. Sprinkle pistachio nuts and drizzle top with chocolate.Put in fridge to set.
I finished half a cup of the ganache while testing its consistency and taste. I was curious if the ganache in the bowl would taste the same as that on the bain marie. I really don’t know what taste I am looking for while I was comparing the warm ganache on the bain marie and that cooling in the bowl. I knew they would taste the same. The only difference is the consistency of the ganache as it starts to cool. Funny how I had to taste one and the other a couple of times before spreading it on the cake. I have to be familiar with the taste in every throughout the baking process. It’s obviously a cure for chocoholics’ sugar rush.
After about two hours, I decided to check the cake. A poke here and a poke there,yes it is ready.
I am sure this Moist Dark Chocolate Cake with Pistachio and Chocolate Ganache will be an all time favorite.. – Grandma Glasses
I give more than two hundred percent of my attention when I am with my grandchildren. When my back aches, it’s a different story. ~ Grandma Glasses
An hour with your grandchildren can make you feel young again. Anything longer than that, and you start to age quickly. ~Gene Perret
Yesterday was just as vigorous as attending a zumba class. I was crawling, bending, twisting my hips, clapping my hands, doing twirls, sitting down , walking around, doing hand movements , making wobbly strides, singing , shouting, giggling and laughing. I must have burned a thousand calories and stretched a hundred muscles on that routine. I thought I will never survive those four hours. After the session, my bed is the most inviting place I could think of. I would have even called a chiropractor had the liniment not worked. You think it was fun? When you back hurts after a long day of babysitting your one and half year old granny kid? I don’t think so. It made me feel old. I would have wanted to stay on with him for longer hours, but my back and bones is just reminding me of my physical limits. I had to call the parents to come home early. This is ridiculous! I should be relaxing and enjoying my quiet time as a a simple Grandma Glasses. I never dreamed to be a Super Grandma. I raised two boys, nothing more nothing less because I can’t bear to hear screaming and crying. Then Fate turned its hand on me with a toddler on a Friday night. Was it fun? I don’t think so. Am I complaining? I guess so. It’s nice to hear the little ones learning how to coin words and mimic actions. But keeping an eye on them for four hours straight is unbelievable sacrifice. And to be left alone in the house with a small child is just as scary as watching a Godzilla film. My eyes and ears need to be as keen to see and hear, my limbs as fast and nimble to race, and all senses and reflexes as sharp as can be. Yes I love my little granny kids, I love them so much that I just want to watch them. Take note how I said “watch them” and not “run after them”. A toddler’s attention span is 10-15 minutes when highly motivated. So what happens after that? It would require tons of ideas , books, games, cartoon playlist, songs , dances, boxes, pots and pans, cookies and chips to keep them engaged. I don’t have to strain every nerve running after a little super hero. I leave the parenting and babysitting to the parents. So let me draw a line between happy time with grandma. And for this matter, I want to make that a straight and clear line. My vote goes to bread making and cookie making as my weekend activity. And I hope there will not be any discussion on this. So tell me, am I a Super Grandma? No I am NOT.