Apple Sauce

I have been taught not to waste food when I was young, why change that today?- Grandma Glasses

There is something not right on those apples on the fruit platter. She spent her snack days on cherries and melons. She was playing favorites on those fruits.

“I felt guilty for ignoring the red crispy look the last few days,” said Grandma Glasses

“You don’t have to wait for them to get wrinkled and dried out. How about baking an apple pie?” I remember how delicious and heavenly sweet the slice of apple pie Grandma Glasses gave me last Christmas.

“Nope, I don’t feel making pie crust today. That will have to be on another day when I crave for apple pie, not today.” And  as quick as my idea, so did my apple slice dream vanishing in thin air with her  disapproval. 

“But they have to be eaten sooner or let them rot, ” I said, hoping she will change her mind about the pie.

“No no no! I don’t have the heart to put them in the trash bin. I have been taught not to waste food when I was young, why change that today?” she turned to me as if I said something that will bring a curse to the universe.

“I will make apple sauce!” as she  grabbed the apples and went frantically to the kitchen.

“Yes, that’s a good idea. Whether it’s fresh, baked, roasted, crumbled or mushed that’s fine by me. Apples are always good.” I said.

“And applesauce goes well with breakfast crepes, porridge, french toast, ice cream, muffins, cakes and bread too.”

“Perfect! I can’t wait until it’s ready and we can have our tea time.” She gave me a loving look, as I responded with a frenzy, wagging tail.

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Ingredients :

4 apples, peeled, cored and sliced

3/4 cups water, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

In a saucepan, combine apples, water, sugar, and cinnamon. Cover, and cook over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes, or until apples are soft. Allow to cool, then mash with a fork or rubber spatula to your preferred texture and consistency.

 

Love is Sweeter

14 Feb 2016

“Love is always sweeter when you bake cake together.” – Grandma Glasses

A great way to spend Valentine’s Day is enjoying chocolate cake together. Savoring its smooth, silky, sweetness with thoughts of  the labor of love spent on making that delicious chocolate mousse cake is just ultimate delight. I follow a simple baking mantra, a sweet tooth is a good springboard to happiness.

 

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The Cheese Smorgasboard

The Cheese Smorgasbord- A Yuletide Story by Grandma Glasses

“Cats will look away if you give him enough salmon, except when he prefers reindeers.”– The Swedish Chef is in the House

It’s been years the Rat Kingdom has been in shambles. The RatKing’s Castle badly needs repair. One can see doors,windows,floors and roofs falling apart. And the Rat Builders are trying to keep its at it’s glorious and grandest best. Days of summer and winter they work their whiskers, shuffling feet and tails to keep walls in place.

Unknown to many is a Rat Builder named D’ratla who has plans otherwise. He hides in the darkest corner watching others toil and labor. He moves stealthily, away from the wind and the sun. He scurries like a noble rat in a pandemic stance. He hordes cheese like an expert amidst an epidemic of shortage. Behind everyone’s back, he stocks his larder with cheddar, camembert, brie and stilton. But he wanted more. He has evil plans.

It’s known to all ratfolks that across the Rat Kingdom is The Big Den. And there’s been a story going around for many generations that in The Big Den lives Lon the Lokatt, a distant cousin of the Cheshire cat from Alice Wonderland. But the Lokatt is meaner, stronger and bigger. His reputation around the community is unparalleled. His last known ancestors were from Greater Hälsingland, survived many traps set by Vikings and priced by royalty for their fur. He is an honorary lifetime member of the Federacion Internationale Feline. He earned his medal for the Highest and Longest scratch record in the Great Book of Nine Lives, and now considered one of the protected species of wild felines.

It was on that cloudy morning when Lon The Lokatt was awakened by a strange sound. Lon’s keen ears caught a small squeaky sound. That was the day Lon The Lokatt first discovered D’ratla.

“It’s that strange sound again. But there is no one in the room.”

He propped his ears and the sound seems to be coming from the big blue vase. Then he heard the squeaky sound again. Suddenly Lon saw a small hairy creature jump out of the vase. He seemed preoccupied to notice Lon  watching him from the top of the grandfather clock.

“I will get the biggest and most expensive pule in the Rat Kingdom even if it means crossing The Big Den,” he squeaked loudly to himself, unaware that some one is watching him from a distance.

 Lon didn’t take that small squeak seriously. “How can a small rodent carry a piece of cheese twice as big as his body?” he yawned.

As days and months went by, Lon became familiar with D’ratla’s activities. Everyday he saw how D’ratla carries small bits of cheese in the vase. But lately Lon noticed D’ratla has been moving more and dragging bigger chunks of cheese.

From his cozy place high on the grandfather clock, Lon became a silent observer of D’ratla’s sneaky ways. He tried to ignore the squeaky sounds. It’s been quite some time since he last hunted small creatures. But every day since he saw D’ratla jump out of the vase, this furry horder started to get on his nerves. And he cannot let this one roam The Big Den.

“This has got to stop. This is too much. If he can get away with chunks of brie and camembert, it’s possible he will get that slice of Pule too. And worse, he might even bring in the donkey for his Cheese Smorgasbord.”

 

The Pule cheese is the world’s most expensive and rare cheese. The RatKing keeps a rare collection in his vault, a symbol of friendship and loyalty between the RatKing and the Balkan Donkey Prince.

So without wasting a second, he growled. Without warning but only a flared face, tufted ears and tail tipped high, Lon stretched and swiftly leaped on the floor. With his preying instinct and feline accuracy he landed on D’ratla. Lon can feel D’ratla wincing and writhing, trying to fight back. But Lon’s claws are far bigger and his fangs sharper.

Then D’ratla sensing his defeat, closed his eyes and gave a faint squeak.

Lon pinned D’ratla. He looked at him and hissed a victory. “This should keep you warned. I don’t go for cheese. I’ve always been on a reindeer diet.”

Moral of the story:  Different strokes for different folks.

Pen and Paper Mode

When I dropped by her flat this morning, Grandma Glasses was on the couch just reading a book. I looked at her and asked, “Are you alright Grandma?”

She  was quiet for a while, then she blurted in despair.

“At the Crafter’s Table I did something really bad. It’s so techy bad I had to step back and stay in the kitchen instead.”

“What happened?” I calmly asked. I looked around her flat and it seems impeccably in order.

“My attempt to remove ten malicious threats on my pc failed and I had to ask the I.T. consultant to fix the mess for me.”

“Last time, I managed to fix a similar mess manually without spending a cent except hours sulking at my desk. But this time it was resolved with a $40 adware. I felt so crappy I even had a nightmare,” She continued mumbling her frustration while I sat down next to her to listen.

“I am in the upper echelon of stupid users getting hijacked by the top nasty Trojans. Oh how I hate them. It’s been a while I got into a Trojan domain. And it’s not fun at all. Worrying about how much damage they have done in the system I had to disconnect all my accounts for fear they might jump and do more on my other devices. Not that I have anything but to have a nasty shadow stalking my registry, processes and activities is just as annoying as a fly buzzing around my cup of coffee.”

“I would welcome a pen and paper for my doodles, or the comforting clicks of a rickety typewriter just about now. Anything to get my mind off those mean Trojans. Maybe it’s time I switch back to nontechy stuff,” without turning a hair she said.

It’s not everyday I see her but I can tell she is not her proper self today. She is often bubbly and cheerful,  chattering like a drunken parakeet with endless stories of her adventures.

“Are you going to bake new cookies for the Golden Ladies’ Circle?” I asked candidly. I cannot think of any suggestion at the moment, for fear that it will upset her even more.

“No I have enough sugar to make my adrenalines go racing in the highway. I should get busy with crosstitch, twist paper beads for a scrapbook, or read a book.”

“Don’t worry about it Grandma. It’s been fixed and all your files are intact and clean. A little bit on the expensive side but you can work again.”

“No not today, I don’t feel like going near my pc just yet. I will let this day pass for now. Today I feel so miserable not even a bag of jelly beans will make me cheery,” shaking her head and shrugging her shoulders.

“I feel defeated by the unknown dark forces of technology every time I cannot figure out updates, upgrades and other imbalances to my normal life brought about by modern cybernetics . I wish they could zap all those hackers into the black hole of cyberspace and never to return again.”

She put down her book and looked at the clock. Tucking a pen and paper in her purse, she hurriedly pushed me towards the door. “Oh well, enough of musing. We are late. A woman has to keep to her grocery list after all. Nothing beats a shopping day and a stroll in the supermarket for an exercise.”

Roadtrip Sentiments from Grandma Glasses

“Three weeks travelling around the countryside and I have grown grumpy and meticulous,” says Grandma Glasses.

“It’s like I am sending a grumpy message to the aliens.. Don’t come here, find another place to visit. Go to Croatia, Madagascar, or better yet take baking lessons instead.” she chides.

And when at that popular Starbucks always check if there are available chairs and tables. The crew are only happy to take your order and your money, but not a bit helpful in finding a seat for customers. “How can I enjoy my cup of macchiato when there are no seats available? I cannot sip and just stand here until I finish my cup of coffee. You should have adviced me first-hand that the house is full and I would easily have gone to another place.” she complained to the barista.

Small plate-high protein-low sugar-diet challenge is on…It’s a “hear and see no last call/order plate” at the buffet.
“I would gladly skip the dinner plate offer and shed my extra pounds because I need to buy new jeans and look chic for my next roadtrip.”

Shopping time with Grandma Glasses can be quite an adventure. She explores store windows like a nesting hen, fits last pair sizes like a supervisor late for a meeting, tries long lasting lipstick shades like she’s Sophia Loren, ask for receipts and coupon even when it means waiting, swipes her hotel card twice just to be sure the elevator knows where she’s going, inspects the cheese section like a French fromagère (cheese expert), taps on a baguette just like an artisan baker, goes through her shopping list like a boot camp officer, and checks the cash register with eagle’s eye.

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I was not surprise to see bags of assorted color and sizes  when she came in. It amazes me how she managed to complete her shopping in such a short time. “My feet are on a 2-hour program to stay in the mall. After that I have to be back home like a pigeon or be  Cinderella with sore feet.”

“Wonderful! I am back on size 29 again,” as she neatly folded the new pair of jeans in her luggage.
“Now it’s time to enjoy blueberry jam on my croissant.”