The kids from the various cooking competitions on the Food Network are putting me to shame. Those kids get a complicated instructions for cakes or cookies or biscuits or whatever and they run to their stations, pick up a container of flour and dump it into a bowl, add various dry ingredients and present the judges with a beautiful looking, wonderful tasting final product.
For baked stuff (pancakes, biscuits, etc.) I grab a box of Bisquick.
I am fully capable of making things completely from scratch and I decided I wasn't going to let those talented kids outdo me, so I have sworn off Bisquick. My pancakes taste better and though I have not yet made biscuits, I know they will taste better.
The problem with cooking from scratch is that you run out of ingredients faster. I made banana bread the other day. The recipe called for vanilla, but I had no vanilla (I substituted almond flavoring). I was dangerously close to emptying the containers of baking soda and baking powder, so, thinking ahead to today being pi day and wanting to make Irish soda bread for St. Patrick's day, i headed off to the grocery store.
Nugget Market, while I was "indisposed" and unable to drive, sending Walt to do the shopping, did a big rearrangement of the store and things that I knew where they were aren't there any more. I'm getting used to the new layout, and I had no problem finding vanilla, but I could not for the life of me find either baking powder OR baking soda. They've always been on a top shelf in the baking aisle and I went up and down that aisle three times and could not find either of them.
I finally had to ask someone, a cheery girl who said she knew where they were and led me right to the baking aisle. And there they were:
Who had the bright idea to put them on the BOTTOM shelves? And at the opposite end of the aisle where they have been for years! But now the larder is re-stocked and I'm ready to compete with those kids.
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Last night our local PBS station aired a special on John Denver. I thought it was a rerun of one I had seen before, but this was a "new to me" special. I had to laugh because when something like this runs on KQED, the San Francisco PBS station on pledge week there are local people doing the mid-show segments telling you what wonderful things you'll get if you subscribe. Often you can hear phones ringing in the background.
But they also make generic pledge week announcements that can play anywhere. People you've never heard of chatting with the crawl on the bottom giving the telephone number of the local PBS station (and no phones ringing in the background).
I thought this funny because at the start of the program, they said that Denver was born in 1943 -- like me. And several times throughout the show, the generic announcers raved about Denver and how this was a wonderful way to celebrate his 70th birthday! Having just celebrated my 76th birthday, I know that this program is six years old.
But it was a good show. I was never an avid fan, but when Peggy was here, she was and so we played the couple of compilation disks that I had in the car whenever we drove somewhere and by the end of six weeks, I was a big John Denver fan and ended up collecting a lot of his CDs, which I still love.