Wednesday, September 03, 2008

More Lists About Me

I'm not sure what it was about this list that fascinated me and I can't believe I'm actually going to publish it but when I saw it on Dolores' blog, Chronicles in Culinary Curiosity I knew I had to share.

By now, you know the rules, bold what you have done and cross off what you wouldn't do. If you make it all the way through the list (or you want to skip this effluvium) at the bottom I'm sharing an old family recipe for a fall treat.

I swear, this is the last one of these crazy things I'm going to do....

1. Touched an iceberg
2. Slept under the stars
3. Been a part of a hockey fight (I don't think swatting my brother with a broom on the pond out back of our house counts and I can't wait to see Peabody's answer!)
4. Changed a baby's diaper
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Swam with wild dolphins
8. Climbed a mountain (Mt. Wachusett and Mt. Monadnock)
9. Held a tarantula (In Kindergarten)
10. Said "I love you" and meant it (Let's not go there shall we?!)
11. Bungee jumped (so afraid of heights, I can't even watch movies like K2)
12. Visited Paris (Every three months like clock work)
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Stayed up all night long and watched the sun rise
15. Seen the Northern Lights
16. Gone to a huge sports game (A perk or a curse of the job)
17. Walked the stairs to the top of the Statue of Liberty (Something you will never be able to do again, unfortunately in this post 9/11 world. The view was heart achingly beautiful)
18. Grown and eaten your own vegetables (and cursed them, and watched over them, and rejoiced when growing season is over)
19. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
20. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment (My grandmother's funeral when the priest got tangled up in the long mic cord, tripped, fell and knocked over about 50 vases of flowers. My grandmother would have gotten a kick out of the whole fiasco but I got "the look" from my mom)
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Bet on a winning horse (Kentucky Derby winner Ferdinand. My roommate in college for four years was from Ferdinand, IN.)
23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill (Um, my boss reads this no, never ever)
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Taken an ice cold bath
28. Had a meaningful conversation with a beggar (a very interesting man would come into Waldenbooks when I worked there in A-squared *Ann Arbor*, he had no money but was obviously well read. I always had good conversations with him while shelving books. I'd sometimes buy a newspaper or a paperback for him.)
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Ridden a roller coaster (Going to strike The Cyclone off my life list before Coney Island closes for the year)
31 hit a home run (ROTFL...)
32. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
33. Adopted an accent for fun
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Felt very happy about your life, even for just a moment
36. Loved your job 90% of the time
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied (believe it or not, yes but mainly because money isn't a motivating factor of my life. As long as I can pay my bills, save a little for retirement, and still provide for friends and family I have enough money)
38. Watched wild whales
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Gone on a midnight walk on the beach
41. Gone sky diving (I'm utterly terrified of heights. Ask anyone who has been in catwalks with me.)
42. Visited Ireland (see ancestors)
43. Ever bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant (Until last week, I couldn't bold this but an elderly woman in Grand Central couldn't find her wallet at EataPita. I paid for hers and mine. Pay it forward folks, it does count)
44. Visited India (best street food I've ever had. Seriously!)
45. Bench-pressed your own weight (See Hit a Home Run)
46. Milked a cow (Great Grandparents owned cows and draft horses. Very cool place to visit as a little girl)
47. Alphabetized your personal files (P.E.D.A.N.T.I.C)
48. Ever worn a superhero costume ( I was Wonder Woman one Halloween)
49. Sung karaoke (I've done business in Korea and Japan, what do you think?!)
50. Lounged around in bed all day (every chance I get)
51. Gone scuba diving (Did my open water dives in Malta and the Isle of Rhodes is stunning diving)
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater (Saw the original Planet of the Apes lying in the back of a 1972 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser. My brother and I fought over the last of the ju-ju fruits and got in trouble)
55. Done something you should regret, but don't (Well this one time, at band camp....)
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Been in a movie
60. Gone without food for 3 days
61. Made cookies from scratch
62. Won first prize in a costume contest
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Been in a combat zone
65. Spoken more than one language fluently
66. Gotten into a fight while attempting to defend someone
67. Bounced a check
68. Read - and understood - your credit report
69. Recently bought and played with a favorite childhood toy (I just did this! Post coming soon)
70. Found out something significant that your ancestors did
71. Called or written your Congress person (Are you kidding me?! I'm responsible for the idiot former representative of mine changing his real email address after I did a "who is" on his re-election campaign. I'm pretty sure I'm on a list somewhere...)
72. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over (See this post)
73. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
74. Helped an animal give birth
75. Been fired or laid off from a job
76. Won money
77. Broken a bone
78. Ridden a motorcycle
79. Driven any land vehicle at a speed of greater than 100 mph (Surprising considering the points on my license)
80. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
81. Slept through an entire flight: takeoff, flight, and landing (every time I go to the west coast. I haven't heard the "this plane is equipped with X number of emergency exits" in years)
82. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days (One of the best vacations ever, Boundary Waters for 14 days)
83. Eaten sushi - Religiously!
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read The Bible cover to cover (only the New Testament, but the rest of the Old is on my life list)
86. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
87. Gotten someone fired for their actions
88. Gone back to school
89. Changed your name
90. Caught a fly in the air with your bare hands
91. Eaten fried green tomatoes (Making them tonight as a matter of fact)
92. Read The Iliad
93. Taught yourself an art from scratch
94. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (I grew up in the UP of Michigan, we hunt there)
95. Apologized to someone years after inflicting the hurt
96. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
97. Been elected to public office (not on your life would I want to do this)
98. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
99. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
100. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
101. Had a booth at a street fair
102. Dyed your hair
103 Been a DJ (In college for the low wattage campus radio station)
104. Rocked a baby to sleep
105. Ever dropped a cat from a high place to see if it really lands on all fours (Lord NO!)
106. Raked your carpet (I hope I'm never this OCD)
107. Brought out the best in people
108. Brought out the worst in people
109. Worn a mood ring (Hey, I was in Jr. High School in the 70s. Everyone wore one then)
110. Ridden a horse (And I'm going to be starting riding lessons again soon!)
111. Carved an animal from a piece of wood or bar of soap (See mood ring and I used Coast soap)
112. Prepared a dish where four people asked for the recipe
113. Buried a child (Hopefully I never will...)
114. Gone to a Broadway play
115. Been inside the pyramids
116. Shot a basketball into a basket
117. Danced at a disco (See mood ring)
118. Played in a band (Keyboards in a early 80's all girl Go-Gos wannabe band)
119. Shot a bird (Killed and dressed an animal)
120. Gone to an arboretum (Only the best in the US, Arnold in Boston)
121. Tutored someone
122. Ridden a train
123. Brought an old fad back into style (ROTFL....yea, um..more ROTFL)
124. Eaten caviar (See this post)
125. Let a salesman talk you into something you didn’t need (warranty on my first VCR player and the extended warranty on my washer and dryer)
126. Ridden a giraffe or elephant (elephant at a circus. I just remember it smelled)
127. Published a book
128. Pieced a quilt
129. Lived in an historic place
130. Acted in a play or performed on a stage (My Junior year in high school I was the dead body in Arsenic and Old Lace that gets dragged in and out of the window seat, closet, shoved under the couch cover. It is hard being dead...)
131. Asked for a raise
132. Made a hole-in-one (In put-put)
133. Gone deep sea fishing
134. Gone roller skating
135. Run a marathon
136. Learned to surf
137. Invented something
138. Flown first class (Thank you NWA Platinum Elite)
139. Spent the night in a 5-star luxury suite (Thank you noisy obnoxious people in Room 435 at the Ritz in London)
140. Flown in a helicopter
141. Visited Africa (Egypt and Morocco)
142. Sang a solo (does in the car or shower count?)
143. Gone spelunking
144. Learned how to take a compliment (I'm working on it)
145. Written a love-story
146. Seen Michelangelo’s David
147. Had your portrait painted (does the guy who sits on the stool on the boardwalk at Atlantic City count?)
148. Written a fan letter
149. Spent the night in something haunted
150. Owned a St. Bernard or Great Dane (I'm a cat person but St. Bernards are pretty funny and goofy dogs)
151. Ran away (to the tree house and the boat house)
152. Learned to juggle
153. Been a boss
154. Sat on a jury (twice, once for a simple auto accident and once for a two week manslaughter case)
155. Lied about your weight (every day to myself, god, and LB)
156. Gone on a diet (See 155)
157. Found an arrowhead or a gold nugget
158. Written a poem
159. Carried your lunch in a lunchbox (It was a HR Pufnstuf lunch box complete with the Thermos!)
160. Gotten food poisoning (Yes, and not by any of the street food I've eaten all over the world but from the nicest restaurant in Seattle)
161. Gone on a service, humanitarian or religious mission
162. Hiked the Grand Canyon
163. Sat on a park bench and fed the ducks
164. Gone to the opera (I'm a season ticket holder for The Met)
165. Gotten a letter from someone famous
166. Worn knickers (two summers at Interlochen Music Camp as a camper and one as a counselor and see mood ring)
167. Ridden in a limousine
168. Attended the Olympics (See job and this post)
169. Can hula or waltz and polka. (We all polka in the UP)
170. Read a half dozen Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys books
171. Been stuck in an elevator (between the 80th and 81st floor of World Trade Center 1 in 1998)
172. Had a revelatory dream (I can't ever remember my dreams, except for the one where I am swimming freestyle through the air around the block in my old neighborhood I grew up in. I have that one every time I'm about to leave on a huge project trip. I wonder what Freud would think.
173. Thought you might crash in an airplane (All landings are controlled crashes....)
174. Had a song dedicated to you on the radio or at a concert
175. Saved someone’s life
176. Eaten raw whale
177. Know how to tat, smock or do needlepoint
178. Laughed till your side hurt (see this post)
179. Straddled the equator (On my life list. I hear you get a certificate and everything!)
180. Taken a photograph of something other than people that is worth framing
181. Gone to a Shakespeare Festival
182. Sent a message in a bottle
183. Spent the night in a hostel
184. Been a cashier
185. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
186. Joined a union
187. Donated blood or plasma (until I lived in London for two years. Now, Red Cross won't let me)
188. Built a campfire (I was a Girl Scout Leader...)
189. Kept a blog (Um...)
190. Had hives
191. Worn custom made shoes or boots
192. Made a PowerPoint presentation (Oh how I wish I could answer no...)
193. Taken a Hunter’s Safety Course (see kill bird/animal to eat)
194. Served at a soup kitchen
195. Conquered the Rubik’s cube (I have my 1/2 completed one on my desk)
196. Know CPR (Annie, Annie are you ok?!)
197. Ridden in or owned a convertible
198. Found a long lost friend
199. Helped solve a crime
200. Responded to a NJP newsletter (huh...)

You know what? The next time I'm feeling sorry for myself and thinking I have had a boring life, I'm re-reading this post.

I've been blessed with luck to have had the opportunities to travel, be exposed to and appreciate all the good, bad and ugly I have been in these 40 some odd years. I'm also thankful I inherited my Grandfather's sense of wonder at the world I live in and his wanderlust. Plus, I had three parents (my dad, my step-dad and my mother) who gave me all the love and support they could to go out there and follow my own path, even when that path sometimes led to a dead end or a cliff. Without any of these things, I would never have seen and done so much with my life.

My Great Grandmother's Apple Brown Betty

Now that apple season is here, I'm sure to be making this with the ends of the many loaves of bread I have in the freezer. Brown Betty is one of the oldest and most traditional American desserts. My Great Grandmother would keep all the heels from loaves of bread, leftover biscuits, and bread odds and ends in the freezer all summer. Then, after all us grandkids had helped her and my great grandfather pick apples from their orchard, she would make a big pan of her Apple Brown Betty for dessert after a roasted chicken dinner. She also made "hard sauce" for the adults.

Like so many of her recipes, there were no measurements when she made it so here are her written directions. I've put the measurements I've worked out in parenthesis:

Heat the oven to medium to almost fast (375 degrees), a small paper bag full of bread crumbs (2 1/2 cups), a half slab of fresh butter (she made her own butter and each of her slabs was about 1 1/4 cup, so this works out to about 10 Tbsp) melted over a slow burner, a good heaping handful of sugar (1 cup), three fingers full of flour (a heaping 1/8 of cup), two good pinches of cinnamon (2 tsp), 1 good pinch of allspice (1 tsp), 1 pinch of salt (3/4 tsp), 10 good ground pie apples ( My Great Grandmother called apples that had fallen from the tree and were maybe bruised but not soft ground pie apples, this is about 5 - 6 cups of apples) peeled, cored, and sliced, one tin cup (1 cup) of hot water. Mix apples, cinnamon, allspice, salt and sugar together. Spread half of the bread crumbs on bottom of chicken roasting pan (1 1/2 to 2 quart baking dish) and mix in half the butter. Layer apples over breadcrumbs. Mix left over butter and breadcrumbs and sprinkle on top of apples. Pour water over and bake in oven until water is gone and apples are soft (40 - 55 minutes depending on your apples).