Saturday, July 12, 2008

French Toast Recipe using whole wheat bread

I made some delicious French toast today, so I'd like to share the recipe. The crushed cornflakes idea comes from Ari who had it at EAT.

4 eggs
2/3 cup whole milk
1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour (you can substitute regular flour, I'm sure, but this is what I used)
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
crushed corn flakes
6 slices thick whole wheat bread (ours was the slightly sweet kind, I think it has honey in it)

1. Combine the first seven ingredients in a bowl.
2. Heat a skillet with some butter.
3. Dip each piece of bread (I cut them in half) in the mixture, making sure to cover each side well.
4. Coat both sides with crushed corn flakes.
5. Cook each slice in the hot buttered skillet, maybe about 4 minutes per side.
We had ours with maple syrup, blueberries, strawberries and yogurt.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Eagle eye Josh

3 Gutenberg Bibles, published around 1450 are on display at the Morgan! Really interesting and cool exhibit. The Bibles are gigantic (20" X 30" closed), beautiful (hand illumination and decoration), written in Latin with barely readable thick Gothic type setting. I tried to make out some of the words but it was impossible. Until Josh poked me and declared, "Look! I can make out the word labia!" I rolled my eyes and dismissed him. But, he was right!
I recall vividly seeing Et labia after he pointed it out. After we left, he asserted that he saw Et labia majora, which I am refuting. Even though I didn't read past the word labia, I'm quite sure there are no lines in the Bible equivalent to what I think Et labia majora translates to.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

How we were meant to celebrate the 4th of July

By pure coincidence, at the Morgan museum, I saw a letter, written in 1779, by our founding father, George Washington . In it, Washington orders his general to fire 13 cannons at 1PM to commemorate the 3rd anniversary of our Declaration of Independence. Because they were in the middle of fighting the Revolutionary War, Washington notes that the reason for doing is to "exhilarate the troops" since we "can not afford rum". Finally in the post script of the letter, Washington specifically notes that they use the "damaged" gunpowder (just enough for 13) to fire the cannons.

Washington was frugal like my skin flint husband!

Can you imagine if a less frugal person was in charge? Instead of fireworks on the 4th, we'd be getting drunk in the afternoon.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Graft and cronyism: a work perk!

I'm mad as heck and if I hadn't witnessed it for myself, I would've never believed such a thing could institutionalized form of corruption. Preferential treatment for those in the know...please read on.

Yesterday, I rode shotgun with a friend of mine. At one point, she obviously and blatantly ran a red light. Within seconds, we saw flashing lights behind us; dread settled in as we prepared for our encounter with the cops. My friend politely handed over her license and registration and then casually made a comment, "Oh my boyfriend's a cop" while handing over a leather portfolio that contained some plastic PBA cards as well as a miniature badge with the number of the cop who gave it to her. Why couldn't you stop the car, interrogated one cop. My friend blurted out with a ridiculous fib, Oh because I was afraid the groceries were going to hit us. I had to really control myself to not burst out of laughter over this and the fact that she told them her boyfriend is a cop. How is that relevant?! I marvelled.

As we sat alone while the cops took the documents back to their car, my friend started telling me about how she got out of at least 6 other sticky situations (speeding, not stopping at a stop sign, etc.). She was optimistic that we would not get a ticket. I don't know where her hubris came from and I tried to quash it, "We're definitely getting a ticket. You ran that red light, no question."

The cops came back, gave her a lame warning and even politely informed her one of her brake lights were out. They exchanged a few pleasantries and my friend got off the moving violation!!! I was shell-shocked. My friend explained to me that cops don't "mess with their own." The "silly" portfolio she handed over, with the PBA cards and badge was actually a get out of jail free card!!!

Since then I've spoken to a number of people and did a little Google search and I've learned this:

NY/NJ cops are given a small number of badges/tokens that they can give to their closest friends and families. When these "friends" are stopped for a traffic violation (or are parked illegally, risking a parking ticket), they can show their "credentials" and the vast majority of the time, instead of getting a ticket, they'll get a: "Have a nice day". (Of course these days many people sell the cards, so I don't think it's unusual for an officer to call the cop who the card originated with to see if it's legit.) In fact, most police organizations discourage their officers from writing tickets to friends of the police - and they're public about it!

They even have a euphemism for it -- PC (professional courtesy). A cop from NY wrote on a Michigan police message board asking if Michigan police would extend PC to NY PBA badge/card holders.

I'm incensed and outraged!

I've been reading a lot of message boards on the debate/discussion about the ethics of this situation. The logic that people employ to condone this is that you wouldn't give your mom a ticket. I think that this is legitimate because you know your mom. But to not give someone else's mom a ticket so that they won't give your mom one is going a step to far. Josh tells me to suck it up as a fringe benefit of cops.

Side note: My apologies for the poor organization of this post. I wanted to spend a lot more time on this post, elaborate a lot more and maybe even submit it to a paper or something but my husband insists that it be extremely brief and that I get it out to my dear readers as soon as possible because they would be interested in this kind of information.

Fireworks - bah humbug

I was never a fan of fireworks. My first memory of it was around the time I was in grade school. My mom went through a lot of effort to get us from Queens to the fireworks on the East side; she really hyped it and got us all excited for them. Once I was there, I was terrified of the crowd, of getting lost and of the noise. When the fireworks were in full effect, as many people hooted and cheered, I could barely breathe. My heart was pounding in my throat; I feared that the fireworks would come down and burn me. I kept asking my mom for reassurances that this couldn't happen. As recent as a few years ago, I turned to my trusty source for scientific truths and asked Josh if the fireworks could descend upon me and burn me. He assured me it couldn't happen.
Why am I not enamored with fireworks like most people? Not liking fireworks, especially on 4th of July makes me a lame, unpatriotic party pooper. I don't know why people don't think about how much energy, time and money is lost in something so loud and stupid.
Now, as a mom, I hate fireworks even more because they spook my children. Every year, I dread the 4th, knowing that my children will be frightened from their peaceful slumber by ear piercing noises of illegally acquired burned gunpowder by sketchy neighborhood teens. Last night Sadie remarked to me, "Thunder! Mom it's going to rain." I had to explain they were fireworks but she couldn't comprehend the concept of them. Just like me, she couldn't understand why anyone would make loud noises for fun?
I'm sure when she grows up she'll like them just like the rest of humanity. As me for me, I'll never get it.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

My first kiss

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Hug me Dazee, hug me

Sadie begs for a little love.

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