Thursday, June 07, 2018

Death Wish

June 7 already, huh? Well, let's just see what's been going on...

Aldi find of the week: nice graduation cards for only 99 cents!

Sure wish I had figured that out before I dropped a zillion bucks on the ones I had to buy on Saturday, on the way to multiple grad parties. All right, not a zillion.  More like 5 bucks each, okay?

That card is for our neighbor's daughter, and I was all set to buy her an Amazon gift card like I had bought for Brian's other friends. Great idea, right? They can use it at college to buy whatever they want. Luckily, Susie was around to stop me. "Her family doesn't LIKE Amazon," she said.

Not like Amazon? I wondered. "What are you talking about?" I asked Susie.

"Mommy, of course they don't like Amazon!" she said. And then it dawned on me: yeah, the neighbors might have a beef with that particular corporation, seeing as how they own an independent bookstore. When did my baby get so smart, anyway?

In an unwonted burst of domesticity after my Aldi trip on Monday, I made my family an honest-to-goodness frittata. It had spinach and everything. Healthy!

See? Spinach! Also, peppers and onions

Look at me being all Pinterest-y, won't you? I hardly know myself.

On Wednesday Susie and I went strawberry picking with friends. I skipped doing it last year and we actually ran out of jam, what with using the jars from years previous for everything from teacher gifts to Christmas presents. So yesterday turned into a strawberry extravaganza, mostly because I thought I needed two full flats of strawberries when I only needed one.

We got a LOT of strawberries, is what I'm saying.

Turns out those metal strawberry hullers that I saved in my junk drawer for I don't know how many years aren't all that efficient. What saved us is this one neat trick (seriously!) that I saw on a Facebook video. It involves poking a straw through the bottom of the strawberry and up through the stem.


It really worked. Have I mentioned that I love the internet?

So I labored for 2 1/2 hours (with some help from Susie - she liked the straw trick) and wound up with about 8 pints of jam. I managed to jam (pun not intended) the other flat of strawberries in the fridge until such time as I could bear to face it again.

Ignore the 2 candy canes on the right over there

That time wasn't today, though, because today Larry and I attended a funeral at Arlington (for the friend whose sudden death last December taught us that Larry could probably manage just fine without me, remember?) Despite the fact that we have had over 5 months to get used to the fact that our friend is gone, today was devastating. Oh, the ceremony was lovely, and taps just about broke my heart, and they did this lovely thing at the end where we all laid special flowers from Hawaii on the coffin. But then I got to go hug my widowed friend, whom I hadn't seen in several years - my friend who is exactly my age, who I've known for almost a quarter of a century, who was a youngish military spouse with me - and I pretty much lost it.

"I have to die first," I announced to Larry as we walked back to our car. "I'm not going through what she went through today."

You know, I don't know why that man always looks so confused.


  1. Yay you cooking! And why didn't I see that strawberry hulling trick BEFORE I processed 9 flats for our freezer??

  2. AnonymousJune 08, 2018

    That's a serious amount of jam. Nice work.
    I scored cards at the dollar store--and then they were half off, what luck! We needed several this year, seems the way as your kids get older.
    Sorry about your friend. Funerals can really make one reflect.

  3. You have so many excellent talents! Look at all that strawberry jam, and the veggies in the frittata. And I don't know why I never think to get greeting cards at the dollar store.

    I am sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. That's a difficult thing to bear.

  4. Again, I am so sorry for your loss. I know the funeral was very hard especially the taps.

    I have always told my husband that I need to go first (he usually agrees - since he is under the misguided notion that I can't take care of my self because I don't cook).

    Look at you with all that jam! I'm almost tempted to ask how one makes jam...almost.

    1. Easier than it looks - you just need the right equipment!

  5. Wow...SO MUCH DAMN JAM. (I had to!) I've never made jam before, but you've insprired me.
    Sorry about the funeral and losing a good friend; heartbreaking.
    My husband loves making frittatas; me, I just scramble. Lazy. I know.

  6. I have never made jam, but have always felt I should. Thanks for the strawberry trick in case I ever get around to it!

  7. That sounds like a difficult funeral - like going thru it all over again. I am sorry.

    You are a dynamo with all that jam making. I copy Gigi . . . tempting me to make jam, almost.

  8. Taps is always heart-wrenching -- so much more so when you knew and loved the person for whom it is played. My husband is sure I will die first ("thanks for your vote of confidence, Dear") but after last August I suspect he's no longer quite as certain. Hopefully the goodness of strawberries keeps us happy.