No Computer Kitty Menopause & Chocolate Chip Cookies

Apologies for skimpy posts après holiday.  My computer wasn’t up to the task of Office 2010, Playon, and Windows 7 on a single processor.   The computer guy was amazed I got the computer to work at all.  Windows 7 requires significantly more processor capacity than Windows XP.  Yeah, I got tired of watching hourglasses and spinning arrow circles.  It cut seriously into scrounging.  Scrounge cat three has pee problems thanks to kitty menopause.  It takes two of us to shoot a pill down her throat and just one PO’d cat to spit them up around the house.  Just found one under my desk.  Well, the answer to most computer problems is “spend money”.  Using that answer got me one that should last for at least five years, or until the next technology surge catches up with the Deep South pine belt. What to do inbetween hand writing articles and chasing the scrounge cat around the house with a pill syringe?  What you should do whenever the blue mood strikes – have a cookie.  What follows is a recipe I’ve had since my young’un days of the 1970s.  The recipe fits scrounging because it doesn’t require special ingredients.  I’ve even cut up chocolate bars when no chocolate chips were in the pantry.  (Note: I have no idea what recipes mean by “rounded teaspoonfuls”.  Have you ever been able to stop at a “teaspoon”? Thought so.)  Take a break with your favorite beverage and a cookie or two.  Things are only as frustrating as we perceive them to be.

Chocolate Chip Cookies (about 5 dozen)

2/3 cup shortening

2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup brown sugar (packed)

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

3 ½ cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

½ salt

½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 375°.  Mix shortening, butter, and sugars thoroughly.  This is important for the cookie’s texture.  Add eggs, vanilla and mix well.  Add remaining ingredients; mixture will be stiff but all flour will be absorbed.  Drop by “rounded teaspoonfuls” (tablespoonfuls) about 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Cookies will spread during baking. Bake 8 to 10 minutes until light brown (try 8 minutes first because they will burn on bottom before top is “brown” I opt for a pale brown).  Cool slightly before removing from baking sheet.

Sugar rushes and death

Dinner needed less than I thought.  The shredded yellow squash + leftovers worked fine as filling for the tortillas.  Cumin, crushed ancho, powdered onion and garlic were mixed into the filling.  The filled tortillas were topped with the remaining half can of tomato soup with medium chili powder added.  See what I mean about scrounging?  No wasted food!  Mr. Mike and I are between gainfulness right now so scrounginess is a necessity not  just a hobby. 

I picked up a dead cat today.  It was laying on the overpass for I-59.  Mr. Mike and I feel deceased felines deserve better than having every bubba in the county run over it.  Stop, turn on the flashers and move the cat to the side of the road.  Count your blessings.  We attended the graduation for Christian Women’s Job Corps fall 2011 class.  I’ve been working with these ladies for the past 10 weeks.  I’ve learned as much as the group of 7 women did.  I learned to be grateful for the important things: my life, my health, and my man.  Some advice: do it every morning for 3 weeks.  Think of 3-5 things you are grateful for and write them down.  See how you feel in three weeks. 

Last night was a sugar buffet.  Cakes, cookies, pies, little cups full of crunchy sweet chex mix.  Today our neighbor brought us plates of lasagna, salad, and garlic bread.  Even better!  Nothing to scrounge together and no dishes to wash.  My contribution to the sugar celebration was lemon bars.  Make them and be grateful. 

Lemon bars

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sifted confectioners sugar

1/2 butter or margarine, melted (butter is best)

2 Tbsp all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup sugar

grated rind of 1 lemon (about 1 Tbsp) Don’t worry if you don’t have this but it gives the whole thing a lemon shot

3 Tbsp lemon juice (fresh is best)

powdered sugar for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Combine 1 cup flour and 1/4 cup powdered sugar; add butter and mix well.  I had to add 1 more Tbsp flour because White Lily flour is “soft”, or low protein  The mixture should resembe stiff cookie dough.

3. press the dough evenly into an 8 inch baking pan

4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-18 minutes until the edges are lightly brown

5. Mix the flour and baking powder and set aside.

6. Combine eggs, sugar, lemon rind and lemon juice; beat well

7. Stir dry ingredients from step 5 into the egg mixture and pour over the baked crust.

8. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes or until lightly browned and set.

9. Let cool, then sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Puttin the sugar in a small mesh strainer works good for this

10. Cut 3 X 6; makes 18 bars.  When removing from the pan, be sure to get under the crust.  It is easy to leave part of the crust in the pan if a sharp stiff spatula isn’t used. 

Sorry no photo.  You know what lemon bars look like.

The next 10 years

November 15th was our 10th anniversary of wedded bliss.  It was a long time in coming – we got married in a farm & feed store in Choudrant, LA by a JP.  He is the store owner and part-time JP.  He took off  his feed hat and slipped his judge robe over his jeans and cowboy boots to do the honors.  We took our honeymoon on our motorcycles.  The plumbing in our house had been acting up a week before the big day – nasty black goop bubbling up through all the drains and toilets.  Turns out the old lady we bought the house from had a broken sewer pipe and didn’t know it.  So for about six months all the stuff you flush down the drain was going into the ground in front of the house until it backed up to you know where…  The plumbers were working on the problem as we were getting married.  I can still picture them as we rode out of the driveway on our honeymoon standing next to a hole in the front yard filled with black goop, watching and waving goodbye. 

It was a great honeymoon in NOLA and a great ten years.  Today I have leftover Greek Skillet Chicken from Monday to work with.  Not enough for two servings, so it’ll be converted to enchiladas, my go to entree.  Greek Skillet Chicken has squash, oninon, pepper, boneless chicken breasts or thighs, and tomato soup.  It was supposed to be topped with Feta cheese but I didn’t have any so scrounge solution was cream cheese chunks.   The recipe is from Believe It!  from Reiman Publications, part of the Cooking Club of America series.

Today I’ll use the rest of the yellow summer squash, shredded, add some bulgar, seasonings, canned enchilada sauce (Hatch is best), flour tortillas and cheese.  Salad with whatever fresh veggies are in the fridge will accompany.  Of course beer will be there.  We’ve been drinking lots of PBR lately because we’re on a scrounge diet.  The inside scrounge cats hate enchiladas, so more for us with no pathetic scrounge cat eyes at dinner.  Note the above photo.  Scrounge cats one and two have matters in mouth.

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