Category Archives: Food

Mystery of the Murdered Mixers

Kitchen appliances get a workout at my house but up until recently I never thought I was too hard on my tools.

After 40 years of trouble-free use, my Kitchenaid stand mixer finally gave up the ghost two years ago. I promptly went out and bought a new one, assuming YA would end up inheriting it.  Imagine my irritation when just two years later, the new mixer started to make a grinding noise that caused me to step away from it in fear.  I called customer service (my company – as this is where I technically purchased it).  I got told I had 30 days from time of purchase to claim any refund.  Then I spent quite a bit of time “chatting” with Kitchenaid – this was when I found out that my very expensive bit of hardware only had a 30-day warranty on it.  If I wanted to send the mixer to Illinois they could “do diagnostics” on it.  Ship a stand mixer to Illinois?  Do you know how much these things weigh?  It took me a couple of weeks but I eventually found an appliance repair company that would deal w/ the mixer.

In the meantime, I couldn’t go without a mixer. I’ve never had a handheld mixer so I decided this was a good time.  Did a little bit of online research (very little actually) and ended up getting a Hamilton Beach.  It got me through Pi Day but then mysteriously the next time I used it, it started up as soon as I plugged it in, even though the switch said it was off.  Luckily I was not holding it anywhere near the beaters or I could have lost a finger.

I did eventually get the stand mixer back (after paying an obscene amount) and it appears to be working. The hand mixer was still within 30 days so I was able to get an exchange.  It also appears to be working.  But two mixers dead in one month’s time?  It makes me feel like a mixer murderer.

Have you ever over-invested (financially or emotionally) in an appliance?

Weird Foods

Today’s post comes from Chris in ND.

While hanging out in Philadelphia during the bicentennial summer, I was introduced to scrapple.  Scrapple is not a culinary specialty of the Northern Great Plains.  Most people around here have never seen or heard of it.

On the reservation where I work three days a week, my cooking options are limited.  I often spend my evenings wandering one of the grocery stores, trying to figure out what to eat the  next day. One night last week, I settled on some Jimmy Dean hot sausage and a bag of shredded extra sharp Wisconsin cheddar cheese.  The next morning, I added the cheese to a pot of cooked grits, then mixed it up with the browned sausage.  The result was surprisingly good.  I named it ad hoc scrapple.  I brought some home and will eat the rest it myself.  Renee said that’s ok with her. I also sometimes have biscuit fits, but that is another post.

What weird foods are cooked and consumed in your family?

Faux Sacrifice

Today’s post comes from Barbara in Rivertown.

A few weeks ago I was laughing out loud at the following exchange on The Trail:



March 10, 2018 at 10:49 am

Another funny moment in my “annals of kindness” I often leave a loaf of bread hanging on the door of our next door neighbor when she comes home from teaching music all day. I left a loaf Thursday. I just found a note telling me very tactfully that she has given up bread for Lent. 🙂


March 10, 2018 at 12:41 pm

Guess she doesn’t want your wonderful bread to go to waste.


March 10, 2018 at 2:28 pm

If I was your neighbor, I would never give up bread for Lent.

Of course, I’ve never given up anything for Lent, but if I did, I would give up something like liver or blue cheese.


March 10, 2018 at 2:46 pm

Tut, tut, ljb, it’s supposed to be a sacrifice.


March 10, 2018 at 4:25 pm

how did you guess that it wasn’t?


March 11, 2018 at 9:56 am

Just a hunch.


Although Lent has already come and gone, if you were going to give up something for Lent that was a true sacrifice, what would it be (knowing that it was just for a few weeks)?

What would be your faux sacrifice alternative, like ljb’s liver or blue cheese?

Feed My Starving Children

One of the great things I like about my job is that the management believes in giving back. There are lots of ways during the year to contribute to various programs but one of my favorites is Feed My Starving Children.

FMSC packs food and sends it around the world to places where children are at risk due to malnutrition. But the best part is that this isn’t just an organization to give money to; volunteers actually do the packing of the food.  Vitamin mix, veggies, soy and rice make up the “manna pack” that gets reconstituted in places like Haiti, Mali, Pakistan, Cambodia, Guatamala and many more.

Normally we go as a group every other month to one of the Twin Cities’ FMSC locations but today, they came to us. They had all the packing stations set up, surrounded by palates of bales of rice and soy.  After all the instructions, we split up among the stations to get going.  Today I did the “get the bag onto the funnel” job.  After I do that, then other team members put in the ingredients.  Then I weigh each filled bag and pass it along to the folks who seal the bag and the packer, who gets the packs into boxes.  6 meals per bag, 36 bags per box, 32 boxes for my station in 90 minutes.  If I’m doing the math correctly, that’s 6,912 meals from just my group’s station.

Tonight I’m sore from bending over and my feet are a little achy from standing in the same spot for the whole session, but having done the work is like a salve – I feel like I’ve done a little bit of good in a world that seriously needs it right now.

What’s your favorite rice dish?

As Easy as Pie…

For many years my company was closed on Good Friday. Five years ago they made the decision to be open on Good Friday but they didn’t want us to feel like we were being gypped out of a holiday so they gave us each a “floating holiday”.  I use my floating holiday every year on Pi Day, March 14 (3.14….).  I refer to it as my geek holiday.

This year’s menu:

Dutch Apple Pie
Key Lime Pie
Amish Sawdust Pie
Chocolate Whoopie Pies
Crack Pie
Tangerine Raspberry Pie
Blueberry Pie
Carrot Cake Whoopie Pie
3 Musketeers Pie
Buttermilk Pie
Banofee Pie
Peaches & Cream Pie

It was a stretch to have all these pies on the menu but I couldn’t decide what to cut so I decided to go for it. I always start with the hardest, putzy-est recipes and this year it had me a little panicked at 10:30 when I had a HUGE mess and not much to show for it yet.

But I did get it together… phew!

When have you bitten off more than you could chew?

Waffle Kindness

In world that sometimes seems cold and heartless, where bad behavior gets rewarded too often, it’s wonderful to see the story of a waitress who was given a $16,000 college scholarship for being kind to an elderly gentleman who needed help cutting up his breakfast.   The story speaks for itself.


Has some ever been kind to you?












Husband and I have vastly different ways of dealing with leftovers  in the kitchen. I just eat them until they are gone.  Husband  gets bored with them and tries to improve them.  Last week he made some Italian bean soup. The recipe made a lot, and after a couple of days he added rice, leftover cooked yellow zucchini, green beans, and a jar of home canned tomatoes.  Instead of having six cups of bean soup that we could have finished in a couple of days, we  had  10 cups of minestrone that I am still eating.  The minestrone was pretty good, but most of his renovated leftover aren’t very palatable, and he ends up eating them for a day and them throwing them out.  I call those creations “glop”,  since that is their consistency and their appeal, and I am often afraid to eat them.  He has never been able to appreciate my argument that what he does just makes for more leftovers.  Boredom trumps volume, I guess.  Now, if you will excuse me, I am going to heat up some minestrone.

How do you manage leftovers? What are you afraid to eat?