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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Or as I used to say in grade school, Valen-Times!

Over the past several years I have given Bill a hand made valentine to mark this occasion. Sometimes it's a paper confection adorned with ruffles and paper lace doilies, vintage illustrations and artistic embellishments. Other times it is a knitted, crocheted or tatted heart.

Patterns for new designs are getting harder and harder to find. In case you are inclined to create a unique handmade valentine for someone, here are links to a few of my favorites.

This is a darling chubby 3D heart in the Amigurumi style.

The instructions for this heart were a bit of a challenge to decipher, but the result is a charming granny-square style heart with a picot edging.

Here are instructions for a whimsical garland of hearts. Try making the hearts in multi-colors for use year-round.

I usually stuff the hearts with lavender to make sachets. Bill seems to like them. I know I enjoy making them, and I hope you do too.

Quotable Quotes; in the category What's Love Got To Do With It?

“From Jesse James to Loeb and Leopold, from the perpetrators of the St. Valentine's Day's massacre to the Lindbergh kidnapper and beyond, our celebrated delinquents have become a part of the national heritage.”

F. W. Dupree

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Chicken Salad

My sis and I got into an email exchange about chicken salad (it started with Spam - don't ask me how). The emails and links she sent were so entertaining (at least to me)I decided to post them as a blog entry. Enjoy.

From sis:
All time favorite chicken salad EVER in the history of the world:

Chunks of cooked white meat chicken – don’t you dare shred it or mince it or let it turn to mush
Celery cut in small dice
Green or red grapes or both, sliced in half
Roasted salted pecans, some halves, some roughly chopped – note SALTED pecans
Best mayo you can find
Salt and pepper to taste

Proportions are up to you. Probably something like four parts chicken to one part celery to one – two parts grapes to one part pecans? Maybe?
Mix it all up together with enough mayo. Put it in a pretty bowl and garnish with pecan halves and some grapes.

The sweetest old Jewish lady in the world used to bring this to a writing class where we would do a potluck for the last class every semester. It’s excellent on crackers, divine on croissants, perfection in puff pastry shells, delicious as a salad on a plate with some sliced melon, berries, pineapple, lettuce and whatever, with maybe a dribble of poppy seed type dressing for the salad part. And unless you want mom to return from the grave and haunt you for the rest of your life, do not even think about putting anything remotely like an onion anywhere near it. Seriously, she’ll have a cow. I used to make this for her and she loved it, but she was positively militant about no onions in chicken salad. Ever.

And my reply:
Best Chicken Salad memories

1-ate with mom at (I think) Schraft's - that used to be in the Somerset Mall, not in a store, out in the mall. It later became that restaurant where Josh worked and we went after mom's memorial.

I think this was my formal intro to chix salad and mom talked about Schrafts and "lady lunch places".

(side note 6 huge Canada geese just flew by my window and something made them turn around and go the other direction - sun on their bellies).

2 - friend at work whose daughter got married - her girlfriends threw a shower. Entire menu consisted of
Chicken salad (chicken chunks, grapes, slivered almonds)
on mini croissants
bowl of beautiful fruit salad
end of story.
most elegant shower EVER.

3 - with a friend at standard diner/cafe/coffee shop. A lunch special was a half cantaloupe filled (FILLED) with chicken salad.

It was very good chicken salad and in that moment I understood why women like this kind of food. It could turn me off burgers . . . maybe . . .

4 - Deli/diner that serves half sandwich and soup or salad. I order the chicken salad. One time they served it on Challah bread. I may convert.

mmmmmmmmmmm. . . . . . . chicken salad . . .

Sis countered with these links to a pic of ladies dining in Schraft's circa 1978, and a lovely remembrance of Schraft's just after midnight on an Easter Sunday. Lovely.

Now, go and make some chicken salad and be sure to make extra for me!

Quotable Quotes; in the category Which Came First?

"You can't set a hen in one morning and have chicken salad for lunch."
George M. Humphrey