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Drogo

Dear Diary: Question of the Day(s)

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Not a classic dad joke, but I did send this to my daughter the other day since she’s a known offender of the blinding light in the back seat issue. 
 

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When you go to someone's house for Thanksgiving, what do you bring with you? 

Bonus points for recipes and/or unusual things. 

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I get no bonus points because I’m terribly boring - after a disastrous attempt at pistachio salad years ago (more like pistachio soup), I have been relegated to bringing the chips. On the up side, I’m the favorite aunt of the fussy eating under-12 set.

Recipe for the pistachio salad (don’t make the pudding first, FYI! Learn from my mistake!):

Ingredients

  • Crushed pineapple
  • instant pistachio pudding mix
  • frozen whipped topping
  • mini marshmallows

Start by combing the drained canned pineapple and the dry pistachio pudding mix in a big bowl. Make sure your whipped topping is thawed because it will be easier to handle. Fold in the whipped topping and mini marshmallows to your pudding/pineapple mixture. Mix it all together until its well combined. Cover it up and put it in the refrigerator to chill before serving. Put a dollop of whipped topping on top and sprinkle with some chopped pistachios for a extra touch.

Yeah. I messed that up. *hangs head in shame*
 

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Its usually one or more of the following.

Gooey Pumpkin Butter Cake
Cranberry Apple Chutney - recipe below
Green Bean Casserole

This year I am making gluten-free/dairy-free casserole, and gluten-free/dairy-free peanut butter cookies.  Here's a pic of the homemade gluten-free crispy fried onions for the casserole.

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Apple Cranberry Chutney Recipe

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Sweet potatoes and apples (and chestnuts if you want) in a honey run glaze from Gourmet Magazine, 1992:

Rum-Glazed Sweet Potato, Apple & Chestnut Gratin

This flavor combo is sure to bring a smile to your face.

Preparation

Recipe from Gourmet Magazine.

Ingredients:
* 3 lbs sweet potatoes, pricked with skewer
* 3 golden delicious apples, peeled and cut into 1/8ths
* 1/4 c fresh lemon juice
* 1 c halved roasted chestnuts (Score an X into the flat side of each chestnut. Roast for 20 minutes at 400 degrees F. Crack and remove shells. Read more about roasting chestnuts here.
* 6 T unsalted butter
* 1/2 c firmly packed light brown sugar
* 1/2 c honey
* 2 T dark rum
* 1/2 t cinnamon
* 1/4 t ground ginger
* 1/4 t ground mace

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bake the sweet potatoes in the middle of the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until tender. Let them cool. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them diagonally into 1/4-inch slices. In a bowl toss the apples with the lemon juice and arrange them with the sweet potato slices in a buttered 14-inch gratin dish. Sprinkle with the chestnuts.

In a stainless steel or enameled saucepan, cook the remaining ingredients over moderate heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Spoon the mixture over the sweet potatoes and apples and bake the gratin in the middle of the oven, basting occasionally, for 30 minutes, or until the apples are just tender and the sweet potatoes are heated through.

The uncooked gratin can be assembled 1 day ahead and kept refrigerated, covered. Bake, uncovered, basting occasionally, for 40 minutes. Put the gratin under a preheated broiler about 4 inches from the heat until the edges are browned lightly. Serves 8

I've never put chestnuts in, but I'm sure they're wonderful.

I also bring wine.  Much wine.  Always at least one of each - sparkler, a riesling, a pinot noir and a zin.  

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Dessert. This year it is Mississippi mud cake minus the coconut because I hate coconut. 

Also we bring Cub Scout popcorn so we don't eat it all ourselves.

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I do not usually do Thanksgiving, but I used to make this thing that was basically layered ginger snaps and pumpkin ice cream and make into a sort of ice cream cake/pie thing.

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3 hours ago, festivus said:

My fudge pie is in the oven right now. So easy, so good. Just the way I like it.

I would love to have the recipe, unless of course it’s a family secret and you are forbidden from sharing!

I usually bring a dessert, often key lime pie from the recipe on the back of Nellie and Joe’s key lime juice.  But I don’t like graham crackers, so I make it with a chocolate crust.

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Deconstructed baklava: walnuts (or whatever kind of nuts you want), mixed with melted butter and a little cinnamon, spooned into little phyllo cups, and covered with a syrup of sugar, water, honey, a lemon slice, a clove, and a cinnamon stick (simmer for 15 minutes to make the syrup). Gooey and sticky, but people seem to love them.

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4 hours ago, Browncoat said:

I would love to have the recipe, unless of course it’s a family secret and you are forbidden from sharing!

Nah, here's the story. Some years back I was trying to find the perfect fudge pie recipe so I made three different ones from cookbooks and they all turned out too brownie like. So my mom googled, wrote the first one down she found and it was perfect fudgy goodness. Also super easy so I'm happy to be the bringer of the fudge pie to Thanksgiving and it's always the most eaten dessert.

1/2 cup butter

1 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 cup all purpose flour

I mix my ingredients in that order, fully mixing after adding each one. I use a frozen deep dish pie shell from Publix thawed and prebaked for 10 minutes at 350. Then pour the mixture into the shell and bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 325. I bake mine a little longer than that because my oven is old.

3 hours ago, ABay said:

Deconstructed baklava: walnuts (or whatever kind of nuts you want), mixed with melted butter and a little cinnamon, spooned into little phyllo cups, and covered with a syrup of sugar, water, honey, a lemon slice, a clove, and a cinnamon stick (simmer for 15 minutes to make the syrup). Gooey and sticky, but people seem to love them.

That sounds delicious.

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Well... I was planning on just giving myself not much, like a sweater and some socks because my son’s big present is a pile of computer parts we’re going to put together into a super cool gaming PC. That’s kind of a gift for me as well, because I get to do something with him, and it’s not like I won’t occasionally use it. 
 

But then while I was out shopping at the outlets for stuff like pajamas, socks, other traditional stuff for the kids I ducked into the store that has kitchen stuff, and the next thing I knew is that I’m getting a sweater, socks, and a chef’s knife for Christmas. 

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My niece who works in a dental office sent a whole box latex gloves and a box of dental floss! No, she's not stealing! She can take stuff that vendors give them but they aren't going to use. I go through gloves because of hobbies and I floss several times a day - so I love it! Bonus - she spent nothing! I hate when my family spends a bunch of money on me.

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My friend, who doesn’t live near me, sent me a box that had dinner napkins with Bees 🐝 embroidered on them. I love bees. That was great. What wasn’t so great was that she used a glitter wrapping paper and it got all over me and my kitchen before I went to Christmas breakfast at my daughters. 

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I got myself a new tv, some new much needed clothes that actually FIT me, and the standard 32 pounds of cheese to enjoy my day at home. The family will get together Saturday for our Christmas gathering and gift exchange, so we’ll see what I’m getting then. I commissioned my extremely talented niece to draw the gift I’m giving my sister in law, can’t wait to see how she likes it!

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I got mostly cash and gift cards.  But I also got a couple of things to add to my non-collection.  Never tell anyone you like a particular thing, or you will get all the tacky iterations of that thing.  Say I like llamas.  I’ve travelled to see llamas, and I have a few very tasteful llama figurines and stuffed toy llamas.  This does not mean that I will like all things that vaguely resemble llamas, such as an incredibly badly painted rock that’s meant to depict a llama, or a T-shirt with a cartoon llama.  Both of which I got, and now have to figure out what to do with them.

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On 12/25/2019 at 7:12 PM, saoirse said:

I commissioned my extremely talented niece to draw the gift I’m giving my sister in law, can’t wait to see how she likes it!

UPDATE: My extremely talented niece's drawing was a HUGE hit! I did a high res scan and presented it in a 5x7 frame, and my sister-in-law LOVED it! I received a gift card to the spa that I like to occasionally pop in to for some self-care, a gift card for the locally owned coffee shop, a book that I had been wanting, some delightful socks, and four pack of this delightful brew, combining two of my favorite beverages in the entire world - a brown ale with coffee. I think I won Christmas!

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3 hours ago, Drogo said:

What was your most memorable New Years kiss? 

Hmm... searching for an interesting answer to that and 

 

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Hmm. I guess my most memorable would be the one I had the year after my breakup with my longtime college boyfriend. The guy I kissed was super shy and apparently (I found this out much later), I was his first kiss. And I may have scared the heck out of him? I guess I was a bit too knowledgeable for him. 😉 

 

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Can it be one I witnessed?

A friend of mine came to a New Year's party (a bunch of us rented a condo in the mts) and brought a guy with her that she, repeatedly, insisted was ONLY a friend. Well, the clock struck midnight, everyone kissed, and they kept kissing. And kissing. And kissing. Then they disappeared, and later, someone, who wanted to go to bed, walked in on them. 

Since no one else knew them, they became known as "The Sex People"

They never came to any of our parties after that.

They did, however, get married.

I hope she doesn't read these boards

 

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Most memorable NYE kiss was at a party of family and friends.  A distant cousin of mine [we were both teenagers] had recently made a break from his extremely religious parents and decided to use this occasion to plant his very first kiss on someone, anyone, and it landed on lucky me.  Imagine a very large, sopping wet, shop-vac turbo-nozzle covering your nose and mouth, trying to suck out your tonsils. 😖

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The only one that was memorable was the year 2000. My boyfriend of 5 years and I were out at a club. We kissed at midnight and I ran to the pay phone to see if the world actually ended as predicted. I came back to tell my fella that phones still worked just fine, and this woman came up to me and said "I wouldn't be too happy because that guy kissed you, he's been kissing everyone all night." Ummm... no. He was a great guy and was with me all night. Weirdo.

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Tell us about your (current or former) pet's unique/ strange/adorable habit.  

*Bonus points for photos/videos. 

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Shoutout to @Mindthinkr for the idea!

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My Big Boy is very private and likes to go hide when he grooms himself. He loves it if I want to furminate or brush him...for a short bit. So for me to catch him touching his nose with his tongue is a rarity. He’s really good at sleeping (he’s 16) and obviously eating. C98B10AA-76D6-40A2-A694-731CA563FE68.jpeg.1e557f478ca0360465c4f23dff939a38.jpeg

 

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Technically not MY pet, but she adores me so much....

My sister’s dog, Fable, loves me more than anyone in the world besides her mama. When I stop by, she literally runs in circles, and does this weird wheezing/whimpering thing. I’ve tried to capture it on video but the minute the phone is pointed at her, she takes on this scolding look - how COULD you, it says.

But the funniest part - I sit on the couch, and she always parks herself on my left foot. Like...you can’t leave now. I’VE GOT YOU!!!! Photo below of her parked on my foot (from yesterday).

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When my cat was really young, he would hang around the basement while I was exercising, and I had to distract him with dental food during some exercises (I was swinging side to side and touching toes) because he thought he should attack me (he still likes to bite my legs at times, which is NOT his most charming quality).  He became accustomed to getting his dental food at this time, and would sit eagerly on the exercise mat while I did the exercise before the one where he is fed.  I will sing along with whatever song is playing on my CD or iPod at the time, and he responds by chattering his teeth at me.  I should be offended that he either considers me prey when I do this, or is annoyed (he runs around chattering when the landline rings because it bugs him).  If I sing to him any other time of day, however, he just stares at me blankly.  So maybe he just associates singing during this part of the workout with food, and has no overall opinion of my voice.

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I have to be careful with where I plug things in.  My girl likes to lick and rub on wires.

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And, since that's not the best pic of her, I thought I should include this pic of her being adorable.  I'll also note she will do this because she doesn't know how to lay on her back.  It's either this, or when she tries to roll on her back from this position she just ends up flopping over to the other side.

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@Mindthinkr I just wanted to let you know I loved your cat in Hocus Pocus; truly some of his best work.

Our lab steals our youngest's dirty clothes out of his hamper (while he's at school) and puts them on the loveseat so she can nap on them.  She's Jodi-Arias-obsessed with him.   

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My pit mix Boo is very talky. When I've just gotten home from work she will do this weird bark/growl/yawn to make me pay attention to her, if she feels I'm not. She also cries and runs around the house whenever she gets a new toy or chewy. It's like she's so excited she can't stand it. 

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3 hours ago, aquarian1 said:

she will do this because she doesn't know how to lay on her back.  It's either this, or when she tries to roll on her back from this position she just ends up flopping over to the other side.

One of our cats, Lily, is like that, too:. In her case, I think it's just that she's so big that she tends to wobble when she does try to lay on her back. 

She sure loves to flop on her side, though. Especially when it's time for her to be fed in the morning-she'll meow at my mom or sit there and stare at her until she gets up, and then she'll flop down by the bowls and lay there all cute while she waits to be fed. And she, too, is VERY vocal. She's a regular chatterbox in the mornings. 

Our other cat, Mitsi, sometimes seems like she's confused by how her tail works. If she's laying about and it starts flopping, she'll tilt her head and stare at it like she's trying to figure out why it's moving. Then she'll bat at it :p.

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Shlomo thought that if he didn't actually look at whatever it was he was doing that he shouldn't be that no one would know.  For example before I got cable, he though if he turned his head the other way when his paw was playing with the rabbit ears on the tv I would not you know SEE him doing it and move him and tell him to stop it.

Shana I think watched me sleep because as soon as I woke, before I even opened my eyes should would start patting my face to let me know she wanted breakfast.  Once I didn't move fast enough and she stuck out one claw put it in my nose and pulled.

Shlamey loved to tattle.  If her brothers, or even her mother were doing something they probably shouldn't she would trot as fast as she could to the room I was in meowing the whole way.  She reminded me of a little girl who has so much to say she talks so fast she loses her breath.  

Shmuel, well one of his middle names was Jethro for a reason.  That boy would eat, or at least taste anything.  He once lapped up the leftover juice from some olives in a bowl.  I don't think he left the water bowl the rest of the night.  I did warn him it would make him thirsty.

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2 minutes ago, tiftgirl said:

Shlomo thought that if he didn't actually look at whatever it was he was doing that he shouldn't be that no one would know.  For example before I got cable, he though if he turned his head the other way when his paw was playing with the rabbit ears on the tv I would not you know SEE him doing it and move him and tell him to stop it.

LOL, I love this :D. Cat logic is so bizarre. 

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Oh dear, I guess I should have a few stories to tell. Let’s start with the newest guy. When I bring him to training, he takes “Down - Stay” to his own level. Other dogs are down, but eyes on the owner. My puppy tends to roll over, stretch out, maybe stick his legs out. He takes “Down” very seriously. 
 

He also has very little respect for personal space: 

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18 minutes ago, tiftgirl said:

Shlomo thought that if he didn't actually look at whatever it was he was doing that he shouldn't be that no one would know.  For example before I got cable, he though if he turned his head the other way when his paw was playing with the rabbit ears on the tv I would not you know SEE him doing it and move him and tell him to stop it.

He was his own Lookout Guy/Getaway Driver.

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Kitty Gunderson the Younger loves to burrow under the covers. She always leaves about an inch of tail sticking out. Cat can’t hide completely to save her life. She also insist on pawing the ground when she drinks water. We refer to it as “Ferdinanding” after Ferdinand the Bull (children’s book).

Kitty Gunderson the Elder (may she RIP) did not meow. Like never. She couldn’t make a sound anything like a meow. She was totally silent except for her purring, which was nearly constant and very loud, and when she played with her toy mice. She would carry one around in her mouth making the most god-awful sounds, which started as a low growl and then ended with a very high-pitched squeak. Her favorite time to do this was middle of the night, of course, and we had to explain it to any overnight visitors as it was rather disturbing

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I once had a dog who would chase pick-up trucks, but only from safely behind the fence around our yard.  He wouldn't chase them in a straight line, though, he'd twirl like he was simultaneously chasing his tail and the truck, barking and twirling along the fence line until the truck moved past.  He would not chase cars or SUVs or any other vehicle, just pick-up trucks.

It is one of my biggest regrets that I didn't get video of that twirling run, but that was so long ago that video was far more challenging to get than it is now.

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@Annber03 made me think of one. Knox on occasion will  audibly toot and she looks up and stares at her  butt like wth! She’s 9- she should know this stuff!

She also watches tv.  Like I can’t describe how she watches.  She knows the first few beats to commercials with animals and looks up from a deep slumber.  She gives the dogs on TV hell with barking then passes back out when it’s over.

She likes all kinds of shows but she watched Back to the Future in its entirety.

 

Edited by KnoxForPres
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6 minutes ago, KnoxForPres said:

She also watches tv.  Like I can’t describe how she watches.  She knows the first few beats to commercials with animals and looks up from a deep slumber.  She gives the dogs on TV hell with barking then passes back out when it’s over.

We used to have a cat that watched TV and was like that, too. She was absolutely fascinated by the commercials for Temptations kitty treats-just the opening piano music was enough to have her come running from wherever she was and stare at the TV. 

And one time my mom was watching some show about cats, and our cat was staring at the TV and watching the kitties, but she seemed to get annoyed whenever they'd cut to a clip of some person talking about cats, to the point where, after a while, she just got bored and stopped watching the show. Like, "Well, if you're not going to keep showing the cats then I won't watch anymore." :p. 

She even pawed at the TV once when she saw a bird walking across the floor on some show. 

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