Friday, April 10, 2009

For Lynn who requested the recipe for the pinwheels and anyone else who might be interested.

Hamburger Pinwheels

4c. packaged biscuit mix

butter or marg.
1 1/3 c. milk
1 tbsp. instant minced onion
1/4 c. chopped onion
3/4 lb. chuck beef, ground

1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. worcesershire sauce

2 tbsp. catsup

2 tsp. prepared mustard
2 eggs
1 c. drained cooked or canned peas (I used frozen - not cooked)
1 envelope gravy mix
1/4 c. drained, canned, sliced mushrooms *
watercress *
2 tomatoes, cut in wedges *
*- optional

About 1 hr before serving:

1) In large bowl, mix biscuit mix with 2 tsp. butter or Marg. until butter particles are fine, then blend in milk and instant onion; set aside (Can use recipe for baking powder biscuits instead of mix - which is what I did - recipe follows)

2) Start heating oven to 350F. In 1 tbsp. butter, in mediumskillet, saute chopped onion until soft. Add ground beef, salt, pepper, msg,Worcetershire, catsup and mustard; then cook until beef just loses its red color.Remove from heat and add 1 egg and peas.
3)On floured board, roll biscuit dough into a rectangle 14"x 8";** with sharp knife cut dough into strips lengthwise into 8 strips, each 1" wide. On each strip, evenly spread about 1/4 c. of meat mixture, up to 1" from each end; then roll up strip like a jelly roll, brushing end with some of 1 beaten egg, before sealing it.
4) Place pinwheels on greased cookie sheet, then bake about 1/2 hr. or until golden brown. About 5 min before pinwheels are done, make up the gravy mix as label directs; add mushrooms while heating.
5) Serve pinwheels on a heated platter, garnished with watercress and tomato wedges. Pass gravy. Makes 8

** I (my mom) usually spread the meat mixture on it , leaving 1" edge (along short. side) for egg wash, then roll it like a jelly roll and cut into 8 " slices with a sharp knife. Often have to reshape pinwheels a bit too. I did this as well - no way was I going to fuss around cutting strips and then trying to roll them up - doing it the way my mom suggests was really easy - and 'reshaping' the pinwheels is no big deal.

Biscuits Supreme

3 c. all purpose flour
4 tsp. baking bowder
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. cream of tartar
* 2 tsp. fresh chopped garlic
* 4 tsp. italian seasoning
3/4 c. butter
1 1/4 c. buttermilk or 1 c. milk

* - my own additions - used when making the pinwheels - also when I want to make 'herbed' biscuits ( a big hit around here) and I also use this recipe when I make pizza.

1. In a large bowl stir together the flour,baking powder, sugar, salt and cream of tartar. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles caorse crumbs. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add buttermilk all at once. Using a fork, stir until moistened.

2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead dough by folding and gently pressing dough for 4 to 6 strokes or just until dough holds together.

Bon appetit - hope you enjoy as much as we do.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Today I got to sleep in - until 6 a.m. instead of getting up at 4:45 a.m. to go for a walk - managed to walk for five days - must admit as the week progressed the distance and speed diminished - but we hung in there and accomplished the goal of walking for an hour. Although I am none to keen on getting up at 4:45 a.m. - must admit it sure beats walking in the heat -we are usually home by 6:45 at the latest - unless we walk to Mandara - but I think that will be a one time only deal - before the sun gets too high.

After I got up I had my shower, got laundry started, checked my email, vacuumed (even moved furniture), dusted, did dishes, cleared off the dining room table (tends to be a catch all - being right at the front door) and then dusted the table, had breakfast, have done four loads of laundry and it is even all dried and put away, and then last but not least I vacuumed and dusted my bedroom - I even watered the garden and then got a knock on the door telling me that water was dripping - like I can do anything about it once I have watered - figured it would happen today - got a little overzealous watering one of the pots and water went all over the place - I just hope the water did not drip out of the drain spout that comes from the rose garden - that water then ends up on people's clean clothes - if they have any hanging outside - SIGH. I even got ambitious and swept part of the balcony - right by the doors that I use the most - in the hopes that maybe I will not track in nearly as much dirt when I am going in and out.
Last Tuesday I got busy and made my pinwheels - invited Sharon over for lunch - and we had the pinwheels and made chocolate pudding cake - pinwheels turned out really well - there was not much pudding in the chocolate pudding cake - not sure if it was because I baked it for too long or if I need to put more water in it. Oh well - such is life - tasted good anyhow. Took a picture of the pinwheels and uploaded it.

Pinwheels - used to have them when I was a kid - has been ages since I had these

Not much going on in my little world of make believe - after many false starts - I finally got my household money today. What a hassle. Ended up with one of Aymn's uncles going to Manshaya and getting the money - he then dropped it off at Suzanne's as he does not know where I live - and Mr. Sadee told him to leave it with them - guess he was not keen - as Aymn had told him to give me the money - Mr. Sadee explained that I live on the 14th floor - same building - and chances were that I would already be asleep - of course I stayed up late waiting for him to come - gave up at 10 - after figuring out that he would not likely come to my place but would choose to leave it with Suzanne. This uncle drives taxi so he was out and about anyhow - must say I do appreciate that he went to Manshaya and brought the money to me. Aymn was not a happy camper - he had asked Mr. Sadee to go and get it and he had said sure - then did not go get it - then Aymn wanted me to take a bus and go to Manshaya - told him I would not go (have to work at not feeling guilty saying no) - then he had me phone Suzanne and get the uncle's mobile number and I messaged him with the number - and then he phoned the uncle and asked him if he could go get the money. Amazing - he gets shirty with me because I do not do what he wants me to - and yet I am not supposed to get upset when he does the opposite of what I ask him to do - go figure. Anyhow - long story short - finally got the money for the month.

Today I got the water bill - less than 20 LE ($4 CAN) for at least six months - and I use a lot of water because of the garden. Must ask Suzanne how much her bill was for.

And that is my life in a nutshell - do not really expect Aymn to return until next month - if then. Must admit this is certainly giving me a lot of food for thought.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

WHEW - it is 7:05 a.m. and I am back from my walk. Last night Suzanne decided we would go at 5:30 - and of course she was not ready - but only took her 15 minutes and we were hitting the pavement.

Yesterday we left at 8 and after about 20 minutes she asked if we could walk to the bank in Mandara (the bank that Dad and I walked to when they were here) - takes about 45 minutes - she wanted to get some money for Mom. So we walked there - she said we would take a micro bus back - we got to the bank and she used the ATM - and there was no money in Mom's account. OOPS. Anyhow - we ended up walking back - which was fine by me - the more walking the better - only request I would have would be to start out earlier - walking in the sun is not my idea of fun. Before I headed out yesterday - having gotten out of bed by 6 - I had stripped my bed, washed the bedding, and it was hanging on the line, had my fruit, then an hour later my breakfast, had even done up the dishes that had been malingering around. After I got back from my walk I did up the breakfast dishes - did a small load - wanted to wash the outer clothes I had been wearing as they were drenched. I also downed 2 litres of water in very short order. Now if only I could figure out some way of sweating out the fat instead of just the water I would be doing really well. Had plans of doing a bit more around the house - but had two phone calls that took up 2 hours of my time - I really need a cordless phone. One of the calls was on my cell phone so I could wander around and do a few things - but the longer call was on the house phone and I am tied to one spot - and I find after sitting for that long - for some reason my get up and go had deserted me - go figure.

Yesterday was a great day - lots of sun - I sat outside and cooled down and read a bit - before I did the second load of laundry. After I showered and dressed I sat outside again - but I am being good now - sat in the shade. It was very warm yesterday and did not cool off much at night - woke up this morning with damp hair - time to take the blanket off the bed - although I may just fold it down at the end of the bed - because it can still get cool again.

This morning was very smoky - looks like it may be a nice day - although there are clouds - which may burn off once the sun gets high enough.

Heard from Aymn yesterday - he had not contacted me on Friday because he did not have good news - like waiting a day changes it. He will not be home anytime soon - has yet to sell the car or send any copper. The two trucks that he spent 5 weeks waiting for - left Libya without taking any copper - after saying they would. So he is now waiting for another truck. So another 5 or 6 weeks. He says it will only be another week - but I have been hearing that for a couple of months - so colour me skeptical.

Will do another load of laundry today - will wash my bath towel and a few other things. Must admit I do enjoy hanging my clothes outside to dry - most of the western women miss their dryer - but I like hanging the clothes outside.

Anyway that is my oh so exciting life in a nutshell.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Has been a 'busy' few days.

Monday I went to AWA - took a taxi - must admit that while getting the taxi is a bit of a hassle - parking is such a breeze - get out and off he goes. No more fancy jewellery for my car. After AWA we headed to San Stefano for lunch - had a good time visiting - always nice to get out of the house and meet up with women who 'get' where you are coming from. Came home and started weeding in the garden - must admit the rose garden was a disaster - looking much better now - although the sweetpea jungle has taken over - so cannot really finish it off - as there is no way I am rooting through the jungle in search of weeds to come upon roses. I also watered the gardens - worked at making sure I did not overflow the potted plants so the water would not end up on the furniture on the sidewalk below.

Yesterday - started with a walk - we (Suzanne and I) actually got off to an early start - we were out there by 7 a.m. then I spent more time in the rose garden - came out of it looking as if I had been in a battle - blood all over my arms. Finally had to give up and actually stand in the garden - not may favourite pasttime - but there is just no way I can reach the back of the garden without crawling into it - not a good idea with the rose bushes - or standing in it - I have basically done as much as I can until the sweetpea jungle is done for the season. I then started puttsing in the next garden - worked at getting the long grass that is going to seed - next is the little plants that I consider weeds - they are harder to get at - but I will win - and when I pull weeds - I endeavour to get as much of the root as possible meaning it takes me longer to weed - but it stays weed free longer as well. I fired up the barbecue and cooked up the sheep meat I had started marinading on Friday - took the cooked meat down to Suzanne and family - I just could not eat it. So after I finished cooking the sheep meat I cooked myself some wieners - I do like barbecued wienies.

Today - went for a walk - Mawada joined us. And on the way home I went to pay my phone bill - what an exercise that is. There are 3 windows - 2 of them are for men and one for women - well the women's line had two lines - one with women and one with men - I just do not get the inability to stand in line and wait your turn - everybody is more important than you are - and it is especially true of the men - you really have to be assertive or you will wait forever - good manners do not exist here when it comes to line ups. Did not take all that long - but you sure do have to be pushy - something I have learned - not something I am comfortable with though. So the phone bill is paid and I ran into Ahmed (door man) and paid him - I usually pay him 65 LE - 35 for the elevator and for him taking out the trash and delivering bread - and then 30 for looking after the car - but since the car is not around I only gave him 50 - he was not happy - but I think it is more than fair. Anyhow - now I have about 45 LE left until Aymn either arrives or sends me this month's allowance. Must admit I do not like this tussle to get the money - I think he should just get it to me on the first of the month - no matter what - but that has yet to happen. And while I had my own money and was not completely dependant on his contribution - it did not really bother me - but now that I am completely dependant on his money - it irks me no end. The plan for today is to spend more time working in the garden - but that my just change - may just take a break today. Time will tell.