Feb 15, 2021

Metanomen Monday

metanomen ~ metaphorical name

Belated Happy Valentine’s Day.

I’ve been enjoying my fully functional kitchen but one serious problem has arisen – I no longer have an excuse for not making cookies. Hence the cookies pictured above.

The recipe for these cookies is the same one my mother used. They were a special treat when I was a kid, although hers were date filled and mine are filled with raspberry jam. She didn’t make them often (which is why they were such a treat) and I came to learn it was probably because they’re such a pain in the butt to make.

A couple of years ago the hubby gave me a stand mixer for Christmas which makes mixing up these cookies much easier, but they’re still pretty labour intensive. You mix up the dough, refrigerate it overnight, then you have to roll them out and cut them.

When you’re getting them ready to bake to have to have to lay the bottom cookies out on the cookie sheet, then put just the right amount of jam in the center of each one – too much and it’ll leak out during baking, too little and you won’t taste it – and then I use a paintbrush to dampen the edges of each cookie before putting the top cookie over it. This seals it better for baking.
<.br> When the daughter had her first Valentine’s Day in kindergarten, I was at a loss as to what to do because I had no idea what the names were of her classmates. So I thought of my mother’s jam filled cookies, and for fun I put them on a stick. One cookie for each kids and a few extra for the teachers.

And I’ve been making them every Valentine’s Day since.

I thought I’d get a break when the daughter started high school, but no such luck. She even had kids she’d gone to primary school with asking her about them. And then for sure I thought when she went away to university I could skip making the cookies, but the daughter was so appalled at the thought of not having her cookies for Valentine’s Day, I hurried up and made them.

A few times I substituted pink sugar cookie dough for the oatmeal because it was easier to mix up, and once I made them like a sandwich cookie with a cut out. They did not go over well. At least I was allowed to ditch the sticks finally.

Making these cookies always makes me think of my mother though. A little bit of nostalgia and a true labour of love.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Feb 8, 2021

Membral Monday

membral ~ of, like or pertaining to the limbs rather than the trunk

I have a functioning kitchen! Huzzah!!!

Monday the installers from Stoneworx arrived with the hefty slabs of stone that became our new counters. It was a glorious moment . . . until we were told we couldn’t use them for 48 hours to give the epoxy a chance to dry. It was almost worse than having no counters.

The plumber was supposed to come either Tuesday or Wednesday. He didn’t show up Tuesday, but the contractor came to install our microwave. Then he had to uninstall it again. It fit in the space all right, but because it’s set back so much further than the alcove surrounding the fridge, we couldn’t open the door more than halfway.

Fortunately, there was a spacer panel between the corner cupboard and the cupboard above the microwave, that came down about a foot and a half. The contractor cut the part off that hung below the cupboard and fixed it to the other side of the space, then reinstalled the microwave. Everything worked out fine.

It was another couple of days before the plumber came, but at least he came early in the morning. And because this is the renovation from hell, there were a couple of problems. First of all, the dishwasher had been moved several feet from where it had been, and the hoses were too short. He was able to fix that, but during the test run discovered one of the seals was leaking, which he wasn’t able to fix. So . . . the dishwasher is hooked up, but we can’t use it until the seal is fixed.

Then we come to the sink itself. When the old sink was removed, the drainage pipe was just capped off. The problem is, the new sinks are way deeper than the old ones, so the drains are much lower. You can’t just cut the drainage pipe off, so he had to drill a hole through the bottom of the cabinet under the sink and the ceiling in the basement so the drain could run straight down.

Then we discovered that the covers for the drains in the sink didn’t match. One was for a sink with a garbage disposal, which we can’t have in our community because there’s a bylaw against them. So, to make sure they matched, the plumber use plain old chrome covers and we can get the proper ones whenever.

So . . . we have to get new drain covers, the seal on the dishwasher needs to be fixed, and we’re still waiting for the trim for above the cupboards. But for all intents and purposes, the kitchen is done.

Now comes the fun part (not!), reloading the cupboards.

Feb 1, 2021

Manducate Monday

manducate ~ to chew or eat

I have a cautionary tale for you today that doesn’t show me in a good light, but it does have a happy(ish) ending.

Saturday night after dinner, I fired up my lap top intending to do some editing. Naturally I didn’t just dive right into work, I had to check my email first. There was a message from one of my sisters – not unheard of, although she usually emails me in the morning, not the evening.

Anyway, the reason she was emailing was because she needed a favour. She was trying to purchase a gift card on Amazon to give to a friend for her birthday, but her credit card wasn’t being accepted. Could I do her a favour and make the purchase for her and she’d pay me back when she got her credit card straightened out.

There were a number of things that should have tipped me off that this wasn’t on the up and up. To name just a few:

Why would my sister email me instead of texting me?
It’s unlikely she’d send a gift card via email
It’s really unlikely she’d spend $100 on a gift card for a friend
And why wouldn’t she just use her hubby’s credit card instead?

In my defense, I was tired and not thinking clearly, and while the request seemed a little unusual, it didn’t raise any alarms with me. So I logged into my Amazon account, ordered up the gift card, and sent it off. I even sent her a copy of the receipt.

Then I logged into Facebook where one of the first messages I saw on my feed was from a cousin who warned us that my sister’s email account had been hacked.

O. M. G.

I immediately phoned Amazon support and they were pretty damn amazing. They’d already flagged the activity as suspicious and temporarily suspended my account. To my relief, the purchase hadn’t gone through. They sent me an email confirming what was going on and followed up with a phone call letting me know I’d have to reset my password and any other account information.

I don’t make purchases with that account very often and my credit card information was out of date, so when I placed the order I had to fill that in again. After I finished straightening things out with Amazon I called my credit card company, just in case. A purchase from Amazon had been attempted but it didn’t go through, and they suggested I keep an eye on my account for the next couple of days. If I see any activity I haven’t authorized I need to call them immediately.

So when all is said and done, I got off lucky, thanks to being able to take action so quickly. Other than the embarrassment of being gullible, the only fallout from all of this was having to reset my Amazon account. I resent the password for my email as well, just in case.

It happened to me; it could happen to you; it could happen to anyone.

Be safe out there in cyberspace.