Today is National No Beard Day. Pretty sure that’s a national day for guys, not those of us who are follicle challenged on our faces. The National Day calendar guys sometimes give us ways to celebrate, like today is also National Exascale Day and they recommend hugging a scientist. Nope. Ain’t gonna happen. Why not? 1) I don’t know any scientists. 2) Hug? With or without a mask? Seems risky.
Because I don’t want you to embarrass yourself by leaving a comment such as ‘What the heck is an exascale?’ I’ll tell you. And I’ll dumb it down. Basically, it’s scientists, researchers, and other techno geeks who make all the leaps in medicine, science, etc. Why am I dumbing it down? Because when I looked up what the heck it was, the explanation was long and all I heard was the Charlie Brown teacher voice in my head. I’m dumbing it down for me, not you. Feel free to research it yourself.
Unless I missed it, they didn’t give suggestions on how to celebrate National No Beard Day. Probably because it’s also National Chocolate Cupcake Day, so we can just give a bearded guy a cupcake. Better yet, I could try and find a bearded scientist and I’ll give him a chocolate cupcake. I, of course, will be dressed in leggings because it’s also International Legging Day.
Since most of my posts lately have been about food, let me expound on a previous post about schnitzel. Just the very name seems scary to try and cook. Wrong! Ed and I are both addicted to schnitzel. If that’s not bad enough, our daughter and one of our granddaughters are now making it, too. I’ve never been one to shy away from making dishes that sound difficult, but I much prefer to just make up my own recipes, all of which are simple, tasty, and will normally allow me to have dinner on in a half hour. So, no fear, but plenty of laziness. The hardest part about making schnitzel is pounding the chicken flat. Other than that, it’s ridiculously simple.
One large skinless, boneless chicken breast, sliced diagonally, and pounded flat into two thin cutlets. (More, obviously, if you’re cooking for more people.) Dip the chicken in flour, then into beaten eggs with a little bit of water, then breadcrumbs, and fry at 350 degrees. I put paprika in the flour and breadcrumbs, and salt/pepper in the flour/eggs/breadcrumbs. We prefer Panko breadcrumbs because the schnitzel is so crunchy. I did read a trick, which works like a charm. Put the breaded chicken in the refrigerator and let it rest for 15 minutes. If you do, the coating doesn’t come off when you fry it. Seriously, you can find anything on the internet, can’t you? This might become your favorite recipe. Consider yourself warned. I’m just sorry I didn’t realize how good it was about 40 years ago. Wasted time.
A few years ago, I might have said my favorite meal was my Chicken Pinot Grigio and a slice of my Great Aunt Clara’s chocolate pie. Or any meal where my au gratin potatoes are served. Aunt Clara made the best chocolate pie. It’s a lot of work, and as many times as I’ve made it, it never seems to taste as good as hers. Maybe she left something out of the recipe when she gave it to me. Probably on purpose so I’d have to go there to get a good one. If I passed through Oklahoma City on one of my cross-country trips, I’d let her know I was coming, and she’d have one waiting for me, along with a plastic fork. FYI, you can eat pie and drive at the same time, but it is a little challenging.
She had one of the most unusual last names. Kitchen. I have a tooled leather purse in my kitchen that holds spatulas, turners, etc. Her name (Kitchen) is on there. I’ll bet people wonder who would be crazy enough to have an expensive leather purse tooled to hold spatulas. In my case, it’s on top of the cabinet, cause no way would I want to hurt that purse.
Isn’t it funny how silly things can come to mean so much to you? Especially after someone you love dies. Like Aunt Clara’s purse. I also have a ring that belonged to her. It’s a signet ring, which I wear on my middle finger. She got it when she graduated from the 8th grade, so it’s well over a hundred years old. And it means the world to me. I never take it off. So even if she’s not here to make me a chocolate pie, she’s absolutely in my thoughts every day, and normally several times a day.
If someone asked me now about my favorite meal, it would be schnitzel, au gratin potatoes, and my new chocolate pie recipe. When Ed and I first started dating, he told me he didn’t like sweets that much. He’s a big fat liar! Okay, not fat, but still a liar. I told him today we polished off the last of the pie, and he’s been pouting ever since. You know how if you cook a chocolate pie, it will get runny after the first slice comes out? This one doesn’t. Absolutely perfect pie. If I get permission from the baker, I’ll give you the website address in the next blog post.
Enough about food. Because now I’m wanting to go see if I have enough chocolate to make another one, and we really don’t need it. Why I haven’t gained weight during all this isolation escapes me. I do know what the raccoons have been doing during the pandemic, other than eating copious amounts of cat food and becoming the size of small ponies.
We thought the momma raccoon had three babies. Then we saw a fourth one. It kind of looked like the babies were smaller, but didn’t seem possible as much as they eat. Turned out it wasn’t our imagination. The other night I saw momma and her three babies on the camera, along with another momma and her four babies. I swear, raccoons are as bad as rabbits.
So that’s my new life. Cooking and watching raccoons. I suppose there could be worse things, like making masks. Mailed off another 200 the other day, so we’re around the thousand mark. And I still hate it. But watching all the raccoon babies “explore” the patio takes my mind off most things. It’s nice to finally figure out what God’s purpose in life is for me. It’s feeding stray raccoons. I’m just thankful He didn’t decide we should have stray elephants in the back yard. Our raccoon food bill is high enough as is. I shudder to think what it could be.