I can’t believe September is over. I was sure it just started! Apparently not. It is not yet glorious Autumn here. It will be at least another week. I’m not seeing a single changed leaf on my maple tree.

That’s my gauge. It’s just outside my picture window. When ONE leaf changes, I’m sure there are some changes elsewhere. Right now, Everything is green except for the yellow aspens.


What’s your favorite way to exercise?

I would have thought after all these years my answer would have changed to something — ANYTHING — else. Like Senior Yoga or Weak Spine Karate. Nonetheless, it remains what it has always been: housework. Especially cooking, which sometimes takes an entire day for one meal.

It didn’t used to take quite so much time, but I do more complicated cooking now than I ever did in the past, probably because I’m retired and I can, and because the lack of ever going out to eat means that if we aren’t going to eat hamburger helper every day, I have to find new ways to use the same food. Prices having jumped by at least 50% in the grocery store and living in a place where exotic foods are uncommon or non-existent, in the meat department, we have minced beef, boneless chicken, sausages (in various flavors), pork roasts (also in various flavors), ham steak, eggs, and bacon. There’s also frozen ravioli and a variety of pasta sauces though I also make my own.

In the creative department, we have more than a dozen Asian sauces from China, Japan, and Thailand as well as a boatload of spices. Plus just about anything you could possibly need to bake most breads.

I have Chinese cookbooks, Indian cookbooks, West Indian food, Jewish cookbooks, and the usual all purpose cookbooks many of which were printed in the early 20th century when no one had an electric anything in their kitchen. I also have — a favorite — a cookbook of all fist class winners of various American cooking contests (there isn’t a bad recipe in it). It was worth it just for the ginger snaps.

From traveling here and there, I have a couple of West Indian, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Martha’s Vineyard, early American, and several from the Old Sturbridge Village guest shop. Wherever we’ve gone, I try to bring home at least one cookbook. Of the souvenirs one can buy on vacation, I actually use the cookbooks. I’ve also gotten cookbooks as gifts and bought cookbooks online, almost all previously used.

I prefer used cookbooks, especially where the last owner made notes in the margins to tell you stuff the recipe neglects to mention.

I actually am very tired of cooking, but I’m not tired of eating. If I want to eat it, I have to learn to cook it. Not only do we not have any good restaurants locally, we also have nothing more exotic than on Asian fusion. And that’s just one restaurant.

My attempts at Indian cooking didn’t cut it. I don’t know what I did wrong, but everything was kind of flat and dull. Maybe I used the wrong books. Not every cookbook is great and some are surprisingly awful. One has to wonder if anyone actually made that recipe before publishing the book.

What’s more important to you – family or friends?

I think that’s pretty much of a tie, though I spend a LOT more of my time with family. I wish I spent more time with friends. That time seems to get shorter each year.

As a segue of sorts from last week’s SYW, have you ever voted for someone (in whatever venue – politics, contests, school elections) based solely on how they looked?


How could carousels be spiced up so they are more exciting?

They could use real horses instead of the painted ones that just go up and down. I bet they could produce on at Hogwart’s! But definitely, keep the Calliope music.


Categories: #SYW, Anecdote, Humor, questions, Share My World

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3 replies

  1. Yes, time flies! October is here. I agree family is most important. You underestimate yourself when it comes to cooking I guess. Your culinary skills were always good and the pics you share time to time are a delight to see.


  2. Thanks, Marilyn for Sharing Your World! My goodness! You CAN cook! Wow. My mother was a collector of cookbooks, and recipes her whole life. One really precious thing I have is a set of recipe cards with her favorite recipes written on them – long hand by her. Some things go beyond a price! As to the (East) Indian cooking? I once worked with a woman from India, and to one company potluck she brought this potato and fresh green peas dish. Sounds simple, but the spicing made it unforgettable. I could seriously have eaten the whole bowl! It was that good. So I got the recipe from her and attempted to do it myself at home. Hubby would have loved it (IF it had worked). It was as you describe – a little flat and a lot tasteless. I asked her later what went wrong because I’d bought as fresh as possible spices and the whole thing, and she said “Indian women develop their own methods of spicing, unique to each woman. And there’s always a ‘secret’ ingredient that they may be hesitant to share with others in their unique blend, something they’ve created out of years of experimenting with spices. So it’s not YOU, it’s the cultural component that’s missing I think. We have an Asian fusion place here (fusion SUSHI if you can believe that). Some of the sushi rice rolls are stuffed with burrito ingredients – no fish at all. O_o It’s okay, but it ain’t spectacular. It’s tough living in a variety restricted area and you have my full sympathy! With the horrifying cost of food in general, I’m a little afraid to go out to eat anyway. I don’t know that I could afford it. I’m gonna have to break out the cookbooks! 🙂 All your answers were great and the photography awesome! I hope you get to see some red maple leaves before this Autumn toddles away… Have an amazing week! 😀


    • I love being in the country, but you’re right. Variety is so restricted. I think garlic powder is considered serious spicing in the valley. Mostly, it’s salt, maybe pepper, and that’s it!

      As for Indian spicing, some of the problem may be that spices we buy aren’t fresh. I suspect by the time we get the spices, they’ve been on the shelf too long. I’ve eaten Indian food in restaurants and it is SO much better than what I made at home! For one thing, the curry powder I got (Amazon — but I think I might have done better in the supermarket!) is bland. It has no bite. The last time I used it, we added a quarter of a hot pepper. It helped. I also think I also need a different cookbook.

      I woke up to thunder this morning, so I ran around closing doors and windows and turning on air conditioning — not for the cold, but to pull some of the humidity out of the air. If we don’t get a stretch of dry weather, we’ll never get our autumn colors.

      It IS getting cold at night, but then it rains for another 24 hours. You don’t get good color when it’s wet most of the time. Anytime autumn is very rainy, the leaves just turn brown and fall off — and even before climate change, heavy fall rain killed the colors. I’m still hoping we get color next week. When it does change, it happens pretty much over night. Here’s hoping!


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