Food, Old Diary

Slow Roasted Pizza

This post has a strange origin. I woke at 3 A.M. to the sound of the furnace and after resolving whatever seemed to be wrong (I’m not sure what I did to fix the problem) I returned to bed with no hope whatsoever of falling back asleep.

I got out of bed a little later and did some InterWeb browsing where I chanced upon this photo at a website called Bev Cooks:

…and the title “Slow roasted tomato and mushroom pizza” upon which seeing I couldn’t help wonder whether it was the veggies that were SLOW ROASTED or whether it was the pizza?

I mean, whoever has heard about baking pizza at LOW temps? Always, it seems it’s a quest for higher temps and shorter cooking times!

It turns out that the original article was about slow roasting veggies, which wasn’t what I was interested in at all, but I have to give credit for starting my brain in a different direction.

A little more browsing and I came across this recipe for SLOW COOKER PIZZA! What a radical idea: pizza in a slow Cooker! This crispy crust maven was shocked. I am not sure I have ever eaten a soft-crust pie I liked, but I’m intrigued.

To be honest, I haven’t tried it yet. But I had no post for today and took the easy way out!

And I’m not sure I could wait 3-4 hours while smelling the aroma of baking pizza. That might be enough to kill me. ūü§£ still, I do think I’ll give it a try some day. The problem being where I am, and where my slow cooker is …. more on that soon.


INGREDIENTS

Cooking spray, for slow cooker
1 lb. pizza dough
1 c. pizza sauce
2 c. shredded mozzarella
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan
1/2 c. sliced pepperoni
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp. Freshly chopped parsley, for garnish

DIRECTIONS

Spray bottom and sides of a large slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.

Press pizza dough into bottom of slow cooker until it reaches all edges and bottom is completely covered. Spoon over pizza sauce and spread, leaving about 1″ of dough around edges. Top with cheeses, pepperoni, and spices.

Cover slow cooker and cook on low until crust turns golden and cheese is melty, 3 to 4 hours.

Remove lid and let cool 5 minutes.

 Using a spatula, remove pizza from crock pot. Garnish with parsley, then slice and serve.

Cooking time: 3-4 hours


These were the photos that went with the original piece:

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Old Diary

Peacemaker

After blowing off steam the right thing to do is make peace, and so that’s what I did yesterday. ¬†making-peaceI took some time out of my day off and went back to have another chat with the volunteer who ticked me off yesterday.

I don’t know how YOU approach getting over humps in a relationship but for me it always works best if I can get the person alone for a starter. ¬†When I arrived at their site they were getting ready for a party — turns out it was THE party’s birthday yesterday.

But, I told her “You and I need to come to a meeting of the minds — let’s take a walk” and we did.

There were a million ways to approach  that conversation.  My approach was pretty basic.

“So what was that all about yesterday?” – Me

“What was WHAT all about?” – Her

“I got here and the first thing I know you’re jumping down my throat. ¬†I don’t know what YOU intended, but all I could see was ATTITUDE.” and from there on it was actually a very nice conversation. ¬†I not only solved the irritation from the previous day, I let them know that I had to withdraw my support for their transfer request and in that moment for that reason they understood my position completely. ¬†I left them knowing there is a way to fix what was broken — that whacked out expense report — and that during the week when I was working (instead of on my day off as it was yesterday) I’d bring the form back over and we’d get it fixed.

I don’t know that I made a ‘friend.’ ¬†I’m fairly optimistic that one person will try not to do the same thing over again because they realize how much their attitude cost them: ¬†not being able to get the different position here that they had been hoping for.

How does the Scripture go? ¬†“Blessed are the peacemakers‚Ķ”

We’re Cold Again

We’re having another little spate of cold weather. No leaks or breaks right now — so far anyway. ¬†I still haven’t gotten our water hose heater installed so we trickled our water again for the last two nights but what we are having for temperatures here is so much better than what we left behind in Wisconsin that we have no room to complain.

We have never had a wooden deck before like the 8′ x 16′ and we have discovered that ¬†a wooden deck that has air flowing underneath it gets VERY VERY VERY slippery in freezing temperatures. ¬†No one has fallen or been injured but we are very careful on these cold mornings when we head out in the morning, or when I go over to the pump house to check the chlorine levels.

On a positive side — yes, there CAN be a positive side to cold — the frost on the automobile windows is very different here from what it used to be in Milwaukee. ¬† For one thing it’s easier to scrape off. ¬†But more importantly the frost forms almost as if it was individual snow flakes piling on top of each other. ¬†I have tried to get a picture to illustrate what I mean but thus far I haven’t been able to get the lighting right so that you can see what are rather like icy flakes piled on top of each other — there’s so much pattern in the ice it’s almost a shame to scrape it off.

But then I don’t suppose the boss would take kindly to my calling in to say we won’t be able to make it into the office today because of the frost on my windows.

Which is funny, because they have said many, many times that if it’s icy on the roads we are not to go out. If it’s too foggy, not to go out. ¬†If there’s any circumstance when you think it might not be safe, don’t go out. ¬†I think they are more afraid of volunteers having auto accidents than they are anything else. ¬† I’m sure some of it is concern for volunteers safety; but I’m positive a lot of it is concern over Forest Service liability. ūüôā ¬†Such is life in the 21st Century.

Convection Oven Pizza

appian wayWe have always made homemade pizza in our family. ¬†My dad started me out when I was a little kid and he used to make these Appian Way boxed pizzas — which required you to make your own dough from the Bisquick type mix in the box. ¬†Back in the day they provided a disgusting tomato sauce and some stale shredded mozzarella, and it wasn’t a great pizza but in those days Wisconsinites didn’t know from Great Pizza; we were happy just to have something flat with acid and meat. I don’t know what’s in the box NOW — but I see they’re still selling it!

By the time I got married I had sequed out of box pizza and was making my own yeast dough. ¬†When Katy was young we had pizza parties where I’d make the dough and our guests would build the pizza of their choice, we experimented with all manner of toppings, and it’s been fun to have something to DO with the food we EAT. ¬†I think we’ve even done pizza on some holiday.pizza stone

When we decided to go mobile we were puzzled about how we were going to keep on making pizza in an RV with only a microwave. ¬†Well, that was because we hadn’t noticed that¬†Journey‘s oven was microwave / convection. ¬†(One of those things you don’t think to look at when you are bombarded with a thousand things to look at in a potential new home.)

So, we had a sort of real oven — but a small one. ¬†I mean, what is a 12″ microwave pizza? ¬†Then one day at Kitchen Collection I saw a 12″ pizza stone and I had my answer. ¬†With the convection oven we could at least get a decent crust!

We’ve made a few since going mobile and they are getting better and closer to our Cudahy real-oven with a larger pizza stone in it variety that we were used to. ¬†We made another yesterday, to celebrate the new year. ¬†We didn’t do much on New Years Eve (we’ve never been into late night) ¬†So, last night was kind of our New Year. ¬† ¬†New-Years-confetti

It’s funny the things we associate with holidays, or celebrations, or feeling homey and content. ¬†Pizza is one of those things for me. ¬†So is pickled herring — which I know some people think is a really strange idea — sweet and sour fish — heck when I say it that way it sound horrible even to me. ¬†Yet there it was on the table every year around Christmas / New Year and the holidays don’t seem right without it. ¬†But back to pizza…

So many times during our married life we’ve come to crossroads and we wanted to celebrate, or times we were at a crossroads and needed to make a decision — and we decided to go for ¬†pizza, have a glass of wine, and sit while we talking through our choices.

Could it be that the “choice” part of pizza is what appeals to me? ¬†You can make a pizza become anything you want: meat, or no meat, veggies or no veggies, cheese or no cheese, red sauce, white sauce, or olive oil. ¬† Pizza is a way of celebrating Self-Determination!

Yesterday it was red sauce, mozzarella, ‘shrooms, and kalamata olives. ¬†Tomorrow‚Ķ. THE WORLD! ¬†Pizza Rules!

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Old Diary

When the heat gets to you

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Yesterday I mentioned our neighbor who decided that they needed more cooling… this is how they decided to get it.

Today was sort of an adrenalin let down day for us. ¬†We are both emotionally exhausted — I guess being ‘on call’ is more strenuous than we thought it might be. ¬†While we were poking around the campground we found one of our Highland Ridge campers who seem to have followed us down here. ¬†Small world.

I snapped a few shots around the campground to give some sense of how much the water levels have receded. ¬†It’s amazing to me not only the power and fluctuations of nature but also the degree to which man has learned to control them. ¬†It’s truly amazing to me.

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Great River Roadhouse Interior

We made it back to Great River Roadhouse tonight — IN july we had seen their marvelous pizzas and we had to come back to try one. ¬†it was worth waiting 2 months for. ¬†The joint gets a lot of local traffic, a lot of biker traffic, and tonight it was host to the Driftless Paddlers, a Kayaking group. ¬†They had clearly had a fun day and they all seemed to still be dry — a miracle I rarely seem to be able to achieve when I get into a Kayak.

They also have some 40 different bees.  Not all craft or IPAs but a nice selection nonetheless.

I finally got around to our DISH TV again. ¬†It’s the dumbest thing. ¬†I had it hooked up in the driveway at Cudahy and then switched over to antenna TV. ¬†When we left Cudahy it was a while before we could get a satellite signal (based on where our campsite was located) — and by then I couldn’t remember what software switches to set — and then we didn’t have a signal again. ¬†It’s nice to see what I’ve been paying for. ¬†ūüôā

And, it will be nice to have a little more control over what we watch! ¬†Relying strictly on the Air stations is good enough most of the time but it will be nice to have some variety. ¬†Not sure what we’ll have in Florence.

I’ve been doing a little research on Florence — one of the topics lead me to find a reference to Oregon Farmers Markets. ¬†I’ll post that in a day or so.

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a medium pepperoni, black olive, mushroom ‘Za

We have a huge number of sparrows here. ¬†I’m not sure why but we didn’t see a single sparrow up at Highland Ridge. ¬†Yesterday afternoon on the prairie terrain alongside our site there were 30 at one time.

Immature Easter Brown Headed Cowbird

Immature Easter Brown Headed Cowbird

On that same subject, the last few days in Highland Ridge we had a little friend hanging out near our campsite. ¬†This little guy was so friendly he would come within 1 foot of our feet with no sense of fear at all. ¬†He’s a happy little bug eater so we weren’t in any hurry to send him on his way. ¬†We were only happy that he didn’t get in the way as we pulled out from our site yesterday.

It’s funny how some critters have so much fear of humans, and others seem quite content to have people near and show no evidence of human-phobia.

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Old Diary

Calm

UFO Hunter ‚Äď Unidentified Floating Object hunter

UFO Hunter ‚Äď Unidentified Floating Object hunter ‚Äď Kathryn trying to figure out what she saw floating downstream!

Monday after a holiday week; calm descends on the campground and campers leave behind a hill of trash!  I am amazed at how much trash campers can leave behind.  But one thing seems sure:  if the campground recycles and people put out bags of empty beer cans there will be some camper who will pull up to the recycling bin and grab all the aluminum cans they can find and TAKE them.

Sunday was a really sweet day for Peg and I. ¬†Having Kathryn come to visit is always a treat. ¬†We laugh a lot, well smile a lot, tell a lot of stories and can enjoy just being together without having to be “doing” things. ¬†That was Sunday.

The only thing we managed to “accomplish” was having a meal at the local river front resto. The Great River Roadhouse seems to be a really popular stopping point for bikers and it’s about the only roadside resto with a view of the river for quite a few miles. ¬†The food was great – the pizza looked amazing (and we might have to come back here some time just to try the pizza). ¬†We had a nice meal and enjoyed the view of the river from an air conditioned vantage point. ¬† We must have been in an italian mood — all three of us — because it was pasta all around. ¬†Real tasty!

Kathryn heads back home on Monday — today. ¬†So life life will return to being a little quieter and (just kidding) a little roomier! ¬†Our 32′ coach is big enough for a couple guests occasionally but as a strictly an observation that third or potentially fourth person make a significant difference in the amount of personal space you have to call your own!!!!!! ¬†None of which is a complaint — we intentionally wanted a small coach to LIVE in, knowing that there will be times when we’re a little chummier than others.

When we first got married we often had lots of visitors. ¬†We were active at church and conferences and weekend visitors were frequent. ¬†At the time we were living in a 700 sq ft apartment and we had as many as 15 people staying over 2 nights with us — all using only one bathroom. ¬†So, three people in 230 sq ft is still a luxury!!!

As we get closer to moving day (this Wednesday) we begin our routine of pre-moving stowage. ¬†It rained a nice rain last night — but our poly-something outdoor rug is now thoroughly wet. ¬†We’ll make sure it gets dried out today because we have more storms in the forecast today and tomorrow and we don’t want a wet outdoor rug stored int he basement while the coach is in the shop. ¬†If our outdoor chairs got wet we’ll make sure they see the sun and get thoroughly dried as well.

There is NO “right way” to RV, ¬†we just do those things that make sense to US for the plans (or lack of plans) that we have at any moment. ¬†We watch neighbors arrive and depart and everyone has their own way of doing things — which is great – it’s a big world and there’s room for all sorts of people.

Ok – my ladies are hungry so I better get on the stick and make some breakfast — talk to you later.

 

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Old Diary

Soggy Bread

Fruit Taco

Doesn’t this look delicious? ¬†It does to me too, but I could never eat this! I know that’s a silly thing to say — fresh fruit and bread in any form — what’s not to like?

Ah, but it’s not the flavor ‚Äď it’s the texture. ¬†And there’s no way all that fresh fruit is not going to turn the bread — any bread — into a soggy mess.

In these weeks and months while we are waiting to sell the house and plans are almost impossible to make, I find myself thinking about all sorts of nonsense I never normally think about.

numeral 10Showing #10 came off just fine in the rain yesterday. ¬†The couple, with two kids and an interest in adopting more spent 2 hours here — it was the longest showing yet. ¬†I can’t even begin to assess the showing — and I’ve found that even trying is an exercise in futility — so we wait to hear what may come of it.

As a sort of aside, we find that no matter how long we have been here in the school that the building continues to reveal itself to us. ¬†Yesterday with the sound of rain outside we were surprised to notice a couple little idiosyncrasies about the building we’d never seen before. ¬†You’d think if you walked through a place, and lived in it, and worked on it that you’d be pretty familiar with it — but I guess that’s been part of the fun living here — we’re always learning more about the building.

And talk about new experiences….

At the showing, the buyer asked a question no one has ever asked before.  Does the building make noises?  The question took me completely by surprise and I had to actually think about whether it does.  Turns out neither Peg nor I can remember any kind of odd sounds emanating from the bowels of the building but the question makes me wonder where it came from?  Do the potential buyers have a history of living in haunted houses?  or creaky old buildings?  That just goes to show you,  sitting around waiting to sell your house gives rise to nonsense and silliness.

mobotgarden

Missouri Botanical Gardens | Joe McCauley painting

Missouri Botanical Gardens | Joe McCauley painting

After looking at the 10 day weather forecast I think  we may try for a quick trip to St Louis a week from now.

I just renewed our membership there and on our last visit we didn’t have as much time to view the gardens as we wanted — so say nothing of there being way too many people. ¬†Some may ask, why do you belong to a Missouri Botanical society and not to the local one here in Milwaukee County. ¬†The simple answer is that they make better use of their money. ¬†I know there’s a significant difference in size between the cities. ¬†St. Louis is only 53% the size of Milwaukee and yet it seems they make much better use of their money in ways I appreciate. ¬†So — put your money where it gets the most benefit. ¬†And in this case I vote for MOTBOT.

We hope to spend parts of 2 days there. ¬†If the weather forecast holds and we don’t have showings scheduled before we would leave it will be a nice break. ¬† And we’ll have to stop for a piece of St. Louis Style Pizza.

1930 photograph from the magazine Popular Scie...

1930 photograph from the magazine Popular Science with the caption, “The new electric bread slicing machine at work in a St. Louis, Mo. bakery. The operator is holding one of the sliced loaves.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By the way…. did you know that St. Louis is the home of the world’s first Bread Slicing machine?

Hmmmm.

Sliced bread….

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, “That’s the best thing since sliced bread…”

And yet the only way¬†sliced¬†bread is a really good thing is if your bread contains a lot of preservatives and artificial softeners. ¬†Otherwise as soon as you slice it the bread begins to harden and go stale. ¬†I’m not sure if sliced bread is as good for the convenience of the eater or for the profits of the baker who wants to sell more bread sooner.

All of which comes to my keyboard because I almost always bake a loaf of bread when we are having a showing. ¬†It makes the house smell so nice. ¬†Last night the agent even commented on it! ¬†We’d rather get an offer — but compliments are nice too. ūüôā

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Old Diary

A Frigid Day for a Home Showing

The good thing is that we have two showings today — numbers 2 and 3 of this second round with a new agent. ¬†Fingers crossed, and all that good stuff.

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On a lighter note, we picked up some tortillas on Monday so yesterday we finally got around to trying our Tortilla Pizza idea.  It worked very well.  Very well indeed.

I don’t know what kind of tortillas the person who originally suggested the idea was using because their timing or our oven are quite a bit different. ¬†The bake time at 425 that they recommended was 12-14 minutes. ¬†I set the timer for 12 minutes but at 6 minutes I decided to take a peek to see how we were progressing. Lo and behold — 6 minutes is all these little guys take!!!!!! (that’s on the middle rack in a preheated oven on a pizza stone)

On thing for sure. ¬†A 9″ pizza is not enough to feed 2 adults. ūüôā

We tried making three small ones — pop the next one in the oven when we took the former one out of the oven. ¬†With simple toppings — like broccoli and cheese above — they are a nice start to a meal, or with several in succession you get enough to fill you up. (sorry about the blur)¬†Note to self:¬†next time check the ingredients on the bag. ¬†These were from Mission, and the ingredients list isn’t the expected 5 ingredients, ¬†there must be 25 ingredients half of which are hard to pronounce. ¬†Gotta be smarter about what I put in my body. ¬†But at least we know it’s a workable idea. And this way the tortillas actually taste good!

drobo

On another front, I spent most of the day still working on images. ¬†I’ve trimmed quite a few thousand images out of my library, have more to do, and am making progress on keywording.

Retirement means I have different purposes to retaining the images I took when I was working. ¬†So, I am finding a difference between the images I thought I would retain a year and a half ago when we started down this retirement road — and the ones I am keeping now. ¬†So also has my desire for indexing changed over time. ¬†The key words I used to use to find things seem no longer to be important. ¬†I had keywording in place for all sorts of ¬†processing — all those post-processing little tricks photographers use to make better images. ¬†So, I have sort of rethought the entire process. ¬†I have never liked cataloguing, but at a time when we are treading water because of the sale of the house it’s good to have a huge, time consuming project to keep my mind in a better place. ¬†However, the flip side of the coin — and maybe part of the reason I write about it is that people think photography is a “fun way” to make a living. ¬†Fact of the matter is that there’s a lot of grunt work to be done. ¬†Running a business is always, running a business. ¬†There¬†are¬†fun parts, but business is business.

I have been enjoying reviewing 40+ years of images on all manner of subjects. ¬†I’ve shot a lot of different subjects over the years, and each image has special memories associated with it. ¬†And I mean that pretty literally. ¬†I have trimmed out many of the images from my studio shoots, but when I was doing studio work it was not unusual to produce 1200 images in a 4 hour session. ¬†There were things about every one of those images that were special — even the experimental images. ¬†When I look back at them now, and try to throw away images I no longer need it’s still like throwing away your children. ¬†There are plenty of images I know I will never need or want, but when I sit at the computer with my finger poised over the delete key I can see a dozen specific details about each one, or about what was going on in the studio, or the personality of the model, etc., etc., etc..

It’s been good to have a productive, positive, fun life. ¬†There are times I’ve almost felt guilty because I enjoyed my work so much. ¬†But the world has changed so much and I’m not sure whether someone else could start a career doing what I did and be successful in this environment. ¬†The business of photography has changed that much.

Finally to end this entry, a thought about communication.

Phone_box_by_sophellisI turned on Foyles War last night.  Channel 36 is currently running reruns.  Set in the middle of WWII in Britain there are a lot of little ways in which social change since then is highlighted.  What caught my imagination last night was the sight of people using a red British Phone Box.

I grew up with land line telephones; that time before personal communications devices.  I got to thinking about how access to communications has changed us.

In those days there weren’t always phone booths (to use the american term) weren’t always available. And, when you have to keep dropping coins in the slot a person is a lot more hesitant to pick up the phone to talk. Communication used to be a luxury — and the comparative costs were a lot higher.

Delaney1Delaney2The same evening I watched the Season Opener of Body of Proof ¬†(ok, ok — so I have a thing for Dana Delaney — ¬†ever since the days of China Beach ‚Äď who doesn’t like a redhead?) ¬†In this episode it started out with a new assistant for her who could not shut up — yackety, yackety,¬†yackety.

That kind of constant talking is something I don’t remember from my youth. ¬†Oh, there are always times little kids get wound up and talk your ears off, but as far as I can remember I never knew an adult who nattered away ceaselessly in those days. ¬†Today it seems there are a lot of people who never get tired of hearing the sound of their own voices. ¬†Or who feel the need to tell everyone every little thing going on in their life (as in Facebook).

It’s a huge change to go from a world where you had close relationships with those in your immediate family, your neighbors, and your co-workers, to a world where you tell virtual strangers countless details about your life but many of us don’t even know our neighbors, hate their family, and poke fun at their co-workers to others.

Years ago, when I was driving commercially, finding a phone booth to call home (or talk to a dispatcher) was a special event. Sometimes you couldn’t find one. ¬†Other times they were broken. ¬†I can remember calling on alternate days, having my call ended abruptly when I didn’t have more change to drop in the slot, and walking away from the booth almost sadder than before because the sound of familiar voices was so dear to me — and being away so hard.

Communication was dear because of it’s relative rarity.

Keeping in touch was special because it required effort.

I don’t know how my grand child or her grand children will feel about communication. ¬†I’m sure that just as things have changed over the last 60 yrs they will continue to morph and modify. ¬†I almost wish I could be here then.

Well, that’s it for now. ¬†Wish us luck on our two showings. ¬†Talk to you tomorrow.
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Food

Pizza Pancakes?

I am very ambivalent about this idea. ¬†I love pizza, I love pancakes, I’m not sure I love the idea of pizza pancakes but I’m definitely going to give them a try one of these days. ¬† It seems a perfectly good solution to not having to make a yeast dough — but the truth is I LOVE yeast doughs. ¬†I could live on bread — I really mean that. ¬†Bread is the best thing in the world — short of love.

With our move away from animal based diet to plant based diet it would be easy to eliminate the pepperoni, or even the eggs, and or the cheese.  Anything is possible; all that is needed is creativity.

  • 2 cups Bisquick
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped pepperoni (I used turkey pepperoni)
  • 1 cup sausage, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/4 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • pizza sauce, warmed

In a large bowl, combine the biscuit mix, Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes. Combine eggs and milk; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in the cheese, pepperoni, sausage and mushrooms.

Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls (I used a large cookie scoop) onto a lightly greased hot griddle. Turn when bubbles form on top; cook until the seconds side is golden brown. Serve with pizza sauce.IMG_6339This is another of those recipes I want to keep — but I don’t want to add more recipe books to our RV library.

 

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Old Diary

Check Engine

check-engine-light1So, I send my wife out to have fun with our daughter and what happens, but the Check Engine light comes on. ¬†There’s something appropriate to our recent life about that! ¬†The good part is that Monday will find me taking the car to Michael for a check up, front end alignment, and pre-trip oil change. ¬†There are a lot of things about Micheal that I’ll miss when we are mobile, and his automotive expertise is not the only one of them! ¬†Son in laws are a good thing!

BarbierisWe needed more wine so out to the grocery. ¬†But on the way we decided to utilize Phil & Keri Brylow’s gift certificate to Barbieri’s — and we went to the store in Wauwatosa for a New Year’s eve pizza. ¬†There’s never a bad time for pizza. ¬†This store is just down the road from our traditional favorite Balestreri’s and we are always hard pressed to know which of the two we really like best. ¬†The Balestreri crust is much better — a fresh dough there compared to what has to be a frozen pre-made dough at Barbieri’s. ¬†But Barbieri’s always loads the cheese more heavily so that the cheese remains pull-y and luscious. ¬†We are getting to the point that our pizza toppings are often simply veggy instead of the pepperoni of our younger days. ¬†I really find the result to be simpler, with purer flavors, when there’s no meat fat to cloud the vegetable flavors of mushrooms, peppers, and olives. In any event, our traditional favorite may be changing — to (of all places) Tanino’s on 76th Street.¬†We like the crust better (fresh made), the topping better, and the italian salad better. Prices are about the same, and the distance (for us) is about the same. I’ll have to remember to get a shot of the restaurant next time we are there.

New Year’s Day is the Cool Fool Kite Festival¬†at Veteran’s Park. ¬†I’m thinking we might just go check it out — for a little while. ¬†We are due for 6¬į weather overnight — so I’m not sure how long I’ll stand out there in the cold. ¬†But the inducement of an extra block of ice for people to try out what ice carving is all about might get me off my duff and down to the lakefront.

Happy New Years!

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