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What is this?

This was in the refrigerator that came with the condo that my inlaws just bought. They don't have the manual for the fridge and are trying to figure out what this is for.

Farmer's Market

Today is opening day of Farmer's Market. It looks like it will be a nice day, so come on out and support your local vendors (especially, because I'm biased, Maggs)!
I'm making pie today, and since I misplaced the recipe and had to go find it, I'm posting it here to make it easier to find next time.

Bourbon & Brown Sugar Peach Pie with Cornmeal Crust
5 cups peeled & thinly sliced peaches (about 6 or 7 medium)
1/2 c white sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c flour
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch salt
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 c bourbon
1 tbsp butter
1 batch cornmeal pie dough (recipe follows)

1. Mix up the pie dough and let it chill for an hour.
2. Peel and slice the peaches.
3. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt.
4. In a large bowl, combine the flour mixture, peaches, lemon juice and bourbon. Mix until well coated.
5. Roll out half the pie dough on a floured surface into a 12" circle and put into a 9" pie pan. Fill the pie shell with the filling. Cut the butter into small pieces and distribute over peaches. Then roll out the second half of the dough and make the top of the pie as desired.
6. Brush the crust with milk and dust with sugar [coarsely ground turbinado sugar works best].
6. Wrap the outside of the crust in foil. Bake in a 400 degree F oven for 30 min. Reduce the heat to 350 and bake for another 25-30 min until crust is toasty brown and filling is bubbling. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Cornmeal Pie Dough
2 1/4 c flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
6 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
6 tbsp cold shortening, cut into small cubes
1/2 c - 3/4 c cold milk

1. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar and salt until well combined.
2. Add butter and shortening. Make sure it's cold, cold, cold! Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut butter and shortening into flour mixture until everything resembles small pellets.
3. Add 1/2 c of the milk slowly, tossing with a fork, until mixture can be packed. Add more milk if necessary.
4. Separate into 2 disks. Make one slightly larger for the bottom crust. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

From Miss Make


Ankle update

All is well with my ankle. Saw the doc today and I'm officially done with the boot.

No more restrictions on walking, but I'm supposed to avoid high-impact activities (weight-lifting, kick boxing, dance, etc.) until April.

Still some soreness, and the occasional twinge during direction changes.

I'm also probably always going to be slightly duck-footed on that side, but the doc says that it should rotate back most of the way to straight. I'm going to have issues with stairs for a while yet, as the dorsal flexion (I think that's what it's called) is limited, and may never recover full range due to the screws limiting the range of motion.

All the screws are staying in, unless some other future complication develops.


The surgery went well. Two incisions, closed by 50 staples. Thy replaced the original screws with larger screws and a plate, and then they put all the parts of my tibia back into the right places, removed the heterotopic ossification and used it as filler where needed, and then added another plate and five screws to stabilize everything. I'm now two weeks into the second cast - every four weeks they cut off the cast and take xrays (that way the cast doesn't cloud the image) and then put a new cast on. In about ten days (next Friday) they cut this cast off, and if all is good, they'll put me into a tall walking cast (the short one I already have may be part of the problem, so they're going to use a tall one this time) and start me back on the path to walking on my own.

I don't know if all of the hardware comes back out, but the two screws and plate that secure the fibula to the tibia have to because otherwise they will eventually break.
Since I just realized it's been a year and a half since my last update, things are mostly the same as they were, and I post in facebook a lot more than here (if you need contact info, ask).

The only major change lately is I've done horrible things to my left ankle. Jan 23 I took a hard fall on some ice and broke the fibula (an unreduced Maisonneuve's fracture) plus damage to the deltoid ligament. Seven or eight weeks of restricted activity and two screws (open reduction with internal fixation to take the weight off the ligament), everything was supposed to be going good.

Last week, at the pre-op appointment for the screw removal, they detected new damage - previously unnoticed medial malleolus damage, for which I'm going in to surgery tomorrow. Two orthopedics docs (one PA and one surgeon) both saying, essentially, "what the fuck?" and an emergency C-T scan later, I'm having more surgery.

The plan is to go in (probably through the original incision, as they don't want to make too many incisions too close together) and put in a plate and screws to stabilize the malleolus damage and then to remove the original screws because they're starting to loosen. They may replace the screws, or not, they hadn't decided by the end of Thursday's appointment.

Then I have two or three weeks in a splint with limited mobility and no weight bearing activity until the swelling goes down, followed by a month or so in a cast, and then (if it goes like the first time) another six weeks or so in an air cast, with gradually increasing weight bearing allowed.


Bread with lots of stuff in it

I made a batch of breakfast bread. The recipe is based on the C.R.O.W.W. (Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Walnut Whole wheat) recipe from The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook.

1-1/2 cups water
1 packet of buttermilk powder
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1/4 cup canola oil (or peanut oil)
2 cups bread flour
1-3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup brown sugar
2-1/2 tablespoons gluten
1/4 cup wheat germ
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla (the recipe originally calls for vanilla powder, but I never remember to buy any)
1 teaspoons salt (optional, I left it out)
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon bread machine yeast
3/4 cup craisins
1/2 cup dried blueberries
15 dried apricot halves
3/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup sunflower seeds

Chop the nuts and the dried fruit in the food processor and add to bread machine 5-10 minutes before the end of the second knead cycle. This recipe has about 3 cups of extras (more if you didn't chop it as fine as I did), which is more than conventional wisdom says you should use (my bread machine book says that 1/3-1/2 cup of extras per pound is the maximum that should be used).

This is a 2-pound loaf recipe (and makes 3 pounds of bread).

Shape loaves, let rise for 45-60 minutes (it rises slowly), and then bake at 350F for about 25 minutes (until they sound done when tapped).

And, since we've been counting calories, the above recipe (based on starting ingredients, but off a bit because the yeast consumes part of the sugars) has, per 1/12 batch: 340 Calories (kcal), 11.4g fat, 1.7g saturated fat, 0.3mg cholesterol, 31.4mg sodium, 54.4g carbohydrates, 6.5g fiber, 17.2g sugar, and 9.4g protein.

Other than that, it's mostly been a Farmer's market weekend. Yesterday was the last outdoor market on the square for the season, and today was opening day for the Northside Farmer's Market, who called Maggs last night to see if she would vend, as they had had several artists back out at the last minute.

We're probably going to be at the Northside market for all four of their dates (today and then every two weeks after that), as, not only were we able to show up on little notice, they're really jazzed that Maggs is willing to do bead making and sculptural glass demonstrations (for which they're also waving vendor fees).


I should post more often, but, well, that's the way life goes.

Work is the usual mess of "some things work, some don't, and we're waiting for a part." The heap of pieces for the "projects in progress" pile is getting smaller again, which is a good sign (since it makes it easier to roll my chair around in my office).

Maggs' cart is also waiting for parts (the tongue bar is 2/3 cracked through), but a new bar should be in on Monday, along with new wheel bearings and hubcaps (if I'm ordering parts, I might as well order everything it needs). If the weather isn't too crappy tomorrow, we'll be out with a modified renfaire setup (the popup and tables, but no cart).

Maggs and I also have been working out at the Y for the past few months, and have started their "Healthy Lifestyle" class. So far, Linda (the acting fitness director) has been cheerfully adjusting our workout plans every so often to make sure we keep kicking our own asses (um, I mean "maximizing the benefits of our workouts," or something like that). It's a very interesting class so far, and I hope I can manage to keep up with it.


Maggs and I just got back from Bloomington IN. She had been thinking about taking a class at ABR, and Ross (the owner) gave her a great deal when she talked to him about it at Bead & Button.

Tuesday we decided to go, and then we decided to go down on Thursday so that we could do touristy stuff on Friday (otherwise I get to do touristy stuff while she's in class, and she doesn't get to see anything). We decided to visit Marengo Cave in the morning on Friday. It was interesting, and it certainly beat doing anything outside (~95F and a little humid outside, vs 54F in the cave).

We went to Blue Springs Cavern after lunch, as the cave tour sounded interesting - it's an hour-long boat ride. Because of the last three days' rain, the water in the cavern was up about a foot and a half, so they weren't doing the tours - too many spots where people would hit the ceiling, at that point. They expected the water level to rise to about 4' above normal, but since it's still raining down there (they're currently under a flash flood advisory) it'll probably go higher.

I wasn't planning on a cave trip when we packed, so I only had the little camera with me, and it doesn't have enough flash to get good cave pictures. Eventually I'll post some of the ones that did turn out.

Sunday we checked out of the hotel at about 10, and I hung out at Borders for a while, as there really isn't anything to do in Bloomington on a Sunday.

When we got home there were several MG&E trucks in the street putting in temporary power at one of the houses across the street where they had a tree come down.


Food & Remodeling

This week I've been practicing my drywall taping skills. They need work. I've got the basics down, but now need to work on the details, especially inside corners. The first joint I taped bubbled (and I've since peeled the tape off and mudded it over sans tape), the second one is ok, and the first inside corner needs some sanding and then will be done.

I've got another inside corner on the wall, and a pair of small butt joints (that I may skip as they'll eventually be covered with door frame trim), and will have more joints once I start in on enclosing the stairs.

The garden beds are cleaned out, tilled, and replanted with tomatoes, onions, and radishes. I need to screw down the screen frames over them yet (we took them off to work on the spading/tilling).

Today I decided that the flag in the front yard needed replacing, so I got a new one at Meikle's, along with some yard stuff and charcoal.

We're cooking meat for the week today. There's a beef brisket in the smoker (cherry smoke, Smoky Jon's Flavor Magic seasonings, and brown sugar and other seasoning in the water, which we're basing the meat with occasionally), boneless pork rib ends in the crock pot (dried cranberries, ginger, other spices), and we might also do brats later (Johnsonville original). I've also got a recipe for fried peach pies that I might try later.