Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A screensaver for your desktop until April 15th tax deadline . . .

"Paying the Tax" or "The Tax Collector"
(Click photo to enlarge)

Pieter Brueghel the Younger (1564 or 1565–1636), Flemish painter. Oil on panel circa 1620. USC Fisher Museum of Art, The Armand Hammer Collection.

I thought you might want to use this as a screensaver for your desktop to remind you that April 15th is just around the corner and you should start figuring your taxes.

Some things never change, do they? There are papers everywhere and nobody looks happy. I wonder what that woman is digging out of that basket? Certainly not credit card receipts!

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"It's not easy being green." Kermit the Frog quote . . .

This huge antique cast iron frog fountain is one of my favorite things. He's not hooked up to a recirculating pump so he doesn't spout water from his mouth. Maybe one day...

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Monday, April 6, 2009

Timely 17th century quote on taxation by Jean-Baptiste Colbert . . .

"The art of taxation consists of so plucking the goose as to obtain the largest amount of feathers while promoting the smallest amount of hissing."

A very timely quote by Jean-Baptiste Colbert, French Economist and Minister of Finance under King Louis XIV of France 1619-1683.

Some things never change, do they? I appreciate the humor of this man in tights!

Image from one of my antiquarian prints.

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Life's Little Instruction Book, pages 62 + 63 . . .

...To be continued...

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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Old original Hershey's Fudge Recipe . . .

Yesterday I made fudge and it turned out exactly like the stuff I used to make when I was 12. My car is in the shop and I needed a recipe using ingredients in my pantry. After a lot of internet hunting I located the original recipe that used to be printed on the Hershey's cocoa box. It is great because it uses 1/3 less sugar than any other fudge recipe on the web. Here goes:

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (Hershey's)
2 cups white sugar (next time I will use even less)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon light corn syrup (I used Maple Syrup)
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons butter

In a medium saucepan, stir together the cocoa powder, sugar and salt.
Mix in corn syrup and milk until well blended.
Add butter, and heat to between 234 and 240 degrees F (112 to 116 degrees C) on candy thermometer, or until a small amount of syrup dropped into cold water forms a soft ball that flattens when removed from the water and placed on a flat surface. Stir occasionally.
Remove from heat and beat with a wooden spoon until the mixture is thick and loses its gloss. Stir in vanilla, and pour into a buttered 9x9 inch baking dish. Let cool until set. Cut into small squares to serve.

I beat it too long and it ended up in a mound but it was still delicious. Next time I am going to decrease the sugar to 1-3/4 cups or maybe even 1-1/2 cups. I didn't have any light corn syrup so I used real Maple syrup. Worked fine. I didn't even have any milk so I used powdered milk to make 1 cup. Worked fine. Next time I will use condensed milk. Next time I might add a glob of peanut butter at the end too. Yum!

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Willa Cather quote about land ownership . . .

Willa Cather, American Novelist 1873-1947

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Friday, April 3, 2009

Only Robinson Crusoe Had Everything Done By Friday

"Only Robinson Crusoe had everything done by Friday." Author Unknown

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Garden Quote by Rudyard Kipling . . .

For my own purposes I am rewriting this quote by Rudyard Kipling.

"Gardens are not made
By sitting in the shade behind a computer."

I am getting behind in my outdoor work because of the rain. If the truth be known, I am behind in my inside work too. So it's off to the salt mines for me on Saturday.

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Alice Waters | The Art of Simple Food + Video . . .

If you missed the recent segment on 60 Minutes you can watch it here. Sorry about the advertisement at the beginning. Alice Waters has been preaching the virtues of cultivating fresh food for decades. As Lesley Stahl reports, this world-renowned chef and restaurateur hopes a slower approach to the food we eat will keep us healthier and greener.

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

My dog is worried about the economy . . .

My dog Webster is very worried about the economy.

His wet dog food is up to $1.00 a can.

That's $7.00 in dog money!

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UDDERLY Unstable American Ecomomy . . .


You had two cows.
You sold one and bought a bull.
Your herd multiplied, and the economy grew.
You sold them and retired on the income.

You have two cows.
You force one of them to produce the milk of four cows.
Later, you hire a consultant to analyze why the cow has dropped dead.
You sell the other cow, and start buying dead ‘bulls’ in the expectation that they will be reborn someday.

The solution seems pretty simple, doesn't it? I don't think it takes a genius to figure out how to fix it, do you?

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Birthday Boy ~ He's no April Fool . . .

Happy Birthday Webster!

Today is Webster's approximate birthday. He was 9 weeks old when I adopted him from the animal shelter seven years ago. I had to work backwards for his birth date. Today he's 49 in people years but he still acts like a pup.

I "baked" some homemade treats for him. Made up the recipe and cooked these little "silver dollar pancakes" on the panini press. He would flip over backwards if he could. They are really good...like miniature hoe cakes.

I used 1 cup cornmeal, 1 cup whole wheat flour, 3/4 cup dry powdered milk, one egg, about 1/4 cup olive oil and enough soy milk to make a stiff batter. I dumped in some Bacos for flavor. I would have used beef or chicken broth for the liquid but I didn't have any on hand. I dropped small spoonfuls on the panini press preheated to its hottest setting. They were done in an instant ... watch the steam ... you'll know.

I ate a couple myself. They're quite good and organic too.

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Life's Little Instruction Book, pages 58 + 59 . . .

...To be continued...

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