Phew! I’m glad that is over; it is Escheat Reporting time, my least favorite part of my job. Do yourself & your loved ones a favor- read this again. This year has been complicated with a new state controller, federal court injunctions, last minute legislation, & just all around general confusion; the end result is the same- a whole lot of work in a very short period of time.
Yesterday was a series of odd adventures. While home for lunch around 1:00, I heard a large helicopter- one of those military jobs, with double rotors on top- fly over the house; this isn’t all that unusual, since there are a couple of military bases within 80 miles of here. The strange part was it kept circling, lower & lower, just over our neighborhood; by the third or fourth pass, it was only a couple of hundred feet over the houses! At this point, a dozen people are standing out in the street, trying to figure out what was going on... & one fool brought out a shotgun! What did he think he was going to do with that- bring it down? Fortunately, the helicopter soon flew off towards the northwest, so we didn’t have to find out what the idiot intended.
Then, last night, as we were all sitting around the living room, the floor started rolling; it was a bit like sitting in a boat on the lake, riding the wake. Chris, Sam, & I looked at each other as if to say “Did you feel that?” then each grabbed a cat & headed to the backyard. Yep, for the first time in 18 years (Loma Prieta was Oct 17, 1989), we rode out a fairly respectable earthquake, the only one we’ve ever felt since moving out of the Bay Area into the Central Valley. Last reports put it at 5.6 on the Richter scale, centered nine miles northeast of San Jose; I received a call from my daughter within five minutes, telling me she was fine, but they were evacuating the shelter to be on the safe side. After a flurry of calls, it has been determined that everyone in the family is fine & there was no damage to report, aside from some flashbacks & rattled nerves.
Yee-haw! Gotta love California!
As you might (or might not) know, I choose not to celebrate Halloween, despite the grief given by co-workers & in-laws; even as a kid, I went along reluctantly, dressing up in innocuous costumes (mostly fairy tales or animals) & trick-or-treating for UNICEF (do they still do that?) Tonight, while the guys are over at the church helping with the annual Harvest Party, my porch light will be out, I will be praying that we don’t get egged or TP’d (12 years so far without a problem) & I’ll be hanging out either at the knitting shop or the bookstore, sipping cider & relaxing. We’re having a potluck at work today & frankly speaking, the food looks disgusting- of course, that is the point, but some people really went overboard.
Mummy fingers with blood sauce
Bird Nest Noodles
With real baby birds- still in the shell!
My contribution is:
“Barf Bisque, with Rotted Cream & Fried Rattlesnake”
(aka Spiced Pumpkin Soup w/ Sour Cream & Fried Onions)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 3 tablespoons whole wheat flour
- 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 cup peeled and cubed sweet potato
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 14 oz. cans of low sodium chicken broth
- 1 15 oz. can of pumpkin
- 1 cup 1% milk
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1. Melt butter in a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium-high heat. Sauté onion for 3-4 minutes then add flour, curry, garlic, cumin and nutmeg and sauté for 1 minute.
2. Add sweet potatoes, salt, chicken broth and pumpkin and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered for about 20-25 minutes or until sweet potatoes are cooked through and softened. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes to cool.
3. Place half of the pumpkin mixture in a blender and process until smooth. Using a strainer, pour soup back into pan. Repeat with rest of soup.
4. Raise heat to medium then stir in milk and cook for 5 minutes or until soup is heated through.
5. Remove from heat and add limejuice.
6. (Optional) Stir in a dollop of sour cream & sprinkle with fried onions
Last, but not least, my annual concession to the costume party.
We are not amused.