Month: August 2012

Inside My Fridge- Safe, but Painful

On Fridays The Frugal Girl hosts a blog hop about food waste. It’s embarssassing, but it’s supposed to be.

This is going to be a painful week…

-I lost an entire batch of berries for a jam because of the potential for broken glass being in the berries (I have a full entry about this debacle to go up later, I don’t want to go through it again). I did go through them fairly closely but Mid and I agreed that better to be too safe than cut up later. At least the berries are still on sale at Aldi’s so I wasn’t out as much money as if I had gotten them in the end of October. ($3, plus I’m down a quart jar)

-I lost meat this time around. An entire chicken breast up and petrified on me and there was about a 1/3 of a pork chop that I had done in the crockpot that neither of us wanted to eat- $2

…That’s it? Okay, that’s bad but not as bad as I thought it would be. My new obsession with freezing everything seems to be helping.

Tip

…This is probably something I shouldn’t admit to but I didn’t know until last week that cheesecloth is a reusable item. You can wash it in the sink by rinsing out the large food bits, then soaking it with dish soap and very hot water for 15 minutes. It should come clean. Rub it against itself if it doesn’t. A very weak bleach bath or a vinegar bath can help remove odors.

Blog Hops Everyday Friday Blog Hop

FoodWasteFriday

 

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Haunted Western New York- Woman in Grey (Penn Yan/Lloyd)

Unlike some of Penn Yan’s other ghosts (including a local Bloody Mary) the woman in grey is said to be a fairly benign, even helpful spirit.

During the mid to late 1800s Western New York took on the name the Burned Over District for the sheer number of spiritual movements sweeping through the area. Something about the social structure of the area made it prime stomping grounds for revialist groups, spiritualist movements, and what would be called alternative religions now.

Jemima Wilkinson never lived in the Pen Yan/LLoyd area but her work was most certainly connected here. A mystic, Wilkinson was heavily involved in the spiritual discussion surrouding the Finger Lakes region. She made a name for herself preaching about topics such as abolition, suffrage, and sexuality.

Wilkinson is connected to the Olivier House which houses the Yates County Historical Society. Her portrait is housed there, and it is claimed that portrait can never be reproduced. Attempts to do so have failed, repeatedly. More ghostly is the assertion that Wilkinson is still in the area, walking the grounds in a grey dress and helping stranded indiviuals-especially women and children. Some give her slightly less alturistic reasons, citing that the way she was received while alive enraged her so much that she never left.

Grey Lady up

Spirits of the Great Hill, pg. 83

The Ghosts of Canandaigua, New York

 

The Garden

The unspoken rest of the title: Or, how to turn the books of Genesis and Revelations into a horror film in 3 easy steps.

Those steps would be:

-Find a boy with pre-existing mental health issues. It’s not like he’s going to be believed anyway.

-Give the boy a series of mind-blowing visions, some of which may actually be happening- but make it almost impossible to determine which, if any, those are.

-Plop this child along with his father into the new garden of Eden wherein God and the serpent are effectively starting from scratch.

For the record, this new garden is somewhere on the west coast of the States.

For all of the issues I have with this film, and I do have many (other than Ben, played by Len Henriksen, they managed to cast an entire film with people who can’t act, there are some strange editorial choices that bog the film down in places, and they don’t do a very good job of walking that thin line between horror based on bibical themes and being preachy at points) there’s something alluring about this movie. I think that the storyline manages to carry the film even with such a flawed vehicle to play with.

The movie manages to be legitimately creepy. Ben, the old man with whom Sam and his father David are staying, makes your skin crawl. He actually makes a believable serpent. Sam himself has a few moments that are a little nerve-wracking.

I think all in all I would have preferred this a short story. However, as a piece with the potential to backslide into religion but still manages to avoid that, it’s a decent (though not much more than decent) use of the original sin theme that manages to be solidly creepy.

And honestly? The four horsemen really are an under-utilized image in modern horror.

related post-The Orchard of Hanging Trees

Inhabited (2003)

Two kid friendly movies in a row? Something must up with the universe.

I liked this movie a lot more than I should have.

Which is not to say that it’s a good movie, but I enjoyed it. It’s goofy enough to be amusing without being so bad that it’s painful.

Also, Malcom McDowell is in it, which makes everything better (I don’t know why, but I love Malcom Mcdowell).

The Russell family moves into a new home, complete with a quaint little playhouse in the backyard. Gina, the only daughter, begins to talk about faeries, and how the faeries are starting to do things around the house. As the weeks go by, the encounters and activities increase in intensity. Eventually, the family calls in a child therapist to determine what’s going on with Gina.

While the Russells are talking to the therapist, the strangely aloof handyman tells them to avoid the faeries at all cost and to keep a close eye on Gina.

Because, of course, there actually are faeries in the playhouse.

While not having even a comparable amount of richness that Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark has, there’s something about this movie that’s…purer. Without the effects budget there’s something creepy about how the production team is forced back to the storyline.

Which isn’t great, but like Don’t Be Afraid it’s a child-friendly film that’s still not completely boring or stilted.

6 months ago- Things I Think You Need to Have Read

Funeral Food

Revised 5/3/2013-I took a better photo!

I know. I know.

The picture is terrible. I think this stuff is so amazeballs that I had to take a photo after the fact, in the dark. And I forgot to use a filter (my ahem trick for when my lighting’s horrible, I just make it retro…)

And yes it should be obvious that I actually cook, and I actually use my cutting boards to cut things.

True confessions time! You can revoke my food blogging rights after this entry.

Anyway.

Funeral Mac and Cheese (aka My Mom’s Amazing Comfort Food Mac and Cheese)

I grew up in a large Polish family. Part of being Polish, at least the way we did it, was that in times of crisis- No One Else Will Make Sure You Are Eating.

What this means is that everyone descends on the household with pounds and pounds of food, to make sure that the household is eating. Because it’s not like everyone else in the family is going to think to do it. So of course everyone does, to the tune of 20 pounds of food at a go.

What it means that at every funeral, you get pounds and pounds of baked homemade mac and cheese.

That you eat with sugar and hot sauce.

Honestly? I’m with the family tradition all the way. Except I don’t have a frakking clue where the sugar and the hot sauce came from, but it’s still the way I eat homemade mac and cheese.

On one hand this isn’t much of a recipe so much as a guideline, but there are things that you have to do. You have to bake the pasta dry. You have to use Velveta. But, on the other hand, it makes it so wonderfully easy to scale up for a crowd, or down for a grad school apartment. My only deviation off of my mom’s recipe is that she only uses Velveta in hers, but I use at least one other cheese when I make it.

Mac and Cheese

1 lb shaped pasta, like macaroni or rotini

1 small box Velveta or 1/2 large box

at least 1 cup other cheese

Milk to cover pasta

Preheat oven to 350.

In an oven safe dish, place all of the pasta. Sprinkle pasta with the assorted cheese (not the Velveta). In this batch I used taco style cheese and 1/2 a block of semi-soft sheep cheese.

Cut the Velveta into slabs so that as much of the pasta is covered with cheese slabs as you can get it. All of the pasta doesn’t have to be covered, but get as much as possible.

Add milk to just the top of the pasta- don’t cover all of the pasta or the milk won’t absorb completely.

Bake at 350 for 15 minutes then remove from oven and gently stir so that the cheese is distributed. Return to oven for another 30 minutes.

Believe

This movie is adorable.

Really, there’s no reason for this film to amuse me as much as it does. But there’s something refreshingly naive about it, like reading young adult fantasy after weeks of social theory.

Not that I’ve ever done that.

Believe is a fairly innocent piece from Lionsgate. I have to admit, I’m not sure that I’ve watched that much from Lionsgate, or maybe I just haven’t paid that much attention (it’s probably that). A fairly young teenager named Ben has been shuffled from private school to private school by his too busy to care parents, getting expelled repeatedly for pulling ghost related pranks on his fellow students.

He eventually ends up in the care of his grandfather. While under his care, Ben befriends a girl named Catherine (I believe, I’m having problems confirming this online and I’m admittedly horrible with names) who recently lost her parents. Their antics, including terrifying the local bullies, leads them to realize that their families are at war- and that the Stiles family property is haunted.

I put this on both the ‘cute horror’ list and the ‘older child-safe’ horror list. There’s nothing in this film that’s too heavy, and there’s nothing like a real scare, just some jumps. I think the effects are also low budget enough that it’s fairly obvious that this is make-believe; Saw this is not. If your child can handle Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark, then they can handle Believe.