Bookmarked Recipes 10/28/09

I have a pumpkin roasting in the oven right now, and I am perusing the various forms it can take. These recipes sound particularly yummy!

A New Blog?

I'm tossing around the idea of starting a blog similar to Stephanie O'Dea's A Year of Slow Cooking. Not necessarily with crockpots, though. Does anyone have ideas of what they might like to see? I am tossing around a couple of ideas, but I am always open for more:
  • Bread (a bread a day)
  • Putting Up Stuff (I obviously need a better name!)--which would be canning, freezing, and drying food--putting it up to use later
  • Lunchbox lunches (which would really only be 5 days a week)
  • Breakfast--something I need to do better on eating.
  • 365 Days of Vegetarian Meals. This would be interesting, because it is really something I would like to learn more about. But it is so easy to fall back on meals with meat in them.
Please share your ideas! I am open to pretty much anything. And you are welcome to leave your opinion in the comment section. :)


It's that time of year again. The weather is cooling down and fall is in the air. And in the desert of Southern Nevada, the pomegranates are ripe. Some people find it somewhat easy to grow things in this desert--but I am not one of them. I am surrounded by miles of clay that I can't seem to grow a darn thing in. And my attempts at container gardening have been less than dismal.

When we moved into this house, the property was lined with pomegranate trees. Twenty-one, to be exact. These beauties grow with almost no help from me. The pomegranates at the front of our property line the irrigation ditch that flows with overflow irrigation water from the hay and alfalfa fields that dot the valley. The pomegranates up the side of the driveway capture the overflow water from our neighbors trees, which line the other side of our fence. I don't even have to water them!

Pomegranates sell at a premium in the grocery store, selling for as much as $2.50 each. Many years earlier I had been gifted quite a lot of pomegranates. After calling my grandma on proper jellying procedures (or, in this case, jam), I ended up with cases of gorgeous pink jam which my husband happily handed out at work. The past several years I have been too overwhelmed to pick all the pomegranates and then make them into juice, so I let friends and neighbors harvest my bounty.

Two years ago, my husband chopped down the most sickly looking trees. The next year they came back healthy and strong looking. No fruit, though. This year the trees were dripping with the most gorgeous pomegranates. I was still intimidated by the idea of harvesting all those rosy globes, juicing them, and then processing them into some type of nectar for the Gods.

But fate was on my side.

Several enterprising Boy Scouts stopped by and said they would pick my pomegranates for me, separating the good ones from the bad. I only had to contribute to their National Jamboree Fund. In less than a day, I had mounds of beautiful pomegranates just waiting to be juiced. I called some friends because I just knew there was no way I would be able to use all those pomegranates myself.

I was left with enough pomegranates to collect around three gallons of ruby red juice. Beautiful! Now I just needed to come up with some exciting recipes to start creating my nectars of the gods.

There are many, many recipes out there for basic pomegranate jelly. I have that recipe down, though, so I was looking for something more exotic. Something that would tempt Persephone to do more than just nibble.

Exotic recipes are few and far between. So I made up my own.

I came across several wine jelly recipes that sounded divine. I adapted several for my own use, using a lovely Pinot Grigio and adding some of that luscious ruby red juice. I ended up with an amazing jelly--with hints of both the white grapes and the red pomegranates.

Pomegranate Jelly

  • 2 1/2 cups wine (your choice)
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 (2 ounce) package dry pectin
  • 4 1/2 cups white sugar

  1. Combine wine, pomegranate juice, lemon juice, and pectin in a large pot. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
  2. Add sugar, stirring until dissolved. Return to a rolling boil. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
  3. Skim foam off top, if necessary.
  4. Ladle hot jelly into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Tighten 2 piece lids.
  5. Process for 5 minutes in boiling water bath.
*Note--you can use any kind of wine you like.

She - Tenpenny Joke

I am completely infatuated by this band, and by this song in particular. I don't know what it is about it--but it's stuck in my head--huh, kinda like the song says.

Anyway--awesome band from Australia. I just love the internet. Don't you?

Angela Lansbury

There's an Angela Lansbury movie marathon in TCM today. I've watched two (so far), and I'm left wondering if Angela always plays second string. She's so beautiful, but she never gets the guy.

The first movie was The Harvey Girls. A classic Judy Garland movie. Of course, she's the star, so she gets the guy. But Angela's got the moves, the voice, and the body. Well, I guess Judy's got the voice too--and she is a petite little thing. But Angela's got verve.

The next movie was The Hoodlum Saint. Esther Williams, William Powell, and Angela Lansbury. Angela's character Dusty will do anything to get her man, but he still ends up with the other girl. Dusty even saves him from going to jail, but darn it--he just prefers the other girl. What's the matter with these men?


Sicko is a movie by Michael Moore. And I am loving it because after hearing how bad Canadians have it with their health care system, he actually asked them. Turns out, they are scared to come here because it costs so much. And they don't get charged for anything. And they don't have to wait forever to get treated. Crazy!

Everyone should watch this. Big Healthcare (Insurance and Drug Companies) here have 4 times as many lobbyists on the hill as another other business. And they have convinced us how awful it would be to have a national healthcare. Crazy!

We are so consumed by believing what we are told on tv, by the pundits, that we have stopped thinking for ourselves. Go out and learn the truth people. I may not be right, but at least I ask the questions.

Don't believe what the pundits are telling you. Find out for yourself. Read the bills that are going into congress. Call your congressman. Write them. Do something.

Do something.

Pawn Stars???

Have you ever watched this show? I have to admit, I am a reality tv junkie. It's my not-so-secret vice. Anyway, I've watched it a couple of times and it has given me a slightly different perspective on pawn shops. In that, I really wasn't aware that pawn shops bought things straight out from people. I thought they just offered you ridiculously low prices on items you brought in expecting to get back. Anyway, I didn't know that they bought things straight out.

One of the main guys on the show keeps talking about how they are trying to change people's opinions about pawn shops, and it certainly seems like he is offering fair prices for the cool items that people bring in on the show. And since I live near Las Vegas, and I happen to have some jewelry that I no longer wear, and I have a need for some quick cash to make sure my mortgage is covered, I thought I would stop by and see what the real story is.

And it was quite a bit different from the tv show.

Mind you, my husband has to be at work at 7am, and my son and I drove into Vegas with him (hello, have you seen the price of gas?). I also needed to stop by my mother-in-law's house to pick up Steven's birthday present. So we had a relatively open day, but in the interest of saving gas, it had to be...hubby's work, pawn shop, mother-in-law's house, bank, pick up hubby. It worked out to be kind of a circle around Vegas (the Gold & Silver Pawnshop is in downtown Vegas and not really near anywhere else I had to be that day).

We hung around hubby's work for a while, and finally made it over to the pawn store around 8:30 am. While the phone book says the store is open 24 hours, that really isn't true. The pawn store itself doesn't open until 10 am, and if you want to sell stuff to them you should either come back after 10am or resign yourself to doing business through a door with a plexiglass window. Which is what I did. It felt kind of like a drug deal. And it didn't help that two scary looking guys started hanging around that door as soon as I stuck my jewelry through the slot.

The guy inside separated my gold from my silver and weighed everything. Then offered me $410 for the whole lot. Now mind you, I had already decided I wouldn't take less than $800 for everything because the Native American jewelry that was in there (the pieces that I never wear) is worth well over $2000, and that isn't even including the two gold pieces of jewelry. He wouldn't go any higher, so I took my jewelry back and headed over to my mother-in-law's house.

The story doesn't end there, though.

After Steven and I left my mother-in-law's house, we decided we would try another pawn store. We passed no less than five of them, most of them SuperPawn. Really, they are all over town. I actually got to go inside that store (no outside drug-deal like transactions here). The girl behind the counter was extremely nice when she told me she couldn't take my silver jewelry, but she would take my gold jewelry. She took it over to weigh it and bag it up, and then offered me $565 for ONLY those two gold pieces. I happily accepted. She also told me that they would take any gold I have (and I have some other gold pieces that I consider pretty much junk). I asked her if she had any suggestions about where I could sell the Native American jewelry, but her only suggestion was the Gold & Silver Pawnshop.

So, it's back to ebay for the silver jewelry.

My final conclusion is that just because something sounds great on tv, doesn't mean in real life it will work out that well. I really felt like Gold & Silver Pawn was reinforcing my not-so-great image of pawnshops, although I had an excellent experience at SuperPawn. I am pretty sure I won't be shopping at Gold & Silver Pawn anytime soon, but again--I just might be at SuperPawn. Steven said they had an excellent collection of xBox games in his price range, so it is a definite possibility.