Friday, April 24, 2015

A Note From an Absent Blogger

One down, one to go! A few months back, I begged off blogging on the excuse that Ive been working on a couple of must-do book projects. The largest of these is now complete; the next is partially written.

During my break, Ron has been doing all the cooking while Frankie, our temperamental fish, has been living on tinned sardines and caviar. It will be several more months until I return. 

I miss you and hope you miss me back, readers!

xox  Nicole

Friday, March 20, 2015

Product Review: Induction Ranges

Our oven caught fire in late December, the cause being a pool of grease so deep I could have swum in it. Times flies when youre having fun: A few days after that, the stove top exploded. I guess its not the brightest idea to boil a kettle dry on the high setting of a glass-top stove. Its also not super-smart to rip the kettle from the molten glass with which it has fused, thus tearing a hole the size of a dime in the stove top. Nor is it brilliant to continue cooking after the above happens, assuming the hole will magically repair itself and all will be well. It wont, and it wasn’t. The result could have been dangerous and disastrous. 

The eventual explosion dug a crater the size of Kansas into the stove’s glass top, as well as ripping open a crack as wide and deep as the Mariana Trench, which is pretty wide and deep. To set the stage, it was a dark and stormy night ... 

Surveying the shattered surface of our stove, I briefly understood how Dante must have felt when he peered through the Gates of Hell. The upside was that this did seem like a great opportunity to hang up my apron and enjoy a whole bunch of restaurant meals. Whoo-hoo!

Ron had other ideas, among them that there were no restaurants in our immediate future. Instead, we bought a $2,000 induction range - money I’d hoped to spend on having the cellulite from my hips pumped into my lips, with plenty left over after selling my remaining cellulite to thousands of thin-lipped, thin-hipped women in Switzerland. 

I’m not exactly sure how induction ranges work, but any magnetic pot that snuggles up to any element of one of these stoves will immediately develop a strong, electromagnetic, Clooney-esque attraction to turn on” the element and heat things up. 

If your pots are non-magnetic (wool doesn’t count), a handy conversion ring will reverse the pot’s polarities, which - while sounding scientifically impressive - I cleverly made up. 

With this ring, the stove’s electromagnetic, pheromonic, Clooney-esque features will now become strongly attracted to you, turning on” and heating things up even if you haven’t shaved your legs for an entire week. This is why older women are willing to pay so much money for an induction range.

Ha-ha, fooled you! Metal pots and induction stoves dont really work that wayI also have no idea how the conversion ring works. All I can say is that the ring is precious, as this world-famous scientist from the Institute of Ring Physics is about to explain: 

Why are induction ranges so popular? Because they have all the advantages and none of the disadvantages of cooking with gas. Watch as this unsuspecting woman attempts to scramble eggs on a gas range:

Induction ranges are fast! Place a pot of water on an element, and the next thing you know, the water will be boiling. Reduce the heat, and the water will simmer almost as quickly as I did when Ron told me I probably wouldn’t see the inside of a restaurant for the next 46 years.  

Now, the oven. With its technology scientifically, athletically, and esthetically different from other ranges, induction ovens are slow to preheat. You know all those recipes that instruct you to set your oven’s temperature before you start to cook? This is the time to take those recipes to heart! Preheat an induction range early - typically 20-to-25 min. - to reach 400 deg. F. 

Most (but not all) induction ovens lack a self-cleaning function. Unless you’re an ammonia-breathing alien, the chemical fumes from the standard oven’s self-cleaning process haven’t been doing your lungs any good. Environmentally friendly induction ovens need cleaning more often than self-cleaning ranges, so don’t allow dirt to build up and the job will be easy. Or just hire some kitchen help.

Overall, I like our new range, and will do my best not to blow it up. Which brand did we buy? I’m not telling. This is an objective review, Dollinks - not an ad. Do online research, check prices, stick with a recognized brand, and ask the advice of friends who have an induction range. Induction ranges are great - but if a salesperson promises you can cook in a woolen pot, shop elsewhere.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Off the Eatin’ Path

Ive been pondering the joys of cannibalism. I know that’s hard to digest. My daughter Erin has long been a set buyer for the movies. Right now, she buys much of the fancy stuff used in Season 3 of Hannibal. I’ve never watched Hannibal, and until recently had no idea what the show was about. So I emailed Erin to ask: “Is your show about Hannibal Lecter, or Hannibal crossing the Alps?”

Erin knew I genuinely didn’t know, so this was her reply: “Neither. It’s a kids’ show about a small chipmunk who goes on an adventure across the Alps while eating other chipmunks.”

I told husband Ron that I finally knew what Hannibal was about. He nodded wisely. Or maybe he just nodded off. Ron does that a lot when I talk about complicated stuff, like should I have my body parts “lifted” so I can tell the insurance company they were “stolen.” 

“Wha-? Wha-?” he said, pretending to have been asleep which I know he really wasn’t because his head jerked up the moment I told him how much a full body lift would cost in USDs. “No worries!” I said. “I know a guy who knows a guy who can do the procedure in rupees.” 

To show me that he’d actually been paying attention, Ron emailed Erin to ask: “Is the chipmunk on a snowboard or on skis?” 

“Hes on a little sled made of flattened chipmunks, pulled by squirrels,” she replied. 

Erin then admitted that Hannibal is a made-for-TV prequel to the Hannibal Lecter character so brilliantly played by Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs. I have no idea how lambs and chipmunks connect, but I’ll take Erins word for it.

“Ha-ha,” I wrote back, signing off “YOM” - my short form for “Yer Old Ma.” Only later did it occur to me that (considering Hannibal Lecter enjoys having his pals for dinner) “YOM” sounds alarmingly like “YUM.”

So no recipe today. I thought of writing one for Lamb’s Brains (which I once ate in Australia), but Id hate having angry readers throw rocks at this blog. For now, I’ll give recipe-writing a pass as I resume the large writing project on which I’ve been working for a very long time.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Sweet Onion Pie

Food confuses me. Until a few weeks ago, I assumed “pilates” was a Greek appetizer. Wrong-o. I also used to think “Sherbet was a tip on a hot stock. It isn’t

The food Costco sells confuses me even more. Costco is the world’s third largest retailer, yet still manages to convey the impression that it’s the county fair of food retailing. The demonstrators who hand out free samples are a big part of that mystique. Trained to remain calm under pressure, they never snap, as I would: “The pizza will be ready in five minutes. Don’t push, sir. SIR!!! Don’t push. 

“Ma’am? Could you please remove your son’s nose from the hot glass of my toaster oven? The pizza will be ready in four minutes. 

“Sir? Yes, you, bozo! Please don’t drool on my demo table. The pizza will be ready in three minutes…” 

Costco recently sold my sister a machine called - (I don’t want to be sued! Let’s reword this!). Costco recently sold my sister a no-name machine (nudge-nudge, wink-wink) that buzzes up fruit to make smoothies so dis-gus-ting (not the machine’s fault; my sister doesn’t know how to cook) that my sister never eats the purées she produces, instead turning them into fruit-based facials to eliminate wrinkles. She now needs another machine to eliminate fruit flies.

One chilly winter’s day, my pal Leslie and I took refuge in Costco. We made the mistake of shopping on a weekend lunch hour (Translation: Costco had free food up the ying-yang. I think Costco sells Ying-Yangs in a handy pack of 10 dozen, not far from the Doritos). Ravenous, we descended on the demonstrators’ samples like seagulls on a sandwich. 

After stuffing our maws with every morsel we could, Leslie and I  covered our heads with winter scarves, faked Russian accents («Что эта очень вкусный еда? Я должен пробовать его!»), and circled the store a second time to eat still more free food before spending $2,042.69 on groceries (or maybe $204 … decimal points also confuse me).

Leslie and I had sampled something like $1.41 worth of free food in tiny paper muffin cups. Any behavioral psychologist worth his Tostitos will name free food as the No. 1 factor guaranteed to drive crazed shoppers into a food-buying frenzy. 

I once heard an elderly man ask a Costco butcher how much salt was in Costco’s scrumptious roast chickens. “Salt? There isn’t any salt!” came the butcher’s assuring words. As the customer happily placed a chicken in his cart, the butcher added sotto voce: “They’ve been brined, is all.” The old guy froze, thought for a moment, and then shrugged. “Well, that’s okay, then.” I now rate Costco’s food super-confusing. 

What does this have to do with Sweet Onion Pie? I happen to know that Cougars hang out at Costco, where you least expect to find them. Oh, I’ve seen them in their push-up bras, false eyelashes, hair extensions, and kitten heels, trolling for younger men.

When they find an unsuspecting victim with no wedding ring and a $9.99 frozen pizza the size of a truck tire under his arm, the Cougar will “innocently” block his path, asking in a pained, weak voice: “I can’t lift this 50-lb. sack of onions. Can you help me?” 

The moment he does, he’s trapped. Ramping her push-up bra a tetch higher, the spider says to the fly: “Even though I’m single, I’m making Sweet Onion Pie tonight. Why don’t I just be very forward and ask you to dinner at my house as a way of expressing my thanks?” 

Mesmerized by her, um, conversation, the guy ditches the pizza and agrees to be there at 8. This isn’t confusing, at all. Ladies! If you’re single, you must shop at Costco! And learn to make this delicious main-dish pie that I’ve adapted from The Joy of Cooking.

Sweet Onion Pie:

Pastry to make one 9-inch pie (see Note)
3 tbsp. butter or margarine
2-1/2 lb. (1.13 kg) sweet onions, thinly sliced
3 whole eggs
1 c. dairy sour cream
1 tsp. salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley and/or 1 tsp. celery seed
1 egg white, slightly beaten
3 or 4 crumbled, cooked sausages, drained and blotted of fat

Preheat oven to 450 deg. F. Line a 9-in. pie pan with pastry. Trim and flute pastry edges; prick base with fork tines. Transfer pastry-filled pan to freezer for 10 min. On a circle of parchment trimmed slightly smaller than the interior of the pie shell, place enough pie weights to keep the pastry from bubbling and breaking. Bake unfilled shell 10-to-12 min., until slightly browned. Cool shell thoroughly on wire rack. Do not turn off oven.

Melt butter or margarine in large, heavy saucepan. Add onions, stirring over low heat until translucent. Cover pot, sweating onions over lowest heat until cooked through. Set aside until thoroughly cooled. In a medium bowl, combine whole eggs, sour cream, and seasonings. Stir into cooled, cooked onions, combining well. Set aside.

Brush slightly beaten egg white over baked, cooled pie shell. Heap slightly cooled onion mixture into partially baked pie shell. Crumble cooked sausage over onion mixture in shell. Bake 10 min. at 450 deg. F. Reduce heat to 300 deg. F., cooking an additional 25-to-30 min., until crust is golden. Serve hot. Makes 4-to-6 servings.

Note: The Index to this blog has several excellent recipes for pie pastry filed under Pies: Pastry.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Cream of Cauliflower Soup with Goat’s Cheese

Alas! My camera has died! RIP, camera! Never mind, Dollinks. Ill improvise. Most of the time, all you ever see in the photos that accompany this blog are my hands. Hands, I can give you! They just wont be my hands and they just wont be cooking

From ...

There! That should satisfy your desire for hands that tell a story. Today (because I urgently need a break from other writing projects), I have a delicious and wildly simple recipe for a cauliflower soup that tastes like “more” - because thats what youll want once you try it. You’ll love this velvety soup and its gluten-free thickener!

Cream of Cauliflower Soup with Goat’s Cheese:

1 tbsp. butter or margarine
2 leeks, white part only, sliced thinly (see Note)
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 stalks celery, diced
2 c. chicken stock (see Another Note
4 c. water
1 large cauliflower, sliced as flowerets, small stems remaining
1/4 c. uncooked white rice (no substitutions)
1 large bay leaf
3/4-to-1 c. drained, crumbled goat’s cheese
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Flurry of fresh parsley, finely chopped, as garnish (optional)

In a large pot, melt butter or margarine over low heat. Add leeks, onion, and celery; cover 5 min. to “sweat (see Another Note - Re-e-ally?), stirring occasionally. Add stock, water, cauliflower, rice, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer 20 min., until rice is cooked and vegetables are soft. 

Cool almost to room temperature. Remove bay leaf. Add to blender goblet 2 c. at a time, blending on “high” until mixture is smooth and creamy. Wipe pot to remove any remaining solids such as bits of leek. Return soup to pot on medium heat. Stir in crumbled goat’s cheese. Season to taste. Garnish with parsley. Serves 6.   

Note: Leeks are expensive. Instead, I use sliced, dried leek stems, available in Persian food stores and in the ethnic foods section of large grocery stores. The taste is indistinguishable from the flavor of fresh leeks, at a fraction of the price.

Another Note: If youre keen to make it yourself, see the Index for How to Make Stock (Poultry).

 Another Note - Re-e-ally? The veggies, Dollinks - not you.

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Butchart Gardens’ Ginger Scones

Picture this: It’s bedtime in the Time Zone and at the Latitude Where I Live (“Nicole! Come to bed! Itbedtime in the Time Zone and at the Latitude Where We Live!”). Ron will just have to wait! I don’t check this blog’s mail very often these days, because I’m not blogging recipes at the moment, but I happened to check it late this evening. Zounds! 

A very kind reader has searched out the Ginger Scones recipe she and I were both looking for in November, 2012. This recipe comes to you courtesy of the world-famous Butchart Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia. I was so excited to see it that I yelled “Stop the presses!” even though they werent actually running. 

I’m sorry I can’t give this lovely lady the proper thank you she deserves, but she didn’t leave her name in the note she sent me just moments before I logged on. So here’s the scoop: I’m giving you the web link she gave me. The recipe’s right near the bottom, but first, you may want to pore through page after page of sumptuous photos of the (once again) world-famous Butchart Gardens. 

The photos are almost as delicious as the recipe! Thank you, madam! I’m grateful not just for the photos; not just for the recipe; but for being able to use the words “stop the presses!” and “scoop” in this blog. I’ve always wanted to say that, and you gave me the opportunity.

“Nicole! Come to bed! Yes, I will ... Ginger scones in the morning?

Monday, January 5, 2015

Dinner Party Series: Meringue for Pies

The scene: A small, intimate dinner party. The meal: Smoked Salmon Penne (recipe to come another time). Dessert: No-Crust Lemon Meringue PieThe lemon recipe? None. Heres the dish:

And heres the secret - a commercially made lemon filling mix. No one knew the difference and everyone offered accolades. Pour the hot, cooked mix into six 1/2 c.-sized ramekins. The Meringue recipe? A snap! 

Meringue for Pies:

3 egg whites, chilled and beaten to form soft peaks 
3/4 c. granulated sugar

Gradually beat in sugar until Meringue stands in stiff peaks and no grainy feeling remains when mixture is rubbed between thumb and forefinger. Heap Meringue high over the hot lemon mixture (if its hot, the Meringue won’t shrink). Bake at 425 deg. F. for 3-5 min. or until Meringue is lightly browned. This makes enough Meringue for 4-to-6 ramekins or an 8-in. pie. 

Havent I always told you that presentation fools the taste buds? If this persuades you to give a Dinner Party, go ahead and use a mix - and don’t feel guilty!

Note: Make and consume Meringue-Topped Pies on the same day. If you don’t, the Meringue will be rubbery and tasteless.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year: Grease (Remover - Not the Musical)

And so the holidays draw to a close ... A recap of the season?

YIKES! But a tip of the hat to the very talented John Roberts.

And now a small gift wrapped in a non-food recipe,  just for you. My oven caught fire the other day, thanks to the thick coat of grease pooled at the bottom. Ron to the rescue! He found this recipe goodness-knows-where and (miracle of miracles!) it actually did what it promised, which was to degrease the interior of my oven. I regularly say Ill do the same thing, but never do. So here’s the concoction that did the trick!

Grease (Remover - Not the Musical):

1/4 c. liquid dishwashing detergent (the kind you use in the sink)
1/2 c. lemon juice (the bottled type ... why waste lemons?)
1 c. white vinegar
1-1/4 c. cold water

Combine in plastic spray bottle. Spritz the stuff all over your oven’s bottom, walls, and the glass of your oven door. Then cool your jets overnight while you guzzle champagne, wear a lampshade, and do all the other stoopid stuff everyone does on New Year’s Eve.

In the morning ... Voilà! A grease-free oven! Using a metal spatula as a scraper, pile the remaining gunk from the bottom of your oven onto paper towels and discard. Accept that you’ve won the prize for the neighborhood’s dirtiest oven and don’t let it ruin your New Year. Resolve that you will never allow your oven to look like this again and then fuddedaboudit. At least, that’s what I do. 

But put the oven on its self-cleaning cycle, regardless. With 95% of the grease and gunk gone, you won’t need to wear a gas mask as your oven transforms the residue of gunk into a fine while powder.

Wot??? You don’t have an oven that cleans itself??? Dollinks, I will rush right over to scrub it out! 

(S*I*G*H! Another New Year’s promise broken!) Happy New Year, possums!  xox  Nicole

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Happy Holidays and New Year!

Although I’m still not blogging recipes, I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to say I hope you had a blessed Hanukkah; to wish you a very happy Christmas; and to wish you a fine new year. Our holiday table will always have space for you!

Ron and I have just returned from Washington State: There, we saw our dear friend Darryl, who has contributed to this blog before. Darryl gave us our holiday gifts - Italian seasoning salt for me and a pirate’s “piece of eight” for Ron that Darryl found on ebay. 

So this is the series of thank you notes I penned the next day: 

7:00 am
Dear Darryl:

The seasoning salt is delicious! I used it to flavor chicken soup. Ron is so excited about his “piece of eight” that he plans to buy the other seven pieces on ebay. He wants to take out a mortgage to do this. You have ruined our lives.

Love, Nicole 

8:00 am
Dear Darryl:

Ron woke up with pink eye and I am seeing red. He’s made himself a black leather eye patch, and says he’ll wear it forever. I blame you

Love, Nicole

9:00 am
Dear Darryl:

Ever since you gave Ron that wretched piece of eight, he’s been telling me to “Avast, Matey!” The dictionary says this means “Stop, young man!” I think Ron is bisexual. This is all your fault.

Love, Nicole 

10 am
Dear Darryl:

Ron has started to wear one of my gold hoop earrings. He says he wants to grow his hair into a ponytail tied back with a ribbon. I don’t think he’s bisexual, anymore. I think he’s gay. Because of you, I am broken-hearted.

Love, Nicole

11 am 
Dear Darryl:

You know the phrase “I’d cut off my right arm for a friend”? Ron thinks so highly of you - especially since you gave him that #$@! piece of eight - that he wants to cut off his right leg. I told him that if he does that, he won’t have a peg leg to stand on when I divorce him. You did this.

Love, Nicole

12 pm
Dear Darryl:

Ron has bought himself a parrot. It’s sitting on his shoulder as we speak. I’m an animal lover, but the thing poops all over the kitchen floor. There are feathers that have never met a chicken in my chicken soup. By giving Ron that damned piece of eight, you encouraged him to do this. You are my sworn enemy.

Love and curses, Nicole

1 pm 
Dear Darryl:

Problem solved! I used the piece of eight to buy a plank at Lowe’s. I made Ron and his bleeping bird walk it. Hey, big guy! Want to drop over for lunch? I’ve got homemade chicken soup! All I need to do is strain out a few feathers.

Love, Nicole

Enjoy the rest of the holiday season, readers!  xox  Nicole

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Fa-la-la-Land, Part 2

When my pal Graham Harrop read that I wasn’t going to mail out any more paper holiday cards (, he drew one just for me. Graham is an artist of considerable note: His work graces editorial cartoons, books, and a number of Internet sites. Should you find this card too small to read (it is, after all, a card and not a poster), simply click on the image to enlarge it.

Not everyone has Graham’s knack for drawing, but I firmly believe everyone has a talent. I, myself, am particularly skilled at tap dancing. Unfortunately, when a gossip-loving friend misheard me, she spread the word that I was a talented lap dancer, which landed me many unsought-after invitations to stag parties. I can say (with some modesty) that I’m not a bad pole dancer, either. During the holiday season, I favor the north pole in the living room, rather than the south pole in the bedroom. My husband can hardly wait for summer in the northern hemisphere, when things switch over.

Whatever your talent, use and share it, just as the little drummer boy did. I’m glad my friend Graham shared his talent with me - and thus, with all of you - xox   Nicole

Friday, December 12, 2014


Dear Friends: 

This is the Christmas card you never got. Then again, you may have got it, or may yet get it … I can’t be sure. Some of you will receive at least two of the same card. Others will get nothing - not even a lump of coal. I’ve been makin’ a list, checkin’ it twice, but don’t give a rat’s ass who’s naughty and nice. What I really want to do is curl into a fetal position and thuck my thumb.

This year, I told Ron, we’re going to play it smart! This year, there’s no way we’re spending hundreds of dollars on cards and stamps, or devoting precious hours to signing and addressing cards (a job that seems simple, but isn’t, when your computer doesn’t understand the words “mailing label”). 

This year, we’re not slaving over our usual uplifting holiday message: “Ron’s receding gums are bleeding less and orthotics have helped my plantar fascism plantar fascititis foot problem.”

To be honest, despite the guilt trip our costly holiday words laid on their recipients, mailing some 250 cards (25 of them to friends; the rest, to bill collectors) has never been the social entré we hoped it would be:

• “Oh, Charlie! Another beautiful card from that Parton woman and that hopeless Ron Fisher! You know, we really should send them a card. (S-i-g-h!) Yes, Charlie, you’re probably right. I remember the year Nicole tripped into the china cabinet, smashing all that crystal. And the year Ron wouldn’t stop talking about his receding gums at our cocktail party. If we run into them, we can always say we lost their address.” Or, at another household …

• “Who are those idiots who send us a card every year? Haven’t they figured out we’re the wrong Wilsons?” Or, at yet another home … 

• “Harold Shmuckley’s still getting cards from the Parton-Fishers! Don’t those morons know he’s in the Witness Protection Program? Even his mother has no idea where he is. Which is a good thing, considering it was his testimony that sent her up the river.” 

Well, no more paper cards from us! But what we planned to send in their stead hasn’t exactly worked out. This year, we were going to email you that: “In keeping with the spirit of a green Christmas, we’ve gone digital! We hope you enjoy our electronic holiday card!”

I hunted-and-pecked 250 names and email addresses into a swishy electronic card program. The card I chose had gen-u-wine animated falling snow and seasonal music to accompany the fine phrases I stole from my friend Saleena, who sent us the best holiday card ever

I told Ron: “Once I program these cards, I’ll be one click away from finishing with these suckers!” I meant the cards - not you, dear friends. 

Then I remembered that some of you celebrate Hanukkah. Somehow, it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be to switch those cards from those that played O Tannenbaum to cards featuring the Dreidel-Dreidel-Dreidel song. I had to start from scratch, reposting Saleena’s best-ever message for our Jewish friends.

Then I also remembered that some of you are atheists and agnostics, so I found some electronic cards with digitized Santas hula-hooping “Ho-ho-ho!”

Then I noticed I’d made some spelling and other mistakes, like forgetting that He Who Shall Not Be Named ran away with She Who Shall Not Be Named while each was married to someone else. But that was last February and this is December and the scarlet letter and the gossip have finally faded, so it’s probably socially acceptable to send them a card. Besides, all they want for Christmas is a divorce from their former partners, nudge-nudge, wink-wink. 

Which brought up another card conundrum. Spouses and partners ought to get joint cards rather than individual ones, I thought. I retyped my list. But then I also thought: “What if their partner doesn’t show them our card?” So I changed things back. 

Then I also noticed that while some of my changes had gone through, many people were getting two electronic cards - one single, one spousal. Our Jewish friends were getting a card that played O Tannenbaum, and our Christian friends were about to be treated to the Dreidel-Dreidel-Dreidel song. Two of our friends are having December birthdays. With horror, I realized that their cards read “Happy Hanukkah!” Non-believers were getting a bit of everything - drifting snow (I-used-to-be-snow-white-but-I-drifted-ha-ha), spinning dreidels, and hula-hooping Santas playing the slots in Vegas. 

Worse yet, this is our fish Frankie’s first Christmas, so I sent Ron an electronic card featuring half-a-dozen little fish in Santa hats. Signing the card “I wuv woo - Fwankie,” I didn’t realize I’d clicked on the wrong “Ron.” In milliseconds, the card zipped off to an old boyfriend. Naming me as the cards actual sender, the card company’s tracking program showed the other Ron opening the card immediately. The note he sent seconds later said he was between liaisons and happy to hear I still had “feelings” for him.  

With every correction I made, the card company’s computer program tossed every name on my list into the air, rearranging it with no alphabetization and no relationship to the pattern of names I’d seen only moments ago. Trying to fix this mess took me three days. Three! Long! Days! I’ve given birth faster than that.

Our electronic cards are programmed to go out Dec. 20th. Yes, I know the Hanukkah date is wrong, but trying to fix it defeated me. If you don’t get our card, Saleena’s perfect message reads: Wishing you a beautiful holiday season filled with love, joy, peace, health, and happiness! May you have an amazing 2015! Which about sums it up. 

Ho-ho-ho and Xs and Os from Nicole and Ron

Nicole will return to blogging recipes once she finishes work on two books. Fortunately for you, shes a slow writer.