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2002-10-16 - 10:53 a.m.


My friend C. emailed me on Monday. She's coming to town tomorrow from NYC. It will be fun for me to see her (she's staying with us for one night and with another friend in town for the other night), but I don't know how she'll be doing. She's coming here to visit a friend in a hospice. He was diagnosed with lung cancer this summer and five months later is dying. This is someone our age--late 20s/early 30s. Very sad.

To get to the Midwest from NYC, C. has to fly through Atlanta. Yuck. Something that should take her a few hours is instead taking her many hours. Love those airlines.


In honor of C's visit I'm making cookies, lasagna, and homemade ice cream. The Scientist and I broke out our ice cream maker (a wedding present, of course) on Saturday night because The Scientist found a simple recipe for vanilla ice cream in the Penzey's catalog. When we first got the ice cream maker, we tried a recipe for vanilla custard-style ice cream from the book that came with it, but the custard did not turn out properly. I think there were a couple of problems--we didn't freeze the bowl for long enough and we cooked the custard too quickly so there were little bits of egg in it. Not a good thing. This time the recipe didn't call for eggs so we were good there and the bowl had been in the freezer since March when we moved in and it was completely frozen.

Uncharacteristically, I started dumping ingredients into the bowl without reading the directions (usually I'm a dedicated directions-reader--I don't know where this rash impulse came from). This was a mistake. The stirring mechanism is very tightly fitted and the bulk of the sugar (sinking to the bottom of the bowl) blocked it from being in the right place and made it impossible to turn. I retreated in frustration.

Luckily, The Scientist rescued the ice cream by dumping it all out into another bowl, washing down the frozen bowl, putting the stirring bar thing back in and dumping the ingredients in properly. After half an hour of stirring and two hours of freezing we had homemade vanilla ice cream! Yum.


The recipes for the cookies and the lasagna both come from The Best Recipe, one of my favorite cookbooks. We've made a number of these recipes (from main dishes to desserts) and we've never had anything turn out badly. In fact, for almost all of the recipes we've tried, we've thrown out any other versions we've had kicking around and switched to The Best Recipe's version. Because, you know, it's the best. This includes cherished family cookie recipes. Some part of me feels a sentimental attachment to recipes passed down from other generations, but most of me just wants to make the best tasting food possible. The sentimental part loses, hands down. Sorry, grandma, but these are better!

I'm assuming these will be delicious, as usual, and I'll post the recipes if they're successful. We're inviting C's friend A. over as well and The Scientist picked up a nice bottle of Chianti the other day. Along with bread from the local co-op grocery store and salad with caesar dressing, I think we're good to go with minimal fuss.


I'm incredibly tired today. Therefore, some midweek entertainment with a quiz. I had fun doing this and I think my results match up to my personality really well. I never played D&D, but I believe The Scientist had a brief flirtation with it. I'll have to ask him about it.

Find out What D&D Character Are You?, courtesy of NeppyMan (e-mail).

I Am A: Chaotic Good Elf Ranger Paladin

Chaotic Good characters are independent types with a strong belief in the value of goodness. They have little use for governments and other forces of order, and will generally do their own things, without heed to such groups.

Elves are the eldest of all races, although they are generally a bit smaller than humans. They are generally well-cultured, artistic, easy-going, and because of their long lives, unconcerned with day-to-day activities that other races frequently concern themselves with. Elves are, effectively, immortal, although they can be killed. After a thousand years or so, they simply pass on to the next plane of existence.

Primary Class:
Rangers are the defenders of nature and the elements. They are in tune with the Earth, and work to keep it safe and healthy.

Secondary Class:
Paladins are the Holy Warriors. They have been chosen by a God/dess to be their representative on Earth, and must follow the code of that deity, or risk severe penalties. They tend towards being righteous, but not generally to excess.

Solonor Thelandria is the Chaotic Good elven god of archery and the hunt. He is also known as the Keen Eye, the Great Archer, and the Forest Hunter. His followers respect nature, and only hunt when needed, but are quick to defend the forest from intruders. Their favorite weapon is the bow, and they tend to be extremely talented with it. Solonor Thelandria's symbol is an arrow with green fletchings.

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