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Thursday, September 20, 2007
Spotlight On: Beehoppy

I'm happy to present one of the nicest, funniest, and coolest chicks I know~  Beehoppy.

Name: Eden (Yes, like the garden-I'll wait while you get the requisite comments out of your system)
Age: 37
Location: Virginia-20 miles from the Nation's Capital

Where were you born? Charlottesville VA. Both my folks were enrolled at UVA. They were both at school for the summer session and my Dad was working at the Student Union on the information desk. My mom called to get some other boy's phone number, but she didn't know how to spell his last name. My Dad tried to help her and while they were trying out all the various possiblities he charmed her enough that she forgot about the other fella and agreed to go out with him instead. Love bloomed when she threw up on his shoes on the first date. Let's just say nobody ended up graduating.

Have you ever lived outside of Virginia? I lived in the great state of Pennsylvania for the Bicentennial year of 1976. Mostly what I remember was we had a large piece of property that backed up to a field where people dumped old broken down junk and I would always sneak off to play in that. And we had bunnies that I used to push around in a baby carriage! I realize neither of these things are particularly relevant to Pennsylvania, but what can I say-I was six. Seriously, we probably moved 8 or 9 times when I was a kid, but, save for that one year, always in VA.

What did you want to be when you grew up? Dream # 1 was to be an actress/singer. The singer part died when I realized I have a tin ear and no sense of rhythm. I threw in the towel on acting after being cruelly denied the Best Supporting Actress award my senior year of high school for my side splitting portrayal of Peasant Woman #1 in The Caucasian Chalk Circle.

Dream #2 was to own my own bookstore. I was actually making headway on that one until the rise of Amazon and the superstores. Now it's just too hard out there for an independent.

What were mealtimes like for you as a child? I don't recall anything noteworthy. Mom cooked, we ate at the table (I was an only chills, so it was a small group), everyone pretty much got along. Well, my mom was always hassling me not to read at the table, but I told her if Amy Carter could do it at the White House I could do it at our house.


What's your favorite meal these days? That's a toughie-as a young divorcee on the go I don't have occasion to cook a lot. I'm a fan of Southern cooking, so if I had to pick I'd probably say Shrimp and Grits. If you've never had it you probably think it sounds oddly disturbing, but let me assure you it is scrumdiddlyumptious! The recipe belongs to one of the city's top chefs from a froo froo restaurant downtown and it is to die for. I've never been skilled at figuring out side dishes, so I usually just wing that part.

Did you ever like any of your school photos? Are you high? From the early years where I tried to cut my own bangs to not one but TWO unfortunate perm decisions in high school,each was a fresh exercise in humiliation and despair. Plus my eyes tend to get real squinty in pictures. I tried to remedy this on my honeymoon by forcing myself to make an expression of bug eyed shock in all the photos. Not an effective solution.

What about high school itself? Ugh, the less said the better. I had a pretty fun childhood but the minute I hit 7th grade it all went horribly awry. I was painfully skinny, goofy and one of the "smart" kids. I found my niche but it took me until about 30 to really be comfortable in my own skin. Plus I finally found a decent hairstylist.

What was your first date like?  If I recall, it was in the 8th grade with some guy named Wally. He took me to the fireman's carnival in the small town where my grandmother lived. We smooched on the bleachers out by the baseball field. I never saw him again.

What is in your vegetable bin? Limes (for gimlets) lemons (for lemon squares)

You never told me you make lemon squares! That's one of the desserts I make the most. What else do you bake? I hadn't made them in years and then I was looking for something different to make for a tailgate party last month. I made a couple of batches and they were received to such great acclaim I decided the recipe needed a more prominent place in my repertoire. I bake a lot more than I cook: all kinds of cookies, a yummy blueberry cobbler, some pies (although it's been awhile), bar desserts, coconut cake...

Oh !  You'd love what I do with lemon bars sometimes~  If I have any on hand, I'll toss some fresh blueberries  or some coconut over the lemon mixture before baking.

What color is your car? My baby. A 2003 Miata-burgundy color with a tan roof.

Are you having a good hair day? Fair to middling. My hair does it's own thing. I style it the exact same way every day. Some days it looks snazzy, some days it looks like crap. I just try to stay out of the way.

What is your favorite perfume? I'm sensitive to most regular perfumes. I wore Love's Baby Soft far past an age where it was appropriate. Now my favorite is the Creamsicle flavor from Demeter.

That sounds dangerous!  Do people drool all over you? Naturally, but what does that have to do with the perfume? :) Actually, even though I find it to be fairly strong (in a good way) most people tell me they don't even notice when I have it on. I seem to have an overdeveloped sense of smell as I can frequently smell things others don't even notice. I can detect Head & Shoulders shampoo from ten feet away.

What is your middle name? Leigh (pronounced Lee not to rhyme with sleigh)

What type of books do you like to read? Huge bookworm. Everyone on the planet should read John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany. Best. Book. Ever. I read a lot of the classics and also a lot of modern Southern authors (Lee Smith, Jill McCorkle, Kaye Gibbons)

If you were a literary character, who would you be? Ooo-good one.Well, I can really relate to Owen Meany. He was this sort of oddball character who didn't really fit in, but instead of trying to hide that, he embraced it and all of his little quirks and eccentricities ended up having a very specific purpose. I'd like to be more like Tommy Traddles from David Copperfield-the ultimate optimist-cheerful and content with whatever life threw at him.

What is your favorite type of cookie?  Whatever's in mah belly! Hmm . . . I make a mean peanut butter cookie with Reeses Pieces. That's a leading contender. But I try not to be too discriminatory-all cookies are welcome at my place.

Hmpf. I really thought you'd say my chocolate chip cookies.  I was going to bring some on our trip, but now I'm not so sure.
Shhh! I'm trying to keep the incomparable perfection of your cookies under wraps! Once word gets out there won't be any left over for me!

Well, okay then.  Who would you like to see featured in the next spotlight interview?  The mysterious Beez! Or zgeist!

Thanks, Bee! I look forward to seeing you tomorrow!  Washington Dulles International Airport.  7:35 a.m.  Be there. (I'll be the one with the GIANT tummy.  And Twizzlers!)


Posted at 09:03 am by ChefGrace
(2) Shout Outs  

Monday, September 17, 2007
Chili Sauce

My mom and I spent quite a bit of time canning these last few weeks of summer. 
The green beans didn't do so well this year, so they just got turned under.  It was just too hot and dry for them.  The peppers, okra and tomatoes, however, flourished, and we had more than the usual amount to play with.  After our typical stewed tomatoes, tomato juice and salsa we generally can, there were still quite a few tomatoes left, so mom pulled out a chili sauce recipe given to her by a friend.  The sauce is now canned and cooled, and sitting on my shelf waiting to be used.   I think I will pull out some shrimp tonight, grill it, slather it in our sauce, and serve it with some citrusy rice.  I'll let you know how it turns out.

Chili Sauce

4 quarts chopped, peeled, cored tomatoes (about 24 large)
1 1/2 cups chopped green peppers (about 3 medium)
2 cups chopped onions (about 2 medium)
1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon celery seed
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cloves

Sterilze 6 pint-size canning jars.  (You can freeze the sauce in freezer-safe containers if you don't wish to go through the canning process.)

Combine all ingredients in a large pot. Bring mixture to boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until desired consistency, (about 1 to 2 hours.)  Stir frequently to prevent sticking to bottom of pot. Carefully ladle hot sauce into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch space at top. Clean rim of jar. Place sealing lid on, then screw on rim lid until tight.

Process 15 minutes in a boiling-water canner.

Yields about 6 pints.

Posted at 10:25 am by ChefGrace
(4) Shout Outs  

Friday, September 14, 2007
Spotlight On Magpie

It's going on three years since my last Spotlight interview.  What better way to kick off a new round of interviews, than with the Hamster Time Admin-extrodinaire~ Magpie?!


Age: depressingly close to being twice Tsy's age

Location:  *locks the doors and windows*

Where were you born? In Missouri, in the same town that gave the world Santino (Project Runway). I'm pretty sure we're not related, alas.

Ever been anyplace exotic? Mexico City. Hey, Volkwagen bugs driving around with snowmen on the roofs is pretty damn exotic in my opinion.

What did you want to be when you grew up?  I wasn't so much into planning ahead when I was a kid, so I don't recall ever realizing I was going to have to actually work someday. In high school, I wanted to go to the Air Force Academy, but that didn't work out so well since it was "men only" at the time.

What were mealtimes like for you as a child? My mom didn't work outside the home, so we always had the family gathered around the table for some home cooking. There may have been some incidents involving my brother and some fork poking, but let's pretend that we were well-behaved.

What about mealtimes now? Well, I do work outside of the home, so there is not too much of the home cooking going on. The good folks at Taco Bell are responsible for quite a few of our meals.

Did you ever like any of your school photos? Umm, maybe one of them. Maybe. Cameras scare me.

What was your first date like?  I don't remember the date itself, but I do remember my next door neighbor and her friend, who were in the same class as my date, waiting outside to watch and giggle when he kissed me goodnight. Bitches!

Tell us something amusing about Mr.Magpie. Hmm, that's probably not a great idea...but check the
Pets thread on HT for photos of my cat. She loves attention!

What is in your vegetable bin? A potato and some grated cheese, I think. They may have disintegrated since I last checked in there.

What color is your car? Forest green metallic

Are you having a good hair day? It's still attached to my head, so yeah, pretty good

What is your favorite perfume? None, it all makes me itch. Smelling it on other people makes me itch, too. Get away from me.

I know you love blowing wads of cash on makeup.  Any other splurges you indulge in? I have a fairly pricey handbag collection, but I'm over that phase so haven't added anything new to it in about a year. Do you know how many MAC lipsticks you can buy for the price of a Marc Jacobs bag?

What is your middle name? Jean

What type of books do you like to
read? Currently, my favorites include the "Stephanie Plum" books by Janet Evanovich and J.D. Robb's "In Death" series. I am pretty much a charter member of, and I read constantly. Mostly fluffy stuff, but that shouldn't be surprising considering my taste in TV shows.

What did you watch as a kid? Back in the old days, before there was cable, we watched whatever the three networks had to offer and we liked it! 

What is your favorite type of cookie?  I'm not a big fan of sweets, but Double Stuf Oreos are OK.

So, what brought you to HT? I started watching BB during season 6. I read about HT on another board, wandered over to ezboard to check it out, and got hooked on reading the recaps. One weekend, the feeds were free for some reason, so I decided to give recapping a whirl. "Free feeds" are like crack, you know, and I've been feed-watching and loitering on HT (and occasionally recapping) ever since.  

Who would you like to see featured in the next spotlight interview? Beehoppy!

Yay! I was totally hoping you'd say that.  If not, I'd have had to fudge this part;)

Thanks for letting us know more about the Mysterious Magpie!

Posted at 09:29 am by ChefGrace
(6) Shout Outs  

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

You know~  having two instant message conversations going at the same time can be dangerous.  Like, when you're talking to your friend about a certain Big Brother houseguest, and you accidentally type in the wrong window.

Yeah.  Try explaining THIS to your husband:

Me: although it could have been half as long
Me: a little Dick goes a long way

*slaps forehead*

Posted at 11:55 am by ChefGrace
(1) Shout Outs  

Oh, Snap!

I've gotten a couple of requests for a picture of me in my current enlarged state, so here's one of Bee and me.

Be nice!

Posted at 09:24 am by ChefGrace
(7) Shout Outs  

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