Today’s helpful hints
Norton’s mom of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, reports: “Subject: Well, I knew I couldn’t use putty.
“I’d like to share a baking tip that I perfected while making a lemon meringue pie for Easter dessert. You all have to promise not to let Martha Stewart read this, though, because she might steal my idea and put it in her magazine.
“First off, I need to tell you that my motto is: ‘Life is too short to make pie crust from scratch . . . or to take a beagle to Agility Classes.’ I baked my pie shell on the Saturday before Easter, took it out of the oven . . . and it had large air bubbles in the crust — enough that there was almost no room for the filling. Luckily my ‘old family recipe’ had two crusts in the box, so I tried again, and when the air bubbles appeared while baking, I tried gently pushing them back in place like the cookbook I’d looked in instructed. When that didn’t work, I pierced them to make them deflate. That worked, but left little holes in the baked shell. I didn’t want the filling to leak through and was wondering if I could patch the holes with something when I spotted the two muffins I’d set aside (for Norton’s dad and me to sample) from those I’d baked to take to the church breakfast the next morning. They were fluffy because I’d also used ‘ye olde family recipe’ for those: Add eggs, water and oil to the mix in the box.
“I decided to try little wadded-up muffin pieces to plug the holes in the pie shell. It worked beautifully. We finished the last of the pie (which was delicious) yesterday, and none of the filling had leaked through.
“I’m going to add this to my other cooking/baking tips, one of which is: You can use your Martha Stewart Zester to scrape the burned stuff off the bottom of rolls — although since we got the new oven with a working thermostat, I haven’t had to use that one.”
Our theater of seasons
Our Official Attorney (off the clock again), Mr. Tulkinghorn, waxes poetic:
“Trees bud, gray to green
“Spring is here to stay, at last —
“A long time coming.”
Our theater of seasons
Mounds View Swede has been out and about: “A brief record of my maple tree’s spring beginnings. I have no idea what these would be called, never having studied botany. ‘Maple tree buds’ works for me.
“This was when they looked their best, whatever they were.
“A day or so later, the pretty red things were mostly gone
“And then it snowed — party over!
“And now the ground, sidewalks and streets have the remains.”
Lost & Found
Fevered Rabbit writes: “I’ve said it before, and it is still true: I am a bibliophile. I like books. I like big books. I like tiny books. I like new books. I like old books. I like to hold books in my hands. I like the smell of books (usually).
“Books will always be a part of my life.
“I am a re-reader. I read a book, and if I really like it, I want it on my personal library shelf so I can read it again. I like having a large assortment of books nearby so I can find something to read that will fill the craving I have at that moment.
“I go through the books in my library periodically. I give some away, and I get different books. More books. To a bibliophile, there is no such thing as ‘too many books.’ (A bibliophile’s husband might think differently.)
“Today I picked up a lot of books, as in ‘these several items are sold as one lot.’ There were about a dozen books in the lot. I purchased the lot specifically for the Swedish hymnal, and for a book about North St Paul. My husband has ancestors who lived in North St. Paul; I am hoping to find information that will help with his family history.
“One of my very favorite things about obtaining used books is what I can find in them aside from the actual book. The hymnal I got today also brought me:
“— a ‘War Ration Book Two’ from WWII with a few Y and Z stamps remaining, issued to a 12-year-old boy;
“— a form asking for reimbursement from the VA for the training someone was taking to become a barber after the Korean War; the barber-in-training had the same name as the boy who owned the ration book;
“— a newspaper article about a butcher in Vergas, Minnesota (also the town the ration book was from);
“— a cartoon from a newspaper dated 1934.
“Plus: In another book I found an article about something that took place in Coudersport, Pennsylvania, in 1966. Until a couple of years ago, I didn’t know such a place existed; now I know it as home to some of my very favorite cousins.
“What is the best thing you have found in a book?”
The little treasures
Sleepless from St. Paul (in Minneapolis): “I thought readers would enjoy this selection of nose art from my dad’s old 33rd Fighter Group Newsletters.
“Several items were omitted after taking into account the refined sensibilities of Bulletin Board readers.
“The 33rd Fighter Group received a Presidential Unit Citation for their part in the Middle East campaign and later actions in Italy.”
Everyone’s a (book) critic!
Kathy S. of St. Paul: “I’m just finishing ‘The Unyielding,’ by Shelly Laurenston, and it occurred to me that it is the kind of book some of us can enjoy right now. It is an adult urban fantasy full of Viking-based beings who have to prevent Ragnarok (the end of the world), but in the meantime they cheerfully battle each other, exchange snarky comments and indulge in goofy romance. Oh, and the good guys win — eventually.
“Just what the doctor ordered!”
Blotter Mind-Off Phenomenon
Papa on Elm Street: “In the local newspaper, there was an important police report: ‘A broken window was reported . . . April 11. The suspect, a wild turkey, fled the scene uninjured.'”
Only a ___________ would notice!
Red’s Offspring, north of St. Paul, reporting from well south of St. Paul: “Subject: Redoing numbers and shapes.
“While sitting poolside in Naples, Florida, relaxing and catching up on Charley Walters’ ‘SUNDAY SUPER SHOOTER’ column [Bulletin Board interjects: You call that relaxing? (DON’T PRINT THAT!)], two items caught my attention:
“(1): ‘Friday’s game against St. Louis was Minnesota’s 31th straight playoff sellout.’ Oh, I thought it was the 32st.
“(2): ‘ “My mother (Marriette) is the best athlete in the family,” said Mychal (Thompson), the former NBA No. 1 overall draft pick. “I always think of the mother’s genes as those that matter the most. My mother was a tennis champion. My father (DeWitt) didn’t know which end of the basketball to hold.” ‘ He’s probably not the only one having difficulty locating the best end.”
Our pets, ourselves
The Grand Duchess of Grand Avenue writes: “I was just watching our cat Cleo groom herself.
“Don’t you wish you could lick your own toes? [Bulletin Board says: No. And: We can . . . at least some of them — though we don’t, and we won’t.]
“It looks like it would be so much fun!”
Not exactly what she has in mind?
Email from Donald: “Subject: Just what she’s always wanted?
“‘YOUR MOTHER’S DAY HEADQUARTERS’ is the headline for a full-page ad in an advertising supplement in a northern suburban newspaper. ‘HOMETOWN SERVICE SINCE 1919’ is the hardware store’s motto.
“Intrigued by the thought of buying a Mother’s Day gift at such an establishment, I looked closer.
“The ad featured 12 sections, each with a ‘special.’ The last four sections were distinct possibilities: ‘flowering baskets; ‘birdseed’ (2); ‘potted herbs.’
The first eight . . . not so much. They included: key cutting, propane exchange, $10 off mower purchase, mower tune-up, window/screen repair, sharpening of chainsaw chain or mower blade, trimmer or chainsaw tune-up.
“Then again, today’s moms might have ‘wish lists’ including all of the above.”
BULLETIN BOARD MUSES: Or, then yet again, those items might jump to the top of her wish list immediately after she sees what you actually bought her.
Band Name of the Day: The Super Shooters
Website of the Day: Jinx Falkenburg