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A Vintage View of Homekeeping

Welcome to the New Year Pineapple January 2, 2009

Filed under: Holidays — LotusMama @ 9:54 am
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Hubby bought me a lovely book for Christmas, one that I mentioned a long time ago at this post about domestic porn – no, not that kind, the Martha Stewart, perfect house kind. The post (way back in October 2007) was inspired by a UK article that dissed on Jane Brockett’s book, The Gentle Art of Domesticity. Long story short, that’s the book that hubby purchased for Christmas.

Whew, way off track, sorry. Guess I can’t see the road for all the snow we just received last night. Blizzard Redux.

Ok, so I have the book and I’m enjoying it. Ms. Brockett writes about her inspiration and one small section deals with pineapples. She even quotes one of my all-time favorite songs, which just so happens to speak of pineapples – “It Couldn’t Please Me More” from Cabaret. If you don’t know it, here is a lovely version set to SpongeBob:

(Where else can you find cartoons singing Broadway tunes, huh?)

The whole pineapple fascination just happened to sync with my own longing for pineapples.  In crochet, I love pineapple lace and I hope to make some in 2009. Here’s a look at it:pineapplelaceWe’ve already talked about my pineapple upside down cake mishap on New Year’s Eve. I’ve also been adding a bit of country primitives to my home and the pineapple is a featured symbol of hospitality and home. I’m not sure how a fruit from the tropics took on that role for colonial America, but there you go. Perhaps because offering such a rare fruit to your guests would be the height of sharing.

Fruitily inspired, on New Year’s Day I bought a pineapple. Not in the can, a fresh pineapple, pokey leaves and tough skin and all. And like Fraulein Schneider, I have it on the counter looking at it, a bit timid to actually crack it open and eat it. Today might be the day that I slice into the New Year Pineapple (now to join the ranks of Christmas Tree, Yule Log and Santa Claus for Holiday symbols). Purchased on the first day of 2009, the pineapple will fill my new year with sweetness and sunshine…and possibly gas. But that is a small price to pay for a taste of Hawaii on a bleak cold day in January. Grilled fresh pineapple with a view of snowflakes couldn’t please me more.


The good, the bad and the sticky – New Year’s Eve January 1, 2009

Filed under: Baking,Holidays — LotusMama @ 9:52 am
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I can’t remember the last time I went out for New Year’s Eve. It might have been eight years ago when I was pregnant with my son and my family went out to a fancy dinner, which I could barely eat. That’s the last memory I can pull up but I’m sure there has been stuff since then. A midnight reveler, I’m not. Not surprising, we didn’t have any great plans for this Eve.

However, something remarkable decided to happen on our ho-hum evening just the same. My cousin’s baby girl decided to be born on New Year’s Eve instead of New Year’s Day. Talk about a humdinger of a New Year! Congratulation to momma and baby. I hope the fireworks didn’t disturb their rest.

That was the good part of the evening. The bad part of the evening came in the form of a movie we rented from Netflix. For those who have seen Tropic Thunder and who enjoyed it, all I can say is

(sound of crickets, a baby – perhaps my cousin’s daughter – wails in the background)

I can’t remember when I’ve seen a worse film. Really. I’ve seen some clunkers but this one was so bad it left me wanting eye-bleach at the end of it. I get that it was a parody, I get the spoof, yadda yadda yadda, Tom Cruise in a fat suit, exploding bodies, Jack Black tied to a tree (that sounds more interesting that it was, trust me).

Well, on to the sticky portion of the night. The plan was to make pineapple upside cake and it would have gone off without a hitch if I had actually had some pineapple in the cupboard. Alas, no pineapple. But I did the next best thing. I used a pineapple, strawberry and mango fruit blend from the freezer. After thawing out the fruit on the stove, I strained it and put that in the bottom of the pan. The final result still had pineapple but also had some other, dare I say, tropic flavors going on. And above all, it was sticky. Sticky with brown sugar goodness.

It was while eating this concoction of the sofa, watching Tropic Thunder and the scene with Jack Black in various fat suits (yes, there were fat suits a-plenty in this film) that I thought perhaps January would be a good time to pull back on the sweets. I have a feeling parfait with fruit and low-fat pudding may be making some appearances around here.

There you have it – the (really) good, the (really) bad, and the (just enough) sticky. I hope your New Year’s was exciting or at least couch-comfy. Here’s to a great 2009!