Do not go to Appleton to a store near Fox River Mall on a mild, sunny Saturday in early December. Most of the population of the Western Hemisphere is there driving around and trying to turn left across a never-ending stream of traffic. We went to Penzeys for some fresh herbs and spices (ours were a little ancient) plus we had a coupon for a free jar of basil, and not the smallest one either. My splurge was on a tiny jar of Ancho Chili powder. They've got big jars of all of their herbs, spices, and blends for you to sniff and I thought it smelled interesting. Durwood's getting a bit more willing for me to spice things up a teensy bit, not make things hot, but toots up the flavor.
Then we drove into Appleton to Simple Simon Bakery for these. My knitting friend, HH, told me about this bakery a couple weeks ago and mentioned that it's just a block or so from Iris Fine Yarns so I thought I might stop at Iris but by the time I got the eclairs and thought about battling the traffic back to the highway and decided that I have enough yarn.
The second life lesson came when we tootled into Cooks Corner because Durwood wanted a bigger spatter screen. He had a "$10 off on the purchase of $10 or more" coupon. Evidently a lot of people did, as in the rest of the population of the Western Hemisphere's worth. Anyone not driving maniacally around Fox River Mall was shuffling up and down the aisles of Cooks Corner. *sigh* (I'm not an enthusiastic shopper.) He did get his spatter screen and a silicone pie crust shield, and I found a smaller pierced grill pan so I can cook meat and roast veggies at the same time. He'll give it to me for Christmas. What? I can act surprised, and with the way things have been sliding through my brain lately, I just might be.
After surviving that I hopped onto the highway to go up to Piggly Wiggly because they had boneless skinless chicken breasts for a good price. We bought 10# of those, plus a couple packages of drumsticks for me to grill out tomorrow for the week's suppers, and a big package of chicken wings to make for "Christmas" dinner in a couple weeks. I decided instead of replicating Thanksgiving when DD & SIL1 are here and DS, DIL1 & LC come for supper and presents Durwood can make his famous Italian Wedding Soup and I'll make Japanese Chicken Wings. That sounds Christmas-y, doesn't it? I'll make party mix and English toffee, and put up the tree in there somewhere so it'll be very festive. *nods confidently*
December 5--Sue Bennett, Sheep. From the distance Mimi thought the field was filled with odd mounds of hay. Then one of the mounds moved. They were sheep. She got closer, pulled over on the shoulder, and got out of the car. She had been driving through rural Wisconsin all day. It was pretty with rolling hills, lots of trees, and cows. Cows here, cows there, cows everywhere. These were dairy cows, they were used to humans so if you talked to them they'd amble over to check you out. Most of them looked confused when she spoke. Now here were sheep, not with the fluffy sheep fleece she imagined sheep to have. These sheep looked more like collies or sheepdogs with sheep feet and sheep faces.
We've had a lot of frosty mornings. This is what the grass looked like around 7:30 but it gets up into 40s during the day so it doesn't look very Christmas-y out yet. I should get into the kitchen. I know the oven timer's going to buzz in half a minute to say that it's time to check on the supper. Toodle-oo, and stay away from the mall on Saturdays in December.