Friday, July 27, 2007

Dangling Conversations: Wrong Number

Yesterday I tried to call a friend and got the wrong number.

"Hey! How you are you?"

"Good! How are you doing today?"

"Great. Whatchya up to?"

"Not much. What can I do for you?"

"Well, Is Linda there?"

"Sure! Which one?"

[chuckle] "You know, the one that vacuums up the dog hair."

"Hm. I think you might have the wrong number little lady."

I used the wrong prefix for our area. The guy owns a convenience store and produce stand. He has 2 Lindas that work for him.

"Y'all come by and see us sometime!"

In my defense? The guy did sound exactly like my buddy Don and he is always yanking my chain with some comment when I ask a question. I thought the "Sure, which one?" question was a fairly new one, but I never know for sure what he's going to say when I ask for her.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

By the Side of the Road: Firewood House

Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic
Yesterday I had the opportunity to drive two couples to Spartanburg to see a fellow in a retirement community. The drive is about two hours each way, and I enjoyed listening to the couples all talk to each other, reminiscing about old times, talking about what is happening here in our community now with old friends and grandchildren, etc.

They were indulgent of my photo-taking, and even waited while I pulled over to take a photo of this firewood house.

Cool, huh?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I'm Afraid...

Me: "I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to do the dishes this afternoon."

HE: "I'm afraid of that too."

Monday, July 23, 2007

Product Review: Fage Yogurt

Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic
I've never known before that there was such an animal as Greek yogurt. Well, of course there would be Greek yogurt, but I didn't know that it was more special than any other kind.

Until I read this month's Prevention magazine.

There are several recipes for Greek foods, such as Souvlaki, Village Salad with Feta, and Tzatziki, a yogurt and cucumber dip.

The Tzatziki calls for Greek yogurt. Never heard of it, so naturally I googled. Greek yogurt is touted as being creamier than most, and that creamy-ness is attributed to a "centuries-old process that involves straining to let the whey drain out."

Hmmm...sounds like what I do when I want to use yogurt cheese. When I have a recipe that calls for yogurt cheese, I'll buy plain yogurt, line a fine mesh sieve with cheesecloth, dump the yogurt in there, and let it drain into a bowl for a few hours (while in the fridge). The result is yogurt that is much less watery.

The author of this Prevention article says that she uses Fage Greek -style yogurt. Googling that, I found all kinds of warnings about how expensive it is, and hard to find. So I prepared to buy the regular plain stuff and strain it for my Tzatziki.

But there was Fage (pronounced "Fah-yeh") at Harris Teeter, costing about 40 cents more per container than Dannon. Sounded reasonable to me.

Here's the recipe for Tzatziki from Prevention, August 2007.

2 C Greek-style yogurt (I used whole, but it comes in 2% and nonfat too)
1 C peeled, grated cucumber, spun dry in a salad spinner
4 cloves garlic, grated
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/3 tsp ground red pepper

Mix it all together and refrigerate for 1 hour. Serve with warm pita bread.

I made a batch of this for our Posse Party last night and it was virtually inhaled by every person there. (Which is good, because I'm sure all of us are exhaling garlic today.) Even the picky eaters ate this stuff. We decided it would be a good salad dressing or baked potato topping as well. I made beef kebabs with an Indian-style marinade, and the beef pieces were quite good dipped in Tzatziki.

I used fresh-pulled, non-aged garlic, so I cut back to 3 cloves. I also didn't spin the cucumber. I put it and the garlic in my mesh sieve and pressed the juice out with a paper towel.

Apparently this yogurt dip is considered to be a necessary condiment for the table in Greece, much like ketchup is to the American household.