How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE


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North to Alaska: Chit-chatting Passengers

Soon lazy navy water replaced buildings and civilization in exchange for distant snow-capped mountains and tiny islands. Did I mention deep water?

 In the excitement and knuckle-biting of the day, I had forgotten about food, but it was 5:30 p.m.  I had worked up an appetite. Mary insisted we return to our room to change for dinner. Mouth-watering aromas of food drifted around us. I drooled as we passed a buffet (manned with servers) down to our stateroom. We needed our credit cards out of the safe, anyway, for a celebratory toast to the beginning of our new adventure.

I chose the prime rib for dinner (yum—so-o tender), adding twice-baked potatoes and chopped bok choy, just enough to satisfy my hunger, vowing not to overeat on this cruise. We shall see. Dessert is never on my radar, so no added calories there.

After dinner, we sashayed to a bar passed earlier for a glass of wine. The line of customers seemed endless. When my turn came, I ordered only one glass because the Cabernet on offer was expensive and only four stingy ounces. This was day one after all. The nimble-fingered bartender mixed and poured drinks and wine and served beer without breaking a sweat. He was from the Philippines and worked every day, ten months of the year. The remaining two months, he spent back in his country. I forget how long he had worked on cruise ships. Years, of that I am certain. Though he had an accent, his English was excellent.

We grabbed a bistro-type table with four empty chairs overlooking the water. A woman with a distinct accent asked for one of the extras. Soon we struck up a conversation with her and her husband. She said the Alaska cruise had been on her wish list for a long time and was a popular destination for Australians. I had a private giggle as half her country people were already on our ship. Glenda was about my age with a cap of silver hair, a sparkle in her blue eyes, and an unlined face. She was as chirpy as her appearance was youthful. And she loved to talk. Her husband, Max, reminded me of Lyndon B. Johnson—remember that president? Max was her opposite, quiet and pensive but engaging when the subject interested him.

Within minutes, another couple they had just met on the ship joined us. They treated each other like long lost friends who had known each other forever. Our talk included Canadian Healthcare versus the U.S. system. We learned Australian healthcare is similar to ours (Canadian). We also talked about unions, work, and workers. Mary and I talked up the men, but Glenda and the other man’s wife took a step back, talked between themselves, and did not engage in our conversation. I’ve had previous discussions with a group of husbands and wives where the women faded into the background. Why is that? I cannot recall if I acted the same during my long-ago married life.

Tummys happy and close to 8:00 p.m., Mary and I decided to take it easy for the rest of the evening. Nothing much on TV, we read and managed to stay up late (11:40 p.m.). Relaxed as a nodding kitten, I’m sure I snored before my head hit the pillow. The ship gets no kudos for rocking me to sleep. The credit is all mine—I think.

~* ~

Next on March 30th – North to Alaska:  First Day onboard

© 2018 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

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Suzhou to Shanghai – Part 1

At home, my regular breakfast consists of a small container of yogurt, a hard-boiled egg, and coffee. From the first morning after our arrival in China, I ate breakfast as if it were my last meal. I even sampled more than one kind of roll although I rarely eat bread. An extravagant buffet breakfast is not easy to ignore, but I believe I burned all those calories during our days of walking and climbing and walking some more. I bet hoisting myself up into the bus consumed 1,000 calories, easy.

Sue checked her rash but it still had not improved and her legs and feet were still swollen. There was no pain and she was satisfied with that.

We started the day early to avoid crowds at Liu Garden, which Jackie, our guide, called The Lingering Garden. Upon entering the grounds, instructions about time and meeting location were dispatched immediately.

“If you need the Happy House, it is there.” Jackie waved in the direction of a low building. We squinted with pinched brows. What?

 “Happy House is toilet.” He checked the screen on his cell phone and was gone. We were on our own to wander as we wished. Again.

The garden was small, neat and clean. It seemed there’s no such thing as early. Paths and passages were tight in spots and we had to wait for a turn to pass. We rubbed elbows with lots of other visitors. Lorena lost us when she stopped for a photo opportunity. Not successful in finding us, she headed back to the parking lot where the buses were parked. She saw the French Group’s guide, who then called Jackie and he joined us up together again.

Back on the bus, we settled in for a two-hour ride to Shanghai passing the time napping or talking, sometimes asking Jackie questions.

Once again we were treated to a tourist wonderland of Cashmere / Pashmina factory shopping. The sweaters, shawls etc. didn’t interest me. I noticed the men’s pained faces as if they’d been lined up for a firing squad.

Before we left the factory, a museum stop on the schedule was voted down in favor of more shopping time at the bazaar in the afternoon. Jackie suggested this was a great place for picking up knock-offs which are illegal everywhere. The men’s faces drooped.

Silk Embroidery Shop:

This work is amazing embroidery anyone shall ever see. Some work is done in 1/64th thickness of a silk strand. Hard to imagine. I wonder if the workers have good compensation when they go blind. Even with my nose an inch from the finished product, I could have sworn these were paintings. Some were three dimensional; the fur on some animals was ultra realistic and breathtaking. I couldn’t help reaching for it.

© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

                                              © 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

                                                © 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

The following  is the best link I could find for silk embroidery display (Some Jade images are included)

https://www.flickr.com/photos/45909111@N00/sets/72157607927737804/

Chinese Saying:

He (or she) has a jade face (means: is good looking)

Jade is highly valued, therefore this is the highest compliment you can pay someone.

 ~ * ~

Next on June 2, Shanghai, Part 2  Huangpu River and the Bund

© 2017 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

FYI: This is a re-blog of the best parts of my trip in 2014.


123 Comments

Suzhou to Shanghai: Day 10, Part 1

At home, my regular breakfast consists of a small container of yogurt, a hard-boiled egg and coffee. From the first morning after our arrival in China, I ate breakfast as if it were my last meal. I even sampled more than one kind of roll although I rarely eat bread. An extravagant buffet breakfast is not easy to ignore, but I believe I burned all those calories during our days of walking and climbing and walking some more. I bet hoisting myself up into the bus consumed 1,000 calories, easy.

Sue checked her rash but it still had not improved and her legs and feet were still swollen. There was no pain and she was satisfied with that.

We started the day early to avoid crowds at Liu Garden (the Garden to Linger in), which Jackie, our guide, called The Lingering Garden. Upon entering the grounds, instructions about time and meeting location were dispatched immediately.

“If you need the Happy House, it is there.” Jackie waved in the direction of a low building. We squinted with pinched brows. What?

 “Happy House is toilet.” He checked the screen on his cell phone and was gone. We were on our own to wander as we wished. Again.

The garden was small, neat and clean. It seemed there’s no such thing as early. Passages were tight in spots and we had to wait for a turn to pass. We rubbed elbows with lots of other visitors. Lorena lost us when she stopped for a photo opportunity. Not successful in finding us, she headed back to the parking lot where the buses were parked. She saw the French Group’s guide, who then called Jackie and he joined us up together again.

Back on the bus, we settled in for a two-hour ride to Shanghai passing the time napping or talking, sometimes asking Jackie questions.

Once again we were treated to a tourist wonderland of Cashmere / Cashmina factory shopping. The sweaters, shawls etc. didn’t interest me. I noticed the men’s pained faces as if they’d been lined up for a firing squad.

Before we left the factory, a museum stop on the schedule was voted down in favor of more shopping time at the bazaar in the afternoon. Jackie suggested this was a great place for picking up knock-offs which are illegal everywhere.

 Silk Embroidery Shop:

This work was the most amazing embroidery I shall ever see. Some was done in 1/64th thickness of a silk strand. I wonder if the workers have good compensation when they go blind. Even with my nose an inch from the finished product, I could have sworn these were paintings. Some were three dimensional and especially the fur on some animals was ultra realistic and breathtaking.

© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

 The following  is the best link I could find for silk embroidery display (jade is also included)

https://www.flickr.com/photos/45909111@N00/sets/72157607927737804/

Chinese Saying:

He (or she) has a jade face (is good looking)

Jade is highly valued, therefore this is the highest compliment you can pay someone.

 ~ * ~

Next on October 17, Shanghai, Day 10, Part 2 – Huangpu River and the Bund

 For more related posts, click on China tab at the top of the page

© 2014 All Right Reserved TAK


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Flash in the Pan – Parboiled

“Don’t drip into the sauce, Alejandro.” Marina dabbed a towel over her face and sighed.

In Pastry, Rick’s face shone like a deformed beet on steroids, ready to split and explode. He cleared his throat and hopped from side to side. “Stop dancing, Rick,” she snapped. “Or have you something to tell us?”

The pastry chef glared at her and set down the water bottle. “I need to take a walk.” Guffaws and laughter sent him sprinting.

“Don’t forget to wash your ha-ands,” a girly voice offered.

“Back to work, gang.”

Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft Clipart

“When is the air-conditioning repair coming?” The busboy slinked into the kitchen. “You think this is hot, try the restaurant. Customers’ brains must be parboiled— they’re skipping dessert.” He smirked at Rick’s return.

“And ours are barbecued. Two more hours troops. Chop, chop,” Marina scolded benignly.Rick tossed his hat.

“Don’t you dare…”

“Kiss my a**.”

“Sure thing, sugar.”

~ * ~

The word limit for Parboiled is 150 words. I used all 150. Check out http://mommasmoneymatters.com/flash-fiction/ for the rules and join us.


23 Comments

A Poor Man’s Meal

I’ve been locked in technical hell lately. A week ago my six-month-new Brother printer started jamming (nothing to do with music, but it was playing havoc with my nerves). No matter how many times I removed the paper, checked the paper tray, straightened and ruffle the paper, it had made up its mind to drive me crazy. I called Brother support. After scanning my bill  and e-mailing it to them to prove purchase, the lovely young lady in Montreal said she was sending me a new one.

A new one? OMG! It arrived two day’s later. Inside the box was a prepaid UPS sticker for return of the old-new one.

The same weekend, I was in my e-mail account where I receive all my blogs.  I can’t recall what I was doing but a yellow banner appeared across the top of my page with this warning:

We’ve noticed some unusual activity in your Hotmail account. To help protect you and everyone else, we’ve temporarily blocked your account. To unblock it, verify your account.”

To verify my account, they ask for a cell number so they can text back a code. I do NOT have text messaging. All communication with MSN has been one-sided (in that I cannot respond to their e-mails–you can’t reply to). I’m still NOT able to send mail from that account. I CAN open and read blogs and comment. It’s like we are not speaking the same language. I was also TOLD they cannot discuss with me what kind of  ‘activity’ they are talking about. I didn’t even ask. Might anyone have had a similar experience?

You’ve been getting my comments when I’ve had time to read your blogs but I haven’t responded  to any e-mail. I am not ignoring anyone. My apologies?

o O o

I’ve had a few requests for the following after an earlier post. Why I like this recipe is you don’t use mayo.  This is no longer a poor man’s or woman’s meal. The price of canned tuna is climbing as the size of the can is getting smaller. Does 170 grams sound about right where you live? When you drain the water, it’s supposed to be 120 grams of fish or so the can suggests.

 

Tuna Salad

1can (15 ounces) white navy or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (9 ounces) water-packed canned tuna, drained and flaked

1 clove garlic, minced (more if you like)

3 ribs sliced and chopped (1/4” each) celery

2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice + zest of  ½ lemon

Salt and black pepper

 Drain and rinse beans. Drain tuna. Toss into a large bowl. Add garlic, celery, garlic, lemon and zest. Add salt and pepper. Toss well. Add oil just so it’s not dry. Toss. Yum.

Adding crusty bread makes this a  nice light lunch. Also, you can toss some of this mixture onto a green salad (a quarter cup or so, up to you).

o O o

Originally this recipe called for thinly sliced celery (one or two ribs) but I like crunchy so I dice and lots (up to six stalks). They add bulk so there’s more salad.

Also, I sometimes add chopped sundried tomatoes (in oil) and skip the OVOO, as much as you like). Play with it and I hope you enjoy.

This is better fresh but yes you can store in the fridge overnight. It’s best at room temperature, however.


45 Comments

Is This the Stuff Some People Eat or the other one?

An unscheduled post . . . in the interest of saving dignity of all the little people—moi for one?

 I found this in my spam after I sent the following post:

https://letscutthecrap.wordpress.com/2012/05/04/tick-tock-tick-tock/

I’m not touching it until I know it’s the real thing.

If Robin Coyle can be REclassified to spam (which she is NOT), I’m not sure what this can be. Techie is not me. Should I open it? Has anyone else seen anything like this?

Joyce Takeuchi
Submitted on 2012/05/14 at 6:01 am

It has been recommended I delete the clickable e-mail etc. below above name so that no-one clicks by accident.

Hello Web Admin, I noticed that your On-Page SEO is is missing a few factors, for one you do not use all three H tags in your post, also I notice that you are not using bold or italics properly in your SEO optimization. On-Page SEO means more now than ever since the new Google update: Panda. No longer are backlinks and simply pinging or sending out a RSS feed the key to getting Google PageRank or Alexa Rankings, You now NEED On-Page SEO. So what is good On-Page SEO?First your keyword must appear in the title.Then it must appear in the URL.You have to optimize your keyword and make sure that it has a nice keyword density of 3-5% in your article with relevant LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing). Then you should spread all H1,H2,H3 tags in your article.Your Keyword should appear in your first paragraph and in the last sentence of the page. You should have relevant usage of Bold and italics of your keyword.There should be one internal link to a page on your blog and you should have one image with an alt tag that has your keyword….wait there’s even more Now what if i told you there was a simple WordPress plugin that does all the On-Page SEO, and automatically for you? That’s right AUTOMATICALLY, just watch this 4minute video for more information at.   WordPress Seo Plugin              

Lost in WordPress black hole.


53 Comments

Waste Not; Want Not

I can’t help thinking about a recent birthday celebration I attended at a Chinese buffet-syle restaurant. It had been a glorious day and a happy time spent with family members. No cooking or cleaning or washing up afterwards. Perfect.

Some things bother me about what I saw. I watched well-dressed, intelligent-looking people act like children. They piled up their plates and then left good food to be picked up and discarded by the servers. There’s so much food (at buffets and weddings), customers go for seconds and waste again. One young man filled up his plate to a cone-shaped disgusting pile twice. I’m surprised he made it safely to his table without an ugly spill—more waste. Twice more he piled a plate but ate only half.

Maybe I’m too conservative. Why not take small portions of something you’re not sure of and go back if you love it. Stuff yourself if you must but don’t waste. I’m not going to mention all the starving people in the world our mothers used to warn us about.

I overheard someone say at a table behind me, “Can you imagine, there’s a buffet restaurant in (fill in a name here) which charges their customers an addition set amount per plate if  they leave food on their plate. Good way to lose customers,” she said.

 To my way of thinking it’s not a bad idea. Just because you pay for the buffet doesn’t mean you should thoughtlessly waste it. Does it? Yet, that’s what customers do without a second thought. It’s not free but they seem to believe because they ‘paid’ for it, anything goes: at the hot buffet, the salad bar, the sweet table and the fruit bar.

And then we have free food at weddings. Call me old-fashioned or a fuddy-duddy. I just don’t get it. Isn’t that considered waste too? Shouldn’t food be respected? Aren’t we lucky in North America to have as much as we do?

One more thing. I have seen people order in restaurants, eat half and complain they didn’t like it and expect a free replacement. The goal is the rip-off. Come on; who is getting ripped off in the end do you suppose?  

Maybe I should confess that I’m not allowed out much.


1 Comment

The Best Thanksgiving

We are all celebrating Thanksgiving in Canada this weekend. The local newspaper said it’s to be the best Thanksgiving in 5o years weatherwise. I recall another one many years ago. The trees had not disposed of all their brilliant leaves by the time the first snow fell. What a muddy mess in the spring for anyone having to rake up wet soggy leaves. That had been a great Thanksgiving too. I was the one doing the raking.

The trees are still not ready for the ball; they’re not all dressed in vibrant finery yet. Some are. Most are not. Will the snow fly before all the leaves are gone? Again? The trees in the north are ready. Here they are not.

Our family Thanksgiving dinner was yesterday. We sat 19 at the table. Had everyone shown up it would have been 26 place settings and another table. Currently, I have the eight-foot diningroom table and another foldup eight-foot, which gets put away when not in use. Looks like we’ll need another one of those and soon.

My son-in-law and I share the cooking for large gatherings as we live in the same house. I have a beautiful open-concept apartment in the basement with my own modern kitchen with lots of room for entertaining. He made turkey, BBQ smoked pork and meatballs (something for everyone), as well as stuffing, gravy and mashed potatoes. I was responsible for the vegetables: corn, squash, sweet potato, carrots and turnip (cubed, mixed together), brussel sprouts (sliced thinly, braised, with nutmeg), red cabbage coleslaw with caraway dressing, freshly made cranberry sauce and a tossed salad (with pears, cranberries and feta cheese). Desserts were pumpkin pie (of course), various squares and a delicious apple cake.

The table groaned the last time we tried putting all the platters of food on the table. It was way to crowded too. This time I setup a buffet on my kitchen island. So much more orderly and civilized.

I’ve started a new tradition: eat all you want because everything on our Thanksgiving table has no calories!

Another year and another Thanksgiving. So much to be thankful and grateful for. How quickly the clock races. Faster every year.

Happy Thanksgiving to all. Everywhere.