Ruth's musings

I have been dealing with breast cancer for a while, and have been sharing my journey with friends, family, and prayer partners. This blog brings all my updates together in one place, and leaves me free to muse on other parts of my life. Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The latest round of musings

A piquant situation

What the heck is she showing us a bottle of vinegar for? My brothers visited over Christmas and bought us a lot of stuff for the kitchen. They are both very good cooks. One is a professional, in fact. One thing they bought was a bottle of white wine vinegar. I already had the balsamic, thank you very much, and several other kinds, but they got me this one.

Later, I noticed something strange. I took this picture in March.

See the brown stuff floating in the bottom of the bottle? I am thinking that is the "mother" of vinegar. I know you can use it to make new vinegar, if that is what it is, but I also know that I didn't want to mess with that process. We don't drink that much wine, and when we do, we drink it all, so we don't have any left over with which to make vinegar.

Anyway, the other day I thought I would strain it out and make salad dressing, and then pitch the lot. I found this:

I don't know what that white stuff on the top was, and I don't think I wanted to find out. I took another picture so you could see that the white and the brown stuff were actually semi-solid. I used Balsamic to make the dressing

Paul asked permission to throw the lot out. I concurred.

Is that indeed the mother of the vinegar? What is the white stuff? Have I committed some culinary sacrilege?

The latest in my hairy adventure

If you look in the sidebar, you will see a link to "How I Got Here, and some good things about chemotherapy. Well, here is another nice thing about chemo: Chemo curls! If things go as they did last time, I will have curly hair for about two years. It doesn't last, but I have fun with it while I can. It is just curly enough. I can comb a little gel through it, and just go! No dryer, no fuss. I finished chemo in October, and got my first haircut in June.

And here is what I looked like in February. This was taken before my Dad's funeral. The lady with her hand on my shoulder is my Aunt Bette, the family treasure. She is the last of her generation, the widow of my father's brother. All of my Dad's siblings are gone, and she is the last of the spouses left. Her husband died nearly forty years ago, but she has remained an important part of our family ever since. The other lady, sitting next to me, is Mildred. She was Dad's "girlfriend" (his word) for the last few years of his life. They lived in assisted living together, and she visited him after he moved to skilled care in the same facility. Bless her heart, she was older than he was by several years! She uses a walker, but gets around pretty well, and seems pretty sharp, too.

And furthermore . . .
My brother tells me that Jane and Michael Stern have a "Roadfood" article in the Sept. '07 issue of Gourmet that describes my hometown, Scottsbluff, Nebraska, as a "Mexican Food Destination." We have always enjoyed Mexican food, but never thought of Scottsbluff as a "destination" for it! We need to watch for the issue. Also, if you were listening to "The Splendid Table," on August 4th, you heard Jane and Michael go on and on about the cabbage burgers at the Gering Bakery in Nebraska. Gering is across the river from Scottsbluff, and is the seat of Scotts Bluff county. The Gering Bakery has a branch in Scottsbluff, called the Scottsbluff Bakery. ;-) If you want to listen to the piece go to: I love hearing about home in the national media for something besides sugar factory explosions and chemical spills!
In conclusion
Yes, I did walk on Thursday. I took the same route I have been taking, and didn't stop anywhere, and crossed in the middle of the block to avoid marking time at traffic lights. It took me 34:36 to cover what my husband now tells me is 1.7 miles. Just for fun, I timed my steps, my pace, if you will. Counting each time a foot hit the pavement, I was going about 100 steps per minute. For whatever that is worth.
Try not to be too impressed with the improvement in my time. The first time out it was raining. I had an umbrella, and a woman who lives in our neighborhood was walking home from her job at Safeway. I had to share the umbrella, of course, and she is a lot shorter than I am. I think I slowed down a bit.

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