Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Wind Damage!

The winds are so strong in our part of the UK they even canceled the horse races at Cheltenham. The big shock was finding a large section of our fence laying on its side last night! It sounds like trains running through the garden. I had to bow out of sewing this morning so the workmen could come over and shore up the fence...It is so strange because looking out the window the sun is out, the sky is blue, and it looks quite spring-y. You walk outside and take one wrong step and the wind will sail you off the front steps!!!

So today I am staying in and sewing. I made several St. Patrick's day placemats and a couple of potholders! (all from the scrap bag I may add!)
I've even cut into the last of some of my Liberty fabric. Can you believe I used this for the back of my Mom's quilt! I was able to get a few squares out of this. My sewing room is slowly getting neater.

I did finally find my recipe for Triple Chocolate Bread Pudding. A couple of you asked for it but I had put it away and of course figured it never to be found again....but surprise!!!

2 cups day-old French bread, torn into pieces
1 ounces semisweet chocolate, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (I used Baker's Chocolate Chunks)
1/4 cup butter, melted
4 eggs
2 cups chocolate milk
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa (I used Hershey's natural unsweetened)
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Powdered sugar
whipped cream

Combine bread, chocolate, and butter in a large bowl and toss. Divide mixture evenly among eight 8-ounce ramekins.

Beat eggs then gradually add milk and next 4 ingredients, mixing well. Pour egg mixture evenly over bread mixture in ramekins. Let stand 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Place ramekins in a large shallow baking pan. Pour hot water into pan to a depth of 1 inch. Bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until set. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

I actually prefer to refrigerate this overnight then heat it up in the microwave for about 90 seconds then top with whipped cream. The chocolate flavor comes together more this way. The additional bonus is if you are having folks to dinner then the dessert can be done ahead but look like it is timed just perfect (if only I could turn off that darn microwave bell!)

So today we are on to MS funny story #4. This is done to support National MS Awareness Week - see earlier posts for more info. (I do have to add - the heading to the National MS newsletter was "Happy National MS Awareness Week." Does that strike anyone else as just strange? Happy....not a word I'd use in the same sentence as MS Awareness! Anyways, I digress.....)

Back in the states several of my coworkers at the college had only recently immigrated to the United and States and they had widely differing commands of the English language and American Culture. Since I had lived overseas for many years I empathized with them and often found myself explaining some of the strangest things.

One hot summer afternoon I was met one of these new arrivals on my way to the parking lot about 4 blocks away. He was in the process of buying a car and wanted to know the difference between lease and buy and why did some of the dealers want to make you take out a loan if you only want to pay cash? OK, so this conversation took a lot longer than the walk. After about 30 minutes of standing in the sun I realized my leg was getting heavy. I started to walk to my car and instead lurched forward. My coworker grabbed my arm and helped me to the car. He was very worried about my driving. "I'll be fine," I told him. "I have MS. Once I'm in the air conditioning I'll be fine." He dropped my arm (really quickly) and without saying anything walked to car and left. To be honest at the time I didn't really make note of this...I just wanted to sit in the A/C!

The next morning his wife, who also worked with me, came to my office. She brought me a little bag with some loose teas in it. "In my country," she said quietly " women drink this when they don't feel well." I thanked her for it and put on the tea kettle. She still looked a bit concerned. "American women are so different." she said, " we would never talk to another woman's husband about her woman problems."

I was a bit taken back. "It is a bit more thank a women problem." I said. "I almost fainted in parking lot," I said a bit indignant. "In our country," she replied sitting up a bit straighter, "we handle our monthlies better."

Oh no! I said I have MS...not PMS!!! I forget sometimes there are parts of the world that there is no or almost no cases of MS. Since this couple was from the Middle East they had never even heard of it! I brought up a website and showed her. "Men," she said as we finished our tea," they can be very stupid in any country. He should have helped you!" I have a feeling he was in big trouble in any language!


The Calico Cat said...

Thanks for the recipe & the laugh.

I would have loved to have been able to negotiate a car purchase for that guy! Once when my grandparents (who only buy using cash) were ready to buy a new car, we went & listened to all of the details - came to agreement, then my grandfather said, o.k. if it is "X" with financing, how much will you sell it to me for cash? He got a good deal.

Diane said...

And a Happy MS Awareness week to you too. What a great story! I had a problem getting into my car in thr grocery store parking lot once. My coat was too warm for the spring weather plus, I was tired from shopping. I got those heavy legs too. A woman offered to help me into the car. She wanted to follow me home to be sure I got there safely. But I assured her all would be well once the air conditioner was on.

Karol-Ann said...

I love this story, it's too funny. MEN! ha ha ha (Much happier for me than yesterday's tale which I thought was just so nasty!)

Lindah said...

That is a good story! :-) I'm glad you 2 ladies were able to get it straightened out. Much can be accomplished over a cup of tea.

Thank you for the bread pudding recipe. It sounds so yummy!

anne bebbington said...

I love this MS story - I bet that guy got a serious ear-bending that evening - interesting that MS is so unusual in certain parts of the world - is there any reason for this do you know?

cher said...

I think you have done an excellent job in sharing funny stories about you dealing with MS. It does raise an awareness and I can only imagine how frustrating it can be so often to live with. All your sewing projects and pin cushions have been great to see-what a sinful dessert indeed. oh the wind-always I heard the phrase, a blustery day by Pooh Bear in my head.

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

Very funny story, I agree with you that guy was trouble in any country. Love your St. Pattie's mats, well done. I heard a speaker at a guild meeting, not long ago, remind us that sewing with scraps IS cleaning your house at the same time! Sounds like you already knew that!!

Karen Dianne Lee said...


Sue in western Washington, USA said...

I was also surprised to learn that people in some countries don't even know that MS exists. Has a connection been made between more industrialized societies and MS or something like that?

And yes, Happy MS Awareness Week does have a rather strange ring to it!

Lynn Dykstra said...

These stories are great--You show great humor and grace in these situations.

Mary said...

How about I save the *happy* for wishing you a Happy St. Patrick's Day?

It's been interesting to read your MS *stories*. I'm sure it's not that easy to share such personal information in such a public forum but I'm sure I'm not the only one you've educated by doing it.


I'm so glad I came across this project. Thank you for it. I'll be adding you ladies to my growing list of MS Bloggers out there.
I've got some projects going on as well and invite you to join in on the Carnival of MS Bloggers. But today, you are the feature Quilting Bloggers Spread MS Awareness