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Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2009 - 6:46 a.m.

Well, the pie turned out to be a bit of a bust. Ok, a huge failure. My hypothesis is that the butter was too cold-- it never integrated properly with the egg, and cooled the chocolate so that it turned into little flecks. So what I ended up with was both grainy and runny, with each of the main ingredients all too visible. Eew. It was the last thing I saved for my day, and it was bleah-- kind of a lousy note to end on, and I went to bed pouting. I seldom have a complete cooking failure-- why did it have to be my birthday pie? J has promised to make me another when he gets back.

The stew I made was pretty good, though. It called for some crushed tomatoes, so I put them in, and I gotta say I'm not so into it, at least the tomato aspect of it. I guess stew is one of those things-- the stew of one's childhood is the only proper stew. My mom's stew never had tomatoes, so I don't know why I would have thought I would like them in it. Possibly because tomatoes show up in alot of other stew recipes. It is a done thing. Don't get me wrong, I'll eat it-- but in the future, no damn tomatoes. And not so many damn carrots, either. Carrots are ok, and a stew should have them, but I don't need that many.

Ok, enough food review. Now gift review: The books from J, a nice handmade mug from the last show from the in-laws, plus a book on cupcakes (which was a bit painful to me, given that I opened it in the midst of my pie fail episode, acutely aware that I would not be getting dessert), a check. A ruling pen from my b-i-l which has not arrived yet but which I am fully looking forward to receiving. That ruling pen and I shall rule the world. And some weird crap from my mom. Bless her heart. The urge to send a gift is too strong, but now everything I want/need is too expensive for her or she cannot find it locally to purchase...so she always buys these weird random things, usually at some local art fest...right idea, but bad, bad choices (bad.). It ends up being very cheap Florida kitsch, only handmade. I'm not even sure what the current thing is for-- it involves a palm tree and a disfigured mermaid, which are cut from metal with a sort of pearlized 'tropical' coloration, and it sits there. It has an odd shape that suggests some function, but damned if I can discern it. Candleholder? Bottle opener? Innocent-looking object for braining intruders?

It's difficult-- she's very broke, so I find it hard to suggest things for her to buy me. I would like her to keep her money and pay a bill with it, or buy groceries. But if I don't direct her, this is what I get. *sigh*

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