Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Neefling Stories

E (age 6; has just walked in from outside): I just made an octopus with two legs!

In his hand he is holding a dandelion with the stem split in to two relatively even pieces, still attached to the head.

H (age 10, given to smart remarks): That's a du-pus (pronounced "dew-puss")

M (age 8, also quite clever): Or a bi-pus.

Earlier, my sister had told me about how they took the children up to the School District place where they test the kids to see if they are extra-smart. (Hers are, which none of us are terribly surprised about.) As they were leaving the building, H stopped and said, in his monotone robot-voice: "Kinetic energy overload imminent," and then ran to the doors and burst through them. But not literally.

Nine-year-old niece, who is using a puppet-clad hand to open the office door (she is talking for the puppet): "I sure hope that this tastes good."

And finally, for Family Home Evening last night, my sister got out Behold Your Little Ones, the new church manual for one-and-a-half-to-four-year-old children, and asked my youngest nephew to talk about a picture he liked. That was the lesson. He liked this so much that he said, "Now another lesson!" and flipped to another picture, and did it all over again.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Cream Cheese Won Tons

They used to serve these at a restauraunt in Provo called The Red Lantern (which is now defunct, but this was one of the best parts of eating there anyway). My entire family loves them, as did the Arabic house when I decided to try to figure out the recipe and served them for dessert one day when I was living there. I have always winged this recipe, and it has always turned out well, and that is the kind of recipe I like, so I'm sharing.

I am completely sure that you will want to make a larger batch of these at some point, but I’m giving the recipe as I made it yesterday, and that means a super-tiny batch.

1 scallion (green onion)

2-3 oz. cream cheese (between a quarter of a package and 3/8 of a package) OR Neufchatel cheese

1 t sugar

9 wonton skins

oil for frying

Chop the scallion into little teeny slices (about 1/4 inch thick). Mix the scallion, the cream cheese, and the sugar together with a fork in a small bowl (like, the size you would eat breakfast cereal out of).

Pour some water in to a saucer. Dip one edge of the first won ton skin in to the water, as though you were dunking a piece of paper in a pool of ink so that one edge of the paper would be black. Now dip the other edges, the same way. Holding the won ton wrapper in one hand, use a spoon to put somewhere between a half tablespoon and a whole tablespoon of filling in to the wrapper. Now, fold it in half kitty-corner so that it makes a 45 degree right triangle. Finish all of the rest of the won tons the same way.

Heat your oil in your skillet. I do not deep-fat-fry mine, but if you are up for it, go for it. Fry the won tons until they are golden-brown on each side.

Do not, I repeat not, become so excited to eat your won tons that you burn your mouth on the hot filling. Not that I have personally experienced a burnt tongue recently. About five minutes seems to be long enough to wait.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Miss Forgiveness

I have been reading a bit of Miss Manners lately, and what I have been realizing is that she gives people permission to be offended sometimes. I often like her advice, but I choose to live my life in such a way that when I get a chance to be offended, I choose to fight that chance off. I read Miss Manners partly to give me tools in my arsenal for not giving offense (I realize what a horribly mangled metaphor that is, but I’m not going back to fix it, lest I get hurt), but if I take everything she says as Gospel Truth, I am going to be offended more often than I want to.

Which got me thinking. What if everyone (or at least enough people) recognized that when you are offended, you need to forgive? And since I was in advice-columnist mode, (and as you have undoubtedly already guessed from the title of this posting), I thought: we should have a column called “Dear Miss Forgiveness”.

Then I started thinking of all kinds of other advice columns you could have: Dear Miss Frugal, for example. But then I was thinking about how hard it can sometimes be to be frugal without cutting yourself off from the joy of living (for some of us, anyway), so then I thought maybe it should be: Dear Miss Frugal But Not Miserly. But then I realized that this is already (kind of) covered by the Tightwad Gazette and like publications, and who wants a name that long anyway? Also, what about “Dear Miss Neat and Comely But Not Obsessed With Her Looks”? but that breaks the long-name rule by a mile, so never mind. I would also personally love to see something along the lines of “Dear Miss Loving And Kind But Not A Doormat,” but perhaps that was what I was looking for in “Miss Forgiveness” in the first place.

Perhaps this Miss mania has been sparked not just by Miss Manners, but by my thinking about moral philosophical writing in general, lately. What I have been thinking, specifically, is that I personally need less rules and more examples. I mean, we all know the Golden Rule, but we all know about misapplications of every rule, such as the time when my then-two-year-old nephew tried to put shoes on the feet of a visiting baby because HE loved wearing shoes so much. Letters about particular situations provide an over-time-and-many-different-circumstances type of instruction. I feel pleased, as I think about this, to notice that Jesus himself used stories quite frequently to teach, and answed questions on a very frequent basis.

Just Watch

JUST in case you haven't seen it.

My dad emailed me this link:


I apologize if you go to BYU and can't get Youtube on campus and can't see it.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Notes on the last posting (i.e. the one below this)

I believe that the pickled peppers are my mom's.

For my non-native-English-speaking readers, the following "tongue twister" (which I, and just about everyone I knew as a child, learned as children) may help illuminate why my last posting makes any sense at all:

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, where are the pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?

(A peck is an amount, or in other words a volume you can pick, like a cup or a bushel or a liter. No, you can't really pick pickled peppers; the whole point of the sentence is that it's hard to say fast, and makes little children giggle when they try to do so.)

Peter Piper has Paid a visit to our fridge

When I was cleaning it out yesterday, I found four jars of pickled peppers.