Tag Archives: 1970s

Fondue, week 2

I’ve been busy this week, so I’m a little late with this post, but we held our second weekly fondue night Saturday. This week’s recipes: beef fondue, garlic butter, green goddess sauce, and olive sauce.

Hazy red tone courtesy of Instagram’s 1977 filter, of course.

Review: The beef fondue was good, but really, how could it not be? We were deep-frying little pieces of steak. The garlic butter was good — hard to go wrong with something as simple as minced-up garlic stirred into a bowl of butter. The other sauces weren’t bad, but they both involved stirring liquids into softened cream cheese, which is almost always more trouble than it’s worth. That was definitely the case this time. The steak was worth the effort, though, and the dogs were really excited when we saved a bite for each of them.

Greatest cookbook ever, probably.

After our uber-’70s dinner, we binge-watched four episodes of the original Wonder Woman series on HBO Max. (Ron signed up for a subscription so we could watch Wonder Woman 1984 on Christmas. The TV show was a bonus.) We are now in agreement that Patty Jenkins definitely needs to give Lynda Carter a significant role in the next movie, because she is awesome.

It was interesting to see where our respective lines in the sand were with regard to suspending disbelief: Ron was distracted by the bad special effects, which didn’t bother me because I’ve watched enough Classic Who for dodgy production values to feel like home. I was distracted by the anachronisms: The first season was supposed to be set during World War II, but the producers didn’t always pay close attention to what was happening in the background of a given scene — so at one point, Steve Trevor pulled his car into a decidedly newer-than-1942 right-turn-only lane, and in another scene, the signage on an otherwise period-accurate storefront in the background was printed in Helvetica, which wouldn’t exist until 1957.

Apparently I can accept an Amazon with superpowers flying an invisible plane and tying up Nazis with a golden lasso that forces them to tell the truth, but an anachronistic typeface is a bridge too far. #designerproblems, I guess.

On an unrelated note, I spent part of my morning working on a more important project: I’m in the process of setting up a scholarship at Herrin High School in honor of Anna. It will be called the Anna Morris Ex-A Scholarship (if you get it, you get it; if you don’t, I’m not going to explain it) and will be awarded to a graduating senior who plans to become an English teacher, based on cumulative English GPA. If nobody is planning to teach English, the scholarship will go to a kid who is planning to teach another subject.

If you want to donate, watch this space; I’ll have information about where to send checks as soon as all the paperwork is sorted. If you know any HHS seniors who might be eligible for the scholarship, let them know that they’ll have the opportunity to apply in the near future.

If the brass will agree to it, the scholarship will come with a letter from me providing contact information so recipients can call for moral support and mentoring if they need it as they start their teaching careers. Anna was always there for me through the rough spots, and I want these kids to know they’ve got a veteran teacher from Herrin in their corner if things get crazy.

We’ll see how this goes.


Cheap entertainment

Y’all know I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions to start with, and with another semester of grad school on the horizon and a few aftereffects still lingering from a bout with COVID-19 in November, I didn’t feel particularly confident about my ability to keep any resolutions that involved running, traveling, or writing.

That being said, the beginning of a year is a good time to start new projects, and I came up with one that’s perfect for the middle of a pandemic: Since we can’t travel, go to the movies, or hang out at microbreweries right now, I decided this was as good a time as any to break out the fondue pots (yes, I own two — one electric and one that sits on a rack above a can of Sterno) and set out to try every recipe in the Better Homes and Gardens Fondue Cook Book, which was originally published in 1970.

I don’t have the time or inclination to eat fondue every day, but I think I can manage once a week. We started this evening with the first recipe in the book: “Reuben Appetizers,” which are little balls of sauerkraut and canned corned beef, glued together with cream cheese and rolled in breadcrumbs. (There are a couple more ingredients and a few more steps, but that’s the upshot.)

They turned out better than I expected. I wouldn’t make them again, because they were awfully labor-intensive for something that’s basically deep-fried dog food, but they were enough fun to convince me that this project will be a good way to entertain ourselves while we wait for the world to reopen — and the dogs were delighted when we saved a few bites for them.

Next week, we’ll try the first recipe in the second section of the book — a traditional beef fondue that just involves frying steak in oil and dipping it in garlic butter or goddess dressing. We’ll see how that goes.


Mid-century madness

It’s not quite finished (I still have a set of storage cubes to buy and turn into a quasi-credenza next paycheck and a couch to buy as soon as Ron and I can agree on what constitutes an appropriate price for furniture and an appropriate means of financing it), but my interior-design project is coming along very nicely.

I discovered a problem recently: Because I’m about four inches too tall to sit in it without holding my neck in an awkward angle, my beloved ball chair was contributing to chronic tension headaches.

Fortunately, my nephews think the “Space Chair,” as they call it, is the one of the coolest things in the known universe, so they were more than happy to take it off my hands. My parents came by a week ago and picked it up for them, and a few hours later, I was rewarded with a hilarious photo of Ollie lying in it more or less upside-down, giggling.

I discovered the perfect replacement on Target’s website: a Zuo knockoff of the famous Eames rocking chair.

Look at that fabulous chair. This was before I removed the futon cover and rearranged the furniture.
Look at that fabulous chair. This was before I removed the futon cover and rearranged the furniture.

I also picked up a couple of guitar hangers at Hastings’ going-out-of-business sale. My acoustic guitars are now out of the way, within reach, and pulling double-duty as visual accents on my faux-stucco walls.

We can’t replace the futon just yet, but I removed the Route 66-themed cover to reveal the black pad underneath and threw a falsa blanket over the back to give it more of a Southwestern look, as you can see in the top photo.

Walter approved of this move:

Sleepy kitty is sleepy.
Spoiled cat.

On Friday, Ron and I went wandering around the little antique stores downtown in search of mid-century pieces to go with the rocking chair and living-room tables.

By rearranging the furniture in several rooms, I managed to free up space for a bigger dining table and a couple of shelf units — a small, sturdy bookcase I found at a shop on Main Street, and a 1970s metal, faux-woodgrain shelf I found at a shop on Spanish Street. I filled the wooden shelf with books and started a bunch of herbs and cacti in pots on the metal shelf.

Metal shelves full of potted plants were popular in the ’70s, so to go with them, I went to Annie Laurie’s Antiques and bought a dining set straight out of the early 1970s:

Hello, 1972.
Hello, 1972.

It needed an appropriate centerpiece, so I recycled an old wooden salad bowl into a miniature cactus garden:

The bowl has a crack in it, but it works just fine as a planter.
The bowl has a crack in it, but it works just fine as a planter.

I still have a couple more little projects to do, but I’m really pleased with how this is all turning out.