Friday, December 14, 2018

KEEP THE GOOD STUFF



My favorite Meissen figure - I thought to pass it down, but I'm keeping it for now.

If you’ve read any of my blogs on getting rid of stuff, you’ll recognize that, at heart, I am a minimalist. I have the empty drawers and shelves, and plenty of space in the closets to prove it.

Over the years, especially when we moved south, we gave away, passed down, or donated all sorts of things. I miss very, very few of them. I did do that picture thing: take pictures of the favorite items you’re giving away so that you can have the “evidence,” and your kids won’t have to deal with the stuff later. Eh! 

Now I say, if you have the room, keep the sentimental items. Keep that macramé shawl you bought way back in the 60’s, keep the little pitcher you bought in that wonderful town in France, keep the little figurine you bought with your first babysitting money. If you have the room, and the inclination, keep the treasures handed down to you by your parents. You love them and you love having them. Most of these things deserve the space you give them.

Don’t be too quick to pass them on now. Yes - do let your kids decide to what to do with them once you’re gone. It'll keep them busy.

Monday, December 10, 2018

FAILING FREEDOM




Every morning, I check out the news on MSN, the Microsoft network.  Some of the news is the same as from other sources, but they do come up with some offbeat articles. I bypass many – I really don’t need to waste time finding out the favorite snack in each state, or the best places to retire. (I already live there.) Today they came up with a very intriguing topic: The 27 countries in the world with the most freedom.

So there I went, through the slides, waiting for “us” to come up. Guess what – we no longer make the cut.  At the top with a score of 100 each, Sweden, Finland, and, of course, Norway. 

Not even on the list at a score of a measly 89, we’re not doing to well. As a friend of mine says “it’s pitiful.” You can read more at Freedom House.

Friday, December 7, 2018

CHRISTMAS IS NEAR




I heard my first Christmas music on the car radio on Monday afternoon on the way home from a meeting. Christmas is back on my favorite classical music station. This is Christmas music my style – no “I saw Mommy kissing Santa Clause,” just the good, traditional stuff. Once December is here, I can enjoy Christmas music.  I even found an article that said that listening to Christmas music too early is bad for your health. I believe it! Before December 1st I’m an old Scrooge.  

Right now, I’m delighted it’s December 7th. It’s the last day we’ll have to endure the tidal wave of TV ads for seniors to switch or sign up for Medicare supplement plans. I wish Medicre.gov had chimed in sooner with their ads. That’s the one place anyone shopping for coverage should go to get unbiased, unpaid information.
Ha, the sneaks, there’s even a Medicare.com. They do say, at the end, that they’re not affiliated with the government. Somehow, I don’t trust website like these that promise to refer you to the best of any type of service, from finding a doctor, to a realtor, to a house painter. I suppose the recommended don’t mind paying for referrals through a recommender, it’s a part of the new costs of doing business, but it smacks of extortion.

Cute, but I'll pass on this.

But I’ve digressed. No matter the day on the calendar, you know Christmas is near when they begin to trot out the old TV ads for fancy watches, Norelco shavers, the Clapper, and, good grief, Chia Pets. Now they’ve gone beyond the sheep and other animals and made one like Bob Ross’s fuzzy head, one like our POTUS, and several other equally ugly versions. I’ve never given or received a Chia Pet – I hope things stay this way.
  
That little red one is mine!

Any time they’re on, though, I will always stop to look at the Christmas ads for Mercedes Benz. They are very clever.  I like the one where Santa does a switcheroo and swaps the red sleigh for a gorgeous red Mercedes. Or the one here his red Mercedes is “pulled” by eight white ones. And another where the huge car hauler on the left is carrying “Naughty” red Mercedes models, and the hauler on the right is carrying white “Nice” ones. Yes, clever.

Choices! Choices!


Friday, November 30, 2018

BETTER THAN THE GOOD OLD DAYS





I recently read that the French company MDI – Motor Development International - is developing a small car that will run air – compressed air. I do hope they are successful. It would be a step in the right direction for car owners, and for the health of our world.

We’ve a lot of people working to improve our world – everything from reducing the methane cows produce in abundance, to improving our health and life spans.



I really don’t know if I’ll be around when these improvements come into fruition, but I’d surely like to be. I live in a world so very much better than that of my parents, and I’d love to be around to see the world inherited by my grandchildren.




Friday, November 23, 2018

SUNSHINE




Oh, I feel like such a grump, such a contrarian. Tongue in Cheek is one of my favorite blogs. Corey Amaro is the only one left on my “must read” list who posts every single day, rain or shine, sickness and health, even the day of her daughter’s wedding. She’s an American married to a Frenchman – that in itself is a story sometimes hilarious, sometime sentimental, always interesting, always loving. This recent post was a thoughtful one:

   The sun sends forth the last rays of light, as it pours through my kitchen window spreading across the kitchen table, the gift of light: The sun gives whether there are clouds, rain, or things in the way, then repeats the same gift the next day. Steadfast. Light for everyone and thing regardless who or where or what they are.

And, having had plenty of sunshine pour through my kitchen window, I thought to myself, ­“The sun sends forth the last rays of light, as it pours through my kitchen window… …and I wince and groan as I see the fingerprints and smears on the cabinet fronts.”  An alternate thought was about the dust in the corner, but …

I love a sunshiny day – who doesn’t?  I hate a sunshiny day, especially at this time of year when the sun is just at that precise angle to call attention to my less than white-glove housekeeping. Then I remember the plaque my sister had hanging in her kitchen. It said “My house is clean enough to be healthy, and dirty enough to be happy.”  This is a happy household.







Friday, November 16, 2018

POTUS AND MILD SENILE DEMENTIA


I sincerely believe that our president is suffering from mild senile dementia. I say this because his habit of making statements based on an incomplete base of knowledge is similar to that of my husband’s.

These days, my husband is prone to making wild statements similar to this: “Jenny’s going to the store to buy bread.” He says that when he sees her pulling out of her garage. He’ll see a repair truck in someone’s driveway, and he knows what they’re there to fix. Not “I wonder what they’re here for,” but “They’re here to fix the dish washer.” His thought processes have short-circuited. You know he has no way of knowing what’s going on, but he’s sure of his conclusion.

My husband’s mild senile dementia is the result of two mild "watershed” strokes. As with our president, he doesn’t show the usual physical symptoms of senility, but they do share some of the mental symptoms. The website of the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation lists them as “impaired judgement, loss of memory, and sometimes childish behavior.” 

Think about some of the recent statements made by the president in speeches, press conferences, or in tweets, and you’ll realize that he’s suffering from all three symptoms.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

SNICKERDOODLES


I've made some wonderful friends through my blog, and some of my wonderful friends have become my blog readers too. One special gal in our community is Paula Giles. Among her other wonderful qualities, she is so very thoughtful.

At a community meeting this morning, she handed me a little paper bag. In it were some marvelous snickerdoodles and her recipe for them. She baked them for me because she'd read in a recent posting of mine that I'd never tasted a snickerdoodle. Now I have, and they are delicious! (and they are all gone - one for a friend, one for my husband, the rest for me as lunch. The recipe will become part of my cookie repertoire. I'm still not sure I want my ice cream to taste like chocolate chip cookies and snickerdoodles - there's nothing like the real thing - I've got to have that crunch.

Thank you Paula. Like the turquoise you love, you are a gem!

Friday, November 9, 2018

McLaren


I was so rapt by the sight that I didn’t even pull all the way into the parking slot. Dear heavens it’s a beautiful car. Black, all black, with a black interior. Low, sleek, eye candy.

With not a trace of chrome to mar its beauty.

It isn’t too often that a car aficionado like me gets to set her eyes on a truly magnificent car in an everyday setting, but yesterday afternoon I was treated to parking next to a fabulous McLaren 650S coupe – at the liquor store. I know the man wasn’t in there buying a gallon of Thunderbird. (Do they still make Thunderbird?) No, you know how everyone passing would have a comment about the car, and one guy leaving the store said the owner was inside in the wine room. Figures.

The McLaren brakes look like they'd stop a speeding train on a dime.


The car just whispers “speed.” One neat thing about this car was that it didn’t have the regular, rectangular McLaren plate on the hood. No, it had the McLaren “flip” speedmark logo there. Nice.



Having only the photo capability of my staid flip phone, I didn’t take any pictures, but I found one or two on the internet. I’m still appreciating the sight.



Friday, November 2, 2018

CHRISTMAS COOKIES




Ah! You read that title, and thought I was going to do a post about baking Christmas cookies. Wrong again! The old Curmudgeon is back with another episode of “Whywouldya?”  Blue Bell Ice Cream has announced that their “Christmas Cookie” flavor is now back in the stores. It is a combination of, and I quote, “chocolate chip, snickerdoodle and sugar – in a tasty sugar cookie ice cream with red sprinkles and a green icing swirl throughout.”  Just the description set my teeth on edge. I like sweet things, but that is sugar overload.

I know there were, and maybe still are, chefs who could taste a dish and tell you exactly the spices, herbs, and other ingredients in it. With all that sweetness, could you really distinguish the chocolate chip from the snickerdoodle? I wouldn’t know – to my knowledge I’ve never had a snickerdoodle.

And, on another Christmassy/Whywouldya note, there are now available clam-flavoured candy canes. Excuse me, it's “Clamdy Canes.” They say “Clams and Christmas together at last. Your whole family will clamor for them.”  Not mine.





Wednesday, October 31, 2018

HAPPY HALLOWEEN


Happy Halloween one and all - go easy on the candy corn!
(I've already been through two bags of them this year. Bruuup!)

This spooky asterism is Arp 272, colliding galaxies 450 million light year away. Even that fact is spooky. I like to collect some of the more spectacular pictures that come from NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day   This one is from September 11, 2011.  The one below is from September 11, 2018. If you're like me and really don't love unenclosed heights, this picture is scary too.

The Troll's Tongue - where else but Norway.
And just think, you too can go there if you care to hike for ten or eleven hours. It's become a popular place for pictures. It gets so crowded there that the Norwegian government is thinking of controlling access. It's uncanny, the lengths folks will go to for a selfie.

Friday, October 26, 2018

STAYIN' CLOSE TO HOME



This past week we watched a rerun of the PBS show This Week in South Carolina. It was a show from this past January, telling about the state’s new driver’s license that is a “Real ID.” Evidently, South Carolina was one of the states that was not as thorough as the others in vetting the people to whom it gave a driver’s license. The national security powers decided that as of a certain date, those licenses couldn’t be used as personal identification to board a plane or even to get into many Federal buildings.

Lucky for me, I can still go to the post office. I am not going to bother to collect all the necessary documentation, and I “quote” -

To be eligible to purchase a REAL ID, the SCDMV must have on file all of the following:
·         Proof of Identity (Government-issued birth certificate or valid US Passport)
·         Proof of Social Security Number.
·         Two Proofs of Current, Physical SC Address.
·         Proof of All Legal Name Changes.

And why do I care not? Because I’m not going anywhere. I’m staying home.

Home, as in no more flying or long drives. I’ve always been “attached” to home. It wasn’t ever bad when we drove throughout the country, but just ask the people with whom I’ve flown. Once I’m at our destination, I’m absolutely fine, but going and coming I am a nervous wreck. Not because I hate the flying, because I don’t. (Though these days with all the rigmarole attached to the security end of it, I’m not much pf a fan.)  I just don’t want any glitches to keep me from getting there and getting home. As I’ve gotten older, say in the last thirty years or so, I just want to stay close to home. I don’t want to go so far away that I couldn’t walk home if I had to.

That’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it.



Saturday, October 20, 2018

THE CURMUDGEON IS LOOSE AGAIN


I am sometimes very glad that we’ve not got the power to read each other’s minds.  Surely I wouldn’t be thinking this way if we did have the power, but there are so many times that I want to shout at people, tell them off, tell them what I think of their conduct or attitudes.  Not nice, not nice, I know. 

I am invariably polite.  You’ll rarely hear me say, for instance “I like that dress,” or “I like that haircut.”  What I’ll say will be something like “What a dress!” or “That haircut is you!”  There’s a subtle difference there, and there’s no point in antagonizing some poor being who’s probably trying her best. I do try my own best, and it may not suit everyone else.
There’s a lovely saying, attributed to Elsie de Wolfe: “Be pretty if you can, be witty if you must, but be gracious if it kills you.”  Sometimes I’ve had to be gracious until my teeth hurt!

I knew a gal once, a friend of a friend, and she and I got talking about people we have no use for.  She said she wished she had a magic finger that she could point, just like a kid uses his forefinger and points it like a gun, and just cock the thumb trigger, and ‘poof’, they’d be gone. I’ve been mulling over the idea ever since we had that conversation.

Most of the rest of this was posted on my blog back in January of 2013. I apologize to any of my readers who are enamored of our current President, but sometimes I really wish I could use the magic finger on him. There must be times when even his loyal troops cringe at the things he says, especially, as he’s done lately, when he labels as “evil” any one opposed to his thinking.

It’s probably the same for most people, but there are several prominent people, entertainers and politicians among them, that I just don’t care for on looks alone. With our current POTUS, it’s looks and everything else about him.  

I suppose it’s good we don’t have this magic finger. It’s a simplistic solution - and just think of the possible ramifications - but don’t you too sometimes wish you had a magic finger like that? (other than that finger?) 

But then, I wonder who might use that magic finger on me?  I’d better watch my p’s and q’s.






Friday, October 12, 2018

REUBEN, REUBEN. I'VE BEEN THINKING...



…what a strange world this is right now.

Last Tuesday, I got an email from our son. He on a fishing trip down in Florida. There was no message, no attachment, but the subject was “Lobster Reuben.” Was he kidding me? He knows I’m a Reuben fanatic. Nope! I googled it, and there it was: Lobster Reuben - a Florida Keys specialty. Some people must love ‘em, otherwise why would they sell ‘em. I love lobster, I love sauerkraut, but lobster with sauerkraut ain’t gonna pass my lips.

I am getting a little peeved with all the sandwiches mislabeled as Reubens. The worst menu listing I’ve seen lists a Reuben as “Turkey or corned beef, 1000 Island Dressing, slaw or kraut, with Swiss cheese on rye toast.” Turkey? Slaw? 

That’s like mixing rye and vermouth and calling it a martini.

p.s. The very, very best Reuben I ever had was served at the now defunct D & H Restaurant in Pittsburgh, New York. Why was it so good? The owner-chef made the sauerkraut from scratch. I’ve had some pretty good Reubens since then, but that one was memorable.




Thursday, October 11, 2018

MICHAEL



Hurricane Michael has left a huge mess down in Florida, and has come  barreling north-east. Above is a screenshot of the predicted storm path over us here in a few hours.  As with the late, unlamented Florence, we're ready as we can be. And as with the late, unlamented Florence, I doubt we'll experience much more than wind and rain. At least we had some practice in getting ready for the storm.
I can't begin to comprehend how people handle the total destruction of their homes and livelihoods by wind and water. I think it's time for coastal civilizations to move inland or underground. I can't begin to comprehend that either.

Meanwhile - Michael will head out, jet-propelled, and bother the folks in Europe early next week. I hope he's quieted down by the time he gets there.




Saturday, October 6, 2018

INDULGING OURSELVES



Frank and I are getting choosy in our old age. We’ve decided that we’d like to have the best. We’ve always loved dining out. Where we lived in upstate New York, though we were in a rural area, we were extremely fortunate to live relatively near some very good restaurants. We had standing reservations at a fine, award-winning restaurant, and regularly visited the others. We’d have appetizers or soup, main course, dessert and coffee. And drinks and wine, of course. When we moved south, we had to trek north into Charlotte to find anything similar, and we got out of the custom of dining out at least once a month.

Over the years, more good restaurants have opened closer to home. The problem for us now is that we don’t eat very much for dinner these days. We might go to an inexpensive or chain restaurant and have just an entrée. On state occasions, we’re going to a French restaurant that opened recently. We don’t have just an entrée there. Oooola la, that is indulgence at its finest.

But, I digress. We both love filet mignon. We’ve found some very tasty filets mignons in local restaurants. The problem now is that because we’re having just an entrée, paying for a filet mignon – anywhere from $29 to $40 or more per person - is just absurd. We can afford it, but why would we? I can do up filets mignons for two for less than half the price of one eaten out. Ah yes, the experience is supposed to count for the price. Well, we’ve experienced the best – now we just please our taste buds at home.  

All this is by way of telling you that last night, as I've been doing for a few months now, I did up two absolutely delicious filets mignons. A bit of adobo seasoning, done in butter, done to a turn: medium. No sauces, no extras, just delicious. Of all things, Frank’s choice for potato was potato salad. Filet mignon and potato salad. My mouth had a party.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

PUSHING PUMPKINS FURTHER

I posted the following back in September 2015. I was amazed, almost appalled, at the proliferation of pumpkin. Though each year I do see more and more of the various types of pumpkins themselves, it's really the pushing the pumpkin spice that is sweeping the nation. The list is now much longer than the one I came up with three years ago.
I'm always astounded at the bizarre flavors that are tried out on us. Just this morning, the email from Simplemost reported that the latest flavor for candy canes is mac and cheese.  Again, why wouldya?




There’s a new ‘drug’ around: pumpkin. The pumpkin production people have raised their heads out of the pumpkin patch and decided to really push pumpkin.  No longer do we have just pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread, but everyone has followed the success of Starbucks pumpkin coffees, lattes and such. I say, “Why wouldya?”

Today is the first day of fall, and along with canned pumpkin for pies and real pumpkins for carving, on this morning’s Harris Teeter on-line flier we have from them, in alphabetical order no less -

On the Dairy page:
International Delight Pumpkin Spice Creamer
Nestles Pumpkin Spice Coffee Mate
Philadelphia Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese
Pillsbury Grands Pumpkin Spice Rolls
Pillsbury Ready-to-Bake Pumpkin Cookies

And on the Grocery Page:
Alpine Spice Pumpkin Cider Mix (Don't mess with a good thing!)
Bigs Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Seeds
Blue Diamond Pumpkin Almonds – (I’d love to know how they did this. I
        Guess that the artificial flavors guys got in on this recipe.)
Boulder Potato Chips – Turkey Gravy and Pumpkin Flavors (really???)
Bigelow Fall Harvest Pumpkin Spice Tea Bags and Tea Cups
Clif Bars Pumpkin or Gingerbread – (well, gingerbread is o.k.)
Creative Snacks Pumpkin Granola
G.H. Cretors Pumpkin Caramel Popcorn - (pumpkin and caramel – no!)
Gevalia and Green Mountain Pumpkin K-Cups
International Delight Pumpkin Latte Mix
McCormick Pumpkin Pie Extract - (they extracted something from a Pumpkin
        Pie?  Holey Socks!)
Pioneer Pumpkin Pancake Mix - (close, but no cigar)
Salem Pumpkin Spice shortbread Cookie - (now that one I might go for)
Stonewall Kitchens Maple Pumpkin Spread – (anything from Stonewall  
         Kitchens is great, I’ve been buying their products since they first  
         started and were selling their wares in a tent at a Manchester,  
         Vermont craft fair, so this one is o.k. by me. Might be like pumpkin 
         pie on toast! Yum.)       
Terra Pumpkin Spice Chips



Pumpkin pie is one of my very, very favorite things from about late, I say late fall into the holidays. We’re still two months away from that. It’s even a bit too early to carve a pumpkin – by Halloween it will be a shriveled pile of mush.

Poor guy, can't find his dentures.

I’m always pleased that only maybe 50% of those around our Thanksgiving table like pumpkin pie because that means more for me, especially the next morning. In my estimation, pumpkin pie is the breakfast of champions.

I’m really not interested in ersatz pumpkin in mid-September, and it is amazing to me that anyone would want their potato chips or coffee to taste like pumpkin. Some of the sweeter stuff is o.k., but pumpkin almonds?




What’s next: broccoli?   (No! It's mac and cheese candy canes!)

The Curmudgeon has spoken, and I am
unanimous in this!



      

Friday, September 21, 2018

FAREWELL FLORENCE




From the map above, you can see that the Atlantic is relatively calm this week. Florence did her dirty work on the Carolinas coast, slowly headed inland, and didn’t cause much damage for us here further west. We never lost power, and right here in this part of the community we got about 4” of rain. Other neighborhoods got more – it is always that way. Many of us here in Sun City Carolina Lakes heeded the request of community management and governance, and stayed home, holed up from Thursday to Monday, though some did venture out for church. I got a lot of reading done, and my “to read” pile is no more.

Those folks on the coast really got slammed by Florence, and many will be flooded until the rain that fell in the mountains and the Piedmont makes its slow way to the sea. I just can’t imagine what I’d be doing were I in their shoes. I do suppose it’s the luck of the draw, and you just deal with what you’re dealt. A family friend and his family were burned out to the ground in the Santa Rosa fire last year. They’re still dealing with the devastation. Nowhere is safe.

Friday, September 14, 2018

HELLO FLORENCE!

We're just above  that Ssc in South Carolina - just where the state indents at Charlotte. 



I have to tell you that my husband Frank is the original Boy Scout. As soon as it looked like Florence was heading this way, he went into action. We've got all the usual things covered: batteries, flashlights, candles, even oil lamps, a bathtub full of water, umpteen bottles of drinking water (our water here tastes terrible) a gas stove (would never be without one!) and an iffy generator.

That generator is about 35 years old, and has done yeoman service. Its battery-start doesn’t work anymore, and it is a beast to use the pull rope, but it doesn’t owe us a cent. In a freak storm that dumped a foot of snow on trees still in leaf in October of 1984, it served us well for 9 days. (We did have a bit of a problem then because our well pump wasn’t properly hooked up to the power exchange on the electric panel, and we were without running water. We collected snow, while it lasted, and were grateful for it. That whole episode is a story in itself.) 

We’ve been making and saving ice cubes, and we’ve filled and frozen bottles and jugs of water. When the power goes out, and it’s almost guaranteed that it will, and if we can’t get the generator going, we’ll just hope for the best. So I may lose a bag of shrimp, a steak, and some chicken.  Mmmm…..maybe I’ll cook up a feast!

Sunday, September 9, 2018

LIVING@



Well here it is Sunday, and once again I forgot to post to my blog. I've got two "canned" articles, one already posted on the Charlotte Seniors website, one for the magazine, but I've even forgotten them. (I just had to look them up in my "To Be Posted" folder to remember what they were.)

My week has been busy with a few meetings, some writing, some editing, and a lot of research for a new community council. I'm researching other "55+" communities to find out what they mean if or when they use the word "Lifestyle." That's neither here nor there, and I won't go into that part of what I found, but I did find that this community where I live, Sun City Carolina Lakes, looks to me to be one of the best such communities in the country. Last year we were nowhere to be found on the "55 Best" list. This year we  are No. 22. We're on a roll!

Another thing I'm discovering is that no other such community I researched has anywhere near the quality of magazine our group produces. Most have advertisement-heavy magazines, most being produced by management or a company that puts out such publications. They are, of course, money makers for their communities, but so what? They are all monthly, so they can't be too timely. They give a wee bit of news as to what's going on, and, every month, relist things like community management and governance information, description of all the available recreation, clubs, and activities, and, in general, are boring. 

I am very proud of our publication. It is produced by community residents. It isn't a money-maker, far from it, but so what? It isn't boring - there's a lot to enjoy in it. We are now online. If you'd like to see it, go here and look at our latest issue, September. It's the Tenth Anniversary issue of Living@Sun City Carolina Lakes, and it's a good one. 




Saturday, September 1, 2018

LATE AGAIN...


…but this weekend I have no excuse, just a wonderful reason: our oldest grandchild is here from Texas with our youngest great-grandchild. Of course you know that blogging is not in the forefront of my mind. There will be ten for brunch tomorrow morning – ten, including 4½ month-old Everly. She is a charmer if there ever was one. Oooo -I could just take a bite out of her!

Our Texas bluebonnet are here!


This morning I am beginning to prepare the family favorite Sunday brunch dish, Baked French Toast Casserole. I’m doing a recipe and a half, because it goes like hotcakes. (I must say that I couldn’t get a boule this week, so I’m using two baguettes that I cut into nice chunks.)
This is an easy recipe to adapt and tailor for numbers or tastes.


Baked French Toast Casserole with Maple Syrup

                                                                  6 to 8 servings – or more!
Adapted from Paula Deen – and - 
   Adapted by Laura Lee Johnston  (a/k/a Grammy)    01/23/11              
Bottom of Form
Ingredients
  • 1 loaf French bread (13 to 16 ounces)   (I used one boule)
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 cup milk
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Dash salt
  • Praline Topping, recipe follows
  • Maple syrup
Directions
Slice French bread into 20 slices, 1-inch each. (Use any extra bread for garlic toast or bread crumbs).  (LJ’s method – cut off ends of the boule, slice the rest into 1-1 ¼ “ slices. Should be 6 nice slices, then cut those in half – use the two ends for something else.  We buttered them and gobbled them up!) 
Arrange slices in a generously buttered 9 by 13-inch flat baking dish in 2 rows, overlapping the slices. (LJ’s method – arrange the 12 slices flat in the buttered or sprayed dish – or cut it all into 1” chunks.)
In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and beat with a rotary beater or whisk until blended but not too bubbly.
Pour mixture over the bread slices, making sure all are covered evenly with the milk-egg mixture. Spoon some of the mixture in between the slices. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Take dish from the fridge and make the topping. Bake 1 hour until bubbly, puffed and lightly golden. Serve with maple syrup.

Praline Topping:   Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and blend well.
  • 1 stick  butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup chopped pecans   (used 1 ½ lbs. because that’s the way the pieces were packaged – who doesn’t want more pecans!)
  • 1 Tbsp. flour
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup(optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg