While scanning family photos, my aunt and I came across this Halloween class photo (my mom is in the back row, 6th from the left, wearing a bonnet and glasses; I think she’s either a pilgrim or a nurse). This would have been circa 1955. I find the masks to her left completely terrifying. Some of the costumes remind me of the Halloween scenes from the movie version of To Kill a Mockingbird.
This next post is dedicated to Footnote Maven. I’m so excited to reveal two facts about our star:
She’s wearing glasses! And? I think she’s a mom! That might explain why these photos are lacking captions and codes — she probably didn’t have time to fiddle with that anymore.
I love these photos.
This post also is available at my food blog, Freezer Full.
When I was little, my mom made fried flounder. A lot. And she always served the same thing with it. Soggy, boiled, previously frozen spinach that no amount of “Real Lemon” juice from a plastic bottle was going to save.
I hated flounder night.
I avoided the fish for years. Then, one night in my twenties, I had an epiphany. Flounder didn’t have to be served with spinach! I called mom to tell her about my discovery and asked for her fried flounder recipe.
Mom’s Fried Flounder (this is how I wrote it down during our phone conversation)
coating of flour w/salt & pepper
egg white w/water
coat one hour before
canola oil and butter or corn or olive (I’m sure I asked her, “But what if I don’t have canola oil?” Personally, I wouldn’t use olive oil)
1/2 in. thick in non-stick pan
enough heat for flour to sizzle nicely
1-2 filets at a time
serve with lemon
Tonight, I added Old Bay to the flour instead of salt and pepper. I coated the fish in the egg white-water mixture before dredging in the flour mixture. Then I let it sit in the fridge for a while before finishing the dish pretty much as described above (I used just canola oil in the pan). I fried the flounder for 2 minutes on each side and then patted the excess oil off with paper towels before putting it on the plate.
Instead of spinach, I served roasted broccoli and roasted potatoes. The broccoli was really, really good. I’m just glad I checked on it early because it was done in the oven in less than 10 minutes (the broccoli I bought at the farmer’s market is way more delicate than what you find at the supermarket).
For the roasted potatoes, I just washed some small potatoes (also from the farmer’s market), dried them and cut the larger ones so they were all the same size in the pan. I tossed them in olive oil and Old Bay and popped them in the oven with the broccoli. They did take 25 minutes. I cooked the fish during the last five minutes.
It’s Mother’s Day and a lot of genealogy bloggers are doing tributes to their mothers, grandmothers and other female ancestors on their blogs. Just be careful and think about the information you are putting out there for others to find and, unfortunately, potentially use against you.
Your mother’s maiden name is one of the most commonly asked security questions when you fill out an online profile that requires a password. Have you used this option in the past? Maybe think twice before putting your mother’s and even your grandmother’s maiden name out there.
Dick Eastman has written on this issue before and suggested that you not use this information when signing up for online profiles. All good and well, but if you *have* used this information in the past, be sure to protect yourself and not make such information too easily available in the public sphere.
Doesn’t my mom just looked so thrilled? Happy Easter, everyone.
For the Friends Album, I created a spreadsheet to keep track of the various images and data I’ve assembled about each. One of my goals was to be able to sort the spreadsheet by location, photographer, etc. Imagine my frustration when I first sorted the spreadsheet and the photos didn’t sort with the rows.
I had initially populated the spreadsheet with images by using the menu command Insert -> Image and then resizing each image to fit the designated cell. I’m not quite sure why this command exists, because it was pointless.
After the sort didn’t work, I did some research on how images really should be included in Google spreadsheets. I found this page, which was very helpful. Instead of using the menu command, using this formula embeds the image in the selected cell:
It was a pain to go back and repopulate the spreadsheet with images the proper way, but at least now I can sort the rows and the photos will move with them!
Today’s prompt: “March 7 — Share a favorite recipe from your mother or grandmother’s kitchen. Why is this dish your favorite? If you don’t have one that’s been passed down, describe a favorite holiday or other meal you shared with your family.”
As I type this, the sauce described in this post is bubbling on my stove. My absolute favorite meal growing up was my mom’s spaghetti sauce. I loved coming home from school to the familiar smell of it simmering on the stove. It doesn’t taste like any other sauce I’ve ever had.
Including my own attempts to make it. Lest any of my relatives think I’m blasphemous for posting mom’s spaghetti sauce recipe on the Web, never fear. I’m not. Because I don’t have it.
Oh, I have a recipe, but it’s not the real deal.
What I do have is a recipe that mom dictated to me about eight years ago. My mom was dying of cancer and as I spent time with her during those last couple of months, I asked her to tell me how she made some of my favorite dishes.
She struggled with this one. She never made it from a recipe herself and she almost never measured, so she had to guess as to whether she used a tablespoon vs. a teaspoon of this or that.
At a different time, she dictated a recipe for the same dish to my sister, but there were differences. In the photo I’ve taken of my version of the recipe, which is much splattered with tomato sauce, you can see some ingredients written in different ink from the rest. These I added when my sister and I compared notes after I complained that I just couldn’t get the recipe right.
In the years since, I’ve come close to recreating the spaghetti sauce of my childhood. What’s simmering on my stove now smells like what I remember. But it won’t be the same. I’ll never be able to adjust the recipe for what’s missing.
As Geoffrey pointed out in his session, the photos in the video overlap using the eyes in each photo as the focal point.
This didn’t work perfectly. I was annoyed when I loaded Picasa onto my computer and it wouldn’t let me upload photos just from one folder — I had to let it search either my entire computer or a large subset.
Also, a couple of the photos that I uploaded to Picasa weren’t recognized as faces (even after retouching to try and make them clearer) and so weren’t included in the movie. It was still fun to try out this technique though. I think it’s a neat way to show the progression of time in a person’s life. I could have added captions to the photos and recorded audio to go with the movie as well.
Here’s how to create your own version:
- Install Picasa on your computer.
- Upload the photos you want included in the movie.
- Select the photos and then select Create–>Movie–>Movie from Faces in Selection
- You can preview the movie, edit the photos and reorder them. Once you have it to your liking, click Finish Movie and then you can export it or upload it to YouTube.