Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sunday Sound Out

It's that time of week; time for me to answer viewer mail. Here's what you had to say this week...

Your roast recipe sounds great! And I stole your gingerbread recipe, too. Now if you can just get me an easy one for Baklava....
Ask and you shall receive....
This is the recipe I use. It's very easy. Just make sure you have a nice pastry brush. Because, if you don't, the bristles might come out of the brush and stick to your layers of phyllo dough. Then when you serve this at your son's school for "International Day", people could choke on bristles. They could gag and nearly throw up bristles. They could be completely grossed out by your Bristlava. This is just a hypothetical situation, of course. I'm not saying that I've ever done this. Any and all likenesses to actual events are coincidental.

1 lb. finely chopped walnuts
1 c. butter, melted
2 t. cinnamon
1 pinch ground cloves
1 lb. phyllo dough
lemon juice
2 c. sugar
1 c. honey
2 t. vanilla
1 1/2 c. water

Mix walnuts, cinnamon & cloves. In a buttered 9 X 13 pan, layer 4 sheets of phyllo dough (each brushed with melted butter). Sprinkle some spiced nut mixture over dough. Top with 2 leaves of buttered phyllo dough. Repeat until filling and phyllo dough are gone. End with 4 sheets of phyllo dough on top. Cut into diamonds and bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. Boil sugar, honey, vanilla, lemon and water for 5 minutes. Pour over warm baklava. Serve chilled.

* NOTE - Phyllo dough is paper-thin. It dries out quickly so work FAST and keep the unused dough covered with a slightly damp tea towel.

* NOTE - it will seem like there's a LOT of syrup to pour over the top of the baklava. Use all of it. Just wait a minute for it to soak in and pour a little more; wait a minute; pour some more. It'll all fit in the pan.

Stupid question, cut the rump roast in half width wise or length wise (replace with a banana, cut it down the center to two long pieces, or chop it in have to have 2 short but round tube pieces)?
I think you should cut it diagonally in half (just to spice things up!)

Did you see the Monster's Inc. show at Disney?
Yup! We texted in a joke for them to use while we were waiting.
"What's the difference between roast beef and pea soup?"
"Anyone can roast beef!"
That was a fun one!

"Everybody have fun tonight. Everybody Wang Chung tonight." Quick, who said this on what sitcom?
OK, Frasier said this at his bachelor party on the late, great Cheers! But so many of you said Chandler on Friends that I'm wondering if he ever said it. If so, I don't remember it. And the idea that I might not remember a Friends quote scares me.

"Or the automated voice hell at AT&T."
Did you mean 'hello' or that hell is at AT&T?

Oh no, I meant hell.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
No, thankfully, everyone is healthy!
How many kids wore casts this year? lol

Only 2! That's just a third of my kids. Besides casts don't count. No one's been hospitalized. :::knock on wood:::

Second, I'm shocked Dawn!!! Don't you know that Uniqua is from the Backyardigans? I guess it's pretty sad that I know that, but I'm surprised you don't! :]
Of course I know who Uniqua is, I was just recalling a post about her. I was just, ah forget it. I give up.

What's with the cell phone and hotel key thing?
Cellphones + room key = bad.

Dawn, did you see that Lisa Belkin referenced your blog today in the Motherlode blog at the New York Times?
Yep! Lisa's great! You can check out her column HERE.

Unfortunately the world is to attached to their TV's. We don't even own one and have very few DVD's which we limit (sometimes only 1 time a week and sometimes less).
Ok then. I generally have the TV on 14 hours a day (at least in the background) and I frequently tell the kids, "Go watch TV!" because I'm just a good mom that way.

Ouch. I will say that when we had a lockdown at ONE of the elementary schools recently, we got updates about every 20 minutes. I can't believe you weren't updated at all. Did you talk to the principal or superintendent about it (seriously)?
Oh yeah, I was told, by the principal, "According to the AlertNow Delivery Report I ran, it appears that both calls were successfully sent to your home. The first call is listed in the report as a "Live (Partial)" meaning that the recipient only listened to part of the message (in this case, only the first 36 seconds). In turn, the information about the fourth grade bus not returning on time was missed, as well as our notice to families that we would call them via AlertNow as soon as the bus arrived at school. That second call was also successfully sent to your home and "Live Answer" indicates that the entire message played.
Given that information, I think the AlertNow system is working properly on our end and I ask that you support our communicative efforts by listening to the messages and listening to them in their entirety. Thank you for sharing your question and concern with our school district. "

So, according to the principal, a call at 3:00 and not another word until 8:00 is sufficient. We'll see how he feels when his kids are old enough to attend school. Oh and as far as the superintedent - well, he stopped off at a sports bar on the way home from work and was unaware the kids were out until 8:00 at night. Yep, that's my district!

Maybe this is a SSO question, but does Joe take time off over the kids holiday break? Or is my hottie hubby the only one who uses his vacation to "help" (read dripping with sarcasm) during these two weeks? And how can I politely decline this next year? And at what point do I stop cleaning and let the house got messy until they go back to school?

Please help.
Signed, Wit's End in PA
Dear Wit's End,
Ahhh yes, the husband staying home to "help" situation. They try, bless their hearts. They just don't understand that we have a system; we have a routine that we stick with. When they stay home, they think they're helping when they decide to paint the inside of the pantry as you attempt to unload groceries and put them away. They just don't understand that their brand of help is not always so helpful.

The trick is to make them feel like you really want their help without letting them destroy everything. My suggestion is to send him on errands, preferably with the kids. For example, "Honey, can you help me find me a Wii Fit? Take the kids with you. They could use some fresh air." That should take him away from the house for several hours so you can get some cleaning, present wrapping, or laundry done. (Of course he won't really be able to find a Wii Fit since Nintendo doesn't ship enough to keep up with demand! Seriously, what's up with that? Is Nintendo actually so short-sighted? Did they really not know that Wii Fit would take off like crazy? Or is it all part of their evil plan to increase demand? Ticks me off! I still haven't been able to find one since I first saw them at Johnson & Johnson's Camp Baby last April!)

Sorry, I digress. Send hubby out with the kids to go shopping or bowling or skating or to see a movie. This plan is really 3 fold.
1. Quality Daddy/kiddo bonding time
2. You have peace and quiet to get things done
3. They're not in the house messing things up

And as far as when you give up on cleaning, well that answer's simple. You stop cleaning when you're done having guests to your house. I'm having my family over on Christmas day which means, I stop trying to clean on December 26. I don't start again until the kids go back to school. If no one is coming to your house in the next 2 weeks, you can stop cleaning right now. With everyone home under your feet, it's a losing battle anyway.

I hope this helps, Wit's End in PA.

And was that you moving Brooklyn's lips?
Heck no. That would be my 7th child, Joe.

Only one of those patches could be from Cub Scouts - the yellow/gold arrow point. Was he in Cubs or Awana? The other patch is not Cub Scout related, and Cub Scouts don't wear vests. :-)
Well, I don't know how they do things in your pack, but Cub Scouts around here do indeed wear brag vests and they earn segment patches for them. In fact, here's a cool display thing that Austin and I put together when he got out of Cub Scouts. The big circle in the middle is the back of his vest with all the segments he earned. There's a blank area on the top left where I was supposed to find a picture of Austin in his uniform to add to it. I never did get around to that, so the box sits unfinished on the floor of Austin's room. sigh

You seriously need a card cubby! Go to and look.
I do! Those look pretty cool!

What happened to your Coach purse? Did you actually send it back to be fixed?
Nope, it's taking up space in my closet. As soon as I find a picture of Austin in his Cub Scout uniform, I'll take my purse to get fixed.

Don't worry about the gum. Our son's pediatric dentist said Orbit is the only gum she recommends. It actually can help prevent cavities.
It's not cavities I'm worried about. My teeth tend to crack when I chew gum. Or my fillings fall out. It's not good. I just chew Orbit because I like their commercials and they have flavors like Mint Mojito and Sangria.


Their Mom said...

I love Orbit's Sangria gum. I actually started chewing gum just to have it.

BoufMom9 said...

Seriously? Orbit has Mojito flavored gum??? Lord! Where have I been??? Please tell me it actually contains alcohol?!? (can you tell it's been a Loooooong stressful december?)

Anonymous said...

Please take just a minute to let a horse live:

It doesn’t cost anything and you can remain anonymous

danger girl said...

Mint mojito Orbit gum is yummy, but the sangria flavor is just...weird.

Michelle said...

Ooo, I like the strategy of sending the husband out on errands. My husband "wants" to help, but he's home during all breaks, etc... and I get out the door so much later than I do when he's not home and things get "lost" and messed up when he's there because I'm out of my routine. YAY I'm not the only one (my mom and husband have both tried to make me feel bad about it).

Bummer on the gum. I don't chew often, but when I want gum, I don't want to have to feel guilty about it!

No comment on your district. I think it's best that way :)

Oh and the bristles -- have you used the silicone basting brushes? I *love* them!

Tom in Iowa said...

I'm just curious about the person who commented on not owning a TV. How do they not own a TV but they own a limited number of DVD's. How do they watch the DVD's? Just one of those things that caught my attention.

Shellie said...

Wii has an evil plot alright. I just don't get it either. Seems like if everybody wants it anyways you can just send out gobs and sell more of them. Duh.

lisa said...

i'm just wondering how the no TV lady watches her dvds.

Dawn said...

I assumed the person with no TV watches the DVDs on their computer.

Anonymous said...

That's a great assumption Dawn. I was thinking that lady has either lost her or was not telling the truth! lol

Jen Cato said...

Hey Dawn! Before I head to bed sweetie, I was reading about you not being able to find the Wii Fit. Well.... I found some available in different places. One of them being So, if you're still interested, hurry on over lol. :D *hugs* Merry Christmas! :D

Oh and use silicone basting brushes. Those things are FANTASTIC!! :P

Later gator! :D

LittleBirdies said...

DAWN--yes, the no TV person watches DVD on their computer!!

Anonymous said...

I like your ideas for dealing with the extra "child" during Christmas. Only mine won't be taking any time off until after Christmas. :( But my boys follow him around when he is home.

AS for the cleaning part, I hear you so well! I need to get finished on several of my projects so that my house will be clean for Christmas day. Ugh! I will be fighting the kids to get that done! And I will stop cleaning on Dec. 26th with you. ;)

Anita in Indiana

MaBunny said...

Oh goody! An EASY Baklava recipe!
I just might have to make that this week.
Have a Merry Christmas Dawn!

Anonymous said...

Hi Dawn, I have a Sunday sound out question. I think I remember you saying your computer was in your bedroom and now you own a laptop. Where do you sit to have alone time to write your dailey post? Kristine in Michigan.

sharalyns said...

Hey Dawn--If I keep my eye out and snag one for you, will you repay me shipping? There are Wii Fit all over the place here (WA State) since the US Distribution Site is local. I saw several at Fred Meyer and Best Buy the other day, but thought you had already gotten one! BTW--it's totally awesome and helped me lose 6 pounds in 6 weeks (well, with the DDR too).

Anonymous said...

I found my Wii Fit on back in April. I love it!
Amazon still has plenty. :)

Marjorie said...

I like orbit commercials as well. I also enjoy the Mojito flovored gum.

You're like me with the procrastination. I procrastinate so long I usualy forget about the project all together.

Anonymous said...

"So, according to the principal, a call at 3:00 and not another word until 8:00 is sufficient."

You should tell him that!!

Coffee Bean said...

Just popping in to wish you a Very Merry Christmas!!! And your Purse Dump post was hilarious!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Baklava recipe (I can't belive I made the #1 spot on your SSO!!!squee!!). I think I'll combine that with your "ways to have hubby actually be helpful when home," and see what comes of it. Wish me luck!

Oh, and I love the Mojito Mint Orbit as well, but around here it was a "limited edition" flavor that all the stores clearanced out over the summer. I'm assuming the Sangria and my new favorite, Pomegranate, will follow suit as well. It's all a big plot...


Anonymous said...

I would ask the other parents in the class if they thought a phone call at 3:00 and not again until 8:00 was okay. I can't imagine it was. Then I would collectively address it. It's not okay, period. They are children. They didn't get to eat, take a bathroom break, and they were out on a bus (probably no seat belts if it's like ours) in dangerous weather. What planet does that principal live on?

FreeSpirit said...

OK, when I saw that picture where you show the sign that reads, "no skateboards, no bicycles, no climbing trees or monuments, yadda, yadda, yadda...." At first glance, I thought it meant; Don't bring your climbing trees or monuments in to the park.

And you were worried about HORSES!! LOL It's already been a long holiday season.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about MY confusion over the Cub Scout patches. Your comment threw me about the vest when I saw the arrow point since, as you know, the arrow points go on the uniform shirt. Our scouts have brag vests as well. Your center patches that you have in your memory box must be specific to your local council/district. Our council has their own patch program as well for hiking local area trails. Congrats to Austin for ranking through to Arrow of Light! I hope he enjoyed his time in Scouting.

On Stage said...

Baklava is my all time favorite dessert! I can't wait to try your recipe! thanks for sharing!

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