Grace's Mosaic Moments

Saturday, August 15, 2015


Keeping an eye on the Rehab
My daughter took this photo in the Conway area of East Orlando. The homes there are standard middle class ranch-style, but at some time in the past someone imported peacocks, clearly a pair of peacocks as they have now proliferated until whole bands of them roam the neighborhood at will. I recall the last time Susie & Co. did a house rehab there, they ended up moving a nest that was too close to the work being done into the shade of a wall and then helped watch over the eggs 'til they hatched. Hmm - maybe the magnificent beastie above, sighted at their latest rehab, is one of those chicks (or whatever a baby peacock is called).

This is one of those weeks when I demonstrate why I named this blog "Mosaic Moments." I plan to include another news story, rant on a variety of topics, and end with a couple of old recipes that turned up when I was sorting through every last thing I owned before moving (in an attempt to get rid of enough things so I could squeeze myself into my new home). The discard toll on recipes? Maybe .5 percent. Let's face it - I'm recipe-addicted.

Breaking news story: Some may consider this story an advertisement for OnStar, but it's straight out of Friday morning's Orlando Sentinel. You may remember that I call "I-Drive" (our local term for Orlando's International Drive) "Disneyworld for Adults." It's a heavily traveled tourist corridor, full of both hotels and attractions, and also home to the Orlando Convention Center. Unfortunately it also attracts criminals, as it is not an enclosed environment, like the strictly gated Disneyworld, Universal Studios, and Seaworld. 

On Wednesday evening four men carjacked a man who was packing his car for his family's trip back to Texas the next morning. He was tied up, pistol-whipped, and driven around for a while. Until the man's wife became worried and called OnStar. When the robbers heard the OnStar voice and realized the operator could hear the man calling for help, they stopped the car and fled. Although the men are still at large, they're about as likely to escape as the alligator that bit off the woman's arm. For the man was a federal agent, and law enforcement really doesn't like anyone messing with their own. Plus the addition of a federal agency search to the mix. 

Update (Saturday):  Three of the four men were arrested by Thursday afternoon. The fourth was identified but not found and taken into custody until Saturday. Their ages are: 15, 16, 18 & 18. High school students! Their lives ruined by what the Sheriff called, "Playing deadly games." And, yes, the charges are kidnapping as well as carjacking and assault. The federal agent, a border patrol officer, required four staples to close the wound in his head.


I watched the Republican Presidential debate this week with something akin to horror. There were some good men up there, well-intentioned and genuinely concerned for their country's future. And then there was Donald Trump. 

To understand why some support him takes a bit of cogitating, I admit. But Americans have always admired the attitude of "Speak up," "Go for it," Tell it like it is." And Trump certainly does that. Alas, he is also a misogynistic hot-head patently unfit for the highest office in the land. And yet . . . what a breath of fresh air for the equally misogynistic or those so ultra-right wing they applaud anything negative, anything they believe other politicians too "mealymouthed" to say. (Allegations I won't dignify by repeating here.)

Yes, Donald Trump has a right to run for office. Yes, he has a right to speak his mind. (I even might agree with him that we've carried Political Correctness too far.) But no one who blurts out absolutely anything and everything that jumps into his mind ever made a good leader. No one who completely blows his top over a reporter's question can be anything but a terrifying prospect as a world leader. Just imagine Trump at a Summit meeting, where he has to take flak from Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel, Benjamin Netanyahu, or the leaders of other Middle Eastern countries. I can just see Trump in a rage, turning to the soldier with the nuclear codes, authorizing the unthinkable. Annihilation before dawn.

But the terrifying part is that Trump's polling numbers have not gone down since his appalling reaction to Megyn Kelly's debate question, since his adamant refusal to apologize. (And since all his other foot-in-mouth statements.) There are still people out there who believe he is a viable candidate for President. Surely they can't all be people described as "to the right of Attila the Hun." I keep telling myself this is only the Republican Party and his polling numbers are not indicative of the population as a whole. But still, it's scary. Come on, people, wake up! This man is a genuine menace. Not on purpose - I have no doubt he sees himself as a savior - but Napoleon and Hitler undoubtedly thought so too. And look what happened to their worlds before ordinary people came to their senses. And that was before we had the power to erase ourselves from the earth.

Come on, folks, it's time to tell the Donald: "You're fired!"

Update: A cartoon in the Saturday Orlando Sentinel did a great job of pinpointing Trump supporters. It featured a male voter's head with the following thoughts inscribed:

That Feminist Witch who objected to my Dirty Joke at Work!
I hate taxes, ANY taxes.
My Mexican gardener who can't even speak English!
All those whining blacks maligning the police!
Gays holding hands out in public!
Obama is still President!
Whatever Rush said on the radio - that got my blood boiling! 

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Okay, the above rant was so long I'm going to spare you my other pet peeves until another time. Recipes coming up!

Note: The two recipes below are strictly "comfort food." Delicious but nowhere near "diet food." Enjoy! (Both are from the "good old days" of cooking.)

1/2 cup creamed cottage cheese (slightly more for 8" pan)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 lb. ground beef, cooked & drained
1 teaspoon oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon basil leaves*
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 cup milk
2/3 cup Bisquick baking mix
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

*use fresh, if available - 5 or 6 leaves, chopped

Heat oven to 400°. Grease 10" pie plate (or 8x8 square). Layer cottage and Parmesan cheeses in plate. Mix beef, herbs, paste, and 1/2 cup mozzarella; sppon on top. Beat milk, baking mix, eggs, salt & pepper 15 seconds in blender on high or 1 minute with by hand. Pour into plate. Bake until knife inserted between center & edge comes out clean. 30-35 minutes (40-45 minutes for 8" glass pan). Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella.  6 servings. (I consider it closer to 4 servings.)


Torn out of the New York Times decades ago, this is the perfect Sunday brunch. Unfortunately, it's too big for one, so I haven't made it in a long time, but just thinking about it makes my mouth water.

2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
Pinch of nutmeg
8 tablespoons butter (one stick)
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
Juice of half a lemon (c. 1 tablespoon)

Preheat oven to 425°. In a mixing bowl combine flour, milk, eggs and nutmeg. Beat lightly. Leave the batter a little lumpy. Melt butter in a 12" skillet with heatproof handle. When very hot, pour in batter. Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle with sugar and return briefly to oven. Sprinkle with lemon juice, then serve with jelly, jam, or marmelade.  Serves 4-6.  (My opinion - 3 at the most!)

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Thanks for stopping by,


For Grace's website, listing all books as Blair Bancroft, click here.
For a brochure for Grace's editing service, Best Foot Forward, click here.



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