Happy Groundhog Day!

That’s right. Today, February 2nd, is the big day. Punxsutawney Phil, the official predictor of Spring, will make his annual appearance and declare 6 more weeks of winter. Or not.

image from flickr

I’m not going to go into the history of Groundhog Day, but if you’re curious you can visit the little rodent’s Club. Instead I will tell you a little family memory….

One year when our kids were middle school age, I decided to invent “Groundhog Pie”. Like Sheppard’s Pie, but using “groundhog meat”.  It looked a lot worse than it tasted. When I cut into the crust and served the first piece, I was reminded of a childhood song that had “greasy gopher guts” in the lyrics.

They must have suspected it really wasn’t groundhog, yet everyone played along. Even my pickiest of eaters scarfed it up. These kids, who diligently removed each and every piece of onion or mushroom from their spaghetti, blindly ate groundhog pie. Go figure.

This was many years ago. I want to add the recipe to my cookbook, but I didn’t write it down in my cookbook notes. Maybe I hadn’t started the book yet. Regardless, I will let you in on what I do remember.

Groundhog Pie

  • 1 pkg. of Pillsbury rolled pie crusts (has 2 in it)
  • 1 pound ground meat (beef, pork, or chicken will work)
  • 1 bunch of fresh spinach (rinse well)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced fine
  • 1 small can of chopped tomatoes, drained.

Remove pie crusts from the fridge and allow them to warm to room temperature while preparing pie filling. Brown the meat in a large skillet until done. Drain and return to skillet, adding spinach, garlic and tomatoes. Stir together for 1 minute at low heat.

Line a pie pan with 1 crust, making it fit tightly to sides and bottom. Poke bottom a couple of times with a fork. Leave 1/4 to 1/2 inch of crust edge above the rim of pan. Add filling.  Cover with top crust and pinch the bottom and top edges together to seal. Poke top crust a couple of times with fork.

Bake at 350° for about an hour.

You can also sprinkle cheese on the filling before covering with top crust if desired.

Me vs. MS Word

Future Cookbook

You know you’re in trouble when the Help menu – doesn’t.

I have taken MS Word classes and I have gone crawling to the Help menu many times.

I still cannot get my cookbook’s headers and footers to format correctly. Instead of doing a “work-around” (modern word for what my grandpa called jerry-rigging), I refuse to move on to Plan B. Which means I’m stubbornly frustrating the crap out of myself. I hate it when I do this. Yet here I am.

As soon as I heard about the NaNoWriMo thing (National Novel Writing Month), I got excited because this could really get me moving. Unfortunately, I also got blocked. I have not been able to think of any ideas to write about in my blog, so how could I write a novel?  My confidence is shot, and I blame MS Word for this because I am spending way too much of my writing time surfing the web for forums, articles, anything that will explain to me how I can fix this mess I call a Cookbook.

Hope your weekend has been more productive.   At least the 49er’s were productive this morning and we are 7-1 now! Maybe I’ll sneak in a nap now while hubby and buddy are hogging the TV watching NASCAR (YUCK!), and maybe I’ll dream about something good to write a novel about.  It could happen.  Either way I need the sleep…


The Cookbook: Formatting Nightmares

Future Cookbook

I am at the last section now – desserts!  I thought I would format the document while taking a break from writing recipes. OMG!!  What a mess I have made.

There are 126 “sections” in the manuscript because I used one and two column sections, for the ingredient list for each recipe. It looks really nice on the page, but now I can’t get the page numbering OR the footers working. Just when I get it started going right, I notice there are 2 odd-numbered header/footers in a row. Then 2 even-numbered sections in a row. All the even-numbered pages say “Page 2”, and all the odd-numbered ones disappear after the first 20 sections.  I do not know how this happens.

If I had a secretary, or an assistant, I could make them do this. Since I have to wear those hats during this point in my career, I must suck it up and learn how to format a many sectioned document. I have had MS Word training. I’m a woman, so I can (and do) ask for directions from “Help”.

There are many help pages on how to format a long document. There are no pages for help with fixing a messed up one. Perhaps Microsoft does not think people could mess up this bad.  Well, they do.

I need to know how to “hide” sections that I don’t want to count. I only want TWO real sections. Not 126 sections I can’t “link to previous” with, or make sense of.  Sigh. It looks like I need to sign up for more ^&*#@! training…