Instead of cooking, today, I spent a few hours putting in a new screen door in the front of the house.  Actually, it’s a “storm” door.  But what do I know – we don’t have screen-or-storm doors where I come from.  Or air conditioning, either.

I actually liked the old pitted metal screen/storm door.  Totally 1950.  What I didn’t like was unscrewing the screen and hauling it down to the basement and getting the 987 pound (at least) pane of glass up the stairs and screwed in.  Twice a year I had to do it.  Pretty strenuous.  Twice a year.  And rescreening.  Can’t forget that.  And whatever spline I had was always the wrong size.

So… with a new roof, dry rot gone, and a new paint job, it just seemed fitting that we do an upgrade.  We looked online to see what was out there and headed off to the local home improvement store to see them in person.  Found what we were looking for, put it into the back of the truck – and off to home we went.

While it wasn’t difficult to install, it was tedious.  It was a big box of pieces.  Not a hole was drilled not a thing attached.  And I’m not a picture/icon person.  I want to see the parts and see how they fit together.  Little blow-up line drawings of one corner just do not make sense to me.

But I persevered…

And got it done except for a trim piece and the self-closer.  Tomorrow is another day…


While I was playing My Favorite Drill Bit, Victor decided it would probably be a smart move if he made dinner tonight.  (He’s very perceptive – just one of the reasons I love ‘im!)

Out of the freezer came a small container of sauce he has made a while back, and a couple of sausages.  Some papardelle pasta, a mini loaf of bread from Panera, and dinner was served.

Just in time.  I was almost starting to get cranky.


And speaking of cranky…  can anyone tell me what’s wrong with this recipe for Pumpkin Bread?!?  It’s from Bon Appetit.

Pumpkin-Walnut Bread

Yield: Makes 1 loaf


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup canned pure pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts

Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 325°F. Butter 9x5x3-inch metal loaf pan. Sift first 7 ingredients into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until light. Gradually beat in 3/4 cup sugar. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Beat in pumpkin, lemon peel and vanilla. Whisk sour cream and milk in small bowl. Beat flour and sour cream mixtures alternately into batter in 2 additions each. Fold in nuts. Transfer batter to pan; smooth top. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar.

Bake bread until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Turn out onto rack; cool. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Wrap in foil; store at room temperature.)


It was intriguing.  Lemon zest and sour cream in a pumpkin bread.  The only change I made was to use half walnuts and half raisins.

And it ooooozed out of the pan all over the oven…  what a mess.

I’ve done my share of baking and can throw together a quick bread fairly quick-ly.  But I also get tired of making the same ol’ thing and decided to waste some time looking through old magazines.  This one won.

There was way more batter than I would normally put in a bread pan, but… I let the printed page over-rule experience.  Dumb move.

I actually went back into the kitchen after about 15 minutes and it was already too late.  Disaster had already struck.

I put a foil collar on the pan to contain the rest and it helped – but the 1 hr and 10 minute baking time was way off.  I left it in the oven for about an hour and 40 minutes.

The smell of burnt cake batter and smoke billowing through the kitchen just added to my pleasant disposition.  After letting it cool a bit, I took it out of the pan – it was hot and… soggy is not really the right word… extremely moist.  I left it on the cooling rack, turned off the light and decided to deal with it later.

That later came this evening.

It had a great flavor, although it was still a little more moist than I like.  Not underbaked, just a bit… gummy…

With so many fabulous recipes out there, there’s just no reason to make this one.