Butter Lamb (Open Thread)

Well, this year’s butter lamb* was a bit more…bovine than I intended:

I considered some reconstructive surgery, but my husband said it’s FINE, and in a few hours, it’ll be hacked to bits and consumed on pieces of rye bread anyway, so quit obsessing! (He was right.)

This is our first Easter without the kiddo living at home, but I made an Easter basket anyway, which we delivered to her on the way to the in-laws’ Easter feast. (Poor kiddo had to work, so she couldn’t come with us.)

My husband scoffed at my insistence on doing an Easter basket for an adult child, but as he knows, my mom delivered Easter baskets to her kids until we were well into our 40s.

Happy Easter to all who celebrate it!

*If you’re wondering what the hell a “butter lamb” is, there’s a good primer here. I had no clue either until I married into a Polish-American family from Buffalo 20 years ago and started spending Easter with my snowbird in-laws.

My sister-in-law used to bring a store-bought butter lamb down to Florida in a cooler for Easter every year. Then one year, she couldn’t make it down, and since they don’t sell butter lambs in Florida, I made one so that year’s feast table wouldn’t be bereft of the traditional symbol. It’s been my job ever since.

Nailed It!

Well, kinda:

Sorry about the censorship; I’ve picked up a half-assed stalker or two over the years. 🙄

Now, my project done for the day, it’s time to kick back with a cocktail and read while the mister watches the Masters. I’ve just started “Housekeeping” by Marilynne Robinson. Maybe I’ll pick up a few tips. You?

Open thread!

Let’s Check in With Cole’s Pet Sitter…

Meanwhile, back at the Villa Cole:

Open thread!

Late Evening/Early Morning Open Thread: Floriduh Man Brunch in Unusual Places Edition

So this happened.

ABC 10 News has the details.

LAKELAND, Fla. – A man’s desire to eat pancakes in the middle of the road got him in trouble with the police.

On Monday, Lakeland Police Department received a call that a man was sitting in the middle of a crosswalk eating pancakes on a small TV table. He was disrupting the flow of traffic by causing an obstruction.

Police came to the area, yet the man had left prior to their arrival. A video of the incident was posted on Facebook and the police were able to track down 21-year-old Kiaron Thomas as the flapjack-eating man.

Thomas admitted he ate the pancakes in the middle of the road as a prank.

Thomas was charged with obstruction in the roadway and disrupting the free flow of traffic. He will appear in court for the pancake prank in April.

Mmmmm pancakes!


It was all worth it…

Some folks believe Twitter is degrading discourse and actively making people dumber. There is much evidence of this (Exhibit A: @realDonaldTrump). However, the following tweet redeems the whole enterprise, IMO:

Speaking of food, thanks to all who submitted squash recipes in response to my request for gourd grilling techniques. I went with the foil packet method since the squash I had was on the small side, and I added grape tomatoes, onions and garlic and seasoned it with salt, pepper and fresh thyme:

Ta-da! It was delish.

Open thread.

Thursday Morning Open Thread: Brown Bag Democracy

More immediately, the Resistance targets the expense-account demographic…

Doggedly painstaking NYTimes explainer:

The campaign, spread on social media and messaging apps, has called for a “day without immigrants.” It asks foreign-born people nationwide, regardless of legal status, not to go to work or go shopping in a demonstration of the importance of their labor and consumer spending to the United States’ economy.

Activists and groups in cities across the country have picked up the call, reposting fliers found online, and in some cases organizing demonstrations to coincide with the event. Several activists said that they did not know how the campaign began or how many people would heed it, and that as far as they knew, there was no national organization behind it.

But the dining scene in Washington, where the new Trump administration is taking a hard line on immigration and deportation, took notice. At least a few dozen restaurants in and around the Beltway have committed to staying closed on Thursday. Others have said they would offer limited service in the expectation that many of their employees would be out for the day. Some restaurants in other cities, including several of the Blue Ribbon restaurants in New York, have joined in…

Hey, when it was just lobbyists schmoozing backbenchers down in The Swamp, cute little joke. But if it inconveniences the important Media People and financiers in the Big Apple, well…

Actually, I expect a spate of mean-girl posts tattling on colleagues who Just Can’t (make their own lunches). Betting on Maureen Dowd to be first into pixels, since she doesn’t seem like she consumes many calories in solid form.

What’s on the agenda as we slog through this interminable week?

Sufganiyot: Jelly Donuts For the Jewish Festival of Lights

(Sufganiyot for sale in Israel)

A desperate plea has gone out for a recipe thread. Or a pet thread. I’ve decided not to combine them – not to look down on anyone’s traditional/cultural culinary delights. And since I didn’t bother to do any photo documentation of the meatballs and red sauce I made earlier today, I thought I’d share this NY Times recipe for sufganiyot (h/t: The Vicious Babushka at LGF – and today is, apparently, her birthday so all you folks that don’t comment there, click across and wish her a happy birthday just because!). Sufganiyot are served in Israel as part of Hanukah celebrations as opposed to potato latkes (potato pancakes), which are the Hanukah treat of choice here in the US.

Here’s the recipe:


  • ¼ cup lukewarm milk or water
  • 1 teaspoon dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 whole egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream or vegetable oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Freshly grated zest of 1/2 orange
  • 1 ⅔ cups flour, more as needed
  • ½ cup thick raspberry or strawberry jam (Adam baking comment: you can also use chocolate mousse, boston cream, pastry cream, or anything else you want inside your sufganiyot)
  • Vegetable oil for deep-frying
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
  • Nutritional Information
    • Nutritional analysis per serving (12 servings) 162 calories; 8 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 5 grams monounsaturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 18 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram dietary fiber; 4 grams sugars; 2 grams protein; 29 milligrams cholesterol; 57 milligrams sodium
    • Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice. Powered by Edamam


  1. Place milk or water in small bowl. Sprinkle yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar over milk. Set aside until frothy, about 10 minutes.
  2. In a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat remaining sugar with egg and egg yolk. Add sour cream, salt, vanilla extract, orange zest and yeast mixture, and mix well. With mixer running, gradually add flour. Mix until dough is soft, smooth and elastic, adding flour if dough seems very sticky, 3 to 5 minutes. Do not add more than an additional 3 tablespoons flour; dough will be somewhat sticky, but will firm up in refrigerator. Place in an oiled bowl, cover, and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
  3. On a floured surface, roll out dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Use a biscuit or a cookie cutter to cut out 2-inch rounds, placing them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Reroll scraps and cut again. Let rise in a warm place 30 minutes.
  4. In a heavy pot, heat 3 inches of oil to 365 degrees; when hot enough, a small piece of dough will brown on bottom in 30 seconds. If too hot, doughnuts will brown outside before cooking through. Working in batches, fry doughnuts until golden brown, turning once. Drain on paper towels and dust with sugar while still warm. Let oil come back to 365 degrees between batches.
  5. If you have a pastry bag, fit with a small round tip and spoon jam into bag. When doughnuts are cool enough to handle, use tip of bag (or pointed tip of a serrated knife) to make a hole in bottom of doughnut. Squeeze or use a small spoon to nudge 1/2 teaspoon jam into hole. Repeat with remaining doughnuts and serve immediately. Dust again with powdered sugar.