Sunday, February 22, 2009

Carvel Ice Cream Cakes......

Carvel Ice Cream Cakes.......makes a Birthday a party!

Yesterday, was my grandson Zachary's 13th. birthday. I cannot believe that he is now officially a teenager......oh my goodness where did the years go. I was on the phone this morning talking to Ariana, his younger sister and she was telling me about what a nice day they had. She spent a long time describing that they had a special treat......a Carvel Ice Cream Cake.

As Ariana described this cake I found myself going off into my own childhood memories of this "gourmet treat". As she described the layers of the cake and broken Oreo cookies, I chuckled to myself. Us adults who grew up with Carvel, from the Carvel Store not the freezer at the grocery store, know better...we are talking about the incredible tasting chocolate crumbles that come from the Flying Saucer Crackers, that you can only get at Carvel.

As a kid growing up one of my special treats was when we piled into my dads car and headed for a Carvel store. These stores dotted Long Island and were as familiar a site then as McDonald's are today. Mom and dad would let us choose Vanilla, Chocolate, or whatever the special soft ice cream flavor of the day was. Most often we would choose the twist of chocolate and vanilla, with sprinkles of course!

My reminiscing took me back in time, so I googled Carvel to see what would come up. Tom Carvel started selling his product in 1934. To celebrate its 70th anniversary, Carvel Corporation actually built the world's largest ice cream cake at a celebration in New York City's Union Square Park. Weighing in at just under 11,000 pounds, the cake was made of Carvel's premium vanilla ice cream, its "famous chocolate crunchies, and Carvel's delicious chocolate brownie base." Carvel reports that it took 40 people about one hour to build and assemble the cake, which was about 18 ft long, 8 ft wide and 3 feet high when completed. I wish I could have seen that.

Carvel ice cream cakes and ice cream novelties can be found today in most grocery store freezers. This is not the same experience as going to the Carvel store, but this is what is available today. If you have not experienced a Carvel Ice Cream Cake, go for it....give it a try. Other products that Carvel handles are many novelty ice creams. I remember often I brought home packs of Flying Saucers for my girls. These are terrific, not like any other ice cream sandwich. They stay hard in the freezer and give that excellent Carvel creaminess once out. Brown Bonnets are another favorite.

So Happy Birthday, Zachary.........thanks for the memory. If you have any of the cake left have a bite for me. Carvel ice cream cake makes a birthday a party. This is not a commercial, just a wonderful childhood memory.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Fire in the Oven.....

Fire in the oven is a scary event.....

Last week I was cooking dinner in my oven. I walked into the kitchen and through the glass door on my oven it looked like a fireworks extravaganza.......a bit scary for me. I opened the oven door and peeked in and could see flames as from sparklers shooting off my lower oven heat element. I quickly turned off the oven and removed the food I was attempting to cook, never thinking to turn off the breaker.

I thought about calling the Fire Dept. but decided against it since the fire was contained and I just kept the door shut as I observed the flame dancing from one end of the element to the other until it put itself out when it completed the cycle, about 15-20 minutes later.

Well the next day as I began to think about life without an oven, I decided to make some phone calls to figure out what had really happened and if this can be fixed and how much it would cost. This would not be an opportune time financially to purchase a new unit. If you know me personally, you would think that I just must have burnt my oven out from lots of use as I do cook all the time.

The first repairman I called, told me that it sounded like it was in fact the oven element that burnt out, more common then I thought, and he can easily get the part which ranges between $160-$225, just for the part not including labor. If that be the final result, I would have been forced to replace my 10 year old stove, as it did not make sense to invest this much into it.

Next I called Magic Chef, a division of Maytag, the manufacturer who talked to me and told me the part can be sent out to me for $47 +tax, + shipping......this is starting to sound much better. They also described about how to do the installation. They were very helpful until it was suggested that "I let my husband" do it for me. Well I don't have a husband and was really shocked to hear this comment. I thought that the world had advanced well beyond that type of thinking. Now I was not too happy with them at the moment, so I did not order the part from them.

The next call I made was to a local appliance parts distributor who could order me the part for the $47 +tax and no shipping. They described to me how to change the part and reminded me to turn off the power breaker first.

I asked them to please call me on my cell phone when the part came in so I could pick it up right away. Of course this did not happen, they called me at the home number and I did not get the message until after 5 o'clock and they were then closed. I called them first thing this morning (Saturday) to find out that they are open until 1 o'clock. I went to pick up the part only to find out that they have moved to a new location several miles away from the old location. When I called to find out where they are now, they also told me "oh by the way, we also changed our name". An interesting chain of events. Well the outcome of the story, I finally found them, got the part, it was the correct one........and just me husband involved, flipped the breaker off and fixed my oven! Hooray for me and shame on the 1st repair person who was ready, willing and able to rip me off. my oven is working again. Bon appetite!

Moral of the story, patience does pay off, don't give up!!!!!

Seriously kitchen fires can be serious, I was lucky. In the event you find yourself in this situation, I will share this information that I found on the Internet....... after my incident.

How to Stop an Oven Fire
by eHow Home & Garden Editor
An oven fire is serious business. It needs to be tended to immediately and effectively. Fire spreads quickly and even a slight delay could mean your house could go up in flames and your family could be injured or worse. The following will help you quickly smother and take proper precautions in putting out an oven fire.
Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Stove top Fires
Things You'll Need
Oven mitt or towel
Metal lid or cookie sheet
Baking soda or salt
Dry chemical fire extinguisher
1 Step One
Turn off the burner. This will remove the energy behind the fire.
2 Step Two
Put on an oven mitt or tightly wrap your arm with a kitchen towel to protect you from the fire.
3 Step Three
Place a lid or cookie sheet on the fire. This will remove the oxygen supply and help smother the fire on your stove top.
4 Step Four
Smother any grease or oil fires with a large amount of baking soda or salt.
5 Step Five
Get everyone out of your home immediately.
6 Step Six
Call 9-1-1 if you cannot put out the fire.
Tips & Warnings
Use only a dry chemical fire extinguisher on grease or oil fires.
Remember, stop, drop and roll if you are on fire.
Never leave the kitchen while you have a burner going, especially when you are frying something with oil.
Oven Fires
1 Step One
Close the oven door to cut off the oxygen supply.
2 Step Two
Turn off the oven.
3 Step Three
Leave the house immediately.
4 Step Four
Call 9-1-1 if you cannot put out the fire.
Tips & Warnings
Remember, stop, drop and roll if you are on fire.
Do not throw water on electrical oven fires.
* Fire safety in ovens.
* Stopping fires in the kitchen.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Enchanted Cottage.....

Welcome to Historic Longwood, Florida Longwood, Florida was founded in 1873 by Edward Henck of Boston, Massachusetts and was named after a fashionable suburb of Boston. Longwood is the oldest city in Seminole County and has been known as the "Friendly Crossroads". Longwood was incorporated as a Town in 1883 and as a City in 1923.

Historic Longwood, with its old-fashioned charm, has many historic building and acres of public parks within its thriving community. Longwood is known for its quaint Victorian charm. While Longwood is a city with a colorful history, it is also a city firmly rooted in the present. Longwood is nestled in the heart of Seminole County, Florida and is part of a greater metro area of Orlando.

The Enchanted Cottage

The Enchanted Cottage, known as the "Perfect Place for the Perfect Gift" located in Historic Longwood, after 25 years in business will be closing its doors. Locals as well as tourists have visited this local shop in search of the perfect gift and novelty. If you are in the area stop by and take advantage of the great reductions on all inventory, until the end of February. We are sorry to see you go and you will be missed.

Florida Freeze.....

Contrary to what some folks think, Central Florida does get really cold.

On these nights the fragile or more pampered plants get moved inside to protect them. Mine go to the bathroom off the patio. This year they have already been moved in & out several times.

My Beautiful ground cover on my island......not so pretty now. Spring will bring it back again.

In January 2009, Central Florida experienced some of the coldest nights of the winter. In the mornings to follow, plants were covered in ice. Grass had a thin layer of frost. Icicles were hanging from trees, and the cold pretty much destroyed many tropical plants as well as plenty of non-tropical plants in my garden. The good news is many will grow back and 75-80 degree weather is scheduled to return this weekend.
I guess I shouldn't do much complaining as others are still constantly shoveling snow this winter season.
Florida is still a great place to be.......Thinking of a move here to escape the long winters....then give me a call.

Savour the Moment......

My girls

Hold your babies close to you......Savour the moment, we only have one opportunity to do so!

I remember my Mom saying to me "don't wish your life away, the older you get the faster it goes". Boy was she right!

Last Saturday, I had the pleasure of attending a FLICA meeting where my daughter was invited to be a guest speaker, promoting her Medical Practice and book, PERMISSION TO MOTHER. As I listened, learned and observed the attendees in the room, discuss: mothering, skin to skin contact with your baby, breast feeding, baby wearing, etc., I realized the significance of this method of "mothering" and thought about all that I had missed out on only because I did not now better.

When I had my babies, at a very young age, my male Dr. had never discussed or promoted breast feeding and right in the hospital I was given bottles and formula. I did not know there was another way. Why would I question doing it any other way? Bottles and babies go together like bacon & eggs or ham & cheese, right?

My point or advice here is really simple. Enjoy your babies and children, every single moment as the years really do pass so quickly. Do not wish away those terrible two's or three's! (If you want to wish away some parenting years it will be better saved for the 14th, 15th 16th and 17th years)
Time, truly goes by in the blink of an eye. I feel like it was only yesterday when I was putting my girls on the school bus for the first day of school and look at them now! I remember clearly, as I am sure most of us remember thinking at some point of time, "parents don't know anything!". If this is the case, then how come we all reach an age where we consider, I would like to be __fill in the blank__years old again, knowing what I know now!